Today's News

  • County may join opioid lawsuits

    In a scene reminiscent of the successful lawsuits against Big Tobacco in the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies have become a target for their role in the opioid crisis.

    The Levy County Commission on March 6 signaled its intent to join in on the action in order to recover costs that the opioid addiction has wreaked on local services and healthcare. The lawsuits, both federal and state, contend that the drug makers have knowingly misled users about the harmful effects of their painkillers, leading to widespread addiction and long-term health problems.

    County attorney Anne Bast Brown said at the meeting she has consulted with other counties that have reached agreements with firms to join in lawsuits, and has spoken with law firms seeking business from counties. She says counties like Alachua and Osceola have signed onto agreements with firms that avoid any costs up front for the counties, and those counties are shielded through the agreements from counter-suits from the pharmaceuticals.

  • SCORE to assist Levy businesses

    By Michael Bates, Citrus County Chronicle

    The Citrus County SCORE chapter got the green light this month to expand into Levy County.

    That will be a big deal to businesses there because it will have closer representation and no longer have to rely on its distant SCORE affiliate all the way in Gainesville for business assistance, said Jim Green, chairman of the Citrus SCORE.

    “We thought it would make more sense for us to do it,” Green said.

    Now the work begins, he said, to meet with Levy County civic, community and government leaders to get the word out. That process starts this week.

    “We’ve been here for 25 years (in Citrus County), but they don’t know us there,” he said.

    Green said he has appointed a Levy County expansion team among his volunteers who will make those contacts.

  • CF hosts Preview Night for future enrollees

    The College of Central Florida Levy Campus held its Preview Night March 1 for students looking to continue their education at the local campus.

    Attendees had their $30 admission fees waived for their participation.

    Workshops were available for prospective students, offering guidance on topics like financial aid, dual enrollment, CF student life and registration.

    Additionally, professors from various fields – including economics, biological sciences, humanities, welding and emergency medical services – hosted stations where they answered questions on degree and certificate programs and directed students to helpful literature on hand.

    Administrators also helped prospective students with enrollment inquiries, and there were representatives from the University of South Florida and University of Central Florida to inform students on more long-term educational paths that begin at CF.

    Current seniors from Chiefland Middle High School and Cedar Key School were among those attending the event.

    The Ocala and Lecanto campuses held similar events.

  • Honey the Wonder Dog reaches 'end of tour'

    By Deborah Goad
    Citizen Correspondent

    March 2 was a very sad day for many as final goodbyes were said to Honey “the Wonder Dog.”

    Recently celebrating her eighth birthday, Honey's health had been steadily declining and the time had come to release her from her pain.

    Honey was a decorated medical service dog and companion to Michael Gaither for the past eight years.

    She saved his life many times by calling 911 when he'd fall him his wheelchair, barking two times into the receiver, alerting dispatchers to send help. Honey would wake him when he lost his oxygen mask, take him his medication and assist him with daily needs.

    Gaither, who suffers from PTSD, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis, found his life unbearable before Honey came into it. She gave him the will to live.

    Through Kids for K9's, a program designed to teach children in Levy and Gilchrist County schools the value of all service dogs, Honey touched many children. Visiting hospices and veterans’ programs, Honey gave countless demonstrations showing the benefits of medical service dogs.

  • Veterans Night at the ballpark

    Note: The Veterans Night game has been moved to March 22 due to concerns over cold weather. CMHS baseball and the Interact Club apologize for any inconvenience.

    The Chiefland High School Interact Club would like to invite all veterans to the Williston-Chiefland baseball game at Chiefland High Baseball Field Thursday, March 22. The game starts at 7 p.m., and veterans are encouraged to show up before 6:30 p.m. for a special pre-game recognition. Admission is FREE for veterans. Any veteran interested in the event can call Chiefland Middle High School at (352) 493-6000.

  • City approves grant application for police cars

    By C.L. Watson, Citizen Correspondent

    Tri County Community Resource Center Director Beverly Goodman requested the city donate use of the Tommy Usher Pineland Center for an event with chef Laura Fowler Goss.

    The event is a parent and child cooking class instructed by Goss March 21 from 10 a.m. to noon. Commissioner Teresa Barron made the motion to donate use of the center. Commissioner Donald Lawrence seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.

    City Manager Mary Ellzey presented the USDA Community Facility Grant for purchase of four police vehicles. In October 2017, the commission gave approval to file the application for the 4-to-1 matching grant. The USDA would pay $140,595 and the cost to the city would be $46,865 for four new Chevy Tahoes. Lawrence made the motion that was seconded by Barron and unanimously approved.

    Police Chief Scott Anderson informed commissioners that police officers would soon need their body cams replaced and the wireless printers in eight patrol units needed updating.

  • Local students to remain seated

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    The Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting impacted students across the nation after a former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, pulled a fire drill and began shooting and killing 14 students and three staff members.

    The shooting prompted students and adults across the United States to take actions in an attempt to influence Congress to change the current policies regarding semi-automatic weapons.

    Levy School Board Member Chris Cowart said in an interview about the current safety issues facing the schools.

    “We have to have common ground. There has to be a way all of our agencies, whether it be the sheriff’s department or the Florida Department of Children and Families, can filter information so this doesn’t happen again. So many warning signs were overlooked,” he said. In addition, he said, “the School Board is working on getting one school resource officer per school.”

  • CK open house educates on a range of environmental topics

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s open house Feb. 22, held at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, was a chance for residents to learn about the purpose and history behind the environmental regulations and restoration efforts that affect Cedar Key and the surrounding area.

    And while environmental regulations might not sound like sexiest of topics, the morning and midday event was a hit by all accounts, with around 80 attendees, proving again that Cedar Key citizen are passionate about its ecological standing.

    The open house presented an arrangement of stations, where, joining the DEP, there were representatives from UF/IFAS, Levy County’s Solid Waste department, an Ocala-based waste and recycling company, and Florida’s Aquatic Preserves, which, like the Florida Park Service, falls under the umbrella of the DEP.

  • CareerSource opens new office

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion staff cut the ribbon and held an open house Feb. 22 at its new center at 2175 NW 11th Dr., in the Walmart Supercenter (Suwanee Plaza) off North Young Boulevard.

    The Levy County Career Center opened to the public in December 2017 to better serve businesses and candidates. The office was formerly located at the Old Post Office located behind the Levy County Tax Collector's Office.

    About 30 guests were present for the Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony at noon. Among the guests were business participants that collaborate with the CareerSource employees, CareerSource board members and Chiefland Chamber of Commerce members.

    CareerSource staff all agree that moving to the new location will be greatly beneficial for the community. Moving to the center location makes career services more accessible to the public.

    “We moved to a more central location because the college is down the road and this is a much better place to provide services to residents,” said CEO of the Career Source Center Rusty Skinner Jr.

  • Fanning Chamber plans egg hunt

    By Kate Sheridan, Citizen Correspondent

    Fanning Springs Annual Eggstavaganza was the main subject discussed at the recent Fanning Springs Chamber of Commerce meeting.

    The annual Easter egg hunt and ski show takes place March 24 at Fanning Springs Park. The event will run from noon until 4 p.m. with the ski show starting at 3 p.m. There will be more than 6,000 filled Easter eggs for children to hunt. All age groups will be divided into four groups to ensure a fun hunt.

    In addition to hunting eggs, the Chamber will also offer more than 50 different raffles offered for free to all participating children. The day will include face painting, balloon art, music and many other surprises and activities.

    Food and drinks will be available for purchase but picnic lunches with drinks are allowable.

    BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket) and come out Saturday, March 24, for a great day with friends and family.