Local News

  • Chase ends in river

    INVERNESS — A man in a stolen car and high on drugs reportedly led deputies on a chase down some side streets and ended up having to be fished out of the river, according to a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office report.

    David Alan Barker, 29, of Seffner, was arrested Thursday and charged with, among other things, fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer without violence, grand theft auto, burglary and criminal mischief.

    His bond is $31,000.

  • Political hopeful explains arrest

    CRYSTAL RIVER — Rob Cummins doesn’t try to hide it.

    If anyone asks, the Republican candidate for Citrus County superintendent of schools will explain, in detail, the circumstances of his arrest.

    Cummins even includes it near the bottom of his campaign website, portraying the incident as his sticking up for what’s right.

    But Cummins also realizes not everyone will see it that way.

    “I think it will destroy any chance I have for people who see things in black and white,” Cummins said.

  • Time to dive in

    The first of the month marked the beginning of one of the most anticipated seasons in the county — scallop season.

    Droves of boats packed the boat ramps and waterways Sunday as harvesters hit the brackish waters to find the delectable mollusks.

  • Man arrested over fight

    CRYSTAL RIVER — A fight over prescription drugs that started Friday near the Subway restaurant at N.E. 3rd Avenue in Crystal River and carried over to the parking lot at Walgreens on U.S. 19, landed one man in jail.

    Justin Allen Gage, 30, of 6690 E. Gentry St., Inverness, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and battery.

    According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, here’s what happened:

  • Alleged fraudster caught

    News of the arrest of a man who offered to save her house from foreclosure four years ago elicited a cheer Thursday from Abby Yeomans, a former Lecanto resident.

    “I’m still crying every time I think about it,” said Yeomans, now a resident of Lehigh Acres in Lee County. “We want to move back so bad, but we can’t. We had to declare bankruptcy. Because of the bankruptcy, we had to get private financing for our new house — it’s a 12
    percent mortgage. The hits just keep on coming.”

  • Marching to the Olympics

    Buster Thompson
    Chronicle Intern

    BEVERLY HILLS — Many young athletes dream of competing in the Olympics.

    Winning the gold for their country is an aspiration of the most determined and hardworking individuals with an almost unreachable talent.

    The Olympic Games have always required the best of competitors, but the best doesn’t just come in the form of an athlete.

    Julia Collazo, 19, of Beverly Hills, has been playing the trumpet since fourth grade, continuing all the way through high school at Crystal River High School.

  • Man convicted in arson trial

    INVERNESS — A jury found a 20-year-old guilty Thursday on two counts each of arson and burglary.

    It took the jury little time to convict Gabriel E. Iglesias of Floral City in a case the prosecution said was driven by a desire for revenge after a vehicle swap went kaput. Circuit Judge Ric Howard set Aug. 8 for Iglesias’ sentencing. He faces a minimum of 47 months in prison.

  • WWII vet to receive French Legion of Honor

    Buster Thompson
    Chronicle Intern
    BEVERLY HILLS — From June 6 to June 7, 1944, hundreds of young men from the 175th regiment, 29th infantry division, stormed the Omaha Beaches, braving the deep salty waters of the English Channel while ducking below enemy machine gun fire.

    Cosmo Defazio, 87, was one of those men.

    “They briefed us that this could be the end of the war,” Defazio said about the day before the landings. “They told us seven out of 10 men wouldn’t make it.”

  • Veteran of 35 missions

    Buster Thompson
    Chronicle Intern
    INVERNESS — When Irving Emerson was a pilot of a B-17 bomber in the 97th Bomb Group, 340th Squadron, during World War II, he lived among the clouds.

    The average life span of any WWII bomber flier was eight missions — Emerson flew 35.

    Last year, Emerson, along with hundreds of other WWII veterans, went on an Honor Flight to Washington D.C., remembering all those who fought in a war that changed the world forever.

  • Electric car chargers planned for Inverness

    INVERNESS — Andy Phillips, sales associate at Love Chevrolet in Inverness, said they’ve sold two in the past nine months.

    Crystal Chevrolet in Homosassa has sold a total of 11.

    That’s only a baker’s dozen of electric cars — Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs — being driven by Citrus County residents.