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Local News

  • Cedar Key Open set for March 7

    The Third Annual Cedar Key Open Golf Tournament will be held March 7 at Chiefland Golf and Country Club.

    The tournament will be a four-person scramble with registration at 11:30 a.m. and a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

    A bag lunch will be provided by The Big Deck Bar and Grill. Prizes, donated by local businesses and community members, and a low country boil, compliments of Ricky Cook and The Big Deck, will immediately follow the tournament at the Big Deck on Dock St. in Cedar Key.

    The tournament is to benefit the Cedar Key Volunteer Fire and Rescue and is being sponsored by the Big Deck Bar and Grill.

    The entry fee is $50 per person. The fee covers a round of golf, cart, bag lunch, prizes and dinner. Payment is required at signup. Participants will be limited to the first 20 teams to sign up. Dinner-only is available for $15 per person. Reservations for dinner are required.

    Donations for the event are welcome. and additional advertising donation opportunities are available to businesses and individuals who wish to sponsor a hole with a tee sign.

  • UF forestry has wide impact on industry, natural resources

    The UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) boasts a wide scope of research and services, touching on everything from the hit film Finding Dory, to converting pine chemicals into jet fuel, to working with cutting edge industry applications for drones and electronic mapping.

    The new SFRC director, Dr. “Red” Baker,” paid a visit to the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club in Chiefland just before Christmas to discuss the program’s unique accomplishments and its current projects that continue to shape the future of the industries of forestry and natural resources.

    Baker, who has served in role for nine months, outlined the three main units of the SFRC, which includes its oldest part, the forestry division, as well as the fisheries and aquatic sciences program, a major part of which is operated in Cedar Key, and, thirdly, the geomatics unit. The latter includes remote sensing, satellite imaging, surveying and mapping and drones.

  • Levy County burglary suspect killed at Dunnellon home

    By Julie Gorham
    For the Citizen

    A burglary suspect from Levy County died from gunshot wounds Wednesday after an altercation with family members at a Dunnellon-area home.

    According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were responding to a burglary in process at 4:31 p.m. Wednesday on West Dunklin Street when a male suspect, later identified as Zechariah Tackett, 28, of Levy County, was shot.
    When deputies arrived, they found Tackett lying on his back outside of the residence, and two males identified as Robert Jones Sr., 54, and Robert Jones Jr., 32, both of Citrus County, standing in the driveway.

    Deputies performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Tackett, but he was unresponsive and pronounced dead at 4:51 p.m, the report states.

    Major crimes detectives interviewed Robert Jones Sr., who said after receiving a call from his sister about a possible burglary, he and his son — both carrying weapons — responded to the home and found an unknown male in the living room. He said Tackett was shot during that confrontation, the report states.

  • New worlds for sale

    Friends of the Luther Callaway Public Library is having a book sale Saturday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Octagon Building behind Chiefland Fire Rescue. Hardback covers are priced to sell at 50 cents each and paperbacks for a quarter.

    Some of the thousands of titles are library books that have not been checked out for a while, but most are donations. They will be organized on tables in categories of fiction and nonfiction.

    Books are always on sale inside the library, but Friends President Ann Brown said Thursday, Jan. 11, during the organization’s monthly meeting that the nonprofit organization is having the book sale to raise money to replace the carpet in the building. Instead of laying carpet rolls, they want carpet squares that will be cheaper in the long run though the upfront cost is about $10,000. Although the library is part of the county system and the building is owned by the city of Chiefland, the friends group helps support programs and other needs not funded through the county system or by the city.

  • Anderson: phone system is going to break

    Chiefland fire and police chiefs made their presentations to the city commission at the regular meeting Jan. 8. Chief James Harris said Chiefland Fire Rescue responded to 1,672 incidents in 2017 while Chief Scott Anderson warned the governing body that the phone system is about to crash.

    Harris said 827 responses were inside the city and 681 were in the county. CFR responded to 78 incidents where other agencies did not respond. CFR went to Bronson on 12 occasions and on three of those trips, CFR was the only agency to respond; Fowlers Bluff did not respond 26 times. CFR aided Fanning Springs 23 times, but Fanning Springs did not respond 36 times. CFR had 35 calls in Otter Creek and aided Rosewood four times, but Rosewood did not respond on five occasions; aided Trenton twice and Cedar Key four times.

  • Bronson celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    MLK Day in Bronson was a day filled of fun and games. Participants in the egg race (Page 4A) made their way down Main Street in Bronson with their heads up. The street was closed to traffic and vendors set up tables up and down the street. Free hot dogs and sodas were in abundance along with various other food delicacies.

  • Highway 19 to be dedicated to slain deputy

    A portion of U.S Highway 19 in Otter Creek will be dedicated to the memory of A. Haygood Ellzey, the only Levy County Sheriff’s officer killed in the line of duty. The dedication for Deputy Ellzey will take place at 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 25, at the northbound lane sign in Otter Creek.

    On January 28, 1945 while on patrol in the city limits of Otter Creek, Deputy Sheriff A. Haygood Ellzey was shot and killed in the line of duty by two men who lured him into a wooded area.

    Moments earlier Deputy Ellzey had asked the two white men to leave an African American juke to avoid having any problems between the white and black citizens.

    Before dying Deputy Ellzey was able to identify his shooter which led both men to be convicted of his murder and both were sentenced to prison.

  • Inglis kayaking project moving forward

    The plan for a whitewater kayak venue in Inglis was first proposed around 2000, with an eye toward possibly serving the 2012 Summer Olympics, if they were to be held in Tampa.

    Though those plans were washed away, the project never quite died.

    Now the town is moving forward with a feasibility study this April, which could attract a concessionaire that could finally bring the venue to fruition.

    Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt announced the latest developments at the Levy County Commission meeting Jan. 9.

    The venue would be established south of Highway 40, where the canal for the now-defunct Cross Florida Barge connects with the lower Withlacoochee River.

    “That canal has about a 22-foot drop from the dam down to the where it reconnects with the river,” Merritt said. “So it was brought to my attention several years ago that if we reverse-engineered it, would could make a whitewater kayaking venue there.”

  • Whitewater idea is floated

    The Nature Coast Business Development Council has set five goals for 2018 to help build a stronger economic foundation for the future.

    The goals include completing the economic impact statement for the Inglis whitewater kayaking venue; countywide broadband; investment launch; relaunching the business alliance and establishing a food-related business incubator. Broadband internet and whitewater kayaking were discussed at the meeting Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Jack Wilkinson Campus of the College of Central Florida.

    Council Director David Pieklik opened discussion on the economic impact statement for a kayaking project in Inglis. Completion of the EIS by the University of Central Florida is expected in April.

    Richard Streeter, of Inglis, said a whitewater course in Inglis would have two advantages over any other similar venue in the country. It would operate year around and the water temperature is very important to Olympic kayaking.

  • WoW targets plastic along the coast

    Cedar Key’s Workout on the Waterfront (WoW) is an exciting day packed full

    of fun and active events, scheduled this year for Feb. 24.

    The WoW event aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution along our coasts.

    Proceeds from the 2018 races and silent auction will benefit the public aquarium at NCBS, Cedar Key School and the annual Cedar Key International Coastal Cleanup.

    WoW events include the Coastal Heritage 5K with runners of all ages following a route winding through downtown Cedar Key and along the historic waterfront. Race starts 9 a.m. at Lil Shark Park, 192 Second Street. Register at Active.com in advance or on race day at 6:30 a.m. Runner check-in begins at 6:30 a.m.

    Astena Otie Kayak Challenge is for kayakers ages 18 and above. It will start at the beach in downtown Cedar Key at 10:15 a.m. The course runs around and through Astena Otie Key and back to the City Park beach. Racers must pick up at least one item of garbage from Atsena Otie’s shoreline before racing back to City Park. Register at Active.com in advance or day of race at 6:30 a.m.