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Local News

  • 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.

  • FFA quilt brings $4,000 at auction, heads to Washington, D.C.

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    Six former members of the Bronson chapter of Future Farmers of America and a handful of School Board members, local business owners and county staff members pooled their funds to win the high bid of $4,000 for a quilt made up of 12 FFA jackets.

    The quilt, crafted by Cathy Weeks of Archer, stole the show at the annual Bronson FFA Alumni Food Fest held on Feb. 22.

    The winners of the quilt include six FFA alumni: County Commissioner John Meeks; School Board Member Chris Cowart; James Trimm; School Board Member Cameron Asbell; JR Trimm of Trimm Auction Services; Wesley Asbell; as well as School Board Member Paige Brookins; Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones; Levy County School Superintendent Jeff Edison; Ethan Bray; Attorney at Law Norm Fugate; County Commissioner Rock Meeks and Congressman Neal Dunn, U.S. House of Representatives FL District 2.

  • Police chief requests permit update to deter internet cafes

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    Chiefland Police Chief Scott Anderson recently requested the City update the language of business permit applications to avoid possible entrapment problems in the future.

    “Internet casinos are still haunting us to this day.” Anderson said to the City Commission. “They are still trying to pull permits under false pretenses.”

    On Nov. 3 in 2018, eight internet cafes were simultaneously raided and shut down in Chiefland after they were caught awarding cash payouts which is illegal in the State of Florida.

    Anderson and City Manager Mary Ellzey presented a request to the Commission at the Feb. 11 meeting to add language to the permit application that states any kind of internet gambling is illegal. If an applicant signs off on that, they are acknowledging that paying cash awards is illegal.

    “We had one of the same entities that tried to open an internet café, they said it wasn’t,” Ellzey said. “Their lease said it is an internet café. It was invalid, not notarized, handwritten parts scratched out.

  • County narrows list of potential satellite waste collection sites

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The County Commission has asked for more details on five potential satellite waste collection sites before they move forward with a vote.

    Levy County Solid Waste Department Director Rod Hastings presented nine possible locations throughout Levy County to the Commission on Feb. 19. Some of those locations are County-owned properties and others could be purchased or leased.

    Those sites included: CR 347, an abandoned fire station in Gulf Hammock, Camp Azalea, Highway Patrol station off Highway 19, Behind the Moose Lodge, Morriston, Lebanon Station asphalt plant and one in South Morriston at 60th and Highway 41.

    The Commission asked for more details about leases and site conditions of the locations at CR 347, Camp Azalea, Gulf Hammock, Lebanon Station and the South Morriston location.

    Hastings presented details about the current status and his opinion of the positives of each venue.

  • First African-American woman elected to Chiefland City Commission, Mayor Betty Walker, passes away

    Note on sevices for Ms. Betty Walker: A wake will be held at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church from 5 to 7 p.m. on March 8. It’s located at 310 SW 5th Street Chiefland. Funeral Service will be at the Chiefland Middle High School auditorium (808 N Main St.) on March 9 at 11 a.m.; repass at Haven Hospice after the ceremony.

    --

    A longtime advocate for Chiefland with a smile to light up any room, Mayor Betty Walker, or “Miss Betty,” as she was best known by those who knew her, passed away on Feb. 25 after recent health complications.

    Walker was the first African-American woman to be elected to the Chiefland City Commission. She was 72 years old.

    It’s the second time in less than four years that the sitting mayor of Chiefland has died in office. Teal Pomeroy died in a diving accident while serving as mayor in August 2016.

    Walker was serving as vice mayor at the time of Pomeroy’s death and was subsequently elected mayor in 2016, 2017 and 2018 by the Commission.