Local News

Hurricane Irma Support for the Florida Keys


Wider Horizon School students and girls from Girl Scout Troop 4421 bringing donations

A local student and his family are joining forces with the Rotary Club in Key West to help the families affected by Hurricane Irma.

Donation items will be collected at Wider Horizons School today through tomorrow morning Wednesday September 27th.  

Wider Horizons School is located at 4060 Castle Ave. in Spring Hill.

The Hatfield family has acquired a Uhaul truck to personally deliver all the items to Key West.

Any support that you can offer to these families in need would be greatly appreciated.

Stranded manatee rescued near Pine Island

Shamrock the manatee rescued near Pine Island photo by Deb Brown

Four days after Hurricane Irma caused floods and power outages, The Hernando Sun spoke to Andy Garrett, Manatee Rescue Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

On St. Patrick’s Day, last year, a female manatee with a watercraft injury and her two-year old calf were rescued in Tarpon Springs. Both were taken to Lowry Park Zoo, so the injured mom could be treated for her injuries. After her recovery, both were microchipped, then Shamrock and her calf, Emerald were released together into the open water.


SATURDAY, SEPT. 30, 2017
9 AM TO 2 PM

Enjoy vendors with antiques, crafts, and model train supplies. Enjoy the Running Train layouts. Lunch foods available for purchase. Free parking, indoor exhibit area. Early bird admission, 7:00-8:00am, $7.00 per person. Admission: Adults, $5.00; age 12 & under, free. Contact 727-244-1341 / regalrailways.com

Hernando County Fairgrounds is located at 6436 Broad Street (US-41), Brooksville, FL 34601

Emergency Management Director gives briefing to County Commission

Cecilia Patella, Emergency Management Director

Cecilia Patella Hernando County Emergency Management Director addressed the County Commission on Sept. 19 to give them a briefing on the Emergency Operations Center/ Emergency Management efforts prior to, during and in the days following Hurricane Irma.

All commissioners expressed their gratitude and satisfaction with the collaborative efforts between county departments and across agencies, coordinated through Emergency Management.

County plans for 7% general fund budget increase and 1% millage rate decrease

Hernando County Budget Manager Pamela Lee updated the Board of County Commissioners ( BOCC) at the Sept. 19 meeting with regard to a tentative budget and millage rate reduction. The first budget hearing was held later that day.

Last year the general fund portion of the budget was $103,585,994.

“We didn’t have to cut anyone’s budget,” Ms. Lee said as she showed the figures of the $111,192,906 general fund budget. This amount is roughly 7% greater than FY2017 budget.

The budget includes:

• A 1/10 millage rate reduction: $793,016

Disaster Declaration Timeline

Irma Disaster Declaration map

On Sept. 13, 2017 Hernando County along with a number of other counties was declared a disaster area. The disaster declaration has to be made by the Governor of the state affected.

The disaster designation is important because it allows Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to become more involved in the recovery efforts. The resources that can be made available are designated for the removal of debris, funding assistance for emergency services, possibly housing assistance, and more. A disaster declaration is also a necessary step to filing loss claims with FEMA.


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