Local News

Brooksville City Council evaluates fire department after arrests

The Sept. 29, 2017 arrests of Brooksville Fire Chief David Freda and Fire Captain David Murdoch and subsequent administrative leave has placed another burden on an already fragile Brooksville Fire Department. Murdoch and Freda were arrested on fraud charges while each separately held the Fire Chief position of the voluntary department in Henrando Beach.

Former volunteer fire department chiefs arrested for organized fraud

On Sept. 29, 2017 we received notification from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office that three former Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chiefs were arrested on organized fraud charges. They include the City of Brooksville Fire Chief David Freda, a City of Brooksville Fire Captain David Murdock and Travis Morris, a current FEMA employee.

Their arrests stem from a 7 month long investigation of the volunteer department’s misappropriation of funds. The investigation began just as the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department was dissolved ( February 14, 2017).

Oyster reef project grant agreement approved by commission

Brittany Hall Scharf, Sea Grant Agent for Hernando County holds a tile full of juvenile oysters, part of the pilot oyster restoration project.  Photo by Hernando Co. Gov.

On Sept. 26, 2017, the Board of County Commissioners approved a grant agreement with FDEP’s Florida Coastal Management Program for an oyster and marsh grass habitat restoration project. The project location is just north of Hernando Beach, in Centipede Bay.

Aquatic Services Director Keith Kolasa stated, “The reason why we picked this area is because there’s not a lot of fish habitat in Centipede Bay… There’s a lot of sand there, scattered seagrass… That’s why we’re focusing on this area, to allow fishing and wildlife enhancement near Hernando Beach.”

Hammock Ridge developer requests brownfield designation

At the September 19, 2017, Board of County Commissioners meeting, a request from Goldstein Environmental Law Firm was presented. This request was on behalf of HTG Hammock Ridge, LLC, requesting for the property at 8274 Omaha Circle, Spring Hill be designated as a Green Reuse Area under Florida’s Brownfield Redevelopment Act. Florida Statute 376.80(2)(c).

Shooting at Spring Haven Apartments

Spring Haven Apartments

Shortly after 9:30 PM on Thursday, October 5th, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) responded to a shooting at the Spring Haven Apartments located on the West side of Mariner Boulevard, just North of County Line Road. The shooting occurred in a public area, between the clubhouse and pool. The victim, described as a female in her late teens, was struck in the face by the bullet. She is reported to be in stable condition and is expected to survive.

HERNANDO COUNTY SCHOOLS - HURRICANE IRMA MAKE UP DAYS

Brooksville - In order to determine whether schools in Hernando County will need to makeup the days missed due to Hurricane Irma, district leaders have reviewed each school's master calendar ensuring that there are sufficient instructional minutes remaining in the school year to meet state requirements.

With the exception of one school, all others have sufficient time built-in to their schedules to offset the lost days. District leaders are working closely with that school administration to make necessary adjustments to their schedule.

Bystre Lake overflowing

Photos by Cheryl Clanton

Bystre Lake is overflowing again into pastures down Mondon Hill from Weatherly Rd to WPA. Here are some of the pastures that are being affected. The lake overflows onto both sides of Mondon Hill. The flow goes from the north side of Mondon Hill straight across to the first pasture past Weatherly on the south side then flows east to fill the pastures. When it reaches around WPA it will flow back across to the north side and flow into the pasture just east of WPA.

County moving forward with home repair HUD grant

On Sept. 26, 2017, The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved Chairman Wayne Dukes to sign an agreement in association with a federal Housing and Urban Development Grant. The grant is specifically for the repair or demolition of owner occupied single family housing benefitting low to moderate income individuals. One of the conditions of the grant is that any property owner who applies for the grant funding must carry flood insurance if their property is located within a floodplain.

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