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Local News

  • REDI, willing and able

    It was a morning of brutal honesty when Williston City Planner Josie Lodder explained to members of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) all the barriers that keep the city from being the best it can be.

    REDI, comprised of members from all the state’s major agencies, serves 32 of Florida’s rural counties and was created in 1997 to assist those rural counties and their municipalities to overcome challenges to improve their economies.

  • Red White & Blues will host Blueberry Festival May 6-7

    Nothing says springtime more than the juicy goodness of fresh Florida blueberries – unless it’s a festival held down on the farm.

    This year, Williston’s Red White & Blues Farm, a renowned U-Pick center, will celebrate the season with its first Blueberry Festival May 6-7.

    More than 100 vendors, featuring arts, crafts, information and food are expected to be on site at the 100-acre farm during the two-day event that will also showcase blues and jazz music, pony rides, a petting zoo, bungee rides and more for the children in your life.

  • 'Sell our city' Friday

    City Planner/Project Manager Josie Lodder is asking Williston residents to roll out the welcome mat for representatives of the Rural Economic Development Initiative when they visit the city for a meeting on Friday, March 17.

    While the group will be meeting at Joyce Bullock Elementary School, Lodder said the group will be having lunch in the city and taking a tour and members of the working group can be identified by the green carnations they will be wearing for Sy. Patrick’s Day.

  • Williston veteran 'saddened, embarrassed' by lack of memorial

    David Wilson's roots in Williston go back generations. His grandparents once owned a boarding house where Hardee's now stands.

    He grew up here, graduated from high school here and years after returning from Vietnam a decorated veteran, he came back here to live. Two of his children live here.

    He loves this town – this community.

  • Chamber installs new directors

    It was an evening of frolic, food and fun Saturday when the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual installation banquet celebrating Mardi Gras, the last period of decadence before Lent.

    Chamber members and their guests came decked out in purple, green and gold – and of course, beads and masks to witness the installation of officers and the board of directors by Judge Tim Browning.

  • Councilman Hass follows God's voice

    He never wanted to be a pastor. He never dreamed of being a politician. Today, he is both.

    Tim Hass, the latest appointee to the Williston city council, qualified unopposed and will now serve two years in his post.

    Born to a military family, Hass lived in Germany and Japan before settling around Homestead, where he spent the majority of his youth.

    After high school, he worked in management with Sears before going to Southeastern University in Lakeland.

  • Chapter 48 still in the works

    Dissatisfied that the Williston Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Committee did not agree with the Chapter 48 rewrite in the Code of Ordinances, members of the Board of Adjustments and Code Enforcement (BACE) decided Monday night to try one more time.

    Bruce Schupp, the chief author of the rewrite represented BACE in January at the P&Z meeting, where members called it "too subjective" and already containing much of what is currently in the ordinance that governs aesthetics and safety. P&Z members also said there does not need to be a citywide standard.

  • Dunn favors education back at local level

    By David Davis

    ddavis@chieflandcitizen.com

    A crowd of mostly educators applauded on three occasions when congressman Dr. Neal Dunn mentioned Congress’s commitment to doing away with Common Core, returning control of education to the local level and simplifying the tax code.

  • Exercise caution; vigilance

    Williston is a safe community.

    Police Chief Dennis Strow wants to keep it that way and he's asking the city's residents for their help.

    In the last few weeks, there have been several vehicle break-ins within the city, and two cars were stolen. Both of those cars were found – one because it ran out of gas and the other abandoned.

    "Creepers", people who wander around looking for unlocked vehicles are most likely the suspects, the chief said.

  • Nitrates contaminating springs' basin

    Five times more nitrates than should be present are destroying the Rainbow Springs Basin and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is taking steps to correct it.

    Tuesday night, the EPD's Mary Paulic told the Williston City Council that the nitrate concentration is too high and algal mats now cover vegetation and the river bottom. Those mats block sunlight and could be detrimental to marine life.

    Agriculture accounts for the largest percentage of nitrogen in the water, she said, but septic tanks also contribute.