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Local News

  • School board, union clash on teacher pay

    Levy County Education Association President Cindy Roach says a recent change to school board policy, designed to save the district money, could end up costing more than it saves.

    In Tuesday’s meeting of the Levy County School Board, the board held a public hearing on three proposed changes to board policy.

    The first, pertaining to a plan to return to weighted GPAs in order to more fairly determine valedictorians and salutatorians, passed with minimal comment.

  • Breaking News: U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez to announce his resignation at 3 p.m. press conference in Orlando.
  • Buie defeats Monyei to stay on commission

    Incumbent Chiefland City Commissioner Frank Buie defeated former Commissioner Alice Monyei 152 to 94 in their third race for the Group 1 seat in six years.

    The two vied for the only race on Tuesday's ballot today. The other two city commissioners up for election this year, Rollin Hudson and Sammy Cason, were both re-elected without opposition.

  • County OKs official's leave for Iraq

    Imagine advising farmers on raising food crops and cattle in Florida’s heat and alternating wet and dry spells, not to mention hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning strikes. Now, imagine advising farmers in Iraq where the temperature can reach 120 degrees in July and August, a dusty dry wind blows from April to June and the 120-degree heat after June gets a little help from a steady flow of dry air. Florida’s hurricanes are replaced by dust storms over there. And rain occurs mainly from December through April.

  • Garbage fees raise big stink with school board

    An increase of 143 percent in the cost to collect garbage for Williston schools has the Levy County School Board steaming. At Tuesday's meeting of the board, Superintendent Bob Hastings said the city of Williston had recently stopped providing its own waste pickup service and instead contracted with vendor Emerald Waste Services. In the process, the city had raised the cost to collect trash from Williston's four school sites from $2,673 per month to $6,555 per month, coming to an annual cost of almost $79,000, an increase of about $46,000 more than last year.

  • CFCC seeks trainers for noncredit programs

    The CF Institute at Central Florida Community College will hold a recruiting event for trainers on Thursday, July 16 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Ewers Century Center at the Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.

    “With recent layoffs, many people are considering education and skill development for a different employment direction,” said Donnah Ross, director of Corporate Training and Continuing Education.

  • Nuke plant faces another setback

    The Green Party of Florida and two other groups learned Wednesday that their challenges to Progress Energy Florida’s plans to build two nuclear power reactors in Levy County have standing with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and their petition to intervene has been granted.

    The move could represent another setback to the utility. In May, it announced construction work on the $17 billion project would be delayed by at least 20 months when the NRC refused to give the utility limited work authorization for excavation and foundation preparation work.

  • Sheriff says budget cuts will cost three jobs

    There will be bad news for three employees at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.

    They will lose their jobs in the coming year.

    That’s the news delivered by Sheriff Johnny Smith and Col. Mike Johnson to the County Commission as they delivered their revised budget proposal.

    “This is kind of sad in a way,” Johnson said. “It’s sad that we’re losing people.

    “I feel more consideration could have been given to the sheriff’s department.”

  • City sees red ink for next budget year

    It doesn’t matter how they slice it, the Chiefland City Commission is facing a budget for next year that is bleeding red ink.

    The commission considered two budget proposals prepared by its staff during a workshop on Monday — one with a 3 percent pay raise for non-management employees and one with nothing.

  • Woman, 21, dies, possibly from meningitis

    Fifteen Levy County residents have been treated with antibiotics after coming into contact with a 21-year-old woman who died of suspected bacterial meningitis at a Sumter County Hospital.

    Kellie Nichole Taylor, age 21, died July 7, at The Villages Regional Hospital in The Villages in Sumter County where she was staying with a friend.

    Barbara Locke, administrator of the Levy County Health Department, said it was “a sad case.”