Luis Izquierdo, Author at Central Florida Wire Your source for 100% FREE unrestricted local news! Sat, 05 Sep 2020 17:48:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Luis Izquierdo, Author at Central Florida Wire 32 32 90415536 Sumter County SPCA Hosts Virtual “Jeopardy-style” Fundrasier Sat, 05 Sep 2020 17:48:17 +0000 After a previous successful virtual Quiz Show, YOUR Humane Society SPCA of Sumter County announced that they will host a second “Jeopardy-style” fundraiser

The virtual Quiz Show fundraiser will challenge teams of friends and supporters against each other for chances to win prizes such as gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Publix, Amazon, and more.

The fundraiser will be held virtually at 7 p.m. on September 9.

Tickets to enter the fundraiser cost $10 per contestant. All contestants can register and select a team to play on with friends and family.

To enter, contestants can reserve their spot on a team by texting QUIZ to 41444 or by purchasing tickets online on the official fundraiser website where you can also find a list of rules as well as more information on the fundraiser.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit YOUR Humane Society SPCA of Sumter County.

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Drugs, Vehicles, & Over $100k Seized In Lake County Drug Bust Sat, 05 Sep 2020 15:51:10 +0000 Police seized multiple vehicles, drugs, and over $100,000 in cash during an early morning drug bust in Clermont on Friday according to a Lake County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.

Detectives from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office along with Lake County SWAT, Clermont Police, Eustis Police, and Leesburg Police executed a search warrant Friday morning at a Clermont home after receiving numerous complaints from residents complaining that drugs were being dealt out of the home located at 15747 Old Highway 50.

During their search, law enforcement officials seized 5 ounces of powder cocaine, 2 ounces of heroin, 5 ounces of fentanyl, 25 grams of crack cocaine, 281 prescription controlled substances, 1 pound of marijuana, a loaded firearm, and over $100,000 in cash, the post stated.

According to detectives, the seized drugs had a collective street value of $36,170.

As a result of the raid, detectives arrested 38-year-old Anthony Kemp and 32-year-old Candy Richardson.

Both were charged with multiple counts of drug possession and trafficking charges. Additionally, Kemp was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Law enforcement also seized several vehicles during the raid including a custom 2015 Dodge Charger, a 2003 Ford van, a 2015 Dodge Durango, and a custom 2014 Ford F-350.

The Department of Children and Families was also contacted during the raid as detectives found children living in the home with dangerous drugs.

Kemp and Richardson were transported to the Lake County Jail where they remain as a result of no bond on some charges. Both are scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. on September 29.


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Clermont Woman Offers Deputy “Oral Sex” After Arrest Fri, 04 Sep 2020 21:22:09 +0000 A Clermont woman was charged with bribing a public servant after reportedly offering a Lake County deputy oral sex in exchange for her Juul vape pen the deputy had confiscated.

According to arrest reports, deputies found 19-year-old Madison Bryant sitting in a median on US Highway 27 near Hidden Harbor Drive in Leesburg next to a pickup truck that was stopped in the inside lane of Highway 27.

Upon arrival, the driver of the vehicle, Tyler Sanville, exited the vehicle and spoke with deputies stating that while driving, Bryant became angry with Sanville and the two began arguing. Sanville told deputies that Bryant wanted to get out of the vehicle and so he stopped and she got out.

During their conversation, the responding deputy reported that Sanville smelled of alcohol.

After a field sobriety test was conducted, Sanville was arrested for driving under the influence.

When questioned, Bryant told deputies that she and Sanville were arguing about “relationship issues”. Deputies also reported that Bryant smelled of alcohol and “spoke of many topics that did not make much sense”.

After Sanville’s arrest, deputies waited with Bryant at the scene while she attempted to find a ride home.

During their wait, Bryant reportedly told deputies she needed to use the bathroom. One deputy offered to drive Bryant to a nearby gas station to use the restroom, however, Bryant stated she “did not want to and was going to urinate right now”.

Bryant then pulled down her pants and urinated directly in front of the deputy’s patrol vehicle.

Bryant was subsequently arrested and charged with disorderly intoxication.

While being transported to the Lake County Jail, Bryant asked for her “Juul smoking device” stating that she needed it for anxiety.

After being denied her smoking device, Bryant began a conversation with the deputy asking him if he was married and had kids. She then told the deputy that she did not want to “f— that up” and offered him oral sex if he gave her back her Juul.

The deputy did not respond and continued to transport Bryant to the Lake County Jail where she was additionally charged with a felony count of bribing a public official.

Bryant was later released after posting a $3,000 bond.

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Summerfield Man Wanted for Attempted Murder Fri, 04 Sep 2020 19:41:55 +0000 Officials are searching for a Summerfield man who they say is wanted for attempted murder after allegedly beating his wife during an altercation on I-75 Thursday morning.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, 45-year-old Joey Edward Morgan was traveling in the passenger seat of a green Dodge pickup truck while his wife was driving southbound on I-75 near mile marker 282 just south of Dade City.

The incident began just after 9 a.m. Thursday morning when the truck experienced a tire blowout at which time Mr. Morgan reportedly yanked the steering wheel to the right before his wife was able to come to a complete stop.

Officials are searching for 45-year-old Joey Edward Morgan of Summerfield after an altercation on I-75 Thursday morning.
Officials are searching for 45-year-old Joey Edward Morgan of Summerfield after an altercation on I-75 Thursday morning.

Reports state that the two then began to argue at which time Mr. Morgan exited the passenger side and walked around to the driver’s side before allegedly pulling his wife out of the vehicle by her hair and pushing her into oncoming traffic.

According to witnesses, Mr. Morgan headbutted and punched the victim several times while pushing her into oncoming traffic. At one point, the victim was pushed into the path of an oncoming semi-truck causing the driver of the truck to take evasive actions to avoid striking the victim.

Troopers stated that Mr. Morgan reportedly told his wife he was going to kill her before fleeing on foot just before troopers arrived at the scene.

Troopers searched the area but were unable to find Mr. Morgan.

An arrested warrant was later issued for Mr. Morgan on an attempted murder charge.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers and deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office are asking for anyone with information on the incident or information leading to the whereabouts of Mr. Morgan to contact FHP by calling 813-558-1800 or by dialing *FHP (*347) from a mobile phone.

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Fruitland Park Family Suffers 1 Death, 4 Injured in Ormond Beach Crash Mon, 24 Aug 2020 17:59:10 +0000 A 28-year-old Fruitland Park woman was pronounced dead Friday afternoon after a vehicle she was driving struck a concrete pole in Ormond Beach according to Florida Highway Patrol reports.

According to the report, a 9-year-old female passenger suffered serious injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Three other passengers, a 27-year-old man, a 5-year-old female, and a 3-year-old boy suffered minor injuries.

Troopers stated the driver was traveling eastbound on State Road 40 near Shadow Crossing Boulevard at the time of the incident.

With wet roads, the driver negotiated a curve in the road and lost control of the vehicle and traveled onto the south shoulder of the road and struck a concrete utility pole.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

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COVID-19 Lake County Testing Locations for Week of August 24th Sat, 22 Aug 2020 14:31:21 +0000 Below is a list of COVID-19 testing locations in Lake County available to Lake County residents for the week of August 24th.

Adult Medicine of Lake County

ViaPort / Lake Square Mall
ViaPort / Lake Square Mall

Testing is $20 each for COVID-19 swab tests, antibody and rapid tests for residents and non-residents. No symptoms are required, and no appointment necessary.  

Lake Square Mall – COVID-19, antibody and rapid test
10401-015 US Highway 441 South, Leesburg
Time: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturday

Nasal swab and rapid tests will be done on all test days, antibodies (blood test) will be done on Thursdays only.

The turnaround time for the rapid test is approximately 30 minutes. 

Drive-thru testing will be available outside from 7 a.m. to noon. Testing will continue inside from noon to 7 p.m.

Florida Department of Health in Lake County

Lake Sumter State College, Leesburg Campus.

The testing sites open at 9 a.m. and continue on a first-come, first-served basis for residents and non-residents, while test kits are available. Testing is free, no required criteria and children may also be tested.

Due to the demand for testing, it is recommended that residents call the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at (352) 742-4830, prior to arriving at either location. The hotline is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

  • DOH-Lake Clermont WIC
    560 W. DeSoto St., Clermont 
  • Lake Sumter State College  
    9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg 

State Pop-up Testing Site

Target in Clermont. / This photo of Target is courtesy of Tripadvisor

The state-supported walk-up site is offering free COVID-19 testing to individuals 18 and older. No symptoms are required, no appointment necessary. 

  • Target (parking lot)
    2660 E. Hwy. 50, Clermont
    Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Daily 
  • Home Depot (parking lot)
    10825 U.S. Hwy 441, Leesburg
    Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Daily 

Private Health Care Providers

Most private health care providers offer COVID-19 testing. Please contact your health care provider for details and locations.

Officials stated that testings site information is subject to change and site closures may be possible due to inclement weather or unforseen events.

For a complete and up-to-date list, residents can visit the county’s COVID-19 information page at

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Dunnellon Man Dies in Single Vehicle Accident Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:50:01 +0000 A 52-year-old Dunnellon man was pronounced dead after an accident Friday afternoon in Ocala.

The accident happened just after 5 p.m. near the intersection of Meadow Wood Drive and County Road 328.

According to reports from the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver was traveling westbound on County Road 328 driving into a curve. At that time, the driver failed to negotiate the curve and left the roadway. The vehicle overturned and the driver was ejected from the vehicle.

The driver was transported to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

According to the report, the driver was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the incident.

There were no other occupants in the vehicle at the time.

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National Hurricane Center Issues Advisory on Tropical Storm Laura Fri, 21 Aug 2020 19:45:08 +0000 The National Hurricane Center issued an advisory Friday afternoon on the recently upgraded Tropical Storm Laura.

At approximately 2 p.m., the center reported that the storm was approaching the northern Leeward Islands, headed in the same direction as Tropical Depression Fourteen, currently located over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

According to the center, this is the first time in history that two storms will be in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time if Laura continues on its path.

Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen are expected to be in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time over the next few days. This will be the first time in history two storms are located in the Gulf at the same time.
Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen are expected to be in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time over the next few days. This will be the first time in history two storms are located in the Gulf at the same time. / Photo courtesy of NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

The latest information shows Laura moving west toward the Dominican Republic at a speed of 18 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.

The latest model shows Laura traveling directly over the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba and makings its way into the Gulf skirting over the Florida Keys and the western Florida coastline and is expected to make landfall near the Alabama-Florida border Wednesday morning.

As of Friday, 2 p.m., Tropical Storm Laura is expected to travel west, northwest over the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba before making its way through the Gulf of Mexico Making landfall over the Florida Keys and then again near the Alabama-Florida border on Wednesday morning.
As of Friday, 2 p.m., Tropical Storm Laura is expected to travel west, northwest over the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba before making its way through the Gulf of Mexico Making landfall over the Florida Keys and then again near the Alabama-Florida border on Wednesday morning. / Photo courtesy of NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

At the same time, Tropical Depression Fourteen is currently located in the Caribbean Sea just off the coast of Honduras traveling northwest at a speed of 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Fourteen is expected to travel into the Gulf after making landfall over a portion of eastern Mexico and continuing on to make landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border Tuesday morning.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, Tropical Depression Fourteen is expected to travel northwest from the Caribbean Sea making landfall over the easter coast of Mexico before continuing on through the Gulf of Mexico and making landfall again near the Texas-Louisiana border Tuesday morning.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, Tropical Depression Fourteen is expected to travel northwest from the Caribbean Sea making landfall over the easter coast of Mexico before continuing on through the Gulf of Mexico and making landfall again near the Texas-Louisiana border Tuesday morning. / Photo courtesy of NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

Residents are urged to make preparations for Tropical-Storm-Force winds throughout the state from Monday morning through Wednesday.

Below is a list of things you can do to prepare for the storms:

  • Secure any objects that may blow away such as outdoor toys, chairs, tables, trampolines, etc.
  • Stock up on water for drinking and cleaning by storing potable water in approved containers and cleaning water in larger areas such as bathtubs, barrels, jugs, buckets, etc.
  • Stock up on any necessary medications for your family and pets.
  • Protect windows by covering them with approved hurricane panels, plywood, or other sturdy material.
  • Move vehicles out from under any trees or power lines.
  • Trim any trees with dead or weak branches.

For further updates on these two storms or more tips on hurricane preparation, you can follow the NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center’s official Facebook page.

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Former Mascotte City Manager Arrested, Charged With Battery Fri, 21 Aug 2020 15:32:30 +0000 Former Mascotte city manager Jim Gleason was arrested and charged with battery on an official and disorderly conduct after a Mascotte City Council meeting Thursday afternoon.

Gleason, who served as Mascotte’s city manager since June of 2011, was terminated on July 7th after the council voted 3-2 to terminate his contract. The termination was effective immediately after the vote at which time Gleason was placed on paid suspension pending an appeal hearing.

During Thursday’s council meeting, members of the council decided not to reinstate Gleason as City Manager.

According to witnesses, the decision caused Gleason to become angry to the point where police were dispatched to the meeting in reference to the disturbance.

Upon arrival, officers found Gleason outside of the building engaged in an argument with council member Brenda Brasher and her husband, Mascotte Fire Chief Randy Brasher.

Officers reported that Gleason focused his anger on council member Brasher, verbally threatening her, calling her a “white trash c-nt”, and poking her on her shoulder in an aggressive manner.

Several bystanders rushed to help the Brashers by pulling them into the building. Witnesses reported that Gleason continued to scream profanities and threatened to go to the Brashers’ house.

Gleason was then arrested and transported to the lake County Jail where he was released a few hours later after posting a $2,500 bond.

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Sorento Man Arrested On Child Pornography Charges Fri, 21 Aug 2020 04:27:18 +0000 A Sorento man was arrested early Thursday morning after authorities were alerted by Google of digital files Google believed contained material depicting the sexual exploitation of a child according to arrest reports.

According to the report, the investigation began after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement receive a CyberTip generated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The CyberTip showed a Google report that identified two files uploaded to a Google account registered to 47-year-old Jeremy Moore of Sorento as possibly containing sexual material involving a minor.

After inspecting the files, investigators confirmed that the two files contained video footage of two female children estimated to be 5 and 7 years of age in a sexual nature.

After an extensive investigation that began in February 2020, an arrest warrant was issued for Moore in July 2020.

Moore eventually turned himself in at the Lake County Jail just before 6 a.m. Thursday morning where he was booked and later released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Moore is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. on September 14.

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Altoona Teen Dead After ATV Crash Fri, 21 Aug 2020 03:35:16 +0000 A sixteen-year-old girl was pronounced dead after an ATV accident on Wednesday afternoon according to Florida Highway Patrol reports.

According to the report, the incident occurred just after 3 p.m. near the intersection of Ravenswood Road and Treadwell Avenue just north of Altoona.

Troopers reported that the teen traveling northbound on Treadwell Avenue when she traveled onto Ravenswood Road directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Without time to stop, the driver of the vehicle, a 16-year-old man from Leesburg, the driver struck the ATV.

Investigators stated that the driver of the ATV was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash.

According to the report, the driver of the ATV was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident.

The crash is still under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.

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Lake County Asks for Nominations for the 2020 Women’s Hall of Fame Thu, 20 Aug 2020 23:21:04 +0000 The Lake County Board of County Commissioners is asking residents to submit their nominations for who they think is an outstanding Lake County woman to be considered for induction into this year’s Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame.

Residents have until Monday, September 21st to submit their nominations to the board.

In order to qualify as a nominee, the nominee must have made significant contributions to the county in the field of art, agriculture, athletics, business, community services, environment, government, healthcare, philanthropy, and/or science and education.

The nominee must also have been born in, or been a resident of Lake County for at least ten years.

Nominations are open for any living or deceased nominee.

Applications to submit nominations can be downloaded from the county’s website at and mailed to Lake County Women’s Hall of Fame, Board of County Commissioners’ Office, P. O. Box 7800, Tavares, FL 32778-7800 or picked up in person at the Board of County Commissioner’s office located in Room 316 at The Lake County Administration Building, 315 W. Main Street in Tavares.

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Leesburg Ranked In Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Florida Thu, 20 Aug 2020 21:11:20 +0000 The city of Leesburg made the top 10 list of one of the worst and most dangerous Florida cities to live in, according to studies.

Leesburg ranked number 10 on RoadSnack’s list of 10 most dangerous cities in Florida for 2020 in November 2019 outranked by cities such as Florida City, Palatka, Miami Beach, Daytona Beach, and others.

The company, which collects data from the Census, FBI, OpenStreetMaps, and other sources, uses the data to professionally rank cities, neighborhoods, counties, and states throughout the United States, reported that Leesburg almost escaped making the top 10 list if it was not for the high violent crime rate.

According to the site, Leesburg is the 10th most violent city in Florida where residents stood a 1 in 131 chance of being the victims of a violent crime in 2018.

A recent report of Leesburg’s statistics conducted by the company and last updated in March of 2020 shows the Leesburg crime rate was 134.84% above the national average.

In a more recent article posted by RoadSnacks in January of 2020, Leesburg ranked number 4 as one of the worst places to live in Florida in 2020.

The article contributes the crime rate to a mix of several factors such as low housing cost, high unemployment rate, and a lack of entertainment in the city.

Other statistical data collected by Neighborhood Scout shows the latest statistics from 2018 where it states that Leesburg residents stood a 1 in 130 chance of being the victim of a violent crime at the time.

According to Neighborhood Scout, Leesburg’s 2018 violent crime rate was 7.68 violent crimes for every 1,000 residents, almost double the statewide rate, 3.85 per 1,000 residents.

Neighborhood Scout’s report shows that Leesburg reported 1 murder, 23 rapes, 31 robberies, and 123 assaults in 2018 making Leesburg safer than only 2% of other cities in the United States.

Meanwhile, statistics of neighboring cities such as Bushnell and Tavares reported substantially lower crime rates during the same period.

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Officials Partner to Distribute Free Cloth Face Covers for Lake Residents Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:06:54 +0000 The Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the Florida Department of Health came together in an effort to provide Lake County residents with the opportunity for free reusable cloth face covers.

This partnership is just one step to promote the department’s advisory for residents to wear masks in public while social distancing.

Although masks are not mandatory, the department urges all residents who spend their time around other residents to protect themselves and others by wearing a mask and social distancing.


“We are strongly urging residents in settings such as offices, break rooms, waiting rooms, and grocery stores to wear a mask, but we will not be adopting a mandatory law for mask-wearing because there are legitimate reasons that guide residents in their decision-making as to when or whether to wear a mask,” stated Leslie Campione, Lake County Board of County Commissioners Chairman.

To help promote their advisory, officials began handing out the free reusable face covers Tuesday morning at locations throughout Lake County and will continue through tomorrow.

The free face covers are limited to Lake County residents only and only 1 cover per person.

Residents can pick up their free face cover Tuesday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at any of the following locations;

  • Astor County Library, 54905 Alco Road, Astor
  • East Lake County Library, 31340 S. County Road 437, Sorrento
  • Cagan Crossing Public Library, 16729 Cagan Oaks, Clermont
  • Marion Baysinger Memorial Library, 756 W. Broad Street, Groveland
  • Paisley County Library, 24954 County Road 42, Paisley
  • Lake County Agricultural Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares
  • Lake County Transit Office, 2440 US Highway 441, Fruitland Park
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COVID-19 Testing Locations in Lake County Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:06:42 +0000 Below is a list of COVID-19 testing locations in Lake County. This list is updated every week on Monday. Please check back weekly for new times and locations.

Adult Medicine of Lake County

The Adult Medicine of Lake County clinic is open to the pubic and offering residents and non-residents COVID-19 swab tests and antibody tests.

No symptoms are required for the testing and no appointment is necessary.

Tests are $20 each for residents and non-residents.

The clinic is located at 3619 Lake Center Drive in Mount Dora and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lake Square Mall (ViaPort Mall)

Swab and antibody testing are available at the Lake Square Mall (ViaPort Mall) located at 10401 US Highway 441 South in Leesburg.

Swab testing is available from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Antibody testing (blood tests) are available on Thursdays only.

Real Life Christian Church

The Florida Department of Health of Lake County will be offering COVID-19 testing at the Real Life Christian Church located at 1501 Steves Road in Clermont from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.

There is no cost for the tests and no required criteria, however, due to high demand for testings, it is recommended to call ahead prior to arriving. The Hotline number is (352)742-4830 and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lake Sumter State College

The Florida Department of Health of Lake County will be offering COVID-19 testing at Lake Sumter State College located at 9501 US Highway 441 in Leesburg from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.

There is no cost for the tests and no required criteria, however, due to high demand for testings, it is recommended to call ahead prior to arriving. The Hotline number is (352)742-4830 and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tavares Publix

Free testing will be available at the Tavares Publix located at 2042 State Road 19 in Tavares from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

No symptoms are required for testing. Testing is available for residents and non-residents that are 18 years old or older.

This list is updated every Monday with new information, please check back each week for new information.

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Pilot Dies After Small Airplane Crashes at Leeward Air Ranch Wed, 01 Jul 2020 18:26:45 +0000 A pilot was declared deceased after a small aircraft crashed while attempting to land at the Leeward Air Ranch in Ocala Wednesday morning according to a Marion County Fire Rescue Facebook post.

Firefighters were dispatched to the crash site at approximately 10:31 a.m. after receiving a 911 call reporting the crash.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the plane upside down and were able to see the pilot still in the cockpit.

The pilot was pronounced deceased and responders immediately worked to contain a fuel leak from the aircraft until the plane could be removed.

The scene was later handed over to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) and the National Transportation Safety Board were also called in to assist in the investigation.

The name of the pilot has not been released.

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Humane Society Offers Tips to Prepare Your Pet for Hurricane Season & COVID-19 Tue, 30 Jun 2020 18:16:33 +0000 This month marks the beginning of this year’s hurricane season and the Sumter County Humane Society wants to remind pet owners to keep their furry family in mind when making arrangements and preparations this season.

YOUR Humane Society SPCA offered up several tips to help you protect your pet during these uncertain times.

While most Floridians are aware of the common items to stock up on for hurricane season such as first aid kits, water, non-perishable food items, and to have a clear emergency evacuation plan, a lot of residents forget to keep their pets in mind during the chaos leaving many pets homeless, hurt, or dead when a hurricane hits.

The organization recommends preparing a survival kit for your pet that includes a pet carrier, bed, or crate, a supply of any pet medication to last at least a month, up-to-date veterinary vaccination records, one-week supply of food and water for your pet, food bowls, a manual can opener, extra collar and leash, your pet’s favorite toys to comfort them during stressful situations, and most importantly a current ID on your pet’s collar and microchip.

According to the organization, Microchips are proven to be the best resource for your et to ensure that they are successfully reunited with their family should you and your pet be accidentally separated.

If your pet already has a microchip, be sure to update the contact information associated with your pet’s microchip.

Aside from hurricane season, pet owners are also recommended to make arrangements in case an incident should arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Recently, many pets found themselves in dire need when their owners became ill due to COVID-19 or other life-threatening illnesses,” the organization stated in a release.

With the spread of COVID-19, the risks of becoming ill, being hospitalized, or suffering an unexpected crisis are much greater and can leave your pet unprotected and at risk as well.

The organization recommends setting up a pet trust as part of your estate planning stipulating a clear-cut caregiver for your loving pet and provide funds for their care.

For more information on preparing your furry family member during these uncertain times, contact YOUR Humane Society SPCA at (352)817-3995 or visit

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Drivers Enjoy the Sun as Some Activities Return to Normal Tue, 30 Jun 2020 16:17:49 +0000 As things return to normal after the COVID-19 quarantine, Central Florida residents came out to enjoy some fun in the sun with friends, cars, and tire smoke over the weekend in Inverness.

Drivers came from all over Central Florida to participate in the Wrench Monkeys Meetup, one of a regular series of car meets hosted by Wrench Monkeys Automotive, an auto repair shop located in Inverness.

The scene was filled with many cars including several Mazda Miatas, BMWs, a restored U.S. Mail Truck, and even a rare Mazda RX-7 as well as many others.

The smell of burning rubber filled the air as contestants competed against each other in the “Best Burnout” competition.

A small crowd gathered around several vehicles as they let the beat drop in the “Best Audio” completion to see which car had the best bass setup.

Aside from audio and burnouts, other awards were given for car limbo, best two-step, People’s Choice, and more.

As you walked around the event it was obvious that residents were glad to be out and enjoying outdoor activities after the long quarantine.

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Wildfires Spark in North Central Florida Mon, 29 Jun 2020 14:46:53 +0000 Multiple wildfires broke out in separate locations throughout North Central Florida over this past weekend according to the Florida Forest Service.

According to posts on their Facebook page, the Florida Forest Service responded to a total of five wildfires over this past weekend.

Forestry crews first responded to the “South Gasline Fire”, a 30-acre wildfire Saturday afternoon located in the south end of the Goethe State Forest in Levy County.

The South Gasline Fire was caused by lightning and smoke from the fire impacted traffic on Highway 19 from Lebanon Station to Inglis.

Forestry dozers quickly worked on creating a fireline to contain the fire and by Sunday the wildfire was 75% contained.

On the same day, another lightning fire, dubbed the Cowpen Fire, broke out in the town of Bell, located approximately three miles east of US Highway 129 in Gilchrist County.

The Cowpen Fire consumed approximately 70 acres and was 40% contained by Sunday.

On Sunday, the third lightning-caused wildfire later named the Barge Canal Fire, spread over 80 acres in Marion County in an area near State Road 200 and County Road 484.

Forestry crews and Marion County Fire Rescue worked together to contain 75% of the fire by Monday morning utilizing helicopter bucket drops.

All hiking and biking trails on Greenways and Trails were closed and currently remain closed as a result of the Barge Canal Fire.

A fourth fire caused by lightning broke out and consumed 2 acres in Alachua County off of NE 39th Avenue in Gainesville.

The fire was quickly contained and no structures or buildings were damaged.

Another fire broke out late Sunday night in Marion County at the Rodman Bombing Range in the Ocala National Forest.

The latest fire is approximately 70 acres in size.

Drivers near the Oklawaha Bridge, State Road 19, and County Road 310 are asked to use caution when driving through the area due to the smoke.

The cause for this fire has not yet been released.

Crews are currently working to contain the fire.

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Florida Suspends All Alcohol Sales at Bars Due to COVID-19 Fri, 26 Jun 2020 18:52:39 +0000 The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBRP) issued an emergency order suspending the sale of alcohol at all bars and establishments in Florida who derive 50% or more of their sales from the sale of alcohol according to a statement released earlier today.

According to the DBPR Order, all vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises and whose sales are 50% or greater in alcoholic beverages are suspended from selling any alcoholic beverages to the public until further notice.

The same vendors will still be permitted to sell sealed alcoholic beverages for consumption off of the premises.

Other licensed establishments such as restaurants whose gross sales consist of less than 50% alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption will be permitted to remain open under the new executive order.

The order is a response to the record breaking spike in COVID-19 cases seen in Florida in the last two days with new cases reaching upwards of 10,000 cases.

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