Local News

  • Webster reunites

    They munched on barbecue meals, drank lemonade and chatted about days gone by.
    The weather may have been threatening last Saturday but the conversations were anything but as people gathered together at the Webster Farmer’s Market for the annual Webster Cemetery Association Picnic and the 11th annual Webster High School
    This year’s school reunion was sponsored by the graduating class of 1951.
    Dave Collins welcomed the former students as they collected together under the cover of a market stall to mingle and reminisce.

  • Villages assault baffles cops

    Sheriff’s deputies have no idea how a 41-year-old Summerfield man was assaulted last Saturday night in The Villages — and neither does the victim.
    The incident happened about 9:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Village square near the intersection of Canal Street and Lakeshore Drive, according to sheriff’s Lt. Bobby Caruthers.
    When deputies arrived, a large crowd had gathered in the roadway around the victim, Caruthers said. As a deputy approached the man, he saw blood coming from his head and he appeared to only be partially conscious.

  • Police: Three necklaces, but not the right ones

    A robbery victim in The Villages had three necklaces returned to her last week, unfortunately, they weren’t the necklaces that had been stolen from her home.
    The theft happened on the 1400 block of Juarez Place when a resident hired a neighbor, Steven Bates, 21, to do some yard work for her, according to sheriff’s Lt. Bobby Caruthers.
    The woman noticed Bates coming out of her master bedroom and questioned him about being inside, Caruthers said. Bates reportedly told her that he had to use the bathroom.

  • On the hunt

    Nearly 40 hunters turned out for an afternoon dove hunt last week in Webster.
    The event was a fundraiser hosted by Sumter County Longbeards members in a local hayfield last Saturday. Shirley and Lamar Parker led the effort with Longbeards members cooking lunch and coordinating the afternoon. The meal was homemade barbecue, potato salads and other sides and desserts like strawberry cake and chocolate pecan pie.
    Member Kathy Brannen said the crowd spent most of the day relaxing after lunch and at about 5 p.m. began the hunt.


    While Spirit Week certainly isn’t designed to reconnect you with some entity that’s “crossed over” but at South Sumter High School, it’s definitely a week that sparks the imagination and unleashes more than the average pom-pom or football jersey from the closet.
    This week, peace signs, tie dye and psychedelic were standard – as well as the poodles on fluffy skirts. There were ponytails and bobby socks, stuffed animals, “binkies” and even toddlers and tiaras.


    As cooler temperatures start to settle in, fall is in the air, and it’s definitely on the calendar. Here’s a listing of some upcoming events that will get you ready for the season.
    Thursday, Oct. 6
    You can start with a sampling of a variety of signature dishes at “A Taste of Simply Sumter.” This Chamber of Commerce event is from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Continental Country Club in Wildwood. Tickets cost $25 and allow you to sample some special dishes served up by a variety of local restaurants.

  • Administrative assistant retires

    It was Doris T. King Day last Friday in Wildwood, just in case you didn’t know.
    The City Council recently issued a proclamation naming the special day in her honor. After 34 years, or rather 34 and a half years — she just won’t let you forget that additional half year — King retired from working for the City of Wildwood on her day of honor.
    King, executive assistant to the city manager, leaves her long-time employment with lots of good memories and excitement about things to come.

  • City manager takes new job

    Wildwood City Manager Robert Smith is moving on.
    As of Oct. 24, Smith will no longer be employed as the city manager of Wildwood.
    Smith is leaving the city to accept a position as town manager for Windermere, in Orange County. The town is only about a 10-minute drive from Smith’s Winter Garden home.
    Smith, 35, has been city manager since Feb. 2009. He was the director of development services before that for approximately three and a half years.

  • Wildwood online reunion sparks events

    . Wildwood Memories is a brand new page on Facebook created by Wildwood resident Gidget Gibson.
    She put the site up about a month ago and it’s already taken off, she said, noting that two weeks after it went up, they had about 2,000 people on the site.
    Gibson notes that there have been several topics of discussion on the site – from football and homecoming parades to city history.
    Through the site, she and others have already begun coordinating several events.

  • Panasoffkee sewer construction considered

    If the concept to consider extending sewer service to commercial properties along County Road 470 in Lake Panasoffkee and east of Interstate 75 to the industrial corridor continues to be considered, it may require some substantial funding from the state.
    Recently, the Sumter County Chamber hosted a meeting for Lake Panasoffkee businesses at the monthly meeting of the Lake Panasoffkee Business Council. The goal was to gauge interest in a proposal to extend sewer service to commercial properties in the area.