Local News

Safe Routes to School and Quality Drive Sidewalks

Local Agency Program (LAP) agreements were approved between the Florida DOT and Hernando County to pay for updated sidewalks under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. Under the agreement, Assistant County Administrator Brian Malmberg stated the DOT will reimburse the County for costs of the design, up to the maximum amount approved for each of the two projects.

School District Updates Jan. 10, 2017


Superintendent's Update

The Hernando County School District held their regular board meeting on 01/10/17. Superintendent Lori Romano announced an increase in graduation rates in 2016 to 81.1%. Next she congratulated Pam Cannon from Explorer K8 as the 2017 School Related Employee of the Year. Pam is the school’s secretary but enthusiastically does so much more, always with a smile.

BOCC approves zoning changes for historic Richloam General Store


Historic Richloam Post Office and General Store

On Jan. 10, 2017, the BOCC approved the rezoning from AG/(Agricultural) to PDP(NC)/Planned Development Project (Neighborhood Commercial) with deviations for the historic Richloam General Store owned by Eric Burkes.

Burkes, a relative to the original owner and postmaster, is requesting to reopen the old country store which he plans to stock with 1 cent candy and items that were available in the 1930 time period. Burkes explained that the store used to be on a state road until 50 came through and the road was moved north.

Parking will be next to the store.

Water and wastewater treatment rate increases tabled indefinitely

Hernando Counties Utilities Director Gordon Onderdonk presented information to the BOCC about proposed increases in the water and wastewater rates for the next three fiscal years. It would be part of the PILOF, or Payment in Lieu of Franchise Fees, which allows the utilities department to use the right of way for the water/sewer lines, fire hydrants, etc. The PILOF is made to the County’s General Fund.

Tampa Bay Bomb squad called in due to suspicion of explosives


Tampa Bay Bomb Squad assisted HCSO sweep the McConnell premises for explosives before conducting search warrant

photo courtesy of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office

Hernando County Sheriff's Office authorities arrested Randall McConnell of Brooksville on Jan. 25, 2017 at 10AM at his residence, 8050 B.W. Stevenson Road in Brooksville, with help from the Tampa Bay Bomb Squad.

Undercover detectives had been investigating McConnell for a year under suspicion of drug dealing. Detectives were able to purchase methamphetamine from him and then obtained a search warrant.

Legislation proposed to limit sales tax referendum to General Election ballot


State Representatives Blaise Ingoglia (R, District 35, part of Hernando County), Bryan Avila (R, District 111, part of Miami-Dade County) introduced a bill on Dec. 29, 2016 that would limit the placement of sales tax referendum to general election ballots. Joe Gruters (R, District 73, part of Sarasota and Manatee counties) is a co-sponsor. Ingoglia sponsored a similar bill in 2016 which passed the House 95 to 19, but died in the Senate.

Two murders, many links

Tammy Jo Alexander, school photo

A couple of years ago, Laurel Nowell a high school friend of Tammy Jo Alexander decided to look her up and see how she was doing. She could not find information on her friend and finally called the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to report her as missing on August 14th, 2014. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Nowell said Alexander, who attended Hernando High School, went missing sometime between 1977 and 1979.

Paul Marvella's vehicle found, Marvella still missing

Paul Marvalla


Paul Marvella of Spring Hill, 30, went missing on Jan. 15, 2017. He works for Alternative Transportation Services. He was last seen at 6:10 PM after delivering a deceased person to 3901 University Blvd., in Jacksonville. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has been working with multiple agencies to locate Marvella.

Mr. Marvella was driving a black, 2014 GMC Yukon. The Yukon was found in Alachua County, but Marvella has not yet been located. The Sheriff's Office has not released any other details at this time.


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