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William Payne, 56, stands near one of his 17 worm beds, left, which was destroyed by severe flooding on the Withlacoochee River in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Payne and his brother, Terry Payne, 62, said they plan to rebuild their worm farm, where they will breed and sell worms to fishermen.DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Brothers' worm farm washes away in Withlacoochee floodwaters (w/video)

RIDGE MANOR — Brothers William and Terry Payne were close to realizing their dream. Six more months and their worm farm would have been open for business, bringing in extra cash to make ends meet. They had the permits, a business partner and an estimated quarter-million worms. But Hurricane Irma and the severe floo …


  1. Brooksville council begins study of law enforcement options

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The City Council has jumped headlong into a discussion about the future of the Brooksville Police Department — specifically whether to maintain it as is or change the way law enforcement service is provided in an effort to relieve the city's budget woes.

    Brooksville Mayor Robert Battista suggested that the City Council agree to promise residents that neither the city police nor fire departments would be disbanded without a voter referendum.
  2. New thrift store helps support Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches


    SPRING HILL — With "very strong support from Sheriff Nienhuis," Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Inc. has opened a thrift store at the Hernando West Plaza to help finance its ranch programs, aiming "to prevent youth delinquency and develop lawful, resilient and productive citizens."

    Manager Arthur Littrell and cashier Brianne Dunaway thank shoppers on opening day at the new Sheriffs Ranches Thrift Store. Dunaway volunteered for a year at the Ranches former outlet in New Port Richey and is now a new hire.
 [Photo by Beth N. Gray]
  3. New student School Board representative wants to give his peers a voice


    SPRING HILL — Students have something to say about their educations, and the Hernando County School Board recognizes that.

    Springstead High School senior Joe Masotti, 17, speaks to student delegates selected by their schools to represent them. He successfully to convinced most of them to vote for him to be this year's student School Board delegate who will take their concerns to board meetings. [Photo courtesy of Hernando County School District]
  4. Churches offer safe alternatives to Halloween trick-or-treating


    Enjoying seasonal activities while staying safe is a concern parents have for their children at Halloween. Several churches are offering events that will give children a fun but safe alternative to trick-or-treating at the doors of strangers.

    Northcliffe Baptist Church in Spring Hill will have a Family Fall Festival from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28. This is a scene from last year's festival. [Photo courtesy of Northcliffe Baptist Church]
  5. Review: Fast-paced 'Seven Brides' is pure entertainment at Show Palace


    Try not to blink if you go see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, playing through Nov. 12 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. If you close your eyes even for a second, you may miss something terrific in this fast-paced, lively and delightfully entertaining show.

    "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" opens Oct. 14 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson. [The LightBox]
  6. With custom-designed clothing, Kaiya Designs helps empower women


    LAND O'LAKES — Marcy Budwick wants to give back and to empower women. So more than a year ago, she began donating a portion of sales from her business to Created, an organization committed to ending sex trafficking. She also went to the organization's facility in Tampa and taught victimized women how to sew.

    Marcy Budwick, owner of Kaiya Designs, designs and makes women's apparel at her studio in Land O'Lakes. The boutique allows customers to visit, by appointment, for fitting and browsing. Orders are completed within three days.

 [Photo by Phyllis Day]
  7. Plenty of food and a lot more at St. Joan of Arc's annual Ethnic Festival


    SPRING HILL — It's all about the food — an ethnic smorgasbord of culinary favorites from countries around the world.

    WILL VRAGOVIC   |   TimesSt. Joan of Arc Catholic Church's 26th annual Ethnic Festival opens Oct. 19 and runs through Oct. 22.