Rodriguez tapped to head Citrus County Community Services

Mariselle Rodriguez is the new Citrus County Community Services. She was formally introduced to the Board of Citrus County Commissioners at the BOCC’s regular meeting on Jan. 21 (January 21, 2020)

Mariselle Rodriguez has taken over as the Citrus County Community Services director.

She came to the job from Cleveland, Ohio.

Rodriguez was formally introduced to the Board of Citrus County Commissioners at the BOCC’s regular meeting on Jan. 21.

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County recognizes landfill employee for first-place showing at International Workshop Competition

Citrus County Solid Waste employee; Carl Ballard, Heavy Equipment Operator displaying his first place award. (Courtesy photo)

The Citrus County Commission on Tuesday recognized one of the county’s own by presenting him with a certificate of recognition of his first-place showing at an international “Road-E-O” competition in Phonenix, Ariz.

Carl Ballard, Heavy Equipment Operator for Citrus County’s Solid Waste Division, competed at the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) International Road-E-O Workshop, Oct. 24-25 at the Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Ariz.

During the conference, Ballard competed in the Compactor Division, and received first place in his field. Carl was invited by SWANA, all-expenses, paid to participate in the International competition after taking first place at the state level SWANA Road-E-O this past March in the Heavy Equipment Division.

More than 100 front-line participants showed off their on-the-job skills operating machinery, driving trucks and repairing equipment at the 2019 International Road-E-O. SThis was the 35th anniversary of the Road-E-O, and it had more participants and spectators than in years past.

The International Road E O promotes skill and safety. The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private-sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research.

The Road-E-O is a multi-day event that includes general sessions on the latest safety practices in the industry, networking events, the Road-E-O competition, awards banquet and more. The event promotes professionalism on the part of drivers, equipment operators and mechanics in the field of Solid Waste Management, and is sponsored by SWANA.  Additionally, the event promotes a spirit of competition and goodwill throughout participating organizations (municipalities, counties and private haulers).

For more than 50 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses. For more information, visit

Congratulation to Carl for representing Citrus County at the international level, his first place award, and applying himself to the training provided at this year’s workshop.

County votes down taking out NY Times digital subscription with 3-2 vote

It was a full house as the Citrus County recosidered its decision to pay for the county library subscription to the New York Times (PHOTO: Robby Douglas on November 19, 2019)

In Citrus County, Florida, county commissioners have voted 3-2 to not take out a digital subscription for the New York Times, but to keep the printed version of the paper instead.

County officials’ during the board’s Oct. 24 meeting drew fire when the paper was alleged to have said the  the paper has been writing “fake news.”

The commissioners were widely criticized by Democrats, Social, local and National Media and County residents .

Below is the video excerpt of the commission’s discussion about the Times.

Mark Avery named Inverness Sertoma Golf Tournament Chair

Mark Avery, Inverness Sertoma
Inverness Sertoman Mark Avery has been named Tournament Chair for the November 24, 2019 “Golf for Kids” Tournament at Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club, the Oaks Course. (PHOTO: Cynthia Oswald)

Inverness Sertoman Mark Avery has been named Tournament Chair for the November 24, 2019 “Golf for Kids” Tournament at Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club, the Oaks Course.

Mark has been with Inverness Sertoma for the past sixteen years and during his tenure has served as club president for four terms, sergeant at arms for five terms, chairman of the board for three terms and received his Tenure Award five years ago in 2013.

Mark is a great supporter of Sertoma and believes in the work of the local club. Mark likes helping people in his community and on a personal note Mark said, “Sertoma helped my grandmother get hearing aids about eight years ago or so, and she is now 95 years old.”

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Cigarette thefts trending in Citrus County

These two suspects are shown in store surveillance during a June 19 theft at the Race Trac at 3310 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy. in Lecanto. If you have any information on these suspects or in reference to this case, please contact the Citrus County Sheriff?s Office Major Crimes Division at 352-726-1121. (June 19, 2019)

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two incidents; a robbery and a theft that occurred in the early morning hours of June 19.

At about 2:45 a.m. on June 19, three black males entered the RaceTrac at 3310 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy. in Lecanto.

They attempted to distract the store clerk by making requests for him to look in the back room for specific merchandise. The three suspects then picked up several sandwiches and brought them to the cashier, presumably to cash out.

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State Attorney’s Office honors Citrus detective

CCSO Detective Bruce Arnold, left, is shown with State Attorney’s Office vVctim Witness Counselor Kari Thompson (CCSO photo)

Brittney Carman,
CCSO Community Relations Specialist

Every April, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office takes part in the observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW).

This dedicated week focuses on how the community, as a whole, can assist victims of crimes and empower those victims to move forward.

During this year’s ceremony on Arpil 11, the 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida State Attorney’s Office (SAO) presented their 2018 “Above and Beyond” certificate of appreciation to Detective Bruce Arnold of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office. The certificate is in recognition of his exceptional work on behalf of victims.

“Detective Arnold is a compassionate advocate for victims and is valid proof that even one individual can profoundly affect others,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “We applaud the progress he has made in our community’s efforts to support and safeguard victims’ rights. Detective Arnold enabled victims to regain their sense of value and we commend him for that.”

Detective Arnold provided the victims of his cases with support and encouragement while they traversed the criminal justice system, assisting greatly in their recovery to rebuild their lives. Simultaneously, he ensured offenders were held accountable for their actions. According to the State Attorney’s Office ceremonial tribute, Det. Arnold demonstrated the message of creating hope, in line with this year’s ceremonial theme of “Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future.” He made sure that the victims in his cases were given the needed resources to help them heal and recover.

“I have had the pleasure of working with this utmost professional in cases involving crimes against children. Detective Arnold has steadfastly demonstrated a high level of devotion and dedication to the victims in his cases,” declared Citrus SAO Victim Witness Counselor, Kari Thompson. “He is compassionate to victims of crime and does his best in bringing justice to victims in the community. He has gone above and beyond with creating hope for victims of crime.”

Neighbor complaints lead to CCSO crackdown

LEFT: Donald Marshall. RIGHT: Donna Suzanne Perry (CCSO photos on March 21, 2019)

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday served a search warrant on a Beverly Hills home following neighbor complaints of suspected drug activity going on at that home.

The result was the arrest of two people at that home, 55 South Lincoln Avenue in Beverly Hills 55 South Lincoln Avenue in Beverly Hills.

Detectives with the Tactical Impact Unit obtained the search warrant after learning the occupants of the home were involved in illegal drug activity.

“We received numerous tips of drug activity occurring at this home. Our detectives and deputies’ hard work and dedication in making sure those tips were fully investigated, resulted in a search warrant being obtained,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast.

“I want to encourage the public to continue providing us with tips regarding illegal drug activity. Community partnerships allow us to enhance our efforts and rid our county of illegal drug activities.”

Complaints from community members and patrol deputies working in the area helped detectives obtain the search warrant for the home. During the execution of the search warrant, detectives located crack cocaine and several items of drug paraphernalia inside the closet of the master bedroom.

After speaking with both occupants, 57-year-old homeowner Donald Marshall and 60-year-old Donna Perry were arrested for possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia. Their bonds were set at $3,000 each.

While still on scene, multiple members from the community proceeded to thank detectives and deputies for addressing this neighborhood nuisance, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Citrus County Citizens’ Academy Recognizes Fall 2018 Graduates

Citizen Academy Facilitator Doug Wright was joined by fall 2018 Citizen Academy Graduates. FROM LEFT: Bea Wright, Cathy Uranni, Mary Laurence, June Randall, Facilitator, Doug Wright, Candi Arnesen and Cathy Schafer. (PHOTO: Cynthia Oswald, BOCC Public Information Officer)

The 2018 Fall Citizens Academy Graduation Event was held on Dec. 13 at the Citrus FCounty Courthouse in Inverness.

acilitator Doug Wright congratulated the participants. and thanked them for spending time learning more about local government.

Graduates recognized for their participation were Bea Wright, Cathy Uranni, Mary Laurence, June Randall, Candi Arnesen, Cathy Schafer, Anne Amann and Patricia Clayton.

The Citrus County Citizens’ Academy is an interactive program that focuses on educating citizens about the County’s governmental operations. Elected officials, Constitutional Officers, Department Directors and county staff host unique and informative sessions designed to give a hands-on inside look into county government operations.

Participants learn about our local government, the community in which we live, and at the end of the twelve sessions, have made new friends, and most of all gained knowledge to be great ambassadors within our community.

For more information on the Citizens’ Academy program or to register for the spring 2019 session please contact Doug Wright at:

Pilot unharmed after emergency landing in Lecanto field

Beechcraft pilot Chris Wood on Thursday was unharmed after an emergency landing in the Lecanto area following engine trouble with the aircraft. The FAA is investigating the cause of the accident. (July 26, 2018)

By Cynthia Oswald,
BOCC Public Information Officer

Beechcraft pilot Chris Wood on Thursday was unharmed after an emergency landing in the Lecanto area following engine trouble with the aircraft. The FAA is investigating the cause of the accident. (July 26, 2018)

Citrus County Fire Rescue was dispatched on Thursday evening to the scene of a plane crash in a field near the corner of North Maylen Avenue and West Sanction Road in Lecanto.

The plane, a twin-engine Beechcraft valued at $450,000, was landed successfully, with only damage to the right wing and fuel cell, about one-half a mile from the nearest roadway after the two engines failed.

The only occupant was the pilot, Chris Woods, who was unharmed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was notified and began investigation Friday morning, July 27. (July 26, 2018)

Inverness Sertoma Club Donates to Boy Scouts

The Inverness Sertoma Club presents the Citrus County Boy Scout Troop 302 for work during the recent Floral City Strawberry Festival

SERvice TO Mankind, SERTOMA. It’s more than just how we got our name, it’s been our foundation for more than 100 years. Sertomans across the country are unified with a single purpose: serve our communities and improve the lives of those who need help.

The Inverness Sertoma Club thanks the scouts, leaders and parents of Citrus County Boy Scout Troop 302 with a check for their volunteer hours donated at this year’s Strawberry Festival, March 3 and 4 in Floral City.

Pictured are Susan Healy, Treasurer, Inverness Sertoma President Bill Catto and Scoutmaster Steve Epple at the Inverness Sertoma Club Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet held on May 3 at the Seven Rivers Golf and Country Club.

For more information about this program or how to become a member of Inverness Sertoma Club contact Cynthia Oswald at .