Sen. Dean asks PSC to consider Duke Energy meter policy

Sen. Charlie Dean on Tuesday expressed his concern with the Duke Energy meter rerouting program in Central and Western Florida.

Sen. Dean sent a letter to Public Service Commission Chairman Art Graham on Tuesday outlining his concerns.

“As I have read news article after article where consumers are having to pay an exorbitant additional charge through no fault of their own, due to a decision made by Duke Energy which has extended the billing cycle for some customers by over a week,” Dean wrote.

HCA deal approved by hospital board

INVERNESS -- The Citrus County Hospital Board of Trustees (CCHB) today announced that the long-time hospital transaction is closer to coming to closure, to the benefit of the community and taxpayers.  

The CCHB on Friday voted to execute the master agreement and lease agreement to transfer operations of the Citrus Memorial Hospital to the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).  

Citrus County July 2014 unemployment rate at 8.0 percent

After months of steady improvement, Citrus County's unemployment rate for July 2014 rose to 8.0 percent.

The unemployment figures throughout the state were released today by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).

According to those figures, the county's unemployment rate for June 2014 stood at 7.5 percent, and at 8.9 percent in July 2013. In neighboring Hernando County, the unemployment rate was 8.4 percent for July 2014, up from June 2014, when the rate was 7.4 percent. But those numbers beat Hernando County's July 2013's rate of 9.4 percent.

Animal activists protest state of county animal shelter

The Citrus County Commission meeting chambers were clogged on Tuesday with a number of animal activists protesting the lack of a full-time veterinarian and what they said were deplorable conditions at the shelter.

All had prepare statements they read before county commissioners outlining their complaints.

New doctor joins SRRMC staff

CRYSTAL RIVER -- On June 15, Michele-Trang Thi Ho, MD, was appointed to the medical staff at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Ho specializes in internal medicine.

Dr. Ho is a graduate of Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She completed her internal medicine residency at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, NC. Dr. Ho is board eligible in internal medicine.

For more information about the hospital and its medical staff, visit

County names new Animal Services director

Citrus County Community Services will be welcoming Kevin Mallory as the new Director of Animal Services on Monday, Aug. 11.

He comes from Pasco County where he served as Animal Services Supervisor for 14 years. Kevin’s experience includes management of shelter and field staff, budget oversight, organization of adoption events, as well as seven months as interim manager.

He also assisted with writing and updating the policy and procedure manual in Pasco County, as well as their 2012-13 Business Plan.

Sheriff's Office affiliated with Military Order of the Purple Heart

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office today became the first law enforcement in the state and nation to become an official Purple Heart Law Enforcement Agency.

Ceremonies were observed today at the CCSO's Emergency Operations Center in Lecanto by Sheriff Jeff Dawsy and members of Citrus County's Aaron A. Weaver Chapter 776 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and special guests.

Duke Energy Florida to auction tools , equipment from CR3 nuke plant

Duke Energy Florida announced today it will sell at auction a wide variety of new and used tools and equipment, ranging from cranes to hand tools, from its retired Crystal River Nuclear Plant.

The proceeds from the sale of the assets directly benefit customers by reducing future billing associated with the nuclear plant.

Fogarty graduated with honors from Navy basic training

FHTNC -- Navy Seaman Apprentice Christian M. Fogarty, son of Bryan K. and Brandy L. Fluegel of Inverness, was recently promoted to his current rank and graduated with honors from U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

Fogarty received the early promotion for outstanding performance during all phases of the training cycle.

Prescription drug savings available for residents

The NACo Prescription (Free) Discount Card is provided to residents in a joint effort between Citrus County and the National Association of Counties (NACo). County residents without prescription coverage can use this program.

Even if an individual has prescription insurance coverage, they may still benefit from the discount card since it may save money on prescriptions that your existing plan does not cover.

Just remember to present the card when you pick up your prescription to get the best possible price available.

CF Citrus Campus offers digital scholarships

LECANTO - Students are encouraged to apply now for one of six $5,000 scholarships in the College of Central Florida’s new Digital Media program at the Citrus Campus, thanks to $30,000 in support from AT&T.

“We applaud AT&T’s commitment to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives,” said Dr. Vernon Lawter, vice president of the CF Citrus Campus. “We are excited to share this opportunity with our students.”


The Women’s HEALTH and FITNESS Expo gets better every year. Is this your year to participate?

Veterans Services to change schedule

The Citrus County Veterans Service Department has announced that, effective Aug. 1, there will be no Case Manager available on Wednesdays at Lakes Region Library, Homosassa Library and Coastal Regional Library.

The department said this will be the case "until further notice".

For assistance, call 352-527-5915 to schedule an appointment at the Veterans Services Officer's office in Lecanto.

Region's unemployment rate up 0.1%

OCALA - CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion’s regional jobless rate was 7.2 percent in June 2014, up 0.1 percent from May.

There were 14,594 unemployed out of a labor force of 201,415. That rate is down 1.6 percentage points over the year and 3.0 percentage points lower than June 2012.

BOCC OK's private road maintenance program

The county commission on July 8 approved an administrative regulation that provides for a maintenance program for private roads was approved.

The administrative regulation describes the program by which citizens that reside on a private road may petition the County to provide improvements and/or maintenance to their road, funded through a special assessment.

Use summer savvy on the water

By Katie Mehl,
Citrus Memorial Health System

Citrus County natives and visitors are celebrating summer with the highly anticipated scallop season now in full swing.


Missing Inverness woman located


The Citrus County Sheriff's Office said on Saturday that missing Inverness resident Bethany Joy Eberhardt, 46, returned safely to her home overnight.

She is with her family and being evaluated and interviewed, the CCSO said, and seems to be in good health.

The CCSO thanks the members of the Citrus County community for their support.

More information is expected as it becomes available.

County commission approves vacation of Sugarmill stub-out

The Citrus County Commission on Thursday voted 3-0 to approve vacating a stub-out in a section of the Oak Village portion of Sugarmill Woods.

Commissioners Rebecca Bays and Joe Meek both said they were advised by the Florida Ethics Commission to recuse themselves from the meeting.

Bays recused herself, she said, because she provides insurance to Hernando County developer Nachum Kalka. Meek said he was recusing himself because his father had built "spec" homes for Kalka.

Tuesday afternoon fire damages Inverness home

No injuries are reported in a Tuesday afternoon fire at 29 N Bradshaw Terrace in Inverness.

Citrus Sheriff Fire Rescue units were dispatched to the fire at 5:40 p.m. and found the single-family block home about 25 percent involved in flames, the fire report said.

Fire was coming from the roof, and was contained by firefighters from the inside of the home. The flames were brought under control after the fire had consumed about 35 percent of the home.


Hospital attorneys hurry to get county onboard with HCA matter

Attorneys representing the governing boards of community's Citrus Memorial Hospital on Tuesday rushed to the Citrus County Commission to ask the county for help with their efforts in seeking an opinion from the Florida Attorney General.



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