Local News

  • Jail employee arrested on child sex charges

    A Sumter County jail employee was arrested last week on charges that he sexually battered two children under the age of 12. For more information, see this week's edition of the Sumter County Times.

  • Softball tournament slated

    Softball Tournament Slated

    Annual Children's Miracle Network

    tournament set



  • Couple charged in child's death

    An Oxford couple has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of the 2-year-old girl reportedly killed by a pet Burmese python in July.

    The girl’s mother, 19-year-old Jaren Ashley Hare, who gave birth this month, was arrested Monday on charges of third-degree murder, manslaughter, and child neglect after turning herself in to the Wildwood Police Department. She was released that night after posting $35,000 bond.

  • Community mourns 3 killed in crash

    Two families and countless friends are mourning the loss of three young Center Hill men who died when their car hit a tree on County Road 588 last week.

    Family members said brothers Justin Abney, 19, and Paul Pope, 22, and their close friend Nicholas Adkison, 21, were all killed instantly. For more information see this week's Sumter County Times.

  • Military honors: 10 years after death

    A Tarrytown man received a military memorial service last week, 10 years after he was buried at Linden Cemetery.

    On Saturday, Aug. 15, family members attended the memorial in Linden to honor the life and military service of Benito Ruiz, who would have turned 90 that day. To read the entire story, see this week's edition of the Sumter County Times.


  • Wildwood growers' market planned

    With a nod of approval from the Wildwood City Council, a new growers’ market will be launched in the city in October.

    The market is a partnership concept between the city and UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension.

    On Saturdays, the grounds of Wildwood City Hall will become the hub for locally produced foods and crafts, according to Susan Kelly, county extension director. For more information, see this week's edition of the Sumter County Times.

  • County budget hearings set

    The County Commission is set to have its final budget hearings and adopt the new property tax rate next month.

    The first of two budget hearings is set for Sept. 14 at the Sumter County Government Offices building in Room 142 at 6 p.m. The second and final hearing, when commissioners are expected to vote, is set for 6 p.m. on Sept. 28 in The Villages at Colony Cottage Regional Recreation Center in the Parlor Room.

    At a meeting last month in The Villages, commissioners voted to set the tentative property tax rate at 6.01 mills, slightly lower than the rollback rate.

  • Lightning starts fires in Villages, Wildwood

    A home in The Villages was destroyed by fire Friday, Aug. 21 after it was apparently stuck by lightning during a severe storm. Another home in Wildwood was damaged by a lightning strike around the same time.

    The owners of the Villages home, John and Teresa Leaptrott, were out of town at the time of the fire, but a neighbor who was standing on his porch facing the house said he saw lightning strike late that afternoon and then started to smell and see smoke coming from the back.

  • Get ready, school starts Aug. 24

    As August draws to a close, the Sumter County School District is preparing to welcome students back to classes.

    This year, the school district is expecting 5,292 students to attend public schools throughout the county, according to district curriculum specialist Colleen Strickland. It’s a decrease of slightly more than 100 students from the year before.

  • Local landmark destroyedHurricane Bill Forms - follow the latest - see the "Storm" link under "News Headlines" stories below...

    Last week, 33 firefighters and 16 trucks battled a fire that consumed a Lake Panasoffkee landmark. The blaze destroyed the 10,000-square-foot home built by S.E. Montgomery in the mid 1980s.

    The fire was reported just minutes before 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

    “On our arrival, the house was heavily involved in fire and we contacted the state fire marshals office because we do believe it was arson,” said Brad Burris, chief deputy and fire marshal for Sumter County.