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Local News

  • Bid protest set aside

    The Chiefland City Commission has set aside a bid protest filed by an Illinois company over a pump for the city’s wastewater operation because it came late and the product was too expensive.

    Laurie Copeland, city project and finance coordinator, said the request for bids on the pump said bids could be submitted for diesel or gas-fueled pumps, that the city only intended to spend $47,000 on the pump, and the city reserved the right to waive certain specifications.

  • Property appraiser moves closer to the public

    It was his ninth day in office and Levy County Property Appraiser Osborn “Oz” Barker was restless.

    He’s eager to get to work, but first there is a week of training in Tallahassee. When he returns he will be on the move. He has his Bible and a copy of “God’s Promises to You,” by Max Lucado on his temporary desk in the old office occupied by his predecessor Francis Akins.

    Barker’s Christian beliefs are well known. He makes no secret that he seeks to walk with Jesus.

  • Orlando man accused of Wal-Mart thefts

    An Orlando man charged with attempting to steal about $1,600 in merchandise from Wal-Mart Supercenter in Chiefland was arrested in a car containing merchandise similar to that in the store incident.

    Wal-Mart security officer Mike Flowers recognized Willis Jerome Gilbert while the Orlando resident was in the store on Saturday, Jan. 10.

    While the police report said Flowers recognized Gilbert from a flier circulated by Wal-Mart, Flowers told police he recognized him from an incident in the store in June in connection with forgery charges.

  • St. Johns donate 121 acres to CFCC

    The Central Florida Community College Foundation has received a gift of land from Ron and Marcia St. John of Trenton. The donation of 121 acres in Gilchrist County supports the college’s Promise for the Future campaign to build a permanent Levy Campus just north of Chiefland on U.S. 19.

    The St. Johns were among the first to pledge support for the campaign and to become involved in garnering additional support from the community for the project.

  • Rotarians look for those who will take the 'Promise'

    The Tri County Springs Promise is ready to hit the road and work to preserve the water quality in the area’s waters.

    Charlie Smith, president of the Trenton Rotary Club unveiled a new PowerPoint presentation that promotes the program and seeks money to support its projects.

    “We’ve gotten involved in this thing and we’ve got to keep pushing. It’s a three-year program,” the Gilchrist County businessman said.

    He said storm water runoff is part of the problem polluting area waters.

  • Judge affirms Andrews' right to vote

    Circuit Judge David O. Glant has issued his order affirming A.D. “Andy” Andrews’ right to vote in Chiefland city elections, as he verbally ruled in November.

    Andrews, publisher of the Levy County Journal and a tree farmer, sought a declaratory judgment affirming his right to vote one year ago.

  • Some private transportation allowed for extracurricular activities

    The use of private vehicles to transport students during extracurricular activities, once a prohibited action, will be allowed on a case-by-case basis by individual schools, according to a policy change scheduled for approval Feb. 17.

    The new policy will allow athletic teams, especially minor sports like golf and tennis, to attend events otherwise unavailable to them due to transportation funding cuts.

    Small-group educational trips will also benefit from the policy change, making it possible for field trips too small to justify bus use to still occur.

  • PE tells chamber solar power not an option

    Progress Energy wants residents to know it has considered using wind and solar power to meet customer’s needs, but that is not a viable option.

    That was the message of Denny George of Progress Energy and a director for the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce at its Jan. 23 meeting.

    George said Florida does not have the sustainable wind to power the large windmills that customers see in the commercials on television and cable.

  • Fanning Springs Park gets Green Lodging certificate

    Sunscreen? Check. Bugspray? Check. Green Lodging designation? Ch— wait, what’s that?

    A Green Lodging designation, bestowed by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), is a certification that states that hotels or other places of lodging have implemented a series of recommended practices designed to reduce energy and water use and produce less refuse.

    This past week, Fanning Springs State Park received this designation for its overnight cabins, which opened three years ago.

  • God and politics blamed in firing

    Newly minted Levy County Property Appraiser Oz Barker says he fired a veteran employee on his first day in office because he did not have confidence or trust in her, but two leaders in the Tri-County NAACP said he told them God directed him to do it.

    And they think the reason is a little less divine — that Barker traded a promise to fire her in return for votes to help him win the office in the November election.