Top Stories

Paramedics get a pay increase

By Carrie A. Mizell
The Gilchrist County Commissioners voted unanimously to raise the pay for paramedics on Monday, in an effort to attract more experienced applicants.
Starting pay will go from $9.90 per hour to $10.50 per hour, with an increase of 60 cents per hour to current paramedics. According to Mitch Harrell, Gilchrist County Fire/EMS chief, the increase with benefits and taxes on ten current paramedic positions would be an estimated annual increase of $26,624.
Gilchrist County officials agree that the increase will put the county in a position to attract more qualified applicants during the hiring process, and help with retention of current employees.
Harrell worked with County Administrator Bobby Crosby to compare Gilchrist County’s paramedic salary with that of surrounding counties, using the most current data available. While Gilchrist County will never be able to compete with Alachua County, where paramedics make $13.25 per hour, the pay increase will now be comparable to Hamilton and Union counties, both of which pay paramedics $10.50 per hour.

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Local peach growers give God the glory

By Carrie A. Mizell
God gave Tom and Kathy Fletcher a vision to plant a peach orchard and from it the Bell residents are donating the fruit of their labor to local food banks and churches. This summer, they plan to sell a portion of their peach harvest and give all the proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
After operating a horse rescue for nearly five years, the Fletchers decided to plant a few fruit trees on their property north of Bell for family, friends and neighbors to enjoy. God had other plans, Kathy explained, and directed them to plant an orchard five years ago, to feed not only their loved ones, but also the local community.

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Suwannee River Fair Awards Ceremony

Members of the Gilchrist County 4-H Guitar Club performed on Thursday evening at the Suwannee River Fair Awards Ceremony.

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Emergency Management warns: Rivers on the rise again

David Peaton of Gilchrist County Emergency Management said on Tuesday that Gilchrist County had received 3 inches of rain over the last 36 hours. After a slow recession of water levels over the last few days, Peaton said the Santa Fe and Suwannee rivers are expected to rise significantly over the next few days. Areas along the Suwannee River can expect to see river levels rise higher than they were over the last month.

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