Longshot movie about longshot horse debuts Friday at Old Mill Playhouse

Jockey Calvin Borel plays himself in "50 to 1."

A longshot movie about a longshot horse makes its Florida debut Friday at the Old Mill Playhouse at Lake Sumter Landing. The movie tells the story of "50 to 1" Kentucky Derby underdog Mine That Bird. "50 to 1" recounts the tale of Mine That Bird, trainer Chip Woolley, and owners Mark Allen and Leonard "Doc" Blach, who end up on the journey of … [Read more...]

Nelson: Orlando airport customs agents to earn overtime, reducing wait time

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson

Another step has been taken to try to reduce long lines at customs at select airports around the country. The federal government announced Wednesday it is allowing U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents to work overtime and be paid by local airport authorities at five of the nation’s busiest airports. One of the five airports that’s been selected … [Read more...]

52-year-old Wildwood man arrested on felony charge of battery

John Reese

A 52-year-old Wildwood man was arrested on a felony charge of battery after he allegedly struck a woman. John Joseph Reese was jailed following an incident at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. Reese had previously been arrested on a charge of battery, according to the arrest report. … [Read more...]

Swipe at Gov. Scott prompts response from commissioner

Garry Breeden

Sumter County Commissioner Garry Breeden has removed himself from the Withlacoochee Regional Planning Commission in the wake of "politicized" statements made by the group's executive director. Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott used the power of his line-item veto to cut $2.5 million in funding from the state's regional planning … [Read more...]

Nan Rich reaches out to grassroots to try to cut off Charlie Crist coronation

Governor candidate Nan Rich, left, chats with villager Gerry Van Luven.

While Florida governor candidates Charlie Crist and Rick Scott bash each other nightly in their dueling television ads, Nan Rich is relying on shoe leather to propel her lower profile gubernatorial campaign. Rich, who is running against Crist in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary, spoke Tuesday at Spruce Creek Country Club  to members of the … [Read more...]

22-year-old arrested by police while driving golf cart stolen last year

Jonathan Bedard

A 22-year-old Fort Lauderdale man is facing a charge of grand theft after he was arrested by Lady Lake police while driving a stolen golf cart. Jonathan R. Bedard was arrested at 12:49 p.m. July 17 while driving the golf cart at Griffin Avenue and U.S. Hwy. 27/441. The golf cart's description and vehicle identification number matched that of a … [Read more...]

Man arrested in Village of Fernandina burglary back behind bars

Corey Allen Smith

Twenty-three-year-old Corey Allen Smith of Lady Lake is back behind bars on a probation violation. He was picked up this weekend by Lake County sheriff's deputies. He was transferred Monday to the Sumter County Detention Center where he is being held without bond. Smith had been arrested by Sumter County sheriff's deputies back in February … [Read more...]

Robby Vee takes Villagers on journey through rock ‘n roll history

Robby Vee performs Monday evening at Savannah Center.

Robby Vee is a real son of a gun – at least when it comes to rock’n’roll. Bobby Vee’s little boy proved he belongs in the same rocking class as his famous father when he all but blew the roof off the Savannah Center Monday night. This was a night for rollicking music that covered just about everything from the Ventures’ twangy guitars to Hank … [Read more...]

Golf legend Nancy Lopez to be honored next month in Pebble Beach

Nancy Lopez

Golf legend Nancy Lopez will be honored in August at "The Langley, A Tribute To Legends," at Pebble Beach, Calif. It is the first time that two women golf greats - Lopez and Patty Sheehan - will be honored at the event set for Aug. 10-11. Now in its seventh year, "The Langley" is a premier, two-day, fundraising event that gives guests a … [Read more...]

Rep. O’Toole, Lady Lake officials clash over proposed tax increase

Mayor Ruth Kussard, left, listens to State Rep. Marlene O'Toole after Monday's Commission meeting.

State Rep. Marlene O'Toole, R-The Villages, on Monday evening made a plea before the Lady Lake Commission, arguing that a tax hike would be a hardship for residents on fixed incomes. Despite her argument, the commission took the first step toward raising taxes to cover a budget gap left by a sudden drop in the town's communications services tax … [Read more...]

Senator Alan Hays delivers strong message to Villages Tea Party

Sen. Alan Hays spoke to The Villages Tea Party on Monday evening at Savannah Center.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer for our country, The Villages Tea Party president, Aileen Milton, introduced Florida Senator Alan Hays, a Republican representing the 11th District. "I did not think I would be elected Florida Senator," Hays began. "because I am opinionated, I am blunt and I am not politically correct...but I believe … [Read more...]

Rotary Club of The Villages donates $25,000 to Take Stock in Children

Rotary Club of The Villages

The Rotary Club of The Villages (Morning) continued their giving ways this past week when they presented a $25,000 check to Take Stock in Children. As one of the most successful early initiatives programs the state of Florida has ever backed, Take Stock in Children provides a unique opportunity to low-income youth. The state matches 100% of all … [Read more...]

Fruitland Park Police Department has first-ever female police lieutenant

Beckie Sirolli was promoted Wednesday to lieutenant. With her are her husband Carmen Sirolli, right and Chief Terry Isaacs, left.

Fruitland Park has its first-ever female police lieutenant. Beckie Sirolli was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on Monday. Attending the ceremony was Sirolli's husband Carmen, a captain with the Ocala Police Department. The couple has two sons in law enforcement. Son Brandon is a detective with the Ocala Police Department. Son Aaron is … [Read more...]

Fernando closes out triumphant week of shows in The Villages

Fernando relaxed backstage before the show with his mother, Margarita Varela.

With the fourth and final performance of 'Four Divo' Sunday evening, Fernando Varela has now completed an entire week of entertainment at the Savannah Center. 'Four Divo' was met with many cheers, 'bravos' and standing ovations.  The creative stage presentation featured four large rectangular screens on which abstract forms and crashing waves were … [Read more...]

The Villages Regional Hospital continues to dazzle with progress

Work continues at The Villages Regional Hospital.

With lightning speed, progress continues on The Villages Regional Hospital expansion project. Atop the aluminum fretwork erected on the building's skeleton, sheets of steel mesh can now be seen. Several layers of insulation are in the process of being hoisted into place. Drywall will be installed over complex electrical wiring and ventilation … [Read more...]