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NEWS

  • Of all the concerns facing Williston, none seemed more important at last week’s candidate forum than the people’s utility bills.
    Steve Holcomb, the incumbent, and his challenger Norm Fugate, along with Debra Jones and her challenger Jerry Robinson, faced about 50 people in the forum, moderated by Avis Seabrook.
    After brief personal introductions, each told why they are running.
    Holcomb cited many things he feels are positives for the city, including paving roads, putting money back into reserve and the proposed solar power system.

  • A city-sponsored workshop to iron out kinks in the utility policies began Tuesday night with an elementary science lesson  on how electricity gets from the power plant to residents’ homes.
    Director of Finance Marisela Barcenas gave a lengthy PowerPoint presentation on the structure that brings electricity from Progress Energy to the city,

  • Citizens and medics packed the Levy County Board of Commissioners meeting room to let the commissioners know the county’s Emergency Medical Services should be kept at the same level and possibly improved.
    The crowd of about 70 people filled every chair and lined the walls as the commission had a workshop Tuesday dubbed a discussion on “current and future county issues and EMS.“

  • Officials with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office said in a meeting last week that the agency needs to hire four new dispatchers and switch over to a communication system known as silent dispatching.
    “I really do believe our county will be better served,” Sheriff Johnny Smith told about 25 representatives from various agencies throughout the county in attendance at the meeting held at the sheriff’s office.

  • What could have been a lengthy meeting thanks to its 16-item agenda went smoothly Tuesday night as the Williston City Council started a new way of conducting meetings.
    At the beginning of the session, President Marc Nussel announced to the audience of about 20 that the public comment portion of the meeting had been removed from the agenda.
    Nussel said as president it was up to him to preside and conduct the meetings in a manner he saw fit, and on his own decided to delete public comments.

  • Fifteen Williston Cub Scouts competed in the Pinewood Derby Saturday. Who brought home the winner's trophy? See this week's Williston Pioneer for the answer.

  • Eleven people have applied to be appointed to the vacant District 1 Board of County Commissioners position according to applications released by Gov. Rock Scott's office.
    The applicants are: Sunshine D. Baynard, Abraham Blitch, Edith Brown, Noel Desmond, Darryl Diamond, Michael Joyner, John Meeks, Anthony Phillips, Jack Schofield, David Stone and Tony Berlon Weeks.

  • Erv Kauffman found peace and satisfacton in working and helping others. The combinaton led the Illinois native to almost single-handedly spearhead a campaign to revitalize the Williston Lions Club in 2009.
    Day in and day out for almost two years, he devoted himself to fund-raising, coordinating and looking for ways the club could benefit both individuals and businesses in his adopted home of Williston.
    That dedication and devotion came to an end Jan. 21 when Kauffman, 67, died from complications associated with liver cancer.

  • Candidates for Williston City Council will square off in a head-to-head debate Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.
    The debate begins at 6 p.m. at the Williston Community Center, adjacent to city hall.
    Scheduled to participate are Steve Holcomb and Norm Fugate, candidates for Group A and Debra French Jones and Jerry Robinson, candidates for Group C.
    Event organizers invite public participation and asks that you come prepared to ask questions on issues that concern you.

  • The Levy County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating the third suspect in an armed home invasion on Tuesday morning that terrorized the home health worker caring for an 81-year-old woman who was asleep in another room, according to a press release

    Stefan Lernard Lattimore, 35, of Gainesville is being sought on a warrant for armed home invasion robbery.  Lattimore may be in the Gainesville area and he should be considered armed and dangerous, according to the press release.

  • In the span of eight weeks, the faces of three key players in the city of Williston will have changed.
    Already gone is Norm Fugate, former city attorney who resigned Jan. 4. Jan. 27 will mark the last day for Valerie Anderson, city clerk and Police Chief Dan Davis has announced his retirement, slated for the end of February.
    Fugate, city attorney for almost 15 years,  resigned, citing differences with the city council. He read his resignation letter and it was only after he finished that he presented council members with a copy.


  • Three Williston men have been charged with a rash of burglaries that date back to July 2010 and includes at least two city  businesses.
    Jordan Shaffer, 21, Tye Pierce, 21 and Shon Smith, 18, were all arrested last week by Williston police officers in connection with burglaries at Pesso’s Pawn Shop and Green Shutters restaurant.

  • Al Joseph Carnegie Jr., 29, of Williston, was arrested by Chiefland police Saturday night after it was discovered through a records check during a traffic stop that he was wanted on  outstanding Alachua County warrants for two counts of trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in a controlled substance and public order crimes of racketeering, according to the Levy County Sheriff's Office.

  • High school students with college or tech school aspirations now have a program that helps them learn the ropes about college before they ever set foot on campus as students.
    A Plus is a college and career program that provides seminars and workshops that helps prepare students for the future.
    Johnnie Jones, program coordinator, told Williston Rotary members Tuesday that A Plus is designed to supplement while high school guidance counselors are doing.
    Students meet in the Williston High School Cafeteria for eight weeks every Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon.

  • Congressman Cliff Stearns has nominated the Williston Public Library for the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
    A letter from Michele Farrell, Senior Program Officer and Coordinator of the National Medal for Library Services, was received by Michelle Traylor, Williston Public Library Librarian, this past week.
    “We are just delighted with the nomination and appreciate the notice that Rep. Stearns has given us,” Traylor said. “We plan to fill out the nomination forms to show our library’s best  features.”

  • Williston city residents told council members Tuesday night they needed relief from what they believe are exorbitant reconnection fees once electric service has been halted.
    And because passions were so intense, and numerous, the council agreed to revisit its policy by holding a workshop to bandy ideas about Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m.
    The workshop came on the heels of nearly two hours of discussion from city residents about the city’s electric service, the power bills that follow and the fees charged to restore service.

  • An unidentified Hispanic man riding a bicycle was killed Tuesday on Hwy. 41 about four miles north of Williston.
    According to the Florida highway Patrol, the cyclist was struck by a 2006 Nissan driven by Marvin Gunn, 26.
    The two were both northbound when the Nissan’s front struck the bicycle, propelling the cyclist forward.