Feature

The assassination of Judge William Center: one of many murders after reconstruction

Oldest portion of the current county courthouse, built in 1913 by J.F. Jenkins and Company

County Judge William Center was assassinated outside his home in Brooksville on June 4, 1879 in the early morning. According to his family and newspaper accounts at the time, Judge William Center was about to reveal who had set fire to the Hernando County Courthouse in 1877 when he was assassinated.

In Hernando Beach, firehouse project strengthens community

The Eagle Mural final product. Photos by Diane Greenwell.

Since the county fire department took over fire rescue service to Hernando Beach earlier this year, much work has been completed inside and outside of the former volunteer fire station. On Aug. 4, 2017, the commission recognized the efforts of all those involved to clean-up the firehouse, while simultaneously building community connections.
Deputy Chief Kevin Carroll explained that a group of artists who offered to paint fire hydrants were recruited to paint murals on the bay doors of the firehouse.

Members of K-9 Partners for Patriots help Congress see benefits of service dogs

Mary Peter and Ron Flaville with K-9 Partners for Patriots, Inc. in Brooksville attended a conference in Washington D.C. last month. Held by the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans, the meeting took place July 17-20.

Peter and Flaville had several purposes in attending the meeting.

“We wanted to identify service dog issues with other veteran service organizations in order to share ‘best practices’ and come up with solutions to those problems,” Ms. Peter states.

Who built it? Artist Lewis Watkins of Brooksville

Sculpture by Lewis Watkins at the West Hernando Library

Lewis Boone Watkins was an accomplished artist from Brooksville. Internationally, his artwork is part of permanent collections in the National Museum in Santiago, Chile and the Vatican Museum in Italy. Nationwide his work is displayed at the West Virginia Fine Arts and Cultural Center, John Davis Fine Arts Center in West Virginia, Leslie Stephens Fine Arts Center in Alabama, Florida State Museum, in the State Capitols of Florida, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee, not to mention numerous other private, corporate college and university collections.

Cole Kolasa: kayaking from Pensacola to Everglades for conservation

Kolasa kayaks offshore Tyndall Air Force Base between Panama City and Mexico Beach - Crystal blue waters and no one else in sight.  Photo Courtesy of Cole Kolasa.

Cole Kolasa is kayaking for conservation. The nineteen year old environmental engineering student, who attends University of Central Florida (UCF) has been in the water most of his life. Cole’s long-term goal is to study the nearshore reefs and living shorelines to determine how they how improve coastal resilience and increase fish and wildlife habitat.

Recollections of William Hope, early Hernando County settler

Residence of Samuel Hope on the Anclote River - Pinellas County, Florida. On right are Mr. & Mrs. William Hope?  Samuel E. Hope and Mary Hope. Children are May, Edward, James and Ella.

Editor’s Note: William Hope lived from 1808 to 1898. He was an early settler of Hernando County and the postmaster of the post office established in Melendez (one of the towns that became Brooksville). The Hope family is considered one of the founding families of Brooksville. In January 9, 1891, William gave an interview about his life to W. F. Stovall, editor and publisher of the Polk City News.

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Martinez, Old Brooksville In Photos & Stories.

An interview with Boston University Cross Country Coach Paul “Jody” Spangler

Paul Spangler, coaching at The University of Florida, photo by Tim Casey

Paul Spangler is a Class of 1993 Hernando High Graduate who excelled at distance running under coach Ernie Chatman. He won a state title in his Junior year in the 3200 meters and in his senior year was the runner up. Paul ran cross country for the University of Alabama and in his senior year was all SEC in cross country. He then went on to coach track/cross country at Florida State, Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Florida, and now Boston University.

Why did you choose to coach at Boston University?

A life of service: Dennis Edward Vacenovsky

Photos courtesy of Judy Tullis Winfree and Agelina Carter

Formal photo of Dennis Vacenovsky, 1LT Marine Corps. Courtesy of Angelina Carter

Lieutenant Dennis Edward Vacenovsky led a life dedicated to service. He was a teacher and coach at Hernando High School and could have used this to obtain a deferment from being sent to the Vietnam War. His morals led him to voluntarily enter into service of his country.

Dennis and his brother Tommy were born in Binghamton, NY and moved to Masaryktown as young children. Their father Thomas Vacenovsky Sr. worked as a bus driver and eventually became Supervisor of Transportation for the Hernando County Public School District.

Early days of Spring Hill

Spring Hill Drive and 19 April 25, 1967 submitted by Janet Croft

The 50th anniversary of the grand opening of Deltona Corp’s Spring Hill community was on April 30 of this year. The county and Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will be commemorating the anniversary on July 27th at The Lake House, which was once Spring Hill’s community center. It was here where early residents gathered for community picnics and celebrations.

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