Local and State

Toll road routes could emerge in early 2020

October 16, 2019

Jim Turner

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- Potential environmental impacts from a series of controversial toll-road projects could start to be known shortly after the start of the new year.

Will Watts, chief engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation, said Wednesday that preliminary routes for the three projects will be based on input from task forces over the next couple of months, with a focus on what to “avoid and minimize first.”

A mixed bag of public support, opposition for Brooksville Main Street program

by KATHRYN DENTATO

The Special Meeting for the Brooksville Main Street Program (BMS) was intended as an opportunity for the Council to hear a presentation from and ask questions of the principals involved, as well as give the public an opportunity to comment. 

A scheduling conflict prevented the new BMS director, Natalie Kahler, and Cliff Manuel of the Brooksville Vision Foundation from attending. The meeting was not cancelled so the public could be heard. 

DeSantis signs budget, vetoes $131 million

June 21, 2019

by Jim Turner, Ana Ceballos

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- Gov. Ron DeSantis used his line-item veto power to slash more than $131 million in proposed spending Friday as he signed a record $90.98 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Calling the package “fiscally responsible,” the freshman governor praised lawmakers for exceeding his request for spending on environmental projects and for a boost in per-student funding in public schools.

Lawmakers sign off on budget as session ends

May 4, 2019

by Jim Turner

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- Florida’s Republican-dominated Legislature quickly put the finishing touches on a record $91.1 billion spending plan Saturday, meeting numerous requests from freshman Gov. Ron DeSantis.

While declaring “great wins for conservatives,” along with environmental protections that should appeal to Democrats, the governor said he intends to use his line-item veto power but didn’t specify what spending he might target.

Ten big issues from the 2019 Legislative Session

May 4, 2019

by Jim Saunders

NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE --- Florida lawmakers finished the 2019 legislative session Saturday by passing a budget for the upcoming year.

During the two-month session, lawmakers considered hundreds of bills and made more than $90 billion in spending decisions. It also was the first session for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and began the two-year terms of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.

Here are 10 big issues from the 2019 session:

High school senior organizes seminar on vape awareness

by LISA MACNEIL
HERNANDO SUN REPORTER

In a packed auditorium at Hernando High School, Senior Malia Williams gave a very personal account of her sixteen year old sister’s frightening experience while experimenting with others using an eCigarette, or ‘vape.’  

Shortly after puffing on the device, her sister’s heart rate soared to a dangerously high rate.  Doctors would later report that the fluid within contained arsenic.  “That’s rat poison!” Williams told the audience.

Officer Valor: End of Watch

by KENNETH ANTON

Hernando Sun Reporter

On Tuesday April 30, 2019, I was honored with the opportunity to attend a memorial service for a fallen Hernando County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer: Officer Valor.

I entered the Hernando County Emergency Management building approximately twenty minutes before the ceremony. The family and officers close to Valor were already seated and reminiscing, a delicate air of mixed emotions (joy, sadness, trepidation) enveloped the mourners as they prepared for the ceremony.