Nature Coast Therapy Dogs
Photography by CHERYL CLANTON:

Ruby is greeted by Nature Coast Therapy Dogs Lincoln and Turbo with volunteers DJ and Rita. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

They say dogs are a man’s best friend. This might actually be true. Studies have shown that pets, especially dogs, can increase the happiness and well-being of the people they spend time with. This is why pet therapy has become an increasingly popular form of rehabilitation. Hernando County has an amazing volunteer organization called Nature Coast Therapy Dogs. They strive to bring happiness to those who are in nursing homes or hospitals, and so much more. Therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people.

Major blueberry grower wiped out by Irma; help them replant


Hurricane Irma downed approximately 100,000 blueberry bushes at Frogmore Fresh Farm, a 125-acre blueberry farm in Pasco County. If these plants are not re-staked and reestablished, they will die, a significant loss for the grower and the Florida blueberry industry. Searching for a solution, Whitney Elmore, UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County director, worked through the UF/IFAS network to recruit volunteers to come to the farm and help save the plants.

Solving the school supplies cost issue

Previously, we brought you a story about the rising cost of school supplies. In Hernando County, the school year commenced on August 14, 2017, so all month, social media has been exploding with adorable pictures as well as parents complaining about all the money they had to spend. On top of new clothes or uniforms, parents have to purchase school supplies for their children. Because of major budget cuts in the school system through the years, parents are being required to pay for so much that the schools used to provide.

Urban Gentlemen’s Club members attend elegant dinner

Young gentlemen helping their friend with his tie

On Wednesday, August 23, 2017 members of the Urban Gentlemen’s Clubs of Pine Grove Elementary and Eastside Elementary met at Papa Joe’s for an elegant dinner. Parents dropped their children off to have dinner with the other members of the club.

The dinners were paid for by private donations. Both clubs receive contributions from the Kiwanis, an anonymous donor and many others.

Patriot Guard Riders: “Standing for those who stood for US”


Jack Fair, Ride Capt.  Photo by Bonnie Rodriguez

The Patriot Guard Riders is a non-profit group of volunteers who provide a motorcycle honor guard escort to America’s Fallen Hero’s (any branch of the military, police, firefighters, EMS, Search and Rescue, Coast Guard, and first responders). They are located all over the United States with approximately 300,000 members. You don’t have to be a veteran or own a motorcycle to be a member.

Deputies and their K-9 partners take to the springs

Photography by CHERYL CLANTON

The Annual Law Enforcement K-9 Water Training event took place at Weeki Wachee Springs, Buccaneer Bay on Tuesday Aug. 22, 2017.

After the park closes, here they come. Sheriff’s Deputies with their K-9 partners arrive at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park/ Buccaneer Bay to have some fun and gain critical skills on Tuesday Aug. 22, 2017. Law enforcement teams from Hernando as well as surrounding counties participate each year. On Tuesday, 20 to 25 handlers and their K-9 partners participated in the training exercises.

Local groups partner to address opioid problem

From Left to Right: Steve Snider, Barbara Sweinberg, Tresa Watson, Dr. Linda  Lepik, Adam Shehub, Danish Hasan; Photo provided

There has been a lot of focus recently on the growing “opioid epidemic” in the United States – from politicians talking about how best to solve this serious problem to television networks featuring programs about this important health and social issue.

As the name implies, opioids are drugs derived from opium. They act on the nervous system to relieve pain, but continued use and abuse can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Most such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, Percodan and Tylenol with Codeine are legal, with a prescription. Some, like heroin are illegal.

Local gym offers free membership to Special Olympics athletes

In front: Nick Famiano; Standing from left to right:  Mike Oliva, Jeffery Carver, Nick Young, Mark Fleming (behind), Wayne Reinhardt, John Salomez, Joey D’Antonio (behind) and Jim Coleman

Tired of hearing all the negativity in the news? Here’s a really uplifting story! Lift More Fitness, a gym devoted to power-lifting and bodybuilding, off of SR 50 in Brooksville, is helping some local residents lift their spirits. Owner, Mike Oliva, wanted to do something positive for Hernando county and make a difference, so his gym is currently offering free membership to Special Olympics athletes. They can work out for free any day, any time, but Mondays and Wednesdays are specifically dedicated to them. Most usually show up around 5 pm.


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