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Local News

  • 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.

  • Man charged with sexual battery of 5-year-old girl

    A 19-year-old Citrus County man was arrested Monday on charges of sexually battering a 5-year-old girl. 

    William Edward Bubb, of Hernando, is accused of having intercourse with the child as her mother was sleeping on a couch in the same Inverness residence.

    A family member of the victim notified authorities after the child advised of inappropriate contact by Bubb, his arrest affidavit states.

  • Throw out road-resurfacing rules

    I just got another letter from some obscure agency that the Citrus County commissioners are trying to hide their duty that they were elected to do, which is to watch out for all Citrus County residents. 

    Again, I focus on the horse trails that pass for roads in the Green Acres area. In case most people don’t know, everyone’s gas tax is what pays for road repairs. Not just the affluent. But even there, I have not seen any sign of repairs. 

  • MSBU quarrel continues

    Janice Tuten readily admits she is not a genius at mathematics, but every way in which she crunched the assessment fee numbers from last year’s controversial county municipal services benefit unit (MSBU) for fire services, the results are the same — it is costing businesses too much and her elderly parents stand to lose everything they worked for all their lives.

  • Blues for a good cause

    HOMOSASSA — Few individuals have the honor of having a concert dedicated to them. Susan Mitchell is one of those few.

    Friends, family, local blues musicians and even strangers surrounded Mitchell during a blues concert and fundraiser on Sunday in the hopes of supporting a selfless woman who was diagnosed in 2012 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

  • Car crashes into Inverness department store

    INVERNESS — No injuries were reported early Monday afternoon after a car reversed out of a parking spot in an Inverness area shopping plaza, backed into a minivan and then into the brick wall of a T.J. Maxx store.

    Citrus County sheriff’s deputies and Fire Rescue personnel arrived at the T.J. Maxx store on the 

    corner of State Road 44 and South Croft Avenue to find a black Mercedes up against the store’s brick-wall entrance.