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NEWS

  • Claude Lewis, sports editor of the Chiefland Citizen, died Friday night while en route to a Chiefland-Hamilton County football game in Jasper.

    Details are sketchy, but the Suwannee County Sheriff's Department said a motorist saw Lewis pull to the side of the road, attempting to use an inhaler. Lewis had a history of asthma, according to his wife.

    By the time paramedics arrived, Lewis, 54, was dead on the scene.

  • The air was filled with congeniality and collegiality at Tuesday evening's city council meeting.

    The budget had been finalized after long and arduous negotiations; it awaits final approval at a special meeting on Sept. 23.

    The items on the agenda looked straightforward enough, and, indeed, only a few excited any discussion.

    Approval was given quickly for street closures for the Trail of Treaters on Friday, Oct. 31, for the Peanut Festival on Oct. 4, and for the Williston High School Homecoming Parade on Nov. 6.

  • Midtown Cruisers car club of Williston and Bronson partnered with Advance Auto Parts in a fund-raising car show to benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

    Saturday's car show, held in front of the Advance Auto Parts store in Williston, attracted several hundred viewers from around the area. About 50 cars, from Bronson, Williston, Chiefland, Trenton and beyond, opened their hoods to show off in front of an appreciative crowd.

  • Dave Hutcherson, left, of the Amvets and the Marine Corps League, stands with Todd Etheridge of Perkins State Bank in front of a wreath placed at the Tree of Hope during a 9-11 memorial ceremony held Thursday morning, Sept. 11.

  • The problem is straightforward; the solution is going to be complex.

    That was the message Finance Director Mark Schiefer delivered to the city council and department heads at a workshop about the fiscal year 2008-2009 budget.

    The problem: according to Florida statute, the city must have a balanced budget by the end of September. At this point, after Schiefer has incorporated all of the directives given him by the council, the deficit is $309,067, based on a budget of nearly $13 million.

  • The Williston Rotary Club and the Williston Pioneer Sun News got the word out, actually lots of words, to third-graders at the elementary school last week.

    At an event held at the school's auditorium, members of the club and representatives of the newspaper distributed free dictionaries to each of the students.

  • The Levy County Commission is doing the end-of-year money shuffle as some departments have some cash on hand to help other departments strapped for cash.

    In its regular meting Tuesday morning, the commissioners approved moving money around to help six departments that were short of funds.

    The commission took cash from the following funds and departments:

    General Revenue, $180,561

    E911, $9,440

    Emergency Medical Services, $276,843

    Fire, $204,512

    Drug Task Force, $17,612

    Capital Projects, $542,157

    And gave funds to:

  • Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat presented the first Student of the Month awards of the academic year at the City Council meeting on Sept. 2.

  • Access to the Walgreens parking lot will be improved in the next few weeks, but the closure of the Noble Avenue and Northwest Main Street intersection is permanent.

    At Tuesday night's meeting, Debbie Reilly, the manager of the Williston Walgreens store, asked Williston's City Council for better access to the store. She said that the closure of Northwest Main Street had made it difficult to access the store directly. Those driving east on Noble Avenue must turn at either Northwest 1st Street or onto Main Street, then access Northwest Main from Northwest 1st Avenue.

  • The Levy County Commission was taken aback to learn in a budget workshop that the new radio system used by law enforcement and emergency responders will be expensive to maintain.

    During a workshop for county constitutional officers Tuesday afternoon, commissioners were told the county's 332 hand-held and mobile units, which already cost $14.95 each per month in user fees are almost out of warranty and an extended warranty will cost $175 per unit per year. That's $58,100 per year on top of the $59,560.80 in user fees.

  • Hidden behind the blowing trees in a driving rain, this house at 20581 N.E. Highway 318 burned last Friday. "We're not sure how it started. When we arrived the flames were through the roof," said Williston Chief Lamar Stegall. "It was a new experience. I've never fought a fire before in 40 mph winds and rain blowing sideways." The Williston firefighters were assisted by units from Bronson and Morriston. Below, the overall scene near the intersection of 318 and U.S. 27.

  • It was a good day for incumbents in Tuesday's primary as three won re-election and others won their party's nomination for the November election.

    Almost one-third of the county's registered voters, 8,216 out of 25,070, cast ballots in the primary. All results are unofficial.

    While it was a primary to determine the nominees for the November general elections, three races were being decided as the Republican Party did not mount opposition for the Democrats.

  • By Lou Elliott Jones

    It was a good day for incumbents in Tuesday's primary as three won re-election and others won their party's nomination for the November election.

    Almost one-third of the county's registered voters, 8,216 out of 25,070, cast ballots in the primary. All results are unofficial. While it was a primary to determine the nominees for the November general elections, three races were being decided as the Republican Party did not mount have any candidates to oppose the Democrats.

  • All public schools in Levy County will be closed on Friday, Aug. 22, according to an announcement on the School Board Web site, because of Tropical Storm Fay.

  • The Aug. 19 meeting of Williston's City Council consisted largely of planning and housekeeping items.

    The annual modifications to the city's comprehensive plan were presented to the council. This exercise is undertaken each year during the budgeting period. The changes reflect projects undertaken or completed during the previous year and changes in projections for future activity.

  • Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 26. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • TROPICAL STORM FAY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 23A

    NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062008

    800 AM EDT THU AUG 21 2008

    ...FAY BARELY MOVING...

    A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM FORT PIERCE FLORIDA

    NORTHWARD TO THE SAVANNAH RIVER AT THE BORDER BETWEEN GEORGIA AND

    SOUTH CAROLINA.

    FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE

    INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED

    BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

    AT 800 AM EDT...1200Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM FAY WAS LOCATED

  • Saturday morning's "Wet the Kids" day at Johnny T. Henry Celebration Park was postponed because of rain.

    It will be held this coming Saturday, Aug. 23, at 10 a.m.

  • A 26-year-old Williston resident was arrested last week and charged with four counts of possession of crack cocaine and four counts of sale of crack cocaine.

    Demetris A. Wallace of 21370 N.E. 38th Place, was charged after the Levy County Drug Task Force used a confidential source to allegedly make four drug buys, on April 17, April 18, May 1 and May 29th. Three of the buys were at the 38th Place address, while the other was at 21431 N.E. 35th St.

    A total of $550 changed hands, according to a release from the Levy County Sheriff's Office.

    Total bond was $90,000.

  • Is your child really safe in the car? Car crashes remain the number one killer of children ages 3-14 in the United States (source NHTSA). In 2005, 1,946 children ages 14 and under died and an estimated 234,000 were injured in crashes. In Levy county - 4 out of 5 car seats are installed incorrectly. Safe Kids is trying to make a difference and reduce those fatalities and injuries, states Debora Regan, director of Safe Kids North Central Florida. "What we want to do is educate the parents and caregivers and get those car seats installed correctly.