September 2017

SWFWMD board approves plans for Homosassa, Chassahowitzka rivers

SWFWMD SWIM Program Logo

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board (SWFWMD) recently approved the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) plans for the Homosassa and Chassahowitzka rivers, meaning all five first-magnitude springs in the District now have established plans for improvement of those water bodies.

The SWIM Act requires the District to maintain a priority list of water bodies of regional and statewide significance and develop plans and programs for their improvement.

Department of Health answers 'Fish Kill' questions

Fish kill on Turner Camp RoadIn the wake of recent Withlacoochee River flooding caused by Hurricane Irma, some areas in Citrus County have experienced an increase in incidents of “Fish Kills” and associated odors brought on by decomposing fish.

Here is some information on the recent fish kill: 

Fish Kill Causes: 

Two arrested in child neglect case

Robert Burdette, 25 and Casey Rocco, 24, both of Homosassa (September 29, 2017)

A Homosassa couple has been arrested and are facing charges of child neglect.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office on Friday said that deputies had responded to a home in Homosassa after a neighbor called in a well-being check on two small children.

All lanes now open on U.S. 19 in Homosassa

Sinkhole being repaired on U.S. 19 in Homosassa near West Green Acres Street  (September 29, 2017)

Homosassa Springs, FL (2:45 p.m.) -- With the left northbound lane just reopened, traffic has been restored to the normal configuration, and all lanes are now open in both directions of US 19 in Homosassa Springs.

Lane closures and traffic shifts had been in place since Tuesday afternoon, when a void was discovered under the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 near West Green Acres Street.

Repairs to fill the void were completed Friday morning, and road restoration was completed in the afternoon.

CCSO keeping eye on Withlacoochee River water level

The water is right at 8.7 feet on Thursday at the bridge at State Road 200 along the Withlacoochee River. PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff's Office on September 28, 2017)
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office spent part of Thursday monitoring the water level along the Withlacoochee River in Citrus County.
 
Sheriff Mike Prendergast rode along with the Sheriff's Office Marine Unit along certain points of the river to get a closer look at the rising waters, and found the water has risen 9 inches at certain points along the river since last Friday.
 

BB&T bank robbery suspect now in custody

John Goff

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office said on Thursday that the serial bank robber responsible for several bank robberies in surrounding counties, including Citrus, is behind bars in Hernando County with several arrest warrants stacked against him.

On Sept. 6 John Goff, 46, of Eufala Ala., walked into the BB&T Bank in Crystal River, demanded money and fled the scene on foot.

FDOT adds new term to Suncoast Parkway II lexicon

The Florida Department of Transportation is looking at Citrus and Marion counties for corridors that would branch off the extension of the Suncoast Parkway II toll road

There has been a new term added to the Suncoast Parkway II project lexicon by the group responsible for extending the parkway from the terminus of U.S. 98 through Citrus County -- and that term is, "Coastal Connector".

The parkway will pick up where it left off and will travel for 13 miles. The county has also asked the Florida Department of Transportation's "Florida's Turnpike" authority for a 2-mile extension from where the 13th mile will end at State Road 44 in Inverness to County Road 486.

Duke Energy Foundation increases Hurricane Irma relief contributions to $1 million

Duke Energy LogoST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- To assist its communities, customers and neighbors devastated by Hurricane Irma, Duke Energy today increased its contribution to relief agencies to $1 million.

Donations include those distributed to United Way of Citrus County.

County passes FY 2017-18 budget, 4-1

Dollar billThe Citrus County Commission on Tuesday passed the budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18 by a vote of 4-1, with Commissioner Ron Kitchen voting nay.

The new Fiscal Year begins on Oct. 1.

County Administrator Randy Oliver said the budget will be $265,468,427 million, which represents a 4.85 percent decrease from Fiscal Year 2016-17 of $279,010,261.

It's official: Non-native plant species not welcome

Citrus County Commission Chairman Scott Carnahan, front row on far right, and the commissioners, back row, from left, present members of the local chapter with a proclamation that declares October 2017 as Florida Native Plant Month in Citrus County (September 26, 2017).

The Citrus County chapter of a statewide plant society was honored on Tuesday with a proclamation from the Citrus County Commission for helping keep non-native species out of Citrus County and, more generally, the state.

The Citrus County Commission has proclaimed October 2017 as Florida Native Plant Month in recognition of the efforts by the local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society to keep foreign plant species out.

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