1. Archive


Three graduating Hernando County seniors received college scholarships of $664 from the Pasco Republican Executive Committee, according to chairman Bill Bunting.

The scholarships will help with books, supplies and other college expenses. The scholarships were presented to the students based upon their high grade-point averages, extracurricular activities and community service.

Brittany Hann, a Central High School graduate, had a 4.19 grade-point average. She will attend the University of Florida and plans to become a veterinarian.

Christine Cacciatore, a Springstead High School graduate, had a 4.19 grade-point average. She is attending the University of Florida, majoring in accounting.

Christine Ocasio, also a Springstead graduate, had a 3.75 grade-point average. She will attend Pasco-Hernando Community College and major in business administration. She plans to eventually attend the University of Central Florida.


Lil Gibson of Weeki Wachee, a science-fiction romance author, has been added to the list of clients having their books published in eBook format by eChapterOne LLC, a leader in eBook conversion, sales and promotion.

According to eChapterOne, Gibson's first two novels, Zorroc and Sherem, were hits with readers and critics. In fact, Sherem was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance for 2006 by Romantic Times book review magazine.

For information, visit

Clubs and Organizations

Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582 was well represented at the recent Elks state convention.

Local representatives included: Paul Stark, exalted ruler; Sylvia Stark, publicity chairwoman; Donna Zuk, past exalted ruler and Central District vice president; Jerry Hite, state chairman for Harry-Anna Trust Scholarship Fund and a past exalted ruler, and his wife, Charlotte Hite; Darlene Keck, chaplain; and Everett Patterson, leading knight, and his wife, Maude Patterson.

The convention was at Walt Disney World. During the convention, the Brooksville lodge received three plaques for its bowling leagues, which recognized the leagues for placing first in doubles, first for senior handicap, and third for team senior handicap.

Donna Zuk was awarded a plaque for her service as vice president of the Central District for 2006-07. Also recognized was Hazel Grover, who placed second in the state lodge bulletins. More than 1,100 attended, representing 112 lodges.


Each June, the Filipino-American Social Club of Hernando, along with millions of Filipino-Americans, celebrate Philippine Independence Day, the day the Philippines won freedom from Spain after more than 330 years of subjugation.

This year the club had a "traditional" fiesta at Silverthorn Country Club on June 10. More than 100 people arrived wearing traditional "Filipiniana" native costumes. Men wore formal wear called "barong tagalog," sheer, long-sleeved shirts covered with embroidery. The women wore gowns in brilliant colors and designs.

The event featured a performance by the club's choral group, directed by Alsie Morris, and a performance of the popular Philippine national dance, the "tinikling," by dancers Juvy Maxwell and Clovis Cayunda.

Tinikling is a native folk dance where dancers hop, glide and spin from side to side, feet tiptoeing between two long bamboo poles that are clapped together in a rhythmic native beat.

Other activities included music by DJ Johnny, and food prepared by Silverthorn. An array of Filipino desserts were prepared by club members.

For information about the Filipino-American Social Club of Hernando, visit or

Recreation and Sports

Members of the Nature Coast Technical High School Varsity Cheerleaders and Sharks Elite Cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleading Association's Cheer Camp in Panama City from June 14-17.

The team of 36 cheerleaders returned from camp with six trophies, the most prestigious being the leadership award. The award is given to the team that is selected by all the other cheerleaders as the team they would most like to be on. In addition, the team received the most spirited award.

Nature Coast's cheerleaders competed against 22 of the top cheerleading squads in the region. The Sharks Elite squad took home three second-place awards - home pom dance, camp champs (overall) and extreme routing. They also won a superior overall, the highest rating any cheerleading squad can receive.

The black and blue varsity squad received second place in the overall competition for camp champs. Combined, the two teams received 12 blue ribbons and two spirit awards.

During camp, the cheerleaders had an opportunity to be selected to the UCA All Star Team. Chosen for the team were: Courtney Castle, Sarah Schaefer, Ashley Sedlack, Amy Marsh, Dana McRae and the team's newest member, its mascot.

Fun awards for special recognition went to Casey Paliez for the limbo and best air guitar. Anna Harris took third place in a jump-off against 250 cheerleaders.


Deron Mikal, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 67 service officer and State of Florida DAV Department service officer, was recently awarded the Charles N. Girard Award, recognizing the outstanding chapter service officer for DAV in the state of Florida.

The award was presented at the midsummer convention in Altamonte Springs.

Mikal has served veterans in Hernando County for some 14 years and has provided services for compensation for veterans at the Port Richey VA outpatient clinic for the past two years, representing the Service Commission for DAV of the State of Florida.