Local News

  • County rivals clash Thursday night

  • Manhunt suspect extradited

    Brody James Whitaker’s felony journey that began with a police chase near Wildwood in March and stretched as far north as Connecticut finally came full circle after he was assigned a cell at the county jail Monday evening, according to the sheriff’s office.

    Whitaker, 37, was booked into the Sumter County Detention Center and served a warrant by Det. Michael Callaway at about 6:30 p.m., according to the report.

    Whitaker was extradited from Connecticut to face felony charges in Sumter County.

  • Hearing set in python death case

    Pretrial hearings are scheduled for 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, for an Oxford couple charged with third-degree murder in the death of the woman’s child.

    Charles Darnell, 33, and Jaren Ashley Hare, 20, were charged with third-degree murder, manslaughter and child neglect after an 8-foot Burmese python in their home killed 2-year-old Shaiunna Hare.

    An autopsy revealed that the girl died of affixation after the python escaped from his cage and attacked her.

  • Wildwood planned development raises ire

    A Canadian developer doing business as Wildwood Sumter Holdings received rezoning approval for a controversial 27-acre residential construction project that area property owners say will create traffic congestion on County Road 462 and potentially increase crime in their Wildwood neighborhood, according to a city report.

    City commissioners approved the rezoning to change from county agriculture to city planned unit development (PUD) to accommodate project developers for Triumph South amid a flurry of concerns and complaints during July 26 and Aug. 23 public hearings.

  • Beneficial weather brings abundant Florida blue crab harvest
  • New Officers at Legion Post 101
  • Wildwood man arrested for inciting riot

    A Wildwood police officer conducting a traffic stop Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the 500 block of York Street, became the subject of obscene rants and an aggressive crowd that gathered nearby, according to a police report.

    The following series of events unfolded according to a Wildwood police report:

    A crowd that was deemed aggressive by police gathered at the scene prompting the traffic officer to call in for back up; two additional officers soon arrived.

  • Protection against mosquitoes and disease

    Protection against mosquitoes and disease

    Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson says two cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) have now been detected in horses in the state and the number of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) cases continues to rise.


    According to Clyde “Scrammy” Hunt, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly called Swiftmud, is needlessly spraying the Withlacoochee River with herbicides to control water hyacinths and water lettuce in places where the nuisance water plants aren’t growing.

    “I’ve talked to Swiftmud and they said repeatedly that they’re spraying these herbicides in and around the river to control the growth of water hyacinths and water lettuce,” said Hunt.

  • Villages may get second hospital

    The Villages may get a second “world class” hospital with services accessible by golf cart in the north end of Sumter County near Wildwood.

    In an Aug. 9 memo to media, Central Florida Health Alliance (CFHA) unveiled plans to construct a third hospital, the second to be located in Sumter County, to complement The Villages Health System.