News and Announcements

Senior Companion Program Looking for Volunteers

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Senior Companion is a program of the Nature Coast Volunteer Center. To become a Senior Companion, you must be 55 years of age or over, not employed, have your own vehicle, and a valid driver’s license and insurance. The positions are open to income-eligible individuals and opportunities are available in various areas of the County. Pre-service and ongoing training is provided.

Who are Senior Companions?

Senior Companions become part of a team of caregivers. They are healthy older adults who help other adults live independently. Senior Companions make the lives of those they serve less lonely by serving them on a regular basis.

Companions must commit to work a minimum of 5 hours per week. In exchange they will receive a stipend, mileage allowance, paid vacation, and sick time. The purpose of this program is to help housebound seniors stay independent in their homes. Without the help of Senior Companions, many older adults would be unable to continue living at home and would require more expensive, less personal care.

Senior Companions typically visit their clients once a week and assist with a variety of tasks. Activities include assistance with important daily activities such as transportation to medical appointments, shopping, letter writing, and/or assistance with meal preparation. The Senior Companion will also keep watchful eye on their client to notice when extra care is necessary. They also offer encouragement to remain physically and mentally active, provide disaster preparedness information, and provide community service information when required.

What benefits do Senior Companions receive?

The Senior Companions receive compensation to cover the cost of serving in the form of a stipend, mileage reimbursement, and supplemental accident and liability coverage.

If you would like more information about becoming a Senior Companion, please call Laurie Diestler at 352-527-5952.

Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization Technical Advisory Committee to hold public meeting

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will conduct a public meeting on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at the Citrus Transit Center, 1300 South Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Florida.

Items on the agenda include:

· 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Update

· FY 2019/20-2023/24 Transportation Improvement Program

· List of Priority Projects for FY 2020/21

· Consultant scopes of services

· Extensions to Continuing Planning Services Contracts

The public is encouraged to attend.  Any questions concerning this public meeting should be directed to Mr. Steve Diez, MPO Executive Director, Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization, 1661 Blaise Drive, Brooksville, FL, 34601, telephone (352) 754-4082, extension 28013 or email mpo@hernandocounty.us.

Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization Citizens Advisory Committee to hold public meeting

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, beginning at 1:00 p.m., at the Citrus Transit Center, 1300 South Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Florida.

Items on the agenda include:

· 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Update

· FY 2019/20-2023/24 Transportation Improvement Program

· List of Priority Projects for FY 2020/21

· Consultant scopes of services

· Extensions to Continuing Planning Services Contracts

The public is encouraged to attend.  Any questions concerning this public meeting should be directed to Mr. Steve Diez, MPO Executive Director, Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization, 1661 Blaise Drive, Brooksville, FL, 34601, telephone (352) 754-4082, extension 28013 or email mpo@hernandocounty.us.

Extension Announces Master Gardener Volunteer Opportunity

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

If you love gardening, enjoy helping people and have time to share your skills, discover what it means to be a Master Gardener volunteer with University of Florida/Citrus County Extension. No local gardening experience is required!

Explore what it means to be a Master Gardener volunteer at one of the Get Acquainted sessions. Extension and its volunteers offer garden information in a wide variety of Florida-Friendly landscape practices such as correctly identifying garden pests and diseases, effective methods to apply irrigation and fertilizers, vegetable gardening, selection of appropriate plant materials for our area and more.

Your choice of two Get Acquainted sessions will be offered Friday, June 7 from 10am to 11:30am or Friday, June 14 from 2pm to 3:30pm. Both sessions will be held at the Extension office, 3650 W. Sovereign Path, Lecanto. During the informational session, you will hear what Extension needs in a volunteer, meet current volunteers, and get your questions answered, including how to apply. Class sessions start in mid-July and run through mid-August twice per week on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

RSVP to reserve your space or questions at, 352-527-5700.

Veterans Administration looking for volunteer drivers

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Do you have a few hours during the week to drive a Citrus County veteran to much needed services? Volunteer drivers are desperately needed to drive veterans to appointments at the Gainesville Veterans’ Administration Medical Center (VAMC) and to the Villages Out Patient Clinic (OPC).

Drivers volunteer on an on-call basis, one to three times a week. Volunteers will receive a free physical examination at the Gainesville VAMC, lunch the day they drive and participate in the awards program for miles driven.

There is an application process for potential volunteers and a Veterans’ Administration (VA) identification badge will be provided. Fingerprinting and proof of driver’s license and vehicle insurance will need to be provided to participate. For more information on this volunteer opportunity call, 352-746-8005.

Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization May Meeting Recap

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) met on May 15, 2019 in a public meeting at the Lecanto Government Center, 3600 W. Sovereign Path, Room 166, Lecanto FL. The points of interest from the meeting are below:

· FDOT reported that a northbound right turn lane from US 19 onto Thrasher has been determined warranted and should be under construction next year.

· The MPO approved an amendment to the FY 2019-FY 2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to include a lighting project in Citrus County.

· The Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) was amended to reflect carry forward Planning funds and to include MPO annual certification.

· The MPO approved the 2019 Public Transportation Grant Agreement between the MPO and the Florida Department of Transportation in the amount of $105,500. The agreement must still be approved by Citrus and Hernando County because local matches are required.

· The MPO approved the FY 2019 Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding.

· The MPO approved the extensions of contracts G0D90 and G0T22 to June 30, 2020.

· The MPO’s Administrative Assistant position was reclassified to an Administrative Assistant III.

· The MPO discussed reviewing committee quorum issues in the future if attendance continues to be problematic.

For further information regarding the Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Organization, visit us at:

https://www.hernandocounty.us/departments/departments-f-m/metropolitan-planning-organization

The next MPO meeting is scheduled for Tuesday June 18, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. in the Lecanto Government Center, 3600 W. Sovereign Path, Room 166, Lecanto Florida.  Please Contact the Hernando/Citrus MPO at (352) 754-4082 for more information

Health Department to Offer Hepatitis A Drive-Through Clinic

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Due to a recent increase in hepatitis A cases in the Tampa Bay area, the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus) is hosting a drive-thru clinic to provide no-cost hepatitis A vaccines from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 22, at DOH-Citrus, 3700 W. Sovereign Path in Lecanto.

The event is open to the public and will allow those who work during the week a convenient opportunity to stay in their car and receive their first dose of hepatitis A vaccine. Anyone who receives a vaccine at the event will be provided a date to come back to DOH-Citrus to receive their second dose after six months, also at no cost. DOH-Citrus staff will provide the vaccines to adults and children 1 year or older while supplies last.

In 2019, 13 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Citrus County. Although this number is low compared to its neighboring counties, the number of cases in Citrus is significantly higher than past years, a trend that is consistent throughout the entire state and country. The last confirmed case of hepatitis A in Citrus County prior to 2019 was in 2015, where one case was reported.

“This is a serious issue and we encourage anyone that feels they may be at risk, or who wishes to get protection, to attend the event in June,” said DOH-Citrus Administrator Tito Rubio, MPH. “In the meantime, we will continue to monitor hepatitis A and stay ahead of the curve by working closely with our community partners to provide vaccines to our high-risk individuals.”

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. People infected with hepatitis A are most contagious from two weeks before onset of symptoms to one week afterwards. Not everyone who is infected will have all the symptoms. Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days. Symptoms can include:

•             Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)

•             Fever

•             Diarrhea

•             Fatigue/tired

•             Loss of appetite

•             Nausea and vomiting

•             Stomach pain

•             Dark-colored urine

•             Pale or clay colored stool

How is hepatitis A treated or hepatitis A infection prevented?

•             Hepatitis A vaccine is the best method of preventing infection.

•             No medicines can cure the disease once symptoms appear. People with hepatitis A symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

•             Most people get better over time but may need to be hospitalized.

•             Previous infection with hepatitis A provides immunity for the rest of a person’s life.

•             People that are exposed to hepatitis A may be given vaccine or immune globulin within 14 days of exposure to prevent infection.

For more information about DOH-Citrus, go to www.CitrusCountyHealth.org or follow us on Twitter at @FLHealthCitrus.

The BOCC proclaims Tobacco Free Florida Week 2019 E-Epidemic: Vaping and Youth

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Tobacco Free.jpg

The Board of County Commissioners; Chairman Jeff Kinnard, First Vice-Chairman Brian Coleman, Second Vice-Chairman Scott Carnahan, Ron Kitchen, and Jimmie T. Smith, with representatives from the Florida Department of Health

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners presented a Proclamation at their regular meeting on April 23, 2019 proclaiming the week of April 22 through 28, as Tobacco Free Florida Week 2019 E-Epidemic: Vaping and Youth in Citrus County.

The federal government declared youth e-cigarette use, or vaping, a nationwide epidemic. Youth vaping has increased dramatically across the country and in Florida. In 2018, one in four Florida high school students reported current electronic vaping-a 58% increase compared to 2017, In Citrus County, 25.4 % of high school students reported ever trying electronic vaping use in 2018.

E-cigarettes are unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, and e-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.

The focus of Tobacco Free Florida Week 2019 is to get accurate information into the hands of our citizens, which is an important step to reversing this alarming trend in our community. Citrus County is committed to the goals and objectives of Tobacco Free Florida Week through a variety of public health activities and programs. 

The Board of County Commissioners of Citrus County, Florida does hereby proclaim the week of April 22 through 28, 2019 as “Tobacco Free Florida Week” and calls the observance to the attention of all citizens.

The BOCC proclaims Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Week in Citrus County

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

CERT.jpg

The Board of County Commissioners; Chairman Jeff Kinnard, First Vice-Chairman Brian Coleman, Second Vice-Chairman Scott Carnahan, Ron Kitchen, and Jimmie T. Smith, with members of Citrus County CERT

The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners presented a Proclamation at their regular meeting on April 23, 2019 proclaiming the week of May 5 through 11, as Community Emergency Response Team Week in Citrus County.

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) exist in Florida and throughout the United States to respond to emergency situations within the community such as hurricanes, tornados, fire and flooding. Citrus County CERT Team Members are trained to respond in their neighborhoods when Police, Fire and EMS resources are being used at capacity and may not be available for hours or days depending on the extent of the emergency.

The Citrus County CERT Program has been an intricate part of the County Emergency Response System for 15 years. The volunteers are managed by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and administered by the Community Emergency Response Team Action Committee.

Over the fifteen-year period more than 500 citizens of Citrus County have become CERT trained in search and rescue, first aid, fire safety and emergency communications to be able to aid their neighbors as well as the community in time of a mass causality event and or a large devastating natural disaster.

The Board of County Commissioners recognizes May 5 through 11, 2019 as Community Emergency Response Team Week in Citrus County and calls the observance to the attention of all citizens.

How to do Business with the Government – 2nd Annual Free One-Stop Trade Show at the Chamber

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Here is your opportunity to join other local businesses and find out how to do business with government. Thursday, June 13 from 8:30am to 10:00am, the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, 915N. Suncoast Boulevard, Crystal River, will be hosting an interactive One-Stop Reverse Trade Show to provide information and encourage businesses to take the opportunity to do more business with local government. This event is free to all businesses and no RSVP is required.

This event is a collaborative effort of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, Citrus County School Board and Citrus County Chamber of Commerce to increase government transparency, plain language, communication, and support the local business community.

Government agents that work in the purchasing departments will staff tables with information on each government procurement process, as well as information about current bid opportunities.

Come and learn how your business may be able to participant and profit from the government procurement process. In addition to the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners and Citrus County School Board, agents from other governmental agencies will be in attendance.

For more information on this event, call the Chamber at 352-795-3149.

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