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Local News

  • Report clears county, jail contractor

    INVERNESS — A federal audit found no wrongdoing with Citrus County or its jail contractor in the company’s billing of the U.S. Marshal’s Office for housing inmates in the county jail.

    The Office of Inspector General report concluded in August; however, the county was forced to file of a Freedom of Information request to receive a copy, which came in this week.

  • Board backs marijuana citations — for now

    INVERNESS — The county commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to consider an ordinance that would give law enforcement officers the discretion to write tickets instead of arrest individuals possessing 20 grams or less of marijuana.

    Even in voting with the majority, board Chairman Ron Kitchen acknowledged he may not support the ordinance when it comes back to the board for a public hearing.

  • Tides, manatees temporarily shutter springs

    High and sustained tides and the presence of more than 300 manatees Monday afternoon forced the closure of in-water access to Three Sisters Springs, according to officials with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The springs, which are popular with snorkelers and manatees during the winter months, remained closed Tuesday. Visitors can still access the boardwalk to observe manatees by land.

  • Mother, son found dead in Inverness

    A mother and son were found dead on Monday inside a home in the Inverness Highlands from an apparent murder-suicide.

    According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, the bodies of 89-year-old Kay Renner and her son, 69-year-old Jerry Lee Mone, were found after 6:22 p.m., when responders got a call about a possible murder-suicide in a home off East Daly Lane.

    Both had gunshot wounds.

  • Teacher suspended after investigation

    A Citrus High School teacher is suspended without pay and facing termination after allegedly supplying students with alcohol and acknowledging their marijuana use at a Christmas party last December.

    Additionally, the teacher is accused of discussing sex with students on several occasions, going so far as to give female students tips on performing oral sex.

  • Residents sound off on roads, golf course

    INVERNESS — About two dozen Citrus Springs residents let county commissioners know Tuesday they have a couple of concerns.

    Specifically:

    * The county’s road resurfacing program should target streets that are occupied with homes, not those that benefit only owners of vacant property.

    * The closed El Diablo golf course and a potential future of a tree farm on the property.

  • Zika cases on rise in Florida

    The number of reported Zika cases in Florida has almost doubled in less than one week, according to the Florida Department of Health.

    The department logged 16 confirmed cases as of Monday, up from nine. No confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus have been reported in Citrus County.

  • McLaughlin named local FPRA president

    The Nature Coast chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association has installed Amy Lou McLaughlin, APR, CPRC, as president-elect.

  • From dream to reality

    After four-plus years of work and more than a decade of dreams, the George Washington Carver Community Center is nearing completion.

    Roughly a dozen volunteers from Duke Energy’s Crystal River complex grabbed their tools Monday to finish up project manager Harold Walker’s “punch list” at the site of the former George Washington Carver School in Crystal River.

  • Man blames pants mixup for pills

    An investigation into an armed burglary ended with a traffic stop and the arrest of a Beverly Hills man Monday on numerous charges.

    On Friday, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office got a report of a burglarized car at West Homosassa Trail and South MacArthur Terrace, according to an arrest report.

    A wallet, a semiautomatic Glock 27 handgun and other items were taken from the car, totaling over $300 in value.