Local News

  • Rogers tapped as interim chief

    County Administrator Brad Thorpe handed back his reins of authority to the board near the end of Tuesday's meeting of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, and the board unanimously agreed to appoint Public Works Director Jeff Rogers to the role of managing county business for the short term until a new county administrator is hired.

    Thorpe, who officially will retire Aug. 1, will conduct the budget hearing today. (Wednesday).

  • BOCC backs sales tax vote

    INVERNESS — Citrus County voters will decide in November whether to approve a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax that, over 20 years, would fund the resurfacing of every local county public road.

    Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to add the 1 percent sales tax to the November ballot.

    If approved, it would provide $11.6 million to a trust fund for resurfacing of local, neighborhood roads. Resurfacing major roads or building new roads would come from gasoline tax revenue.

  • Teens top anglers

    It’s not every day that Citrus County produces world champions. This past weekend, two were crowned.

    Brandon Branch, 18, and Hunter McPherson, 17, representing the Eagle High 4-H Club, returned home with the title of 2014 High School Fishing World Finals champions. The two survived four days of bass-fishing competition against other top high school teams, ultimately coming out on top during the event, held July 16 through 19.

  • School board OKs tentative budget

    Citrus County School Board members gave tentative approval to a $210,841,579 budget Tuesday that lowers taxes next year.

    The proposed tentative millage rate is 7.3040 mills and is a decrease of 4.05 percent over the roll-back rate. 

    The state decides the school district’s budget and most of its local tax rate. The only discretion is 1.5 mills for capital outlay that is decided locally

  • ­TDC schedules Sept. 3 workshop

    The Tourist Development Council is moving its regularly scheduled meeting to Wednesday, Sept. 3, to provide an educational workshop to share how the Visitors & Convention Bureau works as a tourism destination marketing organization. This workshop will begin at 9 a.m. at the College of Central Florida, located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway in Lecanto, in Conference Center Room 101. The public is encouraged to attend.

  • C.R. officials tentatively pick budget option

    CRYSTAL RIVER — The city council has tentatively settled on a budget option that will pay for a few more city services but will not involve dipping into the city’s reserves to fix a shortfall.

    The option also will allow for a modest bump in the city’s millage rate, and police services will stay the same.

    During a budget workshop Monday, City Manager Dave Burnell and Finance Director Michelle Russell presented council members with six options to address the city’s shortfall of $224,658.

  • Calling it a career

    CRYSTAL RIVER - This week, local pharmacist Don Crist is in what he calls the “throes of closing” his longtime business.

    For nearly 50 years, he has served as an independent pharmacist in Crystal River, with the past 29 years at his current location on Gulf-to-Lake Highway.

    “I should’ve retired earlier, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it,” he said. “It’s a hard decision. You make so many friendships, and you hate to leave them.”

  • CF program targets jobs with high demand, high wages

    Subjects like cyber security, robotics, venture finance and microcomputer applications are some of the topics in a targeted career training program from the College of Central Florida (CF).

    The college is the lead institution for a $10.1 million federal grant being administered through a consortium that includes six other Florida colleges. 

    It will get approximately $3,173,583 from the Department of Labor to support information technology careers, especially for persons from rural areas.

  • Crowding at springs still an issue

    CRYSTAL RIVER — Last December, a working group tasked to come up with solutions for the overcrowding issue at the water entrance to Three Sisters Springs presented its recommendations to the city council.

    Eight months later, only two elements of the group’s eight-point plan have been embraced.

  • Investigation points to lone thief

    Investigators believe a former Citrus County Parks and Recreation supervisor suspected of stealing $250,000 from the county since 2009 acted alone and with no help from co-workers or friends.

    Instead, detectives think Constantina “Dina” Emmanuel discovered a way to deposit cash and checks from renters of county facilities into personal bank accounts without the county realizing the money was missing.