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Today's News

  • Victims: they will not forget Perez's deceit

    Roberteus Perez stood quietly alongside his attorney as four victims’ statements were read Wednesday, Dec. 13, during sentencing proceedings in front of Judge Mark W. Moseley.

    The former Chiefland Elementary School custodian arrested April 4 after a hidden camera was found in a staff restroom pled guilty as part of a plea agreement.

    There were no images of children found in the seized videos though all of the victims expressed belief that children were caught on camera. The recovered images were of short, edited video clips of women using the bathroom. Some women were identifiable and some were not.

    Two CES staff members came forward to read victim statements and the victim advocate read two other statements.

    The first victim said that after the shock wore off, they were left with the destruction Perez left behind.

    “We went from trusting, caring women to suspicious characters who question every time we go to the bathroom or a dressing room. You could barely look us in the eye when we tried to engage you in casual conversation, yet you could watch videos of us in the comfort of your own home.”

  • What if every day were Christmas?

    I like history.

    I’m not a student of it, but I like researching historical sites for ideas and articles I can use.

    The following article from “Biblical World” published in December 1913 caught my attention because I have bemoaned for years that Christmas is way too commercialized; that the true meaning of Christmas is lost in all the decorations, lights and gift-giving.

    I am comforted knowing that I am not much different than they were 104 years ago.

    ——

    WHAT IF EVERY DAY

    WERE CHRISTMAS?

    “Heaven defend us from such a misfortune!” you say. For Christmas is one of the most dreaded joys of life.

    But this terror at the mention of Christmas is due to our having commercialized the day until it is a synonym for anxiety lest we give someone a present of less (or more) value than the present this someone has given us.

    Yet in reality Christmas is a bit of prophetic idealism. It is a testimony to our persistent belief that our present economic order is not ideal. Even the most brutal industrialism cannot destroy this faith.

  • Good Samaritan administration arrested for neglect

    By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Williston Pioneer Editor

    The administrators at Williston’s Good Samaritan Retirement Home were arrested last week and charged with neglect of the elderly.

    The arrests came on the heels of many complaints over the past year, including several this month, including one that ended in the death of one of the home’s residents this past November.

    Arrested were Rhaimley Yap Romero, 31, of Apopka and Nenita Alfonso Sudeall, 48, of Williston.

    Romero Arrest

    On Dec. 11, the Williston Police Department, along with the Levy County Department of Public Safety, was dispatched to the home where a resident required medical attention.

    The investigation concluded that the resident, a male patient had a catheter removed at UF Urology on Dec. 7. Since his return to the facility, his health had declined and the morning of Dec. 9 he became too weak to move from his bed and was incontinent requiring staff to put him in a diaper.

  • Vessels held on $4 million bond

    By Scott Tummond, LCSO Public Information

    LCSO published details Nov. 28 of a reported shooting that occurred Nov. 24 at Melvin and Alice’s Restaurant. The investigation revealed that two victims had been wounded by shotgun rounds fired by an unknown suspect. Based on an extensive investigation, LCSO Investigator Justin Douglas was able to obtain an arrest warrant for Anthony Walter Vessels, 26, for two counts of attempted murder.

    Members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force located and arrested Vessels Dec. 11 in Broward County. Vessels will be held at the Levy County Detention Facility on a bond of $4 million dollars.

    Sheriff Bobby McCallum said he is very proud of the investigative work by LCSO personnel and appreciative of the assistance provided by the Fugitive Task Force and others in this investigation.

    Investigators have already interviewed Vessels and the case remains active.

    LCSO urges anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Investigator Justin Douglas or Justin VanDuren.

  • Santa Claus visits library

    Santa Claus visited the Luther Callaway Library in Chiefland Friday, Dec. 15. Library Youth Services coordinator Jenny Rodgers started the evening reading the book “Santa’s Underwear.” Asking the children who they came to see, the kids shouted, Santa! After excited chants of Santa! Santa! Santa Claus appeared to their delight. Tables of craft projects entertained everyone while children had their photos taken with Santa. Each child had their picture taken with Santa to take home, along with a digital copy available online. Sue Ann Burkhardt manages the library.

  • CF holds graduation at new campus

    The College of Central Florida graduated a pioneering class of adult education students Dec. 7 in Chiefland.

    The group represented the first to make its graduation walk in the conference room of the new Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus, which opened for classes this past August.

    “We’re looking forward to growing in this building and providing additional programs and services for our students, and tonight’s program is a prime example of what can be accomplished here,” said Holly McGlashan, Levy Campus Manager, in her introduction.

    There were 22 adult education students receiving the State of Florida High School Diploma, known as the General Education Development (GED), for the Fall 2017 graduation.

  • Joyner gets award named in his honor

    So many of the details of Mike Joyner’s extensive career in law enforcement – particularly his heralded undercover work – will never be available for public consumption.

    Joyner, who has served as a Levy County Commissioner since 2011, and has been called an expert in undercover drug investigations, has been everything from Chief Deputy in Jefferson County, a captain in the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, a lieutenant in the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, and bailiff and agriculture investigator in Levy County.

    While some of the details of that work might remain exclusive for his closest friends, the broad contributions of Joyner’s career are now being recognized in a big way. The Florida Intelligence Unit (FIU), which has trained officers since 1961, has announced a new annual award to go to the officer of the year.

    They’re calling it the Mike Joyner Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.

  • Gaithers live with trials, blessings

    The lives of Michael and Kaye Gaither are a series of trials followed by blessings. The overarching trial is that Michael; the most kind, sweetest, loving man in the eyes of his family, is in heart failure, and Multiple Sclerosis. The blessing is that he is under the care of Haven Hospice, an organization for which Kaye, Michael and his service dog, Honey, are volunteers.

    A trial is that Honey, who will be eight years old Jan. 22, is in the terminal stages of a fungus-born disease. The blessing is that on Monday, she made her 89th appointment with veterinarians at the UF Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville. Honey is a certified full mobility, PTSD medical service dog. She and Michael are members of team No. 001 in a critical VA research project and the two are inseparable. Honey picked up the fungus as a puppy, before she came to the Gaithers.

    Michael suffered a heart attack in January and has struggled to breathe for a long time. During his career, he was an electrician in textile mills and he repaired vehicles as a civilian employee for the National Guard.

  • Little critter packs a punch in citrus greening

    Citrus greening has hit North Central Florida and the residents now have a weapon to fight back: the Tamarixia Wasp.

    Citrus greening causes blotchy mottled leaves and it changes the flavor in your harvests. Huanglongbing (HLB), more commonly known as citrus greening is thought to be caused by a particular strain of bacterium called, Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus. Citrus greening symptoms include pointed leaves on new leaf growth, described as “rabbit ears,” blotchy mottle leaves, leaf drop, reduced fruit size, bitter tasting fruit, poorly colored fruit, lopsided fruit with curved columella (column-like structures), yellow stain at base of fruit and excessive fruit drop.

    The Asian Citrus Psyllid feed on and damage citrus plantings. They lay eggs on citrus trees and through their feedings, spread the bacterium that causes the disease. The Tamarixia wasp, is a parasite that ultimately destroys its host. The tiny wasp has only one host and that is the ACP nymph. The female Tamarixia wasp lays an egg on the underside of the developing ACP. Once the larva hatches it will feed externally on the ACP nymph until it eventually dies.

  • Lions Club announces expanded vision services

    Cedar Key Lions Club today announced an expanded coverage area for Lions Club Vision Services. Residents of Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties are now eligible to receive free vision services from the Lions.

    Club President Dale Register remarked, “Ninety years ago, Helen Keller challenged the Lions Club to take up the cause of the blind. Lions in Cedar Key have answered that challenge since 1968. As we approach our Club’s 50th Anniversary, I’m honored to announce an expanded service area. It’s a privilege for the Cedar Key Lions Club to provide eye exams, eyeglasses, glaucoma treatment and cataract surgery to individuals demonstrating financial need in Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties. This expanded service area triples our ability help those in need. Our club proudly upholds the Lions motto: We Serve.”

    Cedar Key Lions have streamlined the application process to deliver benefits faster.  Find the the Lions Vision Service Program application online at www.cedarkeylionsclub.com