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Local News

  • Council's insurance up in the air

    The idea of the city providing health insurance for elected city council members and the mayor at no cost to them was discussed briefly at Tuesday evening’s city council meeting.

    State statute allows for “local government units” to pay for all or part of the health care premiums of elected officials. The estimated cost per member in Williston is $360 per month, for a total of more than $25,000 annually.

  • Extension agent heads to Iraq

    Imagine advising farmers on raising food crops and cattle in Florida’s heat and alternating wet and dry spells, not to mentions hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning strikes.

    Now, imagine advising farmers in Iraq where the temperature can reach 120 degrees in July and August, a dusty dry wind blows from April to June and the 120-degree heat after June gets a little help from a steady flow of dry air. Florida’s hurricanes are replaced by dust storms over there. And rain occurs mainly from December through April.

  • 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.