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Phyllis Day, Times Staff Writer

Phyllis Day

Phyllis Day started working at the Times in February 2000. She works for the Hernando Times regional edition, writing entertainment stories for the Hernando Things to Do page, and puts together various listings for clubs, events, government meetings and other happenings in Hernando County.

Phone: (352) 754-6101


  1. Love of treasure hunting leads to success at Shabby Hen's Nest in Dade City


    DADE CITY — Judy Christian doesn't quite fit the image of someone who rummages through heaps of trash or condemned homes. But the petite mother of five gets excited when she has the opportunity to sift through unwanted or long-forgotten items.

    "I've been called a scavenger," Christian, 56, says with a laugh. "But I consider myself more of a treasure hunter."

    Most people would tend to agree with Christian, as she always has been able to find people willing to buy her items. So when Christian told her husband, Chris, about her plans to open a business, he was behind her immediately. And he helps out when he can. She also gets help from her youngest children, twins Danielle and Christopher, who are 16....

    Chris and Judy Christian opened the Shabby Hen’s Nest a year ago. The store features a variety of antiques, primitives, handmade and repurposed items, as well as custom furniture and other gifts.
  2. Pasco events for Sept. 23


    23 Friday

    Fall Mini Flea Market: Proceeds from the market go back to the community through GFWC Lutz-Land O' Lakes Woman's Club donations and community service work. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes. (813) 833-3962.

    Free rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing: Results are available within 20 minutes. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pasco County Health Department, 10841 Little Road, New Port Richey. (727) 619-0260....

  3. Fulfilling a dream, woman takes Cake Girl mobile bakery on the road


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Baking has always been her dream, having begun at about 6 years old, making cakes and cupcakes from Betty Crocker mixes.

    In fact, Kristina Lavallee always wanted to have her own bakery. She went to college, earning a baking and pastry degree, as well as two bachelor's degrees in hospitality and food service industry in 2013. She worked in other bakeries, including at Publix....

    Kristina Lavallee recently opened the Cake Girl mobile truck.
  4. Pasco Events for Sept. 2



    Friday Night Live: A night of family entertainment featuring music in the center court and Pokemon movies with lure modules next to American Eagle. With music by Wade Williams. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. (813) 994-2242.


    The Market Place: Vendors will be selling a variety of products, such as honey, home decor, jewelry, alpaca products, baked goods, fresh produce and handmade soaps. There will be live music. Dogs on leashes permitted. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hibiscus Park, 7th Street and Bougainvillea Avenue, Dade City. (352) 521-5858....

  5. Stage West summer production of 'Legally Blonde Jr.' opens this weekend


    SPRING HILL — Elle is the stereotypical sorority girl, consumed by fashion, celebrities and where the next party is. Most people don't expect much from her. In fact, her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her right before leaving for Harvard Law School, claiming he needs someone "serious."

    But nobody expects the bubbly and blond Elle Woods to take matters into her own hands, winning her own way into Harvard Law while on a mission to win back Warner....

    The Stage West Community Playhouse production of Legally Blonde Jr. opens Friday. It’s a little different than the original Broadway show, with fewer songs and without the risque language.  
  6. Part revue, part old-time TV show, Stage West summer show promises fun


    SPRING HILL — It has all the makings of an exciting musical revue — high-energy dancing and some of the greatest songs spanning several decades.

    Add in a flashy light show, sketch comedy and old-time commercials, and you have the ingredients for the Main Stage summer "special" at Stage West Community Playhouse — The Music You Grew Up With, which opens July 14.

    The show, directed by Andi Sperduti Garner, will be part revue and part old-time television show....

    Jennifer Agnelli and Jay Garcia share a moment during Stage West Community Playhouse’s production of The Music You Grew Up With.
  7. Organizers say they're better prepared for Fourth crowds at Hernando fairgrounds


    BROOKSVILLE — When the Hernando County Fairgrounds, after an 18-year hiatus, revived its Fourth of July celebration last year, organizers were a bit unprepared for the overwhelming response.

    Thousands of vehicles flooded the parking lot, with lines of cars about a mile long up and down U.S. 41.

    "The turnout was amazing," said Shari Klimas, president of the Hernando County Fair Association. "We were not expecting the crowds. We thought there would only be a few thousand people."...

    A fireworks show provided by Sky Candy Fireworks of Riverview will finish the day at this year’s Firecracker Smash’m Up! on July 4 in Brooksville.
  8. Fifth annual Autism Fest set for Saturday at Springstead High


    SPRING HILL — It started as a small project spearheaded by an International Baccalaureate student at Springstead High School, and included just a handful of vendors to promote awareness for disorders falling under the autism spectrum.

    Last year, with help from the Inspire Foundation, the event became more of a family musical event and grew to 70 vendors and sponsors. It drew more than 600 visitors....

  9. Springstead alum taking break from Broadway, returning home for 'Carousel'


    SPRING HILL — Zach James, by any measure, is a bona fide Broadway star.

    After landing the role of Seaman Thomas Hassinger in the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of South Pacific in 2008, James continued his upward rise, creating the role of Lurch in Broadway's The Addams Family in 2010. And he has continued to perform other Broadway and off-Broadway roles — too numerous to mention....

    During their first time alone, Billy Bigelow, played by Zach James, and Julie Jordan, played by Ashley Schoendorf, discuss how life would be if they fell in love, singing If I Loved You.
  10. Award-winning Zephyrhills cadets learn speed, fire/rescue skills

    Human Interest

    ZEPHYRHILLS — Competing in statewide events was never something these aspiring firefighters considered. But four months ago, members of Zephyrhills Fire Rescue Cadet Post 605 wanted to take part in the Florida Association of Fire Rescue Cadets' 2016 Florida Winter Fire Games.

    The experience, to say the least, was humbling.

    "We got stomped," Capt. Cadet Jacob Vaughn said. "We placed (number) 14 out of 17."...

    Members of the Zephyrhills Fire Rescue Cadet Post 605, along with cadet adviser Billy Jeffries. The team’s efforts were recognized by the City Council.
  11. Weeki Wachee High production of 'Mary Poppins' benefits from community support


    WEEKI WACHEE — Everyone knows her. She is the perfect nanny with a magical carpetbag and umbrella who takes two children under her care on a magical journey and helps mend a fractured family.

    The 1964 film Mary Poppins is among Walt Disney's most popular movies. Yet the musical version didn't hit the stage until 40 years later, based on the Disney film and stories by P.L. Travers....

  12. Nature Coast Handbells set to perform Sunday at Spring Hill Baptist

    Music & Concerts

    SPRING HILL — Michele DiLuzio was introduced to handbell music when she was 13, performing on trumpet at St. Theresa Catholic Church. There was a newly formed handbell choir that needed members for a holiday program.

    "I got hooked," DiLuzio admits, and years later, while a member of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, she formed and directed the Bells of St. Frances.

    That group, founded in 1993, not only performed at the church, but also as guests at other churches and at community events. They even traveled to Italy and played before Pope John Paul II....

  13. Live Oak Theatre to stage 'The Secret Garden'


    BROOKSVILLE — A classic piece of English children's literature, The Secret Garden is among author Frances Hodgson Burnett's most popular novels. With several film and stage adaptations, its 1991 musical adaptation, written by Marsha Norman with music composed by Lucy Simon, was met with critical acclaim, snatching up three Tony Awards.

    The musical is considered difficult to perform, with intricate music that goes practically nonstop for 2 1/2 hours. In fact, most amateur theater groups opt to use recorded soundtracks....

    Certain that he is going to be a hunchback like his father, Colin (Christopher Alexander) allows Martha (Caitlin Frostman) to show Mary (Elizabeth Kessel) the lump on his back, while the nurse (Gwyneth Mitten) looks on in their performance of The Secret Garden.  
  14. Hernando Symphony Orchestra closes season with 'Light Classics'

    Music & Concerts

    BROOKSVILLE — Their sounds are familiar to ears both young and old, often heard on television shows, cartoons and in movies.

    But audiences often are unaware that the light pieces are actually classical masterpieces, created by some of the world's greatest composers.

    Some of those sounds — including Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusic — will come to life this weekend when the Hernando Symphony Orchestra wraps up the 2015-16 season with its "Light Classics" concerts....

  15. Easier entry promised as fifth annual Florida Blueberry Festival opens Saturday


    BROOKSVILLE — Last year, the lines formed early in the morning, with many waiting in anticipation of entry to the weekend event that combines thousands upon thousands of pounds of blueberries with musical entertainment, artisans and a variety of children and adult activities.

    Those lines should run much more smoothly during this weekend's fifth annual Florida Blueberry Festival in downtown Brooksville....

    Blueberry shortcake will be among the favorites at the  Florida Blueberry Festival this weekend in Brooksville.