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Local News

  • Sheriff changes punishment for deputy who tased pet dog

    Sheriff Johnny Smith ignored the advice of two internal disciplinary boards and reduced the punishment  recommended for a deputy who admitted he used his Taser on a pet on several occasions.

    Deputy Charles Johnson Jr., the son of the department's No. 2 in command — Col. Mike Johnson, will not serve the three-day unpaid suspension, but instead get a written reprimand for tasing his German shepherd Kaiser.

  • Deputy’s father retiring amid controversy

    Col. Mike Johnson, second in command at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office has notified Sheriff Johnny Smith he will be retiring on March 1.

    Johnson, who has a history of health problems in his family, cited it in his letter dated Feb. 9.

    Johnson’s son, Charles M. Johnson Jr., has been the target of an internal investigation. The investigation has been the subject of media coverage and other complaints aired about the department at an NAACP meeting last week.

  • Sheriff speaks out

    Levy County Sheriff Johnny Smith defended his second in command, Col. Mike Johnson, denying favoritism was shown to Johnson's two children by the department, but he acknowledged there have been mistakes and he is correcting them..

    “I view this as we have had a few bumps in the road,” Smith said, but added the Sheriff's Office “is in great shape.”

  • Breaking NewsDeputy resigns ahead of firing

        Levy County Sheriff's Deputy Charles M. “Chuck” Johnson Jr., resigned Thursday morning just hours after a disciplinary review board decided he should be terminated after a new complaint arose that he had a sexual encounter with a pregnant married woman in the driveway of his Bronson home.

  • Deputy apologized to co-workers for actions

    The following email was sent by Deputy Charles M. “Chuck” Johnson last week after reports surfaced about his affair with a married woman, the use of a racial epithet in talking to a second woman, conduct unbecoming to the department and the tasing of his pet dog with a department-issued Taser.

    From: Chuck Johnson

    Date: Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Subject: Poor Judgment

  • County makes no special exception

    After more than four hours of testimony from sides supporting and opposing an exotic animal sanctuary in Morriston, the Levy County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied the special exception application.

    Between 60 and 70 people filled the courtroom Monday night to listen to Dr. Suzanne Billiar, an exotic animal owner and veterinarian, ask for a special exception to home more than 45 animals on a 3.5 acre tract of land that is zoned AR–agricultural/residential.

  • Help the family of Michael Dunn

    Sheila Smith is worried about her neighbors, Anthony and Christine Dunn. The couple lost their son, Michael Dunn, just before Christmas in a tragic accident at their home off County Road 232.

    Since the accident, Smith said both of Michael’s parents, as well as his two sisters, have really been struggling with the loss of such a special boy. Driving the family minivan, which is the vehicle that ran over Michael, has been especially difficult, so the family plans to trade in the vehicle, Smith explained last week.

  • Chiefland Chamber annual banquet

     At least 150 business people enjoying a great evening of activities, entertainment, networking, a delicious dinner and plenty of fun will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Tommy Usher Center for the annual banquet held by the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce. The event starts at 6:30 p.m.  Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Admission is $27 per person, and prepaid reservation is required.  Door prizes will add to the fun.

  • Artifact Show at Usher Center on Saturday

    On Saturday, Feb. 6, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be a Native American artifact show at the Tommy Usher Center, in Chiefland.

    There will be over a thousand different artifacts, some never before seen by the public.  The show is free. Collectors from as far as North Carolina and Palm Beach will be in attendance.

    For more information, contact Andrew Davis at 407-455-4141.

  • Tenth Annual STARS Gala Feb. 13

    The Levy County Schools Foundation (LCSF) will be hosting its annual Gala on Saturday, Feb. 13.