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NEWS

  • Patients who are obese will soon have a new ride to the hospital — one that is safer for the patient and the Levy County Emergency Medical Services crew.

    Trish Siebold, director of EMS, speaking at the Board of County Commissioners’s regular semi-monthly meeting on Tuesday revealed the plans for the new bariatric ambulance.

    She said one of the older, high mileage ambulances taken out of service when two new ones were purchased will be outfitted to handle larger patients using money in the EMS budget.

  • April was a good month for Levy County residents to find work as the jobless figure dropped to 12.6 percent — almost a 1 percent drop from March when it was 13.5.

    The news was doubly good for the county as it is the second month in a row that the number of jobless residents has dropped.

  • One thing is certain, crime is down in Florida, Levy County and all but one of its municipalities overall and that is good news considering the state of the economy.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Uniform Crime Report for 2009 was released several weeks ago and buried in the stack of figures is good news. Based on reports made by various agencies in Levy County the overall rate of crime dropped by 5.4 percent in 2009 when compared to 2008.

  • The Williston city council devoted most of its Tuesday evening meeting to a discussion of utility rates and billing procedures, and much of it is good news for the consumer.

    Finance director Mary Barsenas told council that she had been working with Progress Energy (from whom the city gets its electrical power) to mitigate the spikes in the power adjustment that often result from abnormal cold or hot spells during the year. Adjustments charged to the city by Progress Energy are passed on monthly to the consumer.

  • U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite has dropped out of her GOP primary campaign to seek re-election citing health reasons and endorsed Hernando County Sheriff Richard B. Nugent in the race for the 5th Congressional District.

    Brown-Waite's Washington, D.C., office confirmed the email sent out this morning was authentic and that the congresswoman would serve out her term until January 2011.

    Brown-Waite's office issued the following statements by the two.

    Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite:

  • What's in this week's edition:

    Miss Florida visits the Williston School of Dance

    Community honors retiring Robert Philpot.

    Disaster drill takes place in Williston.

    City council tackles power bills–again.

    Juveniles charged with felonies.

    Editor Carolyn Risner Ten Broeck writes about the evil cell phone.

  • Three Williston residents were arrested May 4 and charged with various drug-related offenses.

    On April 18, the victims reported to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Williston, the theft of a Glock .40 caliber pistol and a North American Arms .22 magnum revolver.

    On May 4 Detective Tom Martin obtained a search warrant at 17091 NE 40 St.,

    Williston, which led to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Task Force arresting Marvin E. Cooper, 22; Leslie Reese Thompson, 20 and Ronald Glenn, 37.

  • Rachael Todd, Miss Florida 2009 will make a guest appearance Saturday at the Williston School of Dance.

  • It's deadline time for getting those Census forms back in the mail and it's worth a lot of money to every person in Levy County.

    For each warm body that is counted, it's estimated that Levy County will receive about $3,600 annually from the federal government for the next 10 years. That's because Census numbers determine how $400 billion in federal money is distributed.

    The 2010 Sunshine Census, the state's effort in getting an accurate count, has launched the “My Community Counts: Do Your Part.”

  • Levy County children who do not participate in athletic leagues but join in recreation programs will be the beneficiaries of a change in the county’s recreation funds policy.

    The County Board of County Commissioners approved the policy change to allow the $60,000 annual budget — $12,000 per commissioner, to be spent on more than athletic activities by a 3-1 vote. Commission Chair Nancy Bell cast the dissenting vote. Commissioner Marsha Drew, who initiated discussion several months ago to change the policy, was absent from Tuesday’s meeting due to illness.

  • The National Day of Prayer events are scheduled on the first Thursday in May usually at the flag poles of government buildings.

    A group will meet at the Levy County Courthouse at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 6 to circle the flag pole.   Bring your lawn chairs and umbrellas.

    If you have any questions, contact Juanita at (352)339-0747, president of Christian Coalition of North Central Florida.

    People in the Williston community will gather Thursday, May 6 at noon at the city pavilion in Heritage Park to observe National Day of Prayer.

     

  • By executive order, Governor Charlie Crist added 13 counties this morning to the original six included in Florida’s State of Emergency due to the Deepwater Horizon Incident.

    The coastal counties of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota join already declared Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf.

  • Third-generation County Commissioner Sammy Yearty was ordered to serve 33 months in federal prison followed by three years probation and pay $10,300 in fines for soliciting and accepting a part of a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent posing as a developer and lying to the FBI about it. Yearty, who has held office since being appointed in 1978 by then-Gov. Reubin Askew, was sentenced on Monday afternoon in Gainesville by federal District Chief Judge Stephan P.

  • An SUV carrying three adults and six children collided with the lead engine of a northbound freight train Sunday in Morriston.

    According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 2001 Lincoln Navigator driven by Eugenio Artero, 50, of Williston was traveling west on CR 464-east of US. Hwy. 41 and failed to yield to the train at an activated warning railroad crossing.

    The Navigator was occupied by three adults and six children all from Williston.

  • Rick Tyler, spokesman for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and co-counder of ReAL — Renewing American Leadership, said he felt a little intimidated to be speaking to a group whose last speaker was U.S. Senate Candidate Marco Rubio.

    Tyler spoke to the annual Lincoln-Reagan Memorial Dinner, hosted by the Levy County Republican Executive Committee, on April 23 in Chiefland. About 80 people attended the dinner.

  • Although Lady Devil Dayna Hunn blasted a first inning homerun, (her fifth in six

    games), putting the Williston Lady Devils in front 2-1, it was the big five-run bottom of the

    sixth inning that propelled the Lady Devils to an 8-2 win over the Trinity Catholic Lady

    Celtics Friday night April 30 to win the Region Semi-finals.

    The win sends the Lady Devils to the Regional Final game on Tuesday, May 4.

    Lady Devil pitcher Tori Stamper was a big part of the defense as she struck out 15 Lady

    Celtics on the way to the Semi-final win.

  • Get this week's Williston Pioneer on sale today . . . . Here's what you can look forward to:

    Lions Club celebrates anniversary

    SUV hits train

    Return to Rosewood

    GOP hears Gingrich aide

    Lady Red Devils are district champs

  • At its first regular meeting with Mark Nussel as president, Williston’s city council took up, directly and thoroughly, the matter of utility bill due dates and late fees and grace periods which had caused a major stir during the billing period that ended on April 10.

    The problem was that, adhering strictly to the statute, those customers who paid their bill on Monday, April 12, were charged late charges and told by city hall staff that, if the late charges were not paid by April 15, services would be cut off.

  • The "Code RED" for the Levy County CERT — Civilian Emergency Response Team — volunteers came on a bright, sunny Saturday morning.

    Levy Emergency Management Assistant Director John McDonald, CERT leader, was in Tampa for the day.

    "I didn't think we were going to get any CERT people out cause it was a sunny day," said McDonald's boss, EM Director Mark Johnson. "I underestimated him. John had numbers on his phone and he started making calls."