BROOKSVILLE — Deputies shot and wounded a bank robbery suspect after a chase through the city involving more than 30 law enforcement vehicles, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say the man, whom they would not identify, arrived at Capital City Bank, 14001 Cortez Blvd. in Spring Hill, about 11 a.m. Friday in a white Dodge Ram with a female hostage in the front seat. He went into the bank and took an undisclosed amount of money before driving away, according to the agency, which declined to say where the hostage was during the robbery....
BROOKSVILLE — As Hurricane Irma bore down on Hernando County, more than 5,000 people and 700 animals huddled together seeking shelter inside six local schools.
For days, that's where they slept, ate, played and, most of all, hoped that the massive storm would spare the homes they had left behind.
Some slept in gymnasiums, others in classrooms or hallways. Children played games, and the elderly sat and talked. As winds picked up in the hours before the storm hit, dogs ran around courtyards for their last trip outside until Irma was gone....
After Hurricane Irma's visit to Florida, the Tampa Bay Times checked in with people and agencies across Hernando County to see how they endured. While the area saw many downed trees and some flooding, most residents and officials reported no major damage. Megan Reeves, Times staff writer
Weeki Wachee State Park
Other than several downed trees and a lot of scattered plant debris, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park sustained no damage, said spokesman John Athanason....
Most residents of Clover Leaf Forest RV Park in Brooksville evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma. Those who stayed woke up to a sad scene.
Trees were down everywhere, some atop cars and campers. A foot or more of water covered nearly half of the park, engulfing the neighborhood's streets and, in some places, where the road dips low, kissing the doorways of homes.
Wind had thrown picnic tables and lawn furniture. Cars sat abandoned. By noon Monday, maintenance workers, who had begun before 6 a.m., were unloading a sixth tractor to remove debris. Only a handful of residents had returned to see the damage Irma had done....
RIDGE MANOR — Terry Price sat with his shih tzu and a pack of cigarettes on a wooden porch outside his son's home on Tuesday afternoon. It had become an island thanks to the rising waters of the Withlacoochee River behind his Hernando County home.
Florida students Victoria Lehoczky and Stamatina Copulos were on a trek of their own.
With pillows and a suitcase in tow, they had just begun a more than two-mile walk from their Thomas Hall dorm room to a local shelter, and it was raining.
Walking along Stadium Road, they saw a car stop, and out stepped the university's president, Kent Fuchs.
"He then asked us where we needed to go because he saw us carrying our things and offered to take us to the shelter," said Lehoczky, an 18-year-old freshman biology major....
Dozens of onlookers flocked Sunday afternoon to the northern end of St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, where the western edge of Tampa Bay receded like an extreme low tide. Several hopped from the basin wall to the spongy, grassy muck below, venturing hundreds of feet into what would normally be water as police watched from their cars.
In Tampa, 10-year-old Felix Carillo and his mom almost settled for selfies of a similar view over the iconic balustrade along Bayshore Boulevard. But after a few minutes of watching from the sidewalk, they just couldn't resist taking a walk where they're used to seeing water, joining other curious people smiling as their flip-flops stuck in the mud....
BROOKSVILLE — She was standing in the doorway of her white stucco house when the school bus pulled up. Ever since her son made the call to Hernando County officials Saturday afternoon, alerting them that his 89-year-old mother needed help sheltering from Hurricane Irma, Angela Cassell had been waiting.
"I promised my son I would go," she said. "They say this is the worst storm in years."...
As Hurricane Irma twirls furiously toward Florida in the Caribbean, it's a waiting game to see where the massive storm will go. In the meantime, we've curated a list of interactive weather websites sure to hook even the biggest weather nerds.
Creator of Earth, Cameron Beccario, has deemed his website "a visualization of global weather conditions." Raw data — like wind speed, temperature and wave height — is transformed into an informational picture of the globe updated every three hours by "supercomputer" forecasters. Users can rotate and zoom in and out of the interactive graphic, as well pinpoint areas of storms, like Irma and the closely trailing Jose, for more specific information....
BROOKSVILLE — A cafeteria worker at Hernando Christian Academy has been arrested after investigators say her "sexting-type relationship" turned physical with a teen at the school last year.
According to an arrest affidavit from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Aimee Chevalier, 40, exchanged about 100 sexually explicit text messages — including pictures and videos of her nude body — with the teen before they agreed to meet in the school's kitchen. Once there, the pair engaged in multiple sexual activities, the Sheriff's Office said....
BROOKSVILLE — Two weeks after a heated Hernando School Board workshop, board member Gus Guadagnino used a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 5, to address his fellow elected leaders about the recent public discord among them, spurred by a districtwide evaluation of superintendent Lori Romano.
"I was kind of embarrassed at our last meeting at what took place . . . the interrupting, the accusations, the breakdown of teamwork," Guadagnino said. "All of us are looked up to in our own worlds, but (not) when we come together as a team."...
09/02/17 Public Safety
YBOR CITY — A heavily anticipated rap concert was canceled Saturday night, spurring fights and amped-up police presence in the streets of Ybor City.
The free concert by a controversial Broward County rapper, XXXTentacion — Jahseh Onfroy, 19 — attracted a crowd that reportedly approached 1,000 to the Orpheum, at 1915 E Seventh Ave.
Onfroy, a performer in the "emo rap" and "SoundCloud rap" movements, announced the free concert earlier this week via In-stagram and Twitter....
RIVERVIEW — Three foreign nationals from India were arrested Saturday after deputies found a beaten woman and her child being held inside her home, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies described the woman, 33-year-old Silky Gaind, as "badly beaten and bruised over her entire body" from beatings by her husband and his parents that they say had "been ongoing for an extended period of time."...
For a handful of people and a whole lot of fish, last Friday was a good day. After five years of planning, plus a day of heavy lifting, a 22-year-old artificial reef off the coast of Hernando County has grown three times larger.
"It's kind of like Christmas," Paul Pelletier, chairman of the county Port Authority, said from the deck of a boat idling near the reef Friday....
BROOKSVILLE — Tensions among school district leaders in Hernando are growing as they continue to sort through the results of an $11,000 districtwide survey commissioned to evaluate superintendent Lori Romano.
George MacDonald, a University of South Florida professor who facilitated the survey, faced a tough crowd at a School Board meeting last week as he made a second, more detailed presentation of the results....