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A steady stream of kayaks passes by the shoreline at Rogers Park on the Weeki Wachee River on March 4.BRENDAN FITTERER | Special to the Times

Slow progress frustrates those looking to protect Weeki Wachee River

WEEKI WACHEE Nearly a year ago, lovers of the Weeki Wachee River — concerned that it was overcrowded with kayaks, muddied by public use, sanded over by drifting sediment and clouded by nutrient-fed algae — mobilized like never before. They mobbed a meeting of the Hernando County Port Authority in April and the next …

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  1. Pasco deputies investigate shooting of New Port Richey teen

    Crime

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting of a 15-year-old boy on Thursday.

  2. High school teacher accused of sexual relations with Hernando student

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County high school teacher was arrested Wednesday, accused of having sexual relations with a student.

    Valerie Michelle Valvo, 34, an art teacher at Central High School, told deputies she engaged in sexual activity with a 17-year-old studentfive or six times in her home. She was released from Hernando County jail Wednesday after posting $15,500 bail. [Photo courtesy of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Star-studded bluegrass festival returns to Sertoma for 40th year

    Events

    SPRING LAKE — In the world of bluegrass music, Balsam Range is among today's hottest artists. With six critically acclaimed albums since it formed in 2007, the group is among the genre's biggest award winners in recent years, with 10 International Bluegrass Music Association honors.

    Critically acclaimed Balsam Range will perform Saturday. The group “is definitely the No. 1 attraction,” said Debi Evans, president of Evans Media Source, the event organizer.
  4. Closing of SunTrust branch will make Ridge Manor more "lonely."

    Banking

    RIDGE MANOR — Ridge Manor residents have long felt shunned by chain stores and county government.

  5. Hernando to provide more free meals for young students

    K12

    BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board has moved ahead with a federally funded plan to provide free meals for most the county's elementary and middle school students, regardless of need, starting next school year.

    Lori Drenth, food services director, said the program would guarantee four years of funding.
  6. Brooksville store makes charms out of castoffs

    Retail

    BROOKSVILLE — From estate sales, garage sales and thrift shops to the showroom floor at Cottage Charms, castoffs become customers' cool things.

    Employee Donnie Nemon shows off a refurbished highboy. He said “the knobs were gone, the doors falling off.”
  7. Watch a small poodle in a tiny orange sweater get freed from a drain in Port Richey (w/video)

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — It was scary to be Taffy the dog on Wednesday morning.

    It took rescuers two hours and digging with a backhoe to rescue Taffy the poodle from a storm drain. (City of Port Richey)