Local News

  • Student has a hunger for helping

    When 8-year-old Piti Billups heard about the 18th annual Citrus County School Wide Food Drive, she thought about friends.  

    “Piti means beautiful flower in Indian — and she is,” said her mom, Kaylene Marie Smith. “She came home one day and asked if we we could save cans because there are students who have no food. She said her teacher is always bringing in food; she wished she could bring that much for the students, and then asked if she could ask a couple of neighbors to help.”

  • Top dog wins at Westminster


    Elisha Neubauer

    For the Chroncile

  • Teacher sees the times change through storied career


    Claire Phillips Laxton

    For the Chronicle

    Raye Joyner is well known as a community leader and longtime Citrus County primary school teacher who served on numerous boards and organizations.

    Joyner, raised in Highlands County, speaks softly — but effectively — and is well respected in Crystal River and throughout Citrus County.

  • Separate wrecks end in death, injuries

    A Dunnellon man was killed and three others were injured in separate traffic crashes along U.S. 19 on Sunday.

    The first incident happened at about 6:45 p.m. on U.S. 19 just north of the intersection with U.S. 98, where a motorcyclist was ejected after striking a curb.

    According to a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) crash report, 41-year-old Danny Ullery, of Brooksville, was riding a Harley-Davidson south on the inside lane of U.S. 19.

  • Nursing homes fight repeal key regulations

    TALLAHASSEE — For the past two years, Florida lawmakers have debated eliminating controversial regulations on building or expanding hospitals.

    But as the 2017 legislative session prepares to start March 7, the debate about repealing what is known as the “certificate of need” regulatory process has expanded to include nursing homes and hospice facilities — and has touched off a new wave of lobbying by industry groups.

  • Proposed abortion rule draws criticism

    Opponents of a controversial 2016 abortion law have blasted a proposed rule that the state contends would clarify a key issue in a pending federal lawsuit. 

  • Putnam committee piling up cash

    A political committee tied to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has raised more than $500,000 this month, as it continues to pile up cash ahead of what is expected to be a run for the governor’s mansion. 

  • FWC encouraged by 2017 manatee survey

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has reported a preliminary count of 6,620 manatees in Florida waters. A team of 15 observers from 10 organizations counted 3,488 manatees on Florida’s east coast and 3,132 on the west coast of the state. The FWC is encouraged by a third straight year of a minimum count higher than 6,000 manatees in Florida waters.

  • Trial set for man accused of forced underage sex

    Gwen Bittner 

    For the Chronicle

    An Inverness man accused of gagging a 13-year-old girl while forcing himself on her received a trial date Monday. 

    Richard Leroy Connolly, 31, was arrested April 27, 2016, after the girl told a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office detective that he had sex with her while he covered her mouth with a shirt. 

  • Friends rally during tough time

    Their enduring friendship started about five years ago over a pint — or two — of beer at Joyce’s Courtside Pub.

    Inside and outside the cozy bar in downtown Inverness, the Joyces and the Holloways have looked after each other through laughter and devastation alike.

    “We just have a unique little friendship,” said Dian Joyce, who owns the pub with Mike Joyce, her husband of almost 41 years. “We all have friendships throughout the pub.”