Some of the most popular stories of the week


B&W Rexall Drug owner and pharmacist Ken Heiman works with patient Fran Krug on Tuesday March 22 at his pharmacy in Inverness. Heiman now incorporates a Test and Treat program where he can assess, test and prescribe medications for common ailments.

Pharmacists to diagnose and treat the sick, thus relieving other health professionals

Get more of the Citrus County Chronicle

Florida is one of many states that now allow pharmacists to perform basic diagnostics and write and fill prescriptions for illnesses such as urinary tract infections, flu, COVID-19, chest infections routine and other types of infections.

Pharmacists can also perform laboratory tests if they have the necessary equipment.

Florida requires pharmacists to complete an additional 20 hour course to perform the diagnostic service, but nothing more.

Ken Heimann of B&W Rexall Drugs is currently the only pharmacist in Citrus County to complete the state-run course in October and can now diagnose such illnesses.

Heiman said the pandemic has forced the healthcare system’s hand and pushed the pharmaceutical industry further down its current trajectory.

Chain pharmacies were already moving towards diagnosis, hiring nurses and medical assistants to diagnose and treat customers. They were also performing COVID-19 tests and administering vaccines.

When the pandemic hit hardest, doctors, hospitals and labs were overwhelmed. The advancement of licensed pharmacists to diagnose simple problems was the next logical step and helped relieve some of the pressure on other areas of health care, Heimann said.

Demand for new and used homes remains strong

new house

A roofer works Tuesday, March 29 atop a new home in the new Timber Pines community of Citrus Springs built by Adams Homes.

How’s the housing market? Closed sales are up, home prices are skyrocketing and inventories remain low. On the new home construction side, builders are seeing a lot of work.

Right now there is a furious demand for new homes in Citrus County. And, given current market conditions and the median cost of used homes ($260,000), there isn’t much difference between buying a new home and buying an existing one, did he declare.

“We build 50 homes a year – one a week,” said Bruce Kaufman, president of Kaufman Construction at Homosassa.

Pine Ridge, he said, is a particularly hot market for building new single-family homes.

The majority of customers are retirees and they come from all over Florida and the country, he said.

Inverness couple land one for the arts

art walk

Danny and Elisha Belden, operators of Twistid Ink Tattoo in Inverness, are hosting Walk of Arts, a sidewalk chalk competition for children and teenagers and a music festival on September 3 at Liberty Park in Inverness. The one-day event will include the art contest, live music, food and more.

As children, Danny and Elisha Belden, owners of Twistid Ink Tattoo in Inverness, were ‘art children’.

Danny loved to draw, Elisha loved theater and performing arts, loved and still loves music.

One thing they both remember from their youth: sidewalk chalk art contests.

It inspired them to create an art/music festival this fall, the Walk of Arts, in Liberty Park, with a chalk art competition for kids ages 5-18, as well as live music from local and regional bands and 80s pop star Tiffany headlining.

“So we decided we wanted to be the advocates for the arts in Citrus County,” said Danny Belden. “We want kids to know there’s more to them than sports.”

“The thing with Citrus County, we know people here who are doing really cool and creative things, but they had to go somewhere else to do it,” Elisha Belden said. “We want kids to be able to be creative here.”

Inverness city center hotel ramps up despite material and labor shortages

new hotel

Dr Paresh Desai is the driving force behind the construction of a new hotel in Inverness.

Despite skyrocketing material costs, labor shortages and supply chain delivery issues that have plagued most construction across the country, Citrus County hotelier Dr. Paresh Desai, is optimistic about the 72-suite hotel and its progress despite industry issues.

“We struggle like most builders,” Desai said.

Originally thinking the hotel would open in June, he now thinks July or August are better bets.

“For the hotel to be open to the public, it has to have it all,” Desai said.

That means every element that makes up a hotel, from the soap dishes in the showers to the nightlights in the rooms, has to be there, he said.

However, this creates problems for DI Construction, LLC Superintendent John Dungan, as work in an area of ​​hotel rooms often has to stop as work cannot continue until materials arrive.

“Anytime you’re expecting something,” Dungan said. “And you tear your hair out every time you turn around.”

But Dungan and Desai said it was happening across the country and the Inverness project was not unique.

The hotel is expected to enjoy 80-90% occupancy when complete and will accommodate visiting HCA Florida Citrus Hospital staff as well as the general public.

Homosassa man arrested for throwing 780 pounds of trash in state forest

maxamillion jacob cox


Maxamillion Jacob Cox, 22, was arrested on March 23 for third-degree felony charges of dumping more than 500 pounds after dumping more than 750 pounds of trash in the Withlacoochee State Forest.

Florida Forest Service rangers took the litter to the county dump, where the trash was weighed, then, using a name and address on receipts they found in the litter, they traced the litter. origin from the trash can to the house rented by Cox in Homosassa.

According to his arrest report, when Cox met an FWC officer at the Crystal River Mall, Cox told the officer, “I know exactly why you want to talk to me.”

“Cox was cooperative during the interview,” reported the FWC officer before arresting Cox, “said he was sorry and he knew what he had done was wrong.”

Hot topic of the week: The Housing Market in Citrus County: Sales Are Up, Home Prices Are Soaring, Inventory Stays Low, and People Have Opinions. Here’s what some had to say this week on the Chronicle Facebook page:

Lynn Ericson: “And the overvalued market has pretty much shut out anyone born here. Ridiculous.”

Brian Snapp: “I’m shocked that anyone is surprised by this. For years I have known and predicted that this would happen as soon as the Veterans Highway Extension opened. This will continue and in fact get worse when they build the toll road extension. Citrus County as we once knew it is no more. This is the path of human population growth and migration.

Katelynn Davis: “As much as I loved this county growing up, we can’t shut everyone out forever. We need growth, but we also mustn’t lose our small-town charm. It’s great to see so many people who also love our little town. However, we still have roads that cannot handle all the influx of people. The change is necessary and I hope it will be done correctly.

Scarlett Dearheart: “They come here and want to change things. How about just moving somewhere that’s already the way you want it? »

FrankDatank Griswold: “They have to do something with affordable housing for young families in this area. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what happened. Sure, housing prices have gone up, but all the flippers that have come to buy houses and are now charging astronomical rents have gone up as well. You used to have people who worked for $10 an hour here and could afford rent of $550 to $750 a month… Then the housing market exploded due to COVID and all those who worked those $10 an hour jobs were kicked out of the area… The rent has literally tripled for the people who used to work those $10 to $11 an hour jobs here…

“I’m just saying someone has to think about the future… The truth is, nobody wants to work for peanuts anymore because they just can’t afford to live here on current rents.” Remember not everyone can just buy a house… Can someone from the building department or the county commissioners have some common sense and look ahead and realize in what predicament we all find ourselves in right now? If they don’t build affordable housing for the younger generations, they’ll kick them all out and no one will be around to take your orders or check you out in stores.

Quote of the week: “I’m not coming as Chicken Little. The sky isn’t falling.” – Brown “Jack” Dumas III, Crystal River Fire Chief and Deputy City Manager, speaking to city council members about the needs of the fire department as the city prepares for its budget workshop on May 4. Suncoast Credit Union recently donated $20,000 to the Community Food Bank to help them do what they do: feed the hungry in Citrus County. used to purchase a forklift and a pallet truck.

The food bank provides food to approximately 50 small groups, agencies, churches, etc., who then distribute it to those in need.

Every Monday, the Chronicle lists some of the places people can get food assistance, including a cooked meal.