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Local News

  • 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.

  • 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.