News and Announcements

Keep the Light On during Banned Books Week

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

Banned Books Week.jpg

Keep the Light On during Banned Books Week

BEVERLY HILLS, FL, September 11, 2019 – Banned Books Week 2019 is September 22-28. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restricted in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

Books are still being banned and challenged today. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.

While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

The Citrus County Library System is celebrating the freedom to read by establishing Banned Book Week displays at each of its branches. You can learn more about banned and challenged books by visiting your local branch or following the library on Facebook by searching for @citruslibraries.

Citrus County Children Need Your Help

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

Become an advocate for an abused or neglected child.

No one should simply shake their head and sadly lament the horrific story of child abuse. Instead of passive despair, let these tragic incidents serve as a galvanizing call to action for us all to commit to ending abuse and securing the safety and future of every child in Citrus County.

Yes, we can end child abuse. We can end it when we all become advocates for children.

For some of us, that advocacy comes in a formal role. Teachers, childcare workers, health care providers and others who come into daily contact with children can be vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect. Their actions to report suspected abuse or to offer extra time and attention to fragile children can do more than make a difference. It can save lives.

Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteers also put their passion for the well-being of children into action. Assigned to advocate for abused and neglected children, GAL volunteers make sure kids do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social service systems or languish in foster homes. Volunteers advocate for the children until their court case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

For many abused children, their GAL volunteer is the one constant adult presence in their lives.

Intense advocacy can break the cycle of abuse and neglect. When children grow up in homes where their only adult role models respond to them with violence and disregard for their needs, they repeat that cycle with their own children. When a GAL volunteer intercedes, it not only changes the course of one child’s life, it makes an impact for generations.

Your advocacy for children not only will help end child abuse, it will improve our community for everyone who lives here. Children who are abused and do not get the support they need to heal are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, end up homeless, turn to crime, and rely as adults on social welfare programs. When we work together to protect vulnerable children, it saves lives and tax dollars.

There are many life-threatening and incurable diseases that sadly afflict children. However, we have the cure to child abuse. It lies within each of us. Now is the time to act. 

If you are interested in making this cause, your cause, become a Guardian ad Litem volunteer.  Contact Diana Gisonni at 352-812-6971 or email her at  For more information, visit our website –   A free two day training is scheduled to begin September 20, 2019 in Ocala, Florida.  Pre-registration is required as spaces are limited.

Tim Dorsey to Visit Library

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

BEVERLY HILLS, FL, September 5, 2019 – Join us in welcoming New York Times best-selling author Tim Dorsey to the Central Ridge branch in Beverly Hills on Saturday, September 28th from 2pm to 4pm as part of his “No Sunscreen for the Dead Tour”. This free event will consist of a short presentation, followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Tim's books feature a variety of colorful characters and are set in various locations around the state of Florida. Readers follow the antics of Serge Storm, a clever antihero with a penchant for murder. Serge finds himself in fascinating places around the state of Florida, and the reader is often treated to a special history lesson referencing the area.

Tim Dorsey was born in Indiana, moved to Florida at the age of 1, and grew up in a small town about an hour north of Miami called Riviera Beach. He graduated from Auburn University in 1983. While at Auburn, he was editor of the student newspaper, The Plainsman.

From 1983 to 1987, he was a police and courts reporter for The Alabama Journal, the now-defunct evening newspaper in Montgomery. He joined The Tampa Tribune in 1987 as a general assignment reporter. He also worked as a political reporter in the Tribune’s Tallahassee bureau and a copy desk editor. From 1994 to 1999, he was the Tribune’s night metro editor. He left the paper in August 1999 to write full time

Two free Florida-friendly gardening workshops in September

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

Optimizing irrigation systems

Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on September 10, 2019 from 2:00-3:30 pm.  Landscape irrigation is supplemental, but often uses 50-70 % of total residential water consumption. Irrigation practices such as seasonal scheduling, catch can calibration and selection of drought tolerant plants are essential to creating a sustainable and water conserving landscape.  Classes are held at the Citrus County Extension Service building located at 3650 W Sovereign Path in Lecanto.  Please contact Steven Davis at (352) 527-5708 to confirm your participation or register at

Managing pest wisely

Citrus County Utilities Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program is offering a free gardening workshop on September 24, 2019 from 2:00-3:30 pm.  Correctly identifying the cause of plant damage is always the first step to controlling an infestation.  Inspection, scouting, identification, selecting the least harmful control and accurate application are all important IPM practices. Classes are held at the Citrus County Extension Service building located at 3650 W Sovereign Path in Lecanto.  Please contact Steven Davis at (352) 527-5708 to confirm your participation or register at

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to be held for the CR486 Trailhead project

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

The public is invited to join the Board of Citrus County Commissioners for the CR486/Pine Ridge/Meadowcrest Trailhead Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 9:00am at 6415 W. Norvell Bryant Hwy. No RSVP is needed to attend.

The nearly $450,000 construction contract with Daly & Zilch (Florida), Inc. for the CR 486/Pine Ridge/Meadowcrest Trailhead project was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on December 18, 2018.  The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Land and Recreation Grants paid $150,000 of the $450,000 through a State grant.  

The new trailhead is constructed on a remainder parcel of land originally acquired for the CR 486 road-widening project.  The trailhead is the western most of the three constructed along the 13 miles of CR486; and will be a connection hub for access to the SR 44 bike lanes, CR 491 Multi-Use Path, the Withlacoochee State Trail and once constructed, the path along Suncoast 2 extension to CR 486.  The trailhead will be a welcomed addition to the community providing a safe means of connecting area residences to the YMCA, places of employment, shopping, medical offices, and to various trail networks.   

For questions or more information on this event, please contact Public Information Officer, Cynthia Oswald at 352-527-5484.

USDA Approves Early Release of September Food Assistance Benefits

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

To assist families as they prepare for Hurricane Dorian, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to release September food assistance benefits to all 67 counties included in Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order 19-190 declaring a State of Emergency.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers who were scheduled to receive their benefits between September 1 and September 14 will now be able to access benefits through their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards starting August 31 at noon. This is an early release of regular benefits, not a distribution of additional funds.

“I applaud Governor DeSantis and President Trump for their swift action in response to the needs of Florida’s vulnerable children and families preparing for this major hurricane,” said DCF Secretary Chad Poppell. “The early release of benefits will allow families to purchase much-needed food prior to Hurricane Dorian’s landfall.”

Immediately following Executive Order 19-190, DCF requested a waiver from the USDA allowing the early release of September SNAP benefits. With the full support of Governor DeSantis and President Donald Trump, the waiver was approved in less than 24 hours.

For updated information, please continue to check the DCF website and social media accounts.

Citrus County Legislative Delegation Meeting Date Set

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

Representative Ralph Massullo, Chair of the Citrus County Legislative Delegation, announces the annual Legislative Delegation public meeting to be held on Monday, September 23, 2019 at the County Commissioner’s Chamber Room, located in the Citrus County Court House, 110 N Apopka Avenue, Inverness, FL 34450 from 2:00pm until 4:00pm. The annual public meeting is held to receive testimony from concerned citizens, elected officials and state and local organizations.

Decisions regarding local legislation for the 2019 Legislative Session will be made at this time. All proposals for local bills will be presented at the hearing and accompanied by a resolution from the local government supporting the proposed legislation. This information must be submitted to Representative Ralph Massullo’s office, 4067 N Lecanto Hwy, Beverly Hills, FL 34465 on or before noon on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

If you would like to be placed on the printed agenda, please contact Representative Massullo’s office at or at 352-527-4510 on or before noon on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. You may also complete a Speaker’s Form on the day of the meeting and you will be afforded time to speak in the order in which it was received. Please bring or submit three (3) copies of all handouts to the meeting for distribution. 

If you would like more information regarding this meeting, please contact Adele Hembree by email or at 352-527-4510.

Citrus County Offices Reopen Tuesday September 3

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

All Citrus County Offices and services will return to regular hours Tuesday, September 3, 2019. For more information, please contact Citrus County Public Information Officer Cynthia Oswald at 352-527-5484.

Update on County Sandbag Sites

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Kevin Mims       Year: 2019

Contact: Cynthia Oswald, Public Information Officer


Important UPDATE on Citrus County Sandbag Sites

Citrus County has updated it schedule for Sandbagging Sites.

Update on locations are as follows:

· 4508 S. Grandmarch Ave. Homosassa (Near Grover Cleveland Blvd.) – closes at 5:00pm today, Saturday, August 31st. Closed Sunday, September 1, 2019. Remaining closed unless forecast changes.

· 7490 W. Gulf to Lake Hwy. Crystal River (Near Dan’s Clam Stand – on opposite side of road) – closes at 5:00pm today, Saturday, August 31st. Closed Sunday, September 1, 2019. Remaining closed unless forecast changes.

· Spruce Drive Boat Ramp – Hernando, off C-39, 4863 E. Spruce Drive, Dunnellon, FL 34434 – remains open today, Saturday, August 31st, and open Sunday, September 1, 2019. Hours are 7:00am to 7:00pm both days. Closed Monday, September 2, 2019 and remaining closed unless forecast changes.

***There is a limit of 15 bags per vehicle***

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Road maintenance Office at 527-7610.

Updates and information will also be made on Facebook throughout the event duration.

Cancellations for the Hernando/Citrus Planning Organization

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

Due to the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Dorian, the Hernando/Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has cancelled for Wednesday, September 4, 2019 the following committee meetings:

•             Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)

•             Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

•             Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)

Any questions concerning cancellation of these meetings should be directed to Mr. Steve Diez, MPO Executive Director, Hernando/Citrus MPO, 1661 Blaise Drive, Brooksville, FL, 34601, telephone (352) 752-4082, extension 28013, or email


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