Local News


    This is the fourth story in a series of stories featuring 12 unsolved murders contained in the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case File. During the upcoming weeks, the Sumter County Times will publish information about each of the murders.
    Marilyn Elizabeth McKenzie was a seasonal farm laborer.
    She left Pennsylvania in November 1975 to pick apples and she also traveled with laborers picking watermelons between Immokalee and Wildwood.

  • Sheriff opposes emergency management changes

    The sheriff’s office stands to lose employees if county transfers operations of Emergency Management Services to Fire Rescue and The Villages Public Safety Department
    County Administrator Bradley Arnold wants to transfer management of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) from the sheriff’s office to Sumter County Fire Rescue with support from The Villages Public Safety Department.

  • Super homes for Sumter?

    Building 40-acre villages of hurricane proof Global Super Homes capable of sustaining families without need of a traditional infrastructure such as electric, water and sewer connections or grocery stores all over the country may sound like a green pipe dream, but Noah West, founder of Project Noah’s Ark, is looking for acreage to develop such a village in Sumter County.
    West presented his plans at a recent Sumter County Agriculture Alliance Board meeting.

  • Wildwood faces thousands for needed city hall repairs

    Wildwood City Hall, built just 11 years ago, is scheduled for $326,573 in repairs, work that is set to begin in September.
    The biggest problem with the City Hall building is a leaky, “poorly designed” heating and air conditioning system, according to City Manager Robert Smith.
    The placement of system air handlers produces wide variances in temperature in different areas of the building, and water accumulating from condensation continually leaks from holding pans, according to Smith.

  • Health Dept. warns of risks of wildfire smoke

    The Sumter County Health Department and the Florida Department of Health caution citizens about wildfire smoke. Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials that can cause a scratchy throat or irritated eyes and nose. Smoke can irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and other chronic respiratory or lung conditions such as asthma.

  • Construction plans move ahead for Bushnell park

    Bushnell plans to begin construction of a town square park that includes a 35-foot gazebo and decorative fountain across from City Hall within six to eight weeks.
    The park that City Manager Vince Ruano describes as esthetically transforming will serve as a hub for new sidewalks and bicycle paths that will snake beyond the city for many miles in all directions.
    The multi-modal transportation project that includes storm drainage upgrades was initiated by the city over four years ago and is funded by the state Department of Transportation, according to Ruano.

  • Coleman home crushed

    Debra Mclean had been raking leaves in the yard when ominous dark clouds suddenly gathered and strong winds from a thunderstorm began to sway tall trees surrounding her mobile home.
    Mclean, 57, who suffers from severe diabetes, decided to go inside and take a nap until the storm passed. She might have been in the kitchen pouring some ice tea, making a sandwich, or she could have collapsed in a chair in the living room to rest, but fortunately, shortly after noon on Monday, June 6, she decided to lie down on the bed in her bedroom.

  • Headed toward state tourney ...

    Sweet victory… for Bushnell Mini Minor All Stars that’s just what Saturday was, earning the team the tournament win and the right to vie for the state championship. Here, players savored the moment as they doused Coach Jackie Carson in shaving cream. Carson went from wiping tears to wiping shaving cream. Shown left to right are: Zander Eastburn, Royce Arredondo (back left), Carson, Grady Carson (back right), Angel Gracia, Carson Clark, and Trevor Moffitt.  See story and photos on Page 12.


    This is the third story in a series of stories featuring 12 unsolved murders contained in the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case File. During the upcoming weeks, the Sumter County Times will publish information about each of the murders.
    Oak Grove
    If she had lived, Shirley Elizabeth Whitten would be 58 years old. But Whitten never made it past her 19th birthday. She and an acquaintance were found brutally stabbed to death in 1972 in a remote Wildwood cemetery.

  • Man gets 2 years for pig assault

    A man arrested on animal cruelty charges after allegedly breaking into the livestock pens of a local school’s agricultural department and attacking three pigs was sentenced to 2 years in prison after pleading no contest to the charges.
    Dallace Lee Hatley, 19, of Bushnell, was a student at South Sumter High School prior to Jan. 20, when the pigs were injured by his dog while Hatley was trespassing on school property.