Local News

  • Local briefs 4/29/2016

    Heathcock gets sentencing date

    A former Citrus County Commission candidate and local businessman convicted of trying to have sex with an unconscious employee will be sentenced in May. 

    Shannon Dain Heathcock, of Inverness, has a sentencing hearing set for 10 a.m. on May 23 in Courtroom B of the Citrus County Courthouse, according to court records.

  • Holocaust remembrance ceremony set for Sunday
  • A year later, a YMCA

    The YMCA of Citrus County will officially open on Sunday. The $8.3 million project took exactly one year from groundbreaking to the opening of the facility, an accomplishment made possible by the hard work of the contractor and subcontractors on the job. Most of the subcontractors who did the work came from Citrus County, and many have already become members of the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA. The state-of-the-art facility was put together by the hard workers and business owners pictured here.

  • C.R. breaks ground for park overhaul

    The ground at Hunters Spring Park was already broken for the park’s forthcoming overhaul, but the hard work didn’t kick off right until Thursday.

    With a major construction site behind them, members of Crystal River City Council and Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) flung around a little more dirt during a groundbreaking ceremony.

  • Recalled poultry removed from county schools

    The Citrus County School District on Wednesday removed about 275 cases of chicken products purchased from Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. following a recall announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    None of the chicken had been served to schoolchildren, assistant superintendent of schools Jonny Bishop said.

    The products, including popcorn chicken and sandwiches, were destroyed, Bishop said.

  • Jury convicts man of attempted murder

    Jurors convicted a Crystal River man Wednesday of the kidnapping and attempted murder of his former girlfriend.

    The four-woman, two-man jury took about an hour to convict 46-year-old Matthew Cooper of the lesser offense of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm causing great bodily harm.

    Cooper was originally charged Sept. 21, 2015, with attempted first-degree murder for shooting his ex-girlfriend on Sept. 19 in her home near Crystal River.

  • Himmel: New law will hurt Renaissance, MYcroSchool

    The Renaissance Center is a school for students to avoid expulsion. There is no graduation, because students eventually return to their home school.

    The MYcroSchool of Integrated Academics and Technology allows high school dropouts to return to earn their diploma.

    Both are housed in the same building — and therein lies the problem.

  • A merman's tale

    CRYSTAL RIVER — Since he was 4 years old, Eric Ducharme has been obsessed with mermaids.

    That was when the Citrus County native visited Weeki Wachee Springs in Hernando County and saw the underwater mermaid show. He was captivated by their grace, their choreography and their costumes — especially their finny tails.

  • They grow up so fast
  • Woman testifies she was bound, shot by ex-boyfriend

    The former girlfriend and alleged victim of a Crystal River man on trial for attempted murder told jurors Tuesday a harrowing story of being shot and kidnapped.

    Her ex-boyfriend, 46-year-old Matthew Cooper, watched on as prosecutor Bill Catto questioned the woman.

    Cooper faces charges of attempted first-