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Local News

  • Manatee Springs to host historical reenactment

    Manatee Springs State Park has shifted the days for its annual Clay Landing Days to Saturday and Sunday this year in an effort to attract more visitors.

    This weekend's event will feature covered wagon rides and hayrides through the park’s north trail system.  

    Along the way, participants will encounter Creek and Seminole Indians and settlers camped out and dressed in period clothing.

  • FBI on trial with commissioners

    The trial of suspended Levy County Commissioners Sammy Yearty and Tony Parker is slowly working its way through the jagged bits and pieces of video and audio tapes as the government tries to prove the two men solicited and split a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent posing as a developer.

    Yearty also faces an additional charge of lying to federal agents for saying he had not accepted a lunch, dinner or bribe in return for his vote.

  • FBI on trial with commissioners--Wednesday Update

    Wednesday Update

    In a tape viewed by the jury from 9:05 a.m. until 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday, FBI agent Sean Quinn is shown grabbing a stack of bills out of a case as he counts off the $100 bills into stacks.

    "One, 2, 3, 4.. so you take that," Quinn says as he pushes the money in Tony Parker's direction across the table. "So you don't have to pay for airfare."

    "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - so you take that," Quinn says, pushing the 100 dollar stack toward Yearty. "So  you don't have any worries."

  • Sheriff, union at odds over money issues

    Levy County Sheriff Johnny Smith and the union representing the deputies are at odds over the handling of $500,000 that was overlooked until the last days of the 2008-09 budget and they have taken the additional step of filing a complaint against Smith's right hand man, Col. Charles M. Johnson Jr. with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    In addition, the union has sent notice to the Public Employee Relations Commission declaring negotiations at an impasse and asking for the appointment of a panel of special magistrates to resolve the issues in dispute.

  • New book showcases Levy County’s rich past

    People interested in the history of Levy County will find over 200 images documenting the life of early settlers in a new book from Arcadia Publishing.

    Local author and artist Carolyn Cohens explores the area’s rich history through photographs in her new book Images of America: Levy County.

    Filled with pictures and brief profiles of Levy County’s early settlers, the book depicts people utilizing the land by farming, hunting and fishing. The images provide a strong documentation of the fashions, working conditions and architecture of yesteryear.

  • Breaking NewsJury unanimous: Yearty, Parker guilty

    Levy County Commissioners William Samuel "Sammy" Yearty and Robert Anthony "Tony" Parker were unanimously found guilty by a jury of conspiring and accepting a $10,000 bribe to pay for a trip to New York City in December 2007 in return for favorable treatment of a project proposed by an FBI agent posing as a developer.

    Yearty was also found guilty on a third charge — lying to a federal agent — for denying in an interview that he had accepted a lunch, dinner or gift from anyone.

  • FWC exotic, dangerous animal survey extended to Dec. 7

    Update:

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has extended its deadline for the public to participate in an online survey that will help the agency develop new requirements for possessing Class I, II and III wildlife. The survey began on Nov. 3 and has been extended from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7. A limited response from the public resulted in the extension.

  • Yearty, Parker trial to begin Monday

    Levy County Commisioners Sammy Yearty of Gulf Hammock and Anthony “Tony” Parker of Bronson were on top of the world just a little over a year ago. Both had been re-elected — Yearty handily and Parker in an 88-vote squeaker.

    The next day, Yearty was in federal court accused in an unsealed federal indictment of soliciting and accepting bribes in return for using his position on behalf of a fictitious company, Gideon Development and the developer, an undercover agent who went by the name “Sean Michaels,” and of lying to federal investigators.

  • Officials meet,discuss future of area springs

    Officials and representatives from at least a dozen businesses and state and local government organizations gathered Thursday at Fanning Springs City Hall to discuss the fate and preservation of Manatee and Fanning Springs.

    Carol Lippincott, an environmental consultant, coordinated the meeting and started it off with an update on what is currently known about the health of the springs.

  • Williston man charged with abuse, molestation; mother with neglect of girl, 2

    A Williston man has been charged with lewd and lascivious molestation on a two-year-old girl while his girlfriend was charged with neglect of a child.

    Alexander Merida, 32, and Christina Morales, 28, were arrested Nov. 20 after an investigator with the Department of Children and Families was called to their residents on NE 48 Street.

    According to the sheriff’s office, the investigator noticed injuries to the child's face and scheduled a medical examination the following day. The sheriff’s office was brought into the case following the exam.