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Crews search 40,000+ acres for missing pilot

Lecanto, Florida -- Right now, more than 125 people are scouring some of the thickest woods in Florida searching for missing pilot Theodore Weiss.

Investigators believe his small plane likely went down Saturday in the Withlacoochee State Forest in Citrus County after he left Dunnellon Airport near Ocala, heading for Zephyrhills.

The huge effort to find the pilot and his plane is based out of a command post on the edge of the forest in Lecanto.

Fatal pedestrian accident in Citrus County

Crystal River, Florida -- A pedestrian crossing Highway 41 died after being hit by a car.

Around 8 p.m. on Friday evening Judith Corman was driving her Ford Ranger on US 41. Near Mossy Oak Road Rebecca Young traveled in the path of the vehicle and, due to low-light conditions, was hit by the car.

Young died at the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

Citrus paramedics busted for making meth

Citrus County, Florida -- A search warrant at a home in Inverness resulted in the arrest of three people, two of which were paramedics working for Naturecoast EMS.

The search home on South Fernpark Terrace was searched on Wednesday after a month long investigation into methamphetamine manufacturing at the home. Found inside the home were all the chemicals needed to make meth and numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia.

Stephanie Smith, Jeffrey Kehr and Heather Carson were all arrested. Kehr and Carson are both paramedics and arrested at their place of work.

Recent rise in truck thefts in Citrus County

Citrus County, Florida --  Deputies have seen an increase in thefts of FordF250/F350 trucks in the area. 

So far 10 trucks have been stolen throughout the county since early December. Surrounding counties have also seen a rash of truck thefts and deputies are actively working with these jurisdictions to identify suspects in these cases.

Authorities are advising that people who own a Ford F250/F350 truck to keep it locked at all times and if possible - kept in a garage. 

Florida Manatee Festival 2014

Crystal River, Florida-- The Florida Manatee Festival kicks off Saturday, January 18.  

The two day event offers visitors the opportunity to view the manatee in its own environment. 

There will be live entertainment and a Fine Art show featuring exhibitors from across the country. It's taking place off US 19 and Citrus Avenue in Crystal River.



Nuclear plant shutting down, but customers still pay

Crystal River, Florida -- In 60 years, the smoke will be blown out for good at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant, and that's why Duke Energy was in Crystal River Thursday answering questions to customers about the facility's decommissioning.

"Nuclear safety is our top priority," says Heather Danenhower, spokesperson with Duke Energy.

Danenhower says 300 people still work at the plant, making sure things are safe and secure as possible.

Manatees seeking warmth pack Tampa Bay-area waters

CRYSTAL RIVER, Florida (AP) - Hundreds of heat-seeking manatees are packing the warm water springs at a Tampa Bay-area national wildlife refuge.

That's prompted officials to close those waters to humans to safeguard the protected marine mammals.

Roughly 300 manatees have packed into the canal leading to the Three Sisters Springs at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. On Tuesday, officials instituted an emergency closure of the springs to activities such as swimming and kayaking so that the manatees would not be disturbed.