Local News

  • Judges look at Sunshine Law in workers’ comp case

    TALLAHASSEE — An appeals court weighed arguments Wednesday about whether Florida’s Sunshine Law was violated before regulators last year approved a 14.5 percent increase in workers’ compensation insurance rates.

    A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal did not issue a ruling Wednesday. But its decision will have high stakes: A Leon County circuit judge said in November that the rate increase should be rejected because of Sunshine Law violations.

  • Judge denies request for leniency

    A Circuit Court judge has sentenced an Inverness man with a lengthy criminal history and also a bout of medical conditions, to two years in state prison.

    Judge Richard “Ric” Howard on Wednesday ratified an agreement between attorneys that 50-year-old Edmond Louis Lozado would spend 24 months behind bars.

  • Royal treatment

    Cristian Miller never met Phil Royal, but the young police cadet is privileged to know he embodies the goodness and selflessness of what the late Royal stood for.

    “I was aware of his legacy, and I thought it be an absolute honor to uphold that legacy,” the 20-year-old Spring Hill native said about why he applied for the Key Training Center’s Phil Royal Law Enforcement Academy Community Service Scholarship.

  • Plans for Inverness signage get thumbs up

    Gwen Bittner

    For the Chronicle

    The city of Inverness is going to steer travelers in the right direction with new signage in 2017.

    City council members met Tuesday to discuss a soon-to-start wayfinding program that will add more directional signs to the downtown area.

  • Fire claims Lecanto home

    Firefighters responded to a four-alarm, fully involved mobile home fire in Lecanto on Tuesday afternoon.

    According to reports by Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue, vehicles and equipment surrounding the single-wide mobile home also were in imminent danger.

    Fire crews were dispatched at 3:02 p.m. and the first unit from Homosassa arrived on scene at 3:12 p.m.

  • FDOT: Citrus projects top priority

    LECANTO — A high-ranking Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) official on Tuesday assured the Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization and the public that three pivotal Citrus County projects remain a top priority and will move forward.

    The projects include the widening of U.S. 41 north of Inverness, from State Road 44 to State Road 200; a multi-use bike path along U.S. 19, from West Green Acres Street to West Jump Court; and an overpass connecting the Withlacoochee State Trail to the Dunnellon Trail.

  • Big, angry crowd greets congressman

    INVERNESS — Tuesday’s event at city hall was billed as a two-hour meet-and-greet for U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster.

    Fifty minutes into it, though, staffers and a pair of Citrus County sheriff’s deputies whisked Webster into a private hallway, even as constituents who jammed the adjacent council chambers booed and called for him to return.

    Just another day at the office, Webster said.

  • Dunnellon teacher accused of groping girl


    Jeff Bryan

    Riverland News

    Fifteen months into his teaching career at Dunnellon High School, Chester Pacana is alleged to have had inappropriate contact with a female student, leading to being charged Monday with lewd and lascivious molestation, according to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit.

  • Well anchored

    Claire Phillips Laxton 

    For the Chronicle 

    Dave Kelly’s career as a journalist has spanned decades and put him in contact with celebrities and newsmakers from Ben Hogan to Richard Nixon.

    Kelly, 89, of Brentwood, began his career as a newspaperman and editor who later became a well-respected news director for both radio and TV. 

  • Judge grants motion in death case

    An Inverness man convicted of killing his father with a hatchet is one step closer to having his death sentence dropped.

    Circuit Court Judge Richard “Ric” Howard on Tuesday agreed to allow John William Campbell’s defense team to host an evidentiary hearing in June to prove to Howard whether or not 12 jurors would unanimously recommend death, after high court justices ruled that a majority jury vote wasn’t enough.