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Today's News

  • Lady hoops standouts recognized at banquet

    The Chiefland Middle High School girls’ basketball program has promising talent coming up through its ranks, and lose just one senior starter next season.

    To realize its tantalizing potential, however, its young student-athletes will have to put in the gym time in the offseason.

    At the Lady Indians’ end-of-the-season banquet at Hardeetown Baptist Church March 12, the girls were honored for their contributions and impressive improvements throughout the year. It was also a chance for coaches Buddy Vicker and Jason Whistler – and CMHS Principal Dennis Webber – to paint of picture of what is required to be great going forward.

    Webber, in his introduction, unofficially introduced the theme of the evening in quoting women’s basketball coaching legend Pat Summitt, citing her claim that the competitor needs to “continually raise the bar.”

  • The wonderment of technological advances

    I used to think how wonderful it must have been for someone born in the 1890s, like my grandpa and lived through the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, two world wars, the Ford assembly line, airplanes, space travel, the telegraph, telephone, radio, television — everything we use all the time and don’t give a second thought — my grandpa saw in its very beginning.

  • Marijuana ordinance bans dispensaries

    The Levy County Commission on March 20 adopted an ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas while treating its growing and cultivation like other nurseries.

    The unanimous passing of the ordinance, based on a motion from Mike Joyner and a second from Matt Brooks, came after the second of two public hearings on the matter held at the Courthouse in March.

    The ordinance is consistent with the Board’s earlier proposal, based on one of the recommended options from county attorney Anne Bast Brown. In seeking guidance for the ordinance from the Board, Brown noted that the state’s current direction on the issue provided legal buffering for the banning of dispensaries, but that the county could be at a severe legal disadvantage if it discriminated against medical marijuana nurseries.

    The ordinance, which replaces the moratorium on medical marijuana, treats growers and cultivators of medical marijuana like any other agricultural industry, subject to zoning and land-use regulations.

  • Business Council discusses revenue

    The Nature Coast Business Development Council discussed generating its own income source, industrial development sites and an offer from Williston to locate in the new city hall in the fall at its March 8 meeting in the College of Central Florida Jack Wilkinson Campus.

    Memberships is an avenue of raising money beyond the amount provided by the county.

    The reason for an additional revenue stream is to give the council more flexibility and while the idea has been discussed for a time, the membership drive was finally kicked off earlier in the year.

    Councilmembers discussed the governor’s Economic Development Fund. The governor included $85 million in the fund for the next fiscal year just as he did in the current fiscal year. Of that amount, only about $35 million have been allocated for grants in this fiscal year so there is still money available. Some communities are gearing up to submit additional applications. It was suggested that NCBDC members think about what the organization can submit to help Levy County and communities to become more competitive to attract jobs and help businesses grow.

  • Missing Child

    Todd Watson has been located.

    Todd Watson, a 2 year old toddler, wandered from his home earlier today in Rosewood. Law enforcement from the Levy County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Corrections Cross City K-9 and the Citrus County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit and approximately 150 volunteers searched the wooded area near the child's home located at 9730 SW 67 Street in Rosewood.

    Todd was found safe and is currently being evaluated by EMS.

    The LCSO and Sheriff McCallum want to offer our sincere thanks to all of the volunteers who offered their time and extraordinary efforts to make this a successful community effort.  

  • Zino is Levy spelling champ

    Courtesy of School Board of Levy County

    Bronson fifth-grader Mina Zino is the Levy County District Spelling Bee Champ. Zino was also recognized in fourth grade for having perfect scores on her FSA Reading and Math, and was recognized in third grade for having a perfect score on her FSA Reading.

  • I love spring, pollen

    I love spring.

    The other seasons are OK, but spring is — as Muhammad Ali described himself — the greatest.

    I like the boiling heat of summer. We always joked in Oklahoma and Texas that it was so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk, but I’ll bet in Florida that you could boil an egg in the Gulf. I wish the Watermelon Festival was in a cooler month. I guess it would be if melons were a winter crop.

    I couldn’t tell much difference between summer and fall during my one full year here in the Sunshine State. I didn’t like winter too much. It was much colder than I thought it would be, but it wasn’t as rainy as I imagined. Also, deer come out during the wintertime and stand alongside roads; staring, daring. At night, they’re hard to see with flat dull coats; they give me the creeps; ghosts with big eyes glowing red in my lights. Deer along the roadside instill fear in me until I pass it by. Then, dread starts to build again and I pray I’ll see the next one in my headlights.

  • Homan greets students after holiday break

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    A new principal greeted students when they returned to Chiefland Elementary School in January after the Christmas Holiday.

    Michael Homan, originally from Baltimore, began her career in education as a volunteer, then as a substitute and eventually became an Exceptional Student education teacher at Bronson Elementary where she spent 12 years working her way from ESE teacher, to reading coach and to assistant principal at BES for five years. She in that capacity at CES for one year before moving on to the district office where she served as Title 1 Coordinator for the next four years.

    Homan said some changes she has made is the way teachers do intervention time. Interventions are extra activities used to help students meet specific needs in the areas in which they are academically weak.

  • Ed. bill has some good, some bad

    By Lori Prevatt, Citizen Correspondent

    Passage of House Education Bill 7055 has been making headlines across the state and country because of the complexity of the 200-page bill, funding going to private charter schools and the requirement that teachers’ unions must have at least 50 percent of teachers in membership to remain intact.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill March 11.

    Levy School Board Superintendent Jeffery Edison stated in email correspondence that, “Normally a bill only has one or two sections, and this bill has 43 sections. You can see that private and charter schools are receiving funding and the bill makes it more difficult for public schools to operate.”

    Levy County School Board member Chris Cowart summed up his concerns due to upcoming changes facing school boards and district superintendents. Cowart was greatly concerned about district superintendents being instead of them being elected by citizens as they are under the current system.

    He also expressed concern over the possibility of school board salaries being decreased.

  • DOH issues mosquito borne illness alert

    The Florida Department of Health in Levy County issued a mosquito-borne illness alert for Levy County. A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been confirmed in a flock of Emus in the Bronson area and there is a heightened concern that residents could become ill.

    DOH-Levy continues to advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering to “drain and cover.”

    Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

    •Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

    • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.

    • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week

    • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.

    • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.