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News-Gazette Photo/Ken Jackson
Members of the University of Florida Extension Services worked with St. Cloud Home Depot team members last week to build a new raised vegetable garden for senior residents at Oak Leaf Landings in Kissimmee.

Partnership rebuilds seniors’ vegtable garden

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer Grisel Negron, the Family Nutrition Program coordinator for University of Florida Extension Services, thinks of Home Depot as “just like a community hardware store.” It may be a giant chain, but through corporate grants it helps with community projects, as Negron saw with her own eyes this week. The home improvement chain offered up $3,500 at the corporate level to help rebuild the vegetable garden

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  • It’s about time for About a Boy

    Posted on October 10, 2014 at 10:58 am

    By Peter Covino A&E Editor Only about 5.7 million people watched the first season finale of About a Boy on NBC last May. That means some 313 million of us, including myself, were busy doing something else. Fortunately, you can set your own time to watch About a Boy, now available on DVD (Universal Studios Home Entertainment). This is, for the most part, a gentle comedy, based on the Hugh

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  • Let the summer roll on at Logan’s Roadhouse. And you missed something special at Taste of Thailand

    Posted on October 10, 2014 at 10:26 am

      By Peter Covino A&E Editor This is more like rubbing it in, but you really should have been to Taste of Thailand last weekend. Or maybe not. This increasingly popular event, is held at the Thai temple — Wat Florida Dhammaram, in Kissimmee, and drew a really large crowd, so if more people show up next year, it could get really crowded. But it is quite the cultural event.

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Travel

Is infamous part of Interstate 4, the highway to hell? The Weather Channel TV series looks at the “I-4 Dead Zone”

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

By Peter Covino A&E Editor Is there nothing better than a creepy urban legend, especially when the creepy legend involves a stretch of road that many of us have travelled on many times? With Halloween quickly approaching, here is one more legend to give you a few goosebumps when you wake up in the middle of the night. I had never heard of the I-4 Dead Zone, a stretch of

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  • A&H Maitland Art Center named National Historic Landmark

    Posted on October 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The Art & History Museums Maitland Art Center has just been named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Founded in 1937, as an artist colony by artist J. Andre Smith, it is the only National  Historic Landmark  in a four-county area. The research studio is considered to be a signficant example of ArtDeco-Mayan Revival architecture. A plaque dedication ceremony and celebration has been scheduled for Jan. 8

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  • Horror-ble time: Rating the haunted mazes at Halloween Horror Nights

    Posted on September 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    By Peter Covino A&E Editor Halloween Horror Nights is always unforgettable. It isn’t so much about all those haunted houses, though once again the scream team at Universal Orlando has done a fine job. It’s got more to do with the aftermath of walking what seems like five miles at a fairly steady clip on opening night, to make sure we see each and every house. Three days later, there

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Education

Kimberly McCasland, right does a demonstration with explosives-sniffing dog Senna about how he detects landmines at PATHS on Friday.

PATHS’ Glocal Club sponsoring dog to detect land mines

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

By Ken Jackson Staff Writer A group of students at Kissimmee’s Professional and Technical High School are trying to deal with weapons of mass destruction in places currently serving as battlefields. They’re not thinking politically, but they are thinking globally – after all, it’s in their name. Glocal (the “Global-Local” Club) sponsored by social studies teacher Stephanie Middleton has chosen to sponsor a dog used to help detect landmines as

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  • District announces new communication team strategies

    Posted on October 10, 2014 at 11:47 am

    By Jennifer DiDomenico For the News-Gazette Osceola County School District officials announced the new communication strategies that are being put into place for the 2014-15 school year at the School Board meeting Tuesday. The communications department has greatly expanded its social media outreach. It has recently created accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and it is posting on each profile multiple times a day. The department is looking to

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  • FDOE grants grade appeals for nine Osceola schools

    Posted on October 10, 2014 at 11:39 am

    The Osceola County School District got a reprieve from state education officials for a data reporting error that raised at least two schools’ grades from Ds to Cs. The district underreported the number of students who were attending school in the U.S. for the first time in data it submitted to the Florida Department of Education. In this particular case, it was students who were in the U.S. less than

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Religion

Evening of Praise events reaches ninth year

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

By Tiffanie Reynolds Staff Writer Evangelist Rupert Henry, along with several local churches and foster care organizations, held an Evening of Praise recently to promote the awareness of foster youth in Osceola County. It was the ninth year that Henry has organized this event, not only to raise money for foster youth, but also to encourage communication between the churches and organizations that are working for foster youth in the

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  • Kissimmee pastor joins march to push immigration reform in D.C.

    Posted on May 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    By Tiffanie Reynolds Staff Writer Rev. Javier Figueroa, of Centro de la Familia Cristiana de Poinciana in Kissimmee, believes that immigration law should be enforced, but not at the expense of separating families. That’s why he, as well as religious leaders across the country, have joined the march to Washington, D.C. to urge progress on current immigration reform.  Figueroa, who is on the board of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition,

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  • St. Cloud church celebrates 25 years of worship

    Posted on August 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    By Tiffanie Reynolds Staff Writer Transforming from four families holding church services in schools around St. Cloud to a few thousand families, Cornerstone Family Church marked its 25th year in St. Cloud with a celebration that began Aug. 25. Nathan and Trish Blackwell, the church’s founders and leaders, said that, over the years, the church has changed in size and population, but its focus  has stayed the same. Cornerstone Family

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Health

Health officials key eye on enterovirus

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

By Treméne Triplett For the News-Gazette The outbreak of enterovirus infections in 32 states, including Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, is no need for alarm, but precaution, according to health officials. As Florida remains the only state in the Southeast without a reported case, residents and visitors, alike, can reduce the spread of the virus by understanding what it is and practicing prevention. The confirmed cases grabbing media spotlight and driving

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  • Hospital opens new 22,000 square-foot ward

    Posted on September 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    News-Gazette Photo/Marc Clery
Dignitaries including Kissimmee Mayor Jim Swan and Florida Hospital Kissimmee Administrator Jeff Villaneuva, hold scissors during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the emergency department grand opening on Thursday. The hospital celebrated a newly-expanded emergency department.

    By Ken Jackson Staff Writer Florida Hospital Kissimmee unveiled its newly-expanded emergency department Thursday. Portions of it opened early in the year, but this week marked the opening of the entire 35-bed facility and all its features. The 22,000 square-foot-facility that cost $7 million has two trauma rooms, two “Baker Act” rooms and an observation area for patients and their families who have psychiatric needs. It also houses a dedicated

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  • White patches on child’s skin could be vitiligo

    Posted on September 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    By Dr. Sue Hubbard For the News-Gazette I recently saw a 10-year-old patient for her routine physical. One of her mother’s concerns was that her daughter had “white patches” under both arms. Once I examined her, I told her mother that the “white patches” were actually due to Vitiligo, an acquired disorder of pigment loss. Vitiligo is caused by a reduction in functional melanocytes, the cells that cause pigmentation in

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