Ten stories to watch in 2012
1 Who will replace David Hamilton as Hernando County administrator? More to the point: Who can commissioners find to occupy the office, where there's been a revolving door in recent years?
2 With several constitutional officers retiring, the terms of three county commissioners expiring and potentially contentious races for Congress and the state Legislature, it could be one of the most exciting election years in Hernando in quite some time.
3 With property values likely to drop at least another 5 percent, the county, the city of Brooksville and the school district are all going to have a tough time balancing their 2012-13 budgets.
4 Early this year, we should learn more about how the merger of the Spring Hill and Hernando County fire-rescue services will play out.
5 One of the largest private construction projects in Hernando in recent years — the $50 million expansion of Oak Hill Hospital, adding eight operating rooms, 36 private rooms and 18 beds for post-surgical recovery — will get under way early this year.
6 The widening of State Road 50 to six lanes from U.S. 19 to the Suncoast Parkway is scheduled to start in the fall. The existing four-lane highway east of the parkway to Wiscon Road will be resurfaced.
7 The Hernando County Airport's control tower will be completed, and with it will come what officials are calling a "rebranding" of the airport.
8 The capital murder trial of John Kalisz is set to begin Jan. 17. Kalisz, accused of slaying his sister and her business manager in early 2010, already has reached a plea agreement for the murder of a Dixie County sheriff's deputy later that day, after he fled Hernando.
9 Red-light cameras return to Brooksville, beginning in March.
10 The county's first Blueberry Festival takes place in Brooksville, May 4 to 6.