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From bridge lessons to roadway studies

News and notes from Hernando County
Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
Published Nov. 29, 2019
Updated Dec. 6, 2019


Scholarship applications underway

The Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has partnered with the Hernando County Education Foundation to offer three $2,000 scholarship awards to Class of 2020 Hernando County high school graduates. Applications are available online at

A $116,000 investment by the credit union’s foundation funds the scholarships for high school seniors in the credit union’s 21-county service territory.

Water-saving rebates offered to utility customers

Customers of Hernando County Utilities are invited to participate in the following rebate programs geared to help save water and money:

• Hernando County low-flow toilet rebate program — Those who own a home built prior to 1994 and have toilets that use 3.5 gallons per flush or more may participate in the program. Customers must use participating plumbers for purchase and installation of the low-flow toilets. No do-it-yourself or customer-purchased toilets will qualify. Customers will receive a water bill credit of $100 per toilet, for up to two toilets per household. Those who own a home built before 2000 may replace a 1.6 gallons per flush toilet with a 1.28 gallons per flush toilet, if you have not received a low-flow toilet rebate in the past.

• Rain sensor rebate program — Utilities customers who use county-provided water to irrigate their lawns may participate in the program. The home and irrigation system must be older than 2005. You must purchase a new rain sensor within the time limits of the rebate from a participating irrigation contractor. Complete irrigation system installation projects do not qualify for this rebate. Do-it-yourself installations do not qualify. Qualified participants will receive a $50 water bill credit.

The rebates for both programs are available through Sept. 28, 2020. For a list of participating plumbers or irrigation contractors, call (352) 754-4705 or visit the website at


Public hearing set for SR-50 project study

The Florida Department of Transportation, District 7, will host a public hearing on the State Road 50 (U.S. 98/Cortez Boulevard) Project Development and Environmental Study from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Brooksville Wesleyan Church, 22319 Cortez Blvd. The project study focuses on a 7.2-mile portion of State Rod 50 from Truck Bypass 50 to Lockhart Road, just west of Interstate 75 in eastern Brooksville.

Several alternatives will be developed, including options for widening this portion of the roadway from four to six lanes and adding features such as sidewalks and bike lanes.

State Road 50 is a major east-west corridor in Hernando County, connecting to numerous regionally-significant corridors, including U.S. 19, Suncoast Parkway, U.S. 41, I-75 and U.S. 301. It is a hurricane-evacuation route, a designated truck route and is part of the state’s Strategic Intermodal System. For information, contact Amber Russo, FDOT project manager, at (813) 975-6260 or

‘Art in the Park’ named to Top 20 festival list

The Southeastern Tourism Society has named the Hernando County Fine Arts Council’s Art in the Park to its Top 20 Festivals and Events list for the month of March 2020. The society is a travel industry organization that has saluted the southeastern U.S. region’s “best events” since 1985.

The 36th-annual Art in the Park will be March 14-15 at Tom Varn Park, 306 Darby Lane. It is a juried festival that offers more than 130 fine art and craft exhibitors, plus two days of live entertainment, including the Hernando Symphony Orchestra’s “Pops in the Park” concert. It also includes a food court, a juried student art show and a children’s art activity tent.

For further information on the event, contact Jan Knowles, event co-chair, at (352) 279-5182 or visit


Bridge club to offer introductory course

The Nature Coast Bridge Club will offer a six-week course to introduce the game of bridge to new players and to those who need a refresher. Classes will be taught in six two-hour sessions at 9:30 a.m. Mondays, starting Jan. 13, at the club’s facility at the Towne Square Mall, 3021 Commercial Way.

The cost is $50, which includes a textbook. For information or to sign up for the class, contact Gerry Panos at (727) 643-2792 or


  1. The popular Red Boyz Dancers and Drummers return to the Brooksville Native American Festival this weekend at Florida Classic Park. [Courtesy of Paul DeLuna]
    Things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
  2. Crews work to put out a fully involved mobile home fire that included reports of explosions Monday morning in Brooksville, according to Hernando County Fire Rescue. [Hernando County Fire Rescue]
    A male occupant managed to escape the home prior to the fire department’s arrival.
  3. Kayakers line up at the boat launch at Weeki Fresh Water Adventures, a kayak and stand-up paddle board rental facility in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Michele Miller]
    Plus, people who should know respond to questions about Weeki Wachee.
  4. Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
    News and notes from Hernando County
  5. Residents and commuters are complaining about heavy traffic ever since the Florida Department of Transportation closed both northbound lanes on Nebraska Avenue just south of Hillsborough Avenue (U.S. 92) in Tampa on Jan. 6, to install new drainage pipes under Nebraska Avenue between Giddens Avenue and Hillsborough Avenue. [Florida Department of Transportation]
    Dr. Delay explores the latest backups aggravating Seminole Heights residents and commuters.
  6. From left, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit on College GameDay. [Times]
  7. A for sale sign is seen in front of a home in the Westchase area of Tampa. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2013)
    And a spike in cash sales suggests investors were active in the market.
  8. A look at the construction on the Tierra Verde bridge project which is the bridge between Isla Del Sol and Tierra Verde islands on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in St. Petersburg. The project began in December 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in summer of 2021. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Dr. Delay takes a deep dive into the construction process for the $56.3 million State Road 679 and Bayway Bridge project .
  9. A proposed bill in the Legislature would set a statewide referendum on whether to amend Florida's constitution to add a year to the period when home buyers can transfer their accumulated benefits under the Save Our Homes cap on property assessments to a new home. Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty says going from two years to three would reduce the possibility that construction delays in a booming real estate market would prevent some buyers from meeting the deadline, costing them potentially thousands 
 of dollars in property tax savings. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times (2019)]
    The bill, the idea of Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty, would give buyers another year to transfer their tax savings under Florida’s Save Our Homes assessment cap to a home they’ve...
  10. Child and family advocate Jack Levine. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    The founder of 4Generations Institute discusses his commitment to children and families.