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Chief Theater Gets A Facelift;
Another Play Opens Tonight, Sept. 20
Chief Theater Chiefland Florida
The Chief Theater has a new look. Once a plcae for motion pictures to be seen, this historic theater in Chiefland is the venue for the Suwannee Valley Players to perform entertaining plays, with amazing sets and costumes. With Game of Tiaras opening on Friday, Sept. 20, it will be the first play performed on the other side of the new look in front. To learn more about Game of Tiaras, see the story and photos on the CALENDAR PAGE.
Published Sept. 19, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.
Updated Sept. 20, 2019 at 8:29 a.m.

Information and Photo Provided by SVP Vice President Angie Acevedo
(also the director for Game of Tiaras )


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Rosewood request results
in 3-2 vote of approval

Rosewood Levy County Florida
Sherry DuPree, a historian with the Rosewood Heritage Foundation Inc., tells the Levy County Commission that she would like a letter of support to show state officials as she seeks to create a half-acre park for peace, reflection and education. It would also house a seven-foot high memorial metal sculpture.

Story and Photos
(except the monument photo)
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 18, 2019 at 10:09 p.m.
     BRONSON –
A stated mission to promote brotherhood, peace, forgiveness and tranquility in an area of Levy County that has been historically stained by a racially-motivated set of murders met with mixed review by five members of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday morning (Sept. 17).

Rosewood Florida Levy County
Toni Collins, one of a few historians at the meeting, complains about certain aspects of things Sherry DuPree said.

     There was a 15-minute allocation of time on the agenda in regard to a request for a letter to Florida officials, wherein the County Commission would note that Levy County would accept the Peace Monument in the Rosewood area.
     It took at least 400 percent longer than the allocated time. The discussion, at times heated, lasted at least an hour.
     Sherry DuPree, a historian with the Rosewood Heritage Foundation Inc., and Toni Collins, a historian with the Levy County Historical Society Inc., shared their differing opinions with the five County Commissioners.
     Several others weighed in.
     The Rosewood Heritage Foundation was started in 1995 by Rosewood family members, DuPree said.
     The Levy County Historical Society was formed in 2006 by a group of persons interested in Levy County’s history.
     The Rosewood Heritage Foundation requested the County Commission to provide a letter of support to be sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried and other state leaders as the foundation seeks to establish one half-acre in the Rosewood area as a place for peace and meditation, DuPree said.
     The Foundation is giving the Peace Monument to the State of Florida to place in the Rosewood area, she said.

Rosewood Florida
This seven-foot tall modern design metal monument is donated to the State of Florida by Artist Kenneth Sandlin. The purpose is to encourage brotherhood, peace, forgiveness and tranquility from what happened in Rosewood in January of 1923.

Levy County Florida Rosewood
Vice Chairman Matt Brooks (left) and Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks hold up pictures of the monument, after Toni Collins said she believed there were inscriptions scraped off of it from wherever it was before. Sherry DuPree corrected Collins’ misperception by telling her the art represents time and place of people. ‘The center part represents blood,’ DuPree told Collins, “which we all are part of.’ Meanwhile, Commissioner Lilly Rooks (right) looks at her copy.

      This 7-foot-tall metal monument includes symbols reflexive of the past with hope for peace and love in the future.
     This half-acre attraction is planned to include stationary benches at various points with a total seating capacity of 20 people, and this park will promote tourism to Rosewood and to the various Levy County communities such as Cedar Key, DuPree said. This attraction will increase revenue to the county via purchases of fuel for automobiles, trucks, boats and airplanes; food service at restaurants; overnight stays in hotels; recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, etc., DuPree said.
     Collins took issue with DuPree in regard to DuPree’s statement that some of the information on the current memorial marker at Rosewood is incorrect. Collins said a committee determined what to put on the marker.
     “I was on that committee,” DuPree told Collins, “for the Historical Board for the State of Florida.”
     DuPree said she was on that board for the state, in regard to history, for about 20 years.
     “The person who wrote that,” DuPree told Collins, “is out of Tallahassee. I know her personally. We went over that.”
     When DuPree and Collins started bantering back and forth, Chairman Meeks reminded the speakers to address the County Commission – not each other.
     Dr. David Colbert of the University of Florida and Maxine Jones were the two people who gave the final O.K. on the present verbiage, DuPree told the County Commission, adding, “And I was there as well.”
     DuPree brought some Levy County members of the Rosewood Heritage Foundation to the meeting in Bronson. There are also members of the Foundation in Gainesville and Miami, DuPree said. One goal of the Foundation is to keep the history of this 1923 event in Rosewood from being forgotten.
     The half-acre park will be open to everyone, DuPree said. It will serve as an educational environment, she added.
     The last time the Foundation approached the Commission with a similar idea for Rosewood was in March of 2003. That plan was for a replica city on 22 acres in Rosewood, DuPree said. Nothing came to fruition after that visit.
     The single request on Tuesday, she reiterated, was for a letter of support to show state officials that the County Commission would allow this park to come to be in Rosewood.
     DuPree provided the County Commission with copies of letters of support for the park from the Alachua County NAACP, the Gainesville Visitor’s Bureau, a letter from a library in Orlando and a letter from the City of Tallahassee.
     DuPree also showed various publications to remind the County Commission that the history of Rosewood of 1923 is still actively being seen. In fact, she provides tours to the Rosewood memorial marker that is state-owned.
     That marker has been destroyed several times, and it has been shot by guns before, she said. The state has replaced it each time.
     County Commissioner Lilly Rooks was the first to object to the idea. Her motion to not provide a letter of support died for lack of a second. County Commissioner Mike Joyner made a motion to provide a letter of support, with the caveat noted that the county would not maintain the park, nor would it provide insurance or spend any funds on the park.
     Joyner’s idea fell short too.
     Vice Chairman Matt Brooks made a motion to send a letter of support to the governor and other state interests. Joyner seconded it, adding his caveat about no insurance coverage, maintenance and the like.
     County Attorney Anne Bast Brown said that motion would not work, unless Vice Chairman Brooks modified his motion in the same manner as Joyner’s second. Brooks said he did not believe that was a proper manner in which to write a letter of support.

Rosewood Florida
Commissioner Rock Meeks seconds the motion.

Rosewood Florida

Lilly Rooks and Mike Joyner

     Joyner withdrew his second. Commissioner Rock Meeks seconded Brooks’ motion for a letter of support. Brooks, Rock Meeks and Chairman Meeks voted in favor of the motion. Commissioners Rooks and Joyner voted against the motion. Therefore, the motion passed 3-2, with Joyner and Rooks being the minority dissenters
     Before that final moment, though, there was a lot of discussion.
     DuPree shared with the Levy County Commission that descendants of some of those slain in Rosewood were the only black people in Florida who received compensation for such a heinous act, although there were similar events in the state’s history.

Staci Peters shares her thoughts about the half-acre park.

     Staci Peters, a Levy County resident, is one of the members of the Levy County Chapter of Rosewood Heritage Foundation.
     “There’s a reason why that monument (in Rosewood) continues to be vandalized,” Peters said. “In my experience, people fear things that they do not understand. There is a lot of ongoing, continued segregation in this county.
     “There is definitely a black and a white,” Peters continued, “unlike any place that I have ever lived before.”
      She endorses the half-acre park as one method to help educate children to be more mindful of racism, and to bridge that gap.
     “It doesn’t have to be black, white and brown,” Peters said. “We are all Americans. We all live here, proudly. And we can make this a better community if we work together.”
     Peters said people must not minimize the Rosewood deaths.
     “We are only better if we can learn from it,” Peters said, “and learn how to get along, and figure out where our similarities are – as opposed to the contrasting differences.”
     Debbie Goad, a member of the Levy County Chapter of Rosewood Heritage Foundation Inc., also spoke in favor of this project.

Rosewood Florida
Carolyn Cohen speaks about peace from the back of the meeting room.

Rosewood Florida
Holding her most recently published book -- Humanities and the Sunshine State (2015-2018) / University of Florida in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council / featuring Ms. Carolyn Cohen, this historian seeks peace among people.

     Carolyn Cohen, an artist and author, spoke at the meeting.
     Cohen said she has interacted with people on some of the bus tours given by the Foundation and DuPree. The author said she prefers to be “a calming force” because “history is not always kind.”
     Born in Chiefland in 1948, this local historian said her grandparents “… did not speak of Rosewood.” Cohen, a locally published historian, said she first met DuPree when DuPree was a librarian at Santa Fe Community College years ago.
     She said there is no reason to pit one person against another. Cohen said it is her belief that “We are all family.”

Rosewood Florida
Andrew Carnegie speaks

     Andrew Carnegie, president of the NAACP in Levy County and Tri-County Area, spoke.
     He said he endorses this half-acre park proposed by the Levy County Chapter of Rosewood Heritage Foundation.
     The 68-year-old Williston native said in his job as a funeral director, he can say without any question, that all people are the same inside – even if their skin is a different color on the outside.
     Carnegie’s great, great, great grandfather Jake Dotson was part of the Rosewood incident in 1923, he said.
     “Nobody talked about it,” Carnegie said.
     Carnegie said Rosewood is known worldwide for that one week of rioting. With this being 2019 now, he wants to see Levy County move forward and change in a positive manner.
     If there are problems, he said, try to work them out – but not at late night meetings.
     One of the low points of this session on Tuesday morning was after Carnegie, mentioned the nighttime meetings.

Rosewood Florida
Ron Grant (hat and cane) hears that all people are the same -- regardless of skin color.

     Ron Grant, an elderly man who attends many County Commission meetings, asked Carnegie about these nighttime meetings.
      Carnegie replied that friends of his family would discuss things “… that would divide our community.”
    “Are these white people,” Grant asked, “or are they colored people?”
     “They’re white,” Carnegie said to Grant.
     That is when Carnegie went on to say that all humans are the same. He knows from being a funeral director.
     “Back there in that back room,” Carnegie said, “when we embalm them – nothing is different – nothing. Everything is the same. Inside, outside, everything is the same.
     “So, it really bothers me,” Carnegie continued, “when I get out around the living, and you’ve got a difference (of opinion). It’s not different people. There’s no difference.”
     If anyone doubts this truth, they need to visit during an embalming, he said. All of the organs and everything is the same in every human, he said.
     “Only one thing’s messed up,” Carnegie said, “and we can’t control that.  That’s that no-good heart and that terrible mind.”
     Gussie Boatright then asked Chairman Meeks for guidance to help move this support letter approval along.
     More discussion ensued, and in the end, after the motion and second, Chairman Meeks said he knows this matter should have taken 15 minutes rather than an hour.
     The 3-2 vote was the final outcome – a letter of support will be written for state officials to see as DuPree and others seek to establish a half-acre somewhere in the Rosewood area to place a monument for peace, remembering the bloodshed and violence from about five generations ago in Levy County.
     Following is one narrative about the Rosewood incident.
     The Rosewood Massacre happened during the first week of January 1923, and it is a part of racism in Florida and in the United States, according to some historians.
     Ninety-six years ago, in rural Levy County, six African-Americans (blacks) and two Caucasians (whites) died in this confrontation, according to some reports.
     Other reports show the death toll to be between 27 to 150 fatalities.
     The town of Rosewood was destroyed, in what contemporary news reports characterize as a race riot. Rosewood business owners and residents John and Mary Jane Wright opened up their home to many black residents of Rosewood to hide them safety during the week of disturbances.
     The Wrights reportedly also were instrumental in organizing an early morning train escape, on the seventh day of this fighting -- allegedly saving many women and children.
     Before the massacre, the town of Rosewood had been a quiet, primarily black, self-sufficient whistle-stop on the Seaboard Air Line Railway. Trouble began when white men from several nearby towns lynched a black Rosewood resident because of unsupported accusations that a white woman in nearby Sumner had been beaten and possibly raped by a black drifter.
     When the town's black residents rallied together to defend themselves against further attacks, a mob of several hundred whites combed the countryside hunting for black people, and burned almost every structure in Rosewood.
     Sixty years after the rioting, the story of Rosewood was revived in major media when several journalists covered it in the early 1980s. Survivors and their descendants organized to sue the state for having failed to protect Rosewood's black community
     In 1993, the Florida Legislature commissioned a report on the incident. As a result of the findings, Florida became the first state to compensate survivors and their descendants for damages incurred because of racial violence.
     The incident was the subject of a 1997 feature film directed by John Singleton. In 2004, the state designated the site of Rosewood as a Florida Heritage Landmark.


Axis of family fun
starts with axes;

Family entertainment center
slated for Crystal River Mall;

Axe throwing, rock climbing, speedy go karts,
mirror mazes and more are planned

Crystal River Mall
Dorothy Dilworth, senior executive secretary to State Rep. Ralph Massullo, M.D.  (R-Beverly Hills, Dist. 34) (on the left) stands with David Perry Jr., owner of Hunter Springs Kayaks and developer of JAM! Entertainment ventures, as does Victoria White, community relations associate in the office of U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla. Dist. 11). The two ladies created a ‘Dan sandwich.’ Among the many other people present, was Crystal River Chamber of Commerce CEO Josh Wooten, and Chamber staff.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 15, 2019 at 10:39 p.m.
A member of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, the leader of the Crystal River Chamber of Commerce, staff members from state and federal legislators’ offices, a few members of the press and others showed up at the Crystal River Mall late Friday (Sept. 13) afternoon for a tour of the empty space formerly occupied by Kmart.


Crystal River Mall
This sign was put above the door just before Dave Perry made his announcement inside the former Kmart location at the Crystal River Mall late Friday afternoon (Sept. 13).

     David Perry Jr., owner of Hunter Springs Kayaks, heads a recently formed entertainment group, which seeks the establishment of indoor entertainment for the Nature Coast region.
     In making his announcement Friday, Perry said this is a significant development for the Crystal River Mall, the City of Crystal River, Citrus County and the region.
     This venture, he went on to say, will have a positive impact on the tourism industry as well as providing more options for people of every age to have fun.

Crystal River Mall
David Perry stands in front of some of the huge area he plans to fill with fun opportunities on the ground floor.

Crystal River Mall
A small crowd listens to the developer speak about his plans.

Crystal River Mall
Upstairs, David Perry mentions this as a possible mirror maze location. This photo shows one set of stairs leading up to this part of the structure.

Crystal River Mall
David Perry stands in front of a what is currently a long drop, but which may become a ramp area to make access to the second floor available to disabled visitors. And this could be a zip-line area as well. Also, behind him, might be the future top of a tall rock-climbing structure.

     During the announcements and tour, Perry mentioned that while he has the start-up and financing through phase one, he is receptive to speaking with investors who are interested in providing bridge loans and even investors who want to become part of the company.
     While that is for the future, though, the most immediate agenda shows axe-throwing as the first indoor recreational activity at the proposed huge venue for family fun.
     The future entertainment center is slated to include various activities beyond axe-throwing, which will include rock climbing and in time, center around a massive climate-controlled, indoor go kart track. The karts are electric powered, Perry said, and will be for children 7 years old through adults of any age.
     These karts, he said, will have a top speed of 60 miles per hour.
     Perry started and is the sole owner of Just Amuse Me! Entertainment Group right now, he said, as he provided the “big reveal” on Friday (Sept. 6), The 100,000 square-foot entertainment center goes into the second story, Perry said as he escorted a group of about 20 people through the whole facility – including to the outdoor area that used to be a garden center.
     Perry said this attraction may help improve the concept of Crystal River as a destination. He mentioned that manatees are a draw for people to visit the area. These recreational options he plans to off, Perry said, offer more reasons for people to spend the night in the city of Crystal River.
     Perry, the founder of Just Amuse Me! (JAM!) Entertainment Group LLC, said JAM! Entertainment is developing this concept in phases, with plans to serve the public as early as this fall. The final phase of the entertainment center is scheduled to open to the public by the spring of 2020.
     “We are extremely excited to be able to bring something like this to the City of Crystal River and Citrus County,” Perry said. “It’s going to be huge!”
      He gave his perspective on this new venture as a magnet for visitors.
     “This isn’t something that couldn’t be done in Orlando,” he said. “But if Mom wants to come see manatees, now she will have more ammunition to get the whole family here, right?
     “So, being able to have that opportunity,” he continued, “we feel incredibly privileged to be able to bring that here.”
     Perry said he plans to add air-hockey tables, pool tables, Skee-ball, basketball and some video games scattered through the venue. However, the arcade games are not a major part of the plan, he added.
     After the tour, Citrus County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith shared his perspective on how this venture will be good for his family.
      Smith who has some physical limitations, due to becoming disabled in the military.
     Smith said his and his wife Vickie’s 12-year-old daughter Gabriella told him the other weekend “Daddy let’s go do something.”
     “My response was, ‘What do you want to do?’” Smith said.
     He said they couldn’t go play sports games, as a result of his disability. Thinking of something to do presented a conundrum.
     After JAM! Entertainment brings these activities to fruition, this will improve the quality of life in the area -- as far as fun options for everyone.
     “We can do things like he described here today,” Smith said. “Drive a go cart. I can do that. So, it is going to provide more opportunities, and not just for tourists, in this county.”

Crystal River Mall
Citrus County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith shakes hands with David Perry, developer of a family entertainment center and owner of a kayak business.
     Perry said the ax-throwing section of the development will be the first to open. In 30 to 60 days, Perry intends to have people throwing axes at this site.
     The last phase of the development, Perry said, will be the electric-powered speedy go karts.
     As people looked at the false ceiling of the old Kmart store, one person asked if the ceiling would be removed for rock climbing. Perry then took the group on a tour to the second floor where he showed three sets of stairs leading up there.
      One new aspect he mentioned beyond those in the advance for this event was mirror mazes. Another idea is for an annual ice-skating event, he said.
     While he mentioned a “final phase,” Perry said he has 20 more ideas for expansion. Another concept he mentioned was helicopter rides from the heliport outside.
     There are plans to have separate rooms, including a VIP room for parties. Among the other potential bits of enjoyment at this future site will be an upscale restaurant.
     The potential exists in the not-so-distant future, Perry intimated, for a guest to arrive by helicopter and be provided a set of fun activities while being escorted or guided by an employee assigned to that special guest.
     During Perry’s lengthy question-and-answer session and tour, Linda Sojka, a business owner in the mall, thanked him for starting this venture there. Sojka owns RSVP Marketing.
     Meanwhile, a walk through the mall shows Rural King has attached itself to the benefit of shoppers and mall owners. The other big draw is the Regal Cinema movies. With Crystal River vehicle traffic being a little less congested than Gainesville or Ocala, those movie theaters have an advantage.
     There are hair stylists, people who give massages and pedicures and manicures, and there are tattoo artists in business there. There are some food vendors. One shoe repair professional specializes in orthopedic shoes, and his shop is at the mall.
     The Crystal River Mall has plenty of space for lease.
     In 2013, JCPenney closed. In 2014, Belk closed. Also, in 2014, Also, Rural King bought the closed Sears anchor and opened its store. In April of 2017, Kmart closed.
     When asked if Perry thought his future venture would bring more retailers to the mall, he answered in the affirmative.
     During his talk with people on Friday, Perry said he would like to see all of the mall business owners get together to increase their efforts as a cohesive unit.
     And so, visitors who come to Crystal River to see manatees, soon may be able to enjoy throwing axes, climbing on rocks, riding in go karts, discovering the way out of a mirror maze and much more – all at the Crystal River Mall.
     It will take time, though. The first phase, Perry said, is axe throwing.


New device used to save lives
Chiefland Florida CPR
Seen in action Monday night (Sept. 9), the Chiefland City Commission comprised of (from left) Vice Mayor Tim West, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, Mayor Chris Jones, City Commissioner Donald Lawrence and City Commissioner Norman Weaver lead the city. During this meeting, the Commission unanimously chose to keep Mayor Jones Vice Mayor West in their respective posts of leadership of the City Commission. Jones, Hudson and Weaver took the oath of office that night, too; hence, the vote to decide who is mayor and vice mayor of that Commission.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 13, 2019 at 8:39 a.m.
The Chiefland Fire Rescue Department is using a new tool to help save lives, and they have had occasion to put it into action at least a couple of times as of the Monday night (Sept. 9) meeting of the Chiefland City Commission.


Chiefland Florida
This still photo, taken from the March video created by of the device in action, shows it compressing the chest of a mannequin that is used to teach CPR.

     This automated, mechanical chest-compression device conducts cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on adult patients in that type of distress.
     To see the story published in March, including the video of this robotic CPR machine being demonstrated, click HERE.
      Chief James Harris found another unanimous vote of approval Monday night in regard to this lifesaving device, after Vice Mayor Tim West made a motion, seconded by City Commissioner Norman Weaver, to accept the $2,500 Florida Municipal Insurance Trust Matching Safety Grant.
     The total cost of the CPR robotic ARM is $12,402.50, according to records. After the FMIT grant, the total cost to the city is $9,902.50, according to records.
     After the regular meeting Monday night, this set of municipal leaders conducted a tentative millage and budget hearing in regard to the budget that takes effect Oct. 1.


DCSO adds eight more suspects
to ongoing drug busts

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 6, 2019 at 5:19 p.m
The Dixie County Sheriff's Office added eight more suspects to its list of people in an ongoing series of arrests of people who are believed to be selling or possessing drugs, according to information provided in a Friday afternoon (Sept. 6) press release from DCSO Maj. Scott Harden.
     As noted in previous stories, the DCSO worked with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency on some cases originating in Dixie County, and this federal agency recognized the DCSO for its excellent service in the war on drugs.
     An investigation has been ongoing for the past several months and has already led to several arrests along with three federal indictments, Harden noted on Friday (Sept. 6).
     Tuesday and Wednesday nights (Sept. 3 and 4), DCSO deputies served additional arrest warrants involving the sale of illegal drugs during the course of this investigation that has been going on for months, Harden said.
     Deputies served these warrants on eight more suspects those two nights, he said.
     Some of these individuals were arrested for allegedly selling methamphetamine, various opioids and other illegal drugs, according to the information in the press release.
     At the time of their arrests, some of the suspects were found to be in possession of illegal drugs and/or drug equipment, Maj. Harden added.
     One of the additional counts of possession resulted when deputies found a syringe loaded with methamphetamine and Dilaudid hidden in the suspects “slushy.” A slushy is also known as a slush, a slushee, or a slushie, it is a beverage that is flavored ice.
     Dilaudid is a medication that contains hydromorphone in a long-acting form. It is used to help relieve severe ongoing pain. Hydromorphone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics, according to information from pharmacy websites.
     The eight suspects in the most recent roundup of suspects are shown below:

Dixie County
Rowdy Chance Morris, 30, of Trenton (left) -- two counts of sale of methamphetamine possession of methamphetamine; and Travis Lee Pendarvis, 39 of Old Town -- sale of methamphetamine

Dixie County
Dolores Willoughby, 56 of Old Town (left) -- sale of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance; and Roxann Lynn Callahan, 40, of Old Town – sale of a controlled substance (Percocet) (oxycodone/acetaminophen), possession of a controlled substance, and introduction of contraband into a correctional facility.

Dixie County
April Nicole Higginbotham, 40 of Old Town (left) -- sale of a controlled substance (Dilaudid), three counts of sale of methamphetamine, sale of a controlled substance (Xanax- used to treat anxiety and panic disorders), possession of a controlled substance (Dilaudid), and possession of drug equipment; and Brenda Kay Beach, sale of methamphetamine.

Dixie County
Curtis (or Kurtis) Gene Potter (left) -- sale of methamphetamine; and Jay T. Working, 28, of Old Town, two counts of sale of methamphetamine.


Hospital promise
emerges in Chiefland again

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 28, 2019 at 10:39 p.m.
For at least 14 years now, rumors of a hospital being built in Chiefland have continued, and there was some activity by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration in that regard – which led to nothing more than a sign being erected about a future hospital near Walmart.
     The most recent version of this idea came in a letter from Nature Coast Business Development Council Executive Director David Pieklik.
     In an Aug. 23 letter to Chiefland City manager Mary Ellzey, Pieklik noted that a cardiologist is working with Pieklik to bring a community hospital to Chiefland.
     It would be located in the former building used by Nature Coast  (Citrus County) Hospice, which was formerly a retail outlet for used items, and it was connected to a former deli.
     That location is just south of the medical professionals’ center where Palms Medical Group, Dr. Bill Martin - orthodontist and other interests have their facilities.
     Pieklik asked for a letter of support from the city for the project, and the City Commission unanimously agreed to provide him with a letter of support.
     Historically, the city leaders always have supported a hospital being put in Chiefland.
     Pieklik said the plan is to open a clinic by October and the hospital would be within three years. The doctor is working to secure a loan through the USDA, which would allow the hospital to open sooner, Pieklik said.
      There would be a surgical suite, certain specialists and 10 beds.  About 40 people would be employed when the hospital comes to fruition, Pieklik said.
     Meanwhile, Jason Kennedy, owner of Complete Sleep and Furnishings previously has told the City Commission that an urgent care facility is looking at Kennedy’s former business location near Walmart to open there.
     This April 22 story in explains what Quick Care may do. Click HERE to see that previous story.


Sheriff commends deputies
Dixie County
Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. stands between DCSO deputies Conner Meekins and Tallon Reed as they hold their letters of commendation.

Photo Provided by DCSO Maj. Scott Harden

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 27, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
     CROSS CITY --
Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr.  recently presented two deputies with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office with letters of commendation for their work.
     At a recent law enforcement staff meeting, Sheriff Hatcher recognized DCSO deputies Conner Meekins and Tallon Reed for their actions on the night of Jan. 26.
     Both men received a “Letter of Commendation” for their actions that night.
     When they responded to a call for help in regard to a home invasion at a residence in Old Town, they did their duty to protect lives.
     Upon arrival at the scene, they quickly removed the female victim from the home and secured her safely in a patrol car, DCSO Maj. Scott Harden noted in a press release regarding these letters of commendation.
     While the deputies were doing this, they learned that the female victim's husband had been attacked and beaten by the intruder, Maj. Harden said.
     Meekins and Reed then reentered the home and began moving toward the rear of the home where the attack occurred, Harden said. While doing so, Harden said, the intruder came out of a room and pointed a handgun at the two deputies.
     The deputies exchanged gunfire with the intruder, Harden said. The intruder was struck by the gunfire and incapacitated allowing them to take him into custody, Harden said.
     The deputies began rendering aid to the male victim, Harden said, although he ultimately died from the injuries he suffered during the attack.
     Sheriff Hatcher's commendation read as follows:
     "Letter of Commendation
     "The purpose of this letter is to formally and publicly recognize and commend you for your actions on January 26, 2019 as documented in incident number 19S00792.
     "The bravery you demonstrated and the heroic actions you took in this incident to rescue and aid the victims were commendable. You took these actions while placing yourself in imminent personal danger knowing the personal risks to yourself. Were it not for your quick thinking in determining a method to perform these actions and then the bravery to carry out these actions, the event could have certainly led to the additional loss of life.
     "Thank you for your service to the citizens of Dixie County and for representing the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office in an exceptional manner."



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Sandra Wilcox (left) and Angie Acevedo pause for a moment before singing the Jingle on Thursday evening (June 11) in the lobby of The Chief Theater in Chiefland. These two performers accommodated at photographer-videographer as he assured the picture-taking machine (Canon EOS Rebel T6) was in focus. Wilcox and Acevedo are both assistant directors working with Director Rebecca Locklear on the play School House Rock Live Jr
Watch the video below to hear this duet sing the jingle -- in one take! There are photos and a story about the children's performances, which are set for two weekends on the LEISURE PAGE.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © July 12, 2019 at 9:39 a.m.

115th Set of Jingle Performers

Sandra Wilcox (left) and Angie Acevedo sing the Jingle on Thursday evening (June 11) in the lobby of The Chief Theater in Chiefland. Wilcox and Acevedo are both assistant directors working with Director Rebecca Locklear on the play School House Rock Live Jr. If you want to sing the jingle, just let Jeff M. Hardison know or send an email to He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree to sing it. (Thanks people!)
Published July 12, 2019, at 9:39 a.m.

© Video by Jeff M. Hardison, All Rights Reserved


Your weather just got better.

FRIDAY  SEPT. 20  8:29 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties

Chiefland Florida


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Levy County

Cedar Key Florida

Old Town Florida

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Chiefland Florida


City Of Williston Florida

Williston Florida

 Chiefland Florida

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Chiefland Florida


Williston Florida


Likwid Communications Ad

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Rotary Club Interact Fundraiser Gilchrist County


Williston Florida


Inglis Florida Levy County Florida


Cross City Dixie County Florida


Gilchrist County Florida


Gilchrist County


Cedar Key Florida


DAixie County Florida

Bronson Florida Levy County Florida


Gilchrist County Florida

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to contact Danny Etheridge, CRPC.


Chiefland Florida
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Williston Florida

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Inglis Florida


Chiefland Florida


Gilchrist County Florida
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Dixie County RV Site


Clinical Research Chiefland
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Chiefland Florida
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Dixie County


Archive Levy Dixie Gilchrist counties

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