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Certification available for food managers

A food managers certification course and ServSafe certification test will be offered Jan. 25 at the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, 19490 Oliver St.

The cost for training and the exam is $70; the manual is $30. Training will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by the exam. There is no "exam only" option, and walk-ins will not be admitted.

Certification is required in Florida for food managers of all establishments licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and selected licenses of the Department of Health. All agencies accept the ServSafe certification.

Registration is required by Tuesday. To register or for information, call the extension office at 754-4433.

2004 home buyers: Apply for exemption by March 1

Hernando County Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek reminds Hernando County residents who purchased a home in the county during the 2004 tax year that applications for homestead exemptions must be made before March 1 in order to receive the benefit for the 2005 tax year. Applications after March 1 will be considered for 2006.

Once the initial application has been filed and granted, the property is placed on the automatic renewal system each year. A renewal notice will be mailed every January identifying the property and exemption status. If you still qualify for the exemption, you should keep the card as a receipt. Those who no longer qualify should sign the notice and return it to the Property Appraiser's Office.

The property appraiser has two office locations: 201 Howell Ave., Suite 300, Brooksville, and at 7499 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. For information about filing requirements and forms, visit the Web site at, or call 754-4190.

Beauty pageant benefits high schooler with cancer

BROOKSVILLE _ A Miss Winter Wonderland Beauty Pageant will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Performing Arts Center at Hernando High School, 700 Bell Ave.

The pageant is open to all Hernando County girls, newborn to 20 years old, and boys, newborn to 6 years old. The entry fee is $30 for all contestants. Optional competitions are $5 each.

Entry forms are available at the Hernando High front office. Proceeds from this event will benefit the family of Ashley Wood, a senior at the high school who has been diagnosed with cancer, as well as the HHS Future Business Leaders of America.

For information or to make a donation to the pageant, the Woods family or FBLA, call Janice Green or Barbara Davis at 797-7015, ext. 218.