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Local News

  • Charity to pay mortgage, establish scholarship in honor of slain Gilchrist County deputies

    A foundation named in honor of New York City Firefighter Stephen Siller who perished Sept. 11, 2001, is paying the mortgage on a slain Gilchrist County deputy’s home and establishing a scholarship program in the name of another.

    John Hodge, Chief Operating Officer of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO John Hodge made the announcement Saturday, April 21, during a press conference at the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.

    The Tunnels to Towers Foundation will pay off the mortgage for the family of Deputy Sgt. Noel Ramirez family home and set up a scholarship program in the name of Deputy Taylor Lindsey. Lindsey was not married.

    “We know that when someone is killed in the line of duty and they leave behind children, who quite frankly, we are most concerned about,” he said. “The children’s world revolves around mom and dad; revolves around the home where they live and the friends and or school.”

  • Deputies killed

    Two Gilchrist County deputies were killed Thursday afternoon, April 17, when they were shot by a man whose motives are still unknown.

    Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said Sgt. Noel Ramirez and Deputy Taylor Lindsey were having lunch at about 3 p.m. when they were shot.

    The sheriff refused to discuss the identity or any other details about the shooter during a press conference later in the day.

    The shooter was later identified as John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell. He was found dead in a pickup truck outside the restaurant from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    No further information is available regarding Highnote. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an ongoing criminal investigation.

    “It’s not about him,” Schultz said at a press conference. “It’s about my deputies. There is no indication of any ongoing threat to our community, and we remain committed to your safety with the help of our other assisting agencies. This tragedy touches us all.”

  • Wild Hog Canoe Race begins its fourth decade

    It’s a grueling 15-mile trek down the Waccasassa River, where canoers and kayakers paddle, drag, lift, wade and swim their way through the elements, including occasional snakes and alligators.

    The Wild Hog Canoe Race, a fundraiser for the Arc of Levy County, which assists Levy residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, launches in Bronson at the Waccasassa Bridge on State Road 24, and finishes up at the event property where the Waccassa crosses U.S. 19, north of Gulf Hammock.

    Despite the challenging terrain, many who participant in the annual spring event are hooked for life.

    This year’s race takes place on April 28, with pre-race registration from 7:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. A rule review begins at 9:15, followed by the start of the race at 9:30.

    The water level was down in last year’s race, which marked its 40th anniversary and set a new record in boaters, making it a particularly difficult iteration. Race coordinator Keith Maynard says that may be causing some reluctance among potential returning participants, as pre-race sign-ups are down some from last year.

  • Laughter is medicine for caregivers

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    It has often been said that laughter is the best medicine. A good dose of laughter can relieve anxiety and tension. No one knows this better than speaker, Luther Beauchamp who has traveled the United States speaking to churches and many other organizations. The Chiefland native is a member of the National Speakers Association and retired attorney.

    On April 12, Beauchamp shared his humor and personal stories of caregiving with the local Alzheimer’s support group that meets the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m. at Edward Jones in Chiefland. Financial adviser and caregiver Kathryn Lancaster is the group leader.

    Beauchamp said he was once a caretaker for his father-in-law, mother-in-law, his mother and father at different times. He told of some personal and comical family stories with the group, but turned serious with he talked about the importance of depending on God while caring for elderly loved ones.

    “God gives us humor so that we can endure what we are going through. 1 Peter 5:7 says give all your worries to God for he cares for you,” Beauchamp said.

  • CPD chase in city reaches 100 mph

    Christopher A. Hall, 39, of Wooster, Ohio, was arrested April 6 on a felony charge of fleeing and eluding and three misdemeanor charges for giving a false name, driving an unregistered motor vehicle, and resisting an officer without violence.

    According to an incident filed by Chiefland Police Officer Kyle Schultz, he was doing a business check at the North Marathon when a red passenger car enter the parking lot and stopped.

    “As I watched the vehicle, the occupants exited and entered the store. A short time later, a white female and a male entered back into the vehicle and left the business. As the vehicle left I found the drivers actions to be strange. The driver left from the adjacent exit, then made a U-turn on 19 then began traveling south,” Schultz stated. “As I followed the vehicle, it turned left into the Walmart entrance and approached the intersection of NW 11th Dr. The vehicle then failed to stop at the intersection, which was marked with a stop sign. The vehicle continued into the parking lot before I activated my emergency lights signaling the vehicle to stop.

  • Chamber Banquet is Saturday

    RSVP now for the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Banquet April 21 in the Haven Hospice Community Building at 311 NE Ninth Street. Sarah & Korey, an acoustic duo, will provide entertainment. Please call the Chamber at 352-493-1849 for more information.

  • Beta Club seeks donations for nationals after success at state

    By Sarah Lourcey
    CMHS Beta Club

    The Chiefland High School Senior Beta Club, with encouragement from Beta sponsor Stacy Drummond and chaperone Jan Flemming, sent twelve members to Orlando in January for the Florida Senior State Beta Convention, and came away with four awards, including a pair of state championships by sophomore Reagan Hudson and a couple of top-3 honors in team competitions.

    The club is now seeking funds through GoFundMe to support a trip to the National Beta Convention in June in Savannah, Georgia.

    The state convention features students from all over Florida competing in numerous competitions, ranging from purely academic to talent oriented.

    Hudson competed in individual competitions, which tests students’ knowledge on different academic subjects, in Agriculture and Science, and placed first in both.

  • Two Gilchrist deputies slain

    Corrected spelling of Deputy Taylor Lindsey's last name

    Corrected age of Sgt. Ramirez

    Added shooters name.

  • 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.