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Today's News

  • Indians solve Trenton with offensive explosion

    The Chiefland bats exploded for nine runs in the first two innings at Trenton to beat the Tigers for the first time in baseball since 2016 with a 12-8 win on March 7.

    It was the Indians’ district opener, while Trenton dropped to 1-1 in district play.

    All nine starters for the Indians hit safely in the game, as they bursted out of the gate with four straight base hits, culminating with a two-run single by Will Sumner.

    After Trenton responded in the first with a pair of runs to make it 3-2, CMHS rallied for six runs to extend its lead to 9-2. Seniors Elijah Smith and Aidan Horne had RBI singles in the frame while fellow senior Kelby Osteen added an RBI double. Senior center fielder Wyatt Hammond doubled in the seventh for Chiefland’s other extra-base hit on the night.

    Senior Keegan McLelland pounded out three hits for CMHS, and Payne Parnell and Horne each had a pair a the top of the order. Horne, Parnell, McLelland and shortstop Connor Whistler scored two runs apiece. Sumner collected four RBI.

  • Veterans Night at the ballpark

    The Chiefland High School Interact Club invites all veterans to the Chiefland Middle High School varsity baseball game March 26 at the CMHS baseball field. The Indians are facing Branford at 6 p.m. and veterans are encouraged to show up by 5:30 for a special pre-game recognition. Admission is free for veterans.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    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.

    Politics is normally fraught with contention and controversy, but Walker remained a popular figure through more than 15 years serving as a Commissioner, even among her peers. She was first elected in 1997 and served through 2007. Her second stint on the Commission was from 2013 until her passing. She was elected mayor for seven terms and vice mayor for five terms. Those respective positions are elected each year by the Commission.

  • Chiefland renews fire chief’s contract

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    Chiefland Fire Chief James Harris signed his annual contract after receiving kudos from the City Commission on Feb. 11.

    “I’ve only known James for little bit,” said Commissioner Tim West. “I look forward to working with you in the future. You have good character and work ethic. Great person.”

    Commissioner Donald Lawrence added, “Man of his word who speaks it like it is.” Lawrence commended Harris and his team of grant writers for the thousands of dollars in equipment and training that the department has received through grant applications. “I guarantee there’s not many communities this small that have that type of equipment,” he said. “You amaze me how you get money from nowhere.”

    “It’s not just me,” Harris said about how the fire department gets awarded grant monies. “It’s a team of people and it starts right over hear with Ms. Belinda (Wilkerson) who is doing the grant writing. I’ve got firefighters who are looking for grants and searching for what’s going on.”

  • Superintendent rolls out grassroots strategic planning goals

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    Levy County Superintendent Jeffery Edison stood at the podium at the Feb. 12 School Board meeting and pointed to the district mission displayed on the wall behind him. “Our mission is to educate all students in a safe environment and to graduate them ready for college and career success,” the statement reads.

    Every year, the School Board approves a strategic plan. This year, Edison is changing how the Board achieves that goal.

    From the podium, Edison brought the attention of the Board members, staff, community members, teachers and students at the meeting to an 8-foot board with five topics listed. He assigned a Board Member to each topic.

    Student achievement: Ashley Clemenzi, human resources: Cameron Asbell, fiscal resources: Brad Etheridge, public relations: Chris Cowart, and safe schools Paige Brookins. He also assigned district staff and school administrators to those topics.

    “Every school district is required to have a strategic plan,” Edison said. “A lot of times, we redo something we’ve adopted, something we were working on.”

  • Government shutdowns leave impact on Levy County

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    With a possible government shutdown on the horizon, Levy County farmers and federal programs could be affected again by lack of funding.

    President Trump set Feb. 15 as the date of a second shutdown which is three weeks after he opened the government up after record closure of 35 days.

    For rural Levy County and its thousands of acres dedicated to agriculture, a national wildlife refuge, and an aquatic farming industry on the Gulf Coast, the impact of another shutdown could mean further disruptions in federally funded projects, research and of ongoing farming practices.

    Michael Allen, director of the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station based in Cedar Key, said the last shutdown did take a toll on the Gulf region.

    “From the University’s perspective, the biggest impact is to our federal cooperators like the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge which was shut down for a month,” Allen said. “We work with those folks on a daily basis on everything from monitoring wildlife populations to hosting internships to habitat restoration work, fire control burns.

  • Inglis takes steps to control litter along CR 40

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The County approved an agreement with the Town of Inglis that refuse containers be placed along the right of way adjacent to County Road 40.

    “They’re going to purchase, install and maintain them,” said Administrative Field Manager Casey Duquette, who said he thinks that people will use the containers “instead of throwing a water bottle in the woods.”

    Inglis Mayor Drina Merritt said she thinks the containers will foster a pitching-in mentality from pedestrians as well. “People out walking, if they see a piece of trash out by the sidewalk, they might put it in the trash if they so choose,” she said.

    Concerns about trash along the route were brought up by residents at the recent Bird Creek Boat Ramp town hall meeting.

    The new containers will be on a trial basis said Duquette. “If it becomes a problem, and the City is aware, and it isn’t corrected in a certain amount of time, we’ll request in writing to have them removed,” he said.

  • Recuperating Joyner attends Commission meeting via phone

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    With assurance of legality from Levy County Attorney Anne Bast Brown, County Commissioner Mike Joyner attended the Feb. 5 regular meeting via phone call and took part with full capacity.

    “When the cause for the absence is a medical issue, it is allowable for a commission member to appear by phone,” Brown answered when Joyner asked her to provide the go ahead for his participation. “Full voting rights, full participation,” she said. “Everything is fine.”

    Joyner, who suffers from several injuries as a result of a mishap while riding a horse last month, also reached out to his colleagues and constituents at the top of the meeting.

    “I would like to thank everybody for the prayers and well wishes,” he said. “They say it will be nine weeks before I walk again, but I guarantee I’ll be back in six,” he said.