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Today's News

  • Wreck claims deputy's life
  • Community mourns loss of Brian Simmons

    "He was the easiest child to ever raise, the most respectful," said his dad Guy Simmons on Tuesday afternoon, as he thought about his son, Brian.
    His daddy talks about what a good boy he was, how he loved sports and as a man, how he loved helping others. How, while he was a typical kid, "he would never lie to me."
    Last Friday, Phillip Brian Simmons, 46, of Center Hill, died as the result of an aneurysm.

  • Ripe, ready for picking
  • Taking aim, but when to fire?

    It looks like a simple traffic stop until it turns into an extremely dangerous situation.
    A deputy stops a car connected with a reported crime. The driver is out of the car and on the ground, hands behind his head. But, suddenly, a passenger springs from the car and runs away with a sheriff’s deputy ordering him to stop.
    Then, it gets really scary. The fleeing passenger abruptly turns, raises a handgun and heads back toward the deputy. The deputy fires multiple times, ending the threat.

  • Raiders rally against cancer

    The band was playing on the stage, the giant image of a cruise ship was stretched across the front of the gym and hundreds of South Sumter High School students were seated on the bleachers, with the cheerleaders taking center stage.
    While it could have been a typical pep rally, at any high school, this was the day for a Raider rally - a Raider rally against cancer.
    This was the day to calculated just how much they were putting into the battle, donating it to the American Cancer Society for things like research and patient needs.

  • Home bust ends in illegal drug, gun operations

    An operation involving trading stolen guns for illegal drugs was busted Monday afternoon when Sumter County deputies, assisted with information by Levy County sheriff’s officials, converged on a Bushnell residence.
    The Sumter County Sheriff’s SWAT team descended on the residence in the 4400 block of U.S. 301 N, searching for drugs and stolen guns.

  • Penrod found guilty of murder

    A murder case that had baffled law enforcement officers for almost a year back in 2013 finally came to an end last week when a Sumter jury found Ralph Harold Penrod guilty of the second-degree murder of Martha Jane Wever.
    Last Thursday, after several hours of deliberation, the jury rendered their verdict in the case against Penrod, 64, of Tavares. He will be sentenced at a later date.

  • SECO, Bushnell clash over power

    The years-old clash about electricity utility service territory in the Bushnell area came to the forefront again last week as city residents debated the issue during a sometimes heated May 2 city council meeting.
    A number of residents, customers of both Sumter Electric Cooperative (SECO) and Bushnell’s electric utility, spoke in support of the city’s position or SECO’s.  And, many attending the meeting were outraged about recent newspaper advertisements by the Citizens for Cooperative Power (CCP) a political action group funded by SECO.

  • Couple arrested, accused of deadly home invasions

    Investigators from several agencies are still sifting through a cache of goods believed stolen by an Ocala couple suspected of burglarizing over 60 homes around central Florida.
    Darren Decker, 41, and his 44-year-old wife Jessica Baker were arrested Monday, April 18, during a traffic stop in Marion County on an arrest warrant stemming from a burglary that happened that day in Sumter County.
    They are being held without bond at the Sumter County Detention Center on charges of unarmed burglary and grand theft.

  • Setting Dade park ablaze

    Smoke and flames billowed upward last Thursday in the pine flatwoods near Bushnell, but it was no wildfire raging in the woods.
    Instead, it was the handiwork of Florida Park Service specialists performing a controlled burn on about 22 acres of the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. It’s part of the cyclic maintenance of the park’s woodlands and historic habitat, according to Park Manager Bill Gruber.