1. Archive


Muriel Prieto was chosen as the Spring Hill Art League artist of the month for October at Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative on Cortez Boulevard in Spring Hill.

Prieto began painting with local artists Carol Rockwell and Diane Becker after arriving in Hernando County from New York. She paints landscapes and portraits. Her landscapes are mostly of southwest Arizona.

Prior to moving to Hernando, Prieto was a professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico and a member of the Tampa Art League. She has exhibited at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

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Robert G. Martinez, author of Brooksville: Images of America, appeared at Barnes & Noble in Tampa on Aug. 27 and the Book Fair in Spring Hill on Aug. 28 for book signings and to talk about the history of Brooksville and Hernando County.

Martinez's book was published by Arcadia Publishing and features a pictorial history of Brooksville from 1850 to the present. The book has more than 200 photos and is available at many outlets.


Once again this year, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186 in Brooksville sponsored the Girls State program for Hernando County, covering all expenses of the delegates through donations and fundraisers. Three hundred junior high school students from all over Florida attended.

On Sept. 11, there was a ceremony to honor those selected to attend. From Unit 186, two delegates were chosen: Ashley Addie of Springstead High School and Keisha Cason of Central High School. Rachel Waugh of Central High School was chosen as an alternate.

This year's Girls State program was June 10-18. Just prior to the event, Betty Lou Bennett, chairwoman, along with co-chairwomen Betty Corbin, Jackie Oliver and Judy Solom were contacted by Unit 142 in Tampa, asking if they knew of a qualified student to attend on their behalf. Unit 186's alternate, Waugh, was selected.

The purpose of Girls State is to provide citizenship training for young women, educating them in government and instilling in them a sense of pride in American traditions and values with a better understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship. The girls live together as self-governing citizens in a mock city, county and state environment.

Housing is provided at Florida State University in Tallahassee. The girls receive three hours of college credit and one credit for a social science course in their high school. In addition, if the candidate chosen is the daughter or granddaughter of a veteran who served in a period of war or conflict, she is eligible for the Samsung scholarship program.

Throughout the Girls State program, staff members observe the candidates for leadership qualities and participation in the program. Several delegates are awarded full scholarships, and two delegates are chosen to attend Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.

Girls State was organized as a national Americanism activity of the American Legion Auxiliary in 1937 to inspire and develop women with an interest in the study of government, foster civic leadership and to stimulate a desire to protect the privileges and responsibilities of our democratic form of government.

Florida had its first Girls State gathering in 1947. Since then, outstanding high school junior girls have traveled to the state capital for Girls State each year.


The LaFace family wishes to send its thanks and gratefulness to all the people of Spring Hill and neighboring communities for their donations, prayers and moral support for Daniel LaFace. It was gratefully appreciated.

Daniel, 11, is the little boy who was injured by an umbrella. After months of intense teatment at All Children's Hospital and HealthSouth Rehabilitation in Largo, our son Danny is home.

Danny is still unable to walk, uses a feeding tube, goes in and out of consciousness at times, and has small seizures due to the brain injury. But he has been fighting every step of the way.

They say God works miracles, and this is proof. Danny is a miracle from God to us. Although he still has a long road ahead of him, we have faith that he will continue to thrive and succeed in whatever God has in store for him.

So never let a day go by that you don't tell your children how much you love them. Life is too precious to take for granted. Once again, thank you all, and God bless you.

For details on Danny, please visit the Web site:

Ann Marie LaFace and family

Spring Hill

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I would like to send a big thank-you to Ginny Brown-Waite and her staff for the opportunity to get together with her and other families here in Hernando County that are going through the same thing I am.

Congresswoman Brown-Waite hosted a dinner for military families at the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Spring Hill Drive on Aug. 20. It was a wonderful event, and I was able to meet other families whose loved ones are also over in Iraq and Kuwait.

I would also like to thank the pizza restaurants, Wal-Mart and Publix for their support and food that was donated for the event. It is a nice feeling to have so many people standing behind our military men and women.

Doris Tempesta, wife of a SEABEE


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I would like to thank radio station WWJB in Brooksville with a grateful heart. What a month we have just gone through _ first with Charley, and then Frances and Ivan.

I want to thank WWJB and Bob Haa, Steve Manuel, J.R. Scicluna, Chuck Whitaker, Shawn Greene, Barbara Manuel, Jason Yungmann, Chris Fickley and Peggy Hope for the outstanding job they did in keeping the county informed when everything else was falling apart around us during Frances.

You will never know what the human voice and contact meant to us. Maybe you do, but I believe it bears repeating.

Listening to all the people that called in, from the negatives to the positives, I noticed the positive won out hands down. Does it not make us believe in the goodness of human beings? Bottom line is, we all went through some trying times together.

I needed Bob's sense of humor, Steve's calmness, Jason's personable self, and Chris, Shawn and Chuck's fact-finding when asked questions by listeners.

But guess what? We all made it, and the sun did come out again, even if we all had our doubts.

Thank you also to Ernie Holzhauer, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative and those from Progress Energy Florida for coming into the studio and answering questions. You did a fine job. Your time was valuable, but you certainly gave us listeners a feeling of security by personally talking to us on the air.

Our world for several days was four walls and a portable radio. We needed reassurance from you in the middle of the night that someone cared.

All of you did a beautiful job. Thank you again, WWJB.

Julia Jenkins


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I would like to express my thanks to all the linemen and other electrical workers who risked their lives and labored around the clock to restore my electrical service.

We should not forget all the other workers and volunteers who gave of themselves during and in the aftermath of Frances.

Bless you, one and all.

Edgar H. Althouse

Spring Hill

Author Robert G. Martinez had two recent signings of his book, Brooksville: Images of America.

Hernando County students, from left, Keisha Cason, Rachel Waugh and Ashley Addie attended Girls State in Tallahassee.

LOCAL SCHOLAR: Phi Sigma Theta recently announced that Courtnay Biszkont, 19, has become a member of the organization's national honor society at the University of South Florida. Phi Sigma Theta is dedicated to recognizing and rewarding academic achievement by undergraduates at institutions of higher learning. Biszkont, a freshman at USF, has been on the dean's list, is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and received an Advanced Newhouse Scholarship. Biszkont is majoring in both psychology and criminology. She is a 2003 graduate of Springstead High School and the daughter of Geri and George Biszkont of Spring Hill.

NEW REPRESENTATIVES: On Aug. 28, members of Knights of Columbus, St. Joan of Arc Council 11317, installed officers for 2004-05. Standing in back, from left, are William Davis, warden; Frank Mezzacapo, chancellor; Tony DelVecchio, first-year trustee; John Laconca, recorder; Louis Beckman, lecturer, and Tony Maccaquono, inside guard. Seated, from left, are Henry Hoeler, treasurer; Richard Deso, deputy grand knight; Bill Koenig Jr., grand knight; and Harold "Obie" O'Brien, third-year trustee and immediate past grand knight. Officers William Whited, financial security; Mike Owens, outside guard, and Vincent Sabia, second-year trustee, were unavailable for the photo.

OBSERVING FOUR DECADES OF MINISTRY: The Rev. James P. McAteer, a member of the Institute of Charity order and pastor at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Spring Hill, recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination. McAteer has been pastor at St. Theresa for the past five years. A reception was held at the parish center on Aug. 8 and was attended by many parishioners.

AUXILIARY OFFICERS INSTALLED: On Aug. 28, members of Knights of Columbus, St. Joan of Arc Council 11317, installed Ladies Auxiliary officers for 2004-05. Standing in back, from left, are Evelyn Caruso, parliamentarian; Kathleen Mulvancey, corresponding secretary; Jean DiMarco, financial secretary; Betty Mae Dembeck, third-year trustee; Mabel O'Brien, second-year trustee, and Carol D'Aquisto, first-year trustee. Seated in front, from left, are Ann Hoeler, treasurer; Barbara Stacy, recording secretary; Renee Koenig, president, and Debbie Colvin, vice president.