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Local News

  • Science students get lessons in the field

    By Lita Weingart, CMHS Science Teacher

    On April 13th, Chiefland Middle High School science students from Stacy Drummond and Lita Weingart’s classes went on a field trip to visit the new University of Florida Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key.

    Our schools superintendent, Jeff Edison, took time out of his busy schedule to help chaperone our trip. We were given a tour of the new research facility and students got to talk with scientists about the research they are conducting.

    Students also visited Joe Rains Beach and, with the assistance of UF scientist Hannah Healy and educational specialist Katherine Hellgren, collected and identified local marine life using a seine net.

    In addition, the students conducted a transect study to determine the amount of biodiversity found on the shoreline.

    We would like to thank Mr. Edison for spending the day with us and the UF personnel for sharing their expertise. A great time was had by all!

  • School resource officer tweets to prove point about internet safety to students

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A school resource officer from Richland County, South Carolina, made a bold move to prove the dangers of the internet to her students in that state. Now, Kelly Pounds is using the knowledge she gained from the experience to teach other students about internet dangers.

    Pounds went to Chiefland Elementary April 2 to teach her social media class to the entire fifth grade student body.

    She began by sharing a little information about herself. Pounds has been a school resource officer in South Carolina for two years. She grew up in Chiefland and graduated from Chiefland High School. After graduation, she went to school for medical billing and services. But later, she discovered her passion for law enforcement.

    “There are 96 school resource officers in Richland County and we still do not have a resource officer in every school,” Pounds said.

  • Proposal to appoint superintendents is withdrawn

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A proposal to appoint school superintendents by school boards instead of by popular vote in the general election was withdrawn from consideration by the Constitution Revision Commission.

    CRC Chairwoman Erika Donalds filed the proposal in October 2017. She withdrew the plan March 22. The amendment to the state constitution requiring district school boards to appoint superintendents would have taken effect Nov. 17, 2020, had it won public approval in November.

    Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison shared an email from the Small County Coalition of Florida. The organization issued a cautionary note about the possibility of portions of the withdrawn proposal being used to amend future revisions.

    “We have seen this committee take some very contradictory actions and we are not sure the proposal is dead,” coalition consultant Chris Doolin stated in the email.

    He wrote that for now, Florida citizens have the final say.

  • Blueberry Festival: Bronson turns purple

    Join the town of Bronson Saturday, May 19, for the fourth annual Bronson Blueberry Festival. There you will find all things blueberry, from fresh blueberries to a wide assortment of other foods made with blueberries. Other delicious foods will also be for sale.

    The Blueberry Festival will host local growers with fresh berries for sale. Vendors will be on hand selling a wide assortment of crafts and other goods. There will be music and a children’s play area.

    The morning of the festival the 5k Blueberry Stomp will take place with registration starting at 7 a.m. and the race starting at 7:30 p.m. The 3.2-mile course winds through town to finish in the James H Cobb Park.

    Anyone interested in being a vendor please contact the Town Hall for an application at 352-486-2354.

    Schedule of events:

    Blueberry Pageant, Saturday, May 12, starting at 9 a.m.

    Blueberry Parade, Friday, May 18, starting at 6:30 p.m.

    Blueberry Stomp 5K, Saturday May 19, starting at 7 a.m.

    Blueberry Festival, Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

  • City prohibits agressive begging

    By C.L. Watson, Citizen Correspondent

    Prohibiting Aggressive Solicitation is illegal in the city of Chiefland after the city commission passed the second and final reading of Ordinance No. 18-02 at the regular meeting Monday, April 9.

    The ordinance was a direct request from Police Chief Scott Anderson following an incident at the beginning of 2018 where a group of out of state vagabonds infiltrated the Walmart parking lot seeking financial handouts. The group consisted of about 19 persons traveling in an old bus.

    The ordinance does not affect groups who have been granted permission from business owners to raise money for their charities and organizations at that business owners location. Girl Scouts will still be allowed to sell cookies and high school students hold car washes.

    The aggressive panhandling law gives the police authority stop the unwanted persons from preying on customers in parking lots and areas throughout the city. The discretion of each violation will be made by the officer handling the incident. No. 18-02 has a maximum fine of $500 and or imprisonment for violators.

  • Storm damaged trees to be removed from cemetery

    By C.L. Watson

    An emotional thank you was heard by all at the recent commission meeting held April 3rd. Beth Dieveney expressed sincere gratitude to the City of Cedar Key staff, Fire Department and volunteers for their actions following a 911 call May 25, 2017. Mrs. Dieveney was dining at 83 West when her father suffered a heart attack. She felt the quick coordination and knowledgeable response was a contributor to her father being alive and well.

    George Oakley requested placing a directional sign for Cedar Key Bed & Breakfast at the corner of D and 3rd Street. Unfortunately the city ordinance does not allow erected private signs on public property. Police Chief Virgil Sandlin read the Laws of Cedar Key citing the ordinance. The overall concern was if one business is allowed to add signage others will follow.

  • Keen brings rock-a-billy to Chiefland Playhouse

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen

    Houston Keen took his brand of rock-a-billy music to the Community Playhouse in Chiefland the Thursday before Easter. Keen grew up in Chiefland and graduated from Chiefland High School.

    The 23-year-old Chiefland native shared his story about how he got into the music business and what he is currently working on in a brief interview, before the start of the concert.

    Keen became interested in music because of his grandmother’s influence.

    “My grandma was a singer in church. She always wanted a singer in the family. One day I found my dad’s old guitar and my grandmother told me I was doing this,” Keen said.

    He took guitar lessons at Billy Bones for two years and then learned more guitar skills at his own pace.

    Keen has played at the Alachua County Fair and the Chiefland Watermelon Festival for several years as well as many festivals and fairs in Florida the past three years.

    Keen has also opened for Granger Smith, a famous singer in Texas, and Jamie Davis, another country music singer. He also opened for We the Kings, a well-known Florida band.

  • Security coming to schools; funding still a question

    Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum says all 15 public and charter schools in the county will have a deputy on campus for the remainder of the school year, but he’s concerned about the financial viability of the program going forward.

    At the Levy County Commission meeting April 2, McCallum announced the plans his Office finalized the previous day to send deputies to each campus. The move was in response to the state law passed in March that includes provisions for increasing school safety and security in the wake of the mass shooting that killed 17 and injured 17 more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

  • NRA suit vs. Florida continues

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A Palatka goat farmer's request to intervene in the lawsuit filed March 9 by the NRA against Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was denied.

    The National Rifle Association filed suit against Bondi in response to legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. The new law was in response to the shooting Feb. 14 at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The new statute increases the age limit of individuals allowed to buy rifles and shotguns from age 18 to 21.

    Mitchell Williams, 26, a goat farmer attempted to intervene in the lawsuit, but the judge ruled he had no standing in the case. Williams stated in a letter to the federal court that Florida had been experiencing issues with neighbors shooting to close to his home and goats. He suggested the courts limit the purchase of ammunition and also include microchips on ammo to make it traceable.

  • Panhandling could be costly in Chiefland

    By C.L. Watson, Citizen Correspondent

    Panhandling within the city limits of Chiefland could end up costing the panhandler money.

    Ordinance 18-02 to prohibit aggressive solicitation was introduced at the March 26 meeting with the first reading winning a unanimous vote by city commissioners. The ordinance is not limited to persons scouring parking lots asking for a financial handout. The ordinance further defines aggressive solicitation as approaching or speaking to a person and solicit, or attempt to solicit, in such manner the person feels an imminent threat. Peddlers of merchandise, offers of employment and donations for charitable groups could be in violation of the proposed ordinance if the panhandler acts aggressively. The ordinance carries a maximum fine of $500 and or imprisonment for violators. The ordinance must pass a second reading April 9 before it is enforceable.