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Today's News

  • Celebrating Mayor Betty

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    First came the beat of the drums, then the keyboard joined in, hands were clapping and the choir brought the room to a crescendo singing “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

    Pastors, ministers and family members entered Chiefland Middle High School auditorium and walked down the aisle to make their final farewells to Chiefland Mayor Betty Stockton Walker.

    Walker, who passed away on Feb. 25, was adorned with a tiara before the casket was closed, and when the music faded out, Rev. Walter Hunt lead crowd of more than 300 friends, coworkers and family members in prayer. “The Lord gave her breath, and the Lord took it back,” he said.

  • Levy County goes after collusion in lawsuit against opioids suppliers

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The Board of Levy County Commissioners has agreed to pursue a claim in federal court that addresses collusion of companies involved in the distribution of opioids.

    According to a lawsuit filed in April 2018 by Levy County against Purdue Pharma and dozens of doctors and medical clinics that write prescriptions for opium “opioids” painkillers, Levy County claims greed and profits have been put “above the health and well-being of Levy County consumers” at the cost of the County.

    “Levy County spends millions of dollars each year to provide and pay for healthcare, services, pharmaceutical care and other necessary services and programs on behalf of residents of its County whom are indigent or otherwise eligible for services, including payments through services such as Medicaid for prescription opium painkillers (“opioids”) which are manufactured, marketed, promoted, sold, and/or distributed by the Defendants,” the lawsuit says.”

  • New football coach boasts experience, championships

    Chiefland’s new head football coach is familiar with the Chieland area and competing for state championships.

    John Palmer, who was recently named the successor to Adam Gore, has been a head coach for 21 years and has extensive playoff experience and a pair of state championships. He’s been a head coach at Bronson, Eustis, Hernando and Port St. Joe, where he won state championships in 2005 and 2014 on two different stints.

    He led Bronson to a playoff berth in 1998 and was an assistant at Williston. Hernando (Brooksville) is his alma mater.

    He took off 2018 from coaching but he felt it calling him back.

    “I took last year off, and I needed to, I was a little frazzled health-wise and stuff,” Palmer said. “But I missed it. We had got a very good coach at Port St. Joe. They were 11-1 last year.”

    Palmer has in-laws from the Chiefland and Bronson area, and he was already in touch with Gore.

  • Lady Eagle point guard commits to Florida Memorial

    Yelena Thomas was tempted to leave Bronson Middle High School to join forces with a more talented girls’ basketball squad. The standout point guard, who averaged around 18 points a game for her final three years of high school, has finally chosen another school to play ball at, but this time it’s on a college scholarship.

    On March 8 in the BMHS media center, Thomas held her official signing ceremony, revealing she’s committed to Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens.

    The Lady Lions compete in the NAIA level in the Sun Conference and are in the midst of their third straight winning season.

    Thomas’ family and coaches spoke at the signing, and Thomas herself, became emotional when she thanked her teammates.

    “You all really did help me this season, even though I fought with you like crazy,” Thomas said. “I think y’all are a big part of this too.”

  • Chiefland man claims $5 million in scratch-off ticket

    Luis Bruno, 55, of Chiefland, claimed a $5 million top prize in the $20 GOLD RUSH CLASSIC Scratch-Off game at Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee. He chose to receive his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $3,550,000.

    Bruno purchased his winning ticket from Murphy Express, located at 2126 North Young Boulevard in Chiefland. The retailer will receive a $10,000 bonus commission for selling the winning Scratch-Off ticket.

    The $20 GOLD RUSH CLASSIC game launched in October 2018 and gives players the opportunity to win up to $5,000,000. Overall odds of winning are 1-in-2.99.

  • Chiefland establishes fee for events that require road closures

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    The Chiefland City Commission established a $250 fee to be charged to any event held in the City that requires road closures and the use of City personnel and equipment.

    Annual events that require road closures include the annual Watermelon Festival and parade, the Homecoming Parade, Veterans Day parade, Winter Christmas Festival and 5K run and the MLK Love March.

    According to City Manager Mary Ellzey, the City expensed more than $5,000 covering the costs of road closures for these five events. The cost of closing roads in Chiefland for events often involves overtime or holiday pay for police officers, plus utilities and other expenses.

    The average annual fiscal impact to City taxpayers for the Watermelon Festival is $1,849.23, the Winter Christmas Festival is $1,822.77, the Chiefland High Homecoming Parade is $392.14, and the MLK Love March is $883.98.

    Newly appointed Mayor Chris Jones said he wanted to make sure any fees agreed on by the Commission are applied across the board. Initially, he said there was discussion of grandfathering in some of the traditional events.

  • Jones named mayor of Chiefland

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    Chiefland Commissioner/Vice Mayor Chris Jones called the March 11 City Commission meeting to order and asked for 30 seconds of silence to remember Mayor Betty Walker.

    “I’d like start off by on behalf of the family thanking everyone here that attended and came out to support their family. It’s definitely a big loss. I can’t even express my feelings, knowing her as far as a City official and a close friend since my childhood.”

    With Walker’s passing on Feb. 25, the Commission moved to appoint a new mayor and vice mayor. The Commission nominated and approved Jones as the new acting mayor.

    Commissioner Donald Lawrence was then nominated to fill the vice mayor position, and Commissioner Tim West asked to also be considered for the role. “I would be up for the challenge,” West said. Commissioner Lawrence then said he was honored to be considered but added, “I think new young blood would be good.” With that the Commission approved West’s nomination and named him as vice mayor.

  • Indians solve Trenton with offensive explosion

    The Chiefland bats exploded for nine runs in the first two innings at Trenton to beat the Tigers for the first time in baseball since 2016 with a 12-8 win on March 7.

    It was the Indians’ district opener, while Trenton dropped to 1-1 in district play.

    All nine starters for the Indians hit safely in the game, as they bursted out of the gate with four straight base hits, culminating with a two-run single by Will Sumner.

    After Trenton responded in the first with a pair of runs to make it 3-2, CMHS rallied for six runs to extend its lead to 9-2. Seniors Elijah Smith and Aidan Horne had RBI singles in the frame while fellow senior Kelby Osteen added an RBI double. Senior center fielder Wyatt Hammond doubled in the seventh for Chiefland’s other extra-base hit on the night.

    Senior Keegan McLelland pounded out three hits for CMHS, and Payne Parnell and Horne each had a pair a the top of the order. Horne, Parnell, McLelland and shortstop Connor Whistler scored two runs apiece. Sumner collected four RBI.

  • County IT consultant makes system adjustments after attacks on email accounts

    Suzette Cook, Reporter

    After multiple attacks on County employees’ email accounts, IT consultant Brady Clark, owner of New River Technology, told the Board that he is upping systems security.

    “We’ve had emails compromised in the past,” Clark said told the Board on March 5. “Those emails get on a list on the internet that say ‘this person is a finance person’ so what they do is send an email pretending to be him with his email in the subject line.

    “How they get caught is when it’s (the message) in broken English,” Clark said.

    “There’s a lot of that going around, so I want to put on a spam filter,” Clark added. “The only caveat is that is emails might get missed if they are caught in the filter.”

  • Veterans Night at the ballpark

    The Chiefland High School Interact Club invites all veterans to the Chiefland Middle High School varsity baseball game March 26 at the CMHS baseball field. The Indians are facing Branford at 6 p.m. and veterans are encouraged to show up by 5:30 for a special pre-game recognition. Admission is free for veterans.