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Hernando County news and notes

PTSA MEETING: Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics, 13400 Elgin Blvd., Spring Hill, will have a Parent-Teacher-Student Association meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the cafeteria. For information, call (352) 797-7024.

FREE AGROTERRORISM COURSE: A free Department of Homeland Security-certified course, "Understanding the Dangers of Agroterrorism," will be offered from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Hernando County Emergency Operations Center, 18900 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville.

The course is provided by the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and is geared for rural first responders and other community residents to raise awareness on the need to identify and defend against pathogens, chemical and biological contaminants, and other hazards. Participants will learn the skills and knowledge to assess vulnerabilities; identify targets; develop prevention, protection and mitigation strategies; employ the principles of building multidisciplinary frontline emergency response teams; and discuss important elements involved in immediate and long-term response to an agroterrorism attack or food system disaster. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required by Thursday. To register, contact Art Johnstone at or (850) 251-4184.

ART DISPLAY ENTRIES SOUGHT: Friday is the deadline to enter the art display for the Courthouse Centennial Celebration that will be in downtown Brooksville on Oct. 11 and 12. Submissions for the exhibit are open to anyone 12 and older and should depict the historic courthouse. Entries may be in any medium and must be a minimum of 8 by 10 inches and a maximum of 16 by 20 inches in size. For information, visit or call the Hernando County community relations office at (352) 540-6780.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS POKER RUN: The Hernando County chapter of Special Olympics Florida will host a Howler Poker Run on Sept. 15. Registration and breakfast will be at 10 a.m. at Horse and Crown, 5230 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. Last kickstand up is at noon.

The last bike in will be at 4 p.m. The run ends at the Sail Inn, 6107 Broad St., Brooksville, where there will be raffles, an auction and live music.

The cost is $10 per rider; $5 per extra rider. Funds raised will benefit Hernando County Special Olympics athletes. For information, contact Christine Hogan at (352) 238-2279 or

HOUSING OFFICE CLOSURE: The Hernando County Housing Authority's office, 1661 Blaise Drive, Brooksville, will be closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for staff training. The office will be open for regular business at 8 a.m. Friday. For information, call (352) 754-4160.

SPCA NEEDS DONATIONS: The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals/SPCA of Hernando County needs donations of food items for the pets at its no-kill shelter, including moist pet food for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. Monetary donations are also needed.

The SPCA is a nonprofit, no-kill shelter that does not receive government funding.

The shelter, at 9075 Grant St., west of Brooksville, is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. To help, call (352) 596-7000. Visit the website at

ONLINE VPK REGISTRATION: The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties will begin offering online registration for Voluntary Prekindergarten on Sept. 23.

The website is at

The process includes entering the child's information and electronically submitting proof of Florida residency and the child's birth certificate and immunization record.

Once approved, the parent can print the certificate of eligibility and enroll the child in a VPK program of their choice.

The Early Learning Coalition is enrolling children for the 2013-14 VPK program, which is free for all Florida children who were 4 on or before Sept. 1.

SPONSORS NEEDED FOR ALZHEIMER'S EVENT: Sponsors are needed for the Alzheimer's Family Organization "Miles of Memory" Nature Coast Tour/Poker Run, which will be Oct. 5 through Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

Sponsorships are available between $100 and $5,000. Sponsors are included in advertising, on the event T-shirts and in all printed material. Sponsors may also contribute to the goodie bags.

Other donations are welcome, including gift baskets and money.

Participants are also being sought for the event. The event kicks off with registration at Venom II, 16418 U.S. 19 in Hudson; last bike out is at 11 a.m. The run ends with a party at High Octane, 1590 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa; last bike in is at 6 p.m.

The cost to participate is $20; $15 for an additional rider. The cost includes a T-shirt, goodie bag, prizes, the party, food and refreshments. The first-place prize is $500.

All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's organization.

To become a sponsor, call (352) 232-0081 or toll-free 1-888-496-8004. To register or for information, call the toll-free number or (727) 848-8888.

Hernando County news and notes 09/06/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 6, 2013 4:30pm]
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