BROOKSVILLE — For the next couple of days, Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino is expected to cover some familiar territory during the retrial of Stephen Horne.
Many of the same witnesses will be called, and jurors will see most of the same evidence presented three years ago when Horne was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder and armed robbery of his 47-year-old father, Ivan Horne....
07/24/14 Local Government
BROOKSVILLE — The Brooksville Vision Foundation is looking to formally present its plan to eliminate the one-way streets through downtown Brooksville to the Florida Department of Transportation by the end of the year.
Foundation president Cliff Manuel said during the organization's monthly meeting Tuesday that DOT officials want the group to work with the newly combined Hernando-Citrus Metropolitan Planning Organization to get the project put on the DOT's "cost-affordable" plan for long-term transportation projects. From there, the plan would likely gain momentum from DOT officials, who are currently in the process of putting together a new 20-year transportation plan....
07/22/14 Local Government
BROOKSVILLE — The opening strains of budget season in Brooksville on Monday night lacked the ominous tone of the past few years.
Optimism about rising property values, some cautious improvement in the county's jobless numbers and even signs of new construction in places such as Southern Hills Plantation Club and the Cascades have been hopeful indicators that the Great Recession is finally abating....
07/17/14 Human Interest
BROOKSVILLE — With some formidable challenges ahead, incoming Hernando County Fair Association President Shari Klimas says she is counting on the community, volunteers and board members to work together and come up with ideas on how to improve the organization's financial picture.
Klimas, who has been on the board for seven years, six as treasurer, said renewing the community's faith is key to propelling the fair association out of the financial doldrums that have led the organization to continue spending more money than it takes in each year. She wants the board to take a hard look at ways to save money and raise more revenue....
BROOKSVILLE — Virginia Jackson always loved old photographs because when she looked at them it made her feel like she had been invited on a journey back in time.
"I've always felt that knowledge of the past is key to the future," Mrs. Jackson once said. "If we ignore who we are and how we got here, we miss out on a lot of good things in life."
For more than three decades as perhaps Hernando County's best-known historian and community volunteer, Mrs. Jackson lent her expertise and knowledge to the Hernando County Historical Society and Heritage Museum, where she served as executive director for more than 20 years....
07/10/14 Human Interest
BROOKSVILLE — Every January, a couple of thousand Civil War re-enactors gather at Spring Hill to commemorate the area's only notable military action during the war. But while the grand spectacle known as the Brooksville Raid — with its legions of blue- and gray-coated soldiers firing barrage after barrage of rifle and cannon volleys — might make for fascinating battle theater, it doesn't exactly square with historical fact....
HERNANDO BEACH — On any given day from May to early July, one or two dozen boats, most manned by experienced guides, troll the shallow waters off Hernando County. Their hunted game is silver king tarpon, a behemoth of a sport fish that's considered among the Gulf Of Mexico's most elusive species.
The hope of landing a prized tarpon lures some of the most dedicated saltwater anglers in the world. And to those in the know, the area from Bayport north to Homosassa Springs is prime ground where migrating tarpon gather before heading into deeper waters to spawn. Baseball great Ted Williams fished the area often. So have singer Harry Connick Jr. and golf legend Jack Nicklaus....
BROOKSVILLE — Former Brooksville Fire Department Capt. Sam Schey says that even though he resigned after an incident involving his unauthorized use of a fire truck on April 6 to demonstrate the apparatus to a family member, he regrets doing so.
In an interview this week with the Times, Schey, 37, said an internal affairs investigation done by the Brooksville Police Department contained several factual errors and its conclusion painted an inaccurate picture of the events that occurred that day. The incident led not only to Schey's resignation but the firing of another department captain, Bill Kaplan, who was terminated for unacceptable conduct as a supervisor and inefficiency of performance of duties....
07/01/14 Local Government
BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Property Appraiser John Emerson delivered some positive news this week to the county's taxing authorities: Based on preliminary tax roll values, the governmental bodies stand to collect significantly more in revenue this year.
It effectively signals an end to the seven-year downturn in property values across Hernando.
The county's certified taxable value of $7.112 billion was roughly a 2.32 percent increase over last year's preliminary certified value and is the final key factor in the formula used by government officials to construct their annual spending plans for the 2014-15 fiscal year....
06/26/14 Human Interest
BROOKSVILLE — Most people would agree that the 163-year-old Chinsegut Hill manor house is among the most photographed edifices in Hernando County, with the earliest known images dating to the early 1900s.
But thanks to advanced 3-D technology and the endeavors of a team of spatial engineers from the University of South Florida, the storied structure now has a new photographic record that will provide valuable information to future generations of historians....
06/26/14 Human Interest
BROOKSVILLE — The Humane Society of the Nature Coast has announced the hiring of longtime Pasco County animal welfare advocate Dina Athanassie as its new executive director. She will assume the duties held for 11 years by Joanne Schoch, who retired in February.
"I'm looking forward to working with the staff, volunteers and board members to raise awareness about our mission and to expand our facilities and services," Athanassie said. ...
BROOKSVILLE — No one knows for sure what prompted Brooksville Fire Department Capt. Sam Schey to climb aboard a city fire truck and cruise through the darkened streets of Brooksville on the night of April 6 — emergency lights and siren on and an unauthorized passenger by his side.
Schey's journey in the $250,000 ladder truck lasted only a few minutes, but the veteran firefighter, who spent 10 years with the department, wasn't in pursuit of a fire. In fact, he wasn't even on duty that Sunday night....
BROOKSVILLE — Ten years ago, Lisa Callea saw great potential in an old warehouse building at 10 S Main St. in the heart of Brooksville's business district.
Her goal: to offer an alternative to the downtown office crowd that had been deprived of the big-city Starbucks experience. In addition to top-notch coffees, cappuccino and lattes, the menu offered breakfast and lunch fare with a nod to healthy choices such as fresh salads, homemade soups and vegetarian dishes....
06/12/14 Human Interest
BROOKSVILLE — Karen Heidler has become one of the best-known artists in Hernando County in recent years, and her watercolors have adorned gallery walls throughout the state.
But this past week, the work of the 42-year-old Brooksville painter earned even broader recognition: one of her paintings was included in the National Watercolor Society's annual members show in San Pedro, Calif....
06/11/14 Local Government
BROOKSVILLE — What many people thought was a surefire measure to forever rid Brooksville of red-light cameras is now a question for a judge.
On Wednesday, the city filed a request with the Hernando County Circuit Court for a ruling about the validity of a grass roots petition that seeks to change the city charter and permanently ban cameras and other automated traffic-monitoring devices....