Spring Hill residents irked yet informed by RNRF helicopter

By Frank Fencil | frank.fencil@springhillcourier.com

SPRING HILL, Florida – Many in this usually sleepy suburban oasis are having to make a new tradeoff: serenity or pervasive helicopter sounds that rattle their homes around the clock.

If months of record-breaking pageviews are any indication, Hernando County residents have overwhelmingly voted with their mouse clicks and screen taps in favor of pieces of content over peace and contentment.

The disturbance many are talking about has been coming from a helicopter purchased by journalist Tom Lemons, who is using his new whirlybird to make RealNewsRealFast.com the ultimate mobile news operation, spending his days cutting to and fro across the county to document all the news that’s fit to Facebook.

Many local veterans have complained that the sound harkens back to their days in foreign wars and brings on frightful episodes. But the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has sanctioned the news copter and made special noise ordinance changes to protect it.

“I’ll be totally honest when I say we’re so underfunded that we have begun to rely on Mr. Lemons to alert us to car accidents and have even deputized him,” said HCSO spokeswoman Sgt. Melissa Grady. “We just can’t make it out to all these pill-induced fender-benders, but we can pretty easily piece together a narrative after reading his reports. So the chopper stays.”

Lemons’ newfound speed – he can reach any car accident or offbeat domestic violence incident anywhere within Hernando County in less than three minutes – has allowed him to wage war on other local media outlets. The struggling Tampa Bay Times has all but given up on coverage of drug-addled petty criminals and the mentally ill, and the Hernando Today announced last week that it would close its doors in November after Lemons stole much of its audience and President Barack Obama sacked the economy.

Lemons was reached for comment but could not be heard over the sound of the blades.

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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