BROOKSVILLE — A 62-year-old Hernando County man was killed Thursday morning after he was hit by a pickup truck while walking his dog north of the High Point community, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said Ted Marquardt, who lives on Birch Street, was walking east on the south side of nearby Pitcairn Street at about 7:45 a.m. According to troopers, the dog dragged Marquardt into the roadway and into the path of an eastbound pickup driven by Eric Hooper of Brooksville....
BROOKSVILLE — By a 3-1 vote, the Hernando County School Board adopted its 2014-15 budget and property tax rate during a final budget hearing Tuesday night.
The school district is projecting it will take in roughly $154.5 million in revenue for the general fund, ending the year with a balance of roughly $6.7 million, down from the previous year.
The district came into the year with roughly $14.4 million in reserves....
SPRING HILL — The Hernando County School Board on Tuesday gave tentative approval to continue a highly touted exchange program with a Chinese boarding school that debuted last school year.
More than 50 students from the Beijing New Talent Academy attended Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics from March until May, making it the largest student exchange in county history. This year's program aims to be smaller, with only 15 to 30 participants, but will follow the same general format....
BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County sheriff's deputies arrested a 42-year-old Brooksville man Friday night after they say he called 911 five times in just over an hour for no legitimate reason.
Amos Lee Young faces a charge of misusing 911. He was being held Monday at the Hernando County Detention Center in lieu of $1,000 bail.
Deputies were called to 25374 O'Neal Road, east of Brooksville, regarding a report of a verbal disturbance at about 10:14 p.m. Upon arriving, Deputy Richard Killingsworth met Young, who was stumbling in the middle of the road. In one hand, Young had an open can of beer. In his left front pocket was a nearly empty bottle of vodka, deputies said....
BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County School District superintendent Lori Romano spelled out in no uncertain terms the deep financial issues the district will face if voters reject a penny sales tax referendum on Nov. 4.
With or without the approximately $8.5 million the district would receive each of the next 10 years, administrators will be forced to find a way to finance growing technology needs and repairs of aging schools. That means they would need to find the money elsewhere in the budget — a task the district has begun....
09/11/14 Human Interest
SPRING HILL — Donna Sniffen knew the importance of a high-quality education.
As a substitute teacher and a parent volunteer, she was a constant presence in Hernando County schools. She was a go-to sub at Chocachatti Elementary and Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics, someone other teachers came to trust deeply with their students. She was active in school plays, spent long hours in the media center, helped out in the school cafeteria and worked the front desk when needed....
WEEKI WACHEE — Hernando County Fire Rescue officials say a home in the Glen Lakes development was destroyed early Wednesday by fire, hours after crews had put out a fire at the home caused by a lightning strike.
Assistant Chief Kevin Carroll said firefighters responded to a single-family residence at 9203 Lake Cypress Loop on Tuesday afternoon about a possible lightning strike. They arrived and found a hole in the roof with fire in the attic....
SPRING HILL — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint against the Hernando County School District over its single-gender classes at Westside Elementary School, claiming the classes violate federal antidiscrimination laws.
The Title IX civil rights complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights this week, contends that Hernando's program is based on disproven notions about how boys and girls learn and develop, and that the district misled parents....
BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District has received all of the textbooks that were delayed as a result of the switch from Common Core State Standards to the Florida Standards, according to district spokesman Eric Williams.
The textbooks, primarily concentrated at middle and K-8 schools, arrived over the first two weeks of the new school year.
Although the textbooks are in, Williams reported that the district is still waiting on a number of accompanying supplementary workbooks for the texts in grades 6 through 8. A few high schools also are missing support materials for English, math and other college readiness courses....
Pasco-Hernando State College saw double-digit gains in student enrollment this semester, the biggest increase of any state college in the Tampa Bay area and the largest for PHSC since 2009.
Nearly 11,100 students registered for fall classes at the college, which has five campuses in Pasco and Hernando counties. The enrollment is 13.3 percent higher than last year's, which hovered around 9,800....
Winding Waters K-8 School has so many students this year that classes are being taught on the stage and in the faculty lounge. The occupational therapist provides services in the hallway. Closets have been converted to offices, and offices have been transformed into space for resource rooms.
For the first time since the school opened in August 2011, enrollment has been closed, meaning new students can't register, even if they move into Winding Waters' zone....
BROOKSVILLE — Autopsies of the three people shot and killed Friday night in south Brooksville showed that all of the victims suffered gunshot wounds to the head and neck, Brooksville police reported Tuesday.
Police said that just before 9 p.m. Friday, 42-year-old George Mason III of Lutz fatally shot his girlfriend, Tarasha Townsend, 37, Ralph Peyton, 29, and 81-year-old Jannie Taylor, at 820 Peach St....
BROOKSVILLE — Only three days into the school year, a kindergartner from Brooksville Elementary School walked off his bus at the wrong stop and briefly went missing, triggering a frantic search and sheer panic for his family.
While the boy eventually arrived home safely, the incident resonated with district officials. Shortly afterward, district transportation director Doug Compton and Hernando superintendent Lori Romano met to address what could be done to prevent the mistake from reoccurring....
BROOKSVILLE — With the primary election now in the rearview mirror, the campaign to sell a penny sales tax to Hernando County voters on the Nov. 4 ballot is about to get going in earnest.
And the group leading the push already has amassed a sizable war chest of donations: $154,000.
In the coming days and weeks, there will be supportive postcards and fliers sent through the mail, yard signs and billboards, and an online presence in the form of a Facebook page and a soon-to-be launched website....
BROOKSVILLE — A former Pasco County high school teacher was arrested Wednesday after authorities say he tried to set up a sexual encounter with a teenage girl via an online chat.
Robert Edward Smith, 61, of San Antonio is accused of engaging in long-term computer chats with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
During the conversations, authorities said he and the girl talked about sexual activity and what sorts of acts he would like to perform on the girl. On Monday, he requested a meeting with the girl, and the two agreed to meet at the Holiday Inn Express on Cortez Boulevard west of Brooksville....