Prescribed burns planned in two places
The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be conducting prescribed burns from November through March at the Annuteliga Hammock and the Weekiwachee Preserve in Hernando County to reduce the risk of wildfires. The Annuteliga Hammock is east of U.S. 19, north of Centralia Road and south of the Hernando-Citrus county line. About 300 acres will be burned in small, manageable units. The Weekiwachee Preserve is west of U.S. 19 between Spring Hill and Hernando Beach. About 400 acres will be burned there, and some trails may be temporarily closed during the burns. For information, call Susanna Martinez Tarokh at (813) 985-7481, ext. 2008.
United Way grant funding available
Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply for the United Way of Hernando County's community investment funds. The funds are invested into local programs and partnerships that address community needs and achieve measurable results through health, education, financial stability and basic needs/crisis prevention. Last year, more than $390,000 was allocated in Hernando County. To qualify for a 2018-19 grant, nonprofit organizations must complete an eligibility form, sign it and return it to the United Way office no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 29. Forms may be mailed to: United Way of Hernando County, 4028 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606; faxed to (352) 688-8336, or emailed to Angie Bonfardino, executive director/CEO, at angie@UnitedWayHernando.org. To download the form, visit UnitedWayHernando.org/CIG-Eligibility or call (352) 688-2026. Organizations that meet the criteria will be contacted and invited to attend a mandatory workshop in mid December, during which an in-depth review of the online grant process will take place.
Preservation society seeks members
The Historic Hernando Preservation Society is conducting its fall membership drive. Membership benefits include informative speakers at monthly meetings, historically related field trips and numerous activities related to the preservation of Brooksville's and Hernando County's historical-cultural resources. Dues are $5 for students, $10 for individuals, $25 for families, $35 for associate organizations, $50 for corporations and $175 for a lifetime membership.
For a membership application, visit historichernandopreservationsociety.org. Bring the application and payment to a monthly meeting. The annual membership meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville. The meeting will include the election of officers and board for 2018, followed by an antiques and collectibles auction. Refreshments will be served. For information, call (352) 848-0505 or (352) 344-4705.
FEMA extends disaster assistance deadline
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended its deadline to register for federal disaster assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The new deadline is Nov. 24. Residents may register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or call toll-free 1-800-621-3362.
Second pass of debris removal has begun
The first pass of storm debris pickup has been completed on public and approved private roads in the county, and haulers this week began the second pass. The second pass will include the collection of vegetative and construction/demolition debris. Residents should separate and place all remaining storm debris in the right of way along the road to ensure pickup.
Residents may also notice haulers clearing damaged tree limbs to prevent them from being future hazards. Homeowner's associations and private communities must fill out the right-of-entry form to be eligible for debris pickup. The form is available at hernandocounty.us/dpw/storm-debris-pickup and must be completed and returned to Hernando County Government, 20 N Main St., Suite 263, Brooksville, FL 34601, or emailed to PublicInformation@HernandoCounty.us. Residents are reminded to not place debris in the roadway, on sidewalks or in front of mailboxes or fire hydrants. Be sure to separate vegetative debris from other construction/demolition debris. Haulers will collect individual pieces of debris up to a maximum of 20 feet in length. To allow residents affected by Withlacoochee River flooding additional time to get their debris to the curb, haulers will collect debris there after the second pass across the county has been completed.
Carolers needed for Christmas program
The Brooksville Main Street promotion committee is seeking groups of carolers for its 12 Days of Christmas program. Downtown Brooksville's Christmas tree lighting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 7. Local churches and other groups are needed to provide seasonal music each evening from Dec. 8 to 24.
Those wishing to participate may schedule a performance for up to an hour between 6 and 7 p.m. on one of the available evenings on the steps of the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main St., next to the lighted Christmas tree. The tree's synchronized music and light show will start at 7 p.m. each evening.
Dates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For information or to schedule a performance, call Stan Putnam at (727) 215-1222 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday or at StantonNOW@hotmail.com.
Fort Dade closed for culvert maintenance
The Hernando County Department of Public Works has announced that it has temporarily closed Fort Dade Avenue between Sawdust Lane and West Avenue.
A detour using Center Street is be available. The road will be closed for approximately two months for culvert maintenance. For information, call (352) 754-4060.
Public employees to be honored at event
The Brooksville Main Street program invites Hernando County residents to join in giving thanks to city and county employees for their efforts during Hurricane Irma.
A block party will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 16 between Broad and Liberty streets on S Main Street and S Brooksville Avenue. Several restaurants and businesses will extend their hours to participate in the celebration, which will include music, food and beverages.
Snow Bash fundraiser set for Nov. 25
The public is invited to celebrate the holiday season with a Florida snow day during Snow Bash, a fundraiser to benefit the Seed Foundation's Castle Project on Nov. 25.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Springleton Fun Park, 9227 County Line Road. The goal of the project is to create a housing community for homeless seniors, orphans and veterans. The event will include snow, entertainment, food trucks and vendors.
Advance registration is $2; the cost will be $5 on the day of the event. For information or tickets, visit ticketor.com/fllocalevents/event/snow-bash-80734.
Health insurance is topic of AARP meeting
Hernando County West AARP Chapter 5445 will meet at noon Nov. 16 at the IHOP restaurant, 3660 Commercial Way. Victoria Conklin of SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) will speak.
SHINE is a free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the local Area Agency on Aging. Specially trained volunteers can assist people with Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance questions by providing one-on-one counseling and information. If ordering from the menu, arrive at 11 a.m. To RSVP, call Robert Howell at (352) 683-9361.
Christmas boat parade has been canceled
The Weeki Wachee River Christmas Boat Parade, scheduled for Dec. 9, has been canceled due to the closure of Rogers Park and the Bayport pier. According to parade host Jim Lanier Jr. of Weeki Wachee Marina, the parade will resume in December 2018.