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Citrus County named Academically High-Performing School District

Citrus County named Academically High-Performing School District

Citrus County, FL -- Citurs County was named one of 13 school districts in the state designated as 2011-12 Academically High Performing School Districts.

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Eric Smith, issued a congratulating to the districts who earned the prestigious designation.

"These districts have met the rigorous eligibility criteria as outlined in statute that includes compliance with class size, earning high school and district grades, and receiving sound financial audits," Smith said.

Increased sightings already as manatees begin migration

Increased sightings already as manatees begin migration

Manatee migration season has begun with reports last week by two fishermen of hooked manatees near the Katrina Reef/Deer Island area of Biloxi Bay.

“We have 2-5 times more sightings reported in Mississippi than we have had in the past several years, including one of our tagged animals at the Louisiana-Mississippi border,” said Dr. Ruth Carmichael, senior marine scientist, DISL, and director of the Sea Lab’s Marine Sighting Network (MSN). “Something is going on that we do not fully understand, perhaps due to early warmer temperatures and the greater freshwater inputs to the west, but we are definitely looking at evidence of more animals further west earlier in the year this year than we have seen before.”

With the onset of warmer weather, manatees have begun their migration season to our local waters. 

No Swimming Ban Lifted

Citrus County, FL -- It is now safe to swim at Fort Island Gulf Beach.

The Citrus County Health Department lifted the no swim ban on May 12. All prohibiting signs have been taken down.

The beach was closed to swimmers last week. Water samples showed acceptable levels of enterococci and fecal bacteria, the organisms used by the state to determine the potential danger due to bacteria in the water.

The beach is normally tested every Wednesday, and results are usually returned within a day or two.

While it was reopened based on samples taken earlier in the week, health officials remind the public that it is not uncommon for lakes, rivers, and coastal areas to become contaminated with germs from animal waste and from sewage in water runoff following rains.

For information on the Healthy Beach Monitoring Program, go to the county Health Department website at www.citruscountyhealth.org.

Woman in DUI accident dies, driver arrested

Woman in DUI accident dies, driver arrested

Floral City, FL -- A Citrus County woman involved in a DUI accident on Thursday night died from her injuries at Tampa General Hospital.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the accident happened Thursday night, May 13, around 10:30 p.m. on County Road 48 and S. Istachatta Road.

Steven Dickson was driving east on County Road 48 when he swerved to avoid an animal and lost control of the car he was driving.  The car headed onto the south shoulder of County Road 48, overturned, and Steven and his passenger, 62-year-old Deborah Dickson, were both ejected.

Very Berry Market

Citrus County, FL -- It's a blue-ti-ful Day for Red, White & Blueberries at Market Day with Art and Treasures, on the grounds of Heritage Village.

Local farmers will be selling everything blueberry today, to complement the regular market day.

A Blueberry Pancake Breakfast, Blueberry Recipe Contest and a Patriotic Dog & Kid Parade will all be a part of the festivities.

You can check out this very berry festival at The Shoppes of Heritage Village in Crystal River.

Half price pet adoptions offered in June

Citrus County, FL -- Citrus County Animal Services is offering half price adoptions on all dogs and cats from now through the month of June. The cost to adopt a dog is $30 and $17.50 for cats.

The cost includes age appropriate vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and a microchip. To qualify to be an adopter, a resident must own his or her own home or, if renting, obtain a permission letter from the landlord. Also, existing pets in the household must be appropriately licensed by the county.

To view online potentially adoptable pets that Animal Services has at its Inverness shelter, go to www.citruscritters.com. Persons interested in adopting can then visit the shelter at 4030 S. Airport Road in Inverness (behind the Citrus County Fairgrounds) to see the pet in person and begin the adoption process.

Call Animal Services at (352) 746-8400 for more information.

Three injured in Citrus County crash

Three injured in Citrus County crash

Crystal River, FL -- A three-car accident leaves two in serious condition and one with minor injuries in Crystal River Monday morning.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, around 7:40 a.m., Travis Brock, of Bronson, was driving south on US Hwy 19 when his Ford Ranger crossed over the center line and headed into oncoming traffic.

The front of Brock's SUV hit the front end of Robert Potter's Chevy C2500 pickup truck that was heading north on US 19.

Brock's SUV overturned after impact with the truck and was hit by another car driven by Joseph LeBlond, of Inglis, that was also heading north.