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Local News

  • Homan greets students after holiday break

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A new principal greeted students when they returned to Chiefland Elementary School in January after the Christmas Holiday.

    Michael Homan, originally from Baltimore, began her career in education as a volunteer, then as a substitute and eventually became an Exceptional Student education teacher at Bronson Elementary where she spent 12 years working her way from ESE teacher, to reading coach and to assistant principal at BES for five years. She in that capacity at CES for one year before moving on to the district office where she served as Title 1 Coordinator for the next four years.

    Homan said some changes she has made is the way teachers do intervention time. Interventions are extra activities used to help students meet specific needs in the areas in which they are academically weak.

  • Ed. bill has some good, some bad

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    Passage of House Education Bill 7055 has been making headlines across the state and country because of the complexity of the 200-page bill, funding going to private charter schools and the requirement that teachers’ unions must have at least 50 percent of teachers in membership to remain intact.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill March 11.

    Levy School Board Superintendent Jeffery Edison stated in email correspondence that, “Normally a bill only has one or two sections, and this bill has 43 sections. You can see that private and charter schools are receiving funding and the bill makes it more difficult for public schools to operate.”

    Levy County School Board member Chris Cowart summed up his concerns due to upcoming changes facing school boards and district superintendents. Cowart was greatly concerned about district superintendents being instead of them being elected by citizens as they are under the current system.

    He also expressed concern over the possibility of school board salaries being decreased.

  • DOH issues mosquito borne illness alert

    The Florida Department of Health in Levy County issued a mosquito-borne illness alert for Levy County. A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been confirmed in a flock of Emus in the Bronson area and there is a heightened concern that residents could become ill.

    DOH-Levy continues to advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering to “drain and cover.”

    Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

    •Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

    • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.

    • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week

    • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.

    • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

  • LCSO to hold school security briefings

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is holding a community school security meeting Thursday, March 15, in the Chiefland Elementary School cafeteria at 6:30 p.m.

    The meeting comes after Gov. Rick Scott signed House Bill 7026. The bill, signed March 9 by the governor is also referred to as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

    The bill addresses many concerns that were brought to light by the school shooting that took place Valentine’s Day.

    According to the Florida Senate website, the bill will allow law enforcement officers to seize weapons from mentally ill persons and hold those weapons until those persons have received appropriate treatment.

    Also, the bill calls for placement of extra resource officers, retired law enforcement officers, or school workers that volunteer to carry firearms in the schools solely for the protection of students and staff.

  • Deputies cleared in shooting

    The Levy County Grand Jury found two Levy County deputies were within their rights to use deadly force on a Chiefland man armed with two knives in November 2017.

    Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said Tuesday morning that “no true bill” was the decision he expected.

    “Based on our initial investigation and review of the information I had, I believed it was justifiable, though I do feel bad for the family,” the sheriff said. “These are three of the most experienced deputies. I know their communications skills in dealing with suspects and knew they had done everything they could do and the shooting was the last option they had. This was the last thing they wanted to do.”

    According to a press release by State Attorney Bill Cervone, deputies responded Nov. 16, 2017, to a domestic dispute and found 34-year-old Michael Goodale armed with two knives.

  • Honey the Wonder Dog reaches 'end of tour'

    By Deborah Goad
    Citizen Correspondent

    March 2 was a very sad day for many as final goodbyes were said to Honey “the Wonder Dog.”

    Recently celebrating her eighth birthday, Honey's health had been steadily declining and the time had come to release her from her pain.

    Honey was a decorated medical service dog and companion to Michael Gaither for the past eight years.

    She saved his life many times by calling 911 when he'd fall him his wheelchair, barking two times into the receiver, alerting dispatchers to send help. Honey would wake him when he lost his oxygen mask, take him his medication and assist him with daily needs.

    Gaither, who suffers from PTSD, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis, found his life unbearable before Honey came into it. She gave him the will to live.

    Through Kids for K9's, a program designed to teach children in Levy and Gilchrist County schools the value of all service dogs, Honey touched many children. Visiting hospices and veterans’ programs, Honey gave countless demonstrations showing the benefits of medical service dogs.

  • Veterans Night at the ballpark

    Note: The Veterans Night game has been moved to March 22 due to concerns over cold weather. CMHS baseball and the Interact Club apologize for any inconvenience.

    The Chiefland High School Interact Club would like to invite all veterans to the Williston-Chiefland baseball game at Chiefland High Baseball Field Thursday, March 22. The game starts at 7 p.m., and veterans are encouraged to show up before 6:30 p.m. for a special pre-game recognition. Admission is FREE for veterans. Any veteran interested in the event can call Chiefland Middle High School at (352) 493-6000.

  • CF hosts Preview Night for future enrollees

    The College of Central Florida Levy Campus held its Preview Night March 1 for students looking to continue their education at the local campus.

    Attendees had their $30 admission fees waived for their participation.

    Workshops were available for prospective students, offering guidance on topics like financial aid, dual enrollment, CF student life and registration.

    Additionally, professors from various fields – including economics, biological sciences, humanities, welding and emergency medical services – hosted stations where they answered questions on degree and certificate programs and directed students to helpful literature on hand.

    Administrators also helped prospective students with enrollment inquiries, and there were representatives from the University of South Florida and University of Central Florida to inform students on more long-term educational paths that begin at CF.

    Current seniors from Chiefland Middle High School and Cedar Key School were among those attending the event.

    The Ocala and Lecanto campuses held similar events.

  • SCORE to assist Levy businesses

    By Michael Bates, Citrus County Chronicle

    The Citrus County SCORE chapter got the green light this month to expand into Levy County.

    That will be a big deal to businesses there because it will have closer representation and no longer have to rely on its distant SCORE affiliate all the way in Gainesville for business assistance, said Jim Green, chairman of the Citrus SCORE.

    “We thought it would make more sense for us to do it,” Green said.

    Now the work begins, he said, to meet with Levy County civic, community and government leaders to get the word out. That process starts this week.

    “We’ve been here for 25 years (in Citrus County), but they don’t know us there,” he said.

    Green said he has appointed a Levy County expansion team among his volunteers who will make those contacts.

  • City approves grant application for police cars

    By C.L. Watson, Citizen Correspondent

    Tri County Community Resource Center Director Beverly Goodman requested the city donate use of the Tommy Usher Pineland Center for an event with chef Laura Fowler Goss.

    The event is a parent and child cooking class instructed by Goss March 21 from 10 a.m. to noon. Commissioner Teresa Barron made the motion to donate use of the center. Commissioner Donald Lawrence seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.

    City Manager Mary Ellzey presented the USDA Community Facility Grant for purchase of four police vehicles. In October 2017, the commission gave approval to file the application for the 4-to-1 matching grant. The USDA would pay $140,595 and the cost to the city would be $46,865 for four new Chevy Tahoes. Lawrence made the motion that was seconded by Barron and unanimously approved.

    Police Chief Scott Anderson informed commissioners that police officers would soon need their body cams replaced and the wireless printers in eight patrol units needed updating.