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Hernando County news and notes

Speech contest for students: The Farm Bureau Federation women's leadership program is accepting entries through Monday for its annual speech contest for high school students.

This year's topic: "Food security is an important issue for the people of the U.S. How can Florida agriculture continue to provide quality solutions for the future?" The speech must be no more than five minutes.

There are three levels to the contest. The local contest will be in August. The winner receives $100 plus a chance to present the speech at the district contest Sept. 19. The district winner moves on to the state level Oct. 30.

Those interested in entering the contest may contact Hilda Cannon at (352) 796-2526 for applications or information.

Tour the new vo-tech center: Tours are available of the Suncoast Technical Education Center, Hernando County's new vocational-technical center for adults.

Tour dates and times include: 7 p.m. Tuesday, 7 p.m. June 10, 11 a.m. July 9 and 11 a.m. Aug. 6. The center is at Nature Coast Technical High School, 4057 California St., south of Brooksville.

The center offers programs in areas such as automotive, cosmetology, cyber security, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), machining, nurse's aide and ServSafe (restaurant food and alcohol safety training). For information, call (352) 797-7091.

Antiwar demonstration: The NatureCoast Coalition for Peace and Justice will protest from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Commercial Way and Cortez Boulevard in Weeki Wachee.

Demonstrators object to the newest U.S. sanctions on Russia and the continuing support of the new leadership in Ukraine.

Call Brian Moore at (352) 686-9936.

Rain barrel workshop: A rain barrel workshop will be offered from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, 1653 Blaise Drive, Brooksville.

Participants will receive information on the use and care of rain barrels, followed by partial assembly of their 65-gallon barrels.

The cost for the class is $65, which includes a rain barrel (one barrel per household). Hernando County Utilities Department customers will receive a $25 credit on their water bill.

Class size is limited; preregistration and prepayment are required. Contact Sylvia Durell at (352) 540-6230 or

Papa Joe's fundraiser: Volunteers and donations are needed for a benefit for the employees of Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant, who have been out of work since fire destroyed the restaurant in January.

The Kiwanis Club of Brooksville will host the Italian Night fundraiser at 6 p.m. May 17 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 20428 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. The event will include a pasta dinner with bread, salad and dessert. There will also be a silent auction, raffle and musical entertainment.

The cost for dinner is a minimum donation of $5 per meal. Proceeds will go to the Papa Joe's Employee Support Fund. Tickets are available at Red Mule Pub, Country Kitchen and from Kiwanis Club members.

Businesses and individuals interesting in donating items for the auction may contact any Kiwanis Club of Brooksville member, send email to David Hamilton at or visit the website at All donations are needed by Tuesday.

Lighthouse reschedules health fair: The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind has rescheduled its Health Fair, which will now take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 16 at the agency's facility at 6492 California St., south of Brooksville.

There will be a number of agencies participating that provide social services, health care, technology and visual rehabilitation. There will be a white cane demonstration and door prizes and various screenings. For information, call (352) 754-1132.

American Legion to decorate cemetery with flags: In preparation for Memorial Day, members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186 will put 600 American flags on veterans' graves at 9 a.m. May 21 at Brooksville Cemetery, 1275 Olmes Road, Brooksville. Visitors are welcome.

Learn CPR: A CPR and automated external defibrillator class will be offered at 6 p.m. May 24 at the Brooksville Enrichment Center, Suite 120 in the Medical Arts Building, 17222 Hospital Blvd., west of Brooksville.

The course meets the guidelines of the American Heart Association and the American Safety and Health Institute. It is designed for professional health care providers, but anyone may participate. The cost is $20. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a two-year certification card. Reservations are required. Call Bob Kanner at (352) 597-8875.

Online tool links to Florida fires: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has announced the availability of the Florida Forest Service's new fire management information systems Internet mapping tool.

This tool provides up-to-date information about forest and brush fires in Florida. Using this tool, it is possible to see where all existing and active wildfires are, where all open burn authorizations are or are planned to be on any particular day, and other incidents that the Florida Forest Service has responsibility for resolving. The data is real time, with the map updating as incidents occur.

Visit and click on "Wildfire Information" or visit A mobile version is also available on the website.

Fertilizer workers must register by June 1: Hernando County's fertilizer ordinance requires commercial and institutional applicators of fertilizer to be registered with the county by June 1.

The registration fee is $50. The form is available at

Registrants will receive a wallet-sized card to carry with them, showing they are registered and approved to apply fertilizer in Hernando County. Renewal of the county registration is required at the same time the state license or certificate is renewed.

For registration information, call the Building Department at (352) 754-4050. For general information about the ordinance, call the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service at (352) 754-4433.

New hours at Development Department: New office hours will go into effect June 2 at the Hernando County Development Department at 789 Providence Blvd., Brooksville, which houses the building division, zoning division and code enforcement.

Lobby hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, except for Wednesday, when hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Inspectors will be available in the office from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and from 3:30 to 4 p.m. weekdays, except for Wednesdays, when they will be available from 3:30 to 4 p.m. For information, call (352) 754-4050.

Join Chess Club: Poor Rich's Chess Club invites residents to attend one of its meetings, which are from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in the Oak Hill Hospital cafeteria, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. The group welcomes new and experienced players, as well as schoolchildren. For information, call J.C. at (352) 678-6987.

ARC dance: The Arc Nature Coast will host a Spring Fling Dance from 7 to 10 p.m. May 16 at the Arc Nature Coast Education Center, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Music will be provided by PJ the DJ Lobato. There will be door prizes, food and refreshments. Admission is $5.

For information, contact Nancy Stubbs at (352) 544-2322, ext. 109, or

Shoe drive fundraiser: The Life Center of Hernando is collecting gently used shoes to help people in underdeveloped nations and to help raise funds for the Life Center. Donations of all types of shoes for men, women and children are being accepted. The Life Center of Hernando is a residence for young, single mothers and their children who are homeless or have unstable living conditions. For information or to schedule a pickup, call Robin Gatton at (727) 348-0027.

African American Club annual banquet: The African American Club of Hernando will host its 19th annual Scholarship Banquet Awards at 4 p.m. May 18 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, Spring Hill.

The event will start with a cocktail hour, followed by a buffet dinner. Speakers will include Hernando County School Board member Gus Guadagnino and Dr. Melvin Burwell.

Tickets are $40 for members and $45 for nonmembers. For information and reservations, call (352) 597-8098 or (352) 686-7831.

Hernando County news and notes 05/07/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 7:26pm]
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