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Today's News

  • School resource officer tweets to prove point about internet safety to students

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A school resource officer from Richland County, South Carolina, made a bold move to prove the dangers of the internet to her students in that state. Now, Kelly Pounds is using the knowledge she gained from the experience to teach other students about internet dangers.

    Pounds went to Chiefland Elementary April 2 to teach her social media class to the entire fifth grade student body.

    She began by sharing a little information about herself. Pounds has been a school resource officer in South Carolina for two years. She grew up in Chiefland and graduated from Chiefland High School. After graduation, she went to school for medical billing and services. But later, she discovered her passion for law enforcement.

    “There are 96 school resource officers in Richland County and we still do not have a resource officer in every school,” Pounds said.

  • Proposal to appoint superintendents is withdrawn

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A proposal to appoint school superintendents by school boards instead of by popular vote in the general election was withdrawn from consideration by the Constitution Revision Commission.

    CRC Chairwoman Erika Donalds filed the proposal in October 2017. She withdrew the plan March 22. The amendment to the state constitution requiring district school boards to appoint superintendents would have taken effect Nov. 17, 2020, had it won public approval in November.

    Levy County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Edison shared an email from the Small County Coalition of Florida. The organization issued a cautionary note about the possibility of portions of the withdrawn proposal being used to amend future revisions.

    “We have seen this committee take some very contradictory actions and we are not sure the proposal is dead,” coalition consultant Chris Doolin stated in the email.

    He wrote that for now, Florida citizens have the final say.

  • Blueberry Festival: Bronson turns purple

    Join the town of Bronson Saturday, May 19, for the fourth annual Bronson Blueberry Festival. There you will find all things blueberry, from fresh blueberries to a wide assortment of other foods made with blueberries. Other delicious foods will also be for sale.

    The Blueberry Festival will host local growers with fresh berries for sale. Vendors will be on hand selling a wide assortment of crafts and other goods. There will be music and a children’s play area.

    The morning of the festival the 5k Blueberry Stomp will take place with registration starting at 7 a.m. and the race starting at 7:30 p.m. The 3.2-mile course winds through town to finish in the James H Cobb Park.

    Anyone interested in being a vendor please contact the Town Hall for an application at 352-486-2354.

    Schedule of events:

    Blueberry Pageant, Saturday, May 12, starting at 9 a.m.

    Blueberry Parade, Friday, May 18, starting at 6:30 p.m.

    Blueberry Stomp 5K, Saturday May 19, starting at 7 a.m.

    Blueberry Festival, Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

  • City prohibits agressive begging

    By C.L. Watson, Citizen Correspondent

    Prohibiting Aggressive Solicitation is illegal in the city of Chiefland after the city commission passed the second and final reading of Ordinance No. 18-02 at the regular meeting Monday, April 9.

    The ordinance was a direct request from Police Chief Scott Anderson following an incident at the beginning of 2018 where a group of out of state vagabonds infiltrated the Walmart parking lot seeking financial handouts. The group consisted of about 19 persons traveling in an old bus.

    The ordinance does not affect groups who have been granted permission from business owners to raise money for their charities and organizations at that business owners location. Girl Scouts will still be allowed to sell cookies and high school students hold car washes.

    The aggressive panhandling law gives the police authority stop the unwanted persons from preying on customers in parking lots and areas throughout the city. The discretion of each violation will be made by the officer handling the incident. No. 18-02 has a maximum fine of $500 and or imprisonment for violators.

  • 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.

  • Renovated Blue Springs Park reopens in time for summer

    After months of renovation work, Blue Springs in Bronson is once again open for swimming and picnicking.

    Ten pavilions, numerous new concrete tables and benches and freshly painted restrooms with newly built changing rooms and a paved parking lot have all been added to enhance Blue Springs Park.

    The park, a once privately owned spring, was sold to the Board of Public Instruction of Levy County back in early 1950 for a nominal fee of one dollar. Since the 1950s, between the School Board, the town of Bronson and Levy County, Blue Springs has changed hands several times. Levy County now owns Blue Springs Park and Little Blue Springs.

    Blue Springs is a second magnitude spring, meaning water flows from the aquifer to the surface at a discharge rate of 280 to 2800 liters or 10 to 100 cubic feet of water per second. Blue Springs discharges to the southwest down a short run and into the Waccasassa River, which flows south to the Gulf of Mexico. Florida springs range from 69 to 97 degrees, and Blue Springs seems to maintain an average of 72 degrees, according to Matt Weldon, director of Levy County Parks.

  • Softball superlatives

    The Chiefland softball program held a festive and busy awards banquet May 24 at the Concord Baptist Church in south Chiefland, recognizing players from all three of its teams – middle school, junior varsity and varsity.

    Players received various gifts and recognitions, including letters and pins.

    The seniors received the shadow boxed jerseys and special commemorative softballs with their pictures.

    The players were also treated to a special guest speaker, two-time Florida Gator national champion Taylore Fuller. Fuller, a 2012 Chiefland graduate, was a two-time All-American in Chiefland and a Florida Player of the Year, and she went on to start 203 games at UF, where she finished second in the program in grand slams.

    Fuller discussed a typical offseason day to impart what level of commitment it takes to perform at the highest levels on the diamond. She recounted a schedule that included a 5:45 a.m. workout, followed by class, and then a four-hour practice.