Keeping tabs on our ecosystem

Florida Sea Grant Agent Brittany Hall-Scharf heading out to the Gulf to take monthly water samples to measure salinity, dissolved oxygen and clarity. Photos by SUE QUIGLEY

The climate and scenery of the “Sunshine State” has made Florida a very desirable place to live and attracts an enormous number of tourists each year.

Most of Florida’s nearly 20 million residents live close to its 1,800 miles of coastline and another 100 million tourists are drawn here every year because of its bountiful ocean resources …and the numbers are still rising.

State lands closed for increased bear activity

By Toby Benoit

A Florida Black Bear captured on trail cam in the Ocala

I’ve been out and about lately, spending time on a lot of the local public lands scouting for turkeys. I’m happy to report that this year ought to be exceptional for folks headed out after them old long-bearded rascals. Lots of birds and lots of really, impressive ones are being seen with minimal effort. That bumper crop of jakes from two seasons back are now all grown up and beginning to gather their hens and running each other off from the bachelor flocks they’ve been circulating in.

Private school celebrates 35 years of helping students be the “best independent learners they can be”

The Spring Hill campus didn’t have many trees, when they constructed the first building.

Many years ago there were two educators that became heavily involved in education in Hernando County. They had worked in the Peace Corps in Peru setting up schools and later worked in inner-city schools in New York. Dr. Maglio taught child development and psychology courses in colleges and universities for a number of years. The Maglios often attended the Hernando County School Board meetings, offering suggestions based on their experience. The school board probably felt a sense of relief when they announced that they were opening a private school in Brooksville.

Mowing the Right Way

photo and article by JIM DAVIS
Jim Davis is the Multi-County Extension Director for UF/IFAS Sumter County and Hernando County Extension and a Florida Master Naturalist Instructor.

When mowing correctly, your lawn grows healthy and becomes less susceptible to diseases, weeds and insects.

Mowing is one of the most underrated significant cultural practices in maintaining a green, lush and vigorous lawn. Mowing at the correct height is essential in turf health. Not all turf species are mowed at the same height. In fact, cultivars within the same species may differ in mowing height. It is very important to know what turf species you have, along with the cultivar. The most popular turf used in Florida is St. Augustine grass.

Opiate Effects on the Ones You Love

By: Cheyenne Geer

We all hear about the opiate epidemic that affects our beloved country and towns. The news never mentions the “behind the scenes” affects to the family and friends and many times, it goes unspoken. Drugs tend to leave a trail of emotional and mental tolls on the friends and family, and even though I don’t know how to begin to prevent the addictions, I personally have found myself, too, reminiscing on the memories that I buried for so long.

Long Time Pastor Retires

Sunday Feb. 25, 2018, marked the end of Pastor Jerry Waugh’s time as Senior Pastor of Northcliffe Baptist Church. The church put together a wonderful retirement celebration in honor of their dear pastor and all his years of service. Many on Facebook shared wonderful memories they had of him over the years, and well wishes for he and his family in their future.

Florida Bluegrass Classic Festival Provides Toe-Tapping Music

The Williamson Branch Band, accompanied by Anthony Howell

The sound of music filled the air last week at the Florida Classic Park in Brooksville when musicians came from all over the United States to perform. Most of the performers sang and played Bluegrass. However, Country, Gospel and 50's Rock & Roll were also represented. Approximately 2,000 people attended during the six days that the Florida Bluegrass Classic Festival took place. Many came in campers and motorhomes and stayed at the park.

Bodyslams for Charity

(L-R) Kimberly, Dawn, Diana, Emmalee, and Tina running the donation tent.

Sunday, Feb. 25 saw Brawl USA team up with Ability Tree Florida to bring the Golden Ticket Rumble to Spring Hill.

This was the rescheduled event that was originally anticipated to take place on Jan. 28, but was cancelled due to inclement weather. This time, the weather held and the fans and performers were treated to clear skies and warm temperatures. It could not have been nicer weather.