Local News

  • UF at top of class for performance funding

    TALLAHASSEE — The University of Florida finished first among the 11 universities eligible for state performance funding in the upcoming budget year, garnering $55 million of the $245 million total.

    UF netted $7 million in new performance funding, up from $48 million in the current year, in a list approved Thursday by the state university system’s Board of Governors, which was meeting at the University of South Florida.

  • Visit Florida puts brakes on racing contract

    TALLAHASSEE — Visit Florida Racing shared a Facebook photo from its prime sponsor this week, but the days of the state’s tourism brand spinning wheels at tracks like Watkins Glen, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Sebring International Raceway are coming to a screeching halt.

    Meanwhile, Visit Florida, the state’s tourism-marketing arm, continues to negotiate for what could be a third year sponsoring the London-based Fulham Football Club owned by Shahid “Shad” Khan.

  • Murder re-sentencing for Muzzi set for July

    A second sentencing of convicted murderer Christopher Muzzi will have to wait.

    After hearing several witnesses for most of Wednesday during the evidentiary portion of Muzzi’s resentencing, Circuit Court Judge Richard “Ric” Howard scheduled July 13 as the day he will give Muzzi a new sentence.

    Muzzi, now 27, was 17 years old when he shot and killed 18-year-old Benjamin Fee in October 2007 during a drug deal gone bad. 

  • Rainy season douses fiery Florida

    Jim Turner

    The News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — After months of drought conditions that helped fuel nearly 2,500 wildfires across the state, Florida has quickly moved deep into its rainy season.

    The rain has been welcomed by crews who spent months battling wildfires, which have consumed more than 250,000 acres of state and federal lands, the worst year for fires since 2011.

  • Nurture and growth

    Gloria Jeannotte’s office at Cedar Creek Assisted Living Residence in Crystal River is filled with frogs and giraffes.

    Frogs because they have eyes on the front of their heads so they only see where they’re going and won’t be bothered by what is past.

  • Turnpike extension nears reality

    County Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr. got the news Tuesday he’s been waiting months to hear: a timeline has been set to start on the much-delayed construction of the Suncoast Parkway extension into Citrus County.

    Carol Scott, with Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, told the Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization board that advertising for construction is tentatively set for next month and the awarding of the contract set for September.

  • Homosassa gets jump on July 4th

    Homosassa will be celebrating the United States’ birthday this Saturday.

    The 19th annual Homosassa River Fireworks Fest & Poker Run begins at 8 a.m. with poker run registration, and ends after a fireworks show starting at 9:15 p.m. on the Homosassa River.

    From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., a free boat shuttle from the Riverside Resort, located at 5297 S. Cherokee Way, will be taking passengers to and from events along the Homosassa River.

  • County briefs 6/22/17

    Public invited to help in cleanup

    On Saturday, June 24, The Rotary Club of Homosassa Springs will have its next Lyngbya algae cleanup day. Volunteers will meet at the overflow parking lot just past the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park entrance on Fishbowl Drive at 8:30 a.m. The cleanup will conclude at 11:30 a.m., followed by a quick cleaning of the kayaks and supplies. 

  • Ride of a lifetime

    INVERNESS — Filter Youth Development is more than a dirt bike club — it is an intensive mentorship program. 

    “Filter is an intensive mentoring program, because with traditional mentoring you have children spend maybe an hour or so per week with a mentor, and we are with our kids for 5½ hours per week,” said George Schmalstig, program founder and president. 

  • City OKs three community projects

    It was a big plan Inverness City Manager Frank DiGiovanni presented 13 months ago.

    City council members started putting that plan into play Tuesday night.

    The council approved three projects, totalling about $1.1 million, that will be built in the next six months near Wallace Brooks Park and the city hall government center plaza.

    Funds come from the expanded community redevelopment district, which now includes Citrus Memorial Hospital.