Local News

  • Friends shocked by word of local attorney’s death

    Few details were available about the death of prominent Inverness attorney Clifford Travis, apparently found deceased after he failed to show up for a Wednesday trial.

    Shocked friends and colleagues recalled his service to the community, devotion to his sons and concern for his clients.

  • Music, art highlight weekend

    From artist Keith Gum and best-selling author Tim Dorsey to a musical recital at the Crystal River Mall, artsy-minded residents will have a colorful weekend.

  • School board OKs budget

    INVERNESS — Citrus County School Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the 2014-15 fiscal year budget, five-year work plan and millage rate.

    After no one from the public voiced opinions, board members approved a balanced $211 million budget. 

    The millage rate is 7.3040 mills and is a decrease of 4.05 percent over the rollback rate, according to district officials.

  • Hospital deal gets OK from county commission

    A.B Sidibe

    Staff writer

    INVERNESS — The longtime battle between the Citrus County Hospital Board and Citrus Memorial Health Foundation to agree to a $127 million lease of Citrus Memorial hospital to Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) appears to be coming to an end.

  • Broken-down boat leads to arrest

    CRYSTAL RIVER — A boater’s call for help landed him in jail when the assisting U.S. Coast Guard informed local authorities that the broken-down boat was reported stolen from Fort Myers. 

    Robert Lee Murray, 32, was arrested Monday morning after the boat he allegedly stole in Fort Meyers broke down on its way to Pete’s Pier in Crystal River, according to the arrest   affidavit.

  • Riverwalk project picks up pace

    CRYSTAL RIVER — The city council gave unanimous approval Monday for the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to move forward with the Riverwalk project.

    Council members — who also serve as the CRA board — agreed on the next stages of the project after Carol Kimbrough with the Crystal River Area Council presented a letter signed by property owners consenting for the project.

  • Court: Man still sentenced to life

    Twenty-eight years ago next month, a Citrus County teenager, convicted on charges of kidnapping and rape, was sentenced to life in prison plus four concurrent 30-year terms.

    Tuesday, Marc Mediate, now 46, was back in Citrus County court in an attempt to have his sentence reduced.

  • Citrus sheriff’s office charges man accused of photographing child nude

    Citrus County sheriff’s deputies arrested Thomas Prater, 59, on Monday after investigating the Beverly Hills resident for allegedly taking nude photographs of a 12-year-old girl.

    According to Prater’s arrest affidavit, the child claimed to investigators from Child Protective Services that she was told by Prater multiple times to undress so he could take photographs of her.

  • Middle school evacuated after smoke sighted

    CITRUS SPRINGS — All Citrus Springs Middle School students were accounted for after they were evacuated Tuesday morning when smoke was reportedly seen coming from air vents.

    Responding Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Fire Rescue personnel received notice from school officials that all students and faculty members were evacuated after smoke from a recently constructed air handler was seen at approximately 8:30 a.m.

  • Man of the century

    INVERNESS — As Glen Bortell hugged the hundreds of people who packed Citrus Memorial Health System Share Club Auditorium to honor him on his 100th birthday Tuesday, his smile never left his face.

    Bortell, a hospital volunteer since he was a spry 89-year-old, has logged more than 6,000 hours transporting patients to and from diagnostic imaging.

    He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2012.