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Hernando County news briefs for Sept. 13

News and notes from Hernando County
Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
Published Sep. 11
Updated Sep. 11


Arts council accepting grant applications

The Hernando County Fine Arts Council invites arts, civic, educational or cultural nonprofit organizations to apply for grants of up to $500 to produce, support and encourage the creative arts in Hernando County. The deadline is Oct. 4. Funded projects will take place throughout 2020.

Funding for this program comes from donations, the purchase of “Florida State of the Arts” specialty license plates and proceeds from Art in the Park, the Council’s signature art and entertainment festival held the second weekend of March.

For further details and to apply, visit, or contact Community Arts grant program coordinator Cheryl Hill at 352-584-0429 or

Patriotic essay contest open to students

Entries are being accepted for the “Why Do I Love America?” essay contest held in celebration of America’s Day 2019, an event planned for Nov. 2 at the Global Jetcare facility at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

The contest is open to writers ages 12-18 at the time of the deadline (Oct. 15), who must reside in Hernando County and attend the America’s Day 2019 event. Entries must be submitted by a parent, teacher or legal guardian. Submissions must be written in English. The essay length is 500 words, and must be typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and font size 12.

There is no cost to enter. Cash gift card prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place winners in two divisions (high school and middle school). Essays should be submitted by email to (put “Attention Judges” in the subject line). The deadline is Oct. 15. Winners will be announced and receive their prizes at the America’s Day 2019 event.


Celebrating Museum Day with free tickets

In celebration of Museum Day on Sept. 21, the Hernando Historical Museum Association will offer free admission to the May Stringer House, 1885 Train Depot or the Countryman Family One-Room Schoolhouse Museum.

To receive two free Museum Day Live! tickets, register at Once registered, a ticket to one participating venue will be allowed, and will be available to download until the event day. Tickets must be printed and presented to one of the local museums for free admission.

For information, visit


Wreaths available for annual event

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10209 and Ladies Auxiliary is joining forces with Florida Hills Memorial Gardens for the annual laying of the wreaths on Dec. 14 as part of the national Wreaths Across America, a holiday wreath-laying event to honor veterans.

Wreaths can be purchased in memory of a loved one for $15; family packs of four are $60. Checks can be made out to “Wreaths Across America” and mailed to: VFW Post 10209, Attention Nancy Sellers, 14736 Edward R. Noll Drive, Spring Hill FL 34609.

For information, call Nancy Sellers at (352) 610-9672.

Golf outing to support Fisher House

The 10th-annual Support Our Troops Golf Outing, sponsored by the Wellington Tuesday Golf League and Wellington Veterans Club, will be Sept. 24. Golfing will be at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane. A shotgun start will be at 7:45 a.m.

An all-you-can-eat pizza lunch will follow from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Wellington Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Blvd. Complimentary beer, wine and soda will be available starting at 1 p.m.

The cost is $40, which includes golf and lunch; non-golfers pay $15 for lunch only.

Funds raised will benefit the Fisher House of Tampa, a “home away from home” for families of military personnel receiving medical care at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. For tickets or information, contact Chuck Kirst at (352) 688-9146 or

Program geared to help quit tobacco

Oak Hill Hospital is partnering with the Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center to offer the free “Tools to Quit” seminar from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 18 in the hospital’s GME Conference Center, Rooms B and C, 11307 Cortez Blvd.

This single-session program will provide participants with the tools to quit tobacco, including how to prepare a plan that works for them, ways to deal with cravings, what physical and emotional symptoms to expect and help to cope with them effectively. Also, four free weeks of patches, gum or lozenges will be provided while supplies last.

The program is sponsored by Tobacco Free Florida. the instructor is Sheena Thompson, a certified tobacco treatment specialist.

For information, call (813) 929-1000 or visit

People Helping People opens health clinic

People Helping People of Hernando County will open a health clinic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 18 at its help center at 1396 Kass Circle.

The clinic is for uninsured, low-income adults, who can register to be evaluated by a nurse practitioner for general medical problems. Services are limited, and clients may be referred to other available community resources.

To register or for information, call People Helping People at (352) 686-4466 or email to


  1. Buster is a sweet senior available for adoption at Hernando County Animal Services. Hernando County Animal Services
  2. ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times The Brooksville Blueberry Festival, held the last weekend of April in downtown Brooksville, brought visitors from locally and beyond.
    The Tourist Development Council heard proposals Tuesday and will vote on funding next month
  3. County Sheriff Al Nienhuis faces another contentious budget negotiation with the Hernando County Commission. [Times]
    Why are sheriff’s positions routinely left unfilled, and where does the money budgeted for them end up, asks the candidate challenging Sheriff Al Nienhuis.
  4. Hernando tourism director Tammy Heon places a sign in the new information center Monday.
    County tourism bureau moves into downtown Brooksville, saving thousands of dollars annually, the tourism director said.
  5. Hernando County Government Center
    Spending plan draws public rebuke and sharp words between commissioners, who are divided on the tax increase.
  6. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty
  7. Larry Duran, a 12-piece Latin band, will perform at the Hispanic Heritage Festival of Hernando County Sept. 21 at the Lake House. Vivian Rivera-Hernandez
  8. A study found that two of the worst intersections in the country for running red lights are in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay Times
    Two intersections are among the worst for running red lights
  9. Volunteers work to refurbish a home as part of the Fuller Center’s Greater Blessings Program in Pasco County in August. Fuller Center for Housing Nature Coast
    Comedy show and dinner will help raise money for ministry working in Hernando, Pasco and Citrus counties and beyond.
  10. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty