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Board recommends okaying sale of individual RV spaces

The Planning and Development Review Board on Thursday recommended that the County Commission approve a plan that would allow RV parks to sell individual spaces to tenants. Citrus is the only Florida county that prohibits the sales of individual spaces. County officials previously have said selling the spaces could, someday, lead to developers building permanent homes on the sites, many of which are in hurricane-prone areas. But countystaff and RV park owners have made provisions to prevent that, and theplanning board approved the proposal, which would amend Citrus' land development code.

Female whooping crane found dead in northern Alabama

One of the 35 endangered whooping cranes reintroduced by ultralight aircraft to the wild in eastern North America has been found dead in northern Alabama. The carcass of crane No. 15 from the Class of 2002, a female, was recovered Monday by trackers for the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, staff from Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and an Alabama Department of Natural Resources conservation officer in Limestone County, Ala. The remains were shipped to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Forensics Center in Ashland, Ore., where a necropsy will be performed. The crane was one of 16 young whooping cranes that made their first migration led by an ultralight aircraft in the fall of 2002, arriving for its winter stay at Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge with its flockmates on Nov. 30, 2002. It made its first unassisted migration north in spring 2003. This year, it left Wisconsin for its southward migration on Nov. 21, traveling with two other birds from the Class of 2002. Those birds completed their migration Dec. 29, nesting in Pasco County.

Nature Coast Volunteer Center receives $10,000 grant

The Nature Coast Volunteer Center of Citrus County is one of nine volunteer centers statewide to receive a $10,000 grant to establish a new mentor center, the governor's office announced Thursday. "Mentoring is an important service that positively changes lives," Gov. Jeb Bush said in prepared remarks. "By establishing mentor centers with these grass roots partners we can further extend our outreach and increase the number of mentors providing important guidance to children across our state." The grants are intended to help volunteer centers increase the number of mentors statewide by providing coordination, materials and technical assistance for outreach through corporate, municipal, faith-based, community-based and state agency mentoring programs. Recipients were selected through a competitive grant process.