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Local News

  • Appraiser concludes amendment explanations

    Levy County Property Appraiser Francis Akins recently sent the fourth of four parts of information concerning the proposed 2007 Property Tax Reform Legislation, which will become a constitutional amendment if 60 percent or more of the Florida voters approve it via the Jan. 29 ballot.

    The fourth part deals with what is called the "Non-Homestead Property 10 Percent Cap."

    The proposed constitutional amendment would make an exemption available to owners of real property who do not have a homestead exemption or an agriculture use assessment on the property, Akins said.

  • City workers vote for union

    City of Williston employees have voted by a wide margin to affiliate themselves with the AFSCME union.

    The vote was 27 for unionization, four against and 14 not voting.

    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, describes itself as "the nation's largest and fastest growing public service employees union."

  • New City Hall plan moves to next step

    The face of downtown Williston may soon change more dramatically than it has in recent months.

    Walgreens will open in the spring, of course, and the new Williston Business Plaza on South Main Street is already full. Work will soon begin on the block of Linear Park in front of City Hall - which may not be city hall for very long.

  • Akins ordered to release records

    Circuit Court Judge David Glant ordered Levy County Property Appraiser Francis Akins to "show good cause" why the court should not force him to hand over public records.

    The order to show cause was issued Jan. 4 and it gives Akins 15 days to respond. The judge's order follows a petition from Anthony Phillips, a deputy clerk in the civil circuit division who is running against Akins for property appraiser.

  • CRA concentrates on facade improvements

    Williston's CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) is encouraging downtown businesses to spruce up with the help of facade improvement grants, which will total $10,000 for this year alone.

    The thrust of the effort is to restore the historic feel of downtown Williston by returning core buildings to their original appearance.

  • League of Cities opposes amendment

    The Florida League of Cities has issued the following information in opposition to the proposed property tax amendment.

    Amendment #1: Why It's Wrong for Florida

    BACKGROUND: The membership of the Florida League of Cities recently passed a resolution to OPPOSE the proposed property tax constitutional amendment on the Jan. 29 ballot.

    What the Amendment Does

    The proposed constitutional amendment does four things:

  • Cason won't run, Hager, Holloway seek his spot; Shoemaker, Hethcoat elected

    Williston’s city council will have new look in the spring.

    The qualifying period ended at noon on Friday, Jan.18, and brought with it a major surprise. Longtime councilman James "Jake" Cason will not compete to retain his Group E seat.

    Candidates for that position are Lindsey Hager and Brooks Holloway, former city manager.

    The Group D seat being vacated by Jerry Robinson, who is running for county commissioner, will go by default to Michael Shoemaker, a relative newcomer to the community. Shoemaker is the only candidate for the seat.

  • Jobless rates climb in area and state

    BY JEFF M. HARDISON

    For the Pioneer

    The two biggest cities for Levy County workers to find jobs have shown increases in the numbers of unemployed people within their own city limits in 2007, according to records.

    Unemployment rates for Gainesville and Ocala showed an increase in 2007 in comparison with 2006, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    The average unemployment rate in Gainesville for all of 2006 was 2.7 percent. The average unemployment rate in Ocala for all of 2006 was 3.4 percent, according to federal records.

  • Bishop visits Holy Family

    Most Rev. Victor Galeone, right, bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, performs a reading during the rededication and blessing ceremony at Holy Family Catholic Church in Williston on Sunday. With him is Father Rodolfo Godinez, pastor. The event rededicated the church and blessed the new parish hall and Angel House.

  • County approves equestrian events with some conditions

    Three equestrian events at two different places and happening over a three-month span received approval from the Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 8, but the approval includes conditions.

    The 90-acre Black Prong Equestrian Center is the sole location for two events, and it was specifically noted that no action related to these special events is to occur at "the annex" for the center.

    The first event is called Nature Coast Driving Event Trials. It is set to be on Jan. 19 and 20.