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Today's News

  • County candidates set for August elections

    A pair of Levy County Commission races and a School Board race highlight the county election season, which could be completely determined by the end of the primary on Aug. 30.

    The qualifying deadline for county-wide offices was June 22.

    The two County Commission seats both feature a pair of Republicans squaring off, so the races will be decided in the primary, which will be open to voters of all affiliations.

    School Board races are nonpartisan and appear on the primary ballot. If there are at least two candidates, the top two vote-getters in the primary will appear on the general election ballot unless a candidate receives a majority of the total vote, in which case she is declared the winner.

    Vying for the open School Board seat – District 5, also known as the Yankeetown seat – are Gary Bennett, of Morriston, and Ashley Breeden Clemenzi, of Williston. The seat is currently held by Rick Turner, who is not running for reelection. School Board members serve four-year terms.

  • Gov. Scott visits Levy for Lincoln-Reagan Dinner during campaign for US Senate

    The highest-profile guest speaker in the history of the Levy County Republican Executive Committee’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Memorial Dinner guaranteed its largest ever turnout.

    Gov. Rick Scott joined Republican Party officials, supporters, office holders and candidates representing Levy County and the area June 23 at Bronson Middle High School as the headline speaker for the banquet.

    Scott, who is leaving the Governorship due to term limits, is the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican opponent to incumbent Bill Nelson in the U.S. Senate race this fall.

    At the dinner, the two-term Florida governor touted his record on the economy, education and the state budget, and outlined a few proposals from his senatorial campaign. Scott lamented the lack of cooperation in congress, arguing the federal government would be more effective if it emulated the more collaborative tendencies of state and local government.

    “How do we improve the way D.C. works?” Scott asked rhetorically. “It’s way too partisan up there. You should expect your government to work together.

  • Chiefland high-schoolers garner academic honors

    Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1734360986617131.1073741929.18...

    Many of the top high school students from Chiefland Middle High School were recognized May 23 in the CMHS Auditorium at the High School Awards Ceremony.

    The school district has introduced the Latin honors system for the Class of 2018, making the recent group of Chiefland seniors the first to be recognized with Cum Laude honors at the school. The honors replace the class top 10 in distinguishing the top academic finishers.

    At the awards ceremony, nine CMHS seniors were recognized as achieving Summa Cum Laude honors, a designation that requires at least a weighted GPA of 4.0. Those students included: Savannah Hudson (valedictorian); Anya Tapia (salutatorian); Enya Tapia; Sara Langston; Nathalie Solatorio; Cheyanne Walker; Tori Hutson; Morgan Fisher and Jommielle Quiambao.

    The students recognized as Magna Cum Laude, which includes those carrying a minimum GPA of 3.85, were Seth Thomas; Krisa Sharpe; Sydney Allen and Sarah Lourcey.

  • McLelland returns to helm at CMHS

    Matt McLelland has a new appreciation for the behind-the-scenes, unsung work done by school district staff.

    But he’s happy to be back on the ground with the students, where the work of educators produces a more tangible reward.

    McLelland is succeeding Dennis Webber as the new Chiefland Middle High School principal just one year after leaving the school for a district job. The longtime Chiefland administrator took over in June after the end of the school year.

    “The highlight of my day is the students, being able to be around them,” McLelland said. “That was something I really missed when I was at the district offices. There was an opportunity to come back and I realized that’s my heart, with these kids and this community. I love it. I’m just very thankful to have the opportunity.”

    McLelland says the experience at the district should make him a better administrator. As he enters his 10th year as either a principal or assistant principal at the school, including five years as the former, he enjoys bumping into former students at the grocery store as their now raising families of their own.

  • 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.

  • D&D hosts 13th Spring Dance Revue

    D & D Dance Studio proudly presented its 13th Annual Spring Dance Revue Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9.

    This year, as in years past, it was once again, standing room only inside the Chiefland Middle High School Auditorium. Once the stage curtains opened, the audience experienced two-and-a-half hours of delightful dance. Thirty-five dance numbers were performed, everything from adorable 3-year-olds dancing tap to the 1957 Broadway hit, “I Feel Pretty”, to choreographed ballerinas imitating the dance of a music box ballerina, set to Frank Mills’ 1979 piece, “Music Box Dancer.” Performed by the Adult Jazz class, Meghan Trainor’s “I’m a Lady”, the spicy number from the “Troll’s” movie, had the house rocking.

    Announcer Norman Weaver opened the event in welcoming parents, grandparents, family and friends of the over 150 students set to perform. Pastor David Jones offered the benediction and Amy Brodahl sang the National Anthem.

  • 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.

  • County approves purchase of old Bronson school

    With a purchase price of $1.5 million, the Levy County Commissioners approved the purchase of the old Bronson High School Building at its June 5 meeting.

    County Coordinator Wilbur Dean offered reasons for the Board to proceed with the purchase of the old high school building, located at 350 School St.

    “Levy could put off building a new courthouse for 20 to 30 years if we purchase this building. A little work would need to be done – cosmetic work would be needed,” Dean said.

    School Board maintenance and the county maintenance departments also walked through the building with Dean to assess what work it needs.

    The county plans to move all the offices at the courthouse, with the exception of the clerk’s office and the judicial offices, to the old Bronson High School. This would make the old high school a “one stop shop,” Commissioner Rock Meeks said.

    The offices moving to the newly purchased building will be the Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Maintenance, Planning, Building, Zoning, the Veteran’s Office and the Board of Commissioners.

  • 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.