Front Page 

State: Florida citrus harvest lowest in decades

Story Submitted The final forecast of the 2016-2017 season for Florida’s struggling citrus industry shows the orange crop falling 16 percent from the previous season — which, itself, had been at a five-decade low. After a season of severe drought, combined with the continued fight against a deadly citrus disease and the expansion of residential development, the news wasn’t any better for grapefruit farming, where production dropped 28 percent from the prior year. Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, who grew up on a farm in Polk County, expressed…

Read More
Front Page 

State: Disabled first responders to get tax relief

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc. Because of legislation passed by the Florida Legislature in May, and signed into law by Gov. Scott on June 15, first responders who are injured in the line of duty could be eligible for a 100 percent tax exemption of their property taxes. According to information provided by the Madison County Tax Appraiser’s Office, any real estate owned and used as a homestead by a “person who has a total and permanent disability as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the line…

Read More
Front Page 

Region: May brings greater than average rainfall

Lazaro Aleman: Greene Publishing, Inc. Most counties in the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) received more than their normal rainfall during May, with the overall district averaging 3.78 inches, or about a half- inch above the long-term average of 3.27 inches for the month. So indicates the district’s latest hydrologic conditions report. “Rainfall amounts were highest in the Aucilla River Basin, with local monthly totals above eight inches,” the report states. The highest gauged monthly rainfall total was 7.72 inches, recorded at Sneads Smokehouse Lake in Jefferson County, while…

Read More
Front Page 

FDLE arrests Dixie County City Manager for official misconduct

Story Submitted The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested Gary Pinner, 58, of Old Town, on one count of official misconduct. Pinner is charged with misusing city employees, city equipment, city inventory, and an inmate work crew to provide free water services to certain Dixie County residents, including his future son-in-law. The FDLE investigation determined that on three separate occasions, Pinner, in his official role as Cross City City Manager, instructed Water Department employees to perform work on private properties utilizing city resources outside and beyond the scope of…

Read More