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Local News

  • Williston police chief has no plans to retire

    Williston Police Chief Dan Davis will be around for a while.

    At Tuesday evening’s city council meeting, council was presented with a letter sent by city clerk Valerie Anderson after she spoke to Chief Davis about his “requirements for retirement.”

    In the letter, signed by Davis at Anderson’s request, he says that he would consider retirement if the city would contribute 3 percent to his retirement fund (the police rate) rather than the 2.25 percent that applies to general employees.

  • Qualifying open for Bronson election

    Three seats are open in the Sept. 8 Bronson Town Council elections and qualifying has already brought two challengers and plans for a political rally on Aug. 29 at Bronson Youth League Park.

    Up for election are the seats held by: Aaron Edmondson in Seat One, Vice Mayor Beatrice Mongo in Seat Three and Melody La Flam in Seat Five.

    Restaurant owner Jim Beck, who heads the town’s Sewer Committee, has announced he will seek the seat held by Edmundson.

  • County sets tentative millage rate at 8 mills

    The property tax millage for Levy County is tentatively set at 8 mills, but that could change as the Board of Commissioners keeps whittling the budget for the upcoming fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

    County Coordinator Fred Moody said property owners will see the 8 mills rate on their TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices that will be mailed out, but that rate is not set in stone and it could go down.

  • New satellite phones create communications web to aid disaster recovery

    The Levy County Emergency Management has filled a gap in the communications loop throughout the region this week with the arrival of eight new satellite phones, according to LCEM Director Mark Johnson.

    “This plugs a huge communications hole in Levy County,” Johnson said. “If the area is hit with a major storm and all other communications are down, the satellite phones create an emergency responder communications web. We’ll be able to know exactly what the needs of each community are.”

  • Commissioners close door on chat after spat

    Levy County Commission Chair Nancy Bell had a closed door talk with fellow Commissioner Danny Stevens after the two sparred in a public meeting over her plans to attend a national conference while forcing budget cuts on county constitutional officers, departments and agencies.

  • Sheriff asks for same budget

    Levy County Commission Chair Nancy Bell says the county is in “dire straits” financially in the coming year and she would like to see across the board budget cuts of 5 percent from this year’s funding levels.

    But Sheriff Johnny Smith’s representative told the commission in a budget workshop Tuesday that if funding is not maintained at its current level patrol cars will be parked and “three or more” people will be laid off.

  • Checkbooks out: it's school budget time

    Levy County property owners might want to free up a few hours this coming Tuesday evening. At 5:01 p.m. on July 28, the Levy County School Board will hold its first public hearing on the 2009-2010 budget, including the proposed property tax millage for the coming year.

  • Breaking News Crist names Johnson to Parker's seat

    Owen Chad “Cracker” Johnson has been named to the Levy County Board of Commissioners District 1 seat, nine months after Gov. Charlie Crist suspended Tony Parker for being indicted on federal charges.

    Crist’s office made the announcement Wednesday afternoon after spending most of the day calling the other applicants.

    Johnson, 38, is married to Angela Quincey. The couple has four children, Tyler, Quin, Bryden and Maddilyn.

  • Proposed budget balanced; taxes lower

    The human element entered budget negotiations at the city council’s second budget workshop last week.

    Joining city manager Marcus Collins and finance director Mark Schiefer in their presentation was C.J. Zimoski, the representative of the city’s union, AFSCME. He was there to discuss the elimination of two positions from the Public Works Department, caused by the outsourcing of solid waste collection at the beginning of June. Mark Schneider, one of the two displaced workers, was there as well.

  • Rainbow River testing gets public scrutiny

    More beach closings on the Rainbow River are possible as the county tightens its standards for water quality at public swimming areas.

    On July 22, the Marion County Health Department recommended closing the Village of Rainbow Springs Beach, Rainbow Springs State Campground Beach and Dunnellon City Beach as well as KP Hole Park Beach.

    Water samples from these locations failed on two successive tests to meet the U.S. EPA’s recommended limit for enterococci bacteria — bacteria found in the intestines of all humans and warm-blooded animals.