Become a hospice volunteer: HPH Hospice is recruiting volunteers to help with clerical duties, such as filing and answering phone calls. Volunteers are also needed to assist the cook in the kitchen at the Sturgill Hospice Care Center. A two-part orientation for prospective volunteers will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the care center, 12242 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. Lunch will be provided. Attendance is mandatory both days. There is no cost, but registration is required due to limited seating. Call Anne Clarke at (352) 597-1882.
College football kickoff party: Friends of the Children Inc. will host a 2014 College Football Kickoff Party from 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Jerome Brown Community Center, 99 Jerome Brown Place, Brooksville. The event will include a barbecue dinner, corn hole, a raffle to win a television, a 50/50 drawing, door prizes, cold beer and music. Guests are encouraged to wear their college gear. Tickets are $15 per person. Proceeds will benefit Friends of the Children, helping to fund children's events such as Operation Backpack, the Uptown Block Party and Movie in the Park. For information or tickets, call the Brooksville Parks and Recreation Department at (352) 540-3830.
Beautification Board seeking a student member: The city of Brooksville is seeking a student volunteer to fill a vacancy on the city's Beautification Board. The student would serve a one-year term and earn community service hours toward high school graduation. The board meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month, September through June. Approximately eight community service hours will be earned by attending the meetings; additional hours may be earned by participating in special projects, such as the annual Arbor Day celebration and judging of Christmas light displays. Interested students do not have to be city residents to apply. For information, contact Ryan Timothy at (352) 540-3841 or email@example.com.
Nature, outdoor programs at Chinsegut: The following programs will be offered at the Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, north of Brooksville:
• Old Time Picnic, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Bring a dish to share, along with your own place settings, drink cups and utensils, and enjoy a family picnic under the oaks.
• Children in the Wild, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23. Children ages 3 to 7 are invited to explore Florida wildlife through outdoor activities and games, a story and a lesson or craft. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Limited to 20 participants.
• Nature Journaling, 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 30. Record the memories of your outdoor adventures through nature journaling. This is a hands-on workshop that focuses on how to develop and keep a journal in the tradition of Aldo Leopold and John Muir, through writing and sketching activities.
• Uplands Module Florida Master Naturalist Program, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 20 to Oct. 25. This program explores the uplands natural communities of Florida through classroom activities and field trips. Course details are available online at masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu.
For information or to reserve a seat, call (352) 754-6722 or visit myfwc.com/chinsegut.
Summer dance with the Arc: The Arc Nature Coast will host a Summer Sizzler Dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 22 at its education center at 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. The event is for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Music will be provided by PJ the DJ Lobato. Volunteers are welcome. The cost is $5, which includes pizza, beverage and a snack. Parents, volunteers and children 9 and younger admitted free. For information, call (352) 544-2322, ext. 109, or send email to Nancy Stubbs at nstubbs @thearc-naturecoast.org.
Zoo management course: The Florida International Teaching Zoo is offering a one-year zoo animal management program starting Sept. 7. The program includes lectures coupled with hands-on experience with the teaching animals. Lectures will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Sundays and from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Mondays at the zoo, 4258 SW 52nd Terrace, Bushnell. Lab times will be a minimum of one day a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there will be one weekend public tour day each month. The cost is $1,000 per term (four terms per year). Monthly payment plans may be requested. Tuition fees are tax-deductible. Class size is limited to 15 students. Must be at least 18 years old. Due to the nature of work with the animals, certain handicap situations are not permissible. For information, call (352) 867-7788, visit the Florida International Teaching Zoo on Facebook, send email to drwislonvet @gmail.com or visit the website at floridazooschool.org.
NRA friends host auction: Hernando County Friends of NRA will host its annual buffet dinner and live auction from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 20428 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. The family-friendly fundraiser will include games, a silent auction and prizes. Dress code is casual. Tickets are $40 each; reserved tables that seat eight are $300. Tickets may be purchased online at friendsofnra.org. For information, contact Bob Barnett at (352) 238-4894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
County water-saving rebates: The Hernando County Utilities Department is offering two water conservation incentive programs to its customers:
• Low Flow Toilet Rebate Program — Qualified customers can receive up to a $200 water bill credit ($100 per toilet) if they change a high gallon-per-flush toilet to a water-saving toilet that uses 1.6 gpf or less.
To qualify, the home must be built before 1994, and a participating plumber must be used for purchase and installation of new toilets.
• Rain Sensor Rebate Program — Qualified customers who need a rain sensor may receive a $50 water bill credit. A properly working sensor automatically shuts of a sprinkler system when there has been adequate rainfall.
To qualify, the home and irrigation system must be older than 2001, water used for irrigation must be provided by the county, and a participating irrigation contractor must be used for purchase and installation of the rain sensor.
The deadline is Sept. 17. To see if you qualify, or for information, call (352) 754-4705 or send email to waterconservation @co.hernando.fl.us.
Ride THE Bus free on election days: THE Bus, Hernando County's public transportation system, will offer free rides on all established routes during the primary and general elections, Aug. 26 and Nov. 4, respectively. Riders must show their voter information card in order to ride free on those days.
Riders will not be dropped off at polling places unless the site is already along a designated route. Route schedules are available at hernandobus.com.
Those who are not registered to vote and wish to do so can go to hernandovotes.com for details, though the deadline has passed to register for the primary. For information, call THE Bus at (352) 754-4444.
TRIM notices coming in mail: The Hernando County Property Appraiser's Office will be mailing Truth in Millage notices to property owners today. The notices of proposed taxes and fees are not bills, but residents should be aware that the notices contain date-sensitive information.
The appraiser's office urges taxpayers to read their notices carefully. The office also reminds residents that market, assessed and taxable values are the only issues the office can address. Questions about tax rates and government budgets should be addressed to the appropriate taxing authority.
For those who receive the low-income senior exemption, the yellow renewal card will be included with the TRIM notice. It must be completed and returned to the office prior to March 1.
Artists wanted for next exhibit: The City Hall Art Gallery invites artists to submit their best work for the upcoming exhibit, "Farewell to Summer: A Remix of Change."
Open to all artists, the exhibit will include original art, sculptures, mixed media, drawings, photography and installation pieces. Diverse interpretations of the theme are encouraged.
Works will be received from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 23 at the gallery, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville. The reception to kick off the exhibit will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 5. For information, send email to cityart@cityofbrooks ville.us or call curator Rachel Fogarty at (352) 540-3811.
Reception to benefit Neighbors Against Mining: Summer Magic, a fundraiser to benefit Neighbors Against Mining's legal fund, will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Brooksville Woman's Club, 131 S Main St., Brooksville.
The cost is $20 per person or $35 per couple, and includes beer, wine, other refreshments, fresh appetizers, music by John & Jonathan and a silent auction.
Neighbors Against Mining is a volunteer organization created to stop Cemex's plan to expand lime rock mining west of Brooksville.
Checks should be made out to Nature Coast Conservation and mailed to 222 E Liberty St., Brooksville, FL 34601. For information, visit neighborsagainst mining.org.
Teen driver challenge: The Hernando County Sheriff's Office will offer its next Youth Teen Driver Challenge on Sept. 19 and 20.
The two-day program will include classroom instruction from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Sheriff's Office at 18900 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. Range instruction will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20 at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport. The program is designed to provide drivers ages 16 to 18 with knowledge and an understanding of vehicle dynamics and human kinetics.
The free program is limited to 10 students and is open to Hernando County students and residents with a valid driver's license. To sign up or for information, call (352) 754-6830. A printable registration form is available online at www.hernandosheriff.org.
Drop off your unused or expired prescriptions: The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has announced the installation of a permanent drug drop-off box at its main office at 18900 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.
Residents may properly dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, as well as veterinarian prescriptions.
The box is available in the main lobby during normal business hours. There is no cost to drop off medications.