Local News

  • Rain raises water levels

    The past year ended with lakes, rivers, springs and the aquifer showing higher water levels in the northern portion of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. 

    “We have really good conditions,” said Chris Zajac, with water management district. “We’ve had three good years of rain.”

  • Bottled water leads to road rebuild

    CRYSTAL RIVER — All roads lead to water in Crystal River.

    A newly reconstructed portion of one road, however, will lead to a spring-water bottling business with a controversial history.

  • School board disappointed with lack of cooperation with county commission

    Carly Zervis


    The Citrus County School Board on Tuesday lamented the reluctance of the Board of County Commissioners to engage in a joint meeting of the two boards to discuss the now-decided issue of a moratorium on collecting impact fees in Citrus County. 

  • COURT DIGEST: Judge sentences bank robber mom to 15 years

    With her four children, mother and younger brother in the courtroom on Wednesday, Angela Simmons of Dunnellon was sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbing a bank in Citrus Springs in June 2014.

    Simmons, 26, is expecting her fifth child any day. She received the sentence under state guidelines for an habitual felony offender. She had a previous conviction for strong-arm robbery.

  • County drops impact fees, will study effect

    INVERNESS — Don’t expect a mad rush to the county building division in the next two weeks.

    In fact, permits for new construction should come to a standstill until Feb. 1, when Citrus County’s two-year suspension of impact fees kicks on.

    Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday for the suspension, in the hopes of boosting construction of new homes and businesses.

  • Constituents to lawmakers: Show us the money

    INVERNESS — Steve Lamb got right the point.

    “Gentlemen, we are shovel ready,” Lamb told state Sen. Charlie Dean and Rep. Jimmie T. Smith. Lamb is vice chairman of Save Crystal River Inc.

    The only question, Lamb said, was where to go to pick up the check.

  • Music bug lasts a lifetime

    CRYSTAL RIVER — Bill Rea’s got the bug.

    At 19, the keyboard player and vocalist had learned to play the organ — sort of — and got a call from a guy saying his band’s organ player couldn’t play and they needed someone to fill in.

    “I only knew how to play five songs, and I told him, and he was OK with that,” Rea said. “So, I took a shower and walked into the place, got up on the bandstand, and the place was packed.”

  • CR to prioritize goals

    Crystal River city officials on Friday will work to prioritize a large list of city development, policy and event goals for 2015.

    Development within the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) district is likely to take the lead.

    CRA board members on Monday have already adopted and approved a new CRA advisory committee and its five appointed members who live, own a business or are involved inside the CRA.

  • Stage set for weekend filled with fun, educational opportunities

    Rochelle Kaiser

    Staff writer

    This weekend offers a big festival along with volunteer opportunities, music and much more, offering opportunities for the entire family to do something together. 

    The 28th annual Florida Manatee Festival takes place in downtown Crystal River on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Himmel best in state with school data usage

    TALLAHASSEE — At Wednesday’s Florida Board of Education meeting, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart named Citrus County Superintendent of Schools Sandra “Sam” Himmel the 2014 Lavan Dukes District Data Leader of the Year. Himmel was recognized for her commitment to using data and innovative thinking to motivate students, narrow achievement gaps and boost parental and community involvement.