Local News

  • Testing bill shapes up as education train

    Brandon Larrabee

    The News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — A bill aimed at scaling back the number of standardized tests administered in Florida passed its final Senate committee on Wednesday after picking up amendments dealing with recess and other education issues.

  • Key Center brings ‘Oz’ alive

    Anyone who’s ever watched the movie “The Wizard of Oz” or read the book it's based on, knows Oz is a magical place.

    The 38 members of the Key Drama Club will be making their own magic when they present “The Wizard of Oz” during two special performances on May 3 and May 4. 

    Volunteer Director Marilynne Denison said during the past eight months, her actors have been working hard to overcome disabilities to put on the show for the community. 

  • Murder defendant takes plea deal

     Crystal Michelle Brinson, facing trial in connection to the slaying of a Brooksville teen, ended her case Wednesday by taking a plea deal.

     Brinson, 40, pleaded guilty “in her best interest” to a lesser charge of second-degree murder, which was contemplated by Brinson, her defense team and a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office.

  • POSTSCRIPT: Brandon Paul: A gentle soul with an easygoing nature

    Oh, that beautiful white smile — Brandon Paul smiled all the time.

    “He literally did not have a worry in the world,” said Brad Paul, Brandon’s older brother. “He was the most easygoing person you could ever meet, and he smiled all the time.”

    In the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 22, Brandon Paul went overboard from the eighth deck of a Carnival Victory cruise ship 33 miles off the coast of Cuba. 

  • BREAKING: Crystal Brison pleads guilty to murder of DeAnna Stires

    Crystal Michelle Brinson, the Brooksville woman who was set to go on trial next week for her involvement in the 2012 murder of DeAnna Lee Stires, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to second-degree murder.

    Circuit Court Judge Richard “Ric” Howard, who accepted Brinson’s plea at the Inverness courthouse, set Brinson’s sentencing for June 27. Howard can sentence Brinson to up to 25 year in prison per her plea agreement.

  • Fox ousts O’Reilly


    David Bauder

    AP Television writer

    NEW YORK — Fox News Channel’s parent company fired Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable news’ most popular program and one that came to define the bravado of his network over 20 years.

  • Senate poised to sign off on ride-sharing plan

    Jim Turner

    The News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — A long-debated proposal pitting traditional cab companies and local governments against app-based ride-sharing firms appears ready to cross the legislative finish line Wednesday.

    The Senate on Tuesday set up for a final vote the proposal (HB 221), which would institute statewide rules for “transportation network companies” such as Uber and Lyft.

  • Senate scuttles House ethics changes

    Llloyd Dunkelberger

    The News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — A major ethics package backed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran is dead for the session after the Senate refused to consider the legislation, House leaders said Tuesday.

  • House tees up no-fault insurance repeal

    Jim Turner

    The News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — A move to repeal Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system could receive approval Wednesday from the House, though it remains unclear whether lawmakers can agree on the issue before the scheduled May 5 end of the legislative session.

  • Cannabis compromise won’t allow smoking

    Dara Kam

    The News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida patients may be able to vape or munch on medical-marijuana products but they almost certainly won’t be allowed to light up joints or take bong hits, under a compromise being worked on by House and Senate leaders.