Friday, May 25, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando Briefs for Feb. 24


AARP to offer driver safety program

AARP Driver Safety Program classes are available at various locations. The cost for each six-hour course is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for nonmembers. These classes are scheduled in March:

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 1, Brooksville Enrichment Center, Suite 120, Bayfront Health Brooksville Medical Arts Building, 17222 Hospital Blvd., west of Brooksville. Call Pat at (352) 586-2731.

• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 11, Brookridge Clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St., Brookridge. Call Beverly at (813) 907-3908.

• 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 14, Hernando County Mining Association Enrichment Center, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville. Call Bill at (352) 556-3050.

• Noon to 3 p.m. March. 14 and 16, Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. Call Wayne at (352) 597-9590.

• 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 21, Atria Evergreen Woods, 7030 Evergreen Woods Trail, Spring Hill. Call Bill at (352) 556-3050.

Republicans to offer scholarships to grads

The Hernando County Republican Party will offer four $500 college scholarships to 2017 high school graduates in the county. Students must attend a Hernando public or private high school. Applications are available at all guidance offices. Applications are available to homeschool students upon request. An essay concerning national conservative policies is required. Students must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average and have three letters of recommendation. Applications are due no later than April 21. For information, call (352) 397-7100.

County wants input for website project

Hernando County Public Information is seeking the community's input on a website redesign project that will update the county's website, The goal is to provide an attractive, functional and user-friendly website that informs, engages and enhances customers' experience with county government. To participate in a short, 13-question survey, visit For information, call (352) 540-6780 or send email to [email protected]

Volunteers sought for planning commission

The Hernando County Commission is accepting applications from individuals interested in serving as members on the Hernando County Planning and Zoning Commission, effective until Dec. 31, 2021. The commission acts as an advisory body to county commissioners on matters pertaining to rezoning and other land-use issues. Applicants must be residents and registered voters in Hernando County. Applicants also must have computer access and a basic understanding of how to use a computer. All members are required to have a personal laptop for meetings. These are voluntary, non-paid positions. Applications are available at the county administrator's office, 20 N Main St., Room 263, Brooksville. Call (352) 540-6426 or visit Applications must be returned no later than 5 p.m. March 10.


Art in the Park set for March 11 and 12

The Hernando County Fine Arts Council will present the 33rd annual Art in the Park Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 11 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 12 at Tom Varn Park, 306 Darby Lane. The celebration of arts and crafts will feature original artwork by more than 100 fine art and craft exhibitors. The Student Art Pavilion will feature a countywide exhibit of student art and a Kids Art Zone. The event will include food vendors, children activities and an art boutique. There will be entertainment throughout the event, with a special appearance by the Hernando Symphony Orchestra from 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 11. Bring a chair or blanket. Admission is free and includes a souvenir program. Parking is $5. For information, call (352) 279-5182 or visit

Sheriff to offer free Citizens Academy

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is accepting applications for its upcoming Citizens Academy, which will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. or from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, March 9 through April 27, in the Frank W. Bierwiler Emergency Communications and Operations Center on the Sheriff's Office campus, 18900 Cortez Blvd. The course gives residents an insider's view of the Sheriff's Office and the criminal justice system. There is no cost to participate. The deadline to sign up is March 3. To register, visit For information, call Michael Terry at (352) 797-3608.

Registration open for benefit golf tourney

Registration is open for the eighth annual Cause Fore Paws golf tournament on April 3 at Brooksville Country Club, 23446 Links Drive, a benefit for the Humane Society of the Nature Coast. Check-in is at 8 a.m.; the shotgun start will be at 9 a.m. The day includes breakfast and lunch, raffles and prizes. The cost is $80 per golfer. The deadline to register is March 31. To register or for information, call (352) 796-2711 or visit

Ceremony to honor Moton High teachers

The Black Educators Caucus will host the Moton High School Classroom Preservation Dedication Ceremony at 10 a.m. March 4 at the site of the former high school, currently occupied by Mid-Florida Community Services' Head Start program, at 835 School St. During the ceremony, a plaque honoring the teachers who taught at the high school will be placed at the entrance. The event is free and open to the public. For information, call Viennessee Black at (352) 544-2714.

Historic preservation group sets meeting

The Historic Hernando Preservation Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 2 at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave. The speaker will be Barbara Clark, registered professional archaeologist with the Florida Public Archaeology Network, who will discuss how plants were used as medicine and food in Florida by prehistoric people and early settlers. The group meets on the first Thursday of each month, except July. Those who share a love of local history are welcome. For information, visit


Tickets on sale for musical 'Evita'

Tickets are on sale for the musical Evita at Stage West Community Playhouse. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. March 9, 10, 11, 17 and 18 and at 2 p.m. March 12, 18 and 19 at the theater, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Group pricing available. For information, call (352) 683-5113 or visit

Stage West to hold 'Bridesmaid' auditions

Auditions for the play Always a Bridesmaid will be at 7 p.m. March 3 and at 1 p.m. March 4 at the Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd. Directors are looking for six women to fill the roles of: Kari Ames-Bissette (late 20s), Libby Ruth Ames (late 40s), Monette Gentry (late 40s), Charlie Collins (late 40s), Deedra Wingate (late 40s) and Sedalia Ellicott (late 60s). All but Wingate will need to use a Southern accent. Rehearsals will start at 7 p.m. March 6. Show dates are April 20 to 30. For information, visit or send email to Terry at [email protected] or Jay at [email protected]

Boutique open for breast cancer patients

Breast cancer survivors and women fighting the disease are invited to visit the Boutique of Hope from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Crescent Community Clinic, 5244 Commercial Way. Items include wigs, bras, hats, turbans, scarves, forms and chemises, all donated by Ribbons of Hope in Pasco County. Visitors must meet the criteria for services offered at the clinic. To apply for free health care, clients must meet federal poverty guidelines and have no insurance or be under-served. All items in the boutique are free to qualifying women. Also, volunteers are needed for two shifts. For information, call Claire at (352) 428-4143.

RV park will host annual craft show

The Holiday Springs RV Resort, 138 Travel Park Drive, will host its annual Spring Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 4. The event will include crafts, baked goods, homemade jellies, jewelry and vendors. Food will be available for purchase. For information, call Kris at (352) 777-2810.


Club offers bridge classes for beginners

Spring Hill's Nature Coast Bridge Club will offer its eight-week Beginning Bridge classes, taught by a certified teacher, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays beginning March 7 at 3021 Commercial Way. The class is $60 and includes a textbook. For information or to enroll, call Judy at (727) 819-2008.

Public invited to learn about clinic at events

Crescent Community Clinic, 5244 Commercial Way, will have two free events for those familiar and those not familiar with the clinic. The public is invited to a free breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:30 March 6 in honor of the clinic's founders. A free birthday celebration at 11:30 a.m. March 8 will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon hosted by the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce. To RSVP, call (352) 263-1218 or send email to [email protected]

Wine tasting to benefit youth club

The second annual Toast to their Future wine tasting event to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hernando County's Westside Unit will be from 7 to 9 p.m. March 4 at Strong Tower Vineyard, 17810 Forge Drive. The event will include live music, appetizers, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $20 per person and available at the Westside Unit at Westside Elementary School, 5404 Applegate Drive.

Legacy trees are topic of AARP meeting

Hernando County West AARP Chapter 5445 will meet at noon Feb. 24 at Golden Corral, 5300 Commercial Way. If ordering from the menu, please arrive at 11 a.m. Certified arborist Chris Brannan of Legacy Live Oak LLC will speak. To RSVP, call (352) 666-5483.

Service to honor sacrifice of chaplains

Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., will host the annual Four Chaplains Memorial Service at 2 p.m. March 5. The interfaith service, which is free and open to the public, honors the four military chaplains, all of different faiths, who died aboard the USS Dorchester, which was torpedoed during World War II on Feb. 3, 1943. The chaplains handed out life jackets to the servicemen aboard and, when there were none left, gave up their own and went down with the ship. They were: Methodist minister George Fox, Lutheran minister Clark Poling, Jewish rabbi Alexander Goode and Catholic priest Johnny Washington. Various veteran organizations will participate. Refreshments will follow the service. For information, call (352) 686-7034 or (352) 666-0606.


Center, museum to open to public

The Old Spring Lake Community Center, a national historic site at 4184 Spring Lake Highway, will open its museum and historic center to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 25 and March 11 and 25.

Meet your unwelcome Memorial Day guest: Subtropical Storm Alberto

Meet your unwelcome Memorial Day guest: Subtropical Storm Alberto

It has a name.Subtropical Storm Alberto is crawling into the Gulf of Mexico, an unwelcome guest arriving a week before the official start of hurricane season.The system, which became the first named storm of the year Friday, could bring five inches o...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Jury deliberating in trial accusing Hernando deputies of abuse

Jury deliberating in trial accusing Hernando deputies of abuse

TAMPA — Michael Bratt told a story.He said that Hernando County sheriff’s deputies attacked him in his home early one morning eight years ago, beat him severely on his front lawn, and continued the assault as they took him to a hospital.But another s...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Mom service dog has puppies in Tampa airport, while dad service dog looks on

Mom service dog has puppies in Tampa airport, while dad service dog looks on

TAMPA — Travelers killing time at Tampa International Airport’s Gasparilla Bar got an unexpected show Friday when a dog gave birth to eight puppies near Gate F81. The 2-year-old golden retriever, Eleanor Rigby, owner Diane Van Atter, and...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police: Baby not abandoned; mother surrendered infant

TAMPA — A newborn baby initially thought to be found on the ground near a trash can in north Tampa was not abandoned, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.The child’s mother gave birth to the boy Thursday, and she and someone else too...
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