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News from around the state of Florida as reported in The Villages, Florida. Stories from around Florida, including Lake, Sumter and Marion counties, as well as areas in north, central, and south Florida. Stories on Villagers’ lives and activities throughout the communities and the state. News for state-wide government, policies, events and happenings.

Annual Chili Cookoff and BBQ Competition to help firefighters with medical issues

The sweet aroma of BBQ and chili will be in the air at Gator Harley-Davidson this weekend as the Lake County Firefighters Charity will sponsor the 7th Chili Cookoff and BBQ Competition.

Leesburg firefighters tackle blaze that erupted in passenger vehicle

Crews from Leesburg Fire Rescue battled a vehicle fire Thursday afternoon.

Leesburg converts intersections into four-way stops to improve safety

Two intersections in the downtown area of Leesburg are being converted into four-way stops to address safety and traffic concerns.

MADD honors Leesburg Police senior officer as department’s top DUI enforcer

A Leesburg Police senior officer was honored Friday by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Trio popped on bevy of drug charges after traffic stop in Leesburg

Two men and a woman found themselves behind bars after a recent traffic stop in Leesburg.

City of Leesburg announces closures and trash schedule for upcoming MLK holiday

City of Leesburg offices and facilities and the public library will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20 for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Leesburg man nabbed on hefty drug charges after found passed out on porch

A 29-year-old career criminal who was found passed out on the porch of a Leesburg home is behind bars in the Lake County Jail on a bevy of drug charges.

Multiple fire departments battle suspicious blaze that heavily damages Leesburg church

Multiple crews from three fire departments battled a suspicious blaze at a Leesburg church on Friday night.

Longtime commissioner takes the helm as Leesburg’s new mayor

Longtime Commissioner Elise Dennison was appointed mayor of Leesburg on Monday night in her final year in office.

Leesburg Police K-9 officer lauded for nabbing bandit who stole downtown eatery’s tip jar

A Leesburg K-9 officer is being praised for quickly catching a thief who ripped off a tip jar from a downtown restaurant.