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Local News

  • Hurricane IdaWind, rain to be main effects on Levy

    Emergency management officials are urging residents to closely monitor Hurricane Ida as it heads into the Gulf of Mexico and makes its way toward the Florida Panhandle.

    “All Floridians should take this storm seriously and not be caught off-guard over the next few days,” said Ruben D. Almaguer, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Residents across Florida are urged follow the progress of Ida and be prepared to implement their family disaster plans and heed local advisories.

  • Grants fund EOC facelift

    The Levy County Emergency Operations Center recently received much needed upgrades to its exterior, according to Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson.

    The project included new paint for the exterior of building, parking lot restriping and sealing, and landscaping. Just under $10,000 was spent on the improvements, Johnson said. The funding came from federal and state Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance Grant monies that must be spent in the fiscal year they are awarded.

  • ER situation worries Levy officials

    The imminent closing of Alachua General Hospital has some Levy County officials worried.

    “I’m very concerned about the time it’s going to take to get a patient in. It’s going to make us wait longer to get a bed,” Trish Seibold, Levy County Emergency Management Services director, said in a phone interview on Oct. 23.

    Levy County EMS transports about 7,000 patients a year to emergency rooms located in several counties — with Alachua county hospitals being the most frequented, according to Seibold.

  • VPK prepares children; saves parents money

    It is expensive to raise your little bundle of joy, but the state of Florida has a program that helps save a pile of money.

    Voluntary Prekindergarten, commonly referred to as VPK, is a program funded by the state that gives four-year-olds free schooling, said Tonya Hiers, the program and client services manager for Dixie County, Gilchrist County and Levy County at the Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast. The coalition disburses the money and regulates the program.

  • Fall at the Derby

    The racing silks were flying. The horses were bridled and ready. The guests were meandering over the grounds. It was a clear night Saturday as Black Prong Equestrian Center welcomed hundreds of Haven Hospice supporters to Fall at the Derby.

    The autumn event is one of two major fund-raisers hosted by Haven Hospice annually, but the emphasis is always on “fun” rather than “fund.”

  • Halloween Happenings

    Trail of Treats

    Trail of Treats in the city of Williston will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 6 – 8 p.m.

    Corn Maze

    A seven-acre field maze is waiting for you to lose yourself in it this Saturday, Oct. 31 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    The operation of the maze, located on the Fant Ranch, is sponsored by Levy County 4-Hee^clubs.

    Admission is $6 for children 8 years old to adult. Children 7 and under are admited free. Concessions will be available. Participants are advised to wear outdoor clothing and comfortable shoes.

  • Declining enrollment will cost schools

    School Board of Levy County Superintendent Bob Hastings said on Tuesday that the school district’s full-time enrollment decreased from last year by an estimated 96 students, raising concerns about a major source of revenue for the district.

    Speaking at the school board’s meeting, Hastings said that the loss of students would directly impact the amount of fund received by the state. The district also lost about 150 students from the previous school year.

    The estimated revenue loss is expected to be $1.75 million.

  • Library boasts new books

    The Williston Public Library has new books. Check them out today:

    Non-Fiction: The End of Overeating, The Illustrated Atlas of Jewish Civilization, Your Backyard Wildlife, Grace for Each Hour, Chess, Diving Guide to Underwater Florida, The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash, Losing my Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s.

  • ‘Carnival’ theme of 2010 Relay for Life

    The Relay for Life committee held an Early-Bird meeting on Sept. 15 to kick off the 2010 American Cancer Society’s largest fund raising event.

    Co-chairs Frances LaSalle and Crystal Curl greeted nearly 30 people to talk about the event, scheduled for April 17, 2010, at Williston High School.

    This Relay will have a new twist; it will be held during the day, from 8 a.m. until midnight. Previous rallies have begun at 6 p.m. and lasted through the night. It is hoped that the new format will allow more people to participate.

  • Downtown Williston suffers: Businesses feeling pinch from recession

    Bonnie Burchett helped one customer all day, and it was already about 2:30 p.m.

    Burchett’s store, Bonnie’s Antiques, is like many other small businesses in downtown Williston. They are struggling to survive in the economic recession.

    “Everybody is fighting to keep alive,” said Irrie Campbell, owner of Come Tan Your Hide, “and especially the small business because we don’t have a whole lot to fall back on.”