Local News

  • Man charged with possessing weapons as a convicted felon

    Preliminary and detention hearings were held Thursday afternoon in federal court for Michael Paul Watkins after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) collected and processed all illegally obtained weaponry and explosives found in Watkins’ Citrus Springs’ residence.

    The court found after the preliminary hearing through testimony of ATF Special Agent Yannick Deslauriers that there was enough probable cause to believe Watkins committed the two allegations made against him.

  • COURT DIGEST: Murder suspect makes court appearance

    Crystal Ann Austin, who is charged with attempted first-degree murder with a deadly weapon, made a brief court appearance Thursday.

    Austin, 37, was arrested in June after allegedly stabbing a Sugarmill Woods man in the back with a large kitchen knife, According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, the stabbing occurred during an argument. The victim then barricaded himself in a bathroom and waited for help to arrived. However, Austin reportedly continued to stab at the bathroom door, threatening the victim.

  • Business finds new home

    INVERNESS — Country at Home has left the building, but not the city.

    The longtime country gift store owned by Betsy Moody recently moved from its Main Street location into a storefront next to the Hen House on Tompkins Street in the plaza behind the Inverness Government Center.

  • Chronicle political forum video coverage
  • Early voting starts today

    Citrus County Supervisor of Elections Susan Gill has announced that early voting for the general election will run from Thursday, Oct. 23, until Saturday, Nov. 1. Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for all eligible voters. 

  • Cooter Idol and Inverness Festival Queen finals tonight

    INVERNESS — Diversity of life stories and talent is how Sharon Skeele-Hogan, Inverness special events director, described this year’s finalists for Inverness Festival Queen and Cooter Idol.

    The finals for both titles take place today at the Daily O’Grind, 724 U.S. 41 South, Inverness.

    Festival Queen finals start at 7 p.m. followed by Cooter Idol at 8 p.m.

  • Weekend full of fun activities

    Whether it’s donating food to the hungry or cleaning up a community, you can make a difference this weekend.

    On Saturday, area businesses and nonprofit organizations are joining together for a national day of service — Make a Difference Day.

    Countywide, every household is asked to put a bag of nonperishable items at the mailbox for the postal carrier to pick up for the Day of Caring on Make a Difference Day 2014 Post Office Food Drive. 

  • RV crowd catches tourism council’s eye

    Visitors who come in recreational vehicles are known as RV’ers and will be getting more attention from the Tourist Development Council (TDC).

    According to Jim Eyster of Chassa Oaks RV Park, there are more than 2,200 RV sites in about two dozen RV resorts throughout  Citrus County and about 964 approved sites that could be built.

    And after declining during the recession, the RV industry has rebounded with about 350,000 units expected to be produced in 2014. 

  • Two charged with mailing marijuana

    Two Citrus County residents involved in an alleged nationwide marijuana-mailing service were arrested Wednesday after local, state and federal authorities executed multiple search warrants in the county leading to their arrests.

    Bree Benson was arrested on Federal charges and Justin Gothard was arrested on local charges.

  • Confiscated explosives detonated

    Explosives confiscated after Tuesday’s arrests of Michael Paul Watkins were detonated by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad at the Citrus County Landfill on Tuesday afternoon. 

    According to sheriff spokeswoman Heather Yates, the county landfill between Inverness and Lecanto is used routinely by the sheriff’s bomb squad for practice and bomb disposal.