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NEWS

  • The following compilation denotes the stories that made headlines on the front page of the Williston Pioneer in 2009:

    Jan. 1: Dry conditions cause concern: The combination of recent hard freezes in North Central Florida along with an average drought index of 619 has created higher than normal risks for wildfires.

  • The first meeting of the Alzheimer’s / Dementia Support Group will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at Williston Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at 6 p.m. The meeting is open to family members, friends and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

  • Bill Brittan’s future looks brighter these days. Literally.

    Thanks to the Williston Lions Club, Brittan has been given a new outlook on life and for the first time in almost eight years, he can see what lies ahead.

    Up until just a few weeks ago, Brittan, 60, was almost blind due to cataracts. In fact, he says, his right eye was gone and what he saw through his left eye was blurred.

    A Sheetrock and drywall laborer, his work was impacted because he wasn’t able to see the minute details needed to complete a job.

  • Williston Rehabilitation and Nursing Center will be sponsoring a support group for family members, friends and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease beginning in January. The group will be open to members of the community who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s (or other forms of dementia) as well as to the families and friends of residents of Williston Rehab’s memory care unit.

  • When military men and women are treated for extended periods in any one of this country’s 1,200 medical facilities, their recuperation and peace of mind is enhanced by the support of their families.

    But everyone cannot afford hotel rooms for long periods.

    That’s where Fisher House comes in.

    Founded in 1990 by Zachary Fisher and his wife Elizabeth, Fisher House provides free accommodations, giving veterans and their families a home away from home during treatment or rehab, said Rick Fabiani, president of the Gainesville Fisher House Foundation.

  • All John Mishler wanted was a place that was quiet and peaceful to live out the retirement years he had earned after many years in the cold north of St. Paul, Minn.

    Instead what he got was the sounds of gunfire, big trucks and occasionally a scream from a girl running through his yard in the wee hours of the morning.

    Mishler, a former Ford Motor Company employee, said it’s not unusual–especially in the warmer months–to hear the sounds of parties directly behind his house.

  • Robert Hastings, superintendent of the School Board of Levy County, reported Tuesday that a decrease in full-time enrollment in area schools will cost the district as much as $70,000 in the coming budget.

    The decrease in funding comes from the state's latest FTE audit. Hastings called the results a "totally unacceptable amount."

    Hastings added that programs most affected will include ESOL and homebound students. He also added that future discussions will take place to prevent further cuts.

  • They came to cry. They came to laugh. They came to remember young women who were taken from them in the spring of their lives.

    Tuesday night, friends, family, teachers and community members gathered at the flagpole at Williston High School to honor the lives and now memories of Tiffany Oliver and Marqui Cook, high school seniors who died following an accident Sunday morning.

  • Marqui Nichole Cook, 17, of Morriston died Dec. 27, 2009.

    She was born Feb. 22, 1992 in Sierra Vista, Ariz. to Mark Allen Cook and Diane Michelle Gianforte. She had lived in Morriston since 2004 moving here from Ocala. She attended church at Present Truth Ministries. She was a senior at Williston High School where she was a cheerleader. She belonged to FFA where she was part of the parliamentary procedure team. She enjoyed mudslinging at the power lines with her friends.

  • Tiffany Nicole Oliver, 17, of Williston, died Dec. 27, 2009.

    She was born June 21,1992 in St. Petersburg. She was a senior at Williston High School, Class of 2010.

    She had a passion for family, friends, horses and working hard. and more with

    She was a tomboy at heart who loved climbing trees when she was younger, riding dirt bikes, ATV's, mud bogging to her newest adventure, hog hunting. She enjoyed the beach, swimming with dolphins and exploring the sea. Hlady. Her beautiful face and smile lit up any room she walked in..

  • Two 17-year-old girls died in a pickup truck crash last Sunday morning near Romeo and a third teen was seriously injured.

    The Florida Highway Patrol reported that Tiffany Oliver of Williston and Marqui Cook of Morrison were killed when the truck they were riding in rolled and struck some trees in the early morning accident.

    Passenger Nicole Brown, 15, was injured.

    The crash occurred at about 2:56 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, just north of Dunnellon on U.S. 41 at Northwest 13th Street.

    The three were headed north in Oliver’s 2000 Chevy 1500 pickup.

  • Three attorneys — a prosecutor and two in private practice — have been sent to Gov. Charlie Crist for appointment to the county judge seat being vacated by Judge Joe Smith’s Dec. 31 retirement.

    The three are:

    James T. “Tim” Browning, an assistant state attorney based in Gainesville, but who has ties to Gilchrist County, and has handled domestic violence and drug cases.

    Charlotte Weidner, an attorney in private practice in Bronson who has criminal and civil trial experience.

  • The Levy County Legislative Delegation will meet on Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom A at the Levy County Courthouse.

    The meeting provides an opportunity for Levy County and municipal officials to make their requests for legislation on issues of concern before the legislative session. It is also an opportunity for the public to speak to their representatives and senators on issues that matter and to request action.

     

  • The Levy County Commission is looking for information on water — how much there is, how it is being used, where it is going and whether to join or form a water authority.

    To that end it is checking whether a larger meeting place will be needed for a joint workshop on the region’s water supply with the Suwannee River Water Management District and South West Florida Water Management District. The workshop set for noon Dec. 8 at Bronson’s old town hall, would also include representatives from the county’s eight municipalities and the public.

  • It was a tough picture for anyone to erase from memory: two men sat across a table dining while the hands of an unseen third man — the one wearing a video camera with wiring sewn into his shirt — reaches into a bag and pulls out a stack of fresh $100 bills.

    “Let’s get down to business here,” the disembodied voice of FBI Special Agent Sean Quinn says, “This is $10,000 here.” He counts out the bills into 10 stacks.

  • Convicted Levy County Commissioners Sammy Yearty and Tony Parker have joined in a motion seeking a new trial on federal political corruption charges citing the behavior of FBI Special Agent Sean Quinn, the undercover agent who posed as developer Sean Michaels, and other grounds.

    Yearty and Parker were convicted Dec. 4 of conspiring to solicit a bribe and accepting a bribe in excess of $5,000. Yearty was convicted of an additional charge of lying to a federal agent during an interview. The federal court jury of eight women and two men took six hours to reach its decision.

  • The Levy County Commission did something it rarely does at the Levy County Legislative Delegation’s annual public hearing — all the commissioners attended.

    But then again, it was a historic meeting in other ways. The delegation did not get any requests for money because of the state’s dire economic situation. Instead, county and municipal officials said if any money does turn up: “please remember us.”

  • The Williston Public Library is now splendidly arrayed with beautiful Christmas Baskets parading on every available surface to encourage silent bidding for them and their contents.

    Friends of the Williston Public Library set out 29 baskets Monday and they will stay on display until Saturday, Dec. 12, the day of the annual Christmas Open House. The silent bids will be opened at 2 p.m. that day and the baskets will be awarded to the highest bidder.

  • The Williston Pioneer wants you to share with our readers the most memorable Christmas you’ve had. In 100 words or less, tell us about a Christmas that you will never forget.

    Send your Christmas story by e-mail to editor@willistonpioneer.com or you can mail it or b ring it to our office at 37 South Main St., Suite F Williston, FLee^32696. Include a photo if you like.

    No submissions will be accepted after 5 p.m. Dec. 18.

  •  A mistake by the Florida Department of Transportation Disctrict 2 office means Cedar Key will not get three promised bridge replacements.

    The October announcement that four bridges would be replaced be the Florida DOT was a mistake, said Gina Busscher, Public Information Director for DOT district 2.