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Today's News

  • Still much work to be done to protect manatees

    Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service downgraded the West Indian manatee’s Endangered Species Act status from endangered to threatened.

    Although Save the Manatee Club believes that the species is endangered throughout a significant portion of its range, we are most concerned that downlisting will give the public and policymakers the impression that their work to protect the manatee is complete. Such an attitude risks undoing decades of effort and hard-won gains to conserve Florida’s treasured marine mammal and leaves us far from what is still needed to ensure the species’ recovery and long-term survival.

    Recent years have seen record manatee deaths from new and increasing threats, including extreme cold events, red tide outbreaks, and a still-unexplained unusual mortality event on the Indian River Lagoon. Last year, an unprecedented 104 manatees died from impacts with watercraft, and 2017 is closing in on yet another manatee watercraft mortality and injury record.

  • Pearl Harbor Day, does anyone care?

    Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Does anyone care?

    There are tons of written information, movies and historical information on the sneak attack perpetrated against the U.S. 7th Fleet and other military installations on the island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

    It was a Sunday morning, much like this Sunday morning Dec. 3 at 7:50 a.m. as I try to put into words why remembering Pearl Harbor is so important these 76 years later. It is important for many reasons pertaining to national security, public policy, foreign affairs and many, many other governmental decisions. On that sleepy Sunday morning, the Japanese bombers from the “land of the rising sun” laid waste to the U.S. 7th Fleet and killed 2,403 Americans. That was the dawning of the era in which the United States became the dominant world power.

  • Lady Indians take their lumps against Trenton

    Buddy Vickers, the first-year Chiefland girls’ basketball coach, knew what his team was in for when it squared off against Trenton Dec. 1.

    Vickers previously worked in the program as it made a state finals appearance in 2016 and added another regional finals bid in 2017.

    The young Lady Indians may have been overmatched at this stage, but they didn’t make it easy for the Lady Tigers in the early going. Trenton eventually separated itself for a convincing 62-25 win.

    The TMHS win, combined with its 60-17 victory Dec. 4 against Cedar Key, helped the squad to a 4-0 start, and 3-0 in District 1A-7.

    CMHS headed into its Dec. 5 game at Dixie County at 1-2 overall, and 1-1 in district competition.

    “We ran out of steam,” Vickers said. “We played as good as we can play. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. I was proud of them.”

    Trenton had yet to make a field goal four minutes into the game, but then raced out to an 18-4 lead by the end of the opening quarter.

  • Chiefland surrenders early lead in tense rivalry clash versus Trenton

    While the inexperienced, but talented, Chiefland boys’ basketball team seeks its identity, you often get tantalizing glimpses of its most electrifying potential as well as its share of forgettable lows on any given night.

    Against Trenton Dec. 1, in a meeting that lived up to the best and worst of what that intense and exhausting rivalry has become, the Indians led with their best foot forward, storming out to a 15-0 lead, culminating in a Ty Corbin 3-pointer.

    But the Tigers took advantage of Chiefland’s less-than-consistent play for the remainder of the game, as the Indian offense went stagnant for long stretches. Trenton chipped away to lead by two at the half, following a buzzer-beating 3 by Jayce Gentry, and then narrowly clung to its advantage for the second half, eventually securing a 51-44 win in the district rivalry clash.

    Chiefland dropped to 1-2 (1-1 in District 1A-7) heading into its game at Dixie County Dec. 5. Trenton knocked off Cedar Key Dec. 4 to improve to 3-0 overall as well as in the district.

  • Hoops coach discusses life lessons from basketball

    At the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club meeting Nov. 30, guest speaker Buddy Vickers, the first-year head coach of the Chiefland Middle High School girls’ basketball team, was officially there to talk Lady Indian basketball.

    But it was the lessons one gains from basketball and athletics – discipline; learning how to work toward an achievement; losing the right way – that Vickers was really interested in relaying.

    “I’ll talk to you about basketball, but you know basketball in itself is not really that important,” he started. “But I think the things you learn from basketball, or any athletic endeavor, is important.”

    Vickers discussed the coaches who influenced him, including former Trenton and Bronson coach John Rowe.

    “You never know what’s going to influence you,” said Vickers, who was previously a middle school and JV coach at Trenton. “I never expected to be a coach. In fact, I expected to be in front of a judge. Coach Rowe, my dad, my wife, helped keep from getting there.”

  • Courthouse monument case dismissed in favor of County

    The lawsuit filed against Levy County by American Atheists, Inc., claiming a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, was dismissed by in the U.S. District Court in Gainesville.

    The suit stems from the denial by the county of a local atheist group’s application to install a monument at the Levy County Courthouse, claiming it failed to meet guidelines. The county established guidelines in 2009 for the placing of monuments by local citizens and groups at the site.

    In 2010, a granite monument detailing the Ten Commandments, submitted by the Tri-County Pregnancy Center of Williston, was granted permission.

    Levy County, represented by Liberty Counsel, first filed a motion requesting a summary judgement over the summer, seeking a dismissal without trial.

  • Lady Indians to host JV tournament

    Chiefland Middle High School is hosting a junior varsity girls basketball tournament Saturday, Dec. 9, in its gym. The tournament is sponsored by Capital City Bank and there will be a full concession stand. The Lady Indians tip off at 9 a.m. against Newberry to start the tournament, followed by Trenton and Keystone Heights at approximately 10:30 a.m. After a 30 minute break, a consolation game will pit the losers of the first two games against one another to determine third place. The championship game between the winners of games 1 and 2 will conclude the event.

  • Chiefland staves off Lady Sharks in game of contrasting strengths

    A clear pattern emerged in the girls’ basketball game between Chiefland and Cedar Key Nov. 30.

    The Lady Indians established leads in every quarter, only to see the Lady Sharks wipe away, or nearly erase, those advantages.

    CMHS finally solved its district and county rival for good with some clutch shooting at the free throw line, along with a key offensive rebound by junior Courtney Hayes in the final minute, as the Lady Indians secured a 39-31 win at home in its district opener.

    The Lady Sharks, who trailed almost the entire game, but led briefly in the early third quarter after after a Makalynn Bowling layup, trailed just 30-29 past the midway point of the fourth.

    CMHS junior Colby Reed then banked a long 2-pointer to make it 32-29, before eighth-grade point guard J’Mia McNeil, the most inexperienced player on the court, sunk four of her five final free throws for Chiefland to help milk away the game.

    Chiefland finished at 50 percent on 20 foul shot attempts, while CKS converted just four of its 16 attempts (25 percent).

  • Indians’ long ball sinks Sharks in overtime

    In a game filled with ups and downs from both teams, Chiefland, fortunately, finished high in its Nov. 30 overtime bout with Cedar Key.

    Behind a quartet of 3s from sophomore Ty Corbin, the Indians went on an 18-7 run to finish the game and notch a 68-62 win.

    CMHS went into its Dec. 5 game at Dixie County at 1-2 overall and 1-1 in District 1A-7 play. The Sharks were 0-4 at the same point, with two of those losses coming by six points.

    The Sharks overcame an eight-point deficit in seizing a 55-50 lead with a minute to play in the fourth quarter, on the heels of a Michele Dibari layup.

    Offensive rebounds by sophomore Jarrett Jerrels led a Corbin 3 and a Jarrels put-back, which combined to erase the CKS lead and force overtime.

    Corbin wasn’t finished with his long-range work, as he drained a couple more 3s, including one approaching 30 feet, in the extra minutes. Fellow sophomore guard Jalen Rutledge, meanwhile, went 5 for 6 from the foul line in overtime to help matters for Chiefland.

  • Young Chiefland boys’ basketball squad faces stern tests early

    The Chiefland boys’ basketball team is young this year.

    It has just one returning varsity starter to begin the season, and just one senior on the roster.

    But most of the roster has had a least a taste of varsity ball, and the potential depth is impressive, which bodes well for the team eventually running the kind of pressure defense that sixth-year head man Adam Boyd ultimately prefers.

    Boyd says he worked the offensive side of the ball harder early on than usual, anticipating the squad could struggle in that department with a lack of top shooters, and coming off a season when points came at a premium. To improve in that area, the Indians have focused on moving without the ball to put more pressure on defenses, and it appears to have paid off in some early scrimmages.

    “I knew the offense would be a challenge to get everyone in sync, so we spent more time on it than we would’ve in the past,” Boyd said. “Normally, I spend more time on defense at the beginning of the year. But seeing how the summer went, I thought, ‘Well we can’t be a turnover machine.’