Lake County Stories

A list of the most recent stories about Lake County.

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Sexual affair could cost police officer his law enforcement certification

Two Lady Lake police officers are off the job because of an affair and at least one of them is in danger of losing his law enforcement certification.   Channel 9's Kenneth Craig learned that the affair was exposed by the wife of Officer Bruce Portmess.   She wrote a ...

Central Florida classroom

FSA tests continue following issues, log-in errors

Florida Standards Assessment tests continued Tuesday, despite Monday's debacle with student log-in problems. Many districts had to reschedule the tests. FSA replaced the FCAT this year. "Most of the students were confused, some just left the class," Boone High School student Markus Fails said. One student took to social media, ...

NWS determines Ocala damage was caused by tornado

A tornado touched down in an area of north Florida where dozens of homes were damaged by wind and failing trees. National Weather Service officials on Tuesday said the storm was an EF1 tornado. That type of tornado typically has wind gusts between 86 and 109 miles per hour. Residents ...

School districts halt FSA testing amid new problems

Florida school districts suspended testing amid a new round of problems with the state's online tests. Officials said students who tried to log in received error messages. "Most of the students were confused, some just left the class," Boone High School student Markus Fails said. Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart ...

Lake County parents on deadline to vote for school start date

Lake County residents have until 11 p.m. Sunday to vote on when the first day of school should be. More Info: Lake County Schools Start Date Survey The district is surveying residents about whether summer break should end earlier than Aug. 24. The change would allow the first semester to ...

Hundreds of volunteers help clean St. Johns River

Hundreds of volunteers turned out to clean up the St. Johns River Saturday morning. They collected 3,500 pounds of trash from eight sites in Volusia, Seminole and Lake counties. The 800 volunteers picked up mainly cans, bottles, cups, bags and cigarettes. They also found a 55-gallon drum filled with water, ...

Man beaten with cinderblock while asleep on porch in Leesburg

A man is accused of beating another man with a cinderblock as he slept on a porch in Leesburg Thursday night, police said. Authorities said Baxter Rishell, 54, used a cinderblock to strike William Zink's head several times, before smashing the block on the pavement and throwing the pieces into ...

Fruitland Park police officers placed on leave during criminal investigation

Two Fruitland Park police officers have been placed on administrative leave as the result of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, police officials said Wednesday. Interim Fruitland Park police chief Todd English, also a captain with the Lake County Sheriff's Department, said he was surprised when he ...

Homeless sex offender arrested for not charging GPS ankle monitor

A Lake County sex offender was arrseted because he didn't keep his GPS ankle monitor charged. Authorities said Brandon Ellison, 29, was located the same day that probation officers discovered his ankle monitor was dead. Channel 9 tried to find out how law enforcement keeps track of sex offenders when ...

Eustis city land going to the cows; Taxpayers to benefit

The city of Eustis is considering a new plan that would save thousands of taxpayer dollars all thanks to cows. Channel 9's Myrt Price learned the cows will graze on land the city isn't using but still pays to keep up. City leaders said they're excited about the plan, calling ...

Streetscape work causes concerns as Leesburg's Bikefest nears

Leesburg is gearing up for thousands of motorcyclists expected to arrive in town for the annual Bikefest that starts April 24.   Some of those in the town are concerned that a major streetscape project that is underway and unfinished could hurt what is typically a big moneymaker for local ...

FDLE investigates after longtime Mount Dora city leader receives threatening letters

A longtime Mount Dora city leader has been receiving anonymous threats from some of the citizens he serves, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the situation. The target is the acting city manager, Mark Reggentin, who has been with the city for 22 years. One of the ...

Tree-trimmer accused of threatening customer with chainsaw

A Leesburg tree trimmer is out of jail after allegedly threatening a customer with a chainsaw. The customer told Lake County deputies Mark Nichols, 35, threatened him with the chainsaw when the customer caught Nichols cutting down an entire tree that he was not supposed to remove. Nichols was charged ...

Mount Dora residents say developer never built promised equestrian center

Some Lake County residents told Channel 9 they were lured into buying their homes with the promise of an equestrian center, but it was never built. Homeowners claim that Centex, the developer of the Sullivan Ranch neighborhood in Mount Dora, told them there would be a multi-million dollar equestrian center ...

Rare sightings: Manatees spotted in Lake County lakes

Those visiting Little Lake Harris and other lakes in Lake County are accustomed to seeing birds, fish, alligators and the occasional seaplane – they don't expect to see manatees.   Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said there have been several manatee sightings in the past week.   Wildlife ...

Mount Dora firefighter with rescued kitten

Mount Dora firefighter rescues, adopts kitten trapped in wall

Mount Dora homeowners tried to rescue a kitten that was trapped inside a wall in their home. However, after several failed attempts, they called the Mount Dora Fire Department for help. Mount Dora firefighter Tara Holcomb reached through a small hole in the wall that had been cut earlier by ...

3 utility workers struck, killed by car identified

Three utility workers were killed after being hit by a vehicle in Lake County Thursday. Florida Highway Patrol Troopers said the accident happened at U.S. 27 near Cagan Crossings Boulevard. According to troopers, Alexandra Schultz, 20, of Clermont, was driving south on U.S. 27, when a car driven by Ira ...

Police investigate rash of golf cart thefts in Tavares

More than five golf carts have been stolen in a neighborhood in Tavares and police said they’re having a hard time finding out who’s behind the thefts. Investigators haven’t said how the thieves are stealing the golf carts, but they’ve been out on the streets warning people to be on ...

State audit details several issues within Lake County school district

The Florida Auditor General released a 94-page audit report that details areas that the Lake County school district needs to improve. In the audit, 16 issues were identified within Lake County public schools. "There's areas we have to work on. There's areas our internal auditor within the School Board has ...

Neighbors upset with neighbor's junk yard; Man says he has bills to pay

Some Clermont residents are upset that their neighbor has allowed junk to pile up in his yard, creating an unnecessary eyesore. On Tuesday, the owner of the home, Craig Brown, told Channel 9 he started a scrap business to support himself after he lost his job. Brown said the bills ...

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