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Today's News

  • Beast Feast raises funds for Levy County Schools Foundation

    Saturday was a spectacular evening for the Levy County Schools Foundation complete with a gorgeous sunset, temperatures in the 70s, a cool breeze and almost zero humidity, the weather could not have been more perfect.

    That was the setting for the school foundation’s 8th Annual Beast Feast in Williston. Etheridge Produce donated the use of their facility and V.E. Whitehurst and Sons Inc., supplied the lighting for the parking lots. With so many people in Levy County coming together to support the foundation, this year’s feast saw the largest gifts of donations. With over 300 people in attendance, the event netted $19,673, up $4,025 from $15,648 in 2016.

    The foundation stages fundraisers throughout the year with the Stars Gala in February, Evening of Excellence in the Spring, Stuff the Bus each August and the Beast Feast in the fall. Classroom grants, grants for great ideas and the Student Scholarship Program are funded through the Foundation and its supporters.

  • Nash family is ‘Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year’

    John and Allison Nash, owners of Osceola Pines, were recently named the 2017 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year at the Florida Forestry Association annual meeting in Sandestin. 

    John, Allison and their two daughters, Ann Lynne and Virginia Lee were all present to receive the award Aug. 31. They provided a tour of their property Friday, Oct. 20. The tour was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma.

    The Nashes purchased the partially clear-cut timber farm in 2002 because he wanted a place to hunt turkeys. The property has a hardwood drain running through the middle and turkeys like to roost over water. The only reason he could buy the land was because it was clear cut, which brought the value way down.

    “It’s a bigger piece of property than I would ever expect to buy, but once they clear cut it, the value goes down pretty substantially because you have to go back in and spend about $250 an acre in replanting cost and then you have to wait 15 years,” he said.

    The family camped in tents for the first year and just to get the girls interested in coming to the property, he resorted to bribing them with a horse.

  • City to post public property

    The Chiefland City Commission held three meetings Monday evening as the Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment.

    The Board of Commissioners approved the first reading of Ordinance 17-06 that would clearly state the closing hours of city-owned property. Commissioner Teresa Barron wanted to make it clear that persons in violation of the ordinance cannot be arrested on the first offense for trespassing. However, the ordinance does give the police probable cause to stop and question anyone on the property during the posted closing time.

    CPD Chief Scott Anderson said, “If they are on city property (during posted hours), then my officers can have probable cause to approach someone and go from there.”

    He said the department can take care of the state-owned walking trail by patrol, and they patrol the schools after hours when no one is expected to be on school property.

  • Tommy Usher Log A Load For Kids surpasses $1 million

    The organizers behind the Tommy Usher Log A Load for Kids Golf Classic celebrated a landmark achievement for the annual charity event Oct. 20.

    In its 23rd year, the Classic, which generates proceeds for the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, surpassed $1 million in funds raised.

    It’s held at the Chiefland Golf and Country Club.

    The Log A Load For Kids fundraising campaign partners loggers and other members of the forest industry to raise money for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The network has raised more than $48 million dollars in nearly three decades.

    The Chiefland version is named after the late Tommy Usher, brother of Lynetta Usher Griner. Griner has been the leading organizer of the Tommy Usher Log A Load Golf Classic for all 23 years. Usher was the youngest member of the Florida Forestry Association when he passed in 1989.

    The Chiefland Classic needed around $20,000 to surpass its magic number, and collected more than $54,000.

  • Suncoast Credit Union awarded Business of the Year

    Hurricane Irma may have forced a detour for the 34th Annual Industry Appreciation Banquet, hosted by the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce.

    But there was no doubt over the deserving recipient to the Banquet’s feature award.

    On Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the rescheduled event, hosted by Chamber president Ryan Watson, Suncoast Credit Union was officially honored as 2017 Business of the Year at the Haven Hospice Community Center.

    The annual award goes to a business that shows outstanding service for the community.

    It’s inspired by Florida’s Industry Appreciation Week, which was founded by former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham in 1983. The occasion of Industry Appreciation Week is “intended to call attention to contributions businesses make to the economy, our communities and our quality of life,” Watson noted in his introduction to the award.

    “Chiefland and Levy County’s future depend on the continued health and growth of our local businesses,” Watson continued.

  • County looks to extend moratorium on marijuana dispensaries

    The Levy Board of County Commissioners is seeking to extend its moratorium on marijuana dispensaries until April.

    But first it must hold a couple of public hearings in November before the new ordinance can pass.

    Commissioner Lilly Rooks casted a dissenting vote at the commission meeting Oct. 17 to guarantee one of those hearings – Nov. 7 – will take place at 5:01 p.m., while the other will come on Nov. 21, coinciding with the regular commission meeting, which starts at 9 a.m.

    A majority-plus-one margin was required to hold both hearings during regular hours (before 5 p.m.). With Commission Mike Joyner absent from the meeting, a 4-0 vote was required.

    “I think it’s fair to the public, so they know what we’re trying to do, that we have it after 5,” Rooks said.

    In addition to the public hearings, the Planning Commission must approve the extended moratorium at its meeting on Nov. 6.

    The Commission tabled a related agenda item requesting direction on the issue for County Attorney Ann Bast Brown, rescheduling it for the meeting on Nov. 21.

  • CES students pick their favorite biomes

    The second-grade classes at Chiefland Elementary School completed a week-long study on the desert and rain forest. Students had the option for an extra credit project of a diorama of the rain forest or a desert. They also wrote an opinion paper on which place they would like to visit and why based on the books read and videos watched during the week.

  • Picking trash in Levy County Part 4: Good citizens

    By Ed Emrich

    I hate trash. l know that’s a bold statement in these days of political correctness when you are not allowed to hate anything. But, really I do! I’m just being honest with you.

    My father instilled the notion in me that trash discarded by thoughtless people is wrong at a basic level and it chews up so many of our local resources to clean it up, money that could be better used to fix bridges or pave roads.

    I hate trash, but I love this area so I am willing to do something about it by safely picking trash along my road in my community in my state. It’s a monthly effort to give something back and to help keep the Nature Coast natural. But, picking trash is not for the faint of heart. It is truly disgusting what some people throw out of the windows of their vehicles or stop and dump along the road. When you pick trash, you see the seedy underbelly of society in full bloom. You see the chaotic and wasteful way that some people live ... by desensitizing or self-medicating with alcohol, tobacco, sugar, fast food and the broken dreams of a winning lottery ticket.

  • Thank vets, thank their families too

    Last week, I used the Opinion page to reprint a story I wrote in 2005 for the Cleveland (Tennessee) Daily Banner. The story was about William “Bill” Norwood, a former POW held captive by the North Koreans during the Korean War. This story is about his wife, Liz, that I wrote five years later in 2010.

    I want you to read this story because spouses do not get the recognition they deserve.

    --

    Liz did not know Bill before he joined the Army. She didn’t know how captivity in a North Korean prisoner of war camp affected him, but she did see how the war and being held captive by the enemy changed her neighbor and she knew being married to a former prisoner of war wouldn’t be easy.

    Her neighbor was in the same prison camp as William “Bill” Norwood. “I knew the neighbor next door and he’d been back. I didn’t have a clue I’d ever marry someone that far away, me in Kentucky and him in Tennessee. It just worked out. It was the way it was meant to be,” she said.

  • Chamber is gearing up for Christmas

    The Chiefland Chamber is gearing up for the 14th Annual Chiefland Christmas Festival Saturday, Dec. 9. Please see the below listed sponsorship opportunities, as well as ways to get involved in this special community event as a Christmas Festival Silver Sponsor, $50; or as a Christmas Festival Gold Sponsor, $100. Christmas Festival sponsorships assist with purchasing festival advertising and miscellaneous expenses related to the event.

    For the Rudolph Run 5K, donate items for goodie bags (healthy snacks, hand towel, notepads, pens, coupons, gift cards with a $50 minimum. Rudolph Run 5K sponsorships of $50 covers the cost of goodie bags, medals and prizes for runners and walkers.

    Be a T-Shirt Sponsor for $100 and be one of six places on the back of the t-shirts to get a business name and logo. $50 sponsors have business name listed on the back of shirt with no logo.

     Get involved in other ways as a runner or walker in the Rudolph Run 5K; volunteer to help at the Rudolph 5K Fun Run from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.; volunteer at the Chamber booth during the event; be a vendor and enter a float or vehicle in the parade.