Some of the most popular stories from the week that was:
Whale of a tale: Crystal River residents spot creature they think is a whale in King's Bay
Yes, that very well could have been a whale that Molly Redrick saw from her dock on King’s Bay and that others in the area also reported seeing. On Monday it was confirmed that five pilot whales had been rescued after being stranded on Redington Beach in Pinellas County. However, the identity of the creature seen locally hasn't been verified. If you spot it, call FWC's Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-3922.
Inverness woman watches as her 'unsafe' home is demolished
Nicole Raymond cried Tuesday morning as a trackhoe demolished her Inverness mobile home. The home was deemed unsafe by county code compliance officers in December 2018. “That house means a lot to me,” said Raymond, who no longer resided there but visited often while her late brother lived in the home.
Inverness man, infant killed, and several others injured when dump truck overturns on interstate in Hillsborough County
Daniel Thomas Ragan, of Spring Hill, was hauling rocks in a 2004 Sterling dump truck on Monday when he collided with southbound traffic on I-75 north of the I-4 junction east of Tampa. Nine vehicles were involved in the crash that injured several people and killed David Ross Garcia, 46, of Inverness, and a two-month-old girl.
Fast-food franchises jockeying for position at intersection of 19 and 98
The corner of U.S. 98 and U.S 19 in Homosassa may soon be known as fast-food row. McDonald’s is scheduled to start construction in October. Not confirmed, but being talked about are Wendy’s and Burger King.
Inmate killed during altercation in Sumter prison
One person was killed and five others were injured during an altercation between "multiple inmates" last Sunday at United States Penitentiary I in Coleman, a federal prison complex in Sumter County. Federal officials did not specify how the altercation began or provide any details about it, including details about the injuries sustained by inmates. The deceased inmate, Troi Venable, 39, was serving a 17-year sentence for assault with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
FedEx truck crashes into home following hit-and-run in Beverly Hills
After a driver in a gold sedan ran a stop sign, he collided with a FedEx truck, causing it to crash into an unoccupied house near the intersection of South Barbour Street and Regina Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The sedan traveled into the front yard of a neighboring lot. Witnesses report seeing the sedan’s driver, a black man dressed in a white shirt, get out of the car and enter a white vehicle that picked him up and left. The FedEx driver suffered minor injuries.
Bay on display as Save Crystal River touts Kings Bay Restoration Project to lawmakers
On Monday, U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster and State Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, toured Schatz Island, Save Crystal River’s (SCR’s) next staging area for the next phase of its Kings Bay Restoration Project. Carter Henne, president of project contractor Sea & Shoreline Aquatic Restoration, explained to Webster how around 24 acres of King's Bay's bottom have already been restored and replanted with native eelgrasses since SCR began the pilot phase of the project in 2015.
State surgeon general declares public health emergency over hepatitis A; Citrus adds 17 cases
The Florida Surgeon General Friday declared a public health emergency due to the continued rise in hepatitis A cases throughout the state. Twenty-seven 27 hepatitis A cases have been reported in Citrus County this year through July 27. Free hepatitis A vaccines are available at the health department.
Beverly Hills men accused in group mugging, kidnapping of man left bound in car in Citrus Springs
Members of the U.S. Marshals and Citrus County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team arrested 25-year-old John Manuel Monsegur III Tuesday and 26-year-old Jonathan White Jr. was transported from the Marion County jail to the Citrus County Detention Facility on July 24, both men are alleged with taking part in the mugging and kidnapping of another man who was left bound in his own car on July 4. They face charges of kidnapping, auto theft, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and armed robbery in connection to the July 4 incident.
Crumps Landing could reopen in September
A July 13 fire at Crump’s Landing that started in a mobile cooking trailer and damaged the main tiki hut and adjacent bathrooms left 139 employees without a job. If all goes as they hope, they may be back at work as early as September, although there’s been no official word. Crump’s owners have the permits to rebuild the existing tiki structure and restroom facilities which were damaged by fire, and repairs have started.
Hot topic of the week: Wednesday’s front page showed Nicole Raymond obviously distraught as she watched her mobile home being demolished after it had been declared unsafe by county code enforcement. There had been numerous violations for junk and debris and unlicensed vehicles — it was an eyesore, a health hazard and a mess. Raymond no longer lived in the home, but was distraught nonetheless. Some comments on the story were of the “good riddance to bad rubbish” variety, but others were pleas for compassion and kindness, not just for Raymond, but in general. Rene Williams Pietroburgo wrote on Facebook, “This is heartbreaking...From the negative responses I fear that hate, revenge and taking joy in the troubles of others is the greater problem here...I’m most upset about the lack of compassion and empathy for a person who is obviously hurting. It doesn’t cost a thing to be kind.”
Quote of the week: “It was something black and shiny, almost like a dive suit. ... We’ve never seen a black dolphin, and it looked fatter than a dolphin.” — Molly Redrick, about the creature she spotted in the water from her dock on King’s Bay.
Good news of the week: When he couldn’t afford to have his well repaired, James Helm, an 81-year-old Vietnam War veteran, washed his clothes in a nearby lake — until Mission United heard about it and got involved. The United Way program that helps veterans in need was able to get the well repaired, plus get Helm help with other needs. Helm is just one of the veterans Mission United helps — and now Mission United needs help from the community with monetary donations and also skilled volunteers to help with repairs. Call Tom O’Brien at 352-795-5483.