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County

Firing based on campaign, Commission candidate says

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer Viviana Janer, the Democratic party candidate for the district 2 seat on the Osceola County Commission, said Monday that she was fired from her internal auditor position for a major hospitality company, and said it was directly related to her campaign for office. Janer, who worked out of Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s corporate headquarters in Orlando, said she was terminated on Friday, the culmination of a

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  • Deputies working multiple car burglary cases

    Posted on September 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Osceola County Sheriff’s Office deputies are working two cases were multiple car burglaries were reported in a day. On Wednesday at about 6:42 p.m., Osceola County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Hickory Tree Sports Fields located at 2361 Old Hickory Tree Road in reference to reports of car burglaries. Deputies spoke with nine individuals who said they were watching youth football practice and when they returned to their vehicles,

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  • County passes $1.015 billion budget

    Posted on September 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer There’s good news for Osceola County residents: Unless the value of their home or property increased significantly, their taxes aren’t going up this year. The Board of County Commissioners approved county staff’s fiscal year 2014-15 budget last week that includes the same base 6.7 millage rate from FY 2014. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value. The aggregate rate, the average rate

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Kissimmee

News-Gazette Photo/Mark Clery
Kissimmee Police Department Deputy Chief Jefferey O'Dell sets up a perimeter with crime tape after a suspicious package was discovered at the police station in downtown Kissimmee.

Suspect charged in Monday KPD hoax bomb scare

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer The Kissimmee Police Department has a man in custody who it says dropped off a suspicious package in front of its headquarters Monday, prompting the closure of several adjacent streets for a few hours. Michael Pappalardo, 39, was arrested and charged with planting a “hoax bomb”.  He was taken to the Osceola County Jail where he is being held on $2,500 bond. After viewing security

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  • City of Kissimmee announces upcoming John Young Parkway lane closures

    Posted on September 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    The city of Kissimmee will close lanes on John Young Parkway starting next week as work on the pedestrian overpass bridge progresses. The closures will be: • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – One lane on the northbound and southbound parkway will be closed at different times between Columbia Avenue and Donegan Avenue from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. John Young Parkway closure/detour notification (local traffic only): • Sept. 27-28

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  • More than 1,000 people come out for Discover Osceola

    Posted on September 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    By Charlie Reed Staff Writer More than 1,000 people took the time to “Discover Osceola” on Thursday, finding a treasure trove of community agencies and organizations stumping for their support. The biennial expo organized by Community Vision brings together public, private and nonprofit agencies and businesses serving Osceola County residents. The idea is to hook them up with local governments and organizations in the name of community spirit. “This event

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St Cloud

St. Cloud routs Celebration 52-8 to remain unbeaten

Posted on September 20, 2014 at 1:28 am

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer St. Cloud remains the only unbeaten team in Osceola County after a 52-8 dismantling of Celebration in the first District 7A-6 game for both teams. The Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0) shook off a relatively slow start to pound away, scoring 44 points over a 28-minute stretch that saw its defense force five turnovers, scoring a touchdown on one of them. The Storm (2-2, 0-1) only managed

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  • Dunkin’ Donuts has a grand-opening party in St. Cloud, Saturday

    Posted on September 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      By Peter Covino A&E Editor This is breaking news, if you love donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts is opening a new restaurant in St. Cloud, Saturday  (at 1421 S. Narcoosee Road) and everyone is invited to the party. From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the new restaurant will have a donut decorating station, face painting, balloon art and most importantly …a variety of items to sample. There also will be raffle

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  • Jimmy Bear’s serves up outstanding BBQ, also, satisfy those munchies before the Cheech and Chong concert

    Posted on September 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

        By Peter Covino A&E Editor When a friend took me to Jimmy Bear’s BBQ for my birthday last week, he promised it would be good barbecue. He was wrong. This is great barbecue No offense, to some of the barbecue joints that have been operating for years in the area, but Jimmy Bear’s just might be the best barbecue you ever tasted, certainly in Osceola County. I have

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Poinciana

Photo/Gabriela Henriquez
Poinciana High School junior Alexis Pratts speaks in front of a class. She will travel to Washington D.C. to bring awareness to career and technical education in the state of Florida.

Ms. Pratts goes to Washington

Posted on September 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

By Aiyana Ruiz For the News-Gazette A Poinciana High School student will travel to Washington D.C., later this month to meet with several officials and Senate representatives to bring awareness to career and technical education in the state of Florida. Alexis Pratts, a junior, will not only represent Osceola County and the state of Florida when she meets with a representative of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, but also SkillsUSA, which

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  • Community Complex plans moving forward

    Posted on September 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Lisa D’Cato Poinciana Writer Relief from the summertime blues is on the way. In addition to fall approaching, at the Association of Poinciana (APV) Board meeting held on Sept. 9, it was announced that plans will move forward with the Community Complex expansions and improvements, which will include a recreational community swimming pool. Prior to the APV board reaching their decision, two meetings were held where residents had the opportunity

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  • Annual Poinciana festival to include M.S. walk

    Posted on September 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Lisa D’Cato Poinciana Writer Poinciana’s largest festival has now become a true community event. In addition to the festival, which recognizes Hispanic Heritage month, Promociones Cultura y Herencias Hispania, which has presented this event for seven years, has included a M.S. Walk prior to the festival in conjunction with The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This first-ever M.S. Walk for a cure event for Poinciana will take place at Vance Harmon

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Celebration

Celebration High School earns top national ranking

Posted on September 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer Despite coming back from the long Labor Day holiday weekend, it wasn’t hard for Celebration High School students and faculty to have some extra pep in their step. First, the Storm football team defeated Lake Placid, 18-12, to snap a 30-game on-field winless streak. Then on Sept. 2, school district officials learned that the high school had been named to the list of “Top USA

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  • The five things you need to know about Medicare

    Posted on August 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Thriving in Place Lunch & Learn Wednesday, Oct.8 from 11:30 a.m.  to 1 p.m. at Celebration Town Hall. Registration required, its $5 for lunch. Call the Celebration Foundation at 407-566-1234 Many people do not understand how Medicare works today.  For those who do, changes are already set to take place in 2015.  More conditions – as in fewer benefits, more hurdles for care, higher co-payments – are scheduled to go

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  • Celebration student,13, gets perfect score on state algebra assessment

    Posted on August 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer Arman Mian started his high school career Monday at Celebration High School. He’ll have the usual things to overcome like learning to navigate the campus, meeting his teachers and making new friends. The material he learns won’t be that new, or for him, that difficult. Mian took the end of course algebra I state assessment test, an exam normally given to 10th or 11th graders,

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Schools

Osceola County school students crush summer reading goal

Posted on September 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm

By Jennifer DiDomenico For the News-Gazette Osceola County’s performance in the Scholastic Summer Challenge on Sept. 10, saw six district schools crack the top 100. After Osceola County School District Superintendent Melba Luciano challenged students to read a total of 12 million minutes, students more than doubled their goal with a combined total of more than 24 million minutes. The district schools will appear in the 2015 Scholastic Book of

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  • School District opens new TECO site

    Posted on September 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    News-Gazette Photo/Marc Clery
There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday for the new St. Cloud TECO campus. From left are: St. Cloud City Manager Tom Hurt, St. Cloud Deputy Mayor Donald Shroyer, St. Cloud Council member Mickey Hopper, St. Cloud/Greater Osceola  Chamber of Commerce Director Keith Ronan, TECO Principal Jeannette Eddy,  Alternative Program Director Beth Rattie, School Board Member Barbara Horn and Osceola School District Superintendent Melba Luciano.

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer In the span of about a week, the Osceola County School District will have gone from having one site for its Technical Education Center Osceola and Adult Learning Center Osceola programs to three. On Tuesday, district members along with their partners from the city of St. Cloud cut the ribbon on the new TECO campus in St. Cloud. The two-story, post-secondary training facility welcomed the

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  • Celebration High School earns top national ranking

    Posted on September 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer Despite coming back from the long Labor Day holiday weekend, it wasn’t hard for Celebration High School students and faculty to have some extra pep in their step. First, the Storm football team defeated Lake Placid, 18-12, to snap a 30-game on-field winless streak. Then on Sept. 2, school district officials learned that the high school had been named to the list of “Top USA

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Crime News

Kissimmee police investigating shooting at clothing store

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Kissimmee police are still investigating a shooting that occurred at a Kissimmee clothing store Tuesday that left two persons of interest in the case dead following a vehicle crash that happened after the incident. At approximately 6:15 p.m., officers responded to a disturbance at the Ross Dress For Less, 3819 W. Vine St., Kissimmee, where gunshots were reportedly fired.   Two victims suffered non-life threatening injuries during the altercation. As officers were responding to

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  • Man accused of sexual battering 6-year-old girl

    Posted on September 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a St. Cloud man Sunday in connection with a possible sexual battery. Richard Gipe, 58, was arrested and charged with domestic capital sexual battery.At approximately 6:10 p.m., deputies responded to a home in St. Cloud and spoke with parents who said their 6-year old daughter told them that a family member, identified as Gipe, sexually battered her. She said this was not the first time

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  • Juvenile arrested for OBT burglary

    Posted on September 23, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a juvenile who allegedly burglarized a motorcycle dealership early Sunday. Deputies arrested Luis Omar Diaz-Cruz, 17, and charged him with burglary, grand theft auto, possession of burglary tools and resisting without violence. He was booked into the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center. Upon arrival at to Central Florida Power Sports located at 2575 North Orange Blossom Trail in Kissimmee at approximately 4:10 a.m. in

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