.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Features

  • The last thing students expected at Bronson Middle High School last week was to be sung to and to dance with deaf students – but to their amazed delight, it was true.

  • It was difficult to tell who was more nervous, the serviceman or the group of second-graders.

    For more than an hour last week Dusty Cason answered questions from his penpals who all wanted to know more about his life in Iraq.

    The students of Katie Corbin “adopted” Cason and this school year have kept him replete with letters from home and goody boxes.

    Last week the soldier, on furlough, came by with his parents and grandparents to meet his new friends and answer their queries about the other side of the world.

  • While the Army may give a soldier all he needs to survive, sometimes the wants go ignored.

    That was the case of Sgt. Sarah Wines who wanted, not only for her but the 25 percent of soldiers who are women, a better grade of toiletries.

    The Army provides basic shampoos and toothpaste, but anyone who has ever used them will attest they leave a lot to be desired.

    Telling her grandma Lillian Welkie of her wish list, it soon became VFW Post 5625 Auxiliary to the rescue.

  • On what was Day 14 of Barack Obama’s term as president, Chiefland’s Robert and Rutha Scott were as excited as if it were Jan. 20 all over again.

    The Scotts, well known in West Levy County for their ministerial work and involvement in the black community, were animated in their speech and lively in their body language as they recalled their part in the inauguration of America’s first black president.

    It all started back in November, the couple agreed.

  • BRONSON — Jackie Strickland was enjoying gently rocking in the chair.

    “A buddy of mine got me started 10 years ago,” he said.

    “I do all the work myself. It’s all hands on by me.”

    “I log my own wood, mill it and cure it out,” he says. That’s an investment of a year’s time from cutting to rocking.

    Strickland obtains his wood by taking down trees for property owners. He will cut the tree and haul the wood, he says, but the owners must haul the brush left by the job.

  •  One way to never forget how to say Basil May's first name: he'll either DAZZLE you or FRAZZLE you with his snake collection.

    Basil is a lifelong Bronson resident who recently acquired a new hobby. Snake rescuing, he said, was something of a happenstance.

    "I just sort of fell into it about a year and a half ago, when I got Mr. Green Jeans," Basil said.

  • It was an evening like every other evening last week, as Linda Scoggins set out to enjoy her time away from work.

    But about 6:30, she spied a visitor jumping across her fence on property she and husband, Ron, own off Hwy. 321 in Chiefland.

    A baby deer sauntered into the yard and started making herself at home-by eating her flowers.

    For more that 20 minutes she watched the deer feed and frolic through binoculars, then she came right up to her and yearned for affection.

  • At one time, the entire state of Florida was a haven for snakes, as warm climes, plenty of food and suitable habitat allowed serpents to thrive.

    Massive development over the past few decades to the south has helped put a dent in snake populations, but there are still pockets where the legless wonders can roam relatively undisturbed.

    The rural Big Bend or Gulf Hammock area of Florida is one of those regions, and Levy County would be smack dab in the middle of that.

  • Shelton Irwin has played with and written songs for some big names in the music world.

    Alabama, Johnny Nash, Bertie Higgins, Dennis Yost, Starbuck, Artimus Pyle and Bo Diddley are just a few of a diverse group of stars that Irwin has worked with in his long and storied career.

    Seeing the music industry eat up a lot of his friends, Irwin chose to take the low road some 20 years ago, moving to rural Levy County to chill out, spend time with the family, collect some royalty money and play a little music.

    It's worked out well in some respects.

  • Up in snow country, folks get something called cabin fever.

    Days are short. Weather is ice cold. Travel, if possible, is treacherous.

    People get trapped indoors and lethargic. They need something, like perhaps spring, to make them want to bust out.

    In a way, the economy is like cabin fever.

    The price of fuel has folks staying close to home, less adventurous, to say the least.

    Yours truly is no exception.

    With gasoline prices at around $4.10-$4.15 a gallon, staying instead of straying had become the rule.

  • Hunched over his drafting table, Ferrell Croft painstakingly draws first one line and then another. Within minutes the lines connect, a shape develops and soon another parcel of Levy County land is mapped for posterity-or at least until it is subdivided again and the process starts over.

    Monday, Croft packed up his drafting tools and walked away from a job he's had for over 30 years as the county mapper.

    His career began by drafting survey maps and for years he worked for himself and the private sector.

  • Are the crystal clear Gulf waters and the wonders beneath calling your name?

    Break out your mask and fins! Scallop season began July 1 and runs through Sept. 10.

    Anyone who has scalloped before knows the technique of snorkeling along picking scallops off the bottom of Florida's coastal bay areas.

    This is typically done in 2.5 to 4 feet of water - an excellent activity for the whole family to enjoy. Other techniques involve wading and scooping up scallops with a dip net.

  • It's safe to say the decor at Mike Segal's Chiefland home is not typical for the area. Throughout his house, the walls are covered with groups of brightly colored paintings or stacks of rolled up drawings.

    In one area, the floor is so spattered with flecks of paint that only grooves between the boards offer proof of its true wooden nature.

    The layout is different, too. In many homes, the flow of the main living space centers on a television set, but in Segal's home, things seem to flow around the large wooden easel that displays his most current work.

  • Seven years constitute a lifetime for Andrea Walther.

    She's been a solid A/B student, a pregnant teenager, a high school dropout, a wife, a mother, a GED recipient, a deli worker, a rat farmhand and a restaurant worker.

    And then she made some choices that were detrimental to her life. That's when the changes began.

    Change of Plans

    In the midst of her junior year at Chiefland High School, Andrea, then 16, discovered that she was a statistic-a pregnant teenager. But she was determined that she wouldn't be another statistic.

    It wasn't easy.

  • He is not a celebrity or politician, but he has to be one of the most well-known people around north Levy County. Most everyone driving on U.S. 19 just north of Chiefland has seen him - the "Tater Man" - on Fridays and Saturdays on the roadside.

    Some stop to buy farm-fresh potatoes and other produce. Others stop by just to chat. A honk of the horn will suffice for others.

    Friendly Bobby "Tater Man" Chesser smiles and waves back.

    "I'm a people person," he said. "Look for the blue truck and the big umbrella."

  • Some days Keegan Caudill feels like he is a 40 or 50-year-old man.

    Most days he has a headache that no drugs can alleviate.

    Every day he remembers sights, sounds and smells from the most incredible journey of his young life.

    In the past six months, the 2005 graduate of Bell High School has experienced enough to fill the lifetime of an ordinary man.

    But he is no ordinary man and his experience was nothing short of a miracle.

  • Every weekday, Kay Maxwell wakes up at 3 in the morning, showers, has her coffee and makes her way to the cafeteria at Chiefland Elementary School.

    In front of her is the seemingly monumental task of feeding hundreds of hungry school kids.

    Maxwell along with her team of nine other workers perform the task day after day, week after week, month after month.

    Maxwell has been at it for 19 years now and still hasn't lost any enthusiasm.

  • Step back in time to the fun-filled 50s, into a world of hot rods, leather jackets, 45s, pedal pushers, D.A.'s, roller skates, drive-in movies, and musicians like Elvis, Fabian and Ricky Nelson singing that "new" music known as rock 'n' roll.

    Enjoy an evening with cool Burger Palace Boys and their fine Pink Ladies along with our favorite characters of Rydell High in this live classic rock 'n' roll musical, Grease, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, and sponsored by Drummond Community Bank.

  • The Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges open house and Friends annual meeting was recently held at the Lower Suwannee Refuge's headquarters.

    Manager of the Refuges, John Kasbohm kicked off the day by welcoming the Friends and visitors of the refuge.

    Jay Bushnell, president of the Friends of the refuges announced many projects and new developments that are in the works or coming soon. Among those mentioned is the new Forestry Office that now finally furnishes adequate space at the refuge.