• Friends of the Williston Public Library announce a program of authors reading excerpts of their books, poetry, life experiences and other topics. The program will be under the aegis of the Williston Woman's Club Education Committee and will be held at the Woman's Club, Thursday, Sept.15 at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be available for sale by the School Safety Patrol. There is no charge for the program.

  • The annual meeting for the Suwannee River Fair & Livestock Association will be held Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Fairgrounds in Fanning Springs.  Elections for seats on the Board of Directors will be held at this meeting.

  • Levy County has hired its first public safety director and he will start work on Aug. 22.
    David L. Knowles, a native of Hawthorne and a captain with the Citrus County Fire Rescue, has accepted the position that carries a $65,000 annual salary.
    The Levy County Commission unanimously approved Knowles’ hiring at its Aug. 2 regular meeting.  He was their top choice among six candidates interviewed by the commission in July.

  • When Levy County school bells ring Aug. 22, a new school will chime in as it greets its first student body after a year and a half of the three Ps–planning, preparing and praying.
    Williston Central Christian Academy, a kindergarten through sixth grade school, is in the final days of “let’s see what we lack” before the doors open in less than two weeks.

  • Robert Philpot, retired agricultural educator from Williston, has been selected as the 2011 Florida winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE).   
    The NAAE Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes agricultural educators who have made significant contributions to agricultural education at the state, regional, and national levels over the course of their careers.

  • The Levy County Commission expressed shock that it drew only one taxpayer to a public hearing on special assessments on Tuesday evening in the commission meeting room.

    It was a sharp change from two years ago when the hearing was held in the larger Courtroom A at the County Courthouse to accommodate the people objecting to increases in special assessments and any increase in property taxes.

  • Ask anyone in Williston who the reigning Queen of Coupon royalty is and without hesitattion the name Jennifer Goode Jones comes up.

    Jones, a Realtor, traffic school owner, wife and mother of two, began looking two years ago at ways to save money.

    After a lot of reading and research, she set out to put her newfound knowledge to the test by coupon clipping and redemption. 

  • As early as this Friday, Williston City Council members could learn the beginnings of the city’s financial situtation, as plans for the 2011-2012 budget are picking up speed.

  • A student who was once in the class of Williston High School 2011 was killed this morning in an accident on SR 121, near Wacahoota.

    Michael Alfred Cuello, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene after a two-car accident around 6:27 a.m.

    According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Cuello’s 2008 Hyundai Elantra was traveling west when it drifted into the eastbound lane, which was occupied by a 2002 Chevrolet pickup, driven by James Scott Arrington, 35, of Williston.

  • A Morriston man who has been arrested three times in the past for growing marijuana was nailed again last week.

    Mark O’Leary, 60,  of SE 25th St. was arrested July 20 after the Levy County Drug Task Force and Army National Guard conducted an aerial search looking for marijuana plants.

    The plants were spied by Capt. Danny Riffle, who  has been spotting marijuana plants since 1983 and has seized millions  of dollars worth of drugs.  Deputies on the ground responded to the area and confiscated 247 marijuana plants. 

  • Williston City Council members were dismayed last week to learn that Eco Sciences, the company that offered to pay the city for its waste water, was no longer interested in coming to a site at the airport.

    At the city council meeting, Councilor Brooks Holloway told council members that Gary Hammond, Eco Sciences CEO, had decided to move the project to a different city.

    “This costs the city $109,200 a year,” Holloway said, adding the reason was “because of the unprofessionalism of the council.”

  • A community’s dream is unfolding and last week took a giant leap with some much- needed money.
    Plum Creek, the nation’s largest private landowner, awarded Williston with a check for $10,000 earmarked for a soccer field in Cornelius Williams Park in East Williston.
    Adam Hall, the city’s project manager, instigated the grant application, but gave credit to the city staff, council and the residents who worked together to ensure a dream becomes reality.
    “It was a team effort,” Hall said.

  • Give Pat Miller a good hamburger, some soothing tunes on his stereo and a Robert B. Parker novel, and you make him a happy man.
    Miller, the city of Williston’s newest manager, was sworn in July 13 after he and council came to a happy consensus during his contract negotiations. He began work the next morning.
    With only four days on the job, Miller was running full speed Tuesday afternoon. He’d already met with several staff members, answered a dozen calls and sorted his priority lists into neat piles on his desk.


    The man known as “Big Money” gave something much more valuable to youth in Williston: His time.
    Gerard Warren, a former Florida Gator and current New England Patriots defensive tackle, donated dozens of hours this summer teaching football fundamentals to about 50 kids at Cornelius Williams Park.

  • You can always go back, but you can’t go up. That was the dominating thought Tuesday night when Williston City Council tentatively set the 2011-2012 millage at 5.9025–the same as it is now.
    There is a caveat to the millage rate, however. Property values in Williston have decreased more than $9 million this year, and if the council opts to stay with 5.9025 mills, it will generate about $57,000 less for the upcoming year.
    The 4-1 vote, with Councilor Norm Fugate opposing, came after two other failed attempts to set a preliminary millage rate.

  • Levy County’s outside auditor said the handling of its money is good and gave an unqualified review–the highest opinion possible.
    Alan Nast, of Carr, Riggs and Ingram, LLC, said the audit is “a nice snapshot” of how money is handled by the county. The report is for the county’s fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010.
    As for the unqualified opinion, “That’s what you want to hear,” he said.
    But the auditors also noted some items that the county should consider.
    Among other findings in the audit were:

  • Gary Hammond, owner of Eco Sciences, did not know which councilman was Brooks Holloway, after Holloway told council members Eco Sciences was not locating in Williston with Hammond citing "because of the unprofessionalism of the council."