• In 1879, visionaries committed to providing their friends and neighbors with news that affected them founded what would become the newspaper you are now holding in your hand.

    2009 marks the 130th year that the Williston Pioneer Sun News has continuously served the people of Williston and the surrounding area.

    To celebrate our birthday, we are extending an invitation to our readers to submit old photographs of Williston and its communities for a special commemorative issue that will be published in November.

  • The Williston Pioneer salutes the men and women of the Armed Forces who served or who are serving our country.

    Join us tonight, Nov. 11 at 6:30 in Heritage Park as our city pays tribute to the brave. Special speaker will be Rep. Leonard Bembry.

    Like your freedom? Thank a vet today.

  • The Levy County Commission is on its way to accepting the gift of a 6-foot-by 4-foot-by-3-foot black granite monument detailing the Ten Commandments and what could be an 11th one: “Love God and Keep His Commandments.”

    An application by the Tri County Pregnancy Center of Williston was presented by County Coordinator Fred Moody after being brought to the commission’s meeting on Tuesday by Sheriff Johnny Smith.

    Moody announced the application to the board which received the news without comment.

  • The city of Williston will honor veterans next Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m. with a special program at the pavilion in Heritage Park.

    Rep. Leonard Bembry will be the guest speaker.

    Music and remembrances will be included in the program.

  • Less than two weeks ago Felicia Fine, 22, married Charles Edwin Duke, 23.

    Wednesday night they argued at their home in Cedar Key.

    It ended when he shot her several times, dumped her body at a hunting camp, and took their roommate hostage for more than six hours in a standoff with deputies and Florida Wildlife Commission officers, according to a Levy County Sheriff's Office press release.

    On Friday, his bond was set at $2 million.

  • Trailing the Newberry Panthers 14-7 at halftime, the Red Devils played a third quarter that totally took the Panthers out of their game on senior night for the Panthers.

    The Red Devils defense had back to back interceptions by Desmond Holmes and Kalen Penny and the Red Devil offense churned out one long run after another by Deonte Welch and DJ King, on their way to a 21 point third quarter and a 28-14 lead.

    Welch put the game out of reach for the Red Devils with his third touchdown of the night on a 2 yard run for a 35-21 Red Devil win.

  • Less than two weeks ago Felicia Ann "Red" Fine, 22, married Charles Edwin Duke, 23.

    Wednesday night they argued at their home near Southwest 95th Avenue.

    It ended when he shot her several times, dumped her body at a hunting camp, and took their roommate hostage for more than six hours in a standoff with deputies and Florida Wildlife Commission officers, according to a Levy County Sheriff's Office press release.

    On Monday at 2 p.m. she will be buried at Cedar Key Cemetery in Cedar Key in a service officiated by Brother Billy Philmon.

  • Emergency management officials are urging residents to closely monitor Hurricane Ida as it heads into the Gulf of Mexico and makes its way toward the Florida Panhandle.

    “All Floridians should take this storm seriously and not be caught off-guard over the next few days,” said Ruben D. Almaguer, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Residents across Florida are urged follow the progress of Ida and be prepared to implement their family disaster plans and heed local advisories.

  • The Levy County Emergency Operations Center recently received much needed upgrades to its exterior, according to Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson.

    The project included new paint for the exterior of building, parking lot restriping and sealing, and landscaping. Just under $10,000 was spent on the improvements, Johnson said. The funding came from federal and state Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance Grant monies that must be spent in the fiscal year they are awarded.

  • The imminent closing of Alachua General Hospital has some Levy County officials worried.

    “I’m very concerned about the time it’s going to take to get a patient in. It’s going to make us wait longer to get a bed,” Trish Seibold, Levy County Emergency Management Services director, said in a phone interview on Oct. 23.

    Levy County EMS transports about 7,000 patients a year to emergency rooms located in several counties — with Alachua county hospitals being the most frequented, according to Seibold.

  • It is expensive to raise your little bundle of joy, but the state of Florida has a program that helps save a pile of money.

    Voluntary Prekindergarten, commonly referred to as VPK, is a program funded by the state that gives four-year-olds free schooling, said Tonya Hiers, the program and client services manager for Dixie County, Gilchrist County and Levy County at the Early Learning Coalition of the Nature Coast. The coalition disburses the money and regulates the program.

  • The racing silks were flying. The horses were bridled and ready. The guests were meandering over the grounds. It was a clear night Saturday as Black Prong Equestrian Center welcomed hundreds of Haven Hospice supporters to Fall at the Derby.

    The autumn event is one of two major fund-raisers hosted by Haven Hospice annually, but the emphasis is always on “fun” rather than “fund.”

  • Trail of Treats

    Trail of Treats in the city of Williston will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 6 – 8 p.m.

    Corn Maze

    A seven-acre field maze is waiting for you to lose yourself in it this Saturday, Oct. 31 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    The operation of the maze, located on the Fant Ranch, is sponsored by Levy County 4-Hee^clubs.

    Admission is $6 for children 8 years old to adult. Children 7 and under are admited free. Concessions will be available. Participants are advised to wear outdoor clothing and comfortable shoes.

  • School Board of Levy County Superintendent Bob Hastings said on Tuesday that the school district’s full-time enrollment decreased from last year by an estimated 96 students, raising concerns about a major source of revenue for the district.

    Speaking at the school board’s meeting, Hastings said that the loss of students would directly impact the amount of fund received by the state. The district also lost about 150 students from the previous school year.

    The estimated revenue loss is expected to be $1.75 million.

  • The Williston Public Library has new books. Check them out today:

    Non-Fiction: The End of Overeating, The Illustrated Atlas of Jewish Civilization, Your Backyard Wildlife, Grace for Each Hour, Chess, Diving Guide to Underwater Florida, The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash, Losing my Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s.

  • The Relay for Life committee held an Early-Bird meeting on Sept. 15 to kick off the 2010 American Cancer Society’s largest fund raising event.

    Co-chairs Frances LaSalle and Crystal Curl greeted nearly 30 people to talk about the event, scheduled for April 17, 2010, at Williston High School.

    This Relay will have a new twist; it will be held during the day, from 8 a.m. until midnight. Previous rallies have begun at 6 p.m. and lasted through the night. It is hoped that the new format will allow more people to participate.

  • Bonnie Burchett helped one customer all day, and it was already about 2:30 p.m.

    Burchett’s store, Bonnie’s Antiques, is like many other small businesses in downtown Williston. They are struggling to survive in the economic recession.

    “Everybody is fighting to keep alive,” said Irrie Campbell, owner of Come Tan Your Hide, “and especially the small business because we don’t have a whole lot to fall back on.”

  • Bronson Mayor Franklin Schuler said he will be filing a defamation lawsuit against the parties to a complaint about his behavior at a concert that resulted in his being reprimanded for a violation of professional standards in his job as a Levy County sheriff’s corrections officer.

  •  On Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. the Friends of the Williston Public Library will celebrate “Hispanic Heritage Month.”

    The Latin Band “Troprix” will perform, featuring band leader Gilberto DePaz.

    Originally from Puerto Rico, DePaz has resided in Gainesville for over 30 years. He has been in the music profession for 45 years. He is an accomplished performer and is locally, nationally and internationally popular. The program is free.

  • The School Board of Levy County approved a contract for a math coach consultant on Tuesday night that could total as much as $60,000 for as many as 60 days of coaching.

    The contract will authorize consultant Roberta Dilocker to be a math consultant who will primarily focus on Williston High School for 30 days, and other Levy County schools for an additional 30 days, if approved.

    Williston received an “F” grade last school year, and much of the initial remedy is focused on improving performance in math.