Local News

  • Safe school procedures, religious expression among School Board policy review items

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The Levy County School Board will spend the next two months addressing the language of five school policy areas, including safe schools, religious expression, and school entry.

    Levy County School District Assistant Superintendent John Lott presented the first drafts of the policies at the Oct. 22 Board meeting.

    “These things come to us in a package,” Lott said. “We study them, get public input and ask for a final vote in December.

    “When we bring policies in front of the Board, most of the time it’s because of changes in the (State) statute.”

    Policy 3.06, known as the Safe and Secure Schools policy, addresses the district’s obligation to “provide a safe, secure and orderly learning environment in all schools and at all sponsored activities.”

  • Trick-or-treat is Saturday

    The Chiefland Police Department’s Halloween Haunted House returns this scary season for the two weekends before Halloween.

    The House opens Oct. 19, Oct. 20, Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, at the old CFEC Warehouse behind Hardee’s on 11th Ave., starting at 6:30 p.m. each night. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Visit ChieflandPD.com or the CPD Facebook page for more information.

    On Oct. 27, at the same site as the haunted house, there will be the Chiefland Trunk-or-Treat. There will be a Halloween Costume Contest (for age groups: 0 to 3; 4 to 8; and 9 to 12), a pumpkin carving contest and a photo area. The event is at 6:30 p.m.

    The City of Chiefland’s official trick-or-treating day is Saturday, Oct. 27.

    On Thursday, Oct. 25, Chiefland Elementary School is holding its rescheduled Fall Festival from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Chiefland votes to expand alcohol sales

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The Chiefland City Commission gave City Attorney Norm Fugate the go ahead to prepare an amended alcohol sales ordinance that will include sales on Sundays.

    After some discussion during the Oct. 22 meeting, the commission voted 3-2 to modify the days and hours of alcohol sales to Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to Midnight, Saturdays 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to Midnight.

    The new proposed hours not only add sales to Sunday, but also would extend sales on Saturday from Midnight to 2 a.m. as was suggested by Commissioner Chris Jones who also suggested that Sunday sales start at 1 p.m. instead of noon, “Out of respect for those who are in church on Sunday.” The new draft will retain no sales on Christmas, and sales until 1 a.m. on New Year’s.

  • Karaoke, D.J. company looks to expand into Levy

    Alex Quintero, owner of GC entertainment, a Gainesville-based company that provides specialized D.J., karaoke and trivia services, said his company is looking to provide its entertainment services in Levy County.

    Quintero visited the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club at the Haven Community Building in Chiefland on Sept. 27.

    The business typically does about 15 trivia shows per week, according to Quintero. “All of our trivia shows are unique,” he said. “We do not do the same show twice.” They also do karaoke shows with live bands to back up the singers. “This makes them a star when they are on the stage,” Quintero said.

    Quintero touted the uniqueness of his services. “We meet with clients and ask a lot of questions to custom tailor events. We also have weekly meetings with clients to tweak what is not working,” Quintero said.

    GC Entertainment serves restaurants and bars, event venues, local businesses, live musicians and performers, event planners and private clients.

  • CR 40 widening project advances

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    The Levy County Commission voted to move forward with a road widening and resurfacing project for a 6.6-mile stretch of County Road 40.

    According to Alice LaLonde, administrator manager for the Levy County Road Department, the project will be funded by a $2.65 million grant from the Small County Outreach Program (SCOP).

    The Florida Department of Transportation describes the SCOP as assisting “small county governments in repairing or rehabilitating county bridges, paving unpaved roads, addressing road-related drainage improvements, resurfacing or reconstructing county roads, or constructing capacity or safety improvements to county roads.”  

    “This is the second half of our CR 40 widening project,” said Commission Chair John Meeks. “Our Legislature decided to give State Road 40 back in the ‘80s,” Meeks said. “It’s become our responsibility ever since.”

    The 6.6-mile stretch is from Bird Creek Boat Ramp to U.S. Highway 19.

  • Residents speak out on Sunday alcohol sales; City vote on Oct. 22 agenda

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    As Hurricane Michael steered toward the Gulf Coast on Oct. 9, more than 75 Chiefland residents made it a priority to attend a workshop at Chiefland City Hall to discuss the pros and cons of allowing alcohol sales in Chiefland on Sundays.

    More than two dozen people addressed the commission and spoke on the record.

    Many residents acknowledged that they like to drink socially, and often family and friends are only off on weekends, so meeting up on a Sunday would be convenient if they didn’t have to leave town.

    One longtime resident thanked the commission for the opportunity to speak and said she was worried that the character of Chiefland would change if alcohol was sold on Sundays. She read a description from the City’s website and urged the commission to consider that World Health Organization statistics emphasize the negative impacts of excessive alcohol consumption.

  • Encore! Luke Bryan Farm Tour brings country music back to Whitehurst Cattle field

    By Suzette Cook

    As a crowd of about 13,000 gathered on Whitehurst Cattle Company acreage bordering Levy, Alachua and Marion counties, a drone flying overhead documented the Oct. 4 benefit concert from above.

    Country Artist Jon Langston, the concert opener, paid tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with a performance of Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” And the crowd joined in.

    “That’s what I’m talking about,” Langston said. “Y’all came to party!”

    Langston then performed his hit “She Was the Right Girl at the Wrong Time” and told the crowd how he became a songwriter.

    “I started writing songs in college ‘cause I got hurt playing football,” Langston told the crowd. Then he performed “Forever Girl” and the crowd sang along. “Man I got chills up here,” he said. “I love you all so much.” Then he continued with his Billboard hit “When It Comes To Loving You.”

  • CFEC crews help restore power in the Florida panhandle

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    Central Florida Electric Cooperative (CFEC) of Chiefland sent six line workers on Oct. 12 and four project managers on Oct. 14 to assist Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative in Wewahitchka, Florida to help restore power and repair damage caused by Hurricane Michael.

    The crew brought equipment including two bucket trucks, one digger derrick truck with a load of poles, and a one-ton flatbed truck. CFEC Vice President of Member Services Tony Wasson said a second team went up Sunday and “we already have a team waiting to go. We’re certain the line crews will need to be rotated out.”

    “CFEC was fortunate to receive help from cooperatives across the country when we restored power from Hurricane Irma,” said CFEC Vice President of Engineering and Operations Ben Dawson. “Cooperation among cooperatives is critical to restoring power as quickly, and as safely as possible.”

  • Bridges to close ahead of Hurricane Michael

    Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum announced that in preparation for the significant tidal surge anticipated for our coastal areas in Levy County, SR 24 at the Number 4 Bridge will be closed to traffic going onto the island of Cedar Key at 5 PM Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Only residents and business owners with proper re-entry credentials after the closure is posted will be allowed onto the island to make any final preparations.

    SR 40 west at the Yankeetown General Store will be closed to all traffic at 5 PM tomorrow.

    The following public boat ramps will be closed at 12 PM tomorrow October 9, 2018. Boat ramp closures will be in effect until the storm passes and can be safely reopened for boating traffic.

    · SR 40 - Yankeetown
    · Shell Mound
    · Number 4 Bridge - Cedar Key
    · Both ramps in the City of Cedar Key.

    The inside and outside ramp in the City of Cedar Key will remain open only for commercial fishermen use after 12 PM tomorrow.

  • Evacuation ordered for coastal residents in Levy County

    An evacuation has been ordered for Levy County residents and visitors in the coastal areas of Levy County. This includes, but is not limited to Cedar Key, Yankeetown, Fowlers Bluff, Fanning Springs, and any other area that is prone to storm surge. Please start your preparations for evacuations as soon as you can and be completed by 8pm on Tuesday. Residents and visitors of Cedar Key need to be off the island before the storm surge arrives.

    The bridges throughout the island cannot withstand the storm surge and will become impassable. Once the storm surge comes in, help may not be able to reach you.

    The Special Needs shelter will be open Oct. 9 at 2 pm at the Bronson Elementary School located at 400 Ishie Ave, Bronson, FL 32621

    A shelter of last resort will be available Tuesday October 9th at 2pm at the Bronson Elementary School located at 400 Ishie Ave, Bronson, FL 32621

    Residents and visitors seeking shelter at the general population shelters will need to bring pillows, blankets, and bedding. Cots will not be available.