Local News

  • County may oust Economic Development Council

    County officials plan to stop funding the more than three-decades-old Sumter County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) and instead agreed to hire a newly created private firm that submitted the highest priced proposal.

    Currently, the county funds the SCEDC, formed in 1975, through the county’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA), which grants funding through bonds.

  • County Fire Rescue awarded $2.1 million

    Sumter County was recently awarded a government grant worth $2.1 million to help fund construction of two new fire stations and the renovation of another.

    The money comes through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a department of U.S. Homeland Security.

    The money was allocated to Sumter County Rescue through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, formerly known as the Stimulus Bill.

  • Community supporter dies

    Russ Weir spent a lifetime working to shape the world – or at the very least, the community he lived in.

    He was instrumental in a major change at Sumter Electric Cooperative; he had two drawers filled with letters to the editor and to various senators and now he will even be noted in a book about the Kennedy family.

    Last weekend, at the age of 89, Weir died. Hospitalized and scheduled to have leg surgery on Saturday, Oct. 17, he “slipped away,” in the early morning hours, according to his daughter Darla Huddleston.

  • Fun-Dango planned

                                                                       Community-wide Fall Fun-Dango<

  • County jail receives funding for expansion

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) recently awarded Sumter County a Recovery Act Edward Memorial Justice Grant in the amount of $302,920.

    The money is to be used to partially fund 17 civilian positions created by the Sumter County Detention Center expansion project.

    The award was announced at the Oct. 27 County Commission meeting.

    According to FDLE funding assistance documents, the grant was necessary due to inmate population increases that resulted in the recent expansion of the jail.

  • Mine owner dies in plane crash

    The president of Mazak Properties near Webster died Monday afternoon along with three other men when the airplane they were aboard crashed near the small town of Benavides, Texas.

    Paul Mazak II, of Webster,  was piloting the private aircraft when it went down in a thicket of mesquite trees on a ranch northwest of town. For more information, see this week's print edition of the Sumter County Times.

  • Cemetery will stay

    The County Commission reversed itself on the Panasoffkee Cemetery relocation before a packed room Tuesday night made up mostly of relocation opponents and media.

    Still more people stood out in the hall and listened to the action through speakers, as there was not adequate space inside the board room to accommodate those in attendance.

    Commissioners brought the issue to a vote within minutes of bringing the meeting to order and voted unanimously in favor of not relocating the Panasoffkee Cemetery. There was no dissent and no debate.

  • Bushnell's Got Talent event slated for Saturday night


  • Tribe protests board's decision

    Representatives of Sumter Native American Tribe conducted a public protest Tuesday afternoon in front of county offices in response to the County Commission’s decision to withdraw a land agreement to create a Native American park in Lake Panasoffkee.

    Commissioners withdrew the agreement saying the tribe has not taken any steps to develop the park during the past two years outlined in the contract.

    The tribe chief, however, claims that discrimination is the basis for the board voiding the agreement, not lack of progress.

  • No tax increase in county budget

    For the fifth consecutive year, the county has produced a budget at or below the rollback rate, which means the budget does not contain a property tax increase.

    The commissioners approved a millage rate of 6.01 per $1,000 of accessed property that represents a .19 percent tax decrease from last year’s rate. The nearly $171,000,000 total budget that includes special funds and all other positive revenue, maintains a General Revenue Fund of $59.8 million, a nearly $34,000 decrease from the last year’s general fund.