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Today's News

  • Springs science and advocacy

    By Bob Knight

    The Florida Springs Institute commends the efforts of the dozens of University of Florida research faculty and students who just completed a three-year study of Silver Springs and the Silver River. Tens of thousands of hours were spent on and under the cold spring water collecting information, and on computers analyzing the data and writing the 1,085-page final study report. After three years and roughly $3 million in state funding, UF has once again concluded that Silver Springs is experiencing excessive flow reductions and nitrate pollution.

  • Ask yourself every day: Am I a friend?

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt felt that the future peace of the world would depend upon relations between the United States and Russia and devoted much thought to the planning of a United Nations, in which, he hoped, international difficulties could be settled, according to White House.gov

    As the war drew to a close, Roosevelt’s health deteriorated, he died April 12, 1945, while at Warm Springs, Georgia, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

    When President Roosevelt delivered his historic fourth and final state of the union address Jan. 20, 1945, in a United States that was much more homogeneous than it is now. The 1940 census showed the U.S. population was 132.2 million; 89.8 percent were white and 9.8 percent were minorities. So, when he delivered his final address, he was speaking almost exclusively to white people.

    He said, “Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Vice president, my friends, you will understand and, I believe, agree with my wish that the form of this inauguration be simple and its words brief.

  • Families celebrate friendship

    By Marjorie McGarva, Daughter, Daughter-in-Law

    A “Best Friends Memorial Service” was held Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. in Cedar Key at Harbour Suites on Dock Street. That was the place of choice because the town represents that closeness between friends and family. The friendship between the two women and their families that spanned 70 years.

    Marjorie McGarva said she wanted to write something about both her Mom, Mary Saunders, and mother-in-law, Grace McGarva. The two families met approximately in 1941 in Arlington, Virginia.

    My Dad was a floor mechanic and met Gordon McGarva on the job one day. Gordon was from Miami, Florida. They made an instant friendship.

    These two families met and kept in touch through the years with phone calls, letters and visits. The families bonded quickly and the wives noticed they had similar interests: children, sewing, cooking and canning. The four Saunders girls knew them as “Aunt Grace and Uncle Gordon.” Grace and Clyde (and sometimes his brother Don) traveled in the summer months to Maine where Grace’s parents summered and owned a motel

  • Black History events set

    Celebrate Black History Month Feb. 16 at the Levy County Courthouse and Feb. 24 at the Tommy Usher Pineland Center.

    The event at the courthouse will feature a photographic exhibit of nine people who contributed to Levy County history and their contributions to the county. Nine people will be honored this year.

    They are: Clyde Bowers, Joe Jenkins, Katrina Cohens, Larthay Richardson, Frank Edmondson, Ida Bell Phillips, Dwayne Williams, Tucker Williams and Lashae Smith.

    Clyde Bowers from Chiefland. He was born on January 5, 1918. Mr. Bowers worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad for 32 years. He married Susie Bowers and had 11 children.

    Joe Jenkins from Chiefland, Florida was born on December 25, 1906 he worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad for 25 years; he also worked at Bett’s Big T in Chiefland. Mr. Jenkins attended night school under Mr. Reggie Williams. He married Louise Jenkins and had one daughter, Mary Joe Jenkins. In addition to their daughter, the couple raised Lucey Freeman, Katie Catherine Brown, Richard Long, and William Spaight.

  • Five years later, family is mired in red tape, sewage

    Roberto and Debby Tarafa moved to their home in Levy County in 2004 and began noticing wet spots in the lawn as soon as they began mowing the grass. The mower left ruts, but the couple said they could never see the water.

    “It was below the surface, but that was it,” Roberto [Bo] said. “We knew we had an issue, we just weren’t sure what it was.”

    “No toilets backed up — nothing to make us think — and nothing was running anywhere, in the street or anywhere at that time,” Debby said. “It was just wet and mushy in the middle.”

    Their neighbors were all snowbirds at the time, so there was no one to ask. There was an old man who lived across the street. He has since died, but Debby used to ask him why it was so wet? He just responded with a smile, Debby said.

  • Lady Indians' improvements evident in convincing district tourney win

    One way to measure the improvement made this season by the Chiefland girls’ basketball team is to check its results over time against the same opponents.

    The Lady Indians, who earned the third seed in the district tournament with an 8-4 mark in league play, met Cedar Key for the third time this season in the 1A-7 quarterfinals Monday, Feb. 5.

    In their first meeting, Chiefland escaped with a single-digit victory. For the rematch, Chiefland picked up a 12-point win, extending its advantage on the Lady Sharks thanks to a second-half push.

    Monday’s meeting was a different story, however, as the game completely belonged to CMHS from start to finish, with the Lady Indians prevailing 40-18 to advance to the district semifinals.

    Chiefland faces No. 2 seed Branford, which defeated No. 7 Bell, 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in Trenton. The winner earns a berth to the playoffs and meets the winner between top-seeded and No. 2-ranked Trenton and Bronson.

    The Lady Indians lost their two regular meetings with Branford by at double-digit margins, but defeated the Buccaneers 49-44 in Cedar Key’s holiday tournament.

  • Chiefland keeps steady against rising area power

    Chiefland faithful would have been forgiven for carrying low expectations into the Indians home finale against Crystal River.

    The Pirates, a Class 6A program that’s been on the rise over the last four years, cruised into town with one of its better squads in school history to face a sophomore-laden Indians squad.

    The overall result went as expected, with CRHS prevailing 75-53.

    But Chiefland, which already trailed by as much as 19 points in the second quarter, reined in their deficit in the second half, avoiding getting overwhelmed in the mismatch. The Indians stayed to within 15 points for much of the fourth quarter.

    Chiefland appeared to gain confidence in the paint against the much bigger squad as the game wore on, competing for more put-backs and points around the rim. CRHS took advantage of some breakaway scores in the early minutes.

    The squad got a boost from junior Kirk Williams, who, with nine points, was his most active in a game since returning from an ankle injury. L.J. Jenkins also provided a lift after being limited with an injury.

  • Lady Eagles notch comeback win in district tourney opener

    It didn’t exactly go as Rod Thomas planned it, but the head coach and his Bronson girls’ basketball squad got the result they were looking for: survive and advance.

    The Lady Eagles overcame an eight-point second-half deficit to prevail 35-31 against Dixie County in the District 1A-7 quarterfinals in Trenton Monday, Feb. 5.

    Bronson advances to face No. 1 seed and No. 2-ranked Trenton Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals.

    The Lady Eagles, who are having to make do without their injured No. 2 guard, Neomi Thomas, went 14 minutes without a field, starting from midway through the first quarter.

    But Thomas’ sister, junior point guard Yelena Thomas, did plenty of heavy lifting in scoring a game-high 25 points, helping Bronson escape the drought as she posted 17 points in the second half alone.

    A put-back by Brandi Strong in the third snapped that field goal drought for BMHS, setting the stage for a back-and-forth battle to the finish.

    Yelena Thomas then put together a string of baskets, including a floater in the lane, to knot the game at 20-20 late in the third.

  • Volunteers, citizen supporters help power local parks

    The Chiefland Chamber of Commerce meeting Jan. 26 boasted an exceptional turnout, thanks to all of the volunteers and supporters for the local parks in attendance.

    With Manatee Springs State Park as the meeting co-sponsor, guest speaker Mark Abrizenski, the park manager for Manatee Springs and Fanning Springs State Park and the Nature Coast State Trail (NCST), took the opportunity to highlight the contributions of park volunteers and the Friends of Manatee Springs, Inc. And to illustrate that level of support, he invited those individuals – and the park rangers – whose work is so critical to the parks’ functioning.

    The Gathering Table co-sponsored the meeting and catered lunch.

    It was the first meeting with new Chamber president Dr. Bennitt Patterson at the helm, as well as the first with new executive director Joy Parker. More than 50 attendees filled the room at the Haven Hospice Community Center.

    Patterson announced the annual Citizen of the Year banquet, normally held in February, has been pushed back to April 21, adding that he hopes to build up the banquet attendance to past heights.

  • Full slate of constitutional proposals in pipeline

    The Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), a group of 37 delegates charged with examining the Florida Constitution and filing amendment recommendations to go before voters this November, is only on its third edition in state history.

    The first CRC came in 1977-1978, and there has only been once since, in 1997-1998, as the Commission operates once every 20 years.

    But this cycle is figuring to be the most significant yet, as the Commission is currently weighing 103 amendment proposals.

    Stephanie Marchman, senior assistant attorney for the City of Gainesville, and representative for the Eighth Judicial Circuit to the Florida Bar’s Board of Governors, paid a visit to the meeting of the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club Jan. 11 to discuss the Florida Constitution and the CRC.

    Before addressing the CRC’s current business, she outlined the function of the Florida Constitution, noting its role in defining the structure of the state government and citizens’ state rights.