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Local News

  • Identity theft suspect arrested

    Sumter County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Lindsay J. Cunningham, 27, of Webster charging her with Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information. On Sept. 2, sheriff’s detectives began investigating fraudulent ATM withdrawals from the victim’s bank account without their knowledge or consent. The victim is an unidentified elderly person who Cunningham had befriended.

  • Whitman sings at Pentagon

    Top officers from the United States bowed their heads in memory and honor, the crowd waited silently as the Sept. 11 ceremony of remembrance took place at the United States Pentagon.
    The United States Navy Sea Chanters began a moving rendition of “Amazing Grace.” That’s when family and friends recognized the voice – the clear tenor of Adam Whitman as he performed the lead solo in the song.
    Whitman joined the Sea Chanters in 2009. Growing up in Webster, he was a 2003 graduate of South Sumter High School and class valedictorian.

  • Talent reigns at competition

    The rain came down, but that didn’t stop contestants or the audience in the third round of Lickety Splits karaoke competition last Friday night.
    Dozens of people settled in lawn chairs beneath pop-up tents, under the outdoor sheds and beneath umbrellas to listen as top talents crooned their way to the top spots outside the Bushnell ice cream shop.
    First-place winner Allen Clemmitt wowed the audience and wooed the ladies with his rendition of “Mrs. Jones” kneeling before some of the women as he sang the romantic tune.

  • Sheriffs unite to sting Internet predators

    In conjunction with Florida Missing Children’s Day, Florida sheriffs are declaring war on the online predator epidemic by sharing its Cyber Sexual Predator Initiative with any Florida law enforcement organizations that would like to implement the program in their communities.
    The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office successfully implemented a cybersex sting operation earlier this year called STARCOP that resulted in the arrest of 22 suspects on charges related to attempting to meet children through the Internet for sex.

  • Honored as local hero

    Police officers and firefighters are touted as heroes as they face the bad guys and run into burning buildings. But not all heroes hire on for emergency rescue.
    Consider Tonya Mullan – a four-year driver for Sumter County Transit, loves her job.
    “I love driving, meeting new people and I love helping them,” she said.
    And because of her dedication to her job and love of helping others, Mullan is a hero, saving two lives last year.
    The first incident occurred during the colder months.

  • Meeting of Lake Panasoffkee businesses

    Lake Panasoffkee – The Sumter County Chamber invites all Lake Panasoffkee businesses to the monthly meeting of the Lake Panasoffkee Business Council on Thursday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m., at Catfish Johnny’s Restaurant, 2396 N. County Road 470, Lake Panasoffkee.
    Executive Director Andrew Cripps says one purpose of the meeting will be to gauge interest in a proposal to extend sewer service to commercial properties along County Road 470 in Lake Panasoffkee.

  • New county ambulance service starts Oct. 1

    Beginning in October, Sumter County will have a new company providing emergency services to the county.
    When the new budget year begins on Oct. 1, Rural/Metro Ambulance will launch operations locally to provide ambulance and emergency medical services.
    Representatives of Rural/Metro are scheduled to discuss their role in providing the service when they meet with members of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce at the group’s September lunch meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

  • Villages resident arrested in Internet sex operation

    A resident of The Villages found more than the “taboo couplings” he was allegedly seeking on the Internet, he ended up meeting a sheriff’s office detective who charged him with seeking to meet a minor for sex.
    Jeffrey M. Bieberfeld, 62, was arrested on Wednesday, Aug. 31, for reportedly trying to meet a man and his 14-year-old nephew for a sexual encounter, according to a sheriff’s office report.

  • Chamber chomps chili

    Forget the stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, visitors were met at the medical center door with dried chili beans, plastic spoons and four-ounce cups last week.
    Staff and guests were out for fun as they all participated in the annual Sumter County Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-off, hosted by Thomas E. Langley Medical Center on Thursday, Sept. 1.
    Nearly a dozen chili specialists picked up the gauntlet and took the challenge to see who had the best chili as an estimated 75 people cast their beans.

  • Coleman seeks election change

    The majority of Coleman City Council members are supporting a proposed ordinance that would extend the length of time city officials remain in office by two additional years.
    Currently, the board is in the process of approving an ordinance that will change the election terms for members of the city council and the mayor.
    Historically, the mayor and council members serve a two-year term in office before voters go to the election polls. The proposed ordinance extends those terms from two to four years.