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Today's News

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • New football coach boasts experience, championships

    Chiefland’s new head football coach is familiar with the Chieland area and competing for state championships.

    John Palmer, who was recently named the successor to Adam Gore, has been a head coach for 21 years and has extensive playoff experience and a pair of state championships. He’s been a head coach at Bronson, Eustis, Hernando and Port St. Joe, where he won state championships in 2005 and 2014 on two different stints.

    He led Bronson to a playoff berth in 1998 and was an assistant at Williston. Hernando (Brooksville) is his alma mater.

    He took off 2018 from coaching but he felt it calling him back.

    “I took last year off, and I needed to, I was a little frazzled health-wise and stuff,” Palmer said. “But I missed it. We had got a very good coach at Port St. Joe. They were 11-1 last year.”

    Palmer has in-laws from the Chiefland and Bronson area, and he was already in touch with Gore.

  • Holland, Brown at top of Class of 2019 at CMHS

    Chiefland’s valedictorian and salutatorian are recognized for their academic achievement, but it’s been their club and social experiences that have proved most memorable for the pair at Chiefland Middle High School.

    Paul Holland III, with a GPA of 4.36, is the Class of 2019 valedictorian, and Ashtyn Brown, 4.31 GPA, is the salutatorian.

    Holland and Brown are joined by fellow Summa Cum Laude (4.0+) graduates, in no particular order: Kent Sloan, Noah Nguyen, Madison Baynard, Julie Powers and Caroline Kohn. Wyatt Hammond is the class’ only Magna Cum Laude (3.85+) honoree, and Gabriel Stancil, Maria Carranza, Nadia Fumea, Aidan Horne, Jessika Weekley, Keegan McLelland, Hunter Barrand and Nelson Crawford are the Cum Laude (3.5+) honorees. Joining those students in the Talented 20 – top 20 percent of graduating class meeting university entrance requirements – are Macie Thomas and Victoria Thompson.

  • CMHS softball roundup

    Lady Indians win three straight

    The Chiefland softball team splurged on 21 hits on March 12 to outpace Branford 13-8 on the road for the middle game of a three-win week. CMHS knocked off Lafayette at home 5-3 to cap the week, which started for the Lady Indians with a home win over North Marion.

    Chiefland improved to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in district play. It plays next at Williston on March 21.

    After falling behind to the Lady Buccaneers 6-1 in the second frame, the Lady Indians combined for nine runs in the third and fourth innings to go up 10-7.

    All of Chiefland’s batters hit safely in the game, while six enjoyed multi-hit nights. Freshman Nikki Fuller went 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles and three RBI, and senior Macie Thomas was 4 for 5 with a double. Junior Jocelyn McGee (3 for 4, three RBI) and eighth-grader Grace Quincey had three hits apiece. Senior Tristan Drummond tripled and freshman Gianna Jacono doubled and added a couple of RBI for CMHS.

    CMHS eighth-grader Bria Hinkle, who was 2 for 4 for two RBI at the plate, struck out six and surrendered no earned runs and three hits in 5.2 innings in the circle.

  • CMHS Coach Palmer is happy to be back in Levy County

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    “We’ve been gone for 20 years,” CMHS Head Coach John Palmer told Chiefland Rotary members at the March 13 meeting.

    “We’ve been crisscrossing the State, it’s been a long time since we’ve been here and we’re excited to be coming back.”

    With 31 years in coaching and education Coach Palmer addressed the Rotary on his second day on the job at Chiefland.

    “It’s been a thrill to be able to come back.”

    Palmer held a Q & A with the first question being about his approach with the team for 2019-2020.

    “I would hope that this is a carryover from what Coach (Adam) Gore has started,” Palmer said. “He’s done a terrific job. I have followed Adam the last couple years and the success he’s had.

    “The hardest job is to turn around the attitude, and he’s done that. I would hope what you will see on the field is an extension of that.”

  • Osteen blanks Trenton

    Kelby Osteen fanned 11 batters in 6.1 innings and Chiefland put together a two-out mini rally in the third inning to lift the Indians to a 2-0 shutout of Trenton on March 15.

    The win completed a regular season sweep of the Tigers by CMHS, the first time since 2016, and represented the fourth straight victory for the Indians, who improved to 4-2 overall and stayed perfect in district play at 3-0.

    Trenton reached base 11 times, repeatedly putting base runners in scoring position, only to watch Osteen and the Indian defense rise to each challenge.

    “That was impressive, to go out there time and time again and work out of some jams and keep his composure, with guys making some plays behind him,” CMHS coach Kyle Parnell said. “It was a tremendous job against a good ball team.”

    Osteen faced 28 batters, walking four and allowing three hits. The senior combined his fastball and slider for an effective combo and said he felt the best he’s felt all season.

  • Lady Eagle point guard commits to Florida Memorial

    Yelena Thomas was tempted to leave Bronson Middle High School to join forces with a more talented girls’ basketball squad. The standout point guard, who averaged around 18 points a game for her final three years of high school, has finally chosen another school to play ball at, but this time it’s on a college scholarship.

    On March 8 in the BMHS media center, Thomas held her official signing ceremony, revealing she’s committed to Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens.

    The Lady Lions compete in the NAIA level in the Sun Conference and are in the midst of their third straight winning season.

    Thomas’ family and coaches spoke at the signing, and Thomas herself, became emotional when she thanked her teammates.

    “You all really did help me this season, even though I fought with you like crazy,” Thomas said. “I think y’all are a big part of this too.”

  • Jones named mayor of Chiefland

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    Chiefland Commissioner/Vice Mayor Chris Jones called the March 11 City Commission meeting to order and asked for 30 seconds of silence to remember Mayor Betty Walker.

    “I’d like start off by on behalf of the family thanking everyone here that attended and came out to support their family. It’s definitely a big loss. I can’t even express my feelings, knowing her as far as a City official and a close friend since my childhood.”

    With Walker’s passing on Feb. 25, the Commission moved to appoint a new mayor and vice mayor. The Commission nominated and approved Jones as the new acting mayor.

    Commissioner Donald Lawrence was then nominated to fill the vice mayor position, and Commissioner Tim West asked to also be considered for the role. “I would be up for the challenge,” West said. Commissioner Lawrence then said he was honored to be considered but added, “I think new young blood would be good.” With that the Commission approved West’s nomination and named him as vice mayor.