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Today's News

  • 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.

     

  • 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 …”