https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Renovated Blue Springs Park reopens in time for summer https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/renovated-blue-springs-park-reopens-time-summer <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/dsc_0094.jpg" alt="It was clear skies for the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, June 8, at the newly renovated Blue Springs Park in Levy County. Pictured, from left: County Coordinator Wilbur Dean; County Commissioner Mike Joyner; Parks director Matt Wheldon; Hugh Thomas, of Suwannee River Water Management District; and County Commissioners John Meeks, Rock and Lilly Rooks." title="It was clear skies for the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, June 8, at the newly renovated Blue Springs Park in Levy County. Pictured, from left: County Coordinator Wilbur Dean; County Commissioner Mike Joyner; Parks director Matt Wheldon; Hugh Thomas, of Suwannee River Water Management District; and County Commissioners John Meeks, Rock and Lilly Rooks." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> After months of renovation work, Blue Springs in Bronson is once again open for swimming and picnicking.</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> 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.</p> County approves purchase of old Bronson school https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/county-approves-purchase-old-bronson-school <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_4491_0.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> 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.</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> &ldquo;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 &ndash; cosmetic work would be needed,&rdquo; Dean said.</p> <p> School Board maintenance and the county maintenance departments also walked through the building with Dean to assess what work it needs.</p> <p> The county plans to move all the offices at the courthouse, with the exception of the clerk&rsquo;s office and the judicial offices, to the old Bronson High School. This would make the old high school a &ldquo;one stop shop,&rdquo; Commissioner Rock Meeks said.</p> <p> The offices moving to the newly purchased building will be the Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Maintenance, Planning, Building, Zoning, the Veteran&rsquo;s Office and the Board of Commissioners.</p> D&D hosts 13th Spring Dance Revue https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/dd-hosts-13th-spring-dance-revue <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/dsc_0045.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> D &amp; D Dance Studio proudly presented its 13th Annual Spring Dance Revue Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9.</p> <p> 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, &ldquo;I Feel Pretty&rdquo;, to choreographed ballerinas imitating the dance of a music box ballerina, set to Frank Mills&rsquo; 1979 piece, &ldquo;Music Box Dancer.&rdquo; Performed by the Adult Jazz class, Meghan Trainor&rsquo;s &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a Lady&rdquo;, the spicy number from the &ldquo;Troll&rsquo;s&rdquo; movie, had the house rocking.</p> <p> 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.</p> CMHS graduates reflect back, see world of possibility ahead https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/cmhs-graduates-reflect-back-see-world-possibility-ahead <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_8424.jpg" alt="CMHS graduates Tori Hutson, left, and Morgan Fisher, right." title="CMHS graduates Tori Hutson, left, and Morgan Fisher, right." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1724257087627521.1073741928.183043538415558&amp;type=1&amp;l=a3a9925acb</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> Hudson and Tapia&rsquo;s speeches &ndash; as well as those by Senior Class President Chelsea Parker and student government vice president Haitrieu Nguyen &ndash; didn&rsquo;t shy away from life&rsquo;s darker corners, whether it be the disappointments, the hardships, the failures or the bad breaks.</p> <p> Hudson admitted she was paralyzed with anxiety in the run-up to the ceremony, fearing should would come up short in the moment.</p> Top academic duo find passions outside classroom https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/top-academic-duo-find-passions-outside-classroom <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_8341_2.jpg" alt="CMHS Class of 2018 Valedictorian Savannah Hudson, on left, seated next to Salutatorian Anya Tapia. Tapia&#039;s sister, Enya, is third from left." title="CMHS Class of 2018 Valedictorian Savannah Hudson, on left, seated next to Salutatorian Anya Tapia. Tapia&#039;s sister, Enya, is third from left." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> CMHS graduation photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1724257087627521.1073741928.183043538415558&amp;type=1&amp;l=a3a9925acb</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> But the things that really animate Savannah Hudson, the valedictorian, and her counterpart, Anya Tapia, are a long way from stoic academic pursuits.</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> &ldquo;(Horses) are main thing that I do,&rdquo; 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.</p> Royal treat https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/royal-treat <img src="https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/sites/www.chieflandcitizen.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/img_9637_.jpg" alt="Avianna Liuzzo, left, is crowned 2018 Chiefland Watermelon Queen on June 2 by 2017 Queen Catherine Bowman. The 2018 Queen runner-up, Sheila Engle, is pictured in middle." title="Avianna Liuzzo, left, is crowned 2018 Chiefland Watermelon Queen on June 2 by 2017 Queen Catherine Bowman. The 2018 Queen runner-up, Sheila Engle, is pictured in middle." align="left" hspace="6" width="127" height="85" /><p> The Annual Chiefland Watermelon Festival functions as an unofficial kickoff to summer for the City of Chiefland.</p> <p> In it&rsquo;s 64th edition, on June 2, the atmosphere and weather certainly added to the summer vibes.</p> <p> The Watermelon staples were all in place: a head-spinning number of vendors, a seed-spitting contest, a parade, music, a watermelon auction, and, finally, the crowning of the 2018 Chiefland Watermelon Queen.</p> <p> That title went to Avianna Liuzzo, who succeeds 2017 Queen Catherine Bowman.</p> <p> The Queen contestants, which included Laken Carter, Sheila Engel and Devan Hodge, were joined by National Watermelon Queen Savannah Christensen, Florida Watermelon Queen Camri Campbell, and Alabama Watermelon Queen Sarah Jane Levine.</p> <p> Young Hayden Henderson was the big seller in the watermelon auction. Henderson won for biggest group of three melons, at 132 pounds, and tied with Bailey Parrish for biggest single melon &ndash; 51 pounds. Jack Prentice, Jr. and Terrence Reed received plaques for winning the purchase auction on Henderson&rsquo;s batch.</p> <p> Jamey King provided the musical entertainment.</p> 'Soar like Eagles' https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/soar-eagles <p> Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1715334491853114.1073741927.183043538415558&amp;type=1&amp;l=144b8efdf0</p> <p> The Bronson Middle High School graduation, held May 25 at the UF Curtis Phillips Center in Gainesville, was anchored by a couple of inspiring student speeches about perseverance and following big dreams.</p> <p> Valedictorian Taeya Mayes described life as a constant negotiation between the vision of a better future and the pursuit towards its realization. After deftly pivoting off a lyric from rapper Kevin Gates &ndash; &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the action, it&rsquo;s the grind, it&rsquo;s the hustle, and it&rsquo;s the persistence that will allow us to reach our dreams.&rdquo; &ndash; to a line from Proverbs &ndash; &ldquo;When there is no vision, the people perish.&rdquo; &ndash; Mayes challenged her classmates and the audience to &ldquo;actually take the steps that are needed to make your vision a reality.&rdquo;</p> <p> Mayes reminded her classmates of the obstacles they&rsquo;ve already overcome, and thanked the parents, teachers and school staff who&rsquo;ve made so much possible for her and her classmates.</p> Middle-schoolers garner top academic prizes https://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/middle-schoolers-garner-top-academic-prizes <p> <span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">Chiefland Middle Schoolers were honored for their outstanding academic achievements May 21 in the CMHS Auditorium. </span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"> <span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">The top academic achievers in GPA per grade were eighth-grader Coburn Hardee; seventh-grader Adysen Baker and sixth-grader Oren Wilson; Wilson also picked up top reader honors in the Accelerated Reader Awards. </span></p>