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Today's News

  • Our own hidden treasure

    Henry David Thoreau said, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

    We are so lucky and I am so grateful to have in our midst the Nature Coast State Trail. It is truly a part of the preservation of Florida’s Nature Coast.

    Like the springs throughout this area, the trail is one of the best kept secrets for easy and close contact with nature. It is a valuable asset for recreation and eco-friendly transportation, and I along with my better half and our two dogs use it every day as part of our exercise routine.

    The trail is a long skinny extension of the state park system that connects Trenton, Chiefland and Cross City. It offers a peaceful break from the hectic pace of life where you can walk, skate, ride your bicycle, horse or skateboard without the danger of highway traffic as motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited along the well maintained and paved reclaimed railway bed.

  • Happy Thanksgiving

    I suppose I should write a Thanksgiving column about all the things for which I am thankful. I’m probably not going to do that. First, there is not enough space for such a list. Second, I take for granted most of the things that should be on the list and I can’t think of a single one of them right now.

    There is the obvious; my wife. I’m deeply in love my wife and am very thankful for her. She recently returned from a weeklong trip from visiting her sister in South Carolina. I’m glad she’s back. I don’t do well when she’s gone. I’m barely functional.

    My wife is very supportive of me regardless of how stupid she thinks I’m being or how stupid that thing is that I’m doing. I'm not admitting to stupidity, mind you, but I am a man and based on recent revelations and allegations of sexual misconduct, men do seem to be generally stupid.

    Have you seen any of those guys? I believe the women because those men ain’t handsome.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Are former Prisoners of War ever really free?

    I originally planned on writing something silly as I often do until I went to the Veterans Day luncheon Friday in the Haven Community Center. There are many things wrong with the United States of America, but there are many more things that are good and those good things far outweigh the bad.

    When the Pledge of Allegiance was spoken and the National Anthem was sung Friday, veterans with crooked backs, stood. Veterans in wheelchairs sat more erect and regardless of their condition, saluted, recited the pledge and then sung the anthem.

    The contrast between the men and women who sacrificed their health for their country and able-bodied professional football players was striking.

    I understand why they took a knee. Issues being ignored need to be addressed and talked about. However, we’re not talking about racism, police shootings, church shooting, school shootings, workplace shootings, black on black violence, white on white violence, black on white or white on black — we are only talking about the protest.

  • The Children’s Table pantry aiming resources for Puerto Rico

    The Children’s Table, a Bronson-based food pantry founded by Verna and Bill Brown, is going outside of the area it usually serves.

    While it might be new territory, its newest mission is right in the organization’s wheelhouse, as it applies its organizational skills, its more than two decades of experience and its indefatigable giving spirit to serve those in need in striken Puerto Rico, which is suffering from the overwhelming devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20.

    The Children’s Table this month is sending a 40-foot shipping container with food, clothes, medical items and other supplies to the island with a focus on rural and inland areas, with up to around 15 shipments planned if all goes well. It’s collaborating with area pastors and ministries with experience in providing relief to areas in crisis here and overseas. The network is working with a longtime nonprofit in Puerto Rico to help with oversight and local logistics to the subject areas. The supplies will be distributed by ministers and small rural churches.

  • County Commission honors longtime EMS employee, union president

    Paul Shear, a longtime employee of the Levy County Department of Public Safety, who witnessed the modernization of the department and represented his co-workers as union president, was presented a plaque on the occasion of his retirement by the Board of County Commissioners Nov. 7.

    “(Shear) has been a very dedicated employee for many years at the Department of Public Safety,” BOCC chair John Meeks said. “I appreciate his many years of service. I’d say he’s one of the good ones because he stuck around so long, but he’s one of the good ones because he’s seen our EMS grow from its very infancy all the way to what it is today. I hate to lose him, but I’m sure he’s ready to retire and go onto something else.”

    Shear was also praised by Board members for his dealings with the Board as the public union president.

    “I enjoyed working with you all through the years,” Commissioner Lilly Rooks said to Shear. “It was easy to sit down with you and talk everything out.”

  • Schools Foundation receives grant to enhance county education

    The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations recently awarded the Levy County Schools Foundation $16,249.75 in matching funds through the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.

    The funds will be used in the 2017-18 school year to enhance classroom STEM programs; fund middle school field trips; provide classroom mentoring for new teachers; purchase needed computer equipment and support student CTE programs.

    Private matching funds, required under the grant, will be provided through the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and Capital City Bank, Suncoast Credit Union and Duke Energy grants.