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Today's News

  • Indians offer sneak peek of more mature, confident squa

    The Chiefland football team was short on experience and long on promising young talent last season.

    The roster was bursting with first-year varsity players – even first-year football players – and was acclimating to a new system under first-year head man Adam Gore and his staff.

    The Indian team that took C. Doyle McCall Field May 18 for its spring game against Wildwood looked a year more mature – and confident.

    Behind three touchdowns and a pair of picks by junior-to-be Jalen Rutledge, Chiefland owned the first and fourth quarters to snatch a 31-16 win.

    The game felt more intense than your typical exhibition matchup. Wildwood was coming off a 9-0 regular season, looking to avenge a lopsided 2017 spring loss to Chiefland. The Indians, meanwhile, might enter the late summer and fall with their best playoff odds since last advancing in 2004.

  • Communities band together to help a toddler with a rare form of cancer

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    Chiefland and Trenton community members have showered a family with love and support by coming together to plan events to help raise funds for their sick daughter.

    Several events have passed and more are planned to help toddler Lauren Rood and her family. Lauren is a 3 year old who had surgery to remove a tumor in April. Lauren, of Trenton, was found to have stage two Clear Cell Sarcoma Cancer in her kidneys at the beginning of May. Her parents, Ashley Rood and Tim Crews, also have a 6-year-old son.

    Lauren is currently receiving chemotherapy and her family frequently travels back and forth from the hospital for treatment. This prompted many people from the tri-county area to help Lauren and her family.

    Marie Poppe, owner of Marie’s Sweets in Chiefland, is one of those people who graciously donated her time to help. She is incredibly close to Lauren and her mother. Poppe held a cake auction at the beginning of May and raised $2,185 to help the family with expenses. Poppe also took a portion of her Mother’s Day Money earned from cakes and donated it to them.

  • Pit bulls attack neighbour in south Chiefland

    A scary situation could’ve ended a lot worse than it did.

    Richard Corbin received a call from his son, Jay, who just left his side to visit neighbors on May 11.

    When Corbin looked up, Jay, a 23-year-old with special needs, was being attacked by three pit bulls approximately 200 feet away.

    Corbin rushed to the scene and scared the dogs away. Jay was able to fend off the dogs just enough to avoid going to the ground and undergoing more serious injuries, and somehow make the phone call, but his clothes didn’t survive the attack. He used his belt to repel the animals, Corbin said.

    Jay received stitches at Shands Hospital in Gainesville and was later released.

    “They were having a little campfire so he was going over to visit, and one of the neighbor’s three pit bulls was out – two came out of the pasture and one came out of the neighbor’s gate and attacked him,” Corbin said. “They shredded him up pretty good, man. They literally almost tore his clothes off him.”

  • Inglis man accused of bank robbery

    By Buster Thompson, Chronicle Reporter

    An Inglis man with a history behind U.S. prison bars for robbing a bank is now facing a similar charge connected to a bank robbery in Marion County.

    On Wednesday, May 16, with a Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrest warrant in hand, authorities charged 52-year-old Jason Earl Hill with the May 11 unarmed robbery of the Harbor Community Bank in Ocala, according to a MCSO news release.

    Hill is accused of walking into the bank at 8290 S.W. College Road and passing a note to a clerk demanding money and also implying he had a weapon, although Hill didn’t brandish one, MCSO’s release says.

    It’s alleged that Hill left with an undisclosed amount of cash and drove away in a green Saturn Vue, which MCSO detectives were able to trace back to Hill, who also resembled the robber seen in bank surveillance footage.

    A bank teller also identified Hill as the robber for police.

  • Extra effort

    Two evenly-matched teams battled for nine innings in Fort Meade in the baseball regional semifinals March 9.

    Chiefland lost a lead it maintained throughout the game in the bottom of the seventh on a squeeze bunt, but survived by the skin of its teeth to take things to extra innings.

    In the end, it was the Miners who flinched first, as the Indians took advantage of a couple of costly errors in the ninth to prevail 5-3.

    CMHS (12-11), which traveled three hours to play Fort Meade (15-14), advanced to the regional final to face Trenton on May 15.

    Juniors Kelby Osteen and Wyatt Hammond boarded on walks to put two on with one out for Chiefland in the top of the ninth with the scored knotted at 2-2. After senior Josh Webber moved the pair over to second and third on a ground ball, sophomore newcomer Luke Reidy bounced a grounder up the middle, which was mishandled in front of second base, allowing Osteen’s run to score for a 3-2 lead.

  • Bright futures

    The Chiefland Middle High School Class of 2018 Florida Academic Scholars, which are students who are eligible to receive 100 percent tuition funding at a public university through the Bright Futures Scholarship Award Program, are, from left: Savannah Hudson; Anya Tapia; Nathalie Solatorio; Sarah Lourcey; Tori Hutson; Morgan Fisher; Enya Tapia; and Sydney Allen. See 4A and 5A for more.

  • Schools Foundation honors ‘best of the best’

    By Carolyn Ten Broeck, editor@willistonpioneer.com

    The Levy County Schools Foundation, along with the School Board of Levy County, honored the “Best of the best” Monday night with a reception and ceremony at Williston Elementary School.

    The Foundation will award 55 scholarships in 2018 totaling $45,000, according to its President Justin Hardy. He also told honorees and their guests that more than $55,000 came back to the schools themselves via education grants for teachers.

    “Every person who comes in contact with a student,” School Board member Cameron Asbell said, “whether it’s a janitor, a teacher or a volunteer, is shaping the future not just of a town, but of the world.”

    School Superintendent Jeff Edison said the evening was to celebrate the folks who change students’ lives and Paige Brookins, also a School Board member, added that volunteerism is the cornerstone of our country and schools are made better by those who donate their time.

  • Raising the bar

    Courtney Hayes proved the stage wasn’t too big in her first trip to the track and field state championships.

    The Chiefland junior overcame some nervousness and set a new personal record – 1.62 meters – in the girls’ high jump at the state meet in Jacksonville May 4 to collect a third-place medal in Class 1A.

    Hayes placed higher at state than any Chiefland Indian since 2005, when Lequenda Ward won the state title in the girls’ 400 meter and took third in the 100 and 200. The Chiefland boys’ 4x100 relay team of Jamaal Riley, Cornelius Dexter, Jonas Randolph and Alonzo Guyton also collected a state championship in 2005.

    Cody Coley, who finished eighth in the shot put finals in 2016, was the most recent state medalist from Chiefland, and, along with Hayes, was the only one since Ward double-medaled in 2006.

    Hayes was the lone district champion from CMHS this season.

  • Bronson celebrates blueberries

    The Town of Bronson is celebrating the Fourth Annual Blueberry Festival Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at James H. Cobb Park. The Festival hosts local growers with fresh berries for sale as well as vendors selling a wide assortment of crafts, goods and various foods, blueberry-related and otherwise. There will be music and a children’s play area. The morning of the festival will include the 5k Blueberry Stomp, with registration starting at 7 a.m. and the race starting at 7:30am. The 3.2-mile course will wind through town to finish in the James H. Cobb Park. The Blueberry Pageant will be May 12 at 9 a.m. at Bronson Elementary School. The Blueberry Parade is May 18 at 6:30 p.m. Call (352) 486-2354 for more details.

  • A day of remembrance

    Sergeant Noel Ramirez’s infectiously positive attitude and smile could brighten anyone’s day.

    Deputy Taylor Lindsey always seemed to know the right thing to say to lift up a fellow officer or friend.

    According to many of those who knew them best, both officers were exemplary in their service, representing the best their profession had to offer.

    On May 3, at the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, fellow officers and friends joined Ramirez’s widow and mother of his two children, Gigi, to provide a testament to the lives touched by the two fallen Gilchrist officers who were killed while having lunch together in Trenton on April 19.

    “I think it’s changed everybody’s life from here on out,” said Kyle Schultz, a K-9 unit officer for the Chiefland Police Department and close friend of Lindsey’s. “It’s hard to say it, but when you take two people out of this world that were so special and meant so much to you, you feel like a piece of you is gone.