Local and State

$1.2 million for Hernando Beach Fire Station renovation

The Hernando Beach Fire Rescue Station #6 will be receiving a $1.2 million construction grant from the state for a renovation project.  The grant is a result of appropriations made by the Florida Legislature during the 2018 session to support local fire departments. It must be distributed during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.  The grant period begins July 1, 2018 and will be allocated through reimbursement.

 

Springstead High School Air Force JROTC Awards Presentation

Springstead High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Awards Presentation took place on April 26, 2018.  The unit is under the command of Lt Col Darryl Sweetwine, USAF (ret) as the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor. The event was well attended and the student cadets were spirited and professional.

 

Article submitted by Dennis E. Foley, Lt Col, USAFR (ret)
Vice President, Waterman Twining Chapter, Air Force Association

Dr. Singh

On May 8, 2018 the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners recognized prominent local doctor, Pariksith Singh M.D. with a resolution which reads in part:

 

“WHEREAS, PARIKSITH SINGH, M.D., is board certified in Internal Medicine. He received his medical education in India and completed his residency in New York. Upon completion of his residency, DR. PARIKSITH SINGH relocated with his family to Florida and worked for several years before establishing Access Health Care, LLC, in 2001; and

 

County Fire/EMS funding mechanisms discussed at workshop

A recent surprise shortfall in the county’s budget was the impetus for the workshop that was held on May 1, 2018. The board voted unanimously to end the Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU)* for the fire department, while keeping the Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU).  EMS will be funded by money borrowed from other internal funds and the exploration of a half-cent sales tax to bolster the General Fund will take place in another meeting on May 22, 2018.

Alison Pager semifinalist for Presidential Scholars Program

Alison Pager, a graduating senior at Hernando High School, is part of an elite group of students across the nation.  She is one of 630 semifinalists for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. There are only 31 semifinalists from the state of Florida.  There was an initial pool of 5300 student candidates from around the country.

Emotions run high for Moton at school board meeting

An emotional hour and a half discussion took place at the Hernando County School Board Regular Meeting on April 24, 2018 in the aftermath of the school district’s firing of all Moton Elementary teachers.  

Community members, teachers and parents an opportunity to voice their concerns about the district’s recent actions.  School board members expressed sympathy for the situation the hard working teachers are now facing.  Superintendent Dr. Lori Romano delivered an explanation of her position and the reasons behind the difficult decision.  

Charter application denied for advanced learning high school

At the April 24, 2018 workshop, the Hernando County School Board (HCSB) discussed the charter school application review of the proposed Chehuntamo (chay-hun-TAH-mo) Advanced Performance High School, which was denied unanimously at the regular board meeting later that day.

The school had planned to serve Hernando and Pasco County students beginning with the 2019-2020 school year if the application had been approved.  

Governor suspends Commissioner Nicholson effective immediately

Last week the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners agreed to ask the Governor to suspend Commissioner Nicholson during their regularly scheduled commission meeting on April 24.  On April 26, Mr. Nicholson sent a letter to the Governor asking him to temporarily suspend him as of July 17.  

In swift response to the separate letters from Mr. Nicholson and the county commissioners, Gov. Scott ordered Mr. Nicholson's immediate suspension on April 26, 2018.  Here is Governor Scott's Executive Order:

County considers a trap-neuter-vaccinate-return program to control stray cat population

At the April 24, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting,  Hernando County Animal Services Manager James Terry proposed a “Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR)” program for homeless and “community cats” in Hernando County.  The program is designed to control the population growth of cats, which will ultimately cuts costs for veterinary care of cats taken to shelters and reduce cases of euthanasia.  The BOCC voted unanimously to move forward with the plan, placing it on future agendas to consider ordinance changes.

 

County Commissioners mull their options in removing Nicholson from office

County Commissioner Nick Nicholson was absent from the April 24, 2018 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting.  He was arrested on April 19, 2018 on counts relating to owning, maintaining or operating an establishment of prostitution and “purchasing the services of any person engaged in prostitution.”  Nicholson has not yet given a statement, and has not resigned.