SPRING HILL — The cardboard box filled with dolls and toys sat on the passenger seat of Philip C. Klein's white and blue van as he waited in a Spring Hill neighborhood where children regularly walk dogs or play in front yards.
Around 6 p.m. Sunday, Hernando County Sheriff's Detective James Bettineschi approached Klein, 35, whose van was parked near the detective's home, according to interviews and an arrest report....
Spring Hill man accused of breaking into hotel room with chain saw to punch man he found with his estranged wife03/29/11Crime
SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill man who found his estranged wife in a hotel room with another man was arrested after he knocked out the hotel-room window with a chain saw and punched the man in the face, an arrest report states.
Timothy Ray Brooks, 49, also was accused of breaking the windows of two cars, one of which belonged to the night clerk at the Best Western hotel at 9373 Cortez Blvd., according to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report....
12/31/10 Bizarre News
Every year, Hernando County residents give their neighbors plenty of opportunities to wonder if there is something in the water that makes them do the most outrageous things. And 2010 was no different. Here are some of the more memorable items from the pages of the Hernando Times during the last 12 months.
But, honey, Glee was on TV: Elizabeth Seebach of Brooksville is arrested and accused of biting and hitting her boyfriend after he refuses to have sex with her....
BROOKSVILLE — Shocking crimes seemed to dominate the headlines all year in Hernando County, keeping local law enforcement agencies busy as they performed the grim tasks necessary to protect the community. Here are some of the major incidents that took place in 2010.
When Matthew Hyde and his wife, Karen, arrived in Brooksville in January, their big plans about rescuing the local landmark Rogers' Christmas House Village from financial ruin became the talk of the town. The couple spoke of adding a tea room, a deli and a fine dining restaurant. They spoke of tour bus companies once again bringing thousands of guests to the Christmas House, just like the 1980s when founder Margaret "Weenie" Ghiotto Rogers operated the iconic business....
SPRING HILL — Police are investigating the death of a 27-year-old soldier from Spring Hill whose body was found early Monday morning behind a store in Killeen, Texas.
Sgt. Derek Peter Schicchi died from an apparent gunshot wound, according to a release from Fort Hood, where he was stationed. The incident remains under investigation, but there was no evidence of foul play, said Detective Terry Kaiser of the Killeen Police Department....
SPRING HILL — A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was arrested Tuesday after a weekend incident in which he is accused of aiming a pistol at his father during a domestic dispute.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office gave this report:
FHP Trooper Jonathan Powell, 23, went to the Spring Hill home of his father, Jeffery Powell, 46, on Saturday night with his girlfriend, Kourtney Schneegas, to get his motorcycle....
SPRING HILL — Two women driving pickup trucks along a busy road in Hernando County were involved in a road rage incident Tuesday afternoon that left both injured and one in jail.
Misty Rummel, 35, of Spring Hill told deputies she was traveling east on Hearth Road in a 1998 Ford F-150 when she was cut off by a driver who ran a stop sign while leaving the Sweetbay Supermarket on Mariner Boulevard....
BROOKSVILLE — Amy Wilson tried to stay calm and give information to a 911 dispatcher, even as blood poured out of her wounded shoulder.
"A man came to the house and started shooting," she said. "I don't know who he is. We're all shot!"
Wilson was one of four women shot Thursday afternoon at a home on Wilhelm Road. Wilson, 33, and Manessa Donovan, 19 and pregnant, survived. Kathryn Donovan, 61, and Deborah Tillotson, 59, Donovan's office manager at a home-based color analysis business, were killed....
One colorful thread united the four women shot in a bloody Thursday afternoon in Brooksville: Kathryn Donovan.
Donovan, who used her maiden name of Kalisz in business, was an internationally renowned expert in the use of color and its affect on people.
Donovan, who was killed in the shooting, was known to family and friends as Kitty. She was the founder of Sci\ART Global, LLC, which provides state-of-the-art personal color analysis education and support, according to her company Web site....
BROOKSVILLE — More than a year before she was gunned down, Kathryn Donovan asked for protection from her brother, John Kalisz.
Donovan confronted Kalisz in December 2008 with allegations that he had molested her two daughters, ages 17 and 30 at the time.
"After this confrontation, John Kalisz became threatening and assulted [sic] a friend with knife in my home," Donovan wrote in a petition to the 5th Circuit Court. "He has since been threatening myself and family and we are afraid of him. He is armed and dangerous."...
BROOKSVILLE — After killing two women and leaving two others fighting for their lives Thursday afternoon, John Kalisz slipped through a police dragnet, authorities said, and roared north out of Hernando County on U.S. 19.
By the time he was captured hours later, another person was dead — a Dixie County sheriff's captain.
Carrying two loaded shotguns, Kalisz told his brother in Clearwater by phone that he would kill as many deputies as possible, Hernando sheriff's officials said. ...
12/02/09 Public Safety
BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent will allow a deputy accused of assaulting his wife to return to duty, even though he said he is disappointed by the deputy's conduct and "poor judgment.''
In a memo, Nugent told Jeffrey Swartz, 34, that he had reviewed the internal affairs investigation of the Oct. 3 incident at Swartz's Spring Hill home in which the deputy got into an argument with his wife, Joyanna, that turned physical....
11/06/09 Local Government
HERNANDO BEACH — In King Arthur's time, there was the Sword in the Stone, the mythical key to Camelot and the kingdom.
In Hernando County, it's the Prop in the Rock, a tribute to an eternal public works project and busted-up powerboats.
When County Commission Chairman David Russell wanted a memento of the ballyhooed Hernando Beach Channel dredge, finally getting under way after more than a decade of dithering, he thought of a rock from the clogged waterway....
SPRING HILL — It's either harmless fun for people, mostly bored senior citizens, or a clever ploy to evade Florida's anti-gambling laws.
However you want to interpret it, this much is clear: The games are over in Hernando County, at least for the time being.
In recent years, a group called Affiliates of Allied Veterans of the World has opened dozens of AVA game rooms or Internet cafes around Florida, including numerous ones in strip shopping centers in Hernando County....
SPRING HILL — A 23-year-old man told Hernando County investigators that he "lost it'' when his 3-month-old son wouldn't stop crying, so he hit him in the head at least four times, according to an arrest report.
The infant later was taken to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg and is in serious condition, according to the report.
Michael Mihok at first told deputies that he fell asleep on his couch Wednesday with the baby in his arms, and that the baby then fell out of his arms and onto the home's carpeted living room floor....