Local News

  • Highlights of the season

    INVERNESS — As kids danced on the Old Courthouse lawn and slid down the courthouse steps Wednesday, the city of Inverness kicked off the holiday season with its inaugural “Light Up Inverness” illumination ceremony on Courthouse Square.

    Prior to the decorative lights being turned on, Santa and Mrs. Claus, a.k.a. Jim and Deputy Michele Tewell, sang favorite Christmas songs. 

  • Water district mulls river restoration

    Chester Bradshaw’s fight for the natural restoration of the Withlacoochee River may have reached a watershed moment.

    At the most recent meeting of the governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, board member Paul Senft told district staff to make sure the Green Swamp — the headwaters for several of Central Florida’s rivers including the Withlacoochee — is incorporated and is given priority in restoration efforts.

  • Group to study 'bear necessities' for Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge

    With the smallest population of bears in the state, Citrus and surrounding counties will be getting some special attention as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Black Bear Management Plan.

    Area residents are invited to be involved.

  • Tree lighting Dec. 5 in Inverness

    The Citrus County Historical Society has announced plans for the 20th annual Old Courthouse Christmas and Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum in Inverness.

    For the past 19 years the historical society has sponsored the event and on Saturday, Nov. 29, members and friends will erect the trees starting at 9 a.m. Those who want to volunteer assistance are welcome.

  • The doctors Dickert

    CRYSTAL RIVER — Growing up as a doctor’s son, Alex Dickert always wanted to be like his dad.

    As a preschooler, he dressed up in a white coat, a doctor in training.

    Over the years, he helped out at his dad’s office — both he and younger brother Ryan have handled the practice’s computer work for the past 15 or so years.

  • Rain dries up for holiday

    Morning fog on Tuesday preceded an afternoon deluge of rain, drenching Citrus County.

    The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office had reports of several flooded areas, especially in the Inverness area near Withlacoochee Technical College and West Main Street.

    Areas in southwest Citrus County seemed to be hit the hardest, with close to 5 inches of rain.

  • Woman charged with animal cruelty

    A neighbor’s concern and tip to sheriff’s officials about a malnourished dog led to the Tuesday afternoon arrest of a Hernando woman.

    Rebecca Jean Johnson, 35, was arrested on a first-degree misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty after a Citrus County sheriff’s deputy determined Johnson was neglecting her dog, Mia.

  • Hernando Elementary students punting to state competition


    Laura Bittner

    Staff Writer

    Students at Hernando Elementary School have been practicing daily to prepare for the punt, pass and kick state competition at Raymond James Stadium prior to Sunday’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ game. 

  • EDC cuts funding ties with county

    The Citrus County Economic Development Council (EDC) has followed up on a concept it has been considering for years.

    This week, EDC Executive Director Don Taylor formally notified the county that the council will be going private at the end of the year.

    In his Nov. 25 letter notifying the Board of County Commissioners, Taylor stated the council’s intent to no longer request funding for operations as of Dec. 31.

  • Thanksgiving prep

    CRYSTAL RIVER — When Marylou Rusovitch and her family lived in New York, they were used to 22 people sitting around the Thanksgiving table.

    When the family of five moved to Citrus County, they missed having the hustle and bustle of lots of people to share the holiday meal with — until they learned of the community Thanksgiving dinner offered each year at First Baptist Church of Crystal River.