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Local News

  • Major drug bust made

    Approximately six years ago, The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office began receiving information in the form of street-type rumors of organized methamphetamine sales in and around Sumter County by a group of unknown individuals.
    Through diligent research and deliberate investigation this group or cell was identified by the Sumter County Special Investigative Squad. It was established that they were transporting large amounts of methamphetamine from Georgia to the Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Marion County areas.

  • Man arrested for rape

    A Webster man currently serving a sentence for a drug conviction was arrested last week and charged with raping a girl.
    Delbert Joe Martin, 34, Webster, was arrested last Wednesday, Feb. 16, on two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child.
    Martin was placed in the Sumter County Detention Center without bond.

  • Feeding the needy

    A growing number of activities are being planned in March that all have the same goal, to help feed the needy.
    Annually, a group of volunteers begin the process of planning Seeds of Hope, an annual March food drive to grow contributions for both the Wildwood Food Pantry and the Wildwood Soup Kitchen.
    This is the seventh year that about 15 volunteers have met and coordinated efforts to raise awareness, funding and food for the pantry and the soup kitchen. The group is comprised of members of 10 different religious congregations in northern Sumter County.

  • Bushnell man killed by CSX train

    A 73-year-old Bushnell man was struck and killed by a northbound CSX freight train a few miles south of Bushnell around 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 17.
    The accident occurred near County Road 720 and U.S. 301 however the train’s two engines came to a stop well north of the impact.
    “It’s my understanding the victim had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for about four years and did not hear well,” said Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the sheriff’s office.

  • Rider fights to save transit service

    Crippling symptoms of multiple sclerosis confine 61-year-old Bonnie Faye Cowie to a wheelchair much of the time, but thanks to the drivers and employees of the county’s Transit Department, she can count on affordable and reliable transportation to and from doctor visits and other essential errands.
    But that may not be the case if the county brings in a private company to take over the Transit Department, said Cowie.

  • Bushnell festival facing big cuts

    The consensus from a recent Bushnell City Council workshop regarding the city’s 26-year-old annual Fall Festival suggests that the popular event may be significantly downsized and be closed to vendors from outside the county.
    Newly elected Mayor Bill Spaude’s suggestions included limiting food and beverages to hotdogs and cokes instead of hosting a large food court, eliminating or downsizing fireworks, shortening the festival and restricting vendor participation to those with Sumter County addresses.

  • Bushnell man struck, killed by train

    A 73-year-old Joseph Queen, of Bushnell, was struck and killed by a northbound CSX freight train a few miles south of Bushnell around 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 17. The accident occurred near County Road 720 and U.S. 301 not far from the victim's home. 

  • City of Bushnell to discuss Fall Festival

    The city of Bushnell is having a workshop meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, to discuss the Bushnell Fall Festival and the Summer Youth Program. All interested citizens are urged to attend. 

  • Car destroyed by fire in Wildwood

    A vehicle burned out of control along State Road 44, east of County Road 468, near Wildwood, during the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb.13, while a deputy and several eyewitnesses watched, not knowing if there were victims trapped inside.
    The 2005 gold-colored Chrysler PT Cruiser with Florida tags was completely engulfed in flames when the first sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene, according to a sheriff’s report.

  • Sheriff’s office hosts qualifying event

    Don Howe is not as young and perhaps not as agile as he was when he served as a Suffolk County, N.Y., police officer, but he still thinks fast and shoots straight. Like hundreds of other retired cops living in The Villages and beyond who qualified for a concealed weapons permit Friday, Howe makes that thin blue line a little thicker by virtue of his law enforcement experience, according to some in attendance.