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Today's News

  • Nameplate on historic locomotive is stolen

    By Toni C. Collins, Levy County Historical Society

    Recently, the more than 100 year-old historic locomotive on display in Wayside Park in Gulf Hammock was damaged when the manufacturer’s plates donated by the Levy County Historical Society were stolen.

    The Paterson-Mcinnis Locomotive has been on display since 1969 when Georgia-Pacific donated the land to establish Wayside Park for the display. In 1992, the Florida Department of Transportation donated Wayside Park and locomotive to the people of Levy County. In June of this year, the historical society submitted an application, which was approved, for a Florida Historic Marker to be placed at the site. The display was established as a reminder of the locomotive that contributed greatly to the history and heritage of Levy County.

    This is the second time the manufacturer’s plates have been stolen. Following the first theft, a chain link fence was erected around the display to prevent any further theft or damage to the historic locomotive. However, that did not deter the current thieves who cut a hole in the fence to access the locomotive.

  • Victims: they will not forget Perez's deceit

    Roberteus Perez stood quietly alongside his attorney as four victims’ statements were read Wednesday, Dec. 13, during sentencing proceedings in front of Judge Mark W. Moseley.

    The former Chiefland Elementary School custodian arrested April 4 after a hidden camera was found in a staff restroom pled guilty as part of a plea agreement.

    There were no images of children found in the seized videos though all of the victims expressed belief that children were caught on camera. The recovered images were of short, edited video clips of women using the bathroom. Some women were identifiable and some were not.

    Two CES staff members came forward to read victim statements and the victim advocate read two other statements.

    The first victim said that after the shock wore off, they were left with the destruction Perez left behind.

    “We went from trusting, caring women to suspicious characters who question every time we go to the bathroom or a dressing room. You could barely look us in the eye when we tried to engage you in casual conversation, yet you could watch videos of us in the comfort of your own home.”

  • Judge explains sentencing rules

    Judge Mark W. Moseley said Wednesday, Dec. 13, during the sentencing of Roberteus Perez for video voyeurism at Chiefland Elementary School that he wanted to explain to the victims why the prosecution agreed to the plea agreement. (Please see the associated story for details.)

    “The legislature in their wisdom, which I have to accept, as the intent of the legislature, which I must support and follow, deems this crime at this point to be on par with felony petty theft; for driving on a suspended license, habitual,” he said. “It scores as a Level 1 offense.”

    He said that may seem outrageous, but the people they need to write to change the offense level is their state legislators. Express to them that voyeurism is not a victimless crime and to make them appreciate the gravity so that in a single instance, the court could have discretion if the particular case rose to that of a Level 4 offense.

  • Drummond Holiday Tournament returns to Cedar Key

    One of the staples of the holiday season are hoops tournaments.

    Cedar Key School is hosting its second Drummond Bank CKS Beach Ball Holiday Tournament Dec. 19 and Dec. 20, and the Chiefland girls will be there.

    The tourney features six girls’ squads, including the Lady Indians, Branford, and The Rock (Gainesville) in Pool A; and Fort White, Keystone Heights and the Lady Sharks constituting Pool B.

    Each school plays twice on Day 1 in pool play.

    A junior varsity matchup between Creekside and CKS tips off action at 11 a.m. Dec. 19, before pool play begins at 12:15 p.m. between the Buccaneers and the Lions of Gainesville. Fort White and CKS follow it up at 1:45, and then The Rock and Lady Indians of Chiefland are scheduled for 3:15. Keystone Heights and FWHS meet at 4:45, then CMHS returns to action against BHS at 6:15 before KHS and Cedar Key cap the day at 7:45.

    On Dec. 20, the third-place teams from each pool face off at 4 p.m., followed by the second-place schools at 5:30, and then the championship game at 7 p.m.

  • Lady Eagles cruise past Bell

    Led by a suffocating defense that allowed just seven points in the first half, the Bronson girls’ basketball team soared to 49-26 win over Bell at home Dec. 7.

    The victory improved the Lady Eagles to 2-1 in District 1A-7, and 3-2 overall. They advanced to 4-2 (and 3-1) in a win over Cedar Key Dec. 12.

    Junior point guard Yelena Thomas led Bronson against the Bulldogs with a double-double behind 20 points and 19 steals, as her team jumped out to a 22-0 advantage in the opening quarter. Fellow junior Eagle Tamia Haynes also notched a double-double at 12 points and 11 boards.

    Thomas was 3 for 7 from 3-point range versus Bell, and is 22 for 35 (63 percent) on free throws for the season. The junior boasted at least 16 points in all of the team’s first five games.

    The win allowed Bronson to work on its half-court offense and situational play as well as yielding playing time for younger players.

  • Inexperienced Eagles strive for better chemistry

    Edit: This story misreported Bronson’s record in the Dec. 14 edition of the Citizen.

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    Bronson head basketball coach Kenny Thomas can’t stand selfish play.

    He understands that for most teams, and especially his current Eagle squad, the sum truly is greater than the parts.

    With a host of new varsity players feeling one another out, Thomas is putting the emphasis on better communication and team play at this early stage of the season. It’s a scenario that’s familiar to the young Chiefland team as well.

    A handful of seniors regularly saw action for BMHS last season.

    “We’ve got a lot of guys coming up from JV last year, kind of getting familiar with each other, starting to play together better,” the Eagle boys’ coach said. “Our problem was we’re not used to each other. They’re not in sync together yet, knowing what to expect from the other person.

  • Fanning Springs prohibits internet cafe, marijuana

    By Kate Sheridan, Citizen Correspondent

    The Fanning Springs City Council voted to place a 365-day moratorium on an internet cafe and medical marijuana.

    In explaining the details found and reasons behind the decision to not approve any permits or licenses for the internet café, City Attorney Michael O’Steen said that at this point, internet cafes are quite simply illegal. There are several loopholes and rule bending done to allow the businesses to function, but bottom line said O’Steen, is that if you go into one of these locations, hand over your money, there is a chance you will walk out and lose that money. It is still considered gambling and that is illegal. At this stage, there are just too many negatives to clearly state that these businesses should even be open and running at all. Rather than be the pioneers, Fanning Springs opted for the moratorium.

    Also voted and approved was to adopt a 365-day moratorium to not permit for a facility for the medical marijuana. The action does not infringe on persons to use their prescriptions. It only prevents a facility from opening within Fanning Springs.

  • Donald Trump sounds like Andrew Jackson

    It's no secret that President Donald Trump admires President Andrew Jackson and recently, when the president invited the Navajo code talkers to the White House, a portrait of Jackson was hanging prominently on the wall in the background.

    I know it doesn't count for much, but in my opinion, that was a calculated staging by the president, someone on his staff or both.

    So, it wasn't much of a surprise to me when I read Jackson's 1830 address to Congress and found that it was quite similar to Trump's speech on Dec. 4.

    On Dec. 6, 1830, in a message to Congress, President Andrew Jackson called for the relocation of eastern Native American tribes to land west of the Mississippi River in order to open new land for settlement by citizens of the United States, according to archives.gov.

    The article stated, “With the onset of westward expansion and increased contact with Indian tribes, President Jackson set the tone for his position on Indian affairs in his message to Congress. Jackson’s message justified the removal policy already established by the Indian Removal Act of May 28, 1830.

  • Lions Club announces expanded vision services

    Cedar Key Lions Club today announced an expanded coverage area for Lions Club Vision Services. Residents of Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties are now eligible to receive free vision services from the Lions.

    Club President Dale Register remarked, “Ninety years ago, Helen Keller challenged the Lions Club to take up the cause of the blind. Lions in Cedar Key have answered that challenge since 1968. As we approach our Club’s 50th Anniversary, I’m honored to announce an expanded service area. It’s a privilege for the Cedar Key Lions Club to provide eye exams, eyeglasses, glaucoma treatment and cataract surgery to individuals demonstrating financial need in Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties. This expanded service area triples our ability help those in need. Our club proudly upholds the Lions motto: We Serve.”

    Cedar Key Lions have streamlined the application process to deliver benefits faster.  Find the the Lions Vision Service Program application online at www.cedarkeylionsclub.com

  • Chiefland Rotary Club holds annual dove hunt

    Two Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were the guest speakers at the Nov. 29 meeting of the Chiefland Rotary Club.

    Rotarian Stoney Smith introduced officers Morgan Willis and Paul Schulz. Since hunting and fishing regulations are constantly changing due to conservation and environmental concerns, the officers presented updated information that will help members stay safe and avoid law enforcement issues. 

    Schulz went covered deer management areas and antler size regulations, which changed three years ago. With the dove shoot Dec. 2 and the opening of dove season on Dec. 12, he laid out the regulations: hunting license is needed, shotgun must be plugged and there is a 15 dove limit per hunter per day. A hunter may be in possession of 45 doves — but each hunter may only personally have 15. The example given was that if one or two hunters gave their birds to a third hunter to take home, each hunter must provide their name, address and phone number for those 15 doves. The hunter in possession must be able to prove to the officer those were not all his kill.