• The Williston city council’s meeting Tuesday night was a short one, filled mostly with new information for the council to consider over the next two weeks.

    It began with two celebrations. Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat recognized the October students of the month. Each student receives a personalized certificate of excellence and a coupon for a pizza from King Munchie’s.

  • The Levy County Health Department will be offering free seasonal influenza vaccinations during school hours next week for all elementary students – as long as parental consent forms have been turned in. And there’s still time, says RN Elizabeth Powers, Levy County Community Health Nursing Director.

    Next week nurses will visit each elementary school to administer approximately 1500 flu mist vaccines, enough for roughly 60 percent of Levy County’s K-5 student population.

  • A Halloween Spooktacular awaits you and your dogs Saturday, Oct. 10, at Trained Dog Happy Dog in Morriston.

    It even features a costume contest for dogs and their masters.

    The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include all sorts of activities for canines and humans alike. The dogs can compete for fastest tail wagger, fastest treat eater, fastest cream licker and best cookie catcher.

    They can also participate in the lure course, always a popular attraction. Prizes are awarded in various categories.

  • Reports are coming inabout a person posing as an employee of a nonexistent "Chiefland Bulletin" business office seeking to update credit card information. NEVER give out this information to a caller. Employees of the Chiefland Citizen, The Tri-County Bulletin, Cedar Key Beacon and Williston Pioneer do not call asking for such information. Always call the business office yourself. If you have been contacted, please call the Sheriff's Office at 486-5111 or Chiefland Police at 493-6777 to report it.

  • The Central Florida Peanut Festival is coming.

    This is a family-friendly event sponsored by the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce. It features a variety of delicious foods and assorted types of peanuts and peanut products, including our famous southern peanut pie. Rides, music, crafts. and antique tractors, car clubs and motorcycles will also be here for your enjoyment. The festival also has a Little Peanut King and Queen and a Baby Peanut Contest.

  • It was just a few months ago that Duncan McCallum was sitting on his tractor working as he has for the last 15 years.

    Today that work has come to a standstill, albeit a temporary one, as he fights a battle that even he can’t see.

    For the last several months, McCallum, 67, has been in and out of the hospital fighting an aggressive blood infection that has already cost him his right leg.

  • With only two weeks under their belt as the new management company for Nature Coast Regional Hospital, Physicians Healthcare Development Inc. (PHD )is still assessing needs and plotting the course of their work in Williston.

    The new management company, only 18 months old, was founded by four men with assorted health care backgrounds who came together in a unified cause: to develop how physicians and patients can have a louder voice in how health care is delivered. (You can read the four partners’ biographies at www.webphd.org.)

  • While it may seem that the mainstream media is overlooking the elderly in its swine flu updates, the Levy County Health Department is taking measures to educate and inform the county’s aged on the pandemic.

    Monday morning, Liz Powers, director of nurses at the health department, addressed members of Williston’s AARP to ensure correct information about H1N1, or swine flu, is disseminated throughout the county.

  • Unemployment in Levy County dropped by 0.6 percentage points from July's 12.1 percent to 11.5 percent in August, according to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.

  • The giant tractor tires in the Cornelius Williams (East Williston) Park will be removed permanently at the direction of Williston’s City Council.

    At the last council meeting, Virginia McDonald, a resident of the neighborhood, asked that the tires be removed because they were not safe. The council agreed and the tires were removed.

  • A lot of little girls go to bed and dream of ponies. But not Patricia Engesser. Her childhood dreams were filled with snarling tigers. And she didn’t wake up screaming.

    “I always wanted a tiger,” Engesser said. “So, I married a guy with one.”

    Engesser and her husband, Robert, have been married about 26 years and own The Zoo AKA Jungle Safari between Chiefland and Trenton.

    It is one of six licensed wild animal facilities in Levy County.

  • A team of four Williston High School JROTC Cadets shot their way to the Junior Olympic National Finals in the Three Position Air Rifle competition held at Camp Perry, Ohio.

    The four team members, Ali Mohs, Savannah Rios, Matthew Converse, and Devin Colson placed second in the matches in the state of Florida competition. The top two teams in all 50 states then went to the Junior Olympic Finals where the Williston team placed 17th out of the 100 participating teams.

  • Williston School of Dance (WSOD) is “leaping” into the new academic year and “spinning” in excitement. Enrollment is at a record high, and the school currently hosts students from as far as Ocala, Gainesville, Newberry, Chiefland, Archer, Jonesville, Morriston and High Springs.  Families choose WSOD for the dependable quality of professional, expert instruction, for financial accessibility and for the family atmosphere, individualized attention, and low student/teacher ratios of a small-town school.

  • Levy County students did not watch President Barack Obama's speech to students on Sept. 8, prompting questions from teachers and parents as to why the speech was not shown live at area schools.

    Ann Coffel, of Williston, said she was surprised to hear from a teacher in the school district that the speech would not be shown live to students. Coffel said she comes from a family of educators, and Obama's speech would have been a worthwhile teaching opportunity.

  • Our Web site was not updated last week because the editor was on vacation. The person who was responsible for updating the site did not and has been properly flogged, per your recommendations.

    We apologize for this egregious oversight and will update this week, both last week's stories and current ones.

    The rested and refreshed editor,

    Carolyn Risner

  • It was another game that saw the Red Devils called for 15 penalties to just 3 for the their opponent. But it was the Red Devil speed on offense that proved to be too much for the Indians.

    After falling behind 3-0, the Red Devils' Brandon Preston took a hand off and raced 45 yards to the end zone on a second down and 40 yards to go, following a snap that went high over the quarterback's head at the 15-yard line. The Red Devils took a 6-3 lead.

  • Grease the chain and check the tires – it’s time to get ready for the Fourth Annual 2009 Ride to Provide to benefit Levy Association for Retarded Citizens (LARC). The Ride is a rapidly growing bike run with plenty to recommend it. First, the Ride runs through 60 of the prettiest miles in Levy County.

    Second, once kickstands come up, the boots don’t touch the ground until the file pulls up for a picnic lunch at the LARC campus in Otter Creek. This is a law-enforcement escorted ride, and all intersections are held for riders – no red lights!

  • The Williston Pioneer wants to see your photos of people working. What says “work” to you? Is it the farmer? The fast food employee? Your child mowing the lawn?

    Send in your photos by Monday, Sept. 21 for publication in the Sept. 24 edition.

    E-mail to editor@willistonpioneer.com or mail or drop by our office at 28 NW First Ave.

    All photos will be published. Please identify everyone in the photo.

  • The American Red Cross will be offering a training program to raise awareness of the Red Cross mission and services and equip Red Cross volunteers. The Fulfilling Our Mission class will be useful for learning the heart of the mission of the American Red Cross, which includes responding to emergencies, providing disaster relief, and preventing and relieving suffering.

    Training for Fulfilling Our Mission will be offered on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the Levy County Emergency Operations Center (adjacent to the Levy County Jail), located at 9010 NE 79th Ave., Bronson.