NRA COURSES OFFERED: The Hernando Sportsman's Club is offering several National Rifle Association classes:
• NRA First Steps Shotgun course, 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 5, followed by an additional trap shooting seminar at 1 p.m. This course provides hands-on introduction to the safe handling and proper orientation to one specific shotgun model. It includes classroom and range time learning to shoot a specific model shotgun at a moving target. Participants receive the NRA Guide to the Basics of Shotgun Shooting handbook. The cost is $50 for the class, and an additional $7 range fee for the trap shooting seminar.
• NRA Muzzleloading Rifle course, 6 to 10 p.m. Jan. 18, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19. This two-day course includes classroom instruction and time on a range shooting a muzzleloading rifle. Lessons include safe gun handling, parts, loading, shooting, cleaning, and shooting from a standing position and shooting from a crossed stick position. Students receive the NRA Muzzleloading Rifle Handbook. The cost is $100.
• NRA Basic Pistol course, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 2. This course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude for owning and operating a pistol safely. Students will receive classroom and range time and learn to shoot revolvers and semiautomatic pistols. Students receive the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting handbook. The cost is $100.
• NRA Basic Instructor Training, 4 to 10 p.m. Feb. 8. Instructor candidates must possess and demonstrate a solid background in firearm safety and shooting skills and be intimately familiar with each action type in the discipline they wish to be certified. Participants will learn NRA policies and procedures, basic public speaking skills, training methodology, use of a training team and training aids, organizing a course, building a budget, and preparing to teach. Students receive the NRA trainer's guidebook. The cost is $100.
• NRA Pistol Instructor course, 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 15, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 16. Participants in this two-day class learn how to teach safe gun handling, ammunition knowledge, the fundamentals of pistol shooting, and how to improve the performance of beginning pistol shooters. Participants must pass exam with a score of at least 90 percent and receive endorsement of training counselor for certification. Pre-requisites: Completion of both the NRA Basic Pistol class and NRA Basic Instructor Training (BIT) class. The NRA BIT training class must have been completed within two years previously. The cost is $300.
All classes are conducted at the Hernando Sportsman's Club, 16121 Commercial Way, north of Weeki Wachee. Pre-registration is required. Call (352) 597-9931 to pre-register. Visit the website at hernandosportsmansclub.com.
GET TICKETS FOR SOUP-A-THON: The St. Frances Cabrini Knights of Columbus are selling tickets for the annual soup-a-thon, which will be Jan. 12 in Xavier Hall at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 5030 Mariner Blvd.
There will be four seating times: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1:30 to 3 p.m., 3:30 to 5 p.m. or 5:30 to 7 p.m. There are 64 restaurants scheduled to participate and provide their signature soups.
Tickets are $5 per person, which allows for all the soup one can eat, one cup at a time, during the designated ticket time. No carry-outs will be allowed.
Tickets tend to sell out quickly. No tickets will be available at the door.
Tickets may be purchased in the parish hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, or call (352) 683-9202.
Tickets may also be purchased from Jack at (352) 686-9767, Frank at (352) 398-9942 or John at (352) 596-4709.
ANIMAL RESCUE EVENT: The Animal Rescue Friends Network, also known as ARF'N, will host a rescue event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Animal Care Center of Weeki Wachee, 7044 Commercial Way.
Dogs, cats and kittens that have been rescued from Hernando County Animal Services will be available for adoption. All have been fully vetted and are currently in foster homes.
Refreshments will be available for purchase. For information, call Susanne Whelan at (352) 684-9050.
BOOK DISCUSSIONS FOCUS ON FLORIDA: The Hernando County Public Library System will present book discussions focusing on Florida throughout 2013 in celebration of Viva Florida 500, a statewide recognition of Florida's 500 years.
The first will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Spring Hill Branch/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.
The discussion will be on A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith. The novel won the Florida Historical Society's prize of the Most Outstanding Florida Historical Novel. It focuses on three generations of a Florida family that battled the hardships of the frontier, rising from dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons.
For information, call (352) 754-4043.