The average patient who gets a joint replaced at Oak Hill Hospital was charged nearly $119,000 in 2011. At Brooksville Regional Hospital, the average was $104,000.
Those fees were considerably higher than at several hospitals in the Tampa Bay area — and much higher than the state average of $62,092.
Chest pain? Oak Hill, owned by Healthcare Corporation of America in Nashville, charged $32,709. Brooksville Regional and Spring Hill Regional, both owned by Health Management Associates of Naples, billed $33,219. The state average: $21,396....
BROOKSVILLE — Calling the enforcement process unconstitutional, a Hernando County judge is automatically dismissing the cases of motorists caught on camera making rolling right turns on red lights.
In an order signed last week, County Judge Donald E. Scaglione cites three reasons why the state law is "vague (and) arbitrary and capricious." Because of that, Scaglione wrote, enforcing a right-on-red violation is unconstitutional and a violation of due process rights....
BROOKSVILLE — Last month, Stanley Elias Eckard turned down a plea offer that would have capped his sentence for killing his brother at 20 years.
On Monday, Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti sentenced Eckard to serve more than twice that long — 50 years.
"No parent should have to endure what you have endured," Tatti told Eckard's parents, Samuel and Donna, who had asked for a new trial....
BROOKSVILLE — When BayCare closed its stabilization unit at the Harbor 18 months ago, it left the county without a place for children taken into protective custody — and with a potentially serious problem.
Springbrook Hospital became Hernando's only receiving site for Baker Act patients, and it was not licensed to provide in-patient services to minors.
Now, mental health officials say, hospitals are working though the problems and conditions have improved for these young patients....
SPRING HILL — Tax Collector Sally Daniel was one of several well-known Hernando County Republicans who stood behind Blaise Ingoglia on Wednesday when he announced he was running for the state House of Representatives.
At the time, Ingoglia owed Daniel's office $11,864.75 for two years' worth of delinquent property taxes on his Spring Hill home, records show. He also has been late paying taxes on the property several previous years....
BROOKSVILLE — Gaetano Antonelli promised to make dreams come true by selling foreclosed homes to buyers with bad credit.
The problem, prosecutors say: Antonelli didn't own the homes, and in some cases the buyers didn't realize that until after they had moved in and made renovations.
On Thursday, the 63-year-old pleaded no contest to fraud and selling real estate without a license. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison, with credit for time served since November. ...
Blaise Ingoglia, the Spring Hill homebuilder who made a local name for himself with his Government Gone Wild seminars and who now serves as vice-chairman of the state Republican Party, will run for the state House of Representatives.
Ingoglia, 42, filed papers on Tuesday to run for the District 35 seat currently held by Rob Schenck, a Spring Hill Republican who must leave office due to term limits. Ingoglia is the first to file for the seat that includes all of Hernando County except the northwest quadrant....
BROOKSVILLE — In the past half-dozen years Blaise Ingoglia has become a polarizing political figure without ever seeking office.
That changed Tuesday when the 42-year-old Spring Hill home builder and vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida filed to run for the state House of Representatives.
And on Wednesday, flanked by four of Hernando County's five county commissioners and other prominent Republicans, Ingoglia announced his bid for District 35. The district covers most of Hernando County and is currently held by Rep. Rob Schenck, who must leave office because of term limits....
BROOKSVILLE — Work is beginning on a project designed to stop flooding of the Suncoast Parkway the next time heavy rain such as that from Tropical Storm Debby slogs through the region.
Crews on Monday arrived to prepare the site at the north end of the parkway, just south of the junction with U.S. 98 in Hernando County, said Christa Deason, a spokeswoman for Florida's Turnpike Enterprise. ...
SPRING HILL — A former bartender at Felony's Bar and Grill has filed suit against the owners of the Spring Hill restaurant, claiming she was sexually harassed and then fired when she complained.
According to a complaint filed in Hernando Circuit Court, Amy D. Graham claims two managers made lewd comments and touched her while she worked at the eatery and bar at 7285 Forest Oaks Blvd....
05/03/13 Public Safety
Chelsea Maree Huggett, the Citrus County woman accused of beating her 2-year-old daughter to death last week, was investigated twice by child protection investigators in the past year, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.
An initial look at both cases did not indicate that DCF could have done anything to prevent Aliyah's death, but the department will conduct a more thorough review, said Carrie Hoeppner, a DCF spokeswoman. The results could be released next week....
Tired of her daughter's whining, Chelsea Maree Huggett took brutal measures to make her stop, investigators say.
On April 25, Huggett violently shook 2-year-old Aliyah Marie Branum at a house in the Citrus County town of Hernando, according to an arrest affidavit.
The next day, Huggett shook the girl again, then covered the toddler's mouth with her hand, slammed her head into the bedroom wall and head butted her....
05/02/13 Local Government
BROOKSVILLE — On Tuesday, the Hernando County Commission will hear about the millions of dollars in property value the county has lost to sinkhole damage.
One commissioner, Diane Rowden, will have firsthand knowledge of this trend.
In 2011, engineers found voids under the home Rowden owns with her husband, Jay. Last month, the Rowdens filed suit against state-run Citizens Property Insurance, saying that its plan to repair the home is "patently deficient." ...
04/30/13 Local Government
SPRING HILL — U.S. Rep Rich Nugent put his arm around Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis as the men walked down a hallway of the Hernando County Detention Center.
"This place looks 100 percent better," said Nugent, who led the Sheriff's Office when the agency took over operation of the jail from a private company in August 2010.
Back then, the jail was in serious disrepair, the medical unit was undersized, and a standalone medical facility was still an idea. On Tuesday morning, Nugent helped Nienhuis cut a green ribbon across the door of a new $1.5 million medical building....
BROOKSVILLE — A doctor facing multiple charges stemming from the 2011 raid of a Spring Hill pain clinic will avoid prison but lose his right to practice and pay a hefty fine.
As part of deal with prosecutors, Dr. Harold Sleight pleaded guilty Tuesday to four counts of possessing a medical drug without a prescription, two counts of possessing a controlled substance and one count of trafficking in a controlled substance. ...