Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

To screen out trouble

Dart works on security checkpoints that will limit access to the courthouse. The new system takes effect today.

LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN | Times

Dart works on security checkpoints that will limit access to the courthouse. The new system takes effect today.

What to expect

Anyone entering Hernando County Government Center in downtown Brooksville starting at 7:30 a.m. today is subject to a new security screening system. Checkpoints will greet visitors and employees at the east and west entrances to the atrium with two metal detectors and X-ray machines on each side.

Other ground-level access points to the adjoining historic courthouse and Tax Collector's Office are not affected. However, the second-floor hallway connecting the buildings will be blocked just after the traffic and Guardian ad Litem departments.

Major changes

The new locations replace individual security stations on the first, third and fourth floors. The changes also restrict access to the building by consolidating the approximately 30 entry points in and around the building to just two main doors.

Congestion likely

If you have business at the courthouse this week, expect a line out the door, especially during the peak morning and lunch hours. County officials called this new process "trial and error." Also, one less elevator will take visitors to the upper floors, so expect longer waits inside, too.

What not to bring

No weapons are allowed in the building, including knives. Any metal objects will get placed on an X-ray belt, much like at an airport, prior to walking through the metal detector.

Cell phones are allowed in the building, despite the previous ban from county courtrooms on the third floor. In court, judges request that they be turned off.

Wheelchair access

Those entering on the parking lot (east) side of the building through the wheelchair entrance will use one elevator that travels only to the first floor. From there, they will proceed through security before accessing the elevators to reach the upper floors.

Why do this?

The changes have been years in the making. The request came from the judicial branch and the Clerk of Court's Office, which were concerned about security inside the broader Government Center.

Initial projections also indicated cost savings, but county officials said this move won't save any money in the short term.

Work in progress

County officials are still working out the kinks and acknowledge that adjustments will be needed as problems arise.

89/71

89/71

To screen out trouble 05/18/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.