Deputies charge Crystal River man with child porn possession

Anthony Green of Crystal River. (PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on May 28, 2020)

After a lengthy investigation, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies on Thursday arrested 41-year-old Anthony Green of Crystal River on 11 counts of possession of child pornography.

Based on information received during the course of the investigation, a search warrant was executed on an “electronic device” owned by Green.

As a result of the search warrant, Detective Barry of the CCSO High Tech Crimes Unit was able to identify images depicting child pornography that had been downloaded and saved on the device.

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USDA to implement Trump’s executive order on meat, poultry processors

(Washington, D.C., April 28, 2020) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order to keep meat and poultry processing facilities open during the COVID-19 national emergency.

“I thank President Trump for signing this executive order and recognizing the importance of keeping our food supply chain safe, secure, and plentiful. Our nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities play an integral role in the continuity of our food supply chain,” said Secretary Perdue.

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Former Citrus High School substitute teacher sentenced

Angela Jean Stanton

On June 19, former CHS substitute teacher Angela Stanton was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Howard.

After hearing testimony from victims and the case detective, Judge “Ric” Howard sentenced Stanton to eight years in the Department Of Corrections, followed by one year of probation.

She will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

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County offices closed in observance of the July 4 holiday

BOCC SealCitrus County Government offices will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2019 in observance of July 4 Holiday.

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Citrus County Animal Services receives 2nd nat’l Maddie’s Fund® grant

Citrus County Animal Services has just received its second grant from Maddie’s Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

The Maddie’s Fund® Challenge Completion Award for the Get ‘Em Home Challenge in the amount of $1,000. Maddie’s Fund® supports the lifesaving efforts made by staff and volunteers at the Animal Shelter.

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School Safety

The Citrus County Commission, Sheriff and School District have begun talks about how to fund state-mandated school safety officers

The Citrus County Commission, Sheriff and School District have begun talks about how to fund state-mandated school safety officers for every school, not only in the county, but statewide. It’s not going to be cheap for struggling counties (March 27, 2018)

 

Search warrant yields six arrests in Hernando

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) served a search warrant on Monday at 1119 East McKinley Street in Hernando.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) served a search warrant on Monday at 1119 East McKinley Street in Hernando.

As a result, six people were placed under arrest on charges ranging from grand theft to possession of drugs and paraphernalia:

  • Michael Northcut – organized fraud, uttering (12 counts); Grand Theft $300-$5000 (9 Counts); Grand Theft $5000-$10000 (2 Counts); Forgery (2 Counts)
  • Joseph Vickers – Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon; Tampering with Evidence; Possession of Controlled Substance (Cocaine); Possession of Controlled Substance (Oxycodone); Possession of Paraphernalia
  • Dwanna Bunch – Possession of Controlled Substance (Cocaine); Possession of Controlled Substance (Oxycodone); Possession of Paraphernalia
  • Duwan Scott – Possession of Controlled Substance (Cocaine); Possession of Motor Vehicle with Altered VIN; Possession of Paraphernalia
  • Lataesha Vickers – Possession of Marijuana Under 20 grams
  • Jerome Bunch – Possession of Marijuana Under 20 grams; Possession of Paraphernalia

The Sheriff’s Office said that the investigation began on Dec. 6, 2017 when a burglary was reported in Crystal River. During the burglary, the victim’s personal information and information regarding companies that he does business with were compromised.

In February 2018, the CCSO began getting reports of high-dollar items being bought throughout Citrus County using counterfeit checks bearing the names and information of the businesses from the December burglary.

Detectives from Community Crimes and Major Crimes teamed up and identified the main suspect, Michael Northcut. Northcut was living at 1119 East McKinley St.;, however, he was using the address and mailbox of the vacant house next door to receive all of the mail that he was getting as a result of his fraudulent activity, investigators said. The investigation continued, and detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for the house in order to retrieve stolen property.

On Monday morning, the search warrant was executed, and multiple subjects were at the residence when detectives arrived on scene. During the search, detectives found drugs in almost every room including cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana. Drug paraphernalia was also located.

Two firearms and a large amount of stolen property were seized and recovered from the scene.

This investigation identified 16 victims, who accepted fraudulent checks from the defendant(s). CCSO was able to return property to 12 of the victims. In total, the agency recovered $28,686 in stolen property that will be returned to the rightful owners.

“Our agency did an outstanding job today putting an end to this organized crime ring and arresting six suspects clearly participating in fraud and drug activities in our community. Many of the victims in this case were small business owners that lost $5,000 to $6,000 dollars in inventory. We will not tolerate this type of criminal activity that harms our businesses or the members of our community.” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds residents that a check from a business may be fraudulent. Keep these points in mind:

  • Verify that the business exists. and is still in operation.
  • Verify that the person writing the check is authorized to write checks from the business.
  • If the person passing the check brings it in already signed, or there is a driver’s license number already written on the check, a further inspection into the validity of the check is warranted.

If you feel you may be a victim in this case or have information that would assist in this investigation, call the Sheriff’s Office at 352-726-1121 and ask for Major Crimes or contact CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-ANY-TIPS (269-8477).

 

Nature Coast Volunteer Center holds Recognition Celebration

Nature Coast Volunteer Center (NCVC) held its annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration and Luncheon on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Central Ridge Community Center.

FOREGROUND, FROM LEFT: County Commissioners Chairman Ron Kitchen presenting the President’s Call to Service Lifetime Award to Mary Stiles, Maureen Le Mons, Ron Kornatowski, Linda Elliott (Photo by Cynthia Oswald, BOCC Public Information Officer)

Nature Coast Volunteer Center (NCVC) held its annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration and Luncheon on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Central Ridge Community Center. This year’s event honored the 517 Volunteer who in 2017 served 81,395 hours at a value of $1,964, 872.

The honorees were:

President’s Call to Service Lifetime Award (4,000 hours of volunteer service)

Linda Elliott, Ron Kornatowski, Maureen LeMons, Mary Stiles

15 Years of Service

Robert Baker, Nina Farewell, Barbara Harmon, Terry McMillan, Norman Peterson, Barbara Rezac, Jan Squires

10 Years of Service

Ann Bricker, Robert Bricker, Raymond Finnerty, Steffi Finnerty, Betty Lewis, Curtis Noel, Dorothy Ochtera, George Scalzi, Joanne Wassell

5 Years of Service

Dale Borger, Dorothy Caracciolo, Klaara Craig, Michael Frazier, Maxine Hulse, Rebecca Johnson, Betty Lindskog, Heather Nagy, Barbara Nickoles, Elaine Seissler, James Shidner, James Smith, Sharon Slaughter, Vivian Sousa, Peggy Stillman

The goal of the NCVC is to expand services to the citizens of Citrus County through the dedicated efforts of volunteers of all ages. Volunteers are placed in special events, short-term projects, or ongoing positions within a variety of local non-profit organizations, government agencies and facilities.

 

Feb. 18-22 night lane closures on U.S. 19

Night lane closures on U.S. 19

Homosassa Springs, FL — Periodic lane closures may take place in each direction of US 19 (Suncoast Boulevard) from West Green Acres Street to South Jump Court between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday through Thursday (February 18 – 22) nights.

Be alert to possible lane shifts.

 

Did we lose millions?

I have been greatly bothered by what transpired in that meeting, not in how things are working as I feel our board has a good working relationship.

In our first meeting of the Citrus county commission this year, we started off the year with a mistake.

I know this is not how I usually start my articles, but I have been greatly bothered by what transpired in that meeting, not in how things are working, as I feel our board has a good working relationship.

No the issue at hand is that we took an action that basically punished a resident of Citrus county for doing the right thing.

We have within the county government what’s called an affordable housing advisory committee (AHAC), this committee is organized to help insure proper policy is set for affordable housing as well as to be advocates for affordable housing.

We recently re-appointed four individuals to the board, but for some unknown reason replaced one.

The one we replaced is Cheryl Lambert and she was holding the position set aside for the realtors, a position she has held for quite some time.

Why did we replace her? Truly I have no clue.

But let me explain why we made a mistake and how it could negatively affect Citrus County.

Cheryl Lambert is a state wide leader on the issue of affordable housing, she was appointed by Governor Scott to be a part of the Florida State Task Force on Affordable Housing.

This task force was established to advise the Governor, Senate President and the Speaker of the House on issues dealing with affordable housing as well as the funding that should be directed.

Cheryl has also been my advisor on affordable housing when I was in the Florida House and now as a County Commissioner.

Cheryl is working on a project that could eventually see millions of dollars of funding from an altruist who lives in the Villages and wants to do what he can to help people.

It’s funny that the day she was removed from the AHAC board, she was in Tallahassee because that week was Great American Realtor Days in which they held meetings with legislators from both chambers to highlight the importance of affordable housing and why additional funding for these programs is critical to address the housing crisis Florida is now facing.

Cheryl has led the effort to educate legislators over the past several years on the impact the housing trust funds have on communities across Florida. This does not include her efforts at a national level, where last May she met with Secretary Carson in Washington DC to not only discuss Affordable Housing issues and the potential budget cuts, but to also thank him and his team for releasing the last CDBG Grant to Citrus County.

As you can see from the things that she has done, she is one of the most knowledgeable and respected people dealing with affordable housing, not only here in Citrus County, but throughout the entire state.

Her reward for years of dedicated service to the citizens of Citrus County… removal from the AHAC.

Could it be that she was removed because she made me aware that we have as a County, never properly followed the law when it came to dealing with affordable housing and surplus lands?

Did she take on the proverbial city hall and get smacked down for it?

Where is the press which is supposed to find out why these things are done, because I can’t ask why this was done due to it would potentially be a violation of the Florida Sunshine Law.

Now let me be clear, the lady who is now sitting in the position of real estate professional, whom I’ve never met in over seven years of dealing with affordable housing will likely do an adequate job and I hope to build a strong working relationship with her, so this is in no way a slight to her.

But what was the reason that Cheryl Lambert was removed? Did her efforts in working with me to bring to light the fact that since the states creation of surplus lands for affordable housing law, that we the county have never fully followed the law, cause her to be unceremoniously removed?

Or was it because her replacement is assumed to be a better candidate, if so what is it that makes her replacement more qualified to be the lead realtors advocate on the AHAC?

It’s unlikely that we can go back and correct this error, it’s even more unlikely that we will ever find out why this all transpired and I just hope that it isn’t going to cause us to lose “Millions of dollars” to help people who are struggling to afford to live in this Community.

I just want to say publicly to Cheryl, thank you for all you’ve done, many of us appreciate all the years of travel, research and advocacy that you have done on behalf of struggling families and the homeless in Citrus County and throughout the entire state.

I look forward to continuing to work with you to improve the quality of life for the residents of Citrus County.

Even though it seems the way some reward hard work is through the punishment of removal, some of us are truly grateful of all you’ve done.

Jimmie T. Smith,

Citrus County Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith, District 3