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Local News

  • Gusts pass with a gasp

    Strong winds brought down trees and helped bring minor flooding to Citrus County’s coast as a severe thunderstorm rolled through on Sunday.

    Westerly wind gusts of up to 30 mph began blowing in the early afternoon before a band of storms came across much of central Florida from the Gulf, according to Bay News 9 Meteorologist Josh Linker. Those winds lingered into Monday, when gusts around 20 mph were still felt.

  • Report: Balfour humiliated students at AES

    When former Citrus County School Board member Sandy Balfour left office to supervise the Academy of Environmental Sciences, she called it the opportunity of a lifetime and a great chapter in her life.

    But now her leadership is being questioned after a report released Monday said she embarrassed students in front of their peers, improperly disciplined a student for an off-campus incident and created an atmosphere where students and teachers felt uncomfortable.

  • Fired deputy wins appeal

    Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast has allowed a fired deputy with a history of misconduct to return to the agency — but not without discipline.

    Prendergast reversed Heather Cogar’s termination on Saturday after reviewing the sheriff’s office’s Career Service Board’s findings from her Jan. 12 hearing to appeal her firing.

  • DiGiovanni: Revived police department decades away

    Inverness City Manager Frank DiGiovanni said Monday that recent reports the city is considering reviving the defunct Inverness Police Department are true — but far off.

    Responding to a monthly political publication’s recent report about plans for the city’s police department coming back “in the near future,” DiGiovanni said he doesn’t see it happening for at least 10 years, maybe longer.

  • Police: Naked teen barged into home, attacked elderly man, disabled woman

    Citrus County Sheriff’s Office authorities on Sunday arrested a Beverly Hills man accused of breaking into a couple’s home, striking an elderly man and flipping a woman out of her wheelchair — all while naked.

    Deputies met with one of Brandon Michael Rehm’s alleged victims, an 80-year-old man, who said Rehm showed up to his house in Beverly Hills wearing no clothes, according to Rehm’s arrest report.

  • C.R. Riverwalk construction to begin Feb. 10

    The Crystal River City Council did not skip a beat in signing off on the start date for the city’s long-anticipated Riverwalk.

    Feb. 10 is the date when Lecanto-based contractor Daly & Zilch can begin construction the landward portion of the Riverwalk, which will connect the city’s waterfront and downtown districts via sidewalks and boardwalks.

  • Brush fire 80 percent contained

    Firefighters with the Florida Forest Service worked Monday to extinguish a large wildfire near Crystal River.

    As of Monday morning, forest service crews had contained 80 percent of the fire, which  ignited Sunday afternoon and burned 70 acres off Ash White Terrace, according to spokeswoman Judith Tear.

    No injuries were reported, but the fire did damage a shed.

    Tear said a downed power line sparked the fire, which grew because of high winds.

  • Post office reopens after damage

    The Homosassa Springs Post Office, 4610 U.S. 19, resumed retail operations on Saturday. Services were temporarily suspended due to damage sustained in Hurricane Matthew in October. 

    Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The post office is closed Sunday.

    For more information, call 800-275-8777 or visit usps.com.

  • Bridge traffic down to one lane

    Traffic on Halls River Road will use a single lane to cross the Halls River bridge beginning today, the county announced Monday. Temporary traffic signals will be used to direct traffic over the bridge. Motorists should use caution and allow for extra travel time. This phase of construction is anticipated to take approximately five months.

  • School board looks to clarify rules

    Gwen Bittner

    For the Chronicle

    School board members today are set to discuss revisions to the 2017-2018 Code of Student Conduct.

    The board will consider revisions requested by Director of Student Services Regina Allegretta that address inappropriate use of the internet, health information, medication, disciplinary policy and non-discrimination language. The changes are largely clerical.