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Local News

  • Bringing clarity to water

    County officials and policymakers went to school this week to learn about all matters related to water. 

    On Wednesday and Thursday, the students got classroom instruction on water-quantity and -quality issues and went on field trips to King’s Bay and the county’s largest water treatment facility — the Meadowcrest Water Reclamation Facility.

  • Baxley kicks off Senate campaign

    State Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, has kicked off his campaign for state Senate District 5 seat in 2016.

    Baxley has served separate terms in the state House. He first served from 2000 to 2007, then was elected again in 2010 and subsequently re-elected.

  • Daily ride prepped for rally

    Most 5-year-old, four-door Cadillacs with a child seat in the back do not scream high-performance rally machine. This one does.

    At a passing glance, the 2009 silver gray Cadillac CTS-V looks normal, but parked, it shows off sponsor names, high-tech wheels backed by massive disc brakes and oversized tires.

    Even though its sound at idle hardly belies its family-ride heritage, when Frank Manese stomps it, the exhaust sounds more 

  • Man pleads guilty to possessing weapons as a felon

    Michael Paul Watkins, the Inverness business owner charged in October of last year with stockpiling more than a hundred weapons in his home as a convicted felon, pleaded guilty Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in Ocala.

    Watkins, 41, was indicted Nov. 19 on federal charges of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon and possessing unregistered weapons under the National Firearms Act, according to court dockets.

  • Study: Springs sometimes ‘chaotic’

    CRYSTAL RIVER — The authors of a new study of human/manatee interactions at Three Sisters Springs said they struggled to pick the correct adjective to describe the bedlam-like conditions sometimes present there.

    Carl Wolfe, who revealed the preliminary report on Wednesday along with his partner Rae Ellen Syverson, said they settled on “chaotic.”

  • Man arrested in sex battery case

    A Beverly Hills man is facing a sexual battery charge after confessing in a recorded phone call with the woman who accused him of having non-consensual sex with her while she was asleep.

    Sheriff’s investigators on Friday recorded a phone call between the 30-year-old woman and Gregory Norton Schoonmaker, 44, known only to the woman as Felix, according to Schoonmaker’s arrest report.

  • Suncoast Parkway set to start next year

    Florida turnpike officials are planning to bid out construction of the Suncoast Parkway 2 next year, bringing the toll road in to State Road 44 in Citrus County three years later.

    Citrus County Administrator Randy Oliver said Florida turnpike officials recently mapped out a series of plans for county representatives that show an aggressive construction schedule.

  • Archie Dabney: An educator to his core

    INVERNESS — Archie Dabney isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

    Like the grandfather who raised him, he’s tough and outspoken about what’s right and wrong.

    As an educator, he spent his entire career, some 40 years, teaching kids and also the adults he worked with what it means to be a person of integrity and value.

  • Man shot, injured by deputies

    HERNANDO — A Hernando man is in custody and receiving treatment at an Ocala hospital after being shot and wounded by Citrus County deputies attempting to arrest him late Wednesday morning at a Hernando-area home.

  • Judge stresses importance of voting to Boy Scouts

    A group of Boy Scouts got the opportunity to view a county courtroom from the judge’s bench and pound the gavel to make a point.

    On Tuesday, Scouts and Scout leaders from Troop 7122 of Floral City met with Circuit Court Judge Richard “Ric” Howard in 

    his second-floor courtroom at the Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness.