Thursday, September 21, 2017

Former Cedar Key Pastor Arrested

Photo courtesy of Gilchrist County S. O.


The former pastor for the Cedar Key First Baptist Church was arrested September 19, 2017, on a warrant that stemmed from an investigation which began in late July. The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division received a request from a concerned citizen asking LCSO to look into unusual charges occurring on the church’s operational expense accounts. Investigators determined former Pastor Todd Anthony Pope (10-17-62) not only utilized funds from these accounts for personal gain, but also opened charge accounts, credit card accounts and gas charge accounts. 

Investigators immediately identified a couple of unusual charges on the church’s bank account. Pope, whom had been confronted by the church in late June, resigned. The anonymous citizen did not know the extent of the unauthorized charges until a more thorough examination of bank records was conducted by LCSO investigators. Investigators discovered unauthorized ATM withdrawals and charge cards opened in the church’s name with only Pope as the authorized user.

In total, investigators determined Pope took approximately $76,267.58 dollars through various means over a period of several years. Investigators were able to secure a warrant for Pope’s arrest for scheme to defraud, forgery/uttering forged bank checks and grand theft greater than $20,000 but less than $99,999. Pope was arrested in Gilchrist County for the Levy County warrant. His bond was set at $215,000.00.

This investigation is still on-going and additional charges are expected to be filed at a later date.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sexual Predator Public Address Notification

September 18, 2017

On September 13, 2017 John Wayne Hudson registered as a Sexual Predator with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office. By Florida law Hudson is required to notify law enforcement whenever he changes addresses.

John Wayne Hudson was convicted in 2004 in Levy County, Florida for Sexual Battery by weapon or force - F.S. 794.011. Hudson was released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 2014 and registered a change in address to: 7632 NW 170 Street Trenton, Levy County, Florida 32696

For a complete listing of all registered sexual predators and offenders residing in Levy County, or to search by zip code, please visit www.fdle.state.fl.us and go to the sexual offender data base.

Sexual Predator:
John Wayne Hudson
7632 NW 170 Street
Trenton, Levy County, Florida 32696
White/Male
DOB: 05/03/1968
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Personal Message to the Citizens of Levy County from Sheriff McCallum:

Levy County citizens are our priority. We will be here to answer your calls for service. We WILL respond to your needs and to the needs of those traveling through our county as we do each and every day.
I want to take a moment to explain some recent decisions to re-route I-10 and I-75 traffic to the US 19 and US Alt 27 corridor if it becomes necessary. The historic flooding of the Santa Fe River due to Hurricane Irma may affect the bridge as the river crosses under I-75. If this occurs, I-75 will be closed at the I-10 interchange. The bridges on US 41 and US 27 at the Columbia and Alachua County line have already been closed due to flooding. If this closing occurs it will cause extreme traffic conditions in our county. The traffic diversion will even further tax our already stressed resources. As always the citizens of the county are our first priority, and the Levy County Sheriff’s Office will continue to respond to you and to your needs. 
Our deputies have been working 16 hours shifts as we assisted south Florida evacuees who are now attempting to return to their homes. We expect supply deliveries and volunteers will accompany the south Florida evacuees as they travel south. We caution our community members who intend to use US 19 and US Alt 27 to be extremely careful and to stay safe.
Our deputies will continue to work diligently to move the traffic through our area.  I am asking for our community’s patience during this trying time. I also want to personally thank every member of the LCSO for their dedication to our community and our neighbors as we continue to deal with the after effects of Irma.  I also want to thank our Citizens for their assistance to evacuees who have passed through our county.  We have received words of appreciations for the hospitality of the Citizens of Levy County.
Please stay safe and call us if you need us.
Sheriff Bobby McCallum
 

Levy County School Update

No student attendance on Thursday, September 14, 2017.  Thursday will be an employee workday.  All School Board employees will report to work at 8:30. 
·       Food Service workers need to check with their Managers.
·       Bus Drivers and Bus Aides do not need to report to work until Friday.
Buses are ready to run and students will return to school on Friday, September 15, 2017. 
Please note the following game updates:
·       All games for Thursday have been cancelled.
·       Bronson –vs- PKY is cancelled.
·       Chiefland –vs-Hamilton County is cancelled.
·       Williston – vs- Madison County is rescheduled for Saturday, September 16th.  It is a home game.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Curfew Update/Power Restoration


Release #9

September 11, 2017

Levy County Commissioner Chairman John Meeks in conjunction with Sheriff McCallum and the Levy County Emergency Management Division has ordered that the curfew for Levy County be lifted at 2pm. This will ensure that Levy County is no longer under any threat of tropical storm force winds and will give damage crews time to make sure that there are no major hazards that have not been identified.
Power lines are down and reports from CFEC and Duke Energy representatives indicated will take some time for trees and lines to be cleared and power restored. Everyone is cautioned as they attempt to clear downed trees that if they have entangled with a power line it would be safest to wait for the power crews to make the area safe for you. Please, if you have not had an electrician install proper wiring for generator hook-up for your home, do not plug the generator directly into your home. This creates a dangerous condition known as back feed for power crews as they work to restore power.

Levy County Shelter Update:


All shelters will begin closing today at 6 pm. Please help us spread this information. Sheltered evacuees who need transportation need to contact the shelter manager to have your name added to a list that is being compiled. Based upon the information being supplied by the National Weather Service weather conditions will be safe for our citizens to return home. Therefore, the curfew will be lifted at 2 PM today. Reports currently being sent to the Emergency Management Center are that roads are clear and no closures have been reported. We are working on plans with Emergency Management and the Red Cross for evacuees who find themselves displaced. For evacuees who know their homes have been damaged and cannot return home please contact 352-486-5155 or 352-486-5576.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Curfew Ordered – Release #8


September 10, 2017 @ 1215

Levy County Commissioner Chairman John Meeks in conjunction with Sheriff McCallum and the Levy County Emergency Management Division has ordered a curfew for Levy County beginning at 4 p.m. today. Therefore, this new information combined with the fact that no emergency services will be able to respond once sustained wind speeds exceed 39 miles per hour, we cannot stress enough to our residents; they will need to be in a safe shelter location by this time.

Additional Shelter Openings – Release # 7


September 10, 2017 @ 0730

Additional emergency evacuee shelters are in the process of opening. The Williston Elementary School located at 801 South Main Street in Williston and the Chiefland Elementary School located at 1205 NW 4 Avenue in Chiefland are being staffed for opening and will be able to accept evacuees by 0900 this morning. Evacuees should pack personal medications, blankets, pillows, bedding and necessary comfort items to sustain themself for at least 3 days if necessary. These shelter locations DO NOT have cots available for evacuees. Plan ahead and make sure you bring any absolutely necessary items for you and your family.

No shelters in Levy County have reached capacity. These additional openings are being ordered for last minute evacuees. The following are all Levy County Evacuee Shelter locations:

Shelter Locations:

Bronson Elementary School                                        Chiefland Elementary School

400 Ishie Avenue                                                         1205 NW 4 Avenue

Bronson, Fl 32621                                                       Chiefland, Fl 32626

 

Bronson Middle High School

351 Ishie Avenue

Bronson, Fl 32621

 

Williston Middle High School

350 Robert Philpot Way

Williston, Fl 32696

 

Williston Elementary School

801 South Main Street

Williston, Fl 32696

 

Levy County Animal Services (Animal Control Facility)

12055 NE 69th Lane

Bronson, FL 32621

(352) 486-5138

Saturday, September 9, 2017

RESIDENTS ABSOLUTELY MUST COMPLETE EVACUATIONS AND SHELTERING


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release #6
September 9, 2017 at 1215
 
LEVY COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
RESIDENTS ABSOLUTELY MUST COMPLETE EVACUATIONS, SHELTERING OR ANY OTHER PROTECTIVE MEASURES IMMEDIATELY
 
The MANDATORY EVACUATION sent yesterday September 8th 2017 is being re-issued. We are strongly encouraging residents and visitors to complete their evacuation, sheltering, or any other protective measures as soon as possible.  Dangerous tropical storm force winds are expected to reach our area by Sunday at 10pm with Hurricane Force Winds arriving by 6am Monday morning.  These are the best predictions available and could change at any time, so preparations must be completed as soon as possible.  Coastal areas are projected to see a severe storm surge, equal to or greater than Hermine.  When the weather becomes too dangerous, emergency services will not be able to reach you!
Levy County shelters are currently open and staffed.  Residents and visitors seeking shelter at any of the listed general population shelters will need to bring pillows, blankets, medications and bedding.
NO Shelters in Levy County are pet friendly. Citizens with dogs or cats that need to be sheltered have to bring a crate, food for the pet and a current rabies certification. All dogs and cats will be sheltered in a separate facility at Levy County Animal Services in Bronson. Pets will not be accepted if a current rabies vaccination certificate does not accompany the animal. Animal Control personnel can vaccinate your animal on arrival for $10 if current vaccination records are not available. 
Citizens who do not have transportation and need to evacuate to a shelter should call 352-486-5427.  For all other questions, please call 352-486-5155 or 352-486-5576.
Shelter Locations:


Bronson Elementary School
400 Ishie Avenue
Bronson, Fl 32621
 
Bronson Middle High School
351 Ishie Avenue
Bronson, Fl 32621
 
Williston Middle High School
350 Robert Philpot Way
Williston, Fl 32696
 
Williston Elementary School
801 South Main Street
Williston, Fl 32696
 
Levy County Animal Services (Animal Control Facility)
12055 NE 69th Lane
Bronson, FL 32621
(352) 486-5138


 

 

CALL 352-486-5155 OR 352-486-5576 IS YOU NEED ANY INFORMATION

Levy County Schools Update release #4 9/9/17


Levy County Schools will NOT be in session on Tuesday September 12th.  We will continue to monitor the situation with input from Emergency Management, and continue to update the public as changes arise.  For the latest information on the storm, call Levy County Emergency Management at 352-486-5576 or 352-486-5155. 

All residents are encouraged to sign up for the emergency alert system and follow the Levy County Sheriff’s Office and the Levy County Emergency Management on Facebook for the fastest and most accurate way to receive way to receive emergency information.  To register, go to alertlevy.com or call Levy County Emergency Management at one of the numbers above.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Levy County Press Release #3


Chiefland Elementary School Shelter Location

The Chiefland Elementary School can NOT be used as an emergency shelter in a wind related event as this event is predicted to be. Chiefland area residents nearest shelter location is the Bronson Elementary School.
Anyone with shelter related questions can call 352-486-5155 or 352-486-5576.

DEFINITION OF MANDATORY EVACUATION


LEVY COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

DEFINITION OF MANDATORY EVACUATION

Release #2 

A mandatory evacuation is an order that is given to residents in order to allow them ample time to evacuate an area that is expected to experience a disaster or other event.

A mandatory evacuation does not mean that we will forcefully remove anyone from their home.  It means that if you choose not to leave, emergency services will not be available to assist you when the weather too bad.

If you choose not to evacuate, that is your choice.  However, if you are not evacuated by the time that the severe weather is here, you run the risk that emergency services will not be available and the roads will be too congested for you to leave in time.

As usual, if you have any questions please call us at 352-486-5155 or 352-486-5576

Urgent Information - Levy County


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release #1
September 8, 2017 @ 1510
 
LEVY COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
MANDATORY EVACUATION
 
A MANDATORY EVACUATION has been ordered for Levy County residents beginning at 4 p.m. today, September 8, 2017.
Shelters in Levy County including the special needs shelter, will be opening at 4 P.M. today, September 8th. The first shelter location opening is the Bronson Elementary School, this is our only special needs location, but will also house general population.  Overflow from this shelter will be moved to the Bronson Middle/High School, today if needed. The Williston Middle/High School will be the third facility to open for citizens seeking shelter on Saturday 9/9/17 at 9 a.m. Overflow from the Williston Middle/High will be moved to the Williston Elementary School, as needed.
Citizens seeking shelter at any of the listed general population shelters will need to bring pillows, blankets, medications and bedding. Cots for sheltering citizens will not be available.
Special needs citizens need to be prepared to move to the special needs shelter at Bronson Elementary beginning at 4pm today.
NO Shelters in Levy County are pet friendly. Citizens with dogs or cats that need to be sheltered have to bring a crate, food for the pet and a current rabies certification. All dogs and cats will be sheltered at the Levy County Animal Services facility in Bronson. Pets will not be accepted if a current rabies vaccination certificate does not accompany the animal. 
Residents and visitors are encouraged to complete preparations and evacuations before 5 pm on Saturday. Residents and visitors that are able to leave the area are encouraged to do so. If you are not able to evacuate the county, shelters will be opened to accept people. 
Citizens who do not have transportation and need to evacuate to a shelter should call 352-486-5427.  For all other questions, please call 352-486-5155 or 352-486-5576.
Shelter Locations:


Bronson Elementary School
400 Ishie Avenue
Bronson, Fl 32621
 
Bronson Middle High School
351 Ishie Avenue
Bronson, Fl 32621
 
Williston Middle High School
350 Robert Philpot Way
Williston, Fl 32696
 
Williston Elementary School
801 South Main Street
Williston, Fl 32696
 
Levy County Animal Services (Animal Control Facility)
12055 NE 69th Lane
Bronson, FL 32621
(352) 486-5138


 

Hurricane Irma, September 8th Morning Update


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Credit Card Skimmer Found



September 5, 2017

Today at approximately 11:00 a.m. a deputy responded to the Marathon gas station located at 20551 NE Hwy 27 in East Williston (at the intersection of CR 318) when the clerk found an unusual device on a gas pump. Our deputy found what has now been identified as a credit card skimmer on pump number 6. This skimmer saves credit card numbers, debit card numbers and the access or PIN numbers. This device can be accessed remotely by the “bad guy” without ever opening the gas pump to steal your personal information. 

The deputy’s investigation revealed this device was placed on the pump between August 30th and this morning. Any citizens or guests traveling through our county that utilized this gas station and paid at the pump is urged to closely monitor his/her credit card or debit card transactions. If any suspicious charges are found, contact your bank immediately.
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