1. Hernando

Hernando County news briefs for June 28

Published Jun. 25


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.

United Way to host 'Stuff the Bus'

The United Way of Hernando County's 13th-annual Stuff the Bus event will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 12-14 at all eight Publix stores throughout the county, as well as two Walmart stores: the store on Commercial Way in Spring Hill and the store on Broad Street in Brooksville.

On these days, teachers and volunteers will be collecting essential school supplies for Hernando County classrooms.

Applications are being taken from teachers wishing to participate in Stuff the Bus and receive free school supplies for their classrooms. Teachers fill out a wish-list application with desired items and quantities, volunteer two hours of their time over the course of the Stuff the Bus weekend, and then supplies will be delivered to the teachers at the beginning of the school year.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. July 5. Visit

Those who are not teachers but wish to volunteer for Stuff the Bus, contact the United Way office at or (352) 688-2026.

PHSC nursing program ranked No. 1

Pasco-Hernando State College recently was ranked first among Licensed Practical Nurse programs in Florida by More than 160 LPN programs are approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. ranked the top 15 programs, with PHSC coming in first.

Each program received a score based on several factors, including graduation rate, academic quality and affordability. For further information, visit

Free gardening classes offered

The Hernando County Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program will offer the following free classes. No registration is needed:

• This, Not That, Beautiful Natives to Replace Problem Plants, 10 a.m. July 5, at Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, north of Brooksville. Learn about invasive exotic plants, why they are harmful and native plants that are better options.

• Seductive Invaders, 10 a.m. July 9, at the Hernando County Cooperative Extension Service, 16110 Aviation Loop Drive, Brooksville. Presented by Lilly Browning, Florida-Friendly Landscape Program coordinator, who will discuss common plants that may be beautiful, but are causing harm to the local environment. Participants will learn about appropriate replacement plants that are both beautiful and beneficial.

• Much Ado About Mulch, 10:30 a.m. July 10, at the Spring Hill Branch/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive. Presented by Lilly Browning, Florida-Friendly Landscape Program coordinator, who will discuss what kinds of mulch to use, how much to use and whether it will attract bugs. She will also discuss using rubber mulch or rocks.

AARP offers driver safety class to seniors

The AARP Driver Safety Program will be offered at several locations in Hernando County in July. 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 July 1 and 2, Salishan Retirement Living, 191 Astaire Lane, Spring Hill. Call Lawrence, (352) 304-8363.

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 3, Brooksville Enrichment Center, 17222 Hospital Blvd., Brooksville. Call Marge, (352) 678-1533.

• Noon to 3 p.m. July 9 and 11, Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. Call Wayne, (352) 597-9590.

• 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 25, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 10441 Quality Drive, Medical Arts Building, Suite 105, Spring Hill. Call Marge, (352) 678-1533.


Public Works hosts water presentation

The City of Brooksville Public Works will host a presentation, "Water — Understanding its Trails and Trials," from noon to 2 p.m. July 31 in the Council Chambers at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave.

The program will include a 30-minute presentation, "Save Our Planets," an eye-opening awareness of water management, conservation and protection of water resources. There will be a 15-minute video presentation, "Jonathan Bird's Blue World," which takes viewers on an underwater adventure through a series of complicated and dangerous caves and caverns in Ichetucknee Springs, Florida. Questions and discussion will follow.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. There is no cost, but please RSVP by July 24. Contact Jon Dowler at Public Works, or (352) 540-3860.

Volunteers needed with food distribution

Jericho Road Ministries is seeking volunteers to help distribute food supplies to the needy at its food distribution location at Mary's House, 1163 Howell Ave. Assistance is needed with administrative duties and handing out food.

Jericho is facing pressure due to growing numbers of unemployed and homeless in Hernando County. Help can be as little as one day a week (between 9 a.m. and noon) or more.

Jericho Road Ministries is a Christian-based ministry, and pastoral approval will be required for all volunteers. For further information, contact Hommy Navarro at (352) 799-2912, ext. 112; or Melisa Renn at ext. 110.

Spring Hill

Senior softball league seeks new players

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 July 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.


  1. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018)
Hernando County School District Headquarters, Brooksville
    The district has also promised to look for ways to bring insurance costs down for 2021 and beyond.
  2. Workers begin construction in 2010 on what would become Winding Waters K-8. That was the last new public school built in Hernando County, which faces capacity strains as officials ask for impact fee raises to keep up with growth. Times
    With schools operating at 98 percent capacity, the proposed increase isn’t what school leaders want, but it is something.
  3. Commissioner Steve Champion ALICE HERNDEN  |  Special to the Times
    Commissioners also agree to declare Hernando County a Second Amendment sanctuary.
  4. The Secret Garden, overlooking a lively canal, provides scenic, airy dining at Silver Dolphin Restaurant & Country Store. Owner Yann Milcendeau, who designed and planted the space, says a restaurant needs "something different" to succeed. BETH N. GRAY  |  Special to the Times
    The Silver Dolphin & Country Store joins ZigZag Scallop, which opened four years ago.
  5. Mermaids perform their version of Hans Christian Andersons' classic fairy tale, 'The Little Mermaid,' in the underwater theater at Weeki Wachee Springs  State Park last week. Michele Miller
    River advocate says the city doesn’t work like a normal government and may be putting the Weeki Wachee River and springs in jeopardy.
  6. Beau, Vivi, Peter and Meredith are available for adoption at Tampa Bay area shelters. Times
    Tampa Bay area shelter pets
  7. George Dwyer stars as Jarvis Standish (left) and Scott Tilson as Marco Santiago (right) in 'American Heartbeat,' an original musical about a Marine Vietnam veteran and an undocumented immigrant who meet while vying for the same job. The show will be presented Nov. 22-24 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. Martha Velez
    ProComm Theatre Troupe presents ‘American Heartbeat.’
  8. Appalachian Road Show performs Nov. 29 during the Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville. Shore Fire Media
    Things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
  9. The Hernando County Utilities Department will host an open house Dec. 3 on plans to expand a county wastewater treatment plant. Barbara Behrendt
    Hernando County will hold a public information meeting Dec. 3 on the plans.
  10. Much work has been completed on the Selmon Extension project, but we still have a way to go before the construction and ongoing detours on Gandy Boulevard end by the projected fall 2020 completion date. MONIQUE WELCH  |  Monique Welch | Times
    The ongoing project along Gandy Boulevard began in February but still has a lot of work left before its projected fall 2020 completion date.