http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Eagle saved from alligators http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/eagle-saved-alligators <img src="http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/sites/www.sumtercountytimes.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/eagle2.jpg" alt="A Lake Panasoffkee man saved this American bald eagle from alligators. " title="A Lake Panasoffkee man saved this American bald eagle from alligators. " align="left" hspace="6" width="103" height="85" /><p> Lake Panasoffkee resident Dale Whitaker was just checking on his boat early Saturday morning.<br /> He was pulling out of the canal when he saw something flopping in the water about 50 feet away from his boat, he said.<br /> &ldquo;I thought maybe it was a fish frenzy or something.&rdquo;<br /> But on closer inspection, Whitaker realized that what he initially thought were fish was actually an American bald eagle floundering in the lake.<br /> Meetings set for waterways http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/meetings-set-waterways <p> Have questions about water issues related to the Withlacoochee River or water bodies associated with the river?<br /> A series of upcoming meetings may help provide some answers.<br /> The Southwest Florida Water Management District has scheduled a series of public workshops concerning the Withlacoochee River Watershed Initiative. The meeting will provide feedback about the preliminary results of 19 model scenarios that were evaluated to better understand how past or future changes may affect the river and its surrounding watershed.<br /> SECO, Bushnell charged up http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/seco-bushnell-charged <p> A city of Bushnell proposal to acquire Sumter Electric Cooperative&rsquo;s (SECO) facilities and customers within the city limits has recently erupted into a full-blown battle of words between the two parties.<br /> SECO contends that the city is making a &ldquo;power grab&rdquo; with Bushnell&rsquo;s efforts to take over portions of SECO&rsquo;s electric distribution network and accounts within annexed areas of the city.<br /> Library friends ousted http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/library-friends-ousted <p> By the end of April, the decades-old Friends of the Lake Panasoffkee Library will no longer exist inside the library.<br /> Late last month, the County Commission agreed to boot the group from its provided space in the community library after County Commissioner Doug Gilpin called the group adversarial and uncooperative with following county procedures.<br /> Earlier this week, in a four-page letter, the group responded to Gilpin&rsquo;s comments and the board&rsquo;s decision to oust the group.<br /> Caring Hands giving back for 10 years http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/caring-hands-giving-back-10-years <p> Caring Hands held a dedication ceremony last week, gathering for the celebration of a brand new freezer and refrigerator. Each unit, 10-cubic feet in space, will store cold and frozen foods for the community ministry that provides food for 120 families each month.<br /> The celebration was Tuesday, March 31, at the distribution building, on property owned by the First Baptist Church of Wildwood.<br /> Carrying the crown for Sumter http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/carrying-crown-sumter <img src="http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/sites/www.sumtercountytimes.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/sterling_smith_signs.jpg" alt="Oxford’s Sterling Smith, now Miss Lakeland USA 2016, will compete in the Miss Florida USA 2016 Pageant. She’s shown here, as she signed the commitment to compete. Her family and friends were on hand to show their support as Smith prepared to move on to the next level. Smith is shown with mother, Debbie Smith, and her aunts - Carol Dasher and Donna Langford. She is also shown with her closest friends - Lindsey Fleming, Elizabeth Huijskens, Rachel Mongilo and Destiny Young." title="Oxford’s Sterling Smith, now Miss Lakeland USA 2016, will compete in the Miss Florida USA 2016 Pageant. She’s shown here, as she signed the commitment to compete. Her family and friends were on hand to show their support as Smith prepared to move on to the next level. Smith is shown with mother, Debbie Smith, and her aunts - Carol Dasher and Donna Langford. She is also shown with her closest friends - Lindsey Fleming, Elizabeth Huijskens, Rachel Mongilo and Destiny Young." align="left" hspace="6" width="57" height="85" /><p> Sumter royalty is stepping in to pursue the Florida crown, as hometown girl Sterling Smith signs on to compete in the Miss Florida USA 2016 Pageant. Smith was crowned Miss Lakeland USA 2016 on Saturday, March 14.<br /> At nearly the same time she was crowned, Smith was accepted in the University of Central Florida medical graduate program. She plans to pursue her master&rsquo;s degree in education.<br /> Bushnell prepares for election http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/bushnell-prepares-election <p> Next Tuesday, Bushnell residents will choose their future city clerk in a special April 7 election. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and voters have three candidates to choose from. Vying for the seat are: Christina L. Dixon, Guy L. Prevatt, II and Elizabeth L. Raftery.<br /> Bushnell&rsquo;s clerk position pays between $42,468 and $70,073 annually.<br /> Partnering for new local jobs http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/content/partnering-new-local-jobs <img src="http://www.sumtercountytimes.com/sites/www.sumtercountytimes.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/duke_energy_and_lssc.jpg" alt="Duke Energy’s donation will unite Lake Sumter State College and Duke Energy to bring additional STEM degrees and programs to Lake Sumter State College (LSSC) Sumter Campus.At the check presentation are: (left to right) Robert Matthews (Duke Energy), Amy Mangan (Duke Energy), Dr. Charles Mojock, Sen. Alan Hays and Jerry Miller (Duke Energy)." title="Duke Energy’s donation will unite Lake Sumter State College and Duke Energy to bring additional STEM degrees and programs to Lake Sumter State College (LSSC) Sumter Campus.At the check presentation are: (left to right) Robert Matthews (Duke Energy), Amy Mangan (Duke Energy), Dr. Charles Mojock, Sen. Alan Hays and Jerry Miller (Duke Energy)." align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> Duke Energy donated more than $85,000 towards the creation of an A.S. Engineering Technology program with a specialization in Substation and Relay Technology.<br /> This contribution will unite Lake Sumter State College and Duke Energy to bring additional STEM degrees and programs to Lake Sumter State College (LSSC) Sumter Campus.<br /> The check presentation was made at the Sumterville campus of Lake Sumter State College (LSSC) on Tuesday, Feb. 24.<br />