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Crews search for man who fell off pontoon boat near Hernando Beach

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John Murray Smart is second from left in the front row in this photo from when he was a 22-year-old first lieutenant in the 453rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Family photo

Murray Smart, of Smart Furniture, was a decorated war hero

WEEKI WACHEE — The B-24 bomber was flying low, about 10,000 feet over France in 1944. The idea was to pave the way for Allied troops to cross the border into Germany. The Germans were fighting with anti-aircraft fire. That's when Murray Smart, who was crouched in the nose of the plane, got a message from the pilot. …

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  1. Murray Smart, of Smart Furniture, was a decorated war hero

    Obituaries

    WEEKI WACHEE — The B-24 bomber was flying low, about 10,000 feet over France in 1944. The idea was to pave the way for Allied troops to cross the border into Germany.

    John Murray Smart is second from left in the front row in this photo from when he was a 22-year-old first lieutenant in the 453rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force for the U.S. Army Air Corps. 
  2. Hernando commission to discuss tax increases to pay for public transit, road improvements

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Last summer, the Hernando County Commission approved an expansion of services offered by THE Bus, the county's public transit system. Now the time has come to figure out how to pay for it.

    Mollie Lauver, right, of Spring Hill follows driver Ruben Rivera, center, onto the Blue loop bus at a transfer station in Spring Hill. The county is debating how to pay for expanded bus service.
  3. Authorities identify man killed in wreck west of Brooksville

    Accidents

    BROOKSVILLE — Florida Highway Patrol on Thursday identified Michael E. Lentini Jr. as the man who died in a Wednesday morning motorcycle wreck on State Road 50.

  4. Top twins: Jake and John Wahl finish No. 1 and No. 2 among Bishop McLaughlin grads

    K12

    SPRING HILL

    Neck and neck is a road most traveled for Jake and John Wahl, 17, a somewhat reserved yet affable set of identical twins who are gracious about fielding the typical questions that people ask them.

    Jake, right, is valedictorian and John is salutatorian for the class of 2015 at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School. The competitive brothers are headed to Florida State University in the fall, but will not room together.
  5. Hernando confronts Republic Services over continued problems with trash pickups

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Spring Hill resident Rex Payne was fed up enough with the missed pickups of his garbage and recycling that he sent an email to Hernando County officials earlier this month asking a series of questions about the county's garbage hauling provider, Republic Services.

  6. Expansion will allow for more and bigger events at Florida Classic Park

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Plans for expansion of Florida Classic Park that have been in the works for several years came a step closer to fruition over the weekend with the turn of a few shovels of dirt.

    Bonnie Ingram, left, laughs as Dr. Gerald Johnson of the Silverthorn Animal Clinic in Spring Hill plays with her Irish setter Shayla during the Classic Clusters Dog Show in 2014. The show at Florida Classic Park is considered the largest American Kennel Club-sanctioned all-breed show in Florida.
  7. DeWitt: Lack of community building has led to potential loss of Swiftmud headquarters

    Water

    Alfred McKethan, the onetime Brooksville banker and community kingpin, gave his hometown a great foundation to build on 54 years ago.

    Onetime Brooksville banker and community kingpin Alfred McKethan helped create the Southwest Florida Water Management District, but the political and business leaders that followed him have not done enough to make Hernando a county that can justifiably stake a claim to an agency as large and sophisticated as Swiftmud.