Local News

  • Vets cry foul over proposed staffing cut

    This morning’s hearing on the county’s proposed budget has an item county military veterans’ leaders say should not be stricken: a change in the Veterans Services Office (VSO) secretarial position from full-time to part-time.

    Leaders of veterans groups say the current full-time secretary has been their go-to person for the past several years and an indispensable part of getting help for veterans in the community.

  • Called to make the calls

    C.J. Risak


    This was his ultimate goal. And next month, John Siegel will realize it — or at least, a part of it.

    Siegel, 54, is a Crystal River business owner, operating Magic Twists & Cream in the mall’s food court. But when he steps away from that, he steps into the often-thankless world of umpiring. In two weeks, he’ll be donning the blues on the biggest stage yet.

  • Shop owner's video draws national spotlight

    Saturday wasn’t the first time Andy Hallinan aired anti-Islamic views.

    But it’s the first time anyone really noticed.

    That’s because Hallinan, who owns Florida Gun Supply in downtown Inverness, created a nationwide media buzz by declaring via online video a “Muslim-free zone” around his shop.

  • Oak Village owners become defendants

    Approximately 1,566 lot owners in the Oak Village subdivision of Sugarmill Woods are now part of a class of defendants in a lawsuit seeking an easement to a landlocked parcel.

    The issue concerns an unpaved, 213-foot piece of land at the end of Oak Village Boulevard in Sugarmill Woods known as the Oak Village stubout.

  • Citrus County's new 'urban' designation dings EMS budget

    A recent change in Medicare’s ambulance fee reimbursement has hit Citrus County’s only ambulance provider pretty hard.

    A reclassification of the county by Medicare from rural to urban has reduced how much Nature Coast EMS is reimbursed for each ambulance trip for those covered by Medicare.

  • State OKs Duke plant purchase; Levy nuke site still has life

    On Tuesday, the Public Service Commission unanimously approved the staff recommendation to allow Duke Energy Florida to purchase the Osprey Energy Center in Polk County for approximately $166 million.

    The PSC also held a prehearing on nuclear cost recovery, with the Levy County nuclear project possibly back in the rate structure for 2016.

  • Got your goat?

    INVERNESS — Good news for Billy and Nanny, two stray goats that were up for auction at Citrus County Animal Services Tuesday: The man who bought them, Cecil Booth of Crystal River, doesn’t plan to eat them.

    “I’ve got 2 acres and I want to put them in my pasture,” he said shortly before the auction began. 

  • Hepfer to seek opinion from ethics council

    INVERNESS — Inverness City Council President Jacquie Hepfer said she has contacted the Florida Commission on Ethics to get a definitive answer on whether she can vote on future issues related to the sheriff’s office because her son-in-law works for that agency.

  • Man charged with attacking police, nurse

    An Inverness man was jailed Saturday on resistance and battery charges after allegedly punching a deputy’s face and kicking a hospital nurse.

  • Twin manatees

    About a week and a half ago, in the area of the Homosassa River called Blue Water, boaters were exposed to a rare scene: a floating female manatee with twin calves nestled next to her. The mother sea cow also is a longtime visitor to the area and is called CR707 by U.S. Geological Survey researchers.