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Today's News

  • Changes proposed in waters around Snake Key

    The Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge is exploring a seasonal closure of Snake Key’s near-shore waters out to 100 yards to protect nesting birds from March 1 to June 30, mirroring the former closure at Seahorse Key.

    A public notification process will gather input on the proposed closure for 2018.
    Snake Key is an island off of the City of Cedar Key in the Gulf of Mexico and is part of the CKNWR established in 1929. The 800-acre refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for wildlife and wildlife-oriented outdoor recreation. The primary purpose of the refuge is to serve as breeding grounds for colonial-nesting marine birds. Snake Key is approximately 32.5 acres and is completely surrounded by shallow water, and is mostly closed to the public except for the small beach. The island is composed of two islands divided by a very narrow (~25 foot) channel, but is considered one landmass.

  • WoW targets plastic along the coast

    Cedar Key’s Workout on the Waterfront (WoW) is an exciting day packed full

    of fun and active events, scheduled this year for Feb. 24.

    The WoW event aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution along our coasts.

    Proceeds from the 2018 races and silent auction will benefit the public aquarium at NCBS, Cedar Key School and the annual Cedar Key International Coastal Cleanup.

    WoW events include the Coastal Heritage 5K with runners of all ages following a route winding through downtown Cedar Key and along the historic waterfront. Race starts 9 a.m. at Lil Shark Park, 192 Second Street. Register at Active.com in advance or on race day at 6:30 a.m. Runner check-in begins at 6:30 a.m.

    Astena Otie Kayak Challenge is for kayakers ages 18 and above. It will start at the beach in downtown Cedar Key at 10:15 a.m. The course runs around and through Astena Otie Key and back to the City Park beach. Racers must pick up at least one item of garbage from Atsena Otie’s shoreline before racing back to City Park. Register at Active.com in advance or day of race at 6:30 a.m.

  • Complaint of shots fired at park leads to volley of words

    A complaint of guns fired within the city limits set off a heated discussion Monday evening at the Chiefland City Commission meeting.

    Shannon Iglesias said she was at a city park with her three children and her fiancé on the afternoon of Dec. 31 and heard a bullet whiz above her head. She told commissioners she called the 9-1-1. Emergency operators dispatched the Chiefland Police to the scene, “but they didn’t really investigate it.”

    She said Capt. Ray Tremblay advised her to attend the commission meeting and advise commissioners of a 2015 law prohibiting recreational shooting firearms in a primarily residential neighborhood with more than one dwelling place per unit acre.

    Iglesias said she believed the law was being misconstrued and is of the opinion that the law was supposed to be used as a residential unit as a whole as opposed to looking at a 10-acre parcel separately.

    “I’m concerned about my children. The FFA property is next door. My children go out there to feed the animals. They’re shooting and bullets are coming across the street to the park,” she said.

  • Superintendent warns of amendment proposals threatening local control

    Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison is weary of state amendment proposals that are in the pipeline that would limit local control for school boards, and he cautioned the Levy County Commission that those measures are part of an overall trend from state leadership that is likely to affect local government.

    Edison spoke to the Commission at its regular meeting Dec. 19, highlighting three proposals that are being considered by Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission that would directly affect school boards around the state. The Commission convenes every 20 years to propose amendments to the state constitution, typically of a non-controversial nature. If they’re approved by the Commission, voters will see them on the ballot next November.

    Most of the 39 members of the Commission were appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron, all Republicans.

  • Tix on sale for Feb. 17 STARS Gala fundraiser

    The annual Levy County Schools Foundation STARS Gala event is scheduled for Saturday, February 17th at the Bronson Middle High School. The semiformal evening will start with mingling and hors d’oeuvres at 5 pm with dinner and program starting at 6 pm.

    The evening’s program will feature The Honorable Joseph Smith as guest speaker, entertainment by local students and alumni, door prizes, a silent auction and live auction for a chance to bid on a cruise vacation. The Foundation will recognize the school district’s Teacher of the Year, School Related Employee of the Year and Volunteer of the Year along with its Alumnus of the Year.

    Tickets for the event are $50.00 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are available at $250, $500, $1,000 and $2,000 levels. For information contact Donna Turner at lcsf@levyk12.org or call
    (352)493-6056 (Monday – Wednesday)

    All proceeds are used to support the Foundation and its scholarship and grants programs for Levy County schools and students.
     

  • Hotel to break ground in spring

    By Bob McRae
    Citizen Correspondent

    Groundbreaking for the long-awaited hotel in Fanning Springs should be in the spring and is expected to be completed in nine to 10 months.

    Fanning Springs Mayor Trip Lancaster said Dec. 28 that Best Western Premier is working through the approval and permit process for a five-story hotel on four undeveloped acres north of the Agricultural Inspection Station on U.S. Highway 19 in Gilchrist County. The hotel will offer unique amenities including bike racks and horse stables and cater to boaters as well.

    The hotel was proposed approximately three years ago.
    Lancaster said he is committed to bringing new business to the area that will in turn boost the economy and provide much needed jobs for the Fanning Springs community. He expects the Best Western Hotel project will add $1 million of annual payroll to Fanning Springs and Gilchrist County.

     

  • Lady Bucs snap CMHS streak with explosive 1Q

    The Chiefland girls’ basketball team caught a red-hot Branford squad on the wrong night.

    The Lady Buccaneers stemmed the Lady Indians’ win streak at five games as they nearly eclipsed CMHS’ total scoring output for the night with 30 points in the first quarter.

    Branford jumped out to a 30-3 lead in the opening quarter before securing a 62-31 win in Chiefland.

    A series of half-court steals helped BHS build an insurmountable advantage in the first quarter with a 30-1 run. Chiefland played even with Branford for the remainder.

    It marked just the third time this season that Chiefland was held to under 39 points.

    Courtney Hayes paced the Lady Indians with 12 points, while Naja Martin hauled in a team-high 13 rebounds.

    “That’s going to happen to you sometimes, I’m just glad it was tonight and not in the district tournament,” Chiefland coach Buddy Vickers said. “I guess we still had the blues over last night (against Bronson). We were tired and we were hurting from (the Bronson game).”

    Defense, rebounding lead CMHS past FW

  • Reed, Norris guide Lady Indians past BMHS

    The Chiefland girls’ basketball team was led by a pair of standout efforts, one on offense and the other on defense, in Bronson Jan. 11.

    Junior Colby Reed, buoyed by an 11-point first quarter, led all scorers with 25 points, while Sierra “Cee Cee” Norris helped limit Bronson’s top scoring threat as the Lady Indians prevailed 65-48 at BMHS.

    Reed connected three times from 3-point range and added a handful of long 2s to her tally, as she helped her squad to a 19-8 lead in the opening quarter. One of those long field goals put Chiefland ahead by 24 in the fourth, before Bronson finished on a 9-2 run.

    “When she gets her feet right, she can hit it,” CMHS coach Buddy Vickers said of Reed. “We talked about that before we went on the floor.”

    Naja Martin and Courtney Hayes finished with 10 points apiece for Chiefland and led on the boards. Hayes finished with a game-high 14 rebounds, making it her fourth straight game with double-figure boards, while Martin nine rebounds.

  • Jalen Hurts showed us his true character

    Today, Jalen Hurts will not get the ESPN coverage. His image will not be plastered over Sports Center and other news programming. People will not be inundated with his heroic performance of throwing a perfect back-shoulder pass or some long beast mode type run to win the game.

    No. Those accolades will go to someone else- and deservingly so. However, in an age of “me, me” and “I have to get mine,” Jalen Hurt’s response to being pulled at the half of the national championship game will go highly unnoticed.

    Only a year removed from nearly pulling off one of the greatest plays in history for a true freshman quarterback until another great player and Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback upstaged him in defeat; he was devastated once again by being benched.

    While he clearly wanted to be in the game on that final drive evidenced by him visibly shaking on the sideline as adrenaline flowed; he stood there, cheered for his teammate, and once hugged the guy who had taken his place.

    After the game, he was all smiles and displayed genuine happiness for he and his teammates.

  • I don't know what to call this one: sports?

    If you look to the left, you’ll notice a column by Dr. Kendrick Scott. I’ve been pestering him off and on to write a regular column for the Citizen since last February when I heard him speak at the annual Levy County Black History Program.

    There are reasons I wanted him. First, he’s smart and well spoken. Second, I really want the paper to represent all of Chiefland and not a bunch of old white men like myself. I don’t know yet how often he will contribute, but I hope it’s often because he’s already made me think about how I view sports on television.

    I never played sports too much. Oh, I rode in the annual donkey basketball game and sometimes followed behind the donkeys with a shovel. And, I was a four-year substitute on the high school basketball team. I never got to play many regular minutes and when I did, I only further solidified my role as the 10th Man. The last time I looked, I could still see the imprint of my butt on the far end of the bench where I sat from 1965 to 1969.