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Local News

  • County fire marshal arrested for lewd acts

    Following last week’s arrest of one of its high ranking officers, Sumter County Fire and EMS is in the process of reorganizing, according to Chief Leland Greek.
    Last Tuesday, department Fire Marshal Brad Burris, 54, Bushnell, was arrested on four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a teenage girl, according to a sheriff’s office report.
    Since his arrest, Burris has been terminated from his county job and the department is now undergoing staff changes because of his termination, according to Greek.

  • Entertainment Park in Sumter?

    Get ready; when the County Commission launches its first meeting of the new year, it’s expected to be a doozey.
    Mud and music will be mixing it up when the board considers whether it will grant a major special use permit for an entertainment park that would span more than 1,000 acres on the northwest corner of County Road 475 and State Road 44, northwest of Lake Panasoffkee.

  • Here comes Santa Claus

    Santa’s makin’ a list, checkin’ twice and markin’ the map for his annual stop in Bushnell. For more than 60 years, the bearded elf in a red suit has kept the stop on his route and this year is no exception.
    Santa, with the help of elves from the Sumter County probation office and the community, is set to arrive in town at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. He plans to come bearing goodies for the children and refreshments for all. Each of the kids will have a chance to sit with Santa for a visit.

  • Christmas parade is Wildwood delight

    Candy flew as princesses waved. Dancers danced, twirlers twirled and musicians played. The Grinch was trying to steal Christmas and even Santa arrived, with three of his eight reindeer.
    For the children and adults along the streets in Wildwood, it was holiday fun as the annual Christmas parade passed by last Saturday afternoon. The fun started at just after 3 p.m., with the sound of sirens and Christmas music. One ambulance was even decked out in garland and bows.

  • Police: Suspect pointed rifle at deputy

    A Coleman man is behind bars after he reportedly threatened a sheriff’s deputy with a rifle and fired shots at a Coleman resident.
    Tarence Lamar Bivins, 30, was arrested Sunday, Dec. 2, on numerous charges that started accumulating when Bivins allegedly fired shots at a Coleman resident about 7:50 p.m. outside the man’s Perkins Avenue residence, according to sheriff’s Lt. Bobby Caruthers.

  • A super school superintendent

    Sumter County School District Superintendent Richard “Rick” Shirley was selected as Florida’s 2013 Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS).
    Shirley was formally recognized in Tampa during the joint meeting of FADSS and the Florida School Boards Association last week.
    Shirley said Tuesday that it was a “humbling experience” to be selected for the honor in front of his peers.

  • Holiday happenings

    If  you’re looking for something to get you in the Christmas mood, there’s plenty to choose from in Sumter County – starting in Wildwood and winding your way through the communities down to Bushnell and Webster.
    Saturday, Dec. 1
    Christmas House Tour
    It’s time for the 26th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by the Wildwood Women’s Club and this year’s event includes an impressive selection of local homes.
    Each year, the ladies ask local residents to host the event by opening their homes to those on the tour.

  • Two die in two wrecks

    Two different wrecks claimed the lives of two men during the past week in Sumter County.
    In the first wreck, a Wildwood man died on Thanksgiving in a crash on County Road 462 near Wildwood.
    Felipe Flores, 25, died on Thursday, Nov. 22, when he veered off the roadway in a 2007 Ford pickup as it was traveling west on County Road 462 near County Road 121, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

  • Cities set for Dec. 4 elections

    Sumter County voters in two cities will head back to the polls on Tuesday to choose the candidates of their choice in city elections.
    Both Coleman and Webster have city elections set for Tuesday, Dec. 4.
    In Coleman, one seat on the City Council is up for grabs. Irmalou Mae Fruci is being challenged by Charles Felton for Council Seat 4.
    City voters will also be asked if they want to change the way elections are held in Coleman.

  • Bushnell woman loses home to fire

    Julie Praeter had a dream. On disability with minimal income to live on, she was looking for a secure place to live; a little land where she had trees and where her animals had pasture.
    She wanted a place that she could pay for and own debt free. That was three years ago and that’s exactly what she found in a 20-acre parcel just west of Bushnell.