Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Hernando

Hernando and Pasco Briefs for Oct. 26



Seats available on airport board

The Hernando County Board of County Commissioners is accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the newly-created Hernando County Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport Advisory Committee. There are seven seats to be filled by volunteer, non-paid members. Five members will be appointed by county commissioners, two appointed by the county administrator.

The purpose of the committee is to assist and make recommendations to the County Commission on matters pertaining to the airport. Members will serve staggered four-year terms. Meetings will be held six times a year at the Hernando County Government Center in Brooksville.

Applicants must be residents and registered voters in Hernando County. They must also have computer access and a basic understanding of how to use a computer, as all agenda packets and correspondences will be prepared and distributed digitally. All members will be required to provide their own personal laptop for the meetings.

Those interested can submit an application at Applications can be obtained by calling the county administrator's office at (352) 754-4002, or stopping at the office at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main St., Brooksville. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 2.

Volunteer Fire Corps needs members

Hernando County Fire Rescue is accepting applications from those interested in becoming volunteer Fire Corps members.

The Fire Corps' role is to support county firefighters and other first-responders at high-attendance public events, during large fires and for major, long-term emergencies with tasks such as hydration and rehabilitation. The Fire Corps also conducts public education for children and adults.

Applicants must be 18 or older, hold a current Florida driver license, pass a county background check and have an interest in helping people. No prior firefighting/medical training is needed. Meetings are held monthly and include training. Members must be available to provide support 24 hours, seven days a week. Uniforms will be supplied.

For an application or further details, visit online at or call (352) 540-6405.

Driver safety program available to seniors

AARP Driver Safety Program classes are available at various locations. The cost for each six-hour course is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for nonmembers. These classes are scheduled in November:

• 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 5-6, Salishan Retirement Living, 191 Astaire Lane, Spring Hill. Call Lawrence, (352) 304-8363.

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

• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 10, Brookridge Clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St., west of Brooksville. Call Pat, (352) 586-2731.

• 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 13, Hernando County Mining Association Enrichment Center, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville. Call Bill, (352) 556-3050.

• Noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 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. Nov. 15, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 10441 Quality Drive, Medical Arts Building, Suite 105, Spring Hill. Call Marge, (352) 678-1533.

• 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 20, Atria Evergreen Woods, 7030 Evergreen Woods Trail, Spring Hill. Call Bill, (352) 556-3050.

• 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 23, Downing Funeral Home, 1214 Wendy Court, Spring Hill. Call Dom, (352) 684-2524.


Local theater to present 'Joseph'

Live Oak Theatre will present the hit musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, weekends Nov. 2-18 at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd.

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with matinees at 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Doors open 30 minutes prior for dessert, coffee and tea.

Tickets are $20, $5 for ages 13 and younger when purchased with an adult ticket. Visit, email or call (352) 593-0027 and leave a message.

Navy's jazz group to perform

The U.S. Navy Band Commodores will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at Hernando High School's Performing Arts Center, 700 Bell Ave. The concert is free.

The Commodores is the Navy's premier jazz ensemble, performing big band jazz for nearly 50 years. The group has appeared on TV shows, and performs at major jazz festivals, tours across the U.S. and abroad. The stop in Brooksville is part of the band's 2018 tour that includes stops in 19 cities in four states.

Night Ranger to headline Freedom Fest

The Freedom Fest Florida "Let Freedom Sing!" will be held Nov. 10 and 11 at Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, east of Brooksville. Gates open at 11 a.m. each day.

The two-day festival, provided by SSL Talent and Production, in association with Jane's World Entertainment, will feature a full lineup of musical entertainment, more than 150 vendors and more than 15 food trucks, as well as overnight camping.

Night Ranger, known for hits such as Sister Christian, will headline on Saturday; other performers include Robby Steinhardt, an original member of Kansas, performing the group's hits; Diary of an OzzMan; Corky Lang's Mountain; Broken Hearts (Tom Petty tribute band); and Stonegrey. Sunday's lineup includes Morgan Wallen, Jimmie Allen, the Alter Eagles, Southern Rumble, John Hindman, Ally Venable and Randy McNeeley.

Advanced general admission tickets are $20-$25 and $35 at the gate; weekend passes are $35-$45 in advance, $70 at the gate. VIP tickets are $150 for one day or $250 for both, and includes VIP seating, VIP area with complimentary food, beer, wine and swag bag, as well as opportunities for meet and greet with artists. Camping is available.

The event will benefit the nonprofit Wreaths Across America, to put wreaths at veterans' graves at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. For information or tickets, visit the website at or call (727) 401-4345.

Hernando Beach

Kayak launch completed at park

Construction has been completed on the new kayak launch at Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd. This new system makes launching and docking safe, easy and dry, even as water levels change. The fixed dock is at the parking lot level and connects to an aluminum ramp that leads to a floating dock and kayak launch.

Linda Pedersen Park is one of two free kayak launches for the Bayport-Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail. This nearly five-mile winding waterway also can be accessed at Bayport Park. Signs clearly mark distance and direction. While kayaking, canoeing or paddle-boarding this scenic trail through Jenkins Creek, with a short jaunt to Redfish Bayou, you will be immersed in a vibrant, tidal estuary home to a variety of wildlife.

Contact the Hernando County Waterways Department at (352) 754-4060 for more information.


Orchid auction set for Nov. 17

The Nature Coast Orchid Society will host its annual auction from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at VFW Post 8681, 18940 Drayton St., at County Line Road. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for preview.

There will be a wide selection of orchids and orchid supplies on hand for bidding. Credit cards will be accepted. There is no cost for admission. For information, call (218) 556-1855.


Firehouse hosts pizza cook-off

Hernando County Fire Rescue invites the community to its Halloween Pizza Cook-Off and Open House from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Station #3, 13240 Spring Hill Drive.

Reigning champion, County Commissioner Jeff Holcomb, who won the 2015 Lasagna Challenge, will join Fire Chief Scott Hechler and fellow firefighters in this culinary competition for the coveted title of "Master Firehouse Chef." Deep-dish, thin-crust, all the way or veggie only, their surprise recipes will be judged via secret ballot by spectators chosen to taste test the pizzas.

Visitors are encouraged to come in Halloween costumes to enjoy pizza, other food donated and prepared by the Hernando County Professional Firefighters Local Union 3760 members, kid's activities including the Fire Safety House, candy and more.

Intersection improvements continue

Hernando County Department of Public Works announced a portion of Forest Oaks will be closed through Nov. 2 while improvements are made at the Forest Oaks Boulevard and Deltona Boulevard intersection. The work began Oct. 15 and will continue through Nov. 2, and is being done by Florida Safety Contractors, Inc.

Forest Oaks Boulevard is closed from Deltona to Bob Hartung Court. The detour directs traffic around the construction area to Deltona Boulevard via Andypella Drive and Philatelic Drive. Improvements include: relocating a water line, improving turn lanes for left turns, adding new sidewalks along Deltona Boulevard, illuminated street name signs, and adding two crosswalks across Deltona and one across Patio Court.

The project is expected to be completed by July 2019. For further information, contact the Department of Public Works at (352) 754-4060.

Coin Club hosts coin, currency show

The West Hernando Coin Club will host its Coin and Currency Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 13485 Spring Hill Drive.

The show will include more than 40 tables and more than 20 dealers. Coins can be purchased, sold and appraised. There will be gold, silver, foreign coins, stamps and collectibles. Food and beverages will be available. Admission and parking are free. There will be hourly door prizes and a drawing to win a silver eagle. For information, call (352) 587-3344 or email to

Nonpartisan group gathers monthly

Hernando 4 Liberty will gather Nov. 1 at the Press Box, 7385 Spring Hill Drive. The group eats dinner at 5 p.m., then begins its meeting at 6 p.m.

This is a group of citizens that keeps an eye on county government, and is open to independent and no-political-affiliation voters, as well as Democrats and Republicans. Meetings will be on the first Thursday of each month. For information, call (352) 610-9544.

Wellington hosts annual craft show

The eighth annual Wellington Residents Craft Show will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Wellington Clubhouse, 400 Wexford Blvd.

The show will include numerous items such as crafts, basketry, embroidery, leather goods, Christmas ornaments, greeting cards and jewelry. Baked goods will be available. For information, email to

NAMI hosts weekly bowling

The National Alliance on Mental Illness/NAMI Hernando hosts bowling outings at 2 p.m. Sundays at Spring Hill Lanes, 3447 Commercial Way. For details, contact David Phillipsen at (352) 610-9544.

Spring Lake

Museum, history center now open

The Spring Lake Museum and History Center (the "rock building") will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27 at 4184 Spring Lake Highway. It will be open on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

The center offers historic artifacts and photos, local family history and photos, school and lake histories, oral history videos and other items.

Admission is free. For information, call (352) 796-4704.


Youth orchestra seeks musicians

The Hernando Youth Orchestra has spaces available for young musicians, ages 6 to 18. Adult mentors are needed.

The orchestra rehearses from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sundays at the Heather Community Center, 9100 Nakoma Way. Instruments can be provided, as well as violin and cello lessons, if needed. Instruments available to loan include strings, brasses and woodwinds.

To learn more, visit the website at


• Vendors are needed for Springstead High School's flea markets, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27, and Nov. 10 in the parking lot of the school's theater, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Vendor spaces are $10 and include two parking spaces. For information, call Greg at (352) 683-3528.

• Artisans and crafters are needed for the annual Canterbury Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. No food vendors needed. Outside booth spaces (12 by 12 feet) are $20. For information, call Debbie at (352) 683-2010 or send email to

• Crafters are needed for the Ridge Manor Community United Methodist Church's annual Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3 at the church, 34350 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor. Craft vendor spaces are free, although donations are welcome. Vendors must provide their own table and shade awning. Set up must be complete by 9 a.m. The deadline to register is Oct. 29. The festival will include food and family-friendly activities. For information, call Nancy Poe at (352) 608-4022.

• Artists, crafters and food vendors are needed for the Feast of Mother Cabrini, to be held 4 to 10 p.m. Nov. 8; 4 p.m. to midnight Nov. 9; noon to midnight Nov. 10, and noon to 11 p.m. Nov. 11 at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 5030 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. The four-day, family-friendly event will offer food, entertainment, rides, contests, games and other activities. Call (352) 683-9666 or email

• Vendors are needed for Powell Middle School's annual Holiday Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at the school, 4100 Barclay Road, Brooksville. Vendor spaces are 10 by 10 feet for $25. For information, email

• Vendors are needed for Clover Leaf Farm's Women's Social Club Bazaar from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Heather House, 900 N Broad St., Brooksville. Table rentals are $10 (banquet) and $7.50 (card) for residents; $15 (banquet) and $10 (card) for non-residents. Vendor deadline is Nov. 15. Call (802) 309-5877.

• Vendors/exhibitors and sponsors are needed for Habitat for Humanity's second annual Charity Golf Tournament Jan. 12, 2019 at World Woods Golf Club, 17590 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Brooksville. Registration is at 7 a.m., tee off at 9 a.m. Vendor/exhibitor spaces are $75, must bring your own table, chairs and tent. Sponsorship levels include: hole-in-one (title sponsor), $2,500; albatross (breakfast/lunch/beverage cart sponsor), $1,500; eagle (hole sponsor), $1,000; birdie (entry way sponsor), $500, and habitat fore humanity, $100. For information, visit or call (352) 754-1159.



SBA closes Pasco recovery office

The Small Business Association has closed its Business Recover Center in New Port Richey that was set up to assist businesses impacted by the Red Tide algae bloom.

Eligible businesses that qualify for economic injury loans can still apply; the filing deadline is June 4, 2019. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application at For those wishing for assistance in-person, the nearest temporary recovery center is in Clearwater at the Epicenter, 13805 58th St. N, Suite 2-200 (open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays). Applications and program information are available by calling 1-800-659-2955 (hearing-impaired can call 1-800-877-8339), or by emailing to

Medication take-back sites offered

As part of National Take Back Day, the Pasco Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention will have two sites available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27 to bring unused or expired medications:

• Gulf View Square Mail, overflow parking area, 9409 U.S. 19, Port Richey.

• The Shops at Wiregrass, ground-level parking garage, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel.

Representatives will accept expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as veterinary medications, vitamins and herbals. Nothing sharp will be accepted, and no personal information will be requested.

County sites listed for hurricane donations

Pasco County Government is encouraging anyone who would like to donate supplies to Hurricane Michael victims to do so through its partner agencies, Goodwill Industries International and the American Red Cross. Residents are asked not to bring donations to the newly-opened Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter to assist storm victims, as space is limited at the shelter, and donated supplies are distributed through the partner agencies.

Donations can be dropped off at these locations:

• Goodwill Superstores (drive-through available), 11462 State Road 54, Trinity; and 2390 Willow Oak Dr., Wesley Chapel.

• Goodwill donation trailers at 8833 Mitchell Blvd., New Port Richey; 12237 Hwy. 19, Hudson; Chevron, 6022 State Road 54, New Port Richey; and MetroGas, 9012 Little Rd, Port Richey.

Suggested donations include gift cards, books and magazines, household items, towels and linens, nonperishable food/canned goods, clothing and shoes, bottled water, personal hygiene items, adult diapers, wipes and paper products. To make a monetary donation to Hurricane Michael relief efforts, visit the Red Cross website at

Assistance available for Medicare shoppers

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs' SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program is available to provide free, unbiased help for Florida Medicare beneficiaries as they evaluate their health care options during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which started Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7.

During this open enrollment period, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to make changes to their Medicare Prescription Drug or Medicare Advantage plans. SHINE volunteer counselors help review benefits, explain options and provide information to elders at no cost.

For information, call toll-free at 1-800-262-2243. A list of SHINE counseling sites and enrollment events are available online at


Thrift shop closing

St. Mark's Presbyterian Church is closing its thrift shop at 7922 State Road 52, and a Thrift Shop Sell-Out is planned for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3.

This is a final sale. Some of the items available include china, glassware, tools, small appliances, books, baskets and collectibles. For information, call the church at (727) 863-5646.

New Port Richey

Groundbreaking set for special needs housing

Youth and Family Alternatives will host the official groundbreaking of Phase 1 of the affordable housing units for individuals with special needs at noon Nov. 2 at the site, located adjacent to YFA's adminstrative building and RAP House (youth shelter) at 7349 Plathe Road.

The future site will be known as The Commons at Speer Village. Phase 1 will include six supportive housing units that will serve eight developmentally disabled adults. Each tenant will have a supportive living coach to assist them in their weekly needs. Phase 2, which is expected to break ground in late 2019, will provide 50 supportive housing apartments that will serve more than 100 low- to moderate-income individuals, families and youth aging out of the foster care system.

For further details, contact YFA at (727) 843-1917 or visit

Body-image workshop

The Growth and Recovery Counseling Center in Trinity will present "Body Image, Self-Esteem, Social Media and Eating Disorders," a free workshop and art exhibit for teens and young adults, from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, Building R, Room 151, 10230 Ridge Road.

Sharon Glynn, a licensed practical nurse from the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, will speak on topics, such as healthy body image and self-esteem, how dieting can be dangerous, "intuitive eating" and eating disorders.

There is no cost, but preregistration is required. RSVP by Nov. 5 by calling (813) 575-0570.


American Legion hosts cornhole tourney

American Legion Post 147 will host a Cornhole Tournament from 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at the post, 17383 Gunn Highway.

There will be separate competitions for adults and children. There will be adult singles and doubles, with winners receiving 50 percent of the draw, second place receiving 25 percent. Children's competitions will be singles, ages 6-10 and 11-14; prizes will be awarded to first- and second-place winners.

The entrance fee is $20 for adults, $2 per child. The deadline to register is Nov. 3.

Burgers, hot dogs, sausage, fries and cold beverages will be available for purchase. The bar will be open. For information or to register, call or text Bill at (813) 767-9447 or Bruce at (813) 810-5988.

Port Richey

Work underway to relieve flooding

Pasco County Public Works Department and Southwest Florida Water Management District have begun work on a project to bring relief to Timber Oaks, a former golf course community with a history of flooding. The Timber Oaks Retention Facility Project will provide flood improvement protection for the subdivision by transforming the old golf course into a regional storm-water holding facility.

Pasco County purchased the defunct 78-acre golf course in 2015 to create a solution for storm-water drainage during flood events. Heavy rains over the years have caused flooding in roads, yards and homes in Timber Oaks. The retention facility will provide the community with scenic lake areas and wetland habitat.

The work is scheduled to be completed in early 2019. A Southwest Florida Water Management District video of the project is available online at:

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