Lisa MacNeil

Lockdown in Long-Term Care

The not-often talked about areas of healthcare affected by this pandemic are individuals receiving medical care in the home, and those who reside in small group-home type Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs).  

Ongelia Moore is the Administrator for two of these facilities in Spring Hill.  Rainbow Gardens and The Palms are two large homes that look just like any residence.   Currently, there are ten residents between the two, which are cared for by nine staff members over three shifts.  

Health Department Staff Celebrated by First Responders

In a tribute to healthcare workers during Nurses’ week, representatives of the county’s first responder agencies held a parade for several healthcare facilities.  On May 4, 2020, they visited the Hernando County Health Department.  

Vehicles piloted by members of Hernando County Fire / Rescue, Sheriff's Office, MedFleet, and the Emergency Operations Center toured the parking lot of the Health Department office on Forest Oaks Boulevard, entertaining the approximately 70 staff members with chirps and wails from their sirens.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

At the April 28th Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, Clerk of Court Doug Chorvat introduced the presentation of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which was conducted by Purvis Gray & Company, LLP.   Mark White of Purvis Gray introduced the overall audit results to the board, which essentially established that all accounting procedures were followed in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  

According to Purvis Gray, at the close of September 30, 2019, the County’s Financial Highlights include:

Parks, Beaches reopen, County moves forward cautiously

At the regularly scheduled Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting Tuesday, April 28, 2020 the board voted to extend the current state of emergency for an additional seven days as is required by Florida law.  They also voted to reopen parks and beach areas, such as Alfred McKethan Park and Pine Island.   Pine Island’s beach has been closed, however remained open to launch watercraft.  Both votes were unanimous.

CARES Grant, other funding for HCFR

Hernando County Fire Chief Scott Hechler advised the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on Tuesday, April 28, 2020  that Hernando County Fire-Rescue (HCFR) is the recipient of funding from the CARES Act.  The BOCC unanimously approved this funding and additional funding from reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance companies.  The appropriate budget resolutions were passed.

Murder - Suicide Tragedy in Spring Hill

Shortly after 10:00 AM on Friday, April 10, 2020, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Deputies were the first on the scene, responding to  a structure fire on 9474 Dunkirk Road in Spring Hill. According to Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, the deputies entered the home, and were quickly overcome by smoke. After Fire / Rescue extinguished the flames, three deceased individuals, two of whom were described as “preteen and young teen,” were found in the home.

The Future of Weeki Wachee's Debts

While the bill to dissolve the city of Weeki Wachee (HB-1215) awaits a signature by Governor Ron DeSantis, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted unanimously at the April 14th meeting to create a Dependent Special District of the former city, which will protect the county from any responsibility for the current debts owed by Weeki Wachee, while also protecting the city’s creditors.  The county will also seek to keep the tax liabilities and annual fees of the involved businesses to a minimum. 

Walter Dry Sr., Community Leader

Walter L. Dry, Sr., a prominent Hernando County resident known for his founding of the Human Rights Coalition of Hernando County in 1998, Florida passed away on March 27, 2020.  He was 86. 

Hernando County Commissioner John Mitten served with Dry while serving on the board of the United Way.  A charter member of the United Way, Dry was involved in several community events where he collaborated with Mitten.