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Local News

  • Ham radios keeping Levy County in touch

    Technology has come a long way in terms of communications, especially in emergency management.

    Satellites, the Internet and other forms of technology have contributed greatly to keep people in touch when disaster strikes. But a form of communication that is almost a century old is still the most reliable way to stay in contact.

    Ham radios are still in use today, and they play a key part in emergency plans. The devices are a central component of Levy County's communications tools.

  • CCF Levy Center gets new provost

    Marilyn Ladner has been selected as the new provost at the College of Central Florida's Levy Center.

    Ladner takes over for Interim Director Dr. Susan Chappell. Currently the manager of Corporate Training at CF, Ladner is expected to begin at the Levy Center in mid-August. She will also be the college's executive director of College Planning.

    "It is so exciting," she said by phone last Thursday. "I'm just walking on air. I was hoping this might happen and it did. I can't wait to be more of a part of this area and this project."

  • Mobile Dental Unit coming to Chiefland

    The Florida Baptist Mobile Dental Unit will be coming to First Baptist Church of Chiefland Aug. 2 through 5.

    Pre-screening for dental services—extractions and simple fillings only—is  required and will take place Saturday, July 24, at the church beginning at 9 a.m.

    Applicants coming to the pre-screening must bring valid identification, and the clinic will not provide services to anyone under the age of 6.

  • Tarmac challenges tax claim

    Yankeetown Town Council member Jack Schofield,  critic of the proposed Tarmac King Road limerock mine, has raised questions about whether the company owes tangible property taxes on a drag line.

    The drag line, sitting in pieces at the site of the company’s test pit, which Schofield and other Yankeetown residents want closed, is not subject to tax, said Tarmac officials because state law does not levy a tax on items not producing revenue.

  • City news briefs

    n City one step closer to tapping well

    The city commission voted 4-0 Monday night to allow City Manager Grady Hartzog to move ahead with the third phase of a project that would bring the city’s water line closer to its new well head No. 5.  Commissioner Rollin Hudson was absent for the vote.

    “It’s a great idea.  We’ve been needing to do this,” said Vice-Mayor Teresa Barron at the meeting.

  • Hospital awaiting signature

    Executives with Ameris Health Systems, the company that plans to build a hospital in Chiefland, are still awaiting a decision from the governor’s office on the reallocation of tax-free bonds.

    Sam Lewis, chief executive officer and president of Ameris, said recently that Gov. Charlie Crist has an executive order on his desk to consolidate and reallocate about $840 million of unspent tax-free bonds for shovel-ready projects like the hospital throughout the state.

  • Unemployment in Levy pops up to 13.1 percent

     Levy County's unemployment rate jumped from 12.6 percent in May to 13.1 percent in June, a 0.7 percent increase.

    In personal terms, the number of people wihtout a job in the county's workforce rose from from 2,049 to 2,158.

    The story was much the same for Marion County which posted a 13.9 percent rate up by 0.3 percent, and Citrus County where the rate rose 0.6 percent to 13.3 percent.

  • School officials grim about future of school budget

    The School Board of Levy County’s estimated budget for the 2010-2011 school year appears to be in decent shape, considering the recent economic downturn.

    After that, however, the future doesn’t look so bright.

    The board held its first budget workshop on Tuesday, before its twice monthly board meeting, to discuss potential fiscal changes for the next school year.

  • County property values down only 5.5 percent, budget meetings set

    The Levy County Commission got some good news this past week from County Property Appraiser Oz Barker: property values are not down as much as earlier anticipated.

    Barker, who sent over the ubiquitous form DR420S Certification of Taxable Value that comissioners use in setting a tentative budget and property tax millage rate, had anticipated  a 7 percent drop in value. But the decrease is 5.5 percent on property valued at $1,871,247,226.

    That could be good news for the reeling real estate market where values have been sinking for three years.

  • Fate of sinkhole still unknown

    After establishing almost a year ago that a Chiefland sinkhole has a direct underground connection to Manatee Springs, state agencies said they have no plan in place to address the stormwater that feeds directly into the cavernous mouth located just blocks from City Hall.

    A document from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection does, however, state that state agencies are still awaiting the completion of a Basin Action Management Plan (BMAP), which could call for testing of the water.  But the BMAP could be as far as 18 months from completion.