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Local News

  • Chamber co-founder Joe Lewis dies at 89

    Led by Pan Zettler, Joe Lewis, Frank Etheridge and a handful of others work began to form an organization that would promote Williston to not only Willistonians, but the outside world.

    It was 1985 and it was the formation of the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce.

    Last Friday, Lewis, one of those community-spirited people died after fighting the good fight with cancer. He was 89.

    “He was one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever known,” said Zettler. “There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to help.”

  • Sheriff says budget cut will cost three jobs

    There will be bad news for three employees at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.

    They will lose their jobs in the coming year.

    That’s the news delivered by Sheriff Johnny Smith and Col. Mike Johnson to the County Commission as they delivered their revised budget proposal.

    “This is kind of sad in a way,” Johnson said. “It’s sad that we’re losing people.

    “I feel more consideration could have been given to the sheriff’s department.”

  • Woman dies from suspected case of meningitis

    Fifteen Levy County residents have been treated with antibiotics after coming into contact with a 21-year-old woman who died of suspected bacterial meningitis at a Sumter County Hospital.

    Kellie Nichole Taylor, 21, died July 7, at The Villages Regional Hospital in The Villages in Sumter County where she was staying with a friend.

    Barbara Locke, administrator of the Levy County Health Department, said it was “a sad case.”

  • Traffic stop, chase nets 3 bricks of drugs

    Williston Police Department is seeking the driver of a vehicle in which three aluminum foil-wrapped bricks of what is believed to be cocaine was found, according to a press release.

                The driver, whose identity is unknown, jumped out of the vehicle and fled after refusing to stop for and failing to elude Officer David Deonarine on Northeast 13th Street at about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

  • Residents fight to maintain bucolic life

    It’s the epitome of Southern living.

    Straight narrow roads lined with moss-draped oak trees; acres upon acres of verdant pastures surrounded by miles of rail fencing and a stillness that can only be felt in extreme rural areas.

    And residents in Morriston and Montbrook are afraid that life, as they know it, will come to an abrupt end if a proposed limerock mine gets a special exemption from the Levy County Board of County Commissioners.

  • County attorney still in place after 11th hour attempt to terminate fails

    It was the third (month) anniversary of Commissioner Marsha Drew’s appointment to the seat by Gov. Charlie Crist, but the fireworks that went off at the Levy County Commission meeting Tuesday morning were in a discussion about County Attorney Anne Bast Brown’s contract and job benefits.

  • August hearing set on exotic animal operation

    The owners of a controversial exotic animal sanctuary in the Small Farms subdivision has filed a request for a special exception to zoning regulations to allow them to keep the lion, tiger, bear, two chimpanzees they have on the property.

  • School grades are in: Levy gets a ‘B’

    The Florida Department of Education released school grades last week, giving the Levy County School District as a whole a B grade, the same it received last year.

    “We are proud of our schools, proud of our teachers,” said Patrick Wnek, Director of Curriculum. “We want to congratulate our students and teachers for a job well done – of course, parents play a big role in that as well.”

    Eight schools in the county received an A, including all elementary and middle schools, as well as Cedar Key School.

  • Superintendent restructures district

    In an effort to streamline costs Superintendent Bob Hastings announced the elimination of eight administrative positions Tuesday, including Director of Literacy, Director of Secondary Education, Assistant Director of MIS/Technology, Coordinator of Testing/Attendance/Truancy, Coordinator of Supplemental Educational Services, Coordinator of ESOL, Teacher on Special Assignment over Instruction/Curriculum, and Evaluation Specialist.

    “The positions are no longer there or their responsibilities have changed,” Hastings told the School Board.

  • Justin Head is Citizen of the Year

    As an active Rotarian and president of the Williston Chamber of Commerce, Justin Head proves daily his devotion to his community.

    Friday night his efforts were rewarded when the Williston Junior Woman’s Club named him Citizen of the Year during the festivities at Horseman’s Park.