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Local News

  • Mandatory burn ban still in effect

    A mandatory burn ban and a declaration that Levy County is a disaster area due to drought and wildfires, issued by County Commission Chair Danny Stevens last week, has been approved and extended to June 28.
    The declaration, which qualifies the county for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid, and the ban were approved unanimously by the Levy County Commission.
    Tuesday's vote also authorizes Stevens (D-District 5) to extend the declaration and ban in seven-day increments as needed. He issued the original declaration and burn ban on June 14. The order prohibits:

  • Springs protection delayed again

    Gilchrist County commissioners have again stalled on a decision to create two springs protection zones in the county, stating Monday afternoon that language in the plan would have to specifically exempt agriculture from any of the rules.
    Marvin Weaver, a county extension agent representing the Gilchrist County Agricultural Advisory Committee, told commissioners that the committee was unanimously opposed to the plan the way it is written. The committee was asked to review the plan at the commission’s May 16 meeting for fear that it would not sit well with area farmers.

  • County test drives higher EMS, fire fees

    The Levy County Commission would like property owners to stay calm about the higher assessments it adopted Tuesday.
    They could come down when commissioners vote at the Aug. 2 public hearing to set the final rate.
    State law requires the commission to set a maximum tentative rate to include in notices being sent out ahead of the August hearing. It's also a state law that the assessments cannot go higher on Aug. 2 than those adopted on Tuesday, but they can go lower.

  • Jobless rate steady in May

    The unemployment rate for Levy County was unchanged from April's rate holding at 10.3 percent in May.
    The news was good all around in the three-county region served by CLM Workforce Connection as the 11.9 percent in Marion County was down from 12.1 percent in April, and Citrus County was unchanged at 11 percent. The overall regional rate of 11.5 percent over the month was a 0.2 percent drop and was 1.2 percent down over the year.
    Florida's unemployment rate for May was 10.5 percent while the national rate was 8.7 percent.

  • Yankeetown, Withlacoochee residents sue to stop Tarmac

    The Town of Yankeetown and the Withlacoochee Area Residents group are separately asking a judge to overturn the Levy County Commission's approval of a conditional special exception permit for the proposed Tarmac King Road mining project near Inglis.
    Yankeetown is petitioning for a writ of certiorari — basically a review of the commissioners' decision to grant the exception, while the Withlacoochee group is asking for an injunction on the grounds that the approval is inconsistent with the county's own Comprehensive Plan on environmentally sensitive lands.

  • UF researchers to study weight management plan in children through Levy extension

    This summer, researchers at the University of Florida will begin a study examining a weight management treatment program for children and their parents in Levy and surrounding counties in North Central Florida.

  • State trail gets national designation

    By A.B. SIDIBE
    Special to the Citizen
    The Withlacoochie State Forest Trail was designated as a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of Interior on June 15.
    With the designation, the Withlacoochee State Trail joins Tom Varn Hiking and Jogging Trail in Brooksville as the 2011 Florida inductees in the National Recreation Trail program.

  • FWC prohibits campfires on public lands until wildfire threat subsides

    In light of significant drought conditions and the increased threat of wildfires, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in cooperation with the state Division of Forestry and other partner agencies, issued an executive order June 16 prohibiting campfires in wildlife management areas, wildlife and environmental areas and all other lands it manages.

  • Bay scallop season to open early, close late this year

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds people that the recreational harvest season for bay scallops in Florida will begin Saturday and extend through Sept. 25. The FWC, in support of Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet, added three weeks to this year’s season to help  Florida fishing communities suffering from possible economic hardships due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • FWC supports ‘Operation Dry Water’ for 3rd year

    Last year, 17 people died from boating accidents related to alcohol and drug use in Florida.
    “Alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents are preventable,” said Capt. Tom Shipp, of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “Even one death is too many.”