Pasco and Hernando county news briefs

News and notes from Pasco and Hernando counties
Published Jan. 3, 2019

Hernando County


Free programs, events at local libraries

The Hernando County Public Library System announces the following free events:

• Art Attack! - 4 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 15, at the West Hernando Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave., Spring Hill. Children 6 to 12 are invited to be inspired by famous artists and works of art. Participants will learn about a famous artist and then make a work of art. All materials provided.

• Game On!, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday, at the East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West. Enjoy family gaming with video games or board games. All ages are welcome.

• Glow in the Dark Storytime, 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Jan. 16, at the Spring Hill Branch Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. Using black lights and other glowing accessories, families can enjoy stories, songs, crafts and more.

• Learn to Play Ukulele, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 17-31, at the West Hernando Branch Library. This is a beginning ukulele class to learn the basics, such as how to hold and tune an ukulele, and some basic chords and strum patterns. Registration is required.

• It's JAZZ!, 3 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 18, at the Spring Hill Branch Library. This is a monthly musical program that explores the Golden Age of Jazz. Presented by former NPR jazz radio announcer Peter LaMattina.

• Minecraft Afternoon, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 30, at the Spring Hill Library Branch Library. Join other Minecraft fans and spend the afternoon building, exploring and crafting. Recommended for ages 8-12.

For further details, or to register for the ukulele classes, visit or call (352) 754-4043.


Forum to discuss downtown improvements

Brooksville Main Street will host a town forum at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at the American Legion Andrew Jackson Post 99, 208 E Fort Dade Ave. Light hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served.

The organization, using funds provided by Florida Main Street, has commissioned a team of architects to generate renderings displaying potential improvements to buildings and streetscapes within downtown Brooksville.

Those wishing to attend the forum must RSVP to Tina Marie at or by calling (352) 540-6476.

Participants wanted for Heritage Day

The Hernando Historical Museum Association will host the annual Heritage Day Festival on Feb. 16 at the 1885 Train Depot and One Room Schoolhouse museums, 66 and 70 Russell St.

Vendors, artists, crafters, storytellers, authors and re-enactors are wanted to participate in the event. Everyone will set up behind the museums along the Good Neighbor Trail.

Vendors selling items pay $30 for a 10-foot by 10-foot space. There is no charge for demonstrators. For details or a vendor application, contact Mary at (352) 515-3054 or

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Free lecture to discuss diabetes

A free health lecture, "Diabetes is Optional," will be offered at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Get Healthy Brooksville, 1254 S Broad St. Refreshments will be offered at 6 p.m.

The speaker is Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, who will discuss how to stop diabetes naturally. Points of discussion will also be on how to lower A1C levels, reverse high blood sugars and prevent Type 2 diabetes.

There is no cost. To RSVP, call (352) 796-9798.

Spring Hill

Lighthouse to host 'Dining in the Dark'

The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind will host the fifth–annual Dining in the Dark on Feb. 9 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane.

Dining in the Dark is a unique culinary "celebration of the senses," enhanced by darkness. It will include a reception, silent auction and dancing.

This dinner dance is a fundraiser that benefits Lighthouse services for people who are visually impaired and blind. Seats are $100 each. Sponsorships and advertising opportunities are available. For reservations, visit–in–the–dark. For information, call (727) 815–0303 or (352) 754–1132, or email to

United Way to offer seminar on dementia

United Way of Hernando County will host the annual Dementia Care Seminar for families and professional caregivers from 9:30 a.m. to noon Jan. 24 at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 5030 Mariner Blvd.

The free seminar offers educational and interactive discussions highlighting struggles and solutions, and will include tips, motivating stories and knowledge from various speakers.

Gary LeBlanc, a local caregiver and author, and Linda Burhans, a national speaker on caregiver advocacy, will share their journeys of caregiving.

There will be refreshments, vendors, resources and free memory screenings provided by Renstar Medical Research.

To RSVO or for information, call the United Way at (352) 688-2026 or email to Visit to download the event flyer.

Weeki Wachee

Club to offer firearms safety classes

The Hernando Sportsman's Club will offer several firearms safety classes at its facility at 16121 Commercial Way, north of Weeki Wachee.

The next class dates include Jan. 19, Feb. 6, Feb. 16 and March 6. A special "ladies only" firearms safety class will be March 16. All classes are held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Classes include classroom instruction, live-fire training on the range and a lunch break. This is an introductory orientation class for new shooters. All materials and equipment needed for the class and live-fire training are provided to students, including the use of a .22 caliber firearm, ammunition, earplugs and eye protection.

The cost is $60. Successful completion provides the required documentation to apply for a Florida concealed carry permit, if desired.

Pre-registration is required. Call (352) 597-9931. Also, a basic pistol course is available for experienced shooters who wish to use their own firearm; this class also provides the required documentation to apply for a concealed carry permit. Call for details.


Pasco County


Prescribed burns held in preserve

The Southwest Florida Management District will conduct prescribed burns January through March at Starkey Wilderness Preserve.

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control. Some benefits include reducing overgrowth of plants to decrease the risk of wildfires; promoting the growth of new, diverse plants; maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat and maintaining access for public recreation.

Starkey Wilderness Preserve is east of New Port Richey, west of the Suncoast Parkway, north of State Road 54 and south of State Road 52. Approximately 800 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Dade City

Kumquat Fest to overtake downtown

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. The festival is held in partnership with the Kumquat Growers Inc., and showcases all the advantages of the versatile, tasty and healthy fruit.

The downtown area will be transformed into a marketplace focused on local businesses, hundreds of specialty vendors and dozens of partner sponsors. There will be kumquat pie, kumquat salsa and numerous kumquat recipe specialties. There also will be crafts, art displays and a "health and wellness" section.

Live entertainment will be held throughout the day at the courthouse square. There will be a children's activity area, a classic car show, kumquat beer and wine, and numerous activities.

Parking and admission is free, and a complimentary shuttle service will be available. For information, contact the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce at (352) 567-3769.

Concert to feature local musicians, artists

The 22nd annual Moonlight and Ivory concerts and art show will be Feb. 2 at the Dade City Woman's Club, 37922 Palm Ave.

The matinee concert will be at 2 p.m., followed by the art show and refreshments. Matinee tickets are $15.

The evening event will include the art show and coffee at 7 p.m., followed by the concert and gourmet desserts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the evening event are $25.

The concert will include the talents of local musicians who will perform in a variety of styles, from classical and jazz, to folk and Broadway.

The annual concerts are sponsored by the Heritage Arts Center Association. Proceeds fund arts in the area, including two annual $1,000 scholarships (one for performing arts and one for the visual arts).

Tickets are available at the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, American Eagle Antiques in Dade City, or online at For information, contact Jessica Werckman at (561) 400-1404 or


Church to host dinner show

In celebration of its 50 years, the St. Vincent de Paul Parish will host a dinner show from 5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 19 in Father Farrell Hall, 4843 Mile Stretch Drive. Entertainment will be provided by the church's music ministry.

Tickets are $12, $8 for children ages 5-12 and free for ages 4 and younger. For tickets, call (727) 938-1974.

Land O' Lakes

Sponsors, vendors wanted for blues fest

The Pasco Blues and Food Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 9 at Land O' Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O' Lakes Blvd.

Vendor spaces are available. The cost is $85 for craft vendors, $125 for direct sales spaces and $250 for basic business exhibitors. Sponsorships also are available, starting at $500. For details, contact or call (727) 674-1464.

New Port Richey

Arbor Day celebration set at park

The City of New Port Richey will host an Arbor Day celebration at 11 a.m. Jan. 18 at Frances Avenue Park, 5580 Frances Ave. (off Louisiana Avenue). The celebration will include City Council members and staff, and the city's Environmental Committee, along with the fourth-grade class from Genesis Elementary School.

Dignitaries will speak, and there will be a children's program on trees and their importance to the environment, and the children will plant new trees.

Richey Band to host concert

The Richey Concert Band, under the direction of Henry Fletcher, will perform a mid-winter concert at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge, 11646 Town Center Road.

The afternoon will include marches, selections featuring specific instruments, and a majestic version of America the Beautiful.

There will be a suggested $2 donation at the door. For information, call (727) 236-9897 or (727) 842-9177.

CARES gala celebrates Dr. Musunuru

Community Aging and Retirement Services will honor Rao Musunuru, M.D., at its 2019 Celebrating Seniors annual event at 5 p.m. Feb. 1 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. The was resolved as Pasco County's "Dr. Rao Musunuru Day" by the Pasco County Commission in 2014.

Dr. Musunuru will be recognized as CARES' all-time top donor. Expenses for the event are being paid by the Musunuru family, and 100 percent of the funds raised for the event will be used to serve the frail elderly in the community. This year will mark CARES 46th continuous year advocating, providing programs and services for the needs of elders and caregivers in the community.

Sponsorships are still available and vary from $500 to $5,000, with individual tickets also available for $50. For details, contact Jemith Rosa at (727) 862-9291, ext. 2026 or; or mail payment to CARES Administration Office, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson, FL 34667.

Library to host fort event

A Family Forts event will be from 4:45 to 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the New Port Richey Public Library, 5939 Main St., in honor of Family Literacy Day.

Families are invited to bring blankets and other fort-making items, build a fort and read together as a family. Other building materials, activities and a light snack will be provided.

Since this is an after-hours event, participants are asked to arrive no later than 4:45 p.m. There is no cost. For information, call the library at (727) 853-1279.

Hospice to host legacy stroll

Gulfside Hospice will host the 2019 Hospice Legacy Stroll at 10 a.m. Feb. 2 at Sims Park, 5547 Main St.

The fundraiser will feature a remembrance ceremony, followed by a memorial walk through the park, with activity stations and vendors along the way. Special awards will be given to the top fundraising teams.

Teams can start registering and building their own shareable fundraising websites at Registration is $25 for adults, $15 for students. Those who register by Jan. 15 will receive an event T-shirt. Sponsor and vendor opportunities also are available.

For details or to register, visit the website or contact Leesa Fryer at (727) 845-5707 or

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