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Today's News

  • Top academic duo find passions outside classroom

    CMHS graduation photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1724257087627521.1073741928.18...

    The Chiefland Middle High School Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian are standouts in the classroom, naturally, as they possess the top two grade point averages among their classmates.

    But the things that really animate Savannah Hudson, the valedictorian, and her counterpart, Anya Tapia, are a long way from stoic academic pursuits.

    Hudson, who has collected at least six championships through FFA at the Suwannee River Fair, including a trio of grand championships, has been riding horses for at least nine years. She placed seventh at state in horse judging.

    “(Horses) are main thing that I do,” she said after collecting yet more academic honors on high school awards night May 23, including Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA or above) honors and A honor roll.

  • Royal treat

    The Annual Chiefland Watermelon Festival functions as an unofficial kickoff to summer for the City of Chiefland.

    In it’s 64th edition, on June 2, the atmosphere and weather certainly added to the summer vibes.

    The Watermelon staples were all in place: a head-spinning number of vendors, a seed-spitting contest, a parade, music, a watermelon auction, and, finally, the crowning of the 2018 Chiefland Watermelon Queen.

    That title went to Avianna Liuzzo, who succeeds 2017 Queen Catherine Bowman.

    The Queen contestants, which included Laken Carter, Sheila Engel and Devan Hodge, were joined by National Watermelon Queen Savannah Christensen, Florida Watermelon Queen Camri Campbell, and Alabama Watermelon Queen Sarah Jane Levine.

    Young Hayden Henderson was the big seller in the watermelon auction. Henderson won for biggest group of three melons, at 132 pounds, and tied with Bailey Parrish for biggest single melon – 51 pounds. Jack Prentice, Jr. and Terrence Reed received plaques for winning the purchase auction on Henderson’s batch.

    Jamey King provided the musical entertainment.

  • Levy County school bus driver handbook up to speed

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    Levy County school buses will now be running at posted speed limits instead of being restricted to 55 MPH on non-interstate highways and 65 MPH on interstate highways.

    The School Board of Levy County adopted a revised 2018-2019 Bus Drivers Handbook at the Dec. 11 meeting that addressed the speed limit changes, specific student behavior and rules, and engine idling restrictions.

    “There’s no documentation that it’s unsafe to go posted speed,” said Director of Transportation Gary Masters who took over the department in July.

    “Furthermore, we did a survey of the districts in the State to find out, and 87 percent of the districts in the State go posted speed. So we are just following the law.”

    The 55 MPH school bus limitation law known as Florida Statute 316.183 was removed on Jan. 1, 2013 but some districts such as Levy County opted to retain the limitations.

  • World champion kayaker talks course feasibility for Levy County

    Suzette Cook

    Reporter

    Eight hours into his visit to Florida and the Inglis Bypass Spillway, Whitewater Park Designer and Olympic Kayaker Scott Shipley said, “I think it’s a homerun here.”

    State, County and City officials and other invested representatives of environmental and economic organizations met with Shipley on Nov. 20 at the potential site of the first year-round whitewater kayaking venue in the U.S.

    Shipley, a mechanical engineer who is president of S2O Design, has been hired by the City of Inglis to complete a feasibility study which Shipley said he will deliver to Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt in about six weeks. The design firm has completed projects across the globe from Durango, Colorado to London, England.

    Shipley is veteran of three Olympic games in 1992, 1996, and 2000. He earned four world titles during his 25-year-long career in the sport. Now he uses his experience and degrees Mechanical Engineering to create recreational and competition courses.

  • Trick-or-treat is Saturday

    The Chiefland Police Department’s Halloween Haunted House returns this scary season for the two weekends before Halloween.

    The House opens Oct. 19, Oct. 20, Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, at the old CFEC Warehouse behind Hardee’s on 11th Ave., starting at 6:30 p.m. each night. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Visit ChieflandPD.com or the CPD Facebook page for more information.

    On Oct. 27, at the same site as the haunted house, there will be the Chiefland Trunk-or-Treat. There will be a Halloween Costume Contest (for age groups: 0 to 3; 4 to 8; and 9 to 12), a pumpkin carving contest and a photo area. The event is at 6:30 p.m.

    The City of Chiefland’s official trick-or-treating day is Saturday, Oct. 27.

    On Thursday, Oct. 25, Chiefland Elementary School is holding its rescheduled Fall Festival from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Karaoke, D.J. company looks to expand into Levy

    Alex Quintero, owner of GC entertainment, a Gainesville-based company that provides specialized D.J., karaoke and trivia services, said his company is looking to provide its entertainment services in Levy County.

    Quintero visited the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club at the Haven Community Building in Chiefland on Sept. 27.

    The business typically does about 15 trivia shows per week, according to Quintero. “All of our trivia shows are unique,” he said. “We do not do the same show twice.” They also do karaoke shows with live bands to back up the singers. “This makes them a star when they are on the stage,” Quintero said.

    Quintero touted the uniqueness of his services. “We meet with clients and ask a lot of questions to custom tailor events. We also have weekly meetings with clients to tweak what is not working,” Quintero said.

    GC Entertainment serves restaurants and bars, event venues, local businesses, live musicians and performers, event planners and private clients.

  • Fledgling Running Sports Booster Club is revitalizing track, cross country at CMHS

    It’s only been about a year and a half since the formation of the Chiefland Middle High School Runnings Sports Booster Club, which works to facilitate resources for the Indians’ track and field and cross country programs.

    Runnings sports might appear to have lo-tech needs, but that’s not actually the case.

    The booster club has big plans, and it’s reception of a $1,500 check through a grant from the Capital City Bank Foundation was a big step towards one of those ends. The funds were earmarked for a new pole vault set, which has already been ordered. The Club was figuring out the logistics of bringing it to Chiefland, from Ohio.

    Harry Hutson, a longtime coach, now technically retired, who was a principal figure behind the start of the club, can’t recall how long it’s been since the track and field program had a working pole vault set. It’s been longer than a decade, and its absence is costly to the team’s success.

    Hutson was a member of the school’s first-ever track team, coached by the legendary C. Doyle McCall.

  • Record-setting CMHS pair pick up state honors

    If you paid any attention to the Chiefland varsity softball team this past season, you know how critical to its success were the arm of Kensley Durrance and the bat of Macie Thomas.

    The work of the junior duo translated into a couple of record-breaking feats for the program, and now a spot on the Miracle Sports Class 1A First Team All-State lineup.

    Durrance, a right-handed ace, who set a single-season record with 217 strikeouts in her second season as the full-time starter, was selected to the First Team as a pitcher. The junior struck out 1.63 batters per inning and finished with a 17-5 mark in the circle, at one point winning 10 straight to open the season. She finished with a 1.26 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .163, while walking just 36 batters throughout her 133 frames.

    It’s the second year in a row Durrance was named to the First Team.

    Thomas, a slugging first baseman, who was selected as Chiefland’s top hitter and defensive player at the team banquet, was selected to the First Team as a designated player (DP), which is similar to a designated hitter in baseball.

  • Dynastic career

    Brittany Gilliam isn’t afraid of calling her shots.

    Her confident, well-earned swagger was the attitudinal underpinning of the Chiefland softball team’s historic run to its first Class 1A state championship in 2014, which kicked off three straight titles and four finals appearances.

    But she wasn’t expecting the level of success she and her North Georgia Nighthawks would enjoy in her senior year of college.

    The NCAA powerhouse went 62-4 before eventually falling in the Division II World Series.

    It didn’t look that promising in the fall, when the Nighthawks were splitting a series with a junior college team.

    “We still had some things to figure out,” said Gilliam, who is completing her degree in business marketing this summer before returning to Chiefland. “We had a young team, so we really didn’t know how the spring was going to play out.”

  • Worthy finish

    Austin Langworthy entered Florida’s Gainesville Super Regional baseball series against Auburn without a home run all season in McKethan Stadium.

    But the Gator baseball team, which broke through last season with its first national championship, has lately been all about unprecedented achievements.

    With his second home run in as many games Monday, the Williston alumnus led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk-off home run to right field to send UF to the NCAA Men’s College World Series (CWS) in Omaha, Nebraska, where it’ll seek to defend its title.

    Florida prevailed 3-2 in the closely-fought pitcher’s duel after splitting the first pair of games against the Tigers.

    Langworthy’s home run bounced off the glove of an Auburn outfielder, sending the sophomore left fielder, his club and the nearly 6,000 in attendance into ecstatic celebration.

    The thrilling hit earned the Levy County native a couple more unprecedented personal feats – his first Gatorade bath and an ESPN Sportscenter interview.