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Features

  • Scientists contracting with the state began tests on a Chiefland sinkhole Monday morning to determine what happens to the water entering the rocky crevasse. “It’s never been done before,” Pete Butt, project manager for Karst Environmental Services Inc., one of the companies working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on the project, said.

  • All five Levy County Public Library branches will have free family fun this summer. Join in on the fun at your local library. Large groups are welcome, but please call in advance. For more information, contact your local librarian, or Jenny Rodgers, Youth Services Coordinator, 352-486-5552.

    Luther Callaway Public Library – Chiefland

    Friday, June 12 at 10 a.m.

    Ronald McDonald will be visiting the library for a fun reading adventure. You never know what Ronald has up his sleeves.

    Friday, June 19 at 10 a.m.

  • The water is finally clear and blue in Fanning and Manatee springs, now that the Suwannee River is returning to bed at last. Blue Spring, at the headwaters of the tiny Waccasassa, fared very well through the spring flooding. The little Wekiva, at Henry Beck Park, is also clear and fresh this summer. As the mercury hammers the top of the thermometer day after day, the springs of Levy County are open and beckoning.

  • Note: See more photos in slideshow on this web page.

    If anyone wondered where all the cool kids were this summer, between the weekday hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., a good first guess would be to perk up your ears.

    School-age children from all over the Nature Coast area, even out to Marion and Alachua counties could be easily found if only you know what to listen for.

  • “We’re Americans. Our citizens can do more.”

    That is the assessment of Mike West, information technology officer for the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, after participating in a hurricane exercise on May 28 at Levy County Office of Emergency Management.

  • St. John Missionary Baptist Church of Chiefland, Florida, where Donnell Sanders is the pastor, opened the doors to Manna from Heaven Food Bank on Wednesday, June 10.

    Manna from Heaven Food Bank is a not-for-profit organization started to feed needy people and improve their lives. This is done by providing food and other grocery products such as meats and baby formula. Also, educating and engaging our community to fight hunger and poverty is another of the food banks objectives.

  • Double Sink 4-H gets around! Leaders Melissa Mills, Trish Depew, and Mary Carr want to expose 4-H kids to a wide variety of what Florida has to offer.

    The theme for this outing was butterflies, so their destination was the butterfly garden planted by the Friends of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge at the Refuge Headquarters.

  • Good things come in all sizes. Fanning Springs residents Gene and Rita Wealing have graciously donated their home and an acre of land to Haven Hospice.

    Tim Bowen, president of Haven Hospice, Michael Morse, vice president of organizational development, and Kathleen Bogolea, associate director of development, were on hand for the deed transaction, which took place on Thursday at Levy Abstract and Title.

  • Zachary Andrews says it was hunting that got him through. The Chiefland High School senior was a 15-year-old sophomore when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and everything in his life changed.

    “I was out turkey hunting with my dad and I tripped and fell,” he said.

    “My dad asked me, ‘Why’d you fall down?’ and I told him my knee gave out.”

    Andrews’ left leg had been kind of weak and achy for about a month, he said.

  • It was St. Patrick’s Day, and he was 10 years old. Taylor Carey’s parents noticed he had been short of breath for some time, and he’d been complaining that his legs hurt.

    “My parents just thought it was growing pains but then they took me to the doctor,” Carey said.

    “He couldn’t figure it out right away. Then my mom remembered that when I was born, the doctor said something about a rare blood trait. They tested my blood and that was when they found it.”

  • Kolan Durrance remembers when it happened: in May of last year. He knows how it happened: he noticed a swollen lymph node under his arm; a week or so later he could hardly breathe because fluid from a tumor had filled his right lung. He knows when he started treatment and he knows about when he'll be done.

    The one thing he doesn't know is why.

    “My dad has an autoimmune disorder, and I've heard the trait from that can end up in some people getting non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but I didn't even know,” he says.

    “It just came out of nowhere.”

  • Ketelhaus Easy Company gives a few barks as he tugs on his collar. His owner gives a command and the large animal sits attentively watching the visitor unlock the gate.

    Once inside the visitor learns that Company, as he is known, is just like any family pet. He’s sniffing, chuffing and plants a wet kiss on the hand that’s offered.

    Company, a two-year-old Rottweiler, is one of three pets owned by Donna Bailey of Chiefland. He has a littermate and a shelter dog, both Rotts, for his company.

    And all three are spoiled rotten pets.

  • Mary Grace Curtin adjusts a purple bow at her best friend Adamarie Keeton’s home in Bronson. Curtin has been making the bows, while Keeton and Keeton’s sister Libby Barrin bake cookies and organize the fund-raising effort for their Tri-County Relay for Life team, Team Margaret.

  • The poet William Cowper long ago wrote the lines:

     God works in a mysterious way

    His wonders to perform.

    He plants His footsteps on the sea

    And rides upon the storm.

     

    One time, when the road of my life seemed a little rough, a friend placed a hand on my shoulder, and said some comforting words.  I gained courage and went on. Soon the road seemed smoother.

  • BFor almost all her life Dana Hodge has worked in and around restaurants. So when the opportunity presented itself late last fall to own her own place, she couldn’t wait to plunge in feet first.

    The effort, Dana’s American and Italian Restaurant located on Hwy. 19 between Old Town and Cross City.

    On any given day, patrons may find Hodge greeting customers, waiting tables or even preparing their meals. She wants her customers to know that she cares about their dining experience and wants them to leave happy.

  • Jessica Southard says she's not a pageant girl. She's an agricultural girl, definitely; a car racing girl, certainly. She's a graphic artist, too; until recently she designed many of the logos and scripts on the race cars built by her parents, Gary and Kathi Southard of Bronson's Southard Racing. How did she come to be crowned the 2009 Florida Watermelon Queen?

    “Years ago, my dad built a car for Buddy Hughes, who is one of the biggest watermelon growers in Newberry,” she says.

  • Log Cabin Quilters met Thursday, March 19 at the Levy County Quilt Museum. It was great to get the quilts back in place after going to Trenton to the Quilt Festival. We took our Rail Fence and Alline and Cathy worked on it and we had lots of people who had never seen hand quilting. It was a great festival and we saw so many people who came to the museum.

    Doris brought in her ‘stack and whak’ quilt - so pretty. Cleo and Marge put quilts back where they came from. Now we look like we are supposed to.

  • He's been singing his heart out for a long time, but this time, Reginald Stacy has really hit a high note.

    Stacy, who won the karaoke contest at the Levy County Fair this past year and was runner up the year before, has been entertaining lovers of soul, gospel, pop and country music for years.

  • 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.