Monday, February 19, 2018
Politics

Three new members guaranteed on Hernando School Board

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board is in for a dramatic makeover, with three new members guaranteed to come aboard after the November election.

In Tuesday's nonpartisan primary election, Beth Narverud handily defeated Jay Rowden for the open District 3 seat, which was left vacant by retiring board member Dianne Bonfield.

Incumbent John Sweeney, who became embroiled in a controversy this year involving the changing of his son's grades, was knocked out of the District 1 race with the fewest votes of the three candidates, leaving Mark Johnson and Don Whiting to duke it out in the Nov. 4 runoff.

In District 5, Susan Duval and Robert Neuhausen were the top two vote-getters, knocking out incumbent Cynthia Moore, who received the third-highest number of votes. Anna Liisa Covell came in fourth place.

The District 3 race to replace Bonfield was among the most contentious so far this election season in Hernando.

Each candidate raised more than $16,000, and money poured into the race from outside sources in the form of fliers and robocalls.

Narverud said she was excited to win her first campaign.

"It feels really awesome," she said. "I'm so excited. It's been a long road."

Narverud, the former head of the Hernando County Education Foundation, said she hopes to first work with the district's budget to get more technology into the schools.

"We want to close that achievement gap," she said. "We need to give the kids and the teachers what they need to make that happen."

She thanked Rowden for running a relatively clean race and all of the people she met while campaigning.

"Going from very little name recognition to a lot of name recognition, it's a large leap," she said.

Rowden said he was disappointed with the results.

"It is what it is, and you've got to move on," he said.

He said the loss won't stop him from advocating for the passage of the joint school district and county sales tax on the November ballot.

"I think if they get their penny sales tax, they will probably be okay," he said. "If they don't, they're in deep trouble."

In the District 1 race, Johnson pulled in the highest percentage of the vote, with Whiting coming in second. Sweeney, the incumbent, followed in third.

Sweeney could not be reached for comment.

In recent months, Sweeney has battled against allegations that he was involved in the changing of his son's English grade at Springstead High School. He has adamantly denied doing anything wrong and questioned district officials and a recently released investigation that failed to determine who leaked confidential student records.

In the crowded District 5 race, Duval, a former Springstead High School principal, pulled in the most votes, followed by Neuhausen, an active parent.

Moore, an incumbent, said she wasn't upset and pledged that the result wouldn't stop her from being involved with the schools.

"What will be will be," she said. "I'm not going to give up."

Comments
Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

One of the quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign that has stuck with me came from an unidentified Donald Trump supporter who shared his appraisal of the "Access Hollywood" tape on an episode of Showtime’s "The Circus."Having heard Trump boast on...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

PARKLAND, Fla. — Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida focused their anger Sunday at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. "You're the president. You're supposed t...
Published: 02/18/18
Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

Trump adviser: Russian meddling ‘incontrovertible’

MUNICH — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Saturday there was "incontrovertible" evidence of a Russian plot to disrupt the 2016 U.S. election, a blunt statement that shows how significantly the new criminal charges leveled by an...
Published: 02/17/18
Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

Prominent Republican donor issues an ultimatum

A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style fi...
Published: 02/17/18
Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

Hundreds rally against gun violence in downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — A red heart-shaped balloon rose above crowd of several hundred people that had gathered at Williams Park on Saturday evening to mourn Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County and to protest gun violence.Below the balloon, signs ...
Published: 02/17/18
Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

Divided Congress unable to act on guns, immigration despite public pressure

It’s been five years since the guns and immigration debate collided at the same time on Capitol Hill. This time, the results were even more unproductive.In early 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 students and six educators at an elementary school ...
Published: 02/17/18
Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

Stormy Daniels does Tampa: 10 minutes of dancing, then $20 a photo

TAMPA — Well, that was fast.Adult film actress Stormy Daniels made her first appearance at Thee Dollhouse on Friday evening, the first of several shows planned this weekend at the Tampa strip club.She took the stage about 7 p.m. dressed in a pink, fl...
Published: 02/16/18

3 things we just learned from the indictment of 13 Russians in the Mueller investigation

We have the first indictment in Robert Mueller’s investigation that actually has to do with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The special counsel on Friday indicted 13 Russians in connection with a large-scale troll farm effort aimed at influenc...
Published: 02/16/18
Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

Under fire, Kelly overhauls White House clearance procedure

NEW YORK — Under pressure over his handling of abuse allegations against a top aide, White House chief of staff John Kelly on Friday ordered sweeping changes in how the White House clears staff members to gain access to classified information, acknow...
Published: 02/16/18
Romney officially announces run for Utah Senate seat

Romney officially announces run for Utah Senate seat

Associated PressSALT LAKE CITY — Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is running for a Utah Senate seat, officially launching his political comeback attempt Friday by praising his adopted home state as a model for an acrimonious national governmen...
Published: 02/16/18