Local News

  • Ministry feeds the soul

    To hear Katherine Akins tell it, the Lord made a grave error when he created Crystal River — at least that’s what she thought when she moved there at age 13 from California.

    Leon, her husband of nearly 66 years, was born and raised in Crystal River.

    When Katherine was 15, Leon sent his cousin to do his bidding and ask her for a date.

  • Board keeps barge canal boat ramp — for now

    Plans for a multilane boat ramp on the Cross Florida Barge Canal are still in the works, but maybe not for long.

    By a 3-2 vote, Citrus County Commissioners on Tuesday turned aside a request from Commissioner Jeff Kinnard to remove the boat ramp from the priority list related to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement with Gulf Coast states.

    Instead, commissioners agreed to conduct a workshop regarding the RESTORE Act funds, and then decide whether the boat ramp stays or goes.

  • Centers lays off 28 people, four in Citrus

    LECANTO — The Centers, a nonprofit organization that provides inpatient and outpatient mental health services, addiction treatment and child welfare services in Marion and Citrus counties, has laid off 28 employees.

    Ronda Hemminger Evan, director of communications for The Centers, said only four of those employees worked at the Lecanto facility. They include Yvonne Hess, clinical director. The layoffs were effective Dec. 1.

  • Thieves target Inverness gun shop

    A pair of hooded suspects broke into an Inverness gun store early Tuesday morning, bagging handguns and rifles before making a quick getaway.

    Citrus County Sheriff’s Office investigators responded at about 6:46 a.m. to Florida Gun Supply off North Pine Avenue, where a suspicious incident was reported, according to the sheriff’s office. Further investigation revealed the store had been burglarized earlier in the morning at 3:37 a.m.

  • Their favorite things

    Santa Claus came to town in sleek patrol cars and forest-green uniforms.

    Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies, firefighters and other personnel got into the Christmas spirit by giving disadvantaged children a holiday season to remember with a generous shopping spree for presents.

    About 20 kids, selected from elementary schools and CREST, waited Tuesday night with their parents at the Walmart in Inverness to team up with a first responder as part of the annual Shop with a Cop program.

  • LMS students bid farewell to beloved SRO

    Mitch Cook has graduated.

    Lecanto Middle School students said farewell to Cook, their beloved school resource officer, on Tuesday with a tribute to the five years he spent at the school keeping students safe and in order.

    Cook requested a transfer to Citrus High School for a new challenge, he said. His last day at the middle school was Nov. 28.

    “I love Lecanto Middle,” Cook said. “I never thought I would have left there.”

  • Children who lived through Pearl Harbor attack remember

    HONOLULU — In some ways, it could be any class photo from the 1940s. The sepia-toned image shows 30 fifth-graders — 26 girls and four boys — at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Waikiki. Most are smiling, some look stern. A few have no shoes.

    Yet this picture is different in one striking way: Each child is holding a bag containing a gas mask, a sign of how war had suddenly broke apart the routines of their adolescence on Dec. 7, 1941.

  • A vet remembers

    HONOLULU — Lauren Bruner was getting ready for church in 1941 on his battleship, the USS Arizona, when the alarm sounded.

    The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had begun, and Bruner, then 21, scampered up five stories by ladder to the enormous anti-aircraft guns he was responsible for manning.

  • Local briefs 12/7/16

    Police searching for teen girl

    The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is requesting help finding a missing teenage girl.

    Investigators have been searching for 17-year-old Kayla Yvonne Haas since Nov. 28. 

    Haas is 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 125 pounds, with black hair and blue eyes. She was last seen at about 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 27 in Homosassa, wearing orange shorts, black slippers and a Hooters tank top.

  • Board delays fee suspension until May

    INVERNESS — Throughout his campaign for office, Jeff Kinnard never said he was for impact fees or against them.

    He said he wanted to know why they’re needed. Soon Kinnard will get his answers.

    Kinnard, elected in November to the Citrus County Commission, convinced fellow board members on Tuesday to extend the impact fee moratorium four months to give time to see if the county has a specific plan for the fee revenue.