Today's News

  • Withlacoochee Chamber serves up amenities at ‘low boil’ dinner

    South Levy County is home to the Withlacoochee River, a glorious river that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. On any day of the week, any week of the year, the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce invites residents and visitors alike to come and enjoy all it’s great outdoor amenities. Conducive to boating, sailing, fishing, camping, hiking, bicycling, paddling, and birding, the river and surrounding areas have it all.

    The Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce is the perfect host and hostess to acquaint those seeking that “Old Florida” adventure. Set in the laid back towns of Inglis and Yankeetown, the Withlacoochee Chamber works tirelessly to give residents and visitors a splendid, idyllic getaway whether it’s for a few hours, a few days, or a few months. Many residents came to the area as vacationers and found they just didn’t want to leave, making South Levy their permanent residences.

  • Faith, family, friends help Smith recover from freakish motorcycle accident

    Faith. Family. Friends. Sheila Smith says those are the reasons she survived a freakish motorcycle accident in 2010.

    Sheila fractured her skull in three places. Her sinus cavities collapsed and her face was paralyzed. Besides a big muscle knot and a bruise on one of her shoulders, “It was just my head and shoulder that was damaged. I was very fortunate.”

    She has no memory of the accident or the two months that followed. Because her face was paralyzed, she couldn’t close her eyes or mouth. Her right eye was stuck toward her nose, which caused problems with double vision, depth perception and vertigo. She had to wear a safety belt when she used a walker and someone had to walk behind her.

    To understand what led to the crash, it is necessary to know Sheila. She grew up in Pennsylvania as a little bit of a tomboy who was afraid of nothing, except maybe a Ferris wheel and other slow-moving things.

  • City moves on sewage plant

    Chiefland City commissioners found themselves in a situation they did not like Monday when they voted 4-1 to fund the city’s share of a grant to replace the digester at the wastewater treatment plant.

    It was either pay $148,600 for the city’s share of a grant now or fund the full cost at a later date.

    City Manager Mary Ellzey said staff applied for the Springs Project grant 18 months ago through the Department of Environmental Protection/Suwannee River Water Management District to replace the biosolids treatment unit that was built in 1968. The unit was refurbished once in 1999. The city is under a mandate to replace the equipment by 2020.

    At the of the grant application in January 2016, the estimated cost for the total project was $418,400 with the water management district funding $376,560 and city funding $41,840.

    Between the time construction plans were completed and the project was funded, there were substantial increases in labor and material costs. The cost is now estimated at $567,000, an increase of $148,600.

  • City Commission recognizes October Students of the Month

    By David Davis


    Chiefland City commissioners recognized the October Students of the Month Monday, Nov. 11, during the regular commission meeting. Chiefland Elementary School nominated Carlos Salazar-Diaz, Chiefland Middle/High School selected Tyler Bass and Chiefland Middle/High School nominated Deshamar Shepherd for their outstanding behavior and scholastic achievement.

    CES fourth grade teacher Charlotte Andrews nominated Carlos, the son of Mirla Diaz and Carlos Salazar. The teacher said Carlos is a very conscientious student. He always comes to school prepared and eager to learn. He is very serious about his education. He is an English-Language Learner who has overcome language barriers to excel in all areas. Not only does he take his education seriously, but he also encourages and helps his classmates. He translates for other ELL students in the classroom. He is a real asset to his teachers.

  • Levy County Schools Foundation to name two Suncoast CU scholars

    The Suncoast Schools Credit Union Foundation is partnering with the Levy County Schools Foundation to offer two $2,000 scholarship awards to high school graduates in the Class of 2018.

    Class of 2018 high school graduates in the Suncoast Credit Union’s 21-county service territory have the opportunity to apply for financial support to continue their education, thanks to a $116,000 investment in scholarships by the Tampa-based credit union’s foundation.

    Applications will be open Feb. 1, 2018 and will be available through the Levy County high school guidance departments.

    This year’s Suncoast Credit Union Scholars program represents a continued philosophy of the foundation to support education initiatives and the well-being and potential of children.

    Since its inception in 1990, the foundation has contributed more than $19 million including more than 600 student scholarships valued at nearly $1 million.

  • Picking trash in Levy County Part 4: Good citizens

    By Ed Emrich

    I hate trash. l know that’s a bold statement in these days of political correctness when you are not allowed to hate anything. But, really I do! I’m just being honest with you.

    My father instilled the notion in me that trash discarded by thoughtless people is wrong at a basic level and it chews up so many of our local resources to clean it up, money that could be better used to fix bridges or pave roads.

    I hate trash, but I love this area so I am willing to do something about it by safely picking trash along my road in my community in my state. It’s a monthly effort to give something back and to help keep the Nature Coast natural. But, picking trash is not for the faint of heart. It is truly disgusting what some people throw out of the windows of their vehicles or stop and dump along the road. When you pick trash, you see the seedy underbelly of society in full bloom. You see the chaotic and wasteful way that some people live ... by desensitizing or self-medicating with alcohol, tobacco, sugar, fast food and the broken dreams of a winning lottery ticket.

  • Thank vets, thank their families too

    Last week, I used the Opinion page to reprint a story I wrote in 2005 for the Cleveland (Tennessee) Daily Banner. The story was about William “Bill” Norwood, a former POW held captive by the North Koreans during the Korean War. This story is about his wife, Liz, that I wrote five years later in 2010.

    I want you to read this story because spouses do not get the recognition they deserve.


    Liz did not know Bill before he joined the Army. She didn’t know how captivity in a North Korean prisoner of war camp affected him, but she did see how the war and being held captive by the enemy changed her neighbor and she knew being married to a former prisoner of war wouldn’t be easy.

    Her neighbor was in the same prison camp as William “Bill” Norwood. “I knew the neighbor next door and he’d been back. I didn’t have a clue I’d ever marry someone that far away, me in Kentucky and him in Tennessee. It just worked out. It was the way it was meant to be,” she said.

  • November is Manatee Month

    November is Manatee Awareness Month – a time to celebrate Florida’s beloved, iconic, marine mammal and also to create awareness and shed light on the many challenges imperiled manatees face every day.

  • Chiefland misses playoffs with Levy Cup loss

    The Chiefland football team fell short of its highest goal – to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

    The Indians fell victim to Williston’s defensive pressure last Friday, as they committed seven turnovers in their offensive backfield, most of which directly led to Red Devil scores, in falling 55-14 to their cross-county rivals.

    The loss boxed CMHS (5-5) out of the playoffs and handed the Levy County Cup to Williston (5-5) for the third-straight year. The Red Devils earned their first playoff bid since 2009 with the win. They face reigning Class 1A champions Pahokee in South Florida Friday Nov. 10. WMHS jumped ahead of a couple of 7-2 teams to qualify for the playoffs on the strength of their schedule under the new region-based, points structure, as it earned bonus points for facing eight recent playoff teams and made large gains in playing eight teams with winning records.

    Despite the disappointment, first-year coach Adam Gore wanted to make sure his senior class understood the legacy it’s leaving the program, that the better days ahead will be built on the foundation first laid by the current seniors.

  • Williston to host Veterans Day Parade

    By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Williston Pioneer Editor

    Men and women from all walks of life representing every branch of military service will be the guests of honor Saturday, when the city of Williston hosts the annual Levy County Veterans Day Parade..

    Step-off is at 10 a.m. Nov. 11. More than 35 units have pre-registered to participate in the parade down Noble Avenue including floats, motorcycles and horse and buggies.

    Following the parade, everyone is encouraged to come to the Heritage Park Pavilion where Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat's annual Veterans Day Program will take place.

    In addition to patriotic music, where all branches of the military are honored with their anthems, Williston City Council President Charles Goodman, a Vietnam veteran, will deliver the keynote address.

    Following the hour long ceremony, the city will serve hot dogs and chips to those in attendance.

    For more information, call Latricia Wright at 528-3060.