The county and the Chronicle continued to grow until the later part of the decade when the economy started to crash in 2007.
The county’s population was recorded at 141,178 in 2000, up by some 22,000 new residents.
Unquestionably the biggest news of this time period was the 2004 storm season, which saw Citrus County impacted again and again and again by hurricanes that were reduced to tropical storms by the time they arrived here, but still did considerable damage. The loss of power was widespread and left many in the dark for extended periods of time.
Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne all paid a visit to the area and had a cumulative effect.
Charley came ashore Aug. 13 in the Punta Gorda area and took a northeastern path across the state, damaging Lakeland, Orlando and then Ormond Beach. While Citrus County wasn’t in the path, it was close enough that the impact was felt here.
Then came Francis, which came ashore Aug. 24 in southeastern Florida and visited this area as a tropical storm. Though Ivan, in early September, stayed off shore and made landfall in the Alabama-Florida area, it unsettled nerves here.
Finally, Jeanne punctuated the season when it arrived Sept. 25. It took a similar path to that of Francis. In addition to the power outages, the storms disrupted life in Citrus County. Schools were closed and used for shelters, residents in vulnerable areas and dwellings were evacuated, events were canceled as the county worked to get back on its feet.
Earlier in the decade, the Chronicle launched three new publications that joined an already existing paper as weekly sections to serve different communities. The new Inverness Pioneer, Crystal River Current and Homosassa Beacon joined the Beverly Hills Visitor and took their place as publications jammed- packed with community news, photos and opinion.
It was a decade of momentous events on the world stage.
The terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 set in motion two subsequent wars.
Afghanistan was invaded by the United States and a coalition of countries in November of 2001
The invasion of Iraq was launched in March of 2003.
The Space Shuttle Columbia exploded upon re-entry Feb. 1, 2003
On April 1, 2004 the World War II Memorial opened in Washington, D.C..
Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast and caused tremendous damage and loss of lives in Louisiana and Mississippi in August of 2005.
On Oct. 17, 2006, the population of the United States hits 300 million. It took just 40 years to go from 200 million to 300 million.
With the recession well under way, Congress passed legislation to assist Wall Street and banking business.