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Inverness Airport Business-Industrial Park project moves forward

County commissioners Tuesday voted 5-0 to proceed with the bidding for infrastructure construction of the Inverness Airport Business-Industrial Park.

Last year, the county received a $5.08 million state Department of Economic Opportunity grant to be used for the construction of transportation and onsite water utility infrastructures for a 75-plus acre business industrial park.

Infrastructure construction will include all utilities, telecommunications, stormwater treatment system, roads and the reconstruction of 3,115 feet of the main roadway to the business park.

The grant requires the project to be completed by June, 2023.

Citrus County has been working on developing the Inverness Airport Business-Industrial Park since the county purchased the land in 2001.

In related news:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week announced a ‘Notice of Funding Opportunity’ totaling $1 billion in airport terminal program grants.

County Commissioner Ruthie Schlabach in an email said she will include on an upcoming agenda a presentation by CORE Business Center and Right Rudder Aviation to pursue grant funding to improve the Inverness airport and make it ‘green.’

A green airport is one with environmentally friendly and energy-conserving features.

Organic touch
mattbeck / Photos by Matthew Beck / Chronicle photo editor 

Inverness native Fallon Crowell has recently opened Honest Earth, a spa where she offers a variety of cosmetic specialties including organic facials.

An aptitude for business runs through Fallon Crowell’s veins.

The 23-year-old is the granddaughter of the beloved Joe Fallon, owner of Joe’s Deli for 44 years. Fallon announced his retirement and sold the deli in 2017 and recently, Crowell said, the deli closed down for good.

However, Crowell is continuing her grandfather’s legacy – and doing it her own way. In January, she opened an all-natural spa and shop, Honest Earth, where she offers organic and customizable facials, skin care and waxing, along with lash and brow services.

Abby Wells receives an express lift facial from Fallon Crowell Wednesday, Feb. 23. According to Crowell the treatment hydrates and lifts the skin.

“It’s nice to be the next person in line to open something up here,” Crowell said. As for her grandfather, “I’ve really enjoyed watching him be excited to help me.”

Crowell graduated from Citrus High School in 2017. After some soul searching, she went to esthetician school in St. Petersburg with the goal to obtain her microblading license.

However, when her class began learning about skin care, it piqued her interest. She was shocked at some of the ingredients allowed in products.

“I started making my own organic skin care products at home for my friends and people in my class,” Crowell said. “People went crazy for them.”

This was the deciding factor for Crowell to pursue a career in skin care. With the idea for Honest Earth, some local friends encouraged her to open it in Citrus County. She began by offering free facials to test the market. “Everyone loved it.”

Currently, Crowell is the spa’s sole esthetician, providing nearly all services herself. “Every single person that comes in, I know who you are,” she said. “It’s a very personal experience.”

Two work areas at Honest Earth allow clients services including facials, waxing and other organic service to be pampered.

For example, Crowell performed an Express Lift Facial on client Abby Wells on Feb. 23. “Depending on what kind of skin she has, or her skin concerns, it would completely shift everything I do.”

The 40-minute facial treatment included a double cleanse, exfoliation, extraction, mask, serum, gua sha lift and moisturizer to hydrate and lift the skin. “We call it a red carpet facial,” Crowell said.

For Wells, Crowell decided to customize with a Vitamin C serum, niacinamide and a high frequency tool to promote hair growth.

Other services at Honest Earth include Dermaglow, anti-aging and detox facials, lash and brow tints and brow lamination. Lash extensions are offered by a lash technician, who rents a space from Crowell.

True to its name, every product used and sold at Honest Earth is organic. For facials, Crowell uses One Love Organics, Dermalogica and Eminence Organics. According to Crowell, these are the most natural skin care lines available, while still keeping services affordable.

“I don’t believe it should be a luxury,” she said. “It’s really fulfilling to know that you’re helping people to feel more confident in a natural way, without them having to spend tons of money.”

In addition, Honest Earth stocks a variety of products for at-home skin, hair and body care, including a body scrub made by Crowell herself.

However, she said, “I don’t like to push product – I like a very simple regimen for people to do at home.”

Honest Earth offers a variety of products to use at home in between visits.

In the future, Crowell hopes to expand to a full beauty bar, adding chemicals-free nails to the menu. She also envisions having an in-house coffee shop in the spa. As for products, she plans to begin concocting organic SPF, perfume oils and maybe even a clothing line.

“This is just the beginning of everything,” Crowell said.

mattbeck / Photos by Matthew Beck / Chronicle photo editor 

Honest Earth is located in The Rustic River plaza on State Road 44 near U.S. 19 in Crystal River.

Honest Earth is located in The Rustic River plaza, 717 NE Fifth St. in Crystal River. For more information, visit

Fero Funeral Home reopens services after damaging blaze

After being gutted by a fire, the Fero Funeral Home in Beverly Hills is reopening its services.

“Temporary offices have been established on-site and funeral and cemetery professionals are available to meet with families,” spokeswoman Beth Dombrowa said Friday, Feb. 25.

To contact Fero, call 352-746-4551.

A downed power line ignited the Feb. 16 blaze, which destroyed 80 percent of the funeral home and damaged 10 percent of another building on the property off of North Lecanto Highway.

Citrus County Fire Rescue Chief Craig Stevens said a tree service company cut down a tree, which fell onto the power line. No injuries were reported.

“Most of the damage occurred in the funeral home,” Dombrowa said, “which will be rebuilt to serve Beverly Hills and Citrus County.”

Dombrowa said Fero started the planning and permitting process to renovate an existing structure into a “Celebration of Life Venue” to use while the funeral home is under construction.

“We are still in the insurance processes,” Dombrowa said, “however, we anticipate starting construction on a new funeral home as soon as possible.”