County

Citrus County's July unemployment rate at 6.2 percent

OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 18, 2017) – The unemployment rate for the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion held at 5.3 percent in July, which was 1.1 percentage point lower than the region’s rate of 6.4 percent one year ago. Out of a labor force of 199,816, there were 10,557 unemployed.

Significantly, that’s 2,016 fewer unemployed and 4,555 more working than in July 2016.

CR 491 Road construction debris recycled, repurposed

Nothing is going to waste during the CR491 road widening project (August 2017)

By Cynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Nothing is going to waste during the CR491 road widening project, officially named; County Road 491 Phase I Roadway and Regional Storm Water and Utility Improvements Project. 

Thanks to project contractor Commercial Industrial Corporation (CIC), the project has become a “best practices” for construction debris repurposing.

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Hackers take down appraiser websites in Citrus, Manatee

This notice was posted on Monday following a hack attack at property appraisers' web sites in Citrus and Manatee counties (August 14, 2017)
The Citrus County Property Appraiser's website and Manatee County Property Appraiser were hacked on Monday.
 
It is thought that Iranian hackers took down the sites, and some media have reported that the two sites had an image with the words, "Hacked" and "Hacked by Iranian Hackers."
 
"You may have seen that our Property Appraiser website has supposedly been hacked," wrote Citrus County Property Appraiser Les Cook on the appraiser's facebook page on Monday night. 
 
"The issue is being addressed and we hope to have our page back

Two county water-quality projects get state funding

Wastewater area

Under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced a suite of 40 projects that will receive $50 million from the Fighting for Florida’s Future budget to improve water quality, reduce nutrient loading, recharge water supply and protect habitat in Florida’s iconic spring systems.

This includes a state investment of more than $9 million to protect springs in Southwest Florida, including Aripeka, Weeki Wachee, Kings Bay, Crystal and Rainbow springsheds.

Domestic violence incident ends in attempted murder charge

Marco Antonio Johnson, Jr., 24, of Crystal River
At 4:09 on Monday, deputies were dispatched to a home in Crystal River in reference to a well-being check. 
 
When they arrived, they found the victim, Erica Adrianne Calculli, 24, of Crystal River, in a bedroom unresponsive with head injuries. She was transported to a regional trauma center, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said.
 
Detectives from the Major Crimes Unit responded to assist in the investigation as to what happened.
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County works out space needs requirements

BOCC SealThe Citrus County Commission and the county's constitutional officers were able to make headway on Thursday in working out space needs to handle needs into the future.
 
Commissioners called the end result of the process "historic."
 
The need for more, or different, space by the sheriff's office, court system, Guardian Ad Litem, the Board of County Commissioners, Supervisor of Elections and Clerk of Courts has been a hot-button issu

Progressive Amateur Golf Tour forming

Golf BallCrystal River -- The Citrus County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) announces the first Progressive Amateur Golf Tour, a professi

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'Save Ozello' effort targets rezoning push

No Rezoning sign for The Village at Pirate’s Cove in Ozello

Ozello, FLA. -– "Yard Sign Army" donated 50 “No Re-zoning” yard signs to the "Committee to Save Ozello."

The signs went quickly at the Committee’s June 17 meeting.

The yard signs are intended to amplify residents’ objections to a Tennessee developer’s application to rezone property from residential to commercial in order to build a multiuse complex.

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Team effort secures grant for Sugarmill Woods landscape project

Sugarmill Woods logo

By Cynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Citrus County Administrator Randy Oliver was notified by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on July 18 that Citrus County’s requested funding of the State Road 700 (U.S. Hwy 98/West Ponce De Leon Boulevard) landscape project was approved for $395,000. 

'Blessings' and 'Feed The Kids' programs supported by United Way

Pictured are, from left, United Way’s CEO, Amy Meek and COO, and Meghan Pitzer. Amy and Meghan are shown packing Blessings’ bags. (July 2017)

Inverness, FL (7/17/2017) –- Citrus County Harvest has been awarded $40,000 by United Way of Citrus County. It is the largest grant to be received by Harvest since the creation of their Blessings program in 2009.

“The United Way grant will help fund two programs in the 2017-2018 academic year,” said Grace Hengesbach, Harvest’s Executive Director.  

Sabal Trail gas flowing from Alabama to Florida

Sabal Trail Project

LAKE MARY, Fla. –- Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC (Sabal Trail), a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: SEP), NextEra Energy, Inc., and Duke Energy, announced today that on July 3, 2017, it placed into commercial service its pipeline system and facilities from Alexander City, Alabama, to the Central Florida Hub in Kissimmee, Fla.

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Search warrant yields meth finds in Inverness

Steven Lockyer, 55, of Inverness

Early this morning, members of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) executed a search warrant at 2187 S. Border Ave in Inverness.

Deputies with the TIU’s Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) Squad received information that the owner of the home, Steven Lockyer, 55, of Inverness, was actively dealing in methamphetamine.

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CHS teacher attends Duke Energy-sponsored science event in Colorado

Amanda McKenna (right), a science teacher at Citrus High School in Inverness, examines insects from a water-quality testing activity at Keystone Science School’s Key Issues Institute on June 23. Duke Energy sponsored 14 Florida teachers to attend the STEM education-focused training, along with 19 other teachers from across the country. Duke Energy has sponsored 116 teachers from its seven-state service territory to attend KSS over the past 20 years who have implemented innovative STEM concepts in their loca
Citrus High School teacher Amanda McKenna this year was invited to a special training session in Colorado, thanks to a grant from Duke Energy.
 
McKenna joined 13 other Duke Energy-sponsored teachers for five days of training in Keystone, Colo.
 
Since 1976, Keystone Science School, or KSS, has taught scientific principles and leadership skills to young people, teachers, and community members through engaging hands-on field experiences.
 
Because today's youths are our future leaders, KSS developed interactive science education p

TOP VIDEO: Jim Bitter Bridge

Citrus County commissioners and members of the public joined together to honor a deceased local icon by putting icon Jim Bitter's name on the Halls River Bridge in Homosassa.

Former Presbyterian worship leader arrested on sex charges

Chad Robison, 36, of Hernando
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office announced today the arrest of a former worship director on several sex charges, including video voyeurism, and lewd and lascivious exhibition.
 
Arrested was Chad Robison, 36, of Hernando, who was worship director at Seven Rivers Presbyterian from 2011 to 2017.
 
At a media news conference in Lecanto today, Sherif Mike Prendergast said that Citrus County detectives started this case back in May when a coworker discovered "inappropriate videos" on Robison’s laptop that he had left at work.

Altrusa celebrates centennial

Citrus County's chapter of Altrusa International is celebrating Altrusa Centennial Month. (July 11, 2017)
Citrus County's chapter of Altrusa International is celebrating Altrusa Centennial Month.
 
Altrusa International of Citrus county, Inc. was chartered in 1985 to improve the quality of life in the community through service projects, to show positive membership growth, and to increase public awareness of Altrusa in Citrus County.
 
Citrus County Altrusa members have provided thousands of service hours to the community, while Altrusa International volunteers have provided more than a million house of service to other communities around the world.
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Halls River Bridge keeps name, but also honors environmental activist

The late Jim Bitter of Homosassa

Homosassa's Hall's River Bridge will still be called that, but there will be a second sign that honors longtime environmental activist Jim Bitter.

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Accused burglars caught red-handed in Crystal River

LEFT: Christian Wein, 38. RIGHT: David Paul Curry, 46.
Two men were apparently caught red-handed on Monday morning as sheriff's deputies responded to a burglar alarm alert at Natalia's Restaurant, 771 N.E. 5th St. in Crystal River.
 
According to the arrest report, a deputy responding to the alarm spotted a suspicious vehicle behind the business with a towel covering the license plate of a red Ford Escape.
 
Also inside were Christian Wein, 38, of 2850 N. Crede Avenue #25, and David Paul Curry, 46, of 2714 N. Reynolds Ave. in Crystal River.
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Water district acquires Rainbow River Ranch property

Rainbow River

Purchase made in partnership with Nature Conservancy

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) has closed on the purchase of the environmentally important Rainbow River Ranch.

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