BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District's hard line on third-grade promotions may be showing some cracks.
At the last School Board meeting, deputy superintendent Gina Michalicka said the state has approved a computer testing program called i-Ready — normally given three times a year to check whether students are working at grade level — to help determine whether third-graders are skilled enough to advance to fourth grade....
09/27/16 Local Government
BROOKSVILLE — It seemed last week as if approval of the 2016-17 budget for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office had been without the usual drama.
Now, it appears, the drama might just have been delayed.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis had asked to appear at Tuesday's County Commission meeting to discuss a seldom-used option available to his office — an appeal to the governor and Florida Cabinet....
09/27/16 Local Government
Blair Hensley stood in the middle of E Jefferson Street one morning last week, pointing to his left or right until a crane had placed a steel silo in just the right position for maximum visual impact.
When Hensley, a line of cars backed up behind him, signaled that he was satisfied, the crane operator gently lowered the legs of the silo onto a concrete pad on a roadside patch of land.
And at that instant, Brooksville got a brand:...
BROOKSVILLE — Veteran school bus driver Mildred Rodgers was penalized two points by the Hernando County School District last week for driving her bus through a red light at the busy intersection of S Broad Street and Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville.
It was far from Rodgers' first infraction.
Since her hiring in 2001, Rodgers, 61, has accumulated 23 points for incidents that include causing six wrecks, speeding and improper passing — all while driving a bus....
Maybe the message is finally getting through to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office:
The matter of law enforcement officers shooting and killing residents is a big deal in this country right now.
When it happens, the public wants enough details to determine whether deputies or police officers were within their rights — or whether, as has been shown in several recent cases across the nation, they might have been a little trigger-happy....
09/15/16 Public Safety
Florida storms are like spoiled children in that we're bombarded with images documenting every step of their development — birth, naming, graduations from depression to tropical storm to hurricane, the path they take in life.
They are literally on the radar all that time.
So is it really possible for one of them to slip under it?
Yes, it is, at least according to some people in coastal Hernando County....
Taylor Buttelman, a barista at Mountaineer Coffee in downtown Brooksville, demonstrated how beans for espresso must be ground as finely as cocoa powder.
He displayed a properly steamed pitcher of milk — not liquid on the bottom and frothy on top, as at some shops, but a consistent "microfoam" the thickness of wet paint.
He showed off the well-practiced flourishes that produce images of fernlike white "rosettas" on the toast-brown background of finished lattes....
BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board has approved a 2016-17 budget with a general fund of $173 million — slightly higher than last year — despite a slightly lower local property tax rate.
More important to board members and staffers, Tuesday's final budget hearing concluded the first budget season since 2008 without discussions about slashing employee positions, imposing furloughs or cutting programs....
The death penalty for Freddie Lee Hall, convicted of the 1978 slayings of a pregnant Leesburg woman whom he also raped and a Hernando County sheriff's deputy, was vacated by the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday.
In doing so, the state's highest court reset the process judges will use to determine the intellectual capacity of defendants in Florida's death cases.
Such a ruling had been expected since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 decision upholding Hall's challenge of Florida's old standard for executing intellectually disabled offenders. But several lawyers said they were impressed by the state court's thorough reconsideration of the issue and the new standards the court handed down Thursday....
Maybe Dave Russell was just a victim of bad timing.
Hernando County, to its immense discredit, has fallen hard for presidential candidate Donald Trump.
And Russell, to his immense misfortune, shares the general political profile of the most irrelevant of his party's presidential candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush:
Not just an establishment Republican, but a relic from the pre-tea party era....
Hernando school leaders name interim principal at Moton Elementary
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 5:29pm
BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District named veteran administrator Marvin Gordon as temporary principal at troubled Moton Elementary School on Tuesday, while pushing back against the idea that the sudden departure of his predecessor, Jamie Young, is a sign of a districtwide talent drain....
BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District named veteran administrator Marvin Gordon as temporary principal at troubled Moton Elementary School this week, while pushing back against the idea that the sudden departure of his predecessor, Jamie Young, is a sign of a districtwide talent drain.
As her reason for leaving without the standard notice last week, Young cited a lack of resources at the school, where the state grade dropped from a C to a D last year. The Brooksville school also has a high percentage of children eligible for free or reduced-price lunches and is home to several classrooms for emotionally troubled or physically or intellectually disabled children....
HERNANDO BEACH — More than three hours before Friday's early morning high tide, Thomas Thompson woke up to find water seeping under the front door of his house on Eagle Nest Drive.
"We tried to put blankets under the door, but there was nothing we could do to stop it," said Thompson, 58.
About 2 feet of floodwaters eventually soaked furniture, a television and a stereo system, he said....
BROOKSVILLE — On Thursday morning, Moton Elementary School principal Jamie Young wore a T-shirt emblazoned with rainbow-colored letters spelling out the motto she adopted after taking over the troubled school in May:
"Good Vibes Only!"
It hasn't worked out that way.
Young abruptly resigned Tuesday, citing the need for more teachers and other resources for the school, which slipped from a grade of C to D last school year and was the subject of a district investigation that found a wide range of policy violations....