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Local News

  • Services for Betty Walker

    A wake for Betty Walker, who died Monday, Feb. 25, will be held Friday, March 8, at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church from 5 to 7 p.m. The church is located at 310 SW 5th Street in Chiefland. A funeral service will be held at the Chiefland Middle High School auditorium, 808 N Main Street, on Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m. A repass will follow at Haven Hospice after the ceremony.

    Walker served more than 15 years on the Chiefland City Commission and was currently in her seventh term as mayor. She was the retired longtime director of Levy ARC. Walker was 72.

  • “Shaping your Future Through Education” is theme of Chiefland Black History program

    “Shaping your Future Through Education” will be the topic of the Black History Committee’s upcoming fundraiser banquet, March 9, 7 p.m., at the Usher Pineland Center. The annual event is a fundraiser for scholarships provided by the Committee.

    Dr. Shalay Jackson, DrPH, MSW, will be the guest speaker. Dr. Jackson is currently an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Florida State University College of Social Work. The educator and researcher earned her doctorate in Public Health at the University of South Florida and has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include: social policy; resilience; school social work; positive youth development; community practice; adolescent behavioral health; and prevention.

  • Bronson softball monument a tribute to Durden, Class of '82

    If you were lucky enough to meet James “Jimmy” Durden, the first thing he’d ask you was whether you played ball or raced. His passion for sports and his compassion for people were bound together, and Bronson Middle High School recently unveiled a statue and plaque at its softball field that’s a dedication to both of those attributes of the late Bronson coach.

    With around 60 to 80 former players, friends and family in attendance, some of those who knew Durden best shared their memories of the beloved Bronson figure, before a statue of a catcher’s mitt with three entwined bats was revealed. Each of the three speakers struggled to finish as they remembered Durden and were overcome with emotion.

    The monument was dedicated by Durden’s Bronson Class of 1982. The plaque displayed at the base of the memorial structure reads, “BHS Class of 1982, In Dedication. Jimmy Durden ‘Eagle Risen’ Forever Friend, Classmate, and Coach.” The memorial is also a reminder that the 1982 Bronson softball team advanced to the state championship game.

  • County gives go ahead for first satellite waste station

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The County Commission did not hesitate at the March 5 meeting to choose the site of the first of at least three future satellite waste stations.

    As requested by the Board, Levy County Solid Waste Department Director Rod Hastings presented additional details about the list of proposed locations and what the materials, construction requirements, equipment and staff would cost per station. The average price tag per location, according to Hastings, will be $71,710 for construction and equipment and $20,000 to staff the facility at least three days a week.

    Hastings estimated that the initial cost to get three stations up and running would total $215,130 “turnkey and get three of them on the ground running.”

    Once open, Hastings said the operating costs would drop significantly. “Once you get past that first year it will drop off to $20,000 per site,” he said.

    While Hastings did his due diligence and came prepared with specific budget items, the Board had few questions about those detail, they just wanted to know how soon they could be built.

  • Bay Scallops season on the agenda for March 5 marine fisheries workshop

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting a public workshop to gather public input about long-term management of the bay scallop fishery in Steinhatchee at 6 p.m. on March 5 at the Steinhatchee Community Center, 1013 Riverside Dr.

  • Foot pursuit ends with arrest on March 1

    A manhunt in ended on March first when Gerald Coleman, 20, of Williston was located hiding beneath a house off of NE 35 Street and taken into custody.

    Coleman has been a wanted man since warrants were issued for his arrest in November of 2018. Coleman’s efforts to elude capture ended March 1 after a foot pursuit. Levy County Sheriff’s Office’s Sergeant Kevin Kinik spotted Coleman near a parked vehicle off of NE 35 Street in Williston just after noon, according to reports. Kinik approached Coleman who fled on foot from the area.

    LCSO Deputies surrounded the area and began searching with K-9’s. Marion County Sheriff’s Office AIR 1 offered support from the air as well as two blood hound tracking teams from the Florida Department of Corrections.

    At approximately 2:50 p.m. Coleman was located hiding beneath a house off of NE 35 Street and taken into custody. Coleman was transported to the Levy County Detention Facility and warrants for robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and violation of probation were served. He will be held with no bond until trial. 

  • Deputies search for armed suspect

    Deputies are on the scene in the area of CR 318 and NE 217 Terrace in reference to a wanted subject that fled from law enforcement. Deputies are asking the public to stay away from this area until the subject is apprehended.

    The suspect, Gerald Coleman, is described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, wearing a black shirt, white undershirt, black long shorts and a black skull cap. It is unknown if he is armed.

    Anyone who has up to date real time information on the current location of the suspect is asked to contact LCSO by calling 352-486-5111 or 911.

  • FWC adopts a more lenient bag limit with new hunting regulations

    The second day of the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s (FWC) annual public meeting in Gainesville on Feb. 21 saw the passing of several long-brewing proposed hunting regulations that included items such as changes to youth hunting restrictions, bag limits and requirements for increased reporting by hunters.

    Paul Scharine, with the Division of Hunting and Game Management, presented the proposals for the statewide rules to the Commission and approximately 30 audience members.

    From April to July of 2018, the Division reviewed proposals from staff, the public and cooperators, according to Scharine. Stakeholder input was then solicited and evaluated from August to December and the Commission reviewed the data in December. At this point, they advertised the proposals and Scharine said a total of 18,800 responses were received from the public.

    Scharine presented a summary of the statewide regulations being considered, which included:

    *Extending shooting hours during spring turkey season until sunset on most Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) to match what is currently allowed on private lands

  • 18th Annual Levy Black History Program celebrates 11 outstanding individuals

    The 18th Annual Black History Program was held Feb. 15 in the Levy County Courthouse. This year’s two-hour program was titled “Faith, Family and Friends” and highlighted 11 individuals, living and deceased, who made contributions in the Levy County communities.

    County Commissioner Matt Brooks welcomed everyone to the event and warmly introduced author and artist, Carolyn Cohens. It is due to Cohens’ hard work and dedication that the celebration continues to take place each year.

    This year’s event saw each bench seat in the courtroom filled, as three educators, two church leaders, a law enforcement administrator, a military administrative specialist, a singer and performer, a tax preparer and child care provider, a mother and cook, and a sharecropper who later became the first black bus driver for Levy County were honored and recognized for their achievements and contributions.

  • Chiefland attorney in Levy County jail on civil matter

    By Suzette Cook, Reporter

    As of March 5, Chiefland-based Attorney Gregory Vance Beauchamp, 70, remains in Levy County Jail on a civil matter without bring charged with a crime.