Villages News

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On Thursday, April 15, the Lake County sheriff’s Special Investigations Narcotic’s Unit served a search warrant on the home of David Petersen, located at 308 West Berckman Street in Fruitland Park. Over the past few months, the sheriff’s Narcotic’s Unit has received several citizen complaints in reference to suspected illegal drug activity occurring at Mr. Petersen’s residence.

Just before dawn Thursday morning, the Lake County sheriff’s SWAT team, with the assistance of the Fruitland Park Police department, executed the search warrant on Petersen’s residence. Sheriff’s detectives and detectives from the City-County Investigative Bureau (CCIB) searched the home and located methamphetamine (Crystal Ice), Fentanyl, and numerous amounts of drug paraphernalia.

David Petersen was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Thomas Gilley was charged with possession of Methamphetamine, Fentanyl, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Both were transported to the Lake County Jail without incident.


Lady Lake Chamber held a ribbon cutting for Hiers Funeral home. As you can see it was well attended. Photo by Janet Fraley.

The 6th Semi-Annual Business to Business Expo. The Expo was held at the Water Oak Recreation Center. There were 40 Businesses represented at the expo. Most of which supplied door prizes. Each business had two minutes on stage explaining their services and products. Lunch was provided by Luke Emerson with lunch from Jimmy John’s .  After the two minute speech a video was available to make available soon. Pam Jones that works for Daniel Webster sang the National Anthem.  Networking and making each other aware of everyone attending about your business and services.

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Lake County sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported stabbing Saturday evening at approximately 6:40 p.m. at a residence located at 44721 Lake Mack Drive in DeLand.

The suspect, 30-year-old Kolby Allen Parker, initially reported to deputies that he was attacked by his 77-year-old grandfather, Ronal Wells, Sr., who also resided at the residence with Parker. Parker initially claimed the two were smoking marijuana together and a confrontation began, at which time he said Wells came at him with a knife. Parker stated he was able to disarm Wells and use the knife against him.

The 77-year-old Wells was located deceased on the front porch of the home with apparent stab wounds.

While talking with responding deputies, Parker produced two human ears from his pants pocket, which were later discovered to be those of the decedent. He then became violent towards the deputies, attacking and fighting them and trying to disarm them. He was secured and placed under arrest for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting with Violence.

Detectives arrived on scene to further the investigation, during which time they executed a search warrant for the property. Detectives located a baseball bat in the corner of the porch with what appeared to be blood-like stains, as well as a large butcher knife on the kitchen table and dripped blood on the kitchen floor. Continue reading


A Banyan Residence open house Ribbon Cutting by Lady Lake Chamber of Commerce. Pictured  of the owners in from left  Blake, Brandon Anderson and Greg Anderson on the right, the lady standing in the back ground in the red jacket was mayor Ruth Kussard. Many questions were being ask during the many tours so we thought we would do a question and answer story.

  1. Let me tell you about A Banyan Residence. What services are available at the facility?
  2. A Banyan Residence is an assisted living and memory care resort that is owned and operated by the founding family. Our family started in assisted living and memory care in 1998 with a unique concept that emphasized an independent and outdoor lifestyle that we’ve built into our design here in The Villages area. By dedicating three full acres to botanical butterfly gardens, waterfall koi fish ponds, walking paths, gazebos, and the like, we find seniors are able to relax peacefully in a home-like and comfortable environment. We also offer a giant clubhouse full of amenities to keep residents active from sun up to sun down. We have amenities such as a movie theater, hair salon, physical fitness gym, ice cream parlor, bistro, crafts room, library, and a state-of-the-art sensory room showing off cutting edge technology geared for senior living.

Beyond the building design itself, we are staffed and trained to provide any necessary assistance to keep our residents independent for as long as possible while still making sure their daily needs are met. Our custom culinary program is designed to provide exquisite meals that would go unrivaled in the industry. Our enrichment program keeps seniors of all types stimulated, active, and social with both on-campus daily events but also in the community, such as attending polo matches, live concerts, restaurant openings, and so on. Finally, our care program allows for seniors to rely on our staff to bridge the gap physically and mentally to achieve independence in their day-to-day lives while maintaining dignity and integrity.  Continue reading

March 22-28 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.  Addiction can happen to any person regardless of age.  It usually starts when a person is young.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is the result of changes in the brain that can come from substance abuse.  Addictions affect how people think and what they do.  There are no specific “type” of person who becomes addicted.  People can face addiction regardless of where they are from, or their social status.

Though this may be a difficult topic to discuss with a family member or friend, it is important to have this discussion as it may save a person from problems in the future that can include arrest, loss of employment, or even death.  Teens are especially vulnerable due to peer pressure from friends who may experiment with drugs and alcohol.  One important sign of addiction is that a person continues to use drugs even though it’s harming their life: physical health, performance at school or work, or relationships. They feel like they can’t stop using drugs, no matter what happens. Continue reading

The Lady Lake Chamber will have their Installation and Annual meeting March 4. Here is the 2021 and 2022 executive Committee. President Vicki Kerley, Vice President Luke Emerson, Secretary Tiffany Jack & Treasurer Jeanne Lazo.

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The Sumter County raging tax battle has been temporarily stopped.It has been tabled until July. Three new Sumter County Commissioners Miller, Search and Estep have voted against the compromise that has been proposed. The proposed tax could have doubled the taxes for the residents and businesses in Sumter County.

Recently the Developer offered to pay $40% more of the road impact fees on every home they build. The compromise was denied by the County Commission. All three County Commissioners have their own idea of a fair taxation. Some of the increased taxes are supposed to assist with the New UF Health Hospital.

Commissioner Breeden has rejected any taxation on the people of Sumter County. Breeden said when we raised the ad Valorem tax we promised the people that we would not raise taxes for five years, that was in 2018.

Commissioner Doug Gilpin was not agree.

I guess we will have to wait till July to see how it is worked out.

Governor DeSantis was in Brownwood discussing the success of the amount of shots that were given. Now getting things ready for a new batch of Vaccines. Florida will be receiving 41,000 more doses on top of our normal allotment.

Earlier Gov DeSantis said the drive through’s work so well some will become permanent. It looks like there is a plan in place now if they will get the medication in the state.

The improvement of technology in today’s society has greatly benefited law enforcement and our society as a whole.  However, improvements in technology have led to a serious threat on our roadways – distracted driving.

Dialing numbers on cell phones or typing text messages requires attention that should be paid to the task of driving.  There are four main types of distraction: visual (taking your eyes off the road), auditory (hearing something not related to driving) manual (taking your hands off the wheel) and cognitive (taking your mind off what you are doing).  While all distractions can endanger drivers’ and fellow motorists’ safety, texting while driving is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction.  Shockingly, statistics show that texting while driving is just as dangerous as operating a motor vehicle while impaired.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is estimated that 2,841 people were killed on our nation’s roadways and more than 400,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving in the year 2018.

Texting while driving has been proven dangerous beyond dispute.  Taking one’s eyes off the road for the average 5-6 second text, is enough to travel the length of a football field at 55 MPH.  It is clear that the dangers of texting while driving are serious.  A life is more precious than taking a call or responding to a text message.  It is imperative that we put the safety of others above our own need to access technology.  If you feel the need to send that message, safely pull off the roadway first. Continue reading

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