Stew Lilker’s 

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online news service



WEATHER:  Today Tonight

SCLC vs. Columbia County School Board
Will Justice Delayed Be Justice Denied?

Judge Andrew J. Decker, III will decide

Posted February 26, 2015  06:45 pm

COLUMBIA COUNTY/LAKE CITY, FL – Columbia County Florida is in the heart of the Deep South. Once a year it celebrates the defeat of Union forces in the Battle of Olustee. In 2015, race relations are still a confusing and contentious issue. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Lake City President, Befaithful Coker, on February 2, 2015, asked to be put on the School Board agenda so that a resolution could be made "In Recognition of Black History Month and Alfonso Lofton," who, in 1963, graduated from Columbia County's all black high school and went on to become Florida's first black state trooper. The District refused – the SCLC sued. Black History month concludes in 3 days. (8 am hearing; Friday morning; Columbia County Courthouse)

Harmony in the Columbia County School District

Blanche Hotel Train of Advisors Pulled into City Hall Last Night: Lots of Pictures - Not Much New

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Sues Columbia County School District & Superintendent

Posted February 22, 2015  08:59 am | news–analysis

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Friday afternoon the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) filed a law suit against the Columbia County School District, the Superintendent, and the Custodian of Records. The SCLC claims violations of the Public Records Act; Violations of the Sunshine Law; and failure to follow its own rules, which allows a person to be on the School Board agenda.

The County 5's New Rules: County Attorney's First Public Foray Goes Back to the Drawing Board

Posted February 20, 2015  10:59 am | 1 comment

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The fruits of a month of backroom maneuvering and unknown meetings came to a head last night. Newly elected and Florida's only publicly-elected County Attorney, Joel Foreman's Rules of Procedure were presented to the public at last night's meeting of the County 5. Mr. Foreman's new rules spent approximately 62% of their substance controlling, throttling, or restricting the public that elected him to represent the County Commission.

City Ramping Up for $1.2mil Downtown Improvement Loan

County Emergency Management Conducting Hazardous Materials Exercise

Posted February 18, 2015  06:50 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The Columbia County Emergency Management Department will be conducting a hazardous materials exercise beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 20 at Florida Gateway College.

Florida DCF's Orwellian Response to Child Thrown From Bridge

Gov Scott's LSHA Board Votes to Prosecute Citizen for Cyberstalking Without Seeing Evidence

LSHA Board - LCPD Agree: Quoting Official Minutes & Agendas is Cyber Stalking in Columbia County

LSHA Public Record Issues Again. Public Paying to Buy Auth Manager Berry Clothes

Fracking Reso's & Ordinances Don't Belong In Front of the County Commission

Posted February 6, 2015  04:30 am | Op-Ed

Our water resources must be protected and conserved. This includes protecting sources of water from degradation and contamination. A request has been made to the county to oppose fracking. This topic boils down to a question of appropriate priorities for the county to pursue. With other pressing issues needing the County Commission's time and the taxpayer's money, consideration of these blanket ordinances or resolutions is an inappropriate use of each.

South Florida's Holocaust Education Center Expanding

Blanche $15 mil Renovation: CM Johnson Playing it Close to the Vest, "You'll know when I know"

Everglades Restoration: A $5 Billion Reality?

DEO Funds Hole-In-the-Map Tourism: 192,500 Maps Leave Out N. Central FL's Iconic Counties

Posted January 28, 2015  10:05 am

Gov. Scott's First Big Challenge of New Term: FDLE Legal Scandal

South FL Action Plan Takes Aim on Climate Change

SVTA Attorney: "A confusing time. I don't think anybody really knew what was being approved."

Posted January 21, 2015  09:35 am | Part II

COLUMBIA - HAMILTON - SUWANNEE COUNTY, FL – The saga of the Suwannee Valley TA continued this past Friday. Since 1999, Columbia, Hamilton, and Suwannee Counties have been designated as Rural Areas of Critical Economic Concern (RACEC). RACEC's were created by Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature. The conditions in these areas are: areas of persistent poverty; lowest educational achievement, low household income; depressed economic activity, etc. Two commissioners from each of these three counties met to plead nolo contendere and accept the OIG report and its findings unopposed, with an answer which represented a mini Corrective Action Plan.

Suwannee Valley TA – $13.9 Million in Funding Since 2009: Who Was Watching the Store?

Posted January 20, 2015  10:50 am | Part I | Part II

County 5 Refuse to Take a Stand Against Fracking: County Manager Speaks – The 5 Are Reviewing

Posted January 16, 2015  07:59 am | (1 comment)

Man's best friend rescued - then becomes boys best friend 

•  Meeting Calendar

Florida Children Benefit From Anti-Poverty Programs

Everglades Supporters Break the Peace With the Sugar Industry

Bill Day's Latest Cartoon

Floridians Battle for National Paid Sick Leave Law

Ain't No Sunshine: Team Scott’s Business-As-Usual BS

What's Really Going On With Jobs

The Unrealistic Demands of Monogamy

Wind Power Coming to the Sunshine State?

FL Gas Up 11.5¢ Last Week - 51% Higher Than Nat. Average

FL Capital Punishment: Death by Judicial Whim

Reject Bigotry and Evil Perpetrated In the Name of Religion

Cnty 911: Texting Now On Tap
Call 911 if you can – text, only if you can't

Posted February 6, 2015  08:15 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The Columbia County Combined Communications Center now has the ability to receive text messages to 911. Using a phone to call 911 is the most efficient way to reach emergency help, but what if you can't talk on your phone? What if you can only text and you need emergency assistance?

Vaccines Can Stop the Deadly Effects of Meningitis

Anti-Immunization Insanity Endangers Kids

FL High Stakes Testing: The Nitty Gritty

FL School Superintendents: Appointed or Elected the Public Must Demand Better

Florida's Cabinet: Bondi, Atwater, Putnam

Hey Parents, Let Your Kids Work It Out

FL's Economic Dev. Czar, Grey Swoope, Made Columbia County One of His First Stops in 2011

FSU’s John Thrasher: Brave Enough to Thwart Campus Guns?

The 5: Making Laws, Spending Our Money , Towing a Line on Things We Know Nothing About

Marriage Equality Underscores Vital Role of Our Courts

BP Faces $Billions in Fines: Deepwater Horizon Penalty Phase Begins

Florida Tops Nation in Obamacare Signups

Hitler's Dachau: Bearing Witness Even When It Seems Too Much To Bear

Bogus Allegations:
The Injustice of Guilty until Proven Innocent