Pasco and Hernando county news briefs

News and notes from Pasco and Hernando counties
Published December 31 2018

Hernando County


Women's health event set for Jan. 17

Premier Community HealthCare will host its annual Women's Health Screening and Education Day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 17 at six locations in Hernando and Pasco counties. The event will offer free tests and examinations, including clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, pap tests, blood pressure tests, and body mass index tests. There will be giveaways and health informational resources.

The event is free for the uninsured, and most insurance plans will be accepted, including Medicaid. To schedule an appointment, call (352) 518-2000; walk-ins also are welcome.

Participating Hernando County locations include: Brooksville Family Health Center, 300 S Main St., Brooksville; and Spring Hill Family Health Center, 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill.

Participating Pasco County locations include: Dade City Family Health Center, 14027 Fifth St., Dade City; New Port Richey Family Health Center, 2114 Seven Springs Blvd., Trinity; Hudson Family Health Center, 11611 Denton Ave., Hudson; and Women's Health Center, 38030 Daughtery Road, Zephyrhills.


Conservatory to offer Zumba classes

Live Oak Theatre will begin offering Zumba classes as part of the Live Oak Conservatory 2019 season. The classes will be offered from 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays, beginning Jan. 7, at the Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd.

The fitness program is open to all ages. The instructor is Soni Beaumont, a certified Zumba instructor. The cost is $10 per class or $40 per month. For details, call (352) 593-0027, email to or visit

Farmers market goes smoke-free

The Hernando County Grower's Association weekly Farmers Market has adopted a new smoke- and tobacco-free policy. The move is to make for a safer, healthier environment for market vendors and patrons.

The farmer's market is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays at 615 Old Hospital Drive. Visitors can find a wide variety of fresh, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, kombucha, bread, cheese and unique items by local artisans.

Those interested in quitting tobacco can contact Tobacco Free Florida toll-free at 1-877-822-6669 to speak with a trained Quit Coach, who will assess your addiction and help create a personalized quit plan. Participants will receive three free personal coaching sessions, and will be eligible to receive a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, if medically appropriate.

Master tap class with renowned teachers offered

A Tap Master Class will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Blvd. The event, offered through the Live Oak Conservatory, will include three classes for all levels of tap skills, ranging from beginner to professional.

Students will be taught by Jane Goldberg, who danced with the late Sammy Davis Jr. and the late Gregory Hines, is an artistic director of Changing Times Tap, a nonprofit organization. She also taught at New York University and wrote her memoir, Shoot Me While I'm Happy: Memories from the Tap Goddess of the Lower East Side. Goldberg will be joined by instructor Sarah Safford, a rhythm tap dancer, choreographer and songwriter, who was part of the tap revival of the 1980s; and Ashlyn Bolton, a local tap artist known nationally for her teaching and performing, including training with the Rockettes.

The program will include the "Jane Goldberg and Friends Tap Showcase" at 7 p.m., with students participating in the finale. The cost for the class is $25. Admission to the showcase for those not participating in the master class is $15. Call (352) 593-0027 or email to

Birding program offered for beginners

The Hernando Audubon Society will offer a beginning birding program at 8 a.m. Jan. 25 at Chinsegut Conservation Center, 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, north of Brooksville.

Participants will learn to identify birds at feeders and during a short walk. There will be binoculars and bird books available for use.

There is no cost to participate. For information, text Linda at (352) 428-2629 or email to

Class to cover having a Florida yard

A free class, "The Top Ten Things Newcomers Need to Know About their Florida Yard," will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 11 at the Hernando County Utilities Department, 15365 Cortez Blvd., west of Brooksville.

The class is offered through the Utilities Department's Water Awareness Series. Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program coordinator Lilly Browning will explain what newcomers and others need to know about central Florida yards, and how to avoid common mistakes while enjoying a low-maintenance, budget-friendly landscape. Spoiler alert: The No. 1 thing to know is to forget everything you ever knew about gardening elsewhere.

For information or to register, visit or call (352) 754-4705.

Spring Hill

Arts Council to meet Jan. 7

The Hernando County Fine Arts Council will meet at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Capital City Bank, 14302 Spring Hill Drive.

The will discuss branding of communications from the Arts Council, media releases, and updating the council's website and social media sites. The meeting is open to the public.

For information, contact the Fine Arts Council at (352) 587-8062 or email to

Weeki Wachee

Palm Creek Drive closed for construction

The Hernando County Department of Public Works has closed the bridge on Palm Creek Drive in Palm Grove Colony to all traffic due to construction. The bridge is expected to be closed until May 2.

Residents will be detoured via Cortez Boulevard and Avenue of the Palms to the north, and Cofer Road and Colony Circle to the south. Motorists should use caution when traveling in the area.

For information, contact Public Works at (352) 754-4060.


Pasco County


Several Christmas tree recycling sites offered

Pasco County Recycling encourages residents to recycle their Christmas trees following the holiday season. Recycled trees can be chipped into mulch, chopped into firewood or relocated as wildlife habitats. Those recycling are reminded to remove all decorations, tinsel and metal hooks.

Trees can be dropped off daily through Jan. 12, during regular business hours, at any of the following locations: John S. Burks Memorial Park in Dade City; Veterans Memorial Park in Hudson; Anclote Gulf Park in Holiday; Land O' Lakes Heritage Park; Sam W. Pasco Recreational Complex in Zephyrhills; Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey; West Pasco Class III Site in Shady Hills; and the Wesley Chapel District Park.

For addresses and further details, visit the website at

Become a 'Big' mentor to a Pasco County kid

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay has many children in Pasco County on its waiting list for a big brother or big sister. To help, the organization has scheduled orientations for those interested in becoming mentors. The orientation will provide information on the children the organization serves, the requirements to become a "big," volunteer commitments and expectations, how to handle cultural differences and the variety of programs offered through the organization. Upcoming orientation sessions include:

• 10:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 5, New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 14, WellCare, 5113 U.S. 19, New Port Richey.

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 29, Wesley Chapel Honda, 27750 Wesley Chapel Blvd.

For a complete list of orientation dates and locations, visit and follow the "volunteer" links. Contact Deb Kristol-Irwin at (813) 997-6881 or

Dade City

Festival celebrates chili, cane syrup

The annual Raising Cane: A Sweet and Spicy Event will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road.

The event will kick off with a cane syrup tasting contest at 9 a.m., with 24 syrup producers participating. The Kiwanis also will have a pancake breakfast from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Live entertainment begins at 11:15 a.m. with the Sara Rose Band, the Sandy Back Porch and the Barking Dogs.

The highlight of the event will be a chili cook-off and a chili, chili verde and salsa competition. Cash and trophies will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place winners. The competition is sanctioned by the International Chili Society.

Admission to the event is $10, $5 for students and free for children younger than 5. Tasting cups for sampling and voting will be available for $5. The pancake breakfast is $3.

For an application to enter the competition, or for further information, visit or email to curator@pioneerfloridamuseumorg.

Kumquat fest returns Jan. 26

The 22nd annual Kumquat Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26 throughout downtown Dade City, centered on the historic courthouse grounds. It will include a day of shopping and entertainment that draws more than 30,000 visitors. Entertainment will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse square.

Festival admission, parking and shuttle service is free.

The festival is held in partnership with Kumquat Growers, Inc., and will showcase all the advantages of the versatile, tasty and healthy fruit. There will be a marketplace focused on local businesses, hundreds of specialty vendors and dozens of partner sponsors. There will be a children's activity area, classic car show, kumquat beer and wine, and a variety of things to do.

For further information, contact the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce at or (352) 567-3769.


Knights hold baseball registrations

The Knights of Columbus 10377 Sports League will hold registrations for the 2019 baseball season from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 12, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 17 and 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 19 in the parish center at Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 8014 State Road 52.

Registration will be taken for all divisions: T-ball for ages 4-5; Minors for ages 6-8; Majors for ages 9-11; and Seniors for ages 12-15 (based on ages as of May 12).

Those registering must pre-register online at Payment must be made in person at the registration site, and must be either cash or check (no credit or debit cards). The registration fee is $60 and includes uniform shirt, pants, hat and socks. Those registering for the Senior division must present the player's birth certificate at the time of registration.

This will be a 10-game season, with games played at Veterans Memorial Park on Hicks Road. For information, email to Visit the Facebook page at

New Port Richey

Church hosts free wellness event

A Community Wellness Event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 5 at First Baptist Church of New Port Richey, 6800 Trouble Creek Road.

The free event will include education and screenings facilitated by Morton Plant Mease Faith Community Nursing. For children, there will be a display of a fire truck, ambulance and mobile medical unit, as well as a variety of activities provided by St. Joseph's Children's Wellness Center.

Screenings include blood pressure, glucose, body mass index, cholesterol and COPD screenings. There will be health education on topics such as smoking cessation, nutrition, cancer prevention, stress management and behavioral health.

Drawing class offered to teens

The Pasco Fine Arts Council will offer a Life Drawing Class for teenagers from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays, Jan. 12-Feb. 9 at the Pasco Fine Arts Center, 4145 Fairford Drive. Drawings will be of models, still life and plein aire.

The cost for the five-week program is $65 for members, $85 for nonmembers, which includes a $10 material fee. For information, visit, call (727) 845-7322, or stop by the center.

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