Saturday, January 20, 2018
News Roundup

What to watch for in Hernando County in 2017: Roadwork, school progress reports and more

Here are some stories to keep an eye on in Hernando County during 2017:

• During the 2016 election season, several County Commission candidates, including the two new ones who won seats, questioned whether County Administrator Len Sossamon should be doing both the job of administrator and economic development director. With Commissioner Jeff Holcomb expected back from leave in the coming months to break any potential for a tie vote, the question of Sossamon's future will likely be decided.

• Flashing warning lights and roadway barriers will continue to be part of the landscape as the Florida Department of Transportation continues reconstruction at the Interstate 75/State Road 50 interchange as the six-laning of the freeway continues.

• The state will issue its latest progress report on Hernando superintendent of schools Lori Romano's long-stated goal to create an "A-rated district of excellence" when it releases school grades for the current school year. For the 2015-16 school year, the district held on to its B grade while the ratings of many nearby districts declined.

• With the county's five-year contract for countywide residential trash collection through Republic Services ending in 2017, county officials are gathering public input to prepare for what waste collection services could look like in 2018.

• Brooksville lawyer Tom Hogan Jr.'s challenge of his $10 million federal tax bill is scheduled for trial in Tampa in May. The Internal Revenue Service says Hogan and longtime business partner R. Victor Taglia owe taxes on more than $50 million funneled through a "tax avoidance scheme" in the U.S. Virgin Islands more than a decade ago. Hogan and Taglia have stated they were entitled to pay a dramatically lower tax rate as "bona fide" residents of the Islands.

• A divided Brooksville City Council is headed toward a decision on a controversial plan to lease the former site of the Quarry Golf Course to Florida Blueberry Festival Inc. Proponents say creating a dedicated grounds for the festival would be a boon for the city. Opponents worry about granting the land at a minimal cost for a long period of time — as much as 60 years.

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Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Tampa Bay’s bitter cold snap is finally over

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Updated: 4 hours ago

Bicyclist dead after being hit by car in Pinellas Park

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Updated: 4 hours ago

Motorcyclist crashes into Subaru while trying to flee Pinellas deputies

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Updated: 4 hours ago

Clearwater man in critical condition after medical episode while driving

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Updated: 4 hours ago
More than 1,000 cold-stunned sea turtles rescued in Florida Panhandle

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Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

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Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They aren’t just up for debate, they...
Updated: 4 hours ago
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

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WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 19

Friday’s scoreboardBoys soccerIndian Rocks Christian 2, Lakewood 1Lennard 3, Spoto 0Girls soccerPCAC Championship: Largo 3, Osceola 1Lennard 8, Spoto 0
Published: 01/19/18

Four people linked to Tampa carjacking captured hours later

TAMPA — It took officers just 27 minutes Friday night to capture four people who they said stole a car from its owner.The incident started outside the Ybor Coffee Shop at 5:45 a.m. A group approached the driver as he sat in his 2010 Toyota Corolla. T...
Published: 01/19/18