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Today's News

  • LCSO adds K-9 Unit to roadways

    By LT. SCOTT TUMMOND
    LCSO Public Information Office

    Sheriff Bobby McCallum announced recently the addition of Molly, the newest member of the K-9 Unit at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office. The addition of Molly to the unit was made possible through a generous donation of $5,500 made by Barbara Snow on behalf of the U.S. War Dogs Association, Southern Chapter 2. Snow, executive director of the Southern Chapter, is not only a concerned citizen of Levy County, but also an active participant in the Levy County Sheriff’s Office program. She believes the K-9 Unit is an essential component to the safety and wellbeing of the community. She presented the donation to Sheriff McCallum July 28. The sheriff accepted the donation and expressed his sincere appreciation on behalf of the agency and the citizens of Levy County.

  • County adopts tentative millage rate

    Levy County was on its way to being unable to pay its bills by the end of 2019, according to budget figures presented by Finance Officer Jared Blanton at the tentative millage meeting Thursday, Aug. 3, in Bronson.

    Recent moves by the county commission – most notably, an uptick in millage, a new gas tax, department cuts and reallocations, and, going forward, a cap on employee insurance plans – have helped paint a more optimistic financial future for the county.

    The board passed a tentative millage resolution at the meeting that will keep the millage rate at 9.0. The resolution passed unanimously, on a motion by Matt Brooks, backed by Rock Meeks.

    The final millage rate can be lower than the tentative rate, but it can’t exceed that number. While it’s the same rate, it will generate $641,000 (approx. 3.1 percent) in additional tax revenue – and costs to taxpayers – thanks to rising property values.

  • County criticized over handling of insurance, wage changes

    The Levy Board of County Commissioners Tuesday came under criticism during public comments for their handling of recent changes to insurance and wages for county employees.

    The Board on July 18 voted unanimously to cap insurance payouts while offering tiered offsets in the form of increased wages.

    Sally Ann Collins introduced the issue in public comments, lamenting the lack of transparency over the changes. She criticized the Board for voting on the changes during an afternoon budget meeting, rather than during it’s regular morning meeting.

    “I’m here in hopes of allowing the public to become more aware of the pros and cons of what’s happening, since I had absolutely no idea of the ramifications of these changes until now,” Collins said.

    Collins then invited up to speak Jeremiah Tattersall, of the North Central Florida Central Labor Council, which represents Florida AFL-CIO, a federation of local labor unions, in the 12-twelve county North Central Florida area.

  • Six more caught in second sweep

    By SCOTT TUMMOND, LCSO Media Relations

    On Saturday evening, Aug. 5, and into Sunday, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit and Uniformed Patrol Division continued high intensity narcotic interdiction in the Cedar Key/Rosewood area. K-9 Supervisor Sgt. Kevin Kinik with his partner, Zombie, and Deputy Gary Garboski with his partner, Molly, along with multiple patrol deputies made six additional arrests Saturday and Sunday in the sheriff office’s continued drug interdiction efforts.

    Shaune Cherry (10/08/81), of Cedar Key, was arrested for possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sgt. Kinik conducted a traffic stop at the Dollar General in Rosewood and found Cherry to be in possession of three grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $15,000.

    Robert Cherry (01/09/99), of North Carolina, was arrested for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Sgt. Kinik conducted a traffic stop in front of Robinson’s Seafood.

    Deputy Garboski, with his K-9 partner, Molly, discovered marijuana in the vehicle. His bond was set at $1,000. 

  • LCSO arrests 3 in first drug sweep

    By SCOTT TUMMOND, LCSO Media Relations

    The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force and Uniformed Patrol Division conducted a targeted drug enforcement operation Thursday, Aug. 3, in the Rosewood/Cedar Key area which began Wednesday evening and continued into Thursday morning.

    Citizens who reside in these areas of the county have filed complaints of recent drug activity in their neighborhoods and Sheriff Bobby McCallum answered their call.

    Early Wednesday afternoon, K-9 Sergeant K. Kinik conducted a traffic stop in Rosewood and with the assistance of his K-9 partner Zombie located marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.

    The driver was issued a notice to appear in court for both misdemeanor violations and released at the scene.

    Shortly afterward, DTF investigators made a traffic stop on SR 24. DTF investigators arrested Chad Hammock (2-21-78) of Cedar Key for possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Heather Woods (8-13-91) of Cedar Key for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • IFAS ‘science’ protects lawns, not springs

    By Bob Palmer, Florida Springs Institute

    For five years, researchers from UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have presented highly flawed recommendations to city and county commissions all over the state. Many commissions concluded that IFAS’s advice constituted “sound science” and voted accordingly, ignoring contradictory evidence from concerned citizens deemed less “scientific” than IFAS. However, it’s now apparent that IFAS’s positions are closer to junk science than sound science. And sadly, the upshot of heeding IFAS’s advice has been further degradation of already impaired springs, rivers, and estuaries.

    The issue is lawn fertilizers, the stuff we spread in our pursuit of perfect greenness. Nitrogen fertilizers may help grass grow, but they also bleed into the environment, threatening our waterways with unwanted pollution and algal gunk.

  • Food pantry recognizes student’s community service

    Bill Brown wanted to recognize the kind of students that embody the values of giving back that his food pantry The Children’s Table has practiced.

    Brown says The Children’s Table has distributed 29 million pounds of food to the needy in North Florida in its 21 years of operation, with a primary focus on Levy County, and rural communities from Putnam, Alachua, and Bradford counties.

    His food charity has now created a new program to award Levy County students who excel in community service.

    At the Levy County Commission meeting Tuesday, Brown presented the first such award to Thomas Ruth.

    Ruth was presented a plaque in recognition of his “dedicated service as an outstanding junior citizen for the citizens of Levy County.”

    Brown noted Ruth’s service, including through programs for the homeless as well as his work with The Children’s Table, which has included carrying baskets of food for those who were physically impaired.

  • Chamber gets lesson on computer security

    Never open an email from an unknown sender to prevent successful phishing expeditions on computers.

    That’s the best piece of advice Miranda Hudson and Justin Schmitz offered members of the Greater Chiefland Chamber of Commerce Friday during the monthly meeting at Haven Hospice. Once an email containing a virus or malicious software (malware), then the sender can take over the recipient’s computer.

  • Driven to distraction

    It’s difficult enough coping with the challenges of being a new driver on the road.

    When you add the kind of distractions and impairments teen drivers might be susceptible to, the effects can be insurmountable.

    The Teen Driver Improvement Course, put on annually for 11 years by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, aims to educate prospective and current young drivers on the dangers of texting while driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.

  • CMHS football players put in service

    The Chiefland Middle High School football team kicked off football practice this week in style.

    The Indians celebrated the occasion with a Midnight Madness Monday morning, the first official day schools were allowed to hold practice in Florida.

    On Tuesday morning, football players put in community service hours at CMHS, helping landscape the grounds in front of the school.

    The players practiced under the lights Monday and spent the night at the school, later shooting hoops in the gym and playing video games in the new players’ lounge.