Local News

  • Helping Out

    As Thanksgiving rolls in, there are dozens of families who have spent some time expressing their gratitude to the Coleman First Assembly of God.

    That’s because each month, for the past 10 years, the church has worked to make sure those families have food through their Helping Hands Food Bank.

    The food was distributed last Saturday. For some it was their holiday meal, for others, it was what they needed to simply make it through the month.

  • Ceremony honors vets

    This weekend, veterans of all branches of the military, Merchant Marines, prisoners of war and those missing in action will be honored with a special ceremony at Florida National Cemetery.

    The Bushnell cemetery will be the site for Wreaths Across America, a holiday wreath-laying ceremony to honor and remember the nation’s veterans.

    The wreath-laying at gravesites will be between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12.

  • Steering transportation $$ beyond Villages

    A reapportionment plan under consideration by Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) would name the entire county as an MPO designated area, an advantage currently exclusive to The Villages.

    The MPO’s regional planning allows for the annual allocation of millions of dollars in federal transportation funding, including funding originating from the Stimulus Bill passed by Congress earlier this year.

    Sumter County, outside of The Villages, lacks representation as a designated area by the (MPO) even though the group bears its name.

  • Chill keeps on coming

    National Weather Service Meteorologist Richard Rude said Sumter Wednesday morning could be as low as 25 degrees between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., he said.

  • House fire starts in attic

    Mary Ann and Charlie Groover were having dinner with their daughter Nicole van der Valk on Monday night when they got a phone call from their granddaughter — their Lake Panasoffkee home was on fire.

    It was just a few minutes before 10 p.m. A family friend had been driving by and noticed the smoke, called the fire department.

    “I never speed, but I wanted to speed,” said Groover of their drive home.

  • Dade Battle reenactment planned

    During the first weekend of the New Year, the acrid scent of exploding gunpowder will waft through a south Sumter pine forest as the smoke from cannons and muskets blanket the forest with blue smog.

    On Saturday, Jan. 2, and Sunday, Jan. 3, “Dade’s Battle,” the 29th Annual Reenactment of Dade’s Battle, depicting the annihilation of Major Francis Langhorne Dade’s command, will be presented at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, near Bushnell.

  • Horsing around

    An ancient breed founded by the Hapsburg family of Austria, their above-ground leaps and plunges called “airs” inspired terror in the hearts of foot soldiers during the 16th century.

    A mid-air kick from a Royal Lipizzan stallion could kill a combatant faster than a sword strike, or break the arm behind a warrior’s shield.

  • Wildwood Winterfest in the Works

    Winter's rolling in and the fun’s heading south - all the way to Wildwood and the Fourth Annual Wildwood Winterfest,

    This year’s event is themed "A Wildwood Christmas by Dr. Seuss," including two fun-filled days of activity. This year’s event is slated for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11 and 12, according to event chairman Brian Gibson.

    The concept is to draw a larger crowd with a two-day event and attract tourists to stay in the area overnight.

  • Cities prepare for upcoming elections

    On Tuesday, Dec. 8, voters in Sumter’s five cities will be heading to the election polls to determine the outcome of various city council races and a mayoral election in Wildwood. City election polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


    Mayoral race Group 1

    Jay Turner is challenging incumbent Mayor Ed Wolf.

    Wolf, 63, a retired teacher and Wildwood Middle School coach, has been the city’s major for 22 years and a City Commission member for 11 years.

  • On the circuit

    As different as Clark Kent and Superman, 5th Circuit Court Judge William Hallman and “Bud” Hallman, champion steer wrestler, are two very different personas rolled up in one six-foot-four, 56-year-old frame.

    “Physical things like running and steer wrestling frees endorphins and relieves stress. Exercise keeps me focused on working out life’s problems,” says Hallman.

    The judge was recently judged Steer Wrestling Champion of the 2009 Dodge Circuit Finals Rodeo after besting much younger cowboys with a three-steer average of 16.5 seconds.