Today's News

  • Annual pie auction serves up $4,600

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    When Chiefland High Senior Ashtyn Brown lifted the cover of pie auction entry number 20 and revealed a triple-layered lemon chiffon cake dripping with frosting and lemon filling, a showstopper was born.

    Student Government Association members stared at the cake and auctioneer Chad “Cracker” Johnson asked the crowd, “What’s a chiffon?”

    Two minutes later, the cake crafted by Sherry Smith McElroy garnered $285 and was in the hands of Jack Spann of Spann’s Heating and Air.

    The tradition of the 27th Annual Pie auction played out in the CMHS cafeteria and, in about an hour, generated $4,600 in proceeds that directly benefit the SGA.

  • Anglers offer advice ahead of saltwater license-free fishing day

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    Florida residents and visitors can try their skills and luck at catching saltwater fish without being required to have a recreational saltwater fishing license on Nov. 24.

    The rest of the year, a recreational saltwater fishing license is required for Florida residents and nonresidents who fish for saltwater fish, crabs, clams, marine plants or other saltwater organisms except for non-living seashells and lionfish with certain gear. 

    According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), free fishing days “provide an excellent opportunity for parents who don't yet have licenses to take youth fishing, or avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license.”

    There are four freshwater and four saltwater license-free fishing days scheduled throughout the year.

  • Branching out

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    It didn’t take long for Treehouse Designer B’Fer Roth to sketch a decked-out treehouse that would perfectly settle into four towering water oaks on a property just off a sandy dirt road in Old Town.

    The pencil drawing became a blueprint for episode 208 of ‘The Treehouse Guys,’ which was filmed in 2016 on a 5-acre parcel owned by Jamie and Sara LaCourse.

    The LaCourses purchased the vacation property that is 90 miles north of their home in Oxford as an escape for their family, which includes their three sons. But the LaCourse family leads a busy life and can’t get to the retreat every week.

    “If we’re not here to enjoy it, we want other people to enjoy it, it’s just so cool,” Sara said. “Why can’t we share our oasis with others?”

    The LaCourses decided to claim the getaway one weekend a month and rent out both the treehouse and the traditional cabin to others during the rest of the month.

  • Seafood fest weekend lures record crowd

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    Just as Richard Rooney of Gainesville was toting an artisan designed flamingo lamp to his car, floats, students, Cedar Key locals, and hopeful politicians began making their way around the corner and over the bridge.

    Hundreds of 49th Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festivalgoers were lined up on sidewalks and waving at the stars of the traditional parade held on Oct. 20. Kids were scurrying around grabbing tossed candy off the streets, while the rest of the crowd was sharing in a chuckle here and there as pirates, cruising clams, colorful “Spiced Girls” sea goddesses, the S.S. Minnow, the Crab Crew, and Cedar Key School’s shark mascot surrounded by cheerleaders passed by.

    Veterans of Foreign War members led the parade proudly presenting the American flag. The CKS Safety Patrol was perched on a float surrounded by purple and yellow balloons, cheering about selling ice cold water to “Help us get to Washington.”

  • Safe school procedures, religious expression among School Board policy review items

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The Levy County School Board will spend the next two months addressing the language of five school policy areas, including safe schools, religious expression, and school entry.

    Levy County School District Assistant Superintendent John Lott presented the first drafts of the policies at the Oct. 22 Board meeting.

    “These things come to us in a package,” Lott said. “We study them, get public input and ask for a final vote in December.

    “When we bring policies in front of the Board, most of the time it’s because of changes in the (State) statute.”

    Policy 3.06, known as the Safe and Secure Schools policy, addresses the district’s obligation to “provide a safe, secure and orderly learning environment in all schools and at all sponsored activities.”

  • 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.

  • Chiefland votes to expand alcohol sales

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The Chiefland City Commission gave City Attorney Norm Fugate the go ahead to prepare an amended alcohol sales ordinance that will include sales on Sundays.

    After some discussion during the Oct. 22 meeting, the commission voted 3-2 to modify the days and hours of alcohol sales to Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to Midnight, Saturdays 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to Midnight.

    The new proposed hours not only add sales to Sunday, but also would extend sales on Saturday from Midnight to 2 a.m. as was suggested by Commissioner Chris Jones who also suggested that Sunday sales start at 1 p.m. instead of noon, “Out of respect for those who are in church on Sunday.” The new draft will retain no sales on Christmas, and sales until 1 a.m. on New Year’s.

  • 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.

  • CR 40 widening project advances

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    The Levy County Commission voted to move forward with a road widening and resurfacing project for a 6.6-mile stretch of County Road 40.

    According to Alice LaLonde, administrator manager for the Levy County Road Department, the project will be funded by a $2.65 million grant from the Small County Outreach Program (SCOP).

    The Florida Department of Transportation describes the SCOP as assisting “small county governments in repairing or rehabilitating county bridges, paving unpaved roads, addressing road-related drainage improvements, resurfacing or reconstructing county roads, or constructing capacity or safety improvements to county roads.”  

    “This is the second half of our CR 40 widening project,” said Commission Chair John Meeks. “Our Legislature decided to give State Road 40 back in the ‘80s,” Meeks said. “It’s become our responsibility ever since.”

    The 6.6-mile stretch is from Bird Creek Boat Ramp to U.S. Highway 19.

  • Residents speak out on Sunday alcohol sales; City vote on Oct. 22 agenda

    By Suzette Cook/Reporter

    As Hurricane Michael steered toward the Gulf Coast on Oct. 9, more than 75 Chiefland residents made it a priority to attend a workshop at Chiefland City Hall to discuss the pros and cons of allowing alcohol sales in Chiefland on Sundays.

    More than two dozen people addressed the commission and spoke on the record.

    Many residents acknowledged that they like to drink socially, and often family and friends are only off on weekends, so meeting up on a Sunday would be convenient if they didn’t have to leave town.

    One longtime resident thanked the commission for the opportunity to speak and said she was worried that the character of Chiefland would change if alcohol was sold on Sundays. She read a description from the City’s website and urged the commission to consider that World Health Organization statistics emphasize the negative impacts of excessive alcohol consumption.