Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando fire chief to retire, take job in Manatee County

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Public Safety Director and Fire Chief Mike Rampino, who weathered the storm of consolidating the county's fire departments, has announced he will retire March 7.

Just three days later, he will start work as fire chief for the North River Fire District, just over the Sunshine Skyway in Manatee County.

Rampino, 50, said he is looking forward to the new challenge. He said that when he got the offer, he made a list of pros and cons and determined it was time to make the move. He stressed that he is not leaving because of any issues in Hernando.

"I'm not unhappy. I've not been mistreated here,'' he said, praising County Administrator Len Sossamon and his immediate supervisor, Brian Malmberg, assistant administrator for operations. "Things are going great. I think the county is headed in the right direction.''

Rampino said he values the friendships he has made in the area, but noted that he and his wife have long considered Manatee County the place they would like to retire to someday. "We really like that area,'' he said.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Rampino started his firefighting career in Pasco County in 1986. Two years later, he joined Spring Hill Fire Rescue, rising through the ranks to become chief in 2007.

One year ago, as Rampino and Mike Nickerson, then-Hernando fire chief, were working on the final touches of consolidating the two departments, Sossamon selected Rampino to run the merged operation. The formal consolidation was completed Oct. 1.

At the time, Sossamon noted that Rampino responded well to any requests made of him and that he was "cool and calm and doesn't appear to get rattled.''

Rampino's salary is $100,890.97; his cash-out with the county will be $21,765.34, the value of his unpaid leave time.

The public safety director's job will be advertised for both internal and external candidates, said Cheryl Marsden, county director of administrative services.

Nickerson, deputy fire chief, will serve as interim chief until a replacement is hired.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

FORT MYERS — Carrollwood Day's first appearance in the Class 3A state tournament ended with a 3-2 loss to Tallahassee North Florida Christian on Wednesday morning at CenturyLink Park.The Patriots (24-4) gave up three runs with two outs in the t...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — While rain chances will decrease over the next two days, it is only a relative calm before a broad low pressure system moves into the Gulf of Mexico, producing strong storms across an already drenched Tampa Bay for Memorial Day weeke...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

The Rays, as expected, are placing RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain that he sustained during Tuesday's game.Somewhat unexpectedly, they are calling up LHP Vidal Nuno to take his place.Nuno, 30, has pitched parts of five seas...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

TAMPA — The name of the new Bay 3 co-working space at the Armature Works goes back to World War I, when the red-brick warehouse overlooking the Hillsborough River was the maintenance barn for Tampa Electric’s streetcar system.As the name suggests, it...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bayport Pier reconstruction on hold as Hernando commissioners grapple with budget shortfall

Bayport Pier reconstruction on hold as Hernando commissioners grapple with budget shortfall

BROOKSVILLE — The concept of a multimillion dollar budget crisis and the reality of one are two very different things, as Hernando County Commissioners learned Tuesday.Faced with an $11.5 million shortfall going into the new budget year, they discuss...
Updated: 1 hour ago
CareerSource Pinellas bought a science center. Now the bill is coming due.

CareerSource Pinellas bought a science center. Now the bill is coming due.

In 2014, Tampa Bay jobs chief Edward Peachey sought to save the failing Science Center of Pinellas County.He asked a small panel of CareerSource Pinellas board members to let him acquire the educational center for $100.The Science Center, he said, ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trash fees to appear on tax bills in the Spring Hill mandatory zone

Trash fees to appear on tax bills in the Spring Hill mandatory zone

BROOKSVILLE — County commissioners knew what they were in for.Inundated with emails and phone calls before Tuesday’s meeting, and facing an unhappy crowd of customers from the county’s garbage hauler Republic Services, county officials tried to get a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Commandos to unleash fury in downtown Tampa, but it’s just a demonstration (w/video)

Commandos to unleash fury in downtown Tampa, but it’s just a demonstration (w/video)

TAMPA — Machines of war will unleash their fury in downtown Tampa on Wednesday afternoon, but it’s just a demonstration.Special operations forces from around the world are scheduled to stage a mock confrontation of good guys versus bad guys from 1:30...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Termite damage poses a threat as hurricane season approaches, study says

Termite damage poses a threat as hurricane season approaches, study says

The start of hurricane season is just days away, and Florida residents might want to add one more thing to their preparation list: a termite inspection.Termite damage in houses and trees can leave homes vulnerable to suffering even more damage during...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Comcast may outbid Disney for Twenty-First Century Fox

Comcast may outbid Disney for Twenty-First Century Fox

Associated PressPHILADELPHIA — Comcast may make an offer for Twenty-First Century Fox, potentially putting it in a head-to-head bidding war with Disney. Comcast Corp. on Wednesday did not provide specific details on a bid, other than to say that it w...
Updated: 1 hour ago