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Today's News

  • Citrus County teacher removed from classroom for racist podcast

    By Carly Zervis, Citrus County Chronicle

    A Citrus County middle school teacher removed from the classroom after being outed as the host of a racially charged podcast has no record of suspensions or other disciplinary action by the Citrus County School District, an examination of her personnel file revealed Monday.

    Dayanna Volitich, originally from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and in her second year as a teacher in the district, was hired in August 2016 as a middle school social studies teacher, the position she continued to occupy at the time of her removal.

    According to a resume included with her employment application, Volitich earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Ohio State University in May 2014 and was pursuing a master’s degree in educational studies at Johns Hopkins University when she applied for a Citrus County teaching position in June 2016. The Chronicle was unable to confirm Monday whether she obtained the degree.

  • Indian bats frosty in season opener at WMHS

    With just one available preseason game and multiple starters just returning from basketball, the Chiefland baseball team didn’t have the luxury of easing into the season.

    Instead, the Indians were on the road against rival Williston for their opener, facing a strong Red Devil pitching rotation and a lineup with nine seniors.

    After that, CMHS celebrated its home opener Feb. 27 with a meeting against reigning state champion Trenton, which was played after the press deadline.

    Chiefland’s pitching, anchored by a strong relief outing by Jaron Feagle, and its defense helped the club hang around with Williston even when the bats weren’t popping. But the Red Devils, behind five no-hit innings by Levi Pickel and a two-run insurance rally in the third, prevailed 3-1.

  • CMHS boys, girls place 2nd in track opener

    The Chiefland boys’ and girls’ track and field teams each placed second in their five-school meets Feb. 22 at C. Doyle McCall Field.

    The meet also include Bronson, Cedar Key, Bell and Trenton. The Lady Eagles placed third.

    The CMHS boys picked up relay wins in the 4x110 yard, with the team of Jalen Rutledge, Lane Studstill, Fry Raymer and Tramaine Brown, at 46.75 second, and in the 4x440, with Brown, Paul Davis, Hector Barajas and Jahvel Blair combining for a winning time of 4 minutes, 3 seconds.

    Chiefland senior Lane Studstill picked up a second place in the 100-meter dash at 11.16 seconds. L.J. Jenkins took second for CMHS in the high hurdles (19.21 seconds) and 440-yard dash (57.50 seconds), and placed third in the 330-yard hurdles.

    Chiefland’s Jonathan Cannon was a fraction of a second off pace of a first-place finish in the 880-yard run, as he notched second at 2:39.86.

    Luke Stockman collected a pair of second-place finishes for Chiefland, both in the 1-mile run (5:29) and the 2-mile run (12:17). Brown took third in the long jump; Raymer was third in the 220-yard dash for the Indians.

  • Lady Indians remain undefeated

    The Chiefland softball team has met every challenge thrown its way in the young season, as its improved to 6-0 Feb. 26 in a 16-5 win against Taylor County with a pair of eight-run rallies.

    In the prior week, the Lady Indians went 2-0 on the road against Levy County opponents, knocking off Williston 8-4 and Bronson 6-2. In between those games, Chiefland posted a 6-0 win over Class 8A Gainesville-Buchholz Feb. 22.

    The Lady Bobcats from Gainesville presented a new wrinkle for the club – left-handed pitching.

    But five different Lady Indians – Tristen Drummond (2 for 4), Macie Thomas, Gabriel Stancil and catcher Karlie Meeks – each doubled for CMHS.

  • Let students march

    This isn’t about taking away guns or repealing the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but there are far too many mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, extended family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, fishing buddies, church members and teammates who are hurting from the loss of those people.

    People question whether or not the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland should be granting interviews and marching in Tallahassee or later this month in Washington, D.C.

    Verbalizing trauma is cathartic for them and maybe, just maybe, they will force an open, honest and painful debate the nation needs to have. I would feel better about them protesting if the George Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg families and Oprah Winfrey hadn’t donated $500,000 to the March for Life movement.

  • CK open house educates on a range of environmental topics

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s open house Feb. 22, held at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, was a chance for residents to learn about the purpose and history behind the environmental regulations and restoration efforts that affect Cedar Key and the surrounding area.

    And while environmental regulations might not sound like sexiest of topics, the morning and midday event was a hit by all accounts, with around 80 attendees, proving again that Cedar Key citizen are passionate about its ecological standing.

    The open house presented an arrangement of stations, where, joining the DEP, there were representatives from UF/IFAS, Levy County’s Solid Waste department, an Ocala-based waste and recycling company, and Florida’s Aquatic Preserves, which, like the Florida Park Service, falls under the umbrella of the DEP.

  • CareerSource opens new office

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion staff cut the ribbon and held an open house Feb. 22 at its new center at 2175 NW 11th Dr., in the Walmart Supercenter (Suwanee Plaza) off North Young Boulevard.

    The Levy County Career Center opened to the public in December 2017 to better serve businesses and candidates. The office was formerly located at the Old Post Office located behind the Levy County Tax Collector's Office.

    About 30 guests were present for the Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony at noon. Among the guests were business participants that collaborate with the CareerSource employees, CareerSource board members and Chiefland Chamber of Commerce members.

    CareerSource staff all agree that moving to the new location will be greatly beneficial for the community. Moving to the center location makes career services more accessible to the public.

    “We moved to a more central location because the college is down the road and this is a much better place to provide services to residents,” said CEO of the Career Source Center Rusty Skinner Jr.

  • Fanning Chamber plans egg hunt

    By Kate Sheridan, Citizen Correspondent

    Fanning Springs Annual Eggstavaganza was the main subject discussed at the recent Fanning Springs Chamber of Commerce meeting.

    The annual Easter egg hunt and ski show takes place March 24 at Fanning Springs Park. The event will run from noon until 4 p.m. with the ski show starting at 3 p.m. There will be more than 6,000 filled Easter eggs for children to hunt. All age groups will be divided into four groups to ensure a fun hunt.

    In addition to hunting eggs, the Chamber will also offer more than 50 different raffles offered for free to all participating children. The day will include face painting, balloon art, music and many other surprises and activities.

    Food and drinks will be available for purchase but picnic lunches with drinks are allowable.

    BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket) and come out Saturday, March 24, for a great day with friends and family.

  • Local students to remain seated

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    The Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting impacted students across the nation after a former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, pulled a fire drill and began shooting and killing 14 students and three staff members.

    The shooting prompted students and adults across the United States to take actions in an attempt to influence Congress to change the current policies regarding semi-automatic weapons.

    Levy School Board Member Chris Cowart said in an interview about the current safety issues facing the schools.

    “We have to have common ground. There has to be a way all of our agencies, whether it be the sheriff’s department or the Florida Department of Children and Families, can filter information so this doesn’t happen again. So many warning signs were overlooked,” he said. In addition, he said, “the School Board is working on getting one school resource officer per school.”

  • Lady Indians start strong under retooled lineup

    “Are you impressed?”

    Senior shortstop Erika Gilliam asked the question after her Chiefland softball team improved to 2-0 with a 10-0 win over Mayo-Lafayette.

    For a program that’s coming off four state finals appearances and three state titles in four years, it wouldn’t normally be a noteworthy start. But the Lady Indians boast six new starters this season, and that’s not including Gilliam switching positions from third base.

    Regardless, Chiefland impressed in all phases in their season-opening 8-3 win over Dixie County Feb. 13 and the subsequent victory against the Lady Hornets Feb. 15.

    Gilliam paced the CMHS offense in the latter win, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored. Fellow returning starter Macie Thomas, a junior first baseman, ignited the club with a solo home run in the first inning.

    The club went on to rally for seven runs in the third inning and collect 14 hits for the game.