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Local News

  • Cason won't run, Hager, Holloway seek his spot; Shoemaker, Hethcoat elected

    Williston’s city council will have new look in the spring.

    The qualifying period ended at noon on Friday, Jan.18, and brought with it a major surprise. Longtime councilman James "Jake" Cason will not compete to retain his Group E seat.

    Candidates for that position are Lindsey Hager and Brooks Holloway, former city manager.

    The Group D seat being vacated by Jerry Robinson, who is running for county commissioner, will go by default to Michael Shoemaker, a relative newcomer to the community. Shoemaker is the only candidate for the seat.

  • Jobless rates climb in area and state

    BY JEFF M. HARDISON

    For the Pioneer

    The two biggest cities for Levy County workers to find jobs have shown increases in the numbers of unemployed people within their own city limits in 2007, according to records.

    Unemployment rates for Gainesville and Ocala showed an increase in 2007 in comparison with 2006, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    The average unemployment rate in Gainesville for all of 2006 was 2.7 percent. The average unemployment rate in Ocala for all of 2006 was 3.4 percent, according to federal records.

  • Bishop visits Holy Family

    Most Rev. Victor Galeone, right, bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, performs a reading during the rededication and blessing ceremony at Holy Family Catholic Church in Williston on Sunday. With him is Father Rodolfo Godinez, pastor. The event rededicated the church and blessed the new parish hall and Angel House.

  • County approves equestrian events with some conditions

    Three equestrian events at two different places and happening over a three-month span received approval from the Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 8, but the approval includes conditions.

    The 90-acre Black Prong Equestrian Center is the sole location for two events, and it was specifically noted that no action related to these special events is to occur at "the annex" for the center.

    The first event is called Nature Coast Driving Event Trials. It is set to be on Jan. 19 and 20.

  • Tangible tax savings could occur

    Levy County Property Appraiser Francis Akins recently released the second of four sets of information regarding the Jan. 29 ballot question related to modifying Homestead Exemption.

    The first part was in regard to the increased exemption. This release is about tangible personal property taxes.

    The property tax reform package provides for an exemption of $25,000 of the assessed value of tangible personal property (TPP), Akins said.

    The TPP exemption applies to all levies imposed by taxing authorities, including school districts, Akins said.

  • City discusses traffic

    The first City Council meeting of 2008 was largely a nuts and bolts session, concentrating on administrative matters. The only intense discussion was engendered by discussions of traffic control in the city.

  • Norris won't seek re-election to school post

    While there is a focus on the Jan. 29 Presidential Primary and the vote for tax relief in Florida, records from Bronson and Tallahassee show 11 candidates have opened financial accounts to run for various posts open this year in Levy County and the Eighth Judicial Circuit as of Jan. 3.

    Accounts for candidates seeking election as Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney, two Eighth Judicial Circuit Court judge seats open this year, Levy County Superintendent of Schools, three Levy County Commission seats, Levy County Property Appraiser and Levy County Sheriff.

  • Bishop to visit church for dedication

    Holy Family Catholic Church, established in 1968, has completed its third renovation.

    There will be a Rededication and Blessing Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 2 p.m. Bishop Victor Galeone of the Diocese of St. Augustine will preside over the celebration. He will be rededicating the church that has been doubled in size as well as blessing two new buildings, including a new parish hall and a beautiful new Angel House.

    Also invited are Mayor Gerald Hethcoat, pastors of the local Churches, former pastors of Holy Family, and friends of the parish from outlaying areas.

  • Upcoming tax amendment explained

    First of four parts

    BRONSON - Levy County Property Appraiser Francis Akins recently provided the first of four informational releases to explain a ballot question set for the Jan. 29 election.

    Akins said that based on an average of 18 mills, a home valued at or above $75,000 would generate about $188.50 in savings if this proposed revision to the Florida Constitution is approved by voters.

    Akins performed more calculations to show actual savings at current millages for various parts of Levy County for the increased Homestead Exemption amendment.

  • Williston resident, 19, dies in wreck

    A 19-year-old from Williston was killed Monday when he apparently lost control of his car at the intersection of State Road 121 and County Road 316 south of the city.

    Ethan Monette was turning from 121 onto 316 when he hit a power pole.

    He had attended Williston High School and worked for a fencing company. He was heading toward a family New Year's Eve gathering.