Sunday, June 17, 2018


Barbara Behrendt, Times Staff Writer

Barbara Behrendt, Times Staff Writer

Barbara Behrendt has been a staff writer covering the North Suncoast since 1983. She currently covers Hernando County government, the city of Brooksville and general assignment stories in Hernando County. A native of Chicago, she grew up in Columbus Ohio and earned her journalism degree from the Ohio State University.

John Mitten [Courtesy of Pasco-Hernando State College]

Hernando commissioner accused of running a brothel is replaced

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County business owner John Mitten is making a return to the Hernando County Commission.Mitten, 48, was appointed late Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the District 1 commission seat that had been held by suspended...
Published: 06/15/18
Check the latest breaking news and developments.

Federal judge halts work on Suncoast 2 toll road

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. granted a temporary restraining order on Thursday to halt the work that has already begun on the extension of the Suncoast Parkway — aka the controversial "Suncoast 2."The toll road now ends at U.S. 98 at...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hernando County Government Center  DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

Local elections shaping up as formal qualifying approaches

BROOKSVILLE — Candidates for local political offices are busy getting petition cards signed, raising campaign funds and making speeches, but almost nothing about the upcoming election is official until noon on June 22.Monday begins "qualifying"...
Published: 06/14/18
  Brooksville Fire Department

Brooksville council to vote Monday on turning fire service over to Hernando County

BROOKSVILLE — The Brooksville City Council on Monday is expected to consider shutting down its fire department and signing an interlocal agreement to have Hernando County Fire Rescue serve the city.County officials met with the City Council...
Published: 06/13/18
Map of park and beach proposed in the Weekiwachee Preserve near Hernando Beach

Commissioners delay vote on beach park near Hernando Beach

BROOKSVILLE — The county’s proposal to turn a portion of the Weekiwachee Preserve near Hernando Beach into a beach park generated a flood of opinions. But the Hernando County Commission’s hurried discussion last week about placing a park referendum on...
Published: 06/13/18
ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times   
Supporters for the Cemex rock mining expansion and those who opposed it filled the Hernando County Commission Chambers Tuesday morning.

Hernando Commission says yes to 20 more years of rock mining outside Brooksville

BROOKSVILLEAfter seven years of discussion and a mountain of opposition, Cemex Construction Materials Florida and the ownership group of 730 acres of undeveloped property west of Brooksville got the approval Tuesday for a major...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Hernando Commission changes fire fee structure   DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Hernando County residents to pay flat fee next year for fire service

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County will charge fire service fees differently in the next fiscal year after a unanimous vote of the County Commission on Tuesday.The move to make all property owners pay the same flat fee will be a better deal for...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Map of park and beach proposed in the Weekiwachee Preserve near Hernando Beach

Plans for beach at Hernando Beach may go to voters

BROOKSVILLE — Don’t put away the suntan lotion and the big pink inner tube yet.The owner of the Weekiwachee Preserve was rattled by strong community opposition to plans for a county beach park there with room for 500 cars. But just as Hernando...
Published: 06/07/18
Hernando County Administrator Len Sossamon

Score slips for Hernando County administrator. Budget troubles to blame.

BROOKSVILLE — In the midst of Hernando County’s budget shortfall, the county commission’s evaluation score this year for county administrator Len Sossamon is the lowest since he arrived in 2012. However, as in past years, Sossamon has both fans and...
Published: 06/06/18
Former Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Freda is congratulated by Hernando County Commissioner Wayne Dukes for winning the Florida Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year in 2014. Courtesy Hernando County

Amid reports of fraud and misconduct at the fire station, commissioner stood by Hernando Beach chiefs

HERNANDO BEACH — Hernando County commissioners shut down the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department on Valentine’s Day 2017. They did so for good reason.The volunteers were failing to respond to 911 calls. They’d ignored a state requirement...
Published: 06/06/18