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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Former Indian headed to Jax for college hoops

    Patrick Jackson has patiently bided his time while looking to resume his basketball career at the college level.

    The former Chiefland standout, who twice led the Indians in scoring and joined them for a trip to the state final four, was tentatively set to attend Webber International in 2017.

    It didn’t pan out, as WIU went through a coaching change, but Jackson didn’t lose hope. Meanwhile, he took courses at Santa Fe College and the College of Central Florida, with an eye toward eventually gaining a business degree, perhaps with a focus in sports management.

    He also stayed close to the game he loved, helping coach Cedar Key School middle schoolers, staying in shape, and rooting on his younger sister, Jasmin, who, as a dominant point guard for the Lady Sharks, has garnered her own share of attention from college scouts.

    Jackson was put in touch with coaches at Trinity Baptist College, out of Jacksonville, by one of its former players, Brandon Raines, a basketball coach and athletic director at Riverside Christian in Trenton. The connection yielded a tryout for Jackson, who let his game speak for itself.

  • Top academic duo find passions outside classroom

    CMHS graduation photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1724257087627521.1073741928.18...

    The Chiefland Middle High School Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian are standouts in the classroom, naturally, as they possess the top two grade point averages among their classmates.

    But the things that really animate Savannah Hudson, the valedictorian, and her counterpart, Anya Tapia, are a long way from stoic academic pursuits.

    Hudson, who has collected at least six championships through FFA at the Suwannee River Fair, including a trio of grand championships, has been riding horses for at least nine years. She placed seventh at state in horse judging.

    “(Horses) are main thing that I do,” she said after collecting yet more academic honors on high school awards night May 23, including Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA or above) honors and A honor roll.

  • CMHS graduates reflect back, see world of possibility ahead

    Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1724257087627521.1073741928.18...

    In adversity, we find the opportunities that make us who we are. Every moment is pregnant with potential and the possibility for a better future, no matter the odds.

    Those were the through lines from a pair of addresses delivered by Class of 2018 valedictorian Savannah Hudson and salutatorian Anya Tapia at the Chiefland Middle High School graduation commencement June 1.

    Hudson and Tapia’s speeches – as well as those by Senior Class President Chelsea Parker and student government vice president Haitrieu Nguyen – didn’t shy away from life’s darker corners, whether it be the disappointments, the hardships, the failures or the bad breaks.

    Hudson admitted she was paralyzed with anxiety in the run-up to the ceremony, fearing should would come up short in the moment.