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Today's News

  • Levy braces for teacher shortage

    Candy Dean, the Levy school district’s personnel director, said the teacher shortage in the county is the worst it’s been since she’s been in the job.

    And the problem isn’t isolated to the county. 

    The district still had 33 teaching positions listed on its job openings site two weeks before students return to class. Other counties in the region, like Citrus, Columbia and Hernando, are reportedly facing just as steep – or even steeper – shortages.

  • No Zika in Levy, but mosquitoes are being tested

    After the daily thunderstorms pass through Levy County residents need to go on patrol outside their homes and empty every container that has water in it. 

    That’s because the mosquito that carries the Zika virus is a container-grown pest, it does not breed in open ditches and ponds, said Matt Weldon, Levy’s Mosquito Control Department director. He made the plea to empty containers after every rainfall in a report on the virus to the County Commission on Tuesday. 

  • Williston tentatively sets millage the same

    Williston Council members were faced with its annual dilemma Tuesday night: raise the taxes or keep them the same.

    Florida law dictates that once a tentative rate is set it cannot be raised, but it can be reduced. Some government bodies opt to set it at the higher rate while budget preparation continues, knowing it can be lowered at the final public hearing.

    But Williston councilors appeared content with both the budgeting process and the city's current millage of 5.8627.

  • Candidates answer first round of questions

    The first of four candidate forums began with a resounding message from Tammy Jones, Supervisor of Elections.

    Aug. 30 is THE election.

    Because only Republican candidates are vying for county races, winners will be decided when Levy County voters head to the polls in a month.

    That means when registered Democrats get their ballots in August, there will be Republican candidates on it, Jones said, despite the fact this is a primary election.

  • Local candidates agree – and disagree

    Saturday’s candidate forum, sponsored by Williston AARP Chapter 912 and Citizens for an Engaged Electorate, drew several questions and raised many more that were left unanswered due to time constraints.

    What follows are the paraphrased questions and answers.

    Superintendent of Schools

    Q: What changes to standards, curriculum and testing do you support?

  • County offices to be filled Aug. 30

    It's a funny thing, but usually candidates for local office square off in a party primary and then face their opponents in the other party in the general election. 

    Not so this year in Levy County where the Republican Party is dominating local elections and the Democratic Party candidates are nonexistent.

  • Property values not rising quickly enough

    Usually when Levy County Property Appraiser Oz Barker says property values – and hence property taxes – are rising folks are not happy. 

    But public officials are facing a different dilemma. While property values are going up in most of Levy County, they are not rising as fast as the cost of goods and services the county must provide. And there are an increasing number of exemptions that take property off the tax rolls or minimize the taxes they must pay. 

  • Council denies package store

    In a unanimous decision Tuesday night, Williston City Council voted to deny a special exception for Yash Patel, who hoped to locate a package store at 131 N. Main St.

    The property is currently home to a church pastored by Gladys Days.

    Council had three choices before it – A) approve the exception B) approve the exception with special conditions or C) deny the exception.

  • Laughter is the secret

    M assaged with cottonseed oil and swaddled tightly, the baby who weighed only a pound and a half at birth was kept near the pilot light of the aunt’s gas stove. Three times each day the doctor who delivered the wee baby girl left his Philadelphia practice to come and check on his smallest patient.

    On the 18th day after her birth, her mother died, leaving baby Cecelia with the aunt whose stove provided her warmth.

  • Williston in good financial shape

    The city's financial officer gave his report on the first half of the year, ending in April, and things are looking rosy.

    Financial Officer Steve Bloom presented the report to the City Council at its Tuesday, July 5, meeting noting that by the end of April the city was 58.3 percent of the way through the fiscal year that started Oct. 1, 2015. 

    Some of Bloom's highlights: