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Local News

  • Cowboy comes home to Citrus

    Dakota Shipp knows his geography. As a professional team roper, the Texas cowboy competes in 125 to 150 rodeos a year, all over the United States and Canada.

    But one event is special to him — the Citrus Stampede Rodeo.

    Shipp is from Citrus County and learned to ride in Hernando, where he belonged to 4-H.

    He has four sisters, 13 nieces and nephews, his grandmother, an uncle and an aunt living in the area, along with a lot of old-time friends.

  • Educators cringe over new state tests

    Current school testing standards have educators and parents longing for the FCAT days.

    And they hated the FCAT days.

    Citrus County and school districts across the state have passed resolutions calling for the governor, the Department of Education and the Legislature to put a halt to this year’s round of standardized tests.

  • New BOCC chairman wants to raise staff productivity

    Newly minted chairman of the county commission Scott Adams shared some of his philosophies about governance and what he expects to accomplish during his tenure at the helm.

    First, he wants to get word out there that he expects 

    productivity, lots of it. And, he is focused on reorganizing some elements of the government such as the legal department to get what he calls more bang for the buck for the taxpayers.

  • Story of Thanksgiving, kindergarten style
  • Jobless rate declines

    The Citrus-Levy-Marion regional jobless rate in October dropped to 6.9 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point over the month and down 0.8 percent compared to October 2013. The unemployment rate, released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, is the lowest for the region since May 2008 when it was 6.7 percent. 

    There were 13,991 unemployed in the region, 509 fewer than 201,953 in September, out of a labor force of 203,147, according to CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.

  • County briefs 11/22/14

    Two sites for food giveaways

    The annual Thanksgiving Feeding Alliance holiday food giveaway will offer two distribution sites today, but only one is available for those who haven’t preregistered.

  • A playground all their own

    LECANTO — Alec Watson raced from the swings to the padded play area, where ring-toss and hula-hoops beckoned.

    The look on his face said it all.

    “I love it!” he shouted.

    His grandfather, Lewis Smith, said Alec was really enjoying himself.

    “I can’t get him inside,” he said.

  • High-profile murder cases to resume in new year

    Defendants in three of the murder cases moving through the county legal system were represented in court Thursday.

    * Benjamin Robert Dick, 24, facing first-degree murder charges in the strangulation death of his mother, Jennifer Brooks, 42, was in court via video hookup. He was informed prosecution will be taking dental impressions, a noninvasive procedure, which will be filmed by his defense.

  • County, builders discuss impact fees at LWV meeting

    By Walter P. Wynn

    Special to the Chronicle

    On Tuesday,  the Citrus County League of Women Voters hosted an informational presentation on growth management. Presenters were Jenette Collins, director of the Citrus County Department of Planning and Development, and Dan Kern, chairman of the of Government Affairs Committee of the Citrus County Builders Association and incoming CCBA president.

  • For the Record 11/21/14

    DUI arrests

    * Michael Brocco, 24, of North Panda Bear Terrace, Dunnellon, at 3:55 p.m. Nov. 19 on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. According to his arrest affidavit, Brocco was involved in a car accident and overturned his vehicle on County Road 488. Deputies discovered an open container of beer in the vehicle. He was asked to perform field sobriety tasks and did poorly. Brocco refused Breathalyzer testing to measure his blood alcohol concentration. His bond was set at $1,000.