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Local News

  • The Children’s Table pantry aiming resources for Puerto Rico

    The Children’s Table, a Bronson-based food pantry founded by Verna and Bill Brown, is going outside of the area it usually serves.

    While it might be new territory, its newest mission is right in the organization’s wheelhouse, as it applies its organizational skills, its more than two decades of experience and its indefatigable giving spirit to serve those in need in striken Puerto Rico, which is suffering from the overwhelming devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20.

    The Children’s Table this month is sending a 40-foot shipping container with food, clothes, medical items and other supplies to the island with a focus on rural and inland areas, with up to around 15 shipments planned if all goes well. It’s collaborating with area pastors and ministries with experience in providing relief to areas in crisis here and overseas. The network is working with a longtime nonprofit in Puerto Rico to help with oversight and local logistics to the subject areas. The supplies will be distributed by ministers and small rural churches.

  • County Commission honors longtime EMS employee, union president

    Paul Shear, a longtime employee of the Levy County Department of Public Safety, who witnessed the modernization of the department and represented his co-workers as union president, was presented a plaque on the occasion of his retirement by the Board of County Commissioners Nov. 7.

    “(Shear) has been a very dedicated employee for many years at the Department of Public Safety,” BOCC chair John Meeks said. “I appreciate his many years of service. I’d say he’s one of the good ones because he stuck around so long, but he’s one of the good ones because he’s seen our EMS grow from its very infancy all the way to what it is today. I hate to lose him, but I’m sure he’s ready to retire and go onto something else.”

    Shear was also praised by Board members for his dealings with the Board as the public union president.

    “I enjoyed working with you all through the years,” Commissioner Lilly Rooks said to Shear. “It was easy to sit down with you and talk everything out.”

  • Schools Foundation receives grant to enhance county education

    The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations recently awarded the Levy County Schools Foundation $16,249.75 in matching funds through the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.

    The funds will be used in the 2017-18 school year to enhance classroom STEM programs; fund middle school field trips; provide classroom mentoring for new teachers; purchase needed computer equipment and support student CTE programs.

    Private matching funds, required under the grant, will be provided through the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and Capital City Bank, Suncoast Credit Union and Duke Energy grants.

  • Former tank commander is Veterans Day speaker

    By David Davis and Carolyn Ten Broeck

    Men and women from all walks of life representing every branch of military service will be the guests of honor Saturday, when the city of Williston hosts the annual Levy County Veterans Day Parade.

    Step-off is at 10 a.m. Nov. 11. More than 35 units have pre-registered to participate in the parade down Noble Avenue including floats, motorcycles and horse and buggies.

    Following the parade, everyone is encouraged to come to the Heritage Park Pavilion where Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat’s annual Veterans Day Program will take place.

    In addition to patriotic music, where all branches of the military are honored with their anthems, Williston City Council President Charles Goodman, a Vietnam veteran, will deliver the keynote address.

    At 17 years old, Goodman said he knew he was not going to college and facing certain draft, decided to join the Army rather than wait to be drafted.

    He was first trained at Ft. Benning, Georgia, then Fort Knox, Kentucky.

  • Anderson opposes legislation banning assuallt weapons

    Chiefland Police Chief Scott Anderson said he does not support state legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

    “Rather than support new laws that criminals do not mind breaking, I would like to see the criminal justice system in this state enforce the laws already on the books,” he wrote Nov. 2 in a letter in response to the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

    The organization was asking for support of state legislation sponsored by Sen. Linda Stewart (SB 196) and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (HB 219), which address “these weapons of war.”

    Coalition co-chairs Patricia Brigham and Andy Pelosi wrote, “The public and our law enforcement officers continue to face dangers that were unheard of just a few decades ago. The proliferation of assault weapons and other firearms with high capacity magazines have made mass-shooting incidents too commonplace.

  • Levy to get air medical service in 2018

    PHI Air Medical, a medical air service company, was granted a certification by the Levy County Board of County Commissioners Nov. 7 to open an air ambulance service in Levy County.

    The BOCC approved a required Certification of Public Convenience and Necessity after hearing from PHI Air Medical regional director Sean O’Neal and Levy County Department of Public Safety director Mitch Harrell as well as medical director Dr. Charles Wayne, of UF Shands.

    Harrell offered his endorsement for PHI Air Medical opening a location in Levy County, adding that he doesn’t anticipate it coming at any cost to the county. The location in the county is still under discussion, but the site of the Emergency Operations Center was raised as a possibility.

    “It would be an asset for the community,” Harrell said. “With it being located in Levy County, it’s going to reduce the travels times.

    The vote was a unanimous 4-0 margin; Commissioner Rock Meeks was not present.

  • Advanced science

    Florida Fish & Wildlife marine biologists Taj Knapp and Hannah Healey recently visited Lisa Baxter’s fifth-grade science enrichment class. The students had “hands on” encounters with various sea life, including a shark! The students are pictured here with the marine biologists on the back right and CES principal Lacy Redd, back left. The students had a great time and it was a great learning experience.

  • Great volunteers

    Chiefland Elementary School has great volunteers. Some people wonder how they can get involved in the school and what type of volunteer activities they could do.

    This year, Tammy Arrington is using volunteers every Thursday morning in her classroom. Shirley Matthews, Sandra Colson, Robin Thomas, Ann Wood, Time Wetherington and Lori Prevatt assist students in the classroom with different tasks.

    They also oversee center games as well as read with and listen to students read. In the photo is Tammy Arrington’s class with some of the volunteers. Volunteer Lori Prevatt is not in the photo.

  • CES celebrates busy week of festivities

    By Tonya Townsend

    It was a busy week at Chiefland Elementary School during National Red Ribbon Week.

    The theme was “Your Future is Key, So stay Drug Free!!"

    Students and staff participated in dress-up days to bring awareness to drug prevention. A poster contest was held for grades 3-5, and a coloring contest for PreK through second grade. A special thanks goes to staff members Cheryl Tindale and Lisa Campbell for heading up all the week’s activities.

    On Tuesday, the Chiefland Rotary Club, along with the Interact Club from Chiefland Middle High School, painted pinkies purple for polio awareness. Students paid one dollar to paint their pinkies purple. The money raised helped to pay for polio vaccines.

  • Haven hospice clarifies care center closing

    As the chairperson of the Haven Corporate Community Advisory Board, who resides in the Tri-County area, I wanted to clarify the events surrounding the recent, temporary closure of the Haven Tri-Counties Hospice Care Center.

    Haven has served the residents of the Tri-County area since 1979 and remains fully committed to serving the Tri-County area. Approximately 95 percent of the patients that Haven cares for receives hospice care in their homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. This is at the request of the patients and their families and we strive to honor those wishes. The hospice field team will continue to serve these patients in their homes and ensure they receive the quality hospice care that Haven is known for.

    The hospice field team will continue to operate from the Haven administrative office located next to Care Center in Chiefland. If a patient needs care center placement, they will be able to access this level of care at either our Gainesville or Lake City care centers.