Local News

  • County director takes brunt of criticism

    Tobey Phillips grew up in Citrus County, graduated from Citrus High School, attended the University of Florida, is a breast-cancer survivor, taught kindergarten children and eventually wound up in county government.

    And now, for the first time, she fears for her safety.

  • Shelter dogs’ fate not easily defined

    They’re called animal-view reports.

    They tell the stories of dogs housed in cages at the Citrus County Animal Shelter. Some dogs are prepared for adoption. Others have serious medical issues and are being medicated.

    No dog wants confinement. They are brought to the shelter by Animal Control after wandering the street or snapping at children. Some are just too rambunctious for the home and owners turn them in.

  • Retooling retail

    Jo Goodenough remembers when she moved to the Crystal Square plaza off U.S. 19 six years ago, the place was bustling with shoppers and stores.

    Today, there are only three left. Goodenough’s CSI Salon is one of them.

  • Thinking outside the box first step in revitalizing strip malls

    If Citrus County is to be rid of dying strip malls, it will take everything from tax incentives, revisiting zoning ordinances, re-thinking traditional uses for stores and doing a better job of catering to the needs of this area’s demographics.

    That is the consensus of some county commissioners who shared their ideas with the Chronicle. 

    Here is what they had to say:


    Ron Kitchen Jr.

  • Simpson ready to help business owners

    Sen. Wilton Simpson doesn’t like to see empty strip malls dotting the landscapes in his district any more than other people.

    They’re an eyesore and contribute nothing to the economy of the local community, he said.

    To that end, Simpson said he wants to meet with government officials in Citrus County to find out what he can do to help them on the legislative level by removing regulatory burdens for small-business owners.

  • Weekly roundup: The times, they are a-changing

    Brandon Larrabee

    The News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — As fall settles over Tallahassee — at least in terms of the season, not the weather — state government is also going through some changes.

    There’s the actual, physical changes underway at the state Capitol, a construction project meant to repair parking garages and spruce up a main way that people enter the halls of government.

  • Broadway calling

    “It’s time to try defying gravity. I think I’ll try defying gravity. And you can’t put me down!” —  “Defying Gravity,” from “Wicked”


    From the confines of his wheelchair, Andrew Wiater is defying gravity.

    He’s defying the naysayers, those who tell him his disability disqualifies him from reaching his dreams.

  • Anonymous donor gives $50,000 to WTC

    Andrew Caplan

    For the Chronicle

    Nursing students at Withlacoochee Technical College will have the opportunity to prepare for real-life situations in the comfort of their classrooms thanks to an anonymous $50,000 donation.

    The college’s director, Gloria Bishop, said the record amount will further student education and better prepare students for the medical field.

  • Woman accused of huffing gas near toddler

    An Inverness woman is facing a charge of child neglect after being accused of huffing gasoline while a toddler was present.

    Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies met Wednesday with witnesses who said they returned to their Inverness home, opened their garage door and saw their daughter 34-year-old Stephanie Nichole Gazica inhaling from a gas can while a small child was with her, Gazica’s arrest report states.

    Another child was playing in his room while Gazica was in the garage.

  • Check city’s website for water update

    A boil-water notice issued for Inverness residents remained in effect as of Friday afternoon.

    The city earlier in the week advised residents via text message and its website that the notice would be in effect until water samples taken from the city system are clear of all harmful bacteria. The city will alert residents when the notice is withdrawn. If it is lifted over the weekend, the city will notify residents via text message and its website, inverness-fl.gov.