Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County News
Beginning in 2013 County & County Commission News will be here. Earlier
years will be found in either County News or County Commission indexes
Index of Stories • 2016-201520142013 2012-2009

County News 2018 (scroll down)

Grand Distortions About Bed Counts & the Future Keep the $31mil Hunter-Hilton Marching On

With Only a Slim Idea of Financing, the $31mil  Hunter-Hilton Marches On

Two Parks & Rec Employees Rescued From Cnty Pickup Truck in Rising Flood Waters

With DePratter Gone, The 5 March Ahead With the Hunter-Hilton: $25mil budget goes into dreamland

County Sports Tourism Expansion - Funded With Public Funds - A Game for Good Ole' Boy Insiders

County 5 Dragged Its Feet for Over a Yr,  Waiting for a DEO Handout Which Never Came: Part VII

Columbia County Jail Hanging - The Reports Are In Death Called a Suicide - No Wrong Doing

TDC Flat-Field Expansion Meeting Held at Midday - Purpose: Keep Public Input, Out

Supervisor of Elections & Her Crew Paved the Way For an Exhausting, But Trouble Free Recount

Murphy's Promise of Transparency in Reporting the Costs of the New Hunter-Hilton (Jail) in the Clouds

Weyerhaeuser-Cnty Score Again: $10.2 Mil More Funneled Into Old Inland Port, Total Now $13.3mil

Inmate Hangs Self in County Jail

Columbia County Outpacing FL in Obesity, Health Dept/IFAS Promoting Healthy Changes

FGC's McKee Involved in Broadcast Fiasco – Again - Forum Canceled - Chamber Runs for Cover

County Management Put Katie's Girls At Risk, Recreation Czar Dragged Feet Lighting Fields

Chairman Murphy's False Claim Regarding Sheriff's Jail Capacity Remarks – Jail Project Not "Killed"

Unprepared, the City Appeared before the TDC $300,874  Short for the Lake DeSoto Waterfront

FPL Columbia Cnty Solar Farm Under Construction

For the Cnty 5 & Sheriff Hunter, It's Time to Regroup: No New Taxes – New Jail on Hold

Budget Time Tonight for the County 5: After 1 Year, Chairman Murphy's Leadership Leads to Confusion

It's Budget Season in Columbia Cnty: Tonight - Lake City, then - the County 5, LSHA, CCSD, SVTA

New Aquifer Alert System Unveiled as Levels Reach Record Breaking Highs: Flooding Danger

County Election Results Made Easy

County Jail: Average Daily Population Exaggerated, Misinformation, Over Budget on the Drawing Board

FDOT: Road Ranger Service Expands on I-10

County 5 in Budget Limbo: 3 county budgets to be presented at 1st budget hearing on September 6

Nutrien's Commitment to Girl Power & Diversity Equals Rural Camp Sponsorship at FGC

The FGC Candidate Forum Chronicles Continue: Part III

Integrity Challenged: Was FGC College President Larry Barrett Forced to Drink the Kool Aid? Part II

Integrity Challenged: FGC's McKee Kept College Pres Unaware of Uninvited Forum Candidates

Florida Com on Ethics Elects Guy Norris Chair

Duke Energy Florida Announces New Solar Power Plant in Columbia County

Florida Gateway College Awarded $673,000 in Performance Based Funding

EDAB's Charlie Keith: Wants Lake City to Commit to Increasing Its Public Works Department

Hunter Hilton Part III: Sheriff Hunter "Trust Me" Chairman Murphy Still Fighting the Civil War

Voodoo Economics: Financing the Hunter Hilton, Just Not Easy to Explain (Part II)

County 5 Agree: Pay Raise on Tap for All County Employees for New Budget Year

County 5 Took Its Road Show to Dist. I to Promote the New Hunter Hilton (Jail) & Extort New Taxes

Murphy Looking for Aviation Acad Ans: Calls for Carswell, Barrett, HAECO to Appear at Committee

Aviation Academy Crash Lands: N Central FL's Rural Poor Take It On the Chin, Again

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson Qualifies for FL District 10 Seat: She Will Be On the Ballot

"Mr. Columbia County" Dale Williams Talks About the Jail and the Possibility of Renovation

Econ Dev Summit: DOT Millions, Quality Jobs, Gainesville, Wkforce Development, Supt of Schools

Murphy's Econ Dev Summit: No Real Substance, Everybody Came Out Alive, Cnty 5 Politics As Usual

Com DePratter Not Running Again: "I have things to do. You understand?"

Murphy's Econ Dev Summit: Panel Gets Q's - Public Q's Vetted, Illegal Notice, Econ Dev Chief Shunned

4th Grader Appears Before the Cnty 5:  "There's a Bullying Situation Going On At My School"

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson Throws Hat in Ring For Florida House of Representatives, District 10

FGC in Top 17% of LPN Programs in FL: No. 15 in Ranked Programs

World Class Off-Road Racing in Lake City This Weekend at Southside Raceway: Free Admission

Polling Places Were on Tap at County 5 Last Night Budgets, Voting Machines, Churches for Voting

Columbia County Economic Development: FPL's Simmons Breaches the Taboo, "Living Wage" Jobs

911 Combined Comm Breakup on Hold -  DePratter Puts on the Heat, Sheriff Hunter Backs Down  Pt II

Sheriff Hunter, Com Nash & Williams Ignore Facts, Want to Breakup Combined County Dispatch - Pt I

Take a Hike with the Doc: Get Lucky, Find a Flowering Herb

Florida Job Growth Grant Fund – Surplus? Next: Murphy May Ask for "the Sky"

County 5 Borrows $8 Mil for Admin Building: Plans, Location, Space Needs – Unknown

Cnty 5 Gives Sheriff Hunter's Spending of Public Dollars Aftersight Instead of Oversight

State to Pay $3mil for Rail Spur to Former Inland Port, Now the Intermodal Mega Site

Combined Communications: It Was Clear, Sheriff Hunter Was Interested in Power (Part IV)

Sheriff Hunter: He Wants To Bust Up the Combined 911 Call Center (Part III)

Columbia County 911 Combined Communications The Law, Background, Facts (Part II)

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter: He Wants to be In Charge – Of Everything (Part I)

This Year’s 2018 County Chairman’s Appointments

Breaking News

As Sheriff Hunter's $25 Mil Jail Moves out of the Shadows, There Are Many Unanswered Questions

County News 2017 (scroll down)

Nash Rules In Final County 5 Meeting of the Year Public To Be Inconvenienced Again

US Settles False Claims Allegations Against Haven Hospice

County 5 Scrambling to Fund $50+ Million of New Capital Projects – Public Left Out, Again

Disaster Recover Center Opens for Four Days Beginning Today In Lake City

Pt I:  Meeting Attendance Double Standard–No Problem for the Col Cnty 5

PT II:  When Cnty Coms Are MIA From Bd Mtngs, "It's None of Your Business," Commissioner Tim Murphy

County 5 Abandoning Downtown Lake City: No Hearings, No Strategic Plan - Borrowing $10 Mil

Alligator Warrior Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow and Runs Through Sunday

FEMA Deadlines For Disaster Recovery Assistance

Irma Pt III: Some Reports of Flooding Never Saw Daylight – What Did The 5 & Top Brass Know?

Irma Pt II: Public Outrage, Non-Responsive Public Officials, Passing the Buck, County Not Talking

Debris at Record Volume, Resident's Not Advised of Extended Pickups, Thousands Squandered on Ad

Bridge on U.S. 27 Over Santa Fe into High Springs is Now Open

Santa Fe River Receding – Only Bridge on U.S. 27 Over Santa Fe Still Closed in Columbia County

Santa Fe River Receding Slowly – Bridges Still Closed – South End Residents Can't Leave County

Internet Cafes Col Cnty: State Attorney Will Have the Final Word, For Now

Cnty 5 Has New Rules for Itself and for the Public: Will It Make a Difference?

Cnty 5 Rules on the Docket Tonight:  Will The 5 Adopt FL's Most Restrictive Public Comment Rules?

Coms Nash & Murphy: On June 15th, They Didn't Come Clean, They Still Haven't

Scott Thomason of Fort White Throws His Hat into the Ring for County Commissioner, District 2

LSHA's Tossing of Cnty Econ Dev to Cost Cnty Taxpayers Hundreds of Thousands in Lost Revenue

The County 5: Special Treatment for Themselves is Nothing New in the Bucky Nash - Ben Scott Era

Sports Dev Part V: Budget Wkshop, Cnty 5 Doubles Down on Secret Land Deal

Columbia County School Grades: FL Dept of Ed Releases the Scores

Gov's LSHA, Ruled by Ex Repo Man Jack Berry, Slams Col Cnty w/ 76% Econ Dev Hdq Rent Hike

A Dismal Outlook for Col Cnty Taxpayers

Sports Dev Pt IV: Ignoring the FL DEO Financed $29,000 Plan, TDC Votes for Secret Land Deal

Sports Dev Part III: Cnty's Purchasing Scheme, Putting the Cart Before the Horse, What Plan?

FP&L Bringing Solar Power to Columbia County Along With 200 Jobs During Build Out

County Sports Dev Part II: Inventing a Sports Commission – Ignoring the Plan

Col Cnty Sports Dev on the Move Part I: "Hire away somebody else's employee"

Cnty Econ Dev Chief: Lake City Rptr Should Keep Writing - One Day It May Get It Right

Econ Dev Advisory Bd Accused of Leaks
Econ Dev Dir Accused of 12th hr Briefings

County's Audit Presentation a Bust, Nash Has Q's - Elects to Ask Them Out of the Public Eye

Confusion Regarding Sheriff's Dream Detention Center: The 5 Approves a 10% Tax Hike, For Now

Suwannee Valley TA: Com/Admin Sessions, Not Sure Where the Money Comes From

International Cave Diving Conference Coming to Columbia County/Lake City

Columbia County's Strategic Plan: County Manager Misjudges Cost by 747%  (Part III)

Hours of Cnty 5 Meetings Highlighted by STEM Girls

Cnty's Strategic Plan Ranking Proposal Committee Met (Part II): "We can re-rank"

Another Strategic Plan for the Cnty 5: Who Needs the Econ Dev Dir, or Anybody Else? (Part I)

Cnty Budget Season Officially Underway, Raising Taxes & Fees, The 5's "MO" This Year

Sheriff/Cnty Percent Based Budget Deal Leaves Deputies on the Short End of the Stick – Again

FL State Sen Rob Bradley Holding Office Hours in Suw & Col Counties, Wednesday

HAECO Ready in Col Cnty: "Moldin' Kids In a Certain Way to Provide a Workforce"

N Cent FL's Systemic Wkforce Dev Problems Has HAECO Reeling, Columbia Cnty in Confusion

SVTA: Col Cnty Comm'rs Nash & Phillips Put Cnty Residents Last  – Again

Cnty 5 Working On New Rules: Restricting All Pub Comments to 2 Min on the Horizon

Another 12th Hour Meeting Cancellation at the Suwannee Valley Transit Authority

Posted March 13, 2017  01:25 pm | (1 comment)

Columbia Cnty 5 Doesn't Need Rules. It Just Spends Your Money Through Its Back-Door

Suwannee Valley TA Chief Fails at End Run Around Law. Improperly Noticed Mtng Canceled at 12th Hr

Suwannee Valley Transit, More Meeting Issues Nash Steps Up, "If It's Not Legal – We'll Cancel It"

Col Cnty Comm'rs Nash & Phillips: 2 Who Turn Their Backs on Col Cnty Residents

Jack Berry Hwy Moves to Lake City, City Has No Plan or Funding Plan, Bogus Info Sent to FDOT

Cnty 5 Spends $3 Mil Plus on Sports & Recreation Improvements, Then Decides to Have a Plan

Chicken Shit Not Our Problem, Land Rights Are – Two yrs in the Works, Water Regs Voted Down

FDOT Explains the Ins & Outs of the Design, Const, Funding of the 'Jack Berry Hwy' & DOT Study

Confusion Reigns as Gov's Lake Shore Hosp Auth Bd Puts Kibosh on 'Jack Berry Hwy'

Lack of Questions & Info Precursors to a Cnty 5 Econ Dev $465,000 Give-a-Way

Cnty 5 in Action Tonight: On the Docket an Effective 16 yr $465,000 Tax Abatement for HAECO

Jack Berry Hwy Crash Lands. Confusion, All Routes Rejected. The Next Step May Be the FL DOT's

A Record Filled With Columbia County Alternative Facts & Memories

Transparency Takes a Back Seat in Jack Berry Orchestrated County-City-Hosp Auth Road Project

Visit by Hosp Auth Chief to Home Owner - Covered Up by County

The Jack Berry Highway: Will the Columbia Cnty 5 Allow This Tax Watch Turkey to Take Flight

Columbia Cnty's Sheriff Wants a New $26,000,000 Jail: This Time He May Get It

Cnty Jail: Foot Dragging, Back Room Deals, No Timely & Relevant Info

Cnty Man Schedules Important Cnty Jail Meeting Same Time as City Council

MLK Day: Happy Birthday Brother Martin

Cnty 5 Temporarily Nixes 'Jack Berry Hwy,' Nash Caves to Nephew, Legislative Turkey Lives

Columbia County Updates Econ Dev Strategic Plan Stakeholders Not Part of the Process

Legislation Delegation on the Road: Wednesday 1 to 2:30 pm at Florida Gateway College

Columbia County: The Top Stories of 2016.

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