June 16, 2024

  • Possible Homicide Investigation Underway After Inmate Dies at Hernando County Jail

    Tom Lemons, June 15, 2024 | Jun 16, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is investigating an inmate's death at the Hernando County Detention Center. Officials are not releasing many details, but they say the inmate died as a result of an incident that occurred at the jail on June 14, 2024. The inmate was transported to a local hospital where officials say he was pronounced deceased. R News will continue to bring more on this story as it...

  • Human Remains Believed to be Those of Missing Family of Four

    Tom Lemons, June 15, 2024 | Jun 15, 2024

    HUDSON – The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is reporting heartbreaking news that human remains found on Friday may be that of a missing family of four. VIDEO During a press conference today, Sheriff Chris Nocco announced the arrest of 25-year-old Rory Atwood who is charged with First Degree Murder after human remains were found at his residence on Nottingham Trail. Officials would not confirm, but it is believed that the remains are those of Rain Mancini, 26, Phillip Zilliot...

  • Overnight Fire Destroys Several Structures and Vehicles

    Tom Lemons, June 15, 2024 | Jun 15, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – Several structures and vehicles were destroyed in an overnight fire, say officials, According to Hernando County Fire Rescue, firefighters responded to the 1000 block of Breggs Lane, where they discovered a large barn, a home, and two vehicles fully engulfed. Officials say it took over an hour to bring the fire under control, which had begun to spread to nearby brush. An investigation revealed that an E-Bike inside the barn sparked the fire, which led to...

  • The Deadline Has Come and Gone. Who's Left?

    Tom Lemons, June 14, 2024 | Jun 15, 2024

    HERNANDO – A lot has happened with Hernando County Politics and today. Here's what we know. District 1 Commissioner Beth Narverud (R) thought she might be able to hold on to her seat without a fight until newcomer Ryan Amsler (R) filed to run against her earlier this week. Anthony Arenz withdrew from the race after Amsler announced he would be running. Incumbent for the District 3 seat John Allocco (R) also believed there would be nothing standing in his way until Marvin...

  • Two Teens Face Multiple Burglary Charges Because of "Door-Kick" Challenge

    Tom Lemons, June 13, 2024 | Jun 14, 2024

    SPRING HILL – The Hernando County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) is reporting the arrest of two juvenile suspects involved in a string of "Kick-In" style burglaries. VIDEO According to officials, social media tips led investigators to the arrest of Brody Abdon and Gavyn Trapp, both just 15 years old, on multiple counts of burglary. The investigation began earlier this week when HCSO published Ring doorbell video of two suspects attempting to kick in the door of a residence on...

  • Spring Hill Man Causes 4-Vehicle Crash on Howard Frankland Bridge

    Tom Lemons, June 13, 2024 | Jun 13, 2024

    TAMPA – A Spring Hill man is charged with reckless driving after officials say he caused a 4-vehicle crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge, Wednesday. VIDEO According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 19-year-old Rolando Joaquin Garza was traveling eastbound on I-275 (Howard Frankland Bridge) when he passed a Trooper at a high rate of speed, changing lanes, and driving recklessly. The driver overtook a Lexus RX350 driven by a 74-year-old woman and forced her to collide with a...

  • Sheriff'S Office Investigating Rash of Kick-In Burglaries

    Tom Lemons, June 12, 2024 | Jun 13, 2024

    SPRING HILL – The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's assistance in identifying two suspects involved in a kick-in burglary earlier this morning at a residence on Bluewater Avenue. VIDEO Officials say similar incidents have been reported in the area that occurred during the early morning hours. Officials did not state whether the residences were occupied at the time of each burglary. Anyone with information regarding the identity of these suspects is...

  • Golf Carts Approved to Operate on Shoal Line Blvd

    Tom Lemons, June 11, 2024 | Jun 12, 2024

    HERNANDO BEACH – The Hernando Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) unanimously approved an ordinance to allow golf carts on portions of Shoal Line Blvd, but it may be a while before the change goes into effect. A recent survey of Hernando Beach residents revealed an overwhelming consensus that golf carts should be allowed to be driven on Shoal Line Blvd, between Bluefish Drive and Calienta Street. Before the ordinance can take effect, Shoal Line Blvd will have to be repaved...

  • Residents Shocked at Sheriff's 2025 Budget Proposal, Demand New Leadership

    Tom Lemons, June 10, 2024 | Jun 11, 2024

    HERNANDO – Residents in Hernando County have had enough with "liberal" politicians approving outrageous tax increases and massive budgets, and they demand a refund on votes they cast in the last two elections. But wait, Hernando County is a "Red County" where all five Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and the Sheriff are registered Republicans, so why are their policies not aligning with fiscal conservative values or the taxpayers who elected them? While most residents...

  • One Dead, One Injured in Separate Hit and Run Crashes Involving E-Bikes

    Tom Lemons, June 8, 2024 | Jun 8, 2024

    REGIONAL – The Florida Highway Patrol is asking for the community's help in locating two hit and run drivers who killed one person and seriously injured another. The first incident took place in Inverness on May 30th in the area of East Turner Camp Road and Jackadee Point. That's where officials say a 57-year-old woman was struck by an unknown type of vehicle while riding an Sohamo E-Bike. The victim suffered serious injuries in the crash. The second incident occurred in...

  • Sheriff's Survey Backfires, Bringing ATV Proponents One Step Closer to Repeal

    Tom Lemons, June 7, 2024 | Jun 8, 2024

    HERNANDO – The results are in and residents opposing a ban on ATVs are one step closer to taking back their rights to travel on certain roadways. Last month, Commissioner Steve Champion went to bat for residents living in Royal Highlands and northwest Weeki Wachee in support of repealing an ordinance that prohibited ATVs from being operated on unpaved roads. During a Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting in April of 2023, Commissioners Beth Narverud, Jerry Campbell,...

  • Spring Hill Man Charged with Possession of Child Porn

    Tom Lemons, June 7, 2024 | Jun 7, 2024

    SPRING HILL – A Spring Hill man is charged with being in possession of child pornography after a three-month investigation, say officials. According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, detectives received a tip in late February of this year that a suspect residing at 4112 Ramona Drive may have downloaded child pornography onto his electronic devices. Detectives executed a search warrant early earlier today and placed 62-year-old Alexander Esquivel into custody. The...

  • New Candidates Could Threaten 'Puppet Show' if Elected

    Tom Lemons, June 6, 2024 | Jun 7, 2024
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    BROOKSVILLE – High taxes, overdevelopment, and overspending are just a few reasons why Hernando County residents say they want new leadership in the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), and they just might get what they're asking for when election time rolls around this fall. Out of five Republican incumbents on the BOCC, only one commissioner has a voting record that reflects true conservative values, but his lone vote hasn't been enough to stop the others from raising...

  • Two Men Arrested After Arranging to Meet With a '14-year-old Boy'

    Tom Lemons, June 5, 2024 | Jun 6, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is reporting the arrest of two men who traveled to Hernando County, believing they were meeting a teenage boy. According to officials, on May 31st, 49-year-old Bradley Williams traveled from Orlando to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old boy to engage in sex. Williams was actually communicating with a detective from the Special Victims Unit (SVU), who was posing as the victim. When Williams arrived at the prearranged...

  • Hernando High Para Will Not Face Criminal Inquiry After Violating School Fundraising Policies

    Tom Lemons, June 4, 2024 | Jun 5, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – A Hernando County Paraprofessional and Coach for Hernando High School will remain employed by the school district after a four-month investigation into allegations she mishandled fundraiser transactions. Our investigation began back in April 2024, after R News received documents that showed Robin Bailey used her personal Zelle and Cash App to accept cash payments for a laundry soap fundraiser. That cash was then deposited into her personal bank account and...

  • 18-Year-Old Girl Dies in Rollover Crash

    Tom Lemons, June 4, 2024 | Jun 4, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – A teenage girl lost her life last night after officials say she was ejected from a vehicle during a rollover crash. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 17-year-old male was driving an Infiniti Q50 eastbound on Tundra Drive, when he failed to negotiate a curve and overturned into a retention pond. As a result of the crash, an unrestrained 18-year-old female from New Port Richey was ejected from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries. She was...

  • Champion Says ATV Ban is Attack on Freedom, Sheriff uses 'Push Poll' to Survey Residents

    Tom Lemons, June 3, 2024 | Jun 4, 2024

    HERNANDO – If you migrated to Florida, you probably came here for the sun, beaches, and ability to enjoy the outdoors year-round – the definition of living in paradise. Since Governor DeSantis took office, the state has become a deeper shade of red, politically speaking, and our population continues to explode with former blue-state refugees. So, when someone threatens to harness liberty in Florida, its residents do not remain silent. Florida Law allows licensed drivers...

  • Lecanto Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

    Tom Lemons, June 2, 2024 | Jun 3, 2024

    HOMOSASSA – A single-vehicle motorcycle crash claimed the life of one person, Saturday. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 41-year-old Lecanto man was traveling eastbound on CR-490 (W. Yulee Drive), when he failed to negotiate a curve and collided with a tree near South Palo Verde Point. Officials say he suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Fatal...

  • Three Sam's Club Employees Face Organized Fraud Charges

    Tom Lemons, May 25, 2024 | Jun 2, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – Three Sam's Club employees are facing organized fraud charges after officials say they conducted multiple fraudulent returns. Records indicate that 47-year-old Dorcaliz Ramos-Garcia, 37-year-old Amanda Elizabeth Dillon, and 53-year-old Aurora Heredia were all taken into custody at the Sam's Club located at 13360 Cortez Blvd last Friday and booked into the Hernando County Jail. According to court documents, Dillon admitted to stealing over $400 between January...

  • Search for Three Robbery Suspects Underway in Brooksville

    Tom Lemons, May 28, 2024 | May 30, 2024
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    BROOKSVILLE – An investigation is underway into a convenience store robbery that resulted in the theft of $8,000 worth of cigarettes, say officials. According to a statement provided by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the 7-Eleven gas station at 15310 Cortez Blvd just before 6:00 a.m. Monday, in reference to a robbery in progress. Officials say the store clerk reported that three black males wearing hoodies and gloves entered the store and...

  • Candidate for Commissioner Removed from Fundraising Campaign, Will Not Face Criminal Investigation

    Tom Lemons, May 28, 2024 | May 28, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – A candidate for Hernando County Commissioner has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Hernando County Education Foundation (HCEF), after allegations she used her personal bank account to collect donations for the nonprofit. Earlier this month R News reported Pam Everette was under investigation by the HCEF after it was revealed that instead of using the organization's direct donation link, she solicited her followers to donate directly to her personal Cash...

  • Horrific Tragedy Follows Toddler's 2nd Birthday Celebration

    Tom Lemons, May 28, 2024 | May 28, 2024

    SPRING HILL – Investigators say it was just a tragic accident after a toddler drowned in a family pool just days after his second birthday. Fire Rescue was called to a residence on Lydia Court just before 8:00 p.m. Monday, after receiving a 911 call regarding a toddler who had fallen into a swimming pool. According to officials, the child was with both parents while they repaired a closet door in his room and within just a few minutes they noticed he was missing. After a...

  • Firefighters Had a Busy Memorial Day Weekend

    Tom Lemons, May 27, 2024 | May 28, 2024
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    HERNANDO – Hernando County Fire Rescue has been extremely busy over the Memorial Day Weekend, with multiple structure fires, vehicle crashes, and assisting with rescues along the coastline. Earlier this morning, a rollover crash in the parking lot of Harbor Freight on US-19 injured one person. This afternoon a pickup truck caught fire that threatened a nearby residence. A small brush fire developed as a result but it was quickly extinguished by fire crews. Yesterday, a...

  • Man Charged With Setting Fire to Occupied Mobile Home

    Tom Lemons, May 25, 2024 | May 27, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – One person is behind bars today after sources say he set fire to an occupied mobile home. According to officials, Hernando County Fire Rescue responded to the 6000 block of DeSales Street around 5:15 a.m. where they discovered the structure fully engulfed in flames. No injuries are reported but officials say the structure was occupied when fire broke out. The State Fire Marshal conducted an investigation which led to the arrest of one person. According to the...

  • Man Charged in Overnight Stabbing, No Comment from Officials

    Tom Lemons, May 25, 2024 | May 25, 2024

    SPRING HILL – A suspect is behind bars today after sources say he stabbed at least one person at a local convenience store. Sources tell R News that the stabbing occurred around 2:00 a.m. Saturday at the Circle K located at Cortez Blvd and Deltona Blvd. One person was in critical condition and transported locally where their condition remains unknown. The suspect, 30-year-old William Joseph Harris was taken into custody after a brief search and charged with 2 counts of...

  • Man Says "I Shot Someone" to Get Quick Response from Deputies

    Tom Lemons, May 24, 2024 | May 24, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – A transient is behind bars today after officials say he called 911 to report that he shot someone. According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, numerous deputies responded to the area of Candlelight Blvd and Cortez Blvd on Tuesday, after officials say 42-year-old Carlos Martin Saez called 911 to report that he shot someone. Upon arrival, deputies observed Saez and another subject sitting on a park bench. Deputies announced their presence and ordered both...

  • Some Question Relevance of FOP Endorsement Amid Claims Nienhuis Controls Their Vote

    Tom Lemons, May 23, 2024 | May 24, 2024
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    HERNANDO – Law Enforcement unions play a crucial role in safeguarding their members' interests by negotiating fair wages, advocating for better working conditions, and ensuring job security, but sometimes that representation comes with a price and it's not always in the form of union dues. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) employs approximately 300 sworn deputies with about 230 of those being members of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP Lodge 164). Over the last...

  • Rep. Gus Bilirakis Recognized as Diabetes Champion

    Tom Lemons, May 22, 2024 | May 23, 2024

    WASHINGTON, DC – Recognizing the dedication of those working to improve the well-being of all Americans affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Leadership Council presented the Diabetes Champion Award to Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), vice chair of the Diabetes Congressional Caucus, Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), chair of the Diabetes Congressional Caucus, and Nimit Jindal, PharmD, Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP)...

  • Champion Calls to Remove ATV and Watering Ordinances

    Tom Lemons, May 20, 2024 | May 22, 2024
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    BROOKSVILLE – A Hernando County Commissioner is calling for a vote to remove an ordinance he says goes against basic conservative values and wastes law enforcement resources that are already in short supply. Sheriff Al Nienhuis recently touted efforts to crack down on ATV activity in the Royal Highlands area, where deputies utilize UTVs, drones, and the agency's air unit to track down and issue citations. Critics immediately lashed out at Nienhuis for going after young...

  • 25-Year-Old Spring Hill Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

    Tom Lemons, May 18, 2024 | May 20, 2024

    SPRING HILL (PASCO) – A two-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle claimed the life of one person on US-41, Friday. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, just after 10:00 p.m. a 40-year-old Hudson man was driving an Oldsmobile van when he attempted to turn south onto US-41 from Five Palms Lane. The driver failed to yield to a Yamaha motorcycle traveling north on US-41, which resulted in a collision. The driver of the motorcycle, a 25-year-old Spring Hill...

  • Investigator: Nienhuis Deceived Taxpayers to Receive $623K Pension Bonus, Attempts Coverup

    Tom Lemons | May 18, 2024

    HERNANDO – While the average citizen struggles to make ends meet, drug overdoses destroy families, and violent crime plagues our communities, an investigative researcher out of Collier County says Sheriff Al Nienhuis is busy finding ways to line his pockets with your tax dollars. David Jaye investigates elected officials around Florida and publishes his findings on his website tripledippers.org. Jaye contacted R News last month and revealed what he says is unethical and...

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