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Local News

  • Chiefland man is killed as deputies respond to domestic disturbance

    Levy County deputies killed a Chiefland man Nov. 16, Thursday, after they responded to domestic disturbance. Three LCSO Patrol Division deputies responded to 7450 NW 110 St. to a domestic disturbance at 8:40 p.m. that ended in the death of 34-year-old Michael Wesley Goodale.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is in charge of the investigation and will not release information until the investigation is concluded.

    According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, three deputies responded to the scene and were confronted by an armed male subject. After attempting to subdue Goodale with less lethal weapons, two deputies were forced to discharge their firearms. Goodale, 34, was transported to University of Florida Shands Hospital as a trauma alert, but he did not survive his injuries. 

  • Haven Hospice president: ‘We’re in this community for the long haul’

    Gayle Mattson wants Chiefland and the surrounding communities to know that Haven Hospice is here to serve them for the long run.

    That was the clear message the president of Haven Hospice delivered in her talk to the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club Nov. 16, on the heels of the closure of the Tri-Counties Hospice Care Center.

    The closure of the Care Center, which opened in 2004, and the corresponding re-positioning of employees, naturally sparked concerns around the community. Mattson issued a reassuring tone about Haven’s overall remaining presence in the area, noting that around 95 percent of the services delivered by Haven Hospice are done outside their care centers.

    “It was a very hard day for Haven,” Mattson said. “We did that to reposition the organization for the future. I hope that is last time I ever have to do that in my career – that’s my commitment.

    “Haven Hospice will have a presence in this community as long as they will have us,” Mattson added. “I hope that’s forever.”

  • Withlacoochee Chamber serves up amenities at ‘low boil’ dinner

    South Levy County is home to the Withlacoochee River, a glorious river that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. On any day of the week, any week of the year, the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce invites residents and visitors alike to come and enjoy all it’s great outdoor amenities. Conducive to boating, sailing, fishing, camping, hiking, bicycling, paddling, and birding, the river and surrounding areas have it all.

    The Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce is the perfect host and hostess to acquaint those seeking that “Old Florida” adventure. Set in the laid back towns of Inglis and Yankeetown, the Withlacoochee Chamber works tirelessly to give residents and visitors a splendid, idyllic getaway whether it’s for a few hours, a few days, or a few months. Many residents came to the area as vacationers and found they just didn’t want to leave, making South Levy their permanent residences.

  • Faith, family, friends help Smith recover from freakish motorcycle accident

    Faith. Family. Friends. Sheila Smith says those are the reasons she survived a freakish motorcycle accident in 2010.

    Sheila fractured her skull in three places. Her sinus cavities collapsed and her face was paralyzed. Besides a big muscle knot and a bruise on one of her shoulders, “It was just my head and shoulder that was damaged. I was very fortunate.”

    She has no memory of the accident or the two months that followed. Because her face was paralyzed, she couldn’t close her eyes or mouth. Her right eye was stuck toward her nose, which caused problems with double vision, depth perception and vertigo. She had to wear a safety belt when she used a walker and someone had to walk behind her.

    To understand what led to the crash, it is necessary to know Sheila. She grew up in Pennsylvania as a little bit of a tomboy who was afraid of nothing, except maybe a Ferris wheel and other slow-moving things.

  • City moves on sewage plant

    Chiefland City commissioners found themselves in a situation they did not like Monday when they voted 4-1 to fund the city’s share of a grant to replace the digester at the wastewater treatment plant.

    It was either pay $148,600 for the city’s share of a grant now or fund the full cost at a later date.

    City Manager Mary Ellzey said staff applied for the Springs Project grant 18 months ago through the Department of Environmental Protection/Suwannee River Water Management District to replace the biosolids treatment unit that was built in 1968. The unit was refurbished once in 1999. The city is under a mandate to replace the equipment by 2020.

    At the of the grant application in January 2016, the estimated cost for the total project was $418,400 with the water management district funding $376,560 and city funding $41,840.

    Between the time construction plans were completed and the project was funded, there were substantial increases in labor and material costs. The cost is now estimated at $567,000, an increase of $148,600.

  • City Commission recognizes October Students of the Month

    By David Davis

    Editor

    Chiefland City commissioners recognized the October Students of the Month Monday, Nov. 11, during the regular commission meeting. Chiefland Elementary School nominated Carlos Salazar-Diaz, Chiefland Middle/High School selected Tyler Bass and Chiefland Middle/High School nominated Deshamar Shepherd for their outstanding behavior and scholastic achievement.

    CES fourth grade teacher Charlotte Andrews nominated Carlos, the son of Mirla Diaz and Carlos Salazar. The teacher said Carlos is a very conscientious student. He always comes to school prepared and eager to learn. He is very serious about his education. He is an English-Language Learner who has overcome language barriers to excel in all areas. Not only does he take his education seriously, but he also encourages and helps his classmates. He translates for other ELL students in the classroom. He is a real asset to his teachers.

  • Williston to host Veterans Day Parade

    By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Williston Pioneer Editor

    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.

    Following the hour long ceremony, the city will serve hot dogs and chips to those in attendance.

    For more information, call Latricia Wright at 528-3060.

  • 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.