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Local News

  • 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.

  • City will mow athletic fields

    A large contingent of board members and supporters of the Williston Youth Athletic Youth Association attended Tuesday evening’s city council meeting and dominated the meeting with their concerns about the maintenance of the Dailey-Scales sports complex.

    The discussion had been sparked by a letter to the editor that appeared in the June 18 edition of the Pioneer. Jeff Holcomb and Bob Levesque officially represented the group, while several of the parents in the audience also spoke.

  • Sheriff wants pay raises while county is in cutting mood

    Col. Mike Johnson surely must wish he had accompanied Sheriff Johnny Smith on his religious mission to Romania rather than stand before the Levy County Commission Tuesday asking for a 3 percent pay raise in the annual budget.

    The county commission, which has asked departments to cut their budget requests by 5 percent from last year’s budget sent Johnson on his way with the direction to cut the sheriff’s budget by 5 percent.

  • Commission deadlocks 2-2 vote on contract

    The Levy County Commission operating with three elected commissioners, two suspended commissioners, one interim commissioner and a vacancy in an interim commission seat hit the wall with a tie vote that could not be broken Tuesday.

    The vote came during the regular meeting where Tax Collector Linda Fugate and County Judge Joe Smith asked the commission to terminate its contract for the Courthouse Space Study with Clemons Rutherford Associates of Tallahassee.

  • Board to settle valedictorian problem once and for all

    Over the last several years, conferring valedictorian and salutatorian honors on Levy County’s top-achieving high school seniors has been a process fraught with controversy and dissatisfaction.

    Complications in recent years include large numbers of co-valedictorians with identical GPAs, and unweighted GPAs causing students taking less-difficult standard high school courses to be honored over students taking honors and dual-enrollment courses.

  • Chiefland coach will get administrative hearing

    Levy County School board took action this week on a tabled recommendation concerning Chiefland High School ESE teacher Mark Lundy.

    Lundy was suspended without pay two meetings ago on a recommendation by Superintendent Robert Hastings over an allegation that he falsified classwork for a student. At the last meeting, Hastings asked the board to dismiss Lundy, but Bronson board member Cameron Asbell objected, saying he felt the investigation conducted by the personnel office did not conclusively demonstrate Lundy’s guilt.

  • Fire Department starts burn education program

    Sustaining a severe burn is one of the most painful and devastating injuries a body can endure. More than 250,000 of burn injuries occur every year in the United States and more than 10 percent of those injuries result in death. The Williston Fire Department is working to lower those statistics by first changing behaviors in our own community through a new nationally recognized and distributed burn education and prevention program called To Hell and Back: Community Awareness.

  • Summer fun at the library

    All five Levy County Public Library branches will have FREE Family fun this summer. Join in on the fun at your local library. Large groups are welcome, but please call in advance. For more information, contact your local librarian, or Jenny Rodgers, Youth Services Coordinator, 352-486-5552.

    Williston Public Library

    Monday, June 15 at10 a.m.

    Animal Adventures with Ranger Pam, Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys NWR

    Monday, June 22 at 10 a.m.