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Local News

  • Levy's jobless rate down for 4th month

    Levy County's unemployment rate hit a record high of 14.3 percent in January, but it has dropped every month since then hitting 12.6 percent in May, according to figures released by the state last week. That was a 0.2 percent drop from April's 12.6 percent, March's 13.5 percent and February's 14.2 percent. The last time the unemployment rate was this low was in October 2009, when it was 12.4 percent. The good news is that it was not just Levy County that experienced a drop in the number of people without a job in May.

  • Scallop season gets an early start

    Bay scallop season will open 12 days earlier that usual this year, giving area recreational scallop enthusiasts a head start in harvesting the mollusks.

    Traditionally starting on July 1, bay scallop season will instead begin on this Saturday, June 19. The season will close on the usual date of Sept. 1.

  • Water district meeting leaves city still asking questions

    Chiefland city officials got no definite answers from the Suwannee River Water Management District's Governing Board Tuesday about the fate of a 122-acre plot of land surrounding the city's 33-acre well site.

    Mayor Teal Pomeroy, one of three city officials attending the board meeting in Live Oak, said, "Chiefland thinks it's in our best interest to control that site." Pomeroy asked if purchasing the site or leasing it for recreational use would be something the board would consider.

  • County jumps into fox penning issue

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering adopting rules to govern the penning and hunting of foxes and coyotes in enclosed lands, something the Levy County Board of Commissioners wants continued.

    The commission, in its regular meeting Tuesday at the County Courthouse, voted unanimously in favor of a resolution stating support for legally operated fox hunting enclosures. The resolution says such businesses "are a benefit to Levy County and should be allowed to continue lawful operation."

  • FCAT score delays cause complications cause

    Area schools will have to wait a bit longer to get their Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores.

    Typically released by the end of the school year, FCAT scores have been delayed until the end of June.

    Parents and students in grades 4-11 are expected to receive their FCAT scores in the first two weeks of July.

  • Florida farms call for override of vetoes

    Twenty-four organizations representing Florida farmers and ranchers today called on House and Senate leaders to override Gov. Charlie Crist’s vetoes of legislation that they consider critical to the continued success of Florida’s agricultural industry.

    On May 15, Gov. Crist vetoed HB 981 and HB 7103, each of which would have enacted initiatives that are priorities of Florida farmers and ranchers and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

  • Money for agricultural energy conservation, efficiency

    Carlos Suarez, state conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced an initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) designed to help agricultural producers in Florida transition to more energy efficient operations. While this is a continuous signup, applications for 2010 funding must be received by the June 17 cut-off date.

  • SRWMD funding helps farmers buy tools to protect water quality

    The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board voted May 13 to provide $210,000 to the Suwannee River Partnership (SRP) to fund crop tools that will assist farmers in protecting the environment.

     The program will provide 75 percent cost share to farmers for purchasing the tools, up to $10,000 per farmer. Cost share funds will be offered to eligible farmers in Gilchrist, Levy, Dixie, Alachua, Columbia, Union, Bradford, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor counties.

  • Celebrate Flag Day with a proper salute

    Flag Day is Monday, June 14 and while many of us revere this symbol of the 50 states with the stars on a field of blue (known as "the union") and the stripes that stand for the original colonies, some folks do not seem to know how to show proper respect for it.

    The proper etiquette for the United States flag is outlined in the United States Code, the laws of this nation, in Title 4, Chapter 1, section 9:

    Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag

  • County News Briefs

    Drug money coming to Levy

    The Levy County Commission approved a grant application by the Sheriff's Office that will bring in $75,725 to be used by the Drug Task Force.

    Sheriff's Maj. Evan Sullivan said the amount of money provided under the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program continues to drop each year. Last year the DTF received $80,057 in funding.

    The DTF is a joint drug interdiction program of the Chiefland Police Department and the Sheriff's Office.

    Fire chief to get bunker gear