1. Hernando

Hernando County news briefs for July 19


Property Appraiser's office closed July 26

The Hernando County Property Appraiser's Office will be closed from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26 for training purposes.

The offices are on the third floor of Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville; and at the Westside Government Center, 7525 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. For information, call (352) 754-4190.

Funds available for pine beetle prevention

The Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the 2019 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program through Aug. 16.

The southern pine beetle is a devastating forest pest. The program helps landowners reduce the risks and impacts associated with the southern pine beetle and improve the health and productivity of their pine forests.

The program is available to non-industrial private forest landowners in 44 Florida counties, the known range of the southern pine beetle (which includes Hernando County). The program provides incentive payments to landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning. It also offers partial cost reimbursement for prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments and the planting of longleaf or slash pine, which are less susceptible to beetle infestations.

Eligible landowners can apply for up to two practices per year. Funding requests may not exceed $10,000. For an application or further information about the program, visit or, or contact Hernando County forester Matt Stevens at (352) 797-4130.

Funds available for longleaf pine program

The Florida Forest Service is accepting applications through Aug. 2 for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program.

The objective of the program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine forests in Florida by assisting eligible, non-industrial private forest landowners with the long-term investment necessary to establish and maintain the valuable longleaf pine ecosystem.

Longleaf pines provide high-quality wood products and are valued for their resistance to damage by insects, wildfire and storms. However, due to urbanization and conversion to other land uses, longleaf pine forests have been dramatically reduced and now cover less than 4 percent of their historical range. Florida is home to more than 2 million acres of longleaf pine ecosystems.

The program offers incentive payments for timber stand improvement, invasive species control, prescribed burning, planting longleaf pine, establishing native plant understory and mechanical underbrush treatments.

To learn more and access an application, visit or contact Hernando County forester Matt Stevens at (352) 797-4130.

AARP offers driver safety class to seniors

The AARP Driver Safety Program will be offered at several locations in Hernando County in August. The course is open to drivers 50 and older who, upon completion, may receive a discount on their auto insurance premiums. The certificate is valid for three years. The cost is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for nonmembers. Space is limited; preregistration is required.

• 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 5 and 6, Salishan Retirement Living, 191 Astaire Lane, Spring Hill. Call Lawrence, (352) 835-7017.

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 7, Brooksville Enrichment Center, 17222 Hospital Blvd., Brooksville. Call Marge, (352) 678-1533.

• Noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 13 and 15, Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. Call Wayne, (352) 597-9590.

• 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 22, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 10441 Quality Drive, Medical Arts Building, Suite 105, Spring Hill. Call Marge, (352) 678-1533.

Organizations needed to host food drives

People Helping People of Hernando County is experiencing high demands for nonperishable food for both the homeless and the backpack program for school children.

Clubs, churches and organizations are needed to help conduct food drives for the organization's Weekend Blessing Program, which provides weekend food for school children from low-income families during the school year. Collection boxes with signage of the proper food items needed are provided.

People Helping People is a nonprofit charitable organization. For information, contact Ron at (352) 597-6454 or

Prescribed burns scheduled

The Southwest Florida Water Management District is conducting prescribed burns through August at Annuteliga Hammock and Weekiwachee Preserve.

The Annuteliga Hammock is east of U.S. 19, north of Centralia Road and south of the county line. Approximately 400 acres will be burned in small, manageable units. Another 400 acres will be burned in the Weekiwachee Preserve, located west of U.S. 19 between Spring Hill and Hernando Beach. Some trails may be temporarily closed during the burn events.

The benefits of prescribed fires include reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires; promoting the growth of new, diverse plants; maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat and maintaining access for public recreation.


Live Oak season tickets now available

Season tickets for Live Oak Theatre's 2019-20 season are now available. All performances are held at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd.

The full season of five shows, held from September through May, is $80; children's tickets (ages 13 and younger) are $25 when purchased with an adult season ticket. Single admission tickets to the productions are $20 for adults, and $5 for students 13 and younger when purchased with an adult ticket.

The season's shows include:

Cheaper by the Dozen, Sept. 13-29

The Little Mermaid, Nov. 8-24

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Dec. 13-15

Around the World in 80 Days, March 13-29

Live Oak Goes to the Movies (a musical tribute to favorite movies), April 24-May 3

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with matinees at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

All shows are family-friendly and feature casts of adults and youth in age-appropriate roles.

To order season tickets, call the box office at (352) 593-0027, email or purchase online at


Flotilla to offer safe-boating course

The Hudson Flotilla 11-7 Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer the Florida-mandated "About Boating Safely" class from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 27 at the training facility at 9135 Denton Ave.

The cost is $40 for the first family member and $20 for each additional member. It includes the class, digital library and processing fee. Those who complete the class will receive the Florida Boating Safely Education Card.

The class is offered on the fourth Saturday of each month. Group rates are available, and private classes can be scheduled for groups of five or more. Advance registration is appreciated. To register for the class or for information, send email to or call (727) 697-8013.

Spring Hill

Terlep hosts back-to-school event

Terlep Chiropractic will host a Back to School Bash-Round Two, in coordination with the Hernando County School District, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 3 at its office at 8466 Northcliffe Blvd.

There will be free school and sports physicals, free food, music, games and entertainment. Also, each child will receive a dental screening, as well as screenings for scoliosis, vision and diabetes, a nervous system scan to detect spinal abnormalities; all screenings are free. Terlep's pediatric specialist will be on hand for backpack checks, to properly position backpacks to prevent back pain and misalignment. Parents will receive a complimentary laser-assisted foot and gait screening, and a surface EMG scan. Also, those who donate $20 to the Hernando County Schools Principal's Fund will receive a chiropractic consultation, exam and x-rays.

Benes Career Academy will provide children with free haircuts, and the Hernando County Public Library System will provide library cards and present a story time. For information, call (352) 666-2222.

Temple offers ongoing Hebrew classes

Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., offers the following classes:

• Adult Hebrew grammar class, 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays.

• Adult beginner Hebrew class, 8 to 9:30 and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Tuition for non-temple members is $5 per class; there is a fee for a textbook. For further details, contact Lynn at (352) 688-5578 or

Thrift store, pantry celebrates 20 years

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and its free community food pantry is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The charity is a volunteer organization that opened its store in 1999 to help neighbors in need. It has grown into the largest community food pantry in Hernando County, serving 24,000 families a year and, through its seven conferences, has helped more than 1,800 families a year with emergency funds for rent and utilities, plus free furniture, clothing and household items through a voucher system.

The thrift store and pantry, located at 1291 Kass Circle, is open six days a week. For details, call (352) 688-3331.

Senior softball league taking applications

The West Hernando Athletic Club for Seniors, commonly called WHACS, is seeking new players. This is a slow-pitch senior softball league, open to players 55 and older.

Games are played at Veterans Memorial Park on Spring Hill Drive on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. The season is from September through April, and during the summer offers open practice and pick-up games for league members.

Applications are now being accepted for the August draft. For information, contact Johnny Anderson, (352) 610-9815.

YMCA to offer youth free swim lessons

The YMCA of the Suncoast will offer free water safety lessons with the four-day "Safety Around Water" program July 29-Aug. 2 at the Hernando County Family YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd.

The program is free and open to children ages 3-12 who are beginners or non-swimmers. During the four-day course, certified instructors will teach the children a sequenced set of skills that will reduce the risk of drowning and give them confidence in and around the water.

Participants must be present the first day of class and bring their own swimsuit and towel. YMCA membership is not required; however, pre-registration is required due to limited space. Stop by the YMCA or call (352) 688-9622.

Contact Phyllis Day at or (352) 848-1408. Follow @pdaytimes.