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  • Great News for Beach Goers - Pine Island Park is Now Open

    Tom Lemons, March 28, 2024|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    SPRING HILL – Pine Island Park has finally reopened after being closed for several months due to damage from Hurricane Idalia. Officials say the storm caused major damage to the infrastructure in Pine Island Park, requiring significant repairs. Alfred McKethan Pine Island Park is located at 10840 Pine Island Dr., in Spring Hill and is open from 8:30am to sunset, 7 days a week. The parking fee is $5 per car (credit card only). Handicapped placards and Disabled Veterans are e...

  • Gangs, Guns, and Drugs Wreaking Havoc in Spring Hill

    Tom Lemons, March 28, 2024|Updated Mar 28, 2024

    SPRING HILL – The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a shooting that took place in the vicinity of Berkeley Manor Blvd early Wednesday morning. Deputies responded to Mermaid's Lounge just after 1:00 a.m., after receiving 911 calls about a male standing outside the establishment firing shots into the air. Shortly after the first 911 call, dispatchers received additional reports of gunfire on Berkeley Manor Blvd. Numerous deputies responded to M...

  • Sheriff Says "No Systemic Issues" with Multiple Missed Depositions as Transparency Wanes

    Tom Lemons, March 21, 2024|Updated Mar 24, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – Yesterday, R News broke the news of several deputies missing depositions in a recent homicide case. Those deputies and a detective could face jail time if a Judge doesn't accept their explanation of why they each ignored two subpoenas. Under pressure from the media, Sheriff Al Nienhuis released a statement this morning, asserting that the incident is isolated and there are no systemic issues with deputies ignoring subpoenas. Nienhuis says, "The Hernando County Sh...

  • Detective, Four Deputies, Could Face Jail Time if Held in Contempt

    Tom Lemons, March 20, 2024|Updated Mar 21, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – Chief Judge Daniel B. Merritt Jr. could hold several Hernando County Sheriff's deputies and a detective in contempt of court if they can't explain why they failed to appear for depositions in a 2023 manslaughter case. According to court records, Deputies Mitchell Vesper, Chelsea Reid, John Longobardi, and Craig Milne all failed to appear for depositions on September 12, 2023, and again on December 20, 2023, in reference to State vs Regina Cassie Ritter. Detective...

  • Two Die in Late Night Residential Fire

    Tom Lemons, March 20, 2024|Updated Mar 20, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – Hernando County Fire Rescue is reporting a residential fire that claimed the lives of two people. Fire Rescue responded to the 19000 block of VFW Road just before midnight Tuesday after reports of a fully engulfed home. Witnesses reported that the home was possibly occupied by at least two people, but the fire was too intense for firefighters to make entry. After extinguishing the fire, rescuers discovered two victims near the front door who were attempting to e...

  • 2024 Blueberry Festival Cancelled

    Tom Lemons, March 19, 2024|Updated Mar 20, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – The annual Blueberry Festival that draws thousands of visitors to downtown Brooksville every year has been canceled, according to organizers. According to a statement by event organizer John Lee, "...the festival relies on attendance to make its finances whole. With competing festivals being organized within blocks of our location, it makes a risky undertaking even more risky." Lee goes on to say, "Brooksville is simply too small to host two successful f...

  • New Volunteers Sworn into Hernando County Fire Corps

    Tom Lemons, March 19, 2024|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – Hernando County Fire Corps is an invaluable asset to Hernando County Fire Rescue, as they provide critical support to firefighters, especially during the hot summer months. Last night, HCFC swore in the following new volunteer officers: Left to right, Jan Parker, Secretary; Nathan Smith, Logistics Officer; John Thorton, Deputy Commander of Operations; Salvatore Rotella, Jr., Public Relations Officer; and Vince Montefusco, Training Officer. Not pictured: Dawn W...

  • Morale Declines as Tensions Grow Between Port Richey Police and Chief Robinson

    Tom Lemons, March 18, 2024|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    PORT RICHEY – Earlier this month the local Police Benevolent Association (PBA) passed a vote of no confidence over Port Richey Police Chief Cyrus Robinson and Captain Michael Koch but City Manager Matthew Coppler has yet to decide their fate. 11 of the 18 officers who voted in favor of no-confidence still say they cannot work under the current command. There are numerous issues, according to Port Richey Police Officers who wished to remain anonymous, but the most critical i...

  • Body Camera Video Shows Violent Struggle Moments Before Suspect is Shot

    Tom Lemons, March 17, 2024|Updated Mar 18, 2024

    WARNING: This video contains graphic images and language. HUDSON – The Pasco Sheriff's Office provided new details into a deputy-involved shooting that took place on US-19 this evening, leaving one person dead. During a press conference near the scene of the shooting, a spokesperson said, "None of this had to happen. If the suspect had just done what the deputy had said, none of us would be here talking about this shooting." According to officials, a male suspect who was possi...

  • Deputy Fought For His Life Before Shooting a Known Violent Felon

    Tom Lemons, March 16, 2024|Updated Mar 17, 2024

    HUDSON – The Pasco Sheriff's Office provided new details into a deputy-involved shooting that took place on US-19 this evening, leaving one person dead. During a press conference near the scene of the shooting, a spokesperson said, "None of this had to happen. If the suspect had just done what the deputy had said, none of us would be here talking about this shooting." According to officials, a male suspect who was possibly wanted on felony strangulation charges was a...

  • One Dead After Altercation Leads to Deputy-Involved Shooting

    Tom Lemons, March 16, 2024|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    HUDSON - The Pasco Sheriff's Office is investigating a deputy-Involved shooting that occurred earlier this evening on US-19. Officials say a preliminary investigation indicates that an adult white male is deceased after an altercation with deputies. No deputies are injured and there is no threat to the public. Both directions of US-19 between New York Ave and Bolton Ave are shut down. We will bring more on this story as it develops....

  • Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash on Spring Hill Drive

    Tom Lemons, March 16, 2024|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    SPRING HILL – The Florida Highway Patrol is reporting the death of a motorcyclist who was involved in a crash on Spring Hill Driver yesterday afternoon. Officials say a 50-year-old Spring Hill man was traveling westbound on a Suzuki motorcycle in the inside lane when the driver of a Chevy Colorado merged into the inside lane, striking the motorcycle. The motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. The driver of the truck, a 55-year-old Spring Hill woman, was u...

  • DeSantis Prepares for Influx of Haitian Refugees, Offers Help to American Citizens

    Tom Lemons, March 14, 2024|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    TALLAHASSEE – In anticipation of a potential influx of illegal immigrants from Haiti, Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered additional state assets to the Keys and southern waters of the State of Florida. "For quite some time, the State of Florida has been dedicating significant resources to combat illegal vessels coming to Florida from countries such as Haiti," said Governor Ron DeSantis. "Given the circumstances in Haiti, I have directed the Division of Emergency Management, t...

  • One Dead, Two Injured in Head-on Collision

    Tom Lemons, March 14, 2024|Updated Mar 14, 2024

    ZEPHYRHILLS – The Florida Highway Patrol is reporting the death of an Apollo Beach woman after a near head-on collision on Chancey Road. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 44-year-old woman was driving a Honda FIT northbound on Chancey Road, when she failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and struck a Honda Civic traveling in the opposite direction. The driver of the FIT suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. A 43-year-old Zephyrhills woman and a 3...

  • Man Charged with Operating Rooster Fighting Ring, Dozens of Chickens Seized

    Tom Lemons, March 13, 2024|Updated Mar 14, 2024

    HOMOSASSA – Rooster fighting is still a popular and illicit form of gambling in Florida, and it can lead to serious felony charges. The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is reporting the arrest of a Homosassa man after officials say he raised nearly three dozen chickens for the purpose of fighting. According to reports, an anonymous tip led deputies to a residence on S. Gross Ave in reference to Rooster fighting. Upon arrival, Animal Control Officers (ACO) noticed several s...

  • Search Continues for Suspect in Brutal Stabbing

    Tom Lemons, March 12, 2024|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – Last night, R News broke the news of a brutal domestic-related stabbing that occurred at the 16000 block of Ft Myers Street. The suspect later identified as 23-year-old Douglas Albert Fuller fled the scene on foot and is still at large. Today, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office reported that Fullerton had gained access to his live-in boyfriend's cell phone and became angry after reading text messages on his phone. That's when Fullerton retrieved a machete and b...

  • Search for Armed Carjacking Suspects Underway

    Tom Lemons, March 11, 2024|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    SPRING HILL – Sheriff's Deputies are searching for two men involved in an armed carjacking that occurred in the area of Mariner Cay Apartments on Northcliffe Blvd. Sources say one suspect is in custody but two suspects are still at large and considered armed and dangerous. One suspect is a light-skinned black male with a black hoodie. The other suspect is a black male with a dark camouflage hoodie. Both men displayed firearms during the carjacking. The vehicle has been r...

  • Elderly Man Drowns in Residential Pool

    Tom Lemons, March 11. 2024|Updated Mar 11, 2024

    SPRING HILL - Sad news to report after a man was found deceased in a residential pool. According to officials, Fire Rescue responded to the 1200 block of Gilpin Ave around 1:30 p.m. yesterday, after receiving reports of a possible drowning. Upon arrival, rescuers found an elderly man deceased from an apparent drowning. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident....

  • Road Rage Shooting Leads to Arrest of Homosassa Man

    Tom Lemons, March 8, 2024|Updated Mar 11, 2024

    HOMOSASSA – The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is reporting the arrest of a suspect who allegedly fired shots during a road rage incident earlier this week. According to officials, on March 5th the victim was traveling northbound in the outside lane on US-19 when another vehicle swerved and intentionally struck the victim's vehicle. Following the crash, the victim heard what sounded like a gunshot. The victim briefly lost control of the vehicle and the suspect drove off, p...

  • Teacher Under Investigation for Threatening to Harm a Student

    Tom Lemons, March 7, 2024|Updated Mar 8, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando County School District confirmed that a teacher at Nature Coast Technical High School has been removed pending the outcome of a threat investigation. Sources say sophomore English teacher Sheri Padgett was removed from her class Wednesday, after allegedly threatening to harm a student. School District Spokesperson Karen Jordan says the following message was sent to NCT parents following the incident: NCT school administration and law enforcement a...

  • Nienhuis Cuts 75 Seconds of Dash Cam Video While Demanding Trust in His Leadership

    Tom Lemons, March 6, 2024|Updated Mar 7, 2024

    UPDATE: Yesterday, R News reported that a dash-cam video posted on Facebook by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office was missing 75 seconds, but officials refused to explain why. Today, pressure from the community forced officials to respond, not directly to our emails, but by publishing their reason on another Facebook post. The post reads: On 03-06-2024, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office posted dash cam video of a recent arrest in the rear parking lot of Home Goods in...

  • FHP Asking for Help in Locating Fatal Hit-and-Run Suspect

    Tom Lemons, March 6, 2024|Updated Mar 6, 2024

    SUMTER – The Florida Highway Patrol is asking for the public's help in locating a hit-and-run suspect who killed a 63-year-old Lake Mary man last month. The incident occurred on February 17th when a vehicle was traveling in the inside southbound lane of US-301. The vehicle struck the victim who was walking in the roadway just south of CR-102. The driver fled the scene without rendering aid or calling 911. Around 8:00 a.m. that morning, the victim's body was discovered lying i...

  • Local Sixth Grader Headed to Chicago for The Great History Challenge

    Tom Lemons, March 4, 2024|Updated Mar 6, 2024

    BROOKSVILLE – A local middle school student will be competing at The Great History Challenge in Chicago, Illinois after beating hundreds of students at a regional competition in Clearwater earlier this year. Sophie Tollefson is a 6th grade student in Ms. Amy Weir's history class at BEST Academy, and they'll be joining 7th grader Vincent Cannone and 8th graders Joseph Chapman for the National Championship on May 24th and 25th. We spoke to Ms. Weir earlier today who said, "Sophi...

  • Port Richey Police Officer's Arrest Last Straw, Prompts PBA's Vote of No Confidence in Chief

    Tom Lemons, March 3, 2024|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    PORT RICHEY – Trouble is brewing for the Port Richey Chief of Police after the West Central Florida Police Benevolence Association passed down a vote of no confidence. Sources say the recent arrest of Port Richey Police Officer Catey Caramiello is the last straw in what led to the PBA's vote of no confidence in Chief Cyrus Robinson and Captain Michael Koch earlier this month. Caramiello was arrested for Domestic Battery on February 12, 2024, after she got into a physical a...

  • Another Foreign Exchange Teacher Arrested, Parents Concerned About Cultural Differences

    Tom Lemons, February 25, 2024|Updated Feb 26, 2024

    FLORIDA – Due to the shortage of qualified teachers in Florida, several school districts have opted to hire non-citizen foreign exchange teachers to fill the vacancies, but in light of recent arrests, some parents are starting to voice concerns over the safety of their children in public schools. The U.S. State Department's J1 visa program authorizes teachers from around the world to work in the United States for up to 5 years. Florida's Department of Education sanctions teach...

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