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NEWS

  • Chunky Pond, Levyville, Bronson–no matter what it was called, it was always the centerpiece of Levy County.
    That was but one of the hundreds of historical snippets shared Saturday as Levy County celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Atlantic to the Gulf Railroad that connected Fernadina Beach to Cedar Key.
    The brainchild of David Levy Yulee, Florida senator and the first Jewish member of Congress, the railroad began in 1856 and after several starts-stops, at last reached Cedar Key in 1861.

  • By Mike Wright
    Special to the Pioneer

    Every day thousands of vehicles crawl through downtown Crystal River as they head north or south.
    City officials are cringing at the thought of adding heavy rock trucks to that mix.
    A company’s proposal for a limestone mine just north of Inglis includes promises of up to 250 trucks per day heading south on U.S. 19 through Crystal River — and the same amount returning empty to the quarry.

  • While the pot holes may not be quite big enough to hide a vehicle, some city streets are in rough condition.
    Residents along those deteriorating thoroughfares got good news Tuesday night when Williston City Council learned of the 2011 asphalt repaving schedule.
    Portions, or all, of eight city streets will be resurfaced this year, City Manager Marcus Collins said.
    Slated for work are: NE 11th Street, SE 4th Lane, NW 1st Street, NE 1st Street, South Main Street, NW 4th Street, SE 4th Street and SE 10th Street.

  • A third man sought in a Feb. 1 home invasion in Williston has been arrested and jailed in Alachua County.
    Stefan Lernard Lattimore, 35, of Gainesville is being held under $20,000 bond in the Alachua County Jail on three counts of failure to appear in court as promised.
    He also has an outstanding arrest warrant from Levy County on armed home invasion robbery.

  • It was a political defeat that set the wheels in motion for the development of Levy County.
    David Levy Yulee, an advocate for Florida statehood and the state’s first U.S. Senator, did not win re-election in 1850, so he revived a plan he had from 1837 to build a railroad across Florida through land grants and the sale of stock.

  • Monterey Boats of Williston is headed to Australia’s Gold Coast to the 23rd Annual Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show with the help of a state grant to seek new dealers and new sales.
    Susan Dean, international sales manager for the sport boat and fishing yacht manufacturer, said Enterprise Florida is providing a $1,650 grant to defray 50 percent of the cost of booth space at the four-day show.

  • This Week’s Schedule
    Fairgrounds are open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
    Friday, March 18
    3-5:30 p.m. — Steer entry
    5-5:30 p.m. — Consumer judging registration
    5:30 p.m. — Primary and senior judging event
    6 p.m. — Junior judging event
    6:30-8 p.m. — Creative Life Skills entry (non-food items)
    Saturday, March 19
    7-10 a.m. — Swine entry
    9-11 a.m. Creative Life Skills entry
    10:30 -11 a.m. Livestock judging demonstration

  • By Winnelle Horne

  • Do you have questions about your options for Medicare, Medicare/Medicaid, disability, supplemental insurance, Part D Prescription Drug Plans, or Medicare billings?
    If you do, come see SHINE, a volunteer program with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, for one-on-one counseling.  SHINE provides free, unbiased and confidential assistance.  If you cannot come to a site call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-262-2243 to be referred to a SHINE Volunteer.
    SHINE will be at:

  • The employees of Central Florida Electric Cooperative are pleased to announce that the Third Annual Relay for Life Golf Tournament will be held on April 9,  beginning with breakfast at 7 a.m. and a shotgun start at 8 a.m., at the Chiefland Golf and Country Club, in Chiefland.
    The tournament registration fee is $150 for a four-person team, which includes green fees, cart, plus competitions for the longest drive, straightest drive and closest to the pin.

  • The communities of Bronson, Otter Creek, and Cedar Key will come alive on Saturday, March 19 with a full day of railroad activities planned to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Completion of the Florida Railroad.
       According to notes found in the David Levy Yulee Papers at the University of Florida’ís P.K. Yonge Library, the last spike of the 155.5-mile rail line from Fernandina to Cedar Key was driven on March 16, 1861.

  • The Levy County Republican Executive Committee will have their monthly meeting at Bubbaque’s Restaurant in Chiefland Monday, March 21 starting with food and fellowship at 6:30 p.m. followed by the meeting at 7 p.m.
     If you need a ride, call Juanita 339-0747.
    The group is looking for Republicans who want to; 1) increase the Republicans in Levy County; 2) education voters on issues; 3) increase Republican candidates; and 4) increase the voters at the polls.

  • Suwannee Valley Players will present The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical within a comedy that is swooping into town with tons of laughs.  Music and lyrics  are by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison and is based on a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellarson.

  • Beginning tomorrow, March 17, the Williston Pioneer website will only be available to those who subscribe–either to the newspaper or the online edition.
    Some features, like the Calendar, will still remain visible and usable for everyone to see.
    But news stories and photos will be limited unless you are a subscriber.
    If you aren't sure you want to subscribe, there is a free 30-day limited use way to see the newspaper online.
    We hope you like what you see and will patronize the advertisers who make our work possible.

  • An entire country separates Morriston’s Dottie Hydue from her stepdaughter in California but it hasn’t deterred her from becoming an advocate to raise awareness for the need  for living organ donors.
    Today, March 10, is National Kidney Day and Hydue can’t think of a better way to commemorate it than by urging people to consider becoming an organ donor.
    Her stepdaughter, Tracie  Skaggs, 48, suffers from kidney failure and undergoes dialysis while she waits on a matching donor.

  • He may not be your typical musician–he holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in business–but Ocala’s Shane Wooten loves what he does and is working to promote not only himself–but his love of Florida, music and his causes.
    The up-and-coming country musician is one of the scheduled headliners at this year’s Levy County Fair–slated to perform April 9.
    The Shane Wooten Band performed at last year’s July 3 celebration and the experience left him wanting more.

  • Williston’s traditional July 3 celebration will be held a day earlier this year because July 3 falls on Sunday.
    Councilor Debra Jones said in Tuesday night’s meeting that the Williston Chamber of Commerce had requested the city set the date so planning can begin.
    The Chamber had requested it be held Friday, July 1, Jones said, but members assured they would be in attendance no matter what date the council chose.
    At the beginning of the discussion, there were numerous opinions on the date it should be held and why.

  • Family and friends are reaching out to a Williston family whose lives were rent asunder last week when a fire destroyed their home on 65th Lane.
    Williston Fire Chief Lamar Stegall said the double-wide mobile home, where the Brian Means’ family lived, was totally engulfed by the time  his crew arrived. The call came to the department around 7:17 p.m. March 4.
    Neighbor Irene Miller said the matriarch of the family, Betty Smith, was in the shower when she heard a large boom.

  • Beginning Thursday, March 17, the Williston Pioneer website, www.willistonpioneer.com, will transition to a subscription-based news and information site.
    The Pioneer will  offer its valued newspaper subscribers complete access to all of the news and features currently in the print product, plus a number of online-only features such as videos, slideshows, reader interaction and more. A digital version of every issue of the newspaper will also be available to subscribers online.

  • He’s a governor in training and he’s wasting no time learning the ins and outs of his new position 18 months before he takes office.
    Ed Philman, a 30-year Rotarian from Bell, and an often guest at Williston Rotary Club is the organization’s governor-elect.
    Quiet and unassuming, Philman spoke with passion to the Williston club last week about the position,  his training and his goals for Rotary under his leadership.