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News-Gazette Photo/Marc Clery
U.S. Army veteran Tim Bosch sits with his dog Faith in the Primary Care waiting room at the new Veterans Hospital in Lake Nona.

New VA hospital helps Osceola vets closer to home

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 2:01 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer The trip to get medical care through the Veterans’ Administration for those who served the country and live in Osceola County will get much shorter very soon. The Orlando VA Medical Center Campus at Lake Nona, just south of the Nemours Children’s Hospital and State Road 417 in Medical City, has opened its first primary care clinic, and other departments like radiology, dialysis and outpatient

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  • Lawmakers to reconvene in Tallahassee Monday, still divided on health care

    Posted on May 29, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    By Charlie Reed Staff Writer The Florida Legislature will reconvene Monday for a special session to hash out a state budget amid the ongoing battle over federal healthcare funding. Lawmakers left Tallahassee a month ago after the House and Senate failed to reach a consensus on the matter during the regular 60-day session. Some had hoped lawmakers could use the time between the sessions to work out their differences. But

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  • U.S. Specialty Sports Association looking to leave Osceola County

    Posted on May 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    News-Gazette Photo/Marc Clery
The USSSA is negotiating with Brevard County to move its location out of Osceola County.

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer The United States Specialty Sports Association, which has housed its amateur sports headquarters at Osceola County Stadium for the last 10 years, is negotiating with Brevard County to move it there once its current lease with Osceola ends in 2018. The Brevard County Commission approved a memo of understanding by a 4-1 vote at its Tuesday meeting to work on an agreement for USSSA to

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Kissimmee

KUA unveils new bucket truck dedicated to kite flying safety

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Kissimmee Utility Authority on May 22 unveiled the newest bucket truck in its fleet of response vehicles and used student artwork on the truck’s exterior to promote kite-flying safety. The eight-ton truck features the photo and artwork of the utility’s 2015 student calendar art contest winner, fifth grader Lean Hour Tan from Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Kissimmee. Tan’s entry — Never Fly Kites Near Power Lines — was one

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  • Is one taste enough at Taste of Chicago?

    Posted on May 27, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    By Peter Covino A&E Editor The Blues Brothers beckon outside and there is sausage, hot dogs and beef inside, all that is missing is the Sears Tower and Lake Michigan and it just might be Chicago. Easy to find from U.S. 192 because of those two prominent statues of Blues Brothers Jake and Elwood out front (Kissimmee residents probably remember former City Manager Mark Durbin and Don Miers, county sports

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  • Abortion injunction placed back on Planned Parenthood in Kissimmee

    Posted on May 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    By Charlie Reed Staff Writer The 5th District Court of Appeals in Daytona Beach has reinstated a temporary injunction on Planned Parenthood Kissimmee that prevents certain types of abortions from being offered there. The original injunction was granted by Osceola County Circuit Court Judge John E. Jordan shortly after the facility opened in Kissimmee in July of 2014. Jordan originally ruled that Planned Parenthood was not a “physicians practice” and

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St Cloud

Various June activities scheduled in St. Cloud

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm

The city of St. Cloud Parks and Recreation Department provides a variety of recreational programs and activities year-round for the city’s residents and neighbors. Several events are planned for the month of June. • Camp Registration: Parents of children ages 5-16 may stop by St. Cloud Civic Center (3001 17th St.) starting Monday to register their children for All Sports Speed and Strength Camp. This camp will be held at

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  • St. Cloud chamber welcomes new president

    Posted on May 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Baxter

    By Charlie Reed Staff Writer St. Cloud has changed a lot since Doug Baxter first arrived in Central Florida in the 1970s. But the small town’s charm has stood the test of time and remains one of its greatest assets, said Baxter, who last week took over as the new president and CEO of the St. Cloud Greater Osceola Chamber of Commerce. “St. Cloud has great appeal. It’s quaint,” he

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  • City of St. Cloud to hold public hearing on fire tax

    Posted on May 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    City:St. Cloud

    By Charlie Reed Staff Writer St. Cloud will hold a public hearing to discuss a controversial fire fee the city is considering adopting. The St. Cloud City Council last week directed acting City Manager Dennis Ragsdale to move forward with a proposed Cost-Recovery Fire Assessment resolution to be discussed at the June 11 meeting. “The more information we provide to our community, the better everyone understands why we take the

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Poinciana

Parks in Poinciana loaded with activities

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Lisa D’Cato Poinciana Writer Poinciana parks will be full of activities on Saturday, June 13. It may be an exercise in time management but it may be rewarding to attend both. Brittany’s HopeRun/Walk 2015 Fundraising Event will be on June 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Vance Harmon Park at Cypress Parkway and Country Club Road. This fundraising event is dedicated to helping families of children fighting cancer.

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  • Salvation Army, Osceola County spectacular set

    Posted on May 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Lisa D’Cato Poinciana Writer The Salvation Army of Poinciana and Osceola County’s end-of-year spectacular will be held on Friday, May 29, 6:30 p.m. at the Poinciana Community Center. The evening features the children who are participants in the Salvation Army of Poinciana and Osceola County programs displaying their talents. The kids will be showing off their drama, dance, guitar and brass band skills. The Salvation Army will also be enrolling

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  • Special Olympics Florida heading to Poinciana

    Posted on May 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Lisa D’Cato Poinciana Writer “Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others,”  – Booker T. Washington. Here’s an opportunity to get happy.    Volunteers are needed locally to be a part of something new to Poinciana but with a larger impact than just our little hamlet. Special Olympics Florida is coming to Poinciana. The Association of Poinciana Villages welcomes Special Olympics Florida-Polk County. Sports training and

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Celebration

The Celebration Foundation recently awarded scholarships to the following Celebration High School students or Celebration resident students: Standing, from left:  Adrivel Perez, Zamira Figuereo, Theodoro Meza, Rachel Slater, Karolina Hernandez, Eriel Santagado and Hannah Swanson. Seated:  Celebration Foundation Board member Dave Berelsman and Executive Director Gloria Niec.

Celebration Foundation awards scholarships to area students

Posted on May 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Tips for healthy aging According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, adults who were age 65 in 2012 can expect to live an additional 19.3 years on average. The gains in life expectancy over the past several decades are due to increases in health management.  Heart disease and cancer account for nearly two-thirds of all deaths in the top 10 causes.  However, from 2011–2012 the death rates for both

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  • ‘Thank You Project’ creator to be in Celebration

    Posted on May 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Story was featured on the Today Show The Celebration Foundation’s Women’s Initiative Nurturing Girls’ Strength (WINGS) committee will present “Kellie Haddock in Concert” Saturday, May 16, at the Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost is $10 per person. “We are excited to have Kellie be our guest speaker because her story and her “Thank You Project” are so inspiring. She shows her gratitude through her

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  • New Celebration program seeks talented people

    Posted on May 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Do you think of yourself as a Jack or Jill of all trades? Do you like to talk on the phone?  Are you there to help a friend in need?  Are you always prepared and have safety in mind?  Do you enjoy social media, helping people resolve problems, and have exceptional organizational skills?  Then we can put you in touch with some great residents of Celebration that need your help. 

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Schools

School Logo

Students set to meet reading challenge

Posted on May 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer In a digital world, there’s still hope for the written word. Osceola County school students proved that last summer, and they’re out to do it again this year. In order to ward off the “summer slide” — a loss of academic skills some students see while out on break — Osceola County School District Superintendent Melba Luciano is challenging the county’s students to read 26

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  • College enrollees honored with special events

    Posted on May 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    School Logo

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer The exploits of Osceola County’s top athletes have been well chronicled in the past as they have signed hundreds of scholarships to play their sports at the next level. But for many other students who go on to attend college, military service or technical certifications – where’s their signing ceremony? At Osceola and Poinciana high schools, it was Friday, the day first lady Michelle Obama

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  • Osceola students take home nearly half a million in college scholarships

    Posted on May 6, 2015 at 11:07 am

    News-Gazette Photo/Skip Stowers
Students, parents and benefactors gathered at the Osceola County School for the Arts for the Education Foundation’s annual scholarship awards ceremony on April 30. A total of 227 scholarships worth $454,000 were doled out to students who have excelled in academics, art, community service or a combination thereof.

    By Charlie Reed Staff Writer The promise of college was palpable last week during the Education Foundation’s annual scholarship awards ceremony. About 750 students, parents and benefactors gathered at the Osceola County School for the Arts for the April 30 event. By the end of the night, 227 scholarships worth $454,000 were doled out to students who have excelled in academics, art, community service or a combination thereof. Senior Paige

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Crime News

File Photo
A public defender, left, and his client, right, stand before ninth judicial circuit judge Stefania Jancewicz via live video feed during Safe Surrender Day in August of 2012.

Safe Surrender Day offers those with warrants a 2nd chance

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer The courts don’t often offer second chances, but for the third year, Osceola County is offering those who knowingly have a misdemeanor warrant out for them a chance to clear it with favorable consideration from the court or lowered fees. Fugitive Safe Surrender Day will be held Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Osceola Heritage Park. Those with non-violent misdemeanor warrants will be

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  • More skimmers found at Osceola gas stations during sweep

    Posted on May 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    News-Gazette Photo/Marc Clery
One of the skimming devices was found at the Citgo gas station  at 926 N. Main St. in Kissimmee at the corner of Main and Oak Street.

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer A total of five credit card skimmers have been found at four Osceola County gas stations this year as authorities continue their statewide sweep to locate the devices. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services began its crackdown in March for the devices that illegally capture consumers’ credit or debit card information. Two new Osceola locations were found this month with the devices, bringing

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  • FDLE: Osceola crime reports down 6.7 percent in 2014

    Posted on May 22, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Sheriff Bob Hansell

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer Following the trend from around the rest of the state, the number of crimes reported in Osceola County in seven major categories fell by 6.7 percent in 2014 as compared to 2013, as reported this week by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Osceola County Sheriff Bob Hansell said law enforcement is at its best when community involvement matches the proactive, aggressive and intelligence-driven law

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