Today's News

  • On top of her game

    Takiya London is having a better freshman college season than her senior season at Chiefland Middle High School.

    Not that there was anything particularly wrong with the latter. London, a shortstop, batted .411 with three home runs to help lead the Lady Indians to their fourth straight state finals appearance.

    But the former Chiefland volleyball and basketball standout has a renewed focus at College of Central Florida, where she has transitioned comfortably to the competition under the tutelage of Kevin Fagan.

    Her power was on full display during a home doubleheader against St. Petersburg College Feb. 15, when she went 5 for 7 and belted her third home run of the season in the Lady Patriots’ two-game sweep. She laced another pitch over the fence that hugged the third-base line but was called foul.

    “I thought it was fair,” she said.” It’s where it passes the pole, not where it lands.”

    London is batting .422 with four home runs. She’s also been stout in the field, turning three double plays one recent weekend.

  • STARS Gala celebrates education supporters

    The theme of the 2018 Levy County Schools Foundation STARS Gala Feb. 17 was “planting seeds of knowledge that grow forever.”

    It was a chance for the event’s speakers and guests to reflect on how the Levy school system has shaped their lives long past their time as young pupils.

    The annual Superintendent’s Gala is one of two major fundraisers for the non-profit organization, which helps supplements education in the county by directing funding from donors to scholarships and classroom tools and other means.

    The evening opened with Superintendent Jeff Edison asking for a moment of silent prayer for those in Broward County who were affected by the recent school shooting, adding that those who enter the field of education become a part of one big family.

    The remainder of the night went off with a light touch, thanks in part to the brevity and humor of the speakers. Senior Judge Joseph E. Smith delivered the keynote address, and Pastor Danny Heath, of First Baptist Church of Ocala, a Class of 1997 Bronson High School alumnus, was the alumni speaker and performed a song.

  • Honey 'The Wonder Dog' celebrates milestones

    Friday, Jan. 26, was a special day for Honey "the wonder dog" who celebrated her eighth birthday with her human friend and companion, Michael Gaither. The day also marked her 100th visit for treatment at the UF Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville.

    Honey has been diagnosed with aspergillus, a fungal infection that affects the immune system and visits UF Small Animal Hospital two times a week for treatments to help quell the devastating effects of the illness. But, the affects of the disease lead to her left eye being removed last year.

    It has been a rough year for Honey, Michael and Kaye, who drives the van from Chiefland to Gainesville twice a week.

    Honey’s treatments include 45 minutes in a hyperbaric chamber, antifungal infusion therapy and pool therapy to strengthen her muscles. The entire visit lasts more than five hours each day.  

    The Gaither's are thankful to the generosity of the U.S. War Dogs Association for help with their gas expenses. Each trip to Gainesville is over 80 miles and the expenses add up quickly.  

  • Lady Tigers collect third district title in hoops

    The Trenton girls’ basketball team was the clear favorite heading into its District 1A-7 tournament.

    The Lady Tigers, who were the No. 1 seed and district host, matched those expectations with ease, cruising to their third straight district championship with convincing wins over Bronson and Branford. They play host to Frostproof Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Class 1A regional semifinals. The Lady Buccaneers are at Wildwood the same night.

    Trenton (24-2) raced to a 34-11 advantage on the Lady Eagles in the second quarter to take command of the game, despite 14 first-half points from BMHS junior point guard Yelena Thomas, eventually capturing a 74-29 win over the fourth-seeded Bronson squad.

    Senior Thalia Jackson proved unstoppable in the paint for TMHS in the matchup, as she posted a game-high 28 points. Juniors Bryn Thomas (11 points) and Taniah Bowers (10 points) joined her in double figures for Trenton. Jackson was 8 for 14 at the foul line and added 15 rebounds to notch a double-double.

  • Lady Indians’ hoops season halted in district semifinals

    The Chiefland girls’ basketball team suffered a heartbreaking loss in the district semifinals in Trenton.

    Facing a Branford squad with a trio of capable shooters, the Lady Buccaneers heated up from outside and took advantage of Chiefland turnovers to survive a back-and-forth second half for a 60-51 win.

    Branford lost to Trenton in the district championship game 72-38, and plays at Wildwood Feb. 15 in the regional semifinals.

    CMHS fell behind by six in the second quarter before launching an 11-0 rally to go ahead by five. The squad clung to a 25-24 lead at the break after a rough start to the game.

    The third quarter quarter saw eight lead changes between the teams, with eighth-grader J’Mia McNeil, on the heels of a Colby Reed 3, giving her Lady Indians their final lead of the game on a 3-pointer off an inbound play.

    Then Branford connected on a pair of 3s and collected a handful of steals to get off to a lightning-fast start in the fourth in taking a 49-39 lead.

  • College reunion

    There are more than a handful of ballplayers from Chiefland and Cedar Key playing college softball this spring.

    Three of them – former Lady Indians Lauren Stalvey, Lauren Parker and Sydney Parks – are wearing the same uniform again, reunited at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota in Bradenton. Stalvey is a sophomore pitcher, Parker is a freshman first baseman and Parks is a freshman second baseman. The trio were each three-time state champions at CMHS.

    On Feb. 10, the trio enjoyed what felt like a homecoming, playing in front of family and Chiefland supporters for a doubleheader in north Gainesville against Santa Fe College.

    Stalvey started in the circle in the first game and picked up a win in 4.2 innings of work, allowing two walks, five hits and just one earned run. The sophomore gave up the run in the first before settling in for her strongest statistical outing on the season.

    Stalvey’s ERA on the season dropped to 3.07 over 13 ⅔ innings. At Chiefland, she was the ace pitcher for three state championship clubs.

    Stalvey says she’s a lot more comfortable in her second year.

  • 3's a charm

    It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season, as the cliche goes.

    And when it comes to rivalries and end-of-season tournaments, you can throw the records out the window, as a couple more cliches go.

    The Chiefland boys’ basketball team came out on the winning end of their pair of meetings with Bronson in the regular season, but it was Monday’s matchup in Cross City, which marked the opening of the District 1A-7 tournament, that mattered most.

    In the early going, it looked like it might be the Eagles’ night, as junior Cole Langston threw down back-to-back wide-open dunks and sophomore Blake Homan sank a 3-pointer from half-court at the first-quarter buzzer.

    But Chiefland chopped a 10-point deficit down to 3 just before the half, and junior Payne Parnell kept taking – and making – shots for CMHS, eventually draining the final go-ahead 3 with a minute to play, helping lift the Indians to a 50-45 win.

    The Indians face top-seeded Bell in the semifinals Friday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Dixie County High School.

  • Lynching in Memphis: Part I

    The first paragraph of a story in the March 10, 1892, edition of the Memphis Appeal-Avalanche stated that not since the race riot of 1866 has the community been in such a fever of excitement as it was yesterday.

    The story described the lynching of three black men: Tom Moss, the owner of People’s Grocery and two clerks, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart. The store was located in a mixed-race neighborhood known as the Curve. A white grocer named William Barrett was apparently losing business to the nearby People’s Grocery. One narrative tells of rumors and trumped up charges sending a large group of armed white men into the store. Gunshots were traded and several white men were injured. An accounting of events by Damon Mitchell stated a racially charged mob grew out of a fight between a black and a white youth near People’s Grocery.

    A story dated March 10, 1892, in the New York Times stated, “today showed a decided reaction from the excitement into which the city was thrown yesterday by the lynching of the three negro rioters Tom Moss, Will Stewart and Calvin McDowell …”

  • CPD, city agree to terms

    Chiefland City Commissioners ratified a three-year agreement with the police department Monday, Feb. 12, at the regular meeting in the municipal building.

    City Manager Mary Ellzey said she and City Attorney Norm Fugate have worked with the North Central Florida Police Benevolent Association since April 4, 2017 and now tentatively agree to every article in the City’s Proposal No. 5, dated Dec. 11, 2017.

    Four of the department’s eight eligible members voted Jan. 31 to approve the agreement that is affect from to Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2020.

    A summary of changes are:

    • Field Training Officer and K9 Officer salary differential changed from 5 percent to a $75 stipend per pay period.

    • Employees assigned to the Levy County Drug Task Force and report for work directly to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office shall be allowed to drive their patrol vehicle home; take home patrol vehicles shall not be driven outside of Levy County.

    • Plain clothes employee will receive $220 annual clothing allowance instead of $500 annually.

  • County left out of talks while family mired in red tape, sewage

    Levy County was left out of the conversation for several months in 2017 while a state and federal agency talked among themselves about finding a solution to a problem; a solution that could place the county in legal jeopardy.

    Levy County Attorney Anne Brown said in a recent interview that her office filed a public records request under the Freedom of Information Act to find get correspondence from the Florida Department of Equal Opportunity and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    She stated in an email dated Nov. 9, 2017, that the county has expended countless hours throughout the years to find a solution to the septic and other issues.

    Brown wrote that it was her understanding that DEO and HUD would be working on a solution and would inform the county of the results of those efforts after various funding sources and options had been reviewed by DEO and HUD.