Positively Osceola News Today, Osceola County's Leading and Trusted Source for News!

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Holiday Home Tour and Winter Wonderland returns to Celebration December 3rd and 4th Dunkin’ Offers a Free “Cup of Thanks” to Florida Residents this Giving Tuesday Lakeland Stands in Way of Osceola Kowboys’ Shot at State Championship St. Cloud Chamber Christmas Parade returns Saturday December 3, will feature Annhueser-Busch Clydesdales For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com Inside this issue City of St. Cloud’s Free Downtown Shuttle Service Kicks Off Today, Monday November 28 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28 2022

ON DEMAND LIVESTREAMS

Daybreak LIVE with Dr. Christopher Burns and Dr. Joseph D’Ambrosi from SDOC Arts October 13th, 2022

Daybreak LIVE with Bri Stefek from Osceola Arts October 6th, 2022

Osceola Matters LIVE with Brandon Arrington, Commissioner for District 3 October 12th, 2022

Daybreak LIVE with Silver Spurs Big Boss Clifton Chapman October 12th, 2022

Daybreak LIVE with Charlie Draper of Draper Law Office September 21st, 2022

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LIVE with Osceola Kowboys head coach Eric Pinellas after the Kowboys 31-7 win in the Regional Final Osceola Library Express LockerPeggy Choudhry, Osceola County Commissioner District 1 For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com IN & AROUND OSCEOLA LIVE with SeaWorld Orlando’s Reindeer Horns LIVE for the Snowfall at Celebration’s Winter Wonderland LIVE with Homewood Patriot Marching Band

VIDEOS ON DEMAND

Christmas Parade - St Cloud Chamber

On Saturday December 3rd, beginning at 10am, the streets of St. Cloud will be filled with residents and visitors alike ready to celebrate the official start to the holiday season with the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce 2022 Annual Christmas Parade, presented by Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital, The City of St. Cloud, Florida, and Experience Kissimmee, Florida.

Holiday Home TourCelebration Foundation

The Celebration Foundation is once again excited to share exclusive access inside their seasonally decorated homes with the self-guided Celebration Holiday Home Tour and Winter Wonderland! It all takes place Saturday, December 3rd from 1:00pm – 7:00pm and Sunday, December 4th from 12:00pm – 4:00pm.

2022 State of Osceola County

The Osceola Chamber will host its annual 2022 State of Osceola County, presented by the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners and Chairman Brandon Arrington, on Wednesday, December 7th from 12:00PM to 1:30PM at the Osceola Heritage Park Events Center, Hall B. The 2022 State of Osceola County is hosted by Osceola County in partnership with Osceola Heritage Park.

Kissimmee Valley Feed’s Customer Appreciation Day

Kissimmee Valley Feed’s Main Store in St. Cloud LOVES it’s customers, and to show that love, they are having a Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, December 10th, from 8am – 2pm. Everything in the store is on sale that day! It’s their way of saying thank you, and happy holidays.

Oliver at Osceola Arts

Next up at the Osceola Arts main stage is the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver! This must-see show will take place December 2nd through December 18th. Showtimes are Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. On Saturday, December 17th at 2pm there will be a special American Sign Language interpreted performance.

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Holiday Home Tour and Winter Wonderland returns to Celebration December 3rd and 4th

The holiday season is upon us, and that means during the first weekend of December, homes throughout the Town of Celebration will be lit up with thousands of sparkling lights, beautifully decorated trees, and adorned inside and out with heart warming holiday decorations, sure to create joy-filled memories for all.

Celebration is once again excited to share exclusive access inside their seasonally decorated homes with its self-guided Holiday Home Tour and Winter Wonderland, sponsored by Experience Kissimmee, Saturday December 3rd from 1 pm – 7 pm and Sunday December 4th from 12 noon – 4 pm.

Tickets are $25 and include Saturday or Sunday admission to Winter Wonderland, a one-stop shop to browse or purchase themed trees, tablescapes or that perfect holiday gift at The Market Place.

For tickets and more information about the Celebration Holiday Home Tour Click Here.

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City of St. Cloud’s Free Downtown Shuttle Service Kicks Off

Beginning Monday, November 28th, and running through Friday, January 13th, the City of St. Cloud will provide a FREE sMears shuttle service to the Downtown St. Cloud area. Regular weekday hours will be Monday through Friday, 1 pm to 6 pm.

The FREE shuttle service will also operate during upcoming St. Cloud Special Events:

• St. Cloud Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 2nd: 3 pm – 10 pm

• St. Cloud Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival on Saturday December 3rd: 8 am – 6 pm

• Downtown Holiday Festival on Sunday December 4th: 8 am-6 pm

On Wednesday December 14th from 3 pm-10 pm the shuttle will operate for the Monthly Market, and on December 31st, the shuttle will be operating for St. Cloud’s annual Rockin’ the Cloud New Year’s Eve Celebration from 5 pm-2 am.

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Ford Recalls More Than 500,000 Cars Over Fire Risk

Ford Motor Co. is recalling over 634,000 SUVs in connection to a cracked fuel injector that can possibly leak fuel or vapors onto the engine potentially causing fires.

The recall includes 2020 – 2023 Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs . All have 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engines.

Ford says it’s not recommending that owners stop driving the vehicles or park them outdoors because fires are rare and generally don’t happen when the engines are off, but it has received 20 reports of fires, including three that ignited nearby structures next to where the vehicles were parked.

Ford also says it has four claims of fires that were noticed less than five minutes after the engines were turned off. Ford also has four injury claims not involving burns, and 43 legal claims attributed to the problem.

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KUA to host free Movie in the Park featuring ‘The

Grinch’

Friday, December 2 at Kissimmee’s Lakefront Park

Kissimmee Utility Authority, in partnership with the City of Kissimmee, will host a free Movie in the Park event Friday, Nov. 2 at the Veterans Lawn of Kissimmee Lakefront Park. The movie event is part of KUA’s annual 6-month Movie in the Park series held on the first Friday of every month, October through March.

The event will feature “The Grinch,” shown on a giant 50-foot screen. Activities begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the movie at 7 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. The movie will also feature closed captioning for the hearing impaired.

Attendees will enjoy KUA’s inflatable Kids Power Zone, craft station, photo booth, free popcorn, and prize giveaways. Onsite concessions will be available. Children participating in inflatable activities must be accompanied by an adult to sign a waiver.

Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 90,000 customers in Osceola County, Florida. For more information, visit www.kua.com.

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Red Kettle Season

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign will kickoff its 2022 season on Saturday, November 26th at ICON Park in Orlando. During the kickoff, community members can learn about the purpose of the Red Kettle and how it addresses housing and hunger issues all while providing hope. For the Red Kettle kickoff, Captain Ken Chapman, Area Commander for The Salvation Army will ride the Wheel at ICON Park for 10 hours.

It will be the fifth year of Captain Ken Chapman riding the Wheel at ICON Park as the captain remains dedicated to creative initiatives to further connect The Salvation Army, community partners, and residents.

“We appreciate this wonderful partnership with ICON Park and their heart for this community,” said Captain Chapman, Area Commander, The Salvation Army. We are on a mission to further educate our community on all the things Red Kettle provides. It is indeed a powerful movement to be a part of,” he said. “When you give to the Red Kettle, you are literally positioning individuals and families to be able to have food, shelter, and the hope needed to keep pushing forward.”

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Salvation Army to kick off
with Captain Ken Chapman riding the ICON Park Wheel for 10 hours

Dunkin’ Offers a Free “Cup of Thanks” to Florida Residents this Giving Tuesday

November 29th is Giving Tuesday, a day for communities to come together and share in the spirit of giving back. Dunkin’ is raising a cup to Florida residents with a free “Cup of Thanks” for all of their continued support for one another and their communities during the road to recovery following Hurricanes Ian and Nicole.

On Giving Tuesday, participating Dunkin’ locations across the state of Florida will offer guests a Free Medium Hot or Iced Coffee*.

“This Giving Tuesday, we are sharing a cup of thanks with the people of Florida who have given so much of their time and resources to help their neighbors recover,” said Erica Roomy, Dunkin’ Field Marketing Manager.

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Precautionary boil water advisory due to water main issued on Tuesday for Indian Ridge, Indian Ridge Villas customers

Due to a water main break Toho Water Authority (Toho) has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for customers in the Indian Ridge and Indian Ridge Villas communities. The precautionary boil water advisory will be in effect until lifted by Toho.

Water should be boiled prior to consumption (drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes) as a precautionary measure. A vigorous boil for one minute is adequate to render water bacteriologically safe for drinking. As an alternative bottled water may be used.

For more information, visit www.tohowater.com or contact Toho Water Authority’s customer service line at 407-944-5000.

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St. Cloud Chamber Christmas Parade returns Saturday December 3, will feature Annhueser-Busch Clydesdales

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and on Saturday December 3rd, beginning at 10am, the streets of St. Cloud will be filled with residents and visitors alike ready to celebrate the official start to the holiday season with the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce’ 2022 Annual Christmas Parade, presented by Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital, The City of St. Cloud, and Experience Kissimmee.

One of Central Florida’s largest and most popular Christmas Parades, with over 100 spectacular entries, will kick off from St. Cloud’s beautiful Lakefront as it makes its way towards downtown entertaining crowds along the way. This year’s parade theme, Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree, is sure to kick off the season in a big “St. Cloud Rockin’ Way and will feature the Annhueser-Busch Clydesdales

So, head on over early to St. Cloud on Saturday December 3rd, and pick out your favorite spot to experience the Annual St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade!

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NEWS

St. Cloud Jeweler warns other local businesses after thieves attempt early morning break-in

Dave Askew, owner of Askew Jewelers in downtown St. Cloud, is hoping his recent experience with an attempted break in will cause other local businesses to make sure their security systems are ready for what looks to be an unfortunate trend of burglaries in Central Florida, and recently, in the St. Cloud area.

Early Sunday morning thieves cut the power to the store, and then left to see if the store would discover their plan to break in. The thieves returned early Monday morning around 1 am intending to break into the family-owned St. Cloud jewelry store. Fortunately, barricades and additional security systems installed by Askew foiled the attempt, causing the potential thieves to move on.

“They did open up the power meter on the outside of the store and remove something, trying to keep OUC fr0m being notified that the power was out, so these guys knew what they were doing. They’re smart, but they never made it inside the store, thankfully,” Askew added.

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St. Cloud’s City Council is looking for ways to incentivize Cathcart Construction, the company involved in the city’s downtown construction project, to complete the project as quickly as possible in order to help its downtown business community.

During the city’s Thursday night meeting Trevor Estill, owner of The Garage Bar and Thee Dog House on Pennsylvania Avenue, told Council members the delays are hurting his businesses.

”It has become absolutely dire,” Estill said. “I’ve been one of the most ardent supporters of this project. The outcome will be very beneficial to downtown and the businesses. But we are dying a slow, painful death because of all the construction delays.”

City Manager Veronica Miller said Cathcart Construction informed the city this week that the project again delayed. Cathcart was expecting the downtown project to be most complete by Dec. 2, in time for the Dec. 3 Christmas parade, but because of the impacts of the recent hurricane, along with a number of unforeseen underground conflicts, the construction company has extended the expected completion date.

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St. Cloud explores ways to “speed up” construction company in its downtown construction project to help local businesses
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INJURY LAW

Draper Law:

minor

Car accidents can happen in an instant. Even though these crashes happen quickly, recovery is not always quick and easy. A car accident can cause a variety of injuries, including back injuries. Even a minor crash can cause back injuries because the back tends to absorb most of the impact in an accident.

If you have suffered a back injury, seek prompt medical treatment. These injuries can be hard to treat, and sometimes can lead to secondary medical issues, such as hypotension, osteoporosis, pressure ulcers, sleep apnea, bowel problems, urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction, and more. Draper Law Office understands how serious a back injury can be. These injuries can be long-lasting and costly to treat. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or by calling their office at (407) 846.0075.

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Even
car accidents can cause back injuries, don’t wait to seek medical attention
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Up next at Osceola Arts, Lionel Bart’s ring a classic stage musical Oliver, plus other festive events

Osceola Arts, the county’s leading advocate for the arts, is back at beginning Friday, December 2nd and running through Sunday, December 18th, on the Osceola Arts Main stage with Lionel Bart’s classic Oliver!

Orphan Oliver ventures to the Victorian streets of London and joins Fagin and his group of petty pickpockets. After being taken in by Mr. Brownlow, Oliver must dodge Fagin’s henchmen who threaten his chances at finding love and acceptance in this musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic. Suitable for audiences of any age, Oliver! features a talented group of actors who are excited to bring this show to life under the direction of Elijah D. Gragg.

Tickets are only $28, with Senior, students and group rates available. Showtimes for Oliver! are 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 2pm on Sundays, and an additional 2pm matinee performance on Saturday, December 17th. An American Sign Languageinterpreted performance will be featured during the December 17th matinee. Osceola Arts will also be bringing back the 41st Annual Holiday Craft Market. The Craft Market will feature handmade crafts by local artists, such as ornaments, woodwork, jewelry, wreaths and so much more.

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Country Thunder to roar back to Osceola County in 2023 with Country Music Superstars

Keith Urban, Cody Johnson, & Hardy

Buckle up country music fans, Country Thunder Florida has announced that its October 2023 all-star lineup at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee will feature country music superstars Cody Johnson, HARDY, Keith Urban & so many more.

“When you have the world’s greatest country music fans show up the way they did in Florida in 2022, you owe them a follow-up of epic proportions,” says Country Thunder Music Festivals CEO, Troy Vollhoffer. “And we’re making that promise with one of the best lineups from start to finish we’ve had in years. We can’t wait to bring Cody Johnson, HARDY, and Keith Urban to the fans in Florida!”

Keith Urban has won four GRAMMY© Awards, thirteen CMAs, fifteen ACMs, three AMAs, two People’s Choice Awards and celebrated nine consecutive gold, platinum or multi-platinum albums. His concerts have become legendary – as unpredictable as they are explosive.

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Florida KidCare covering monthly premium payments for families in Florida counties impacted by Hurricane Ian

Florida KidCare member families who live in one of the 26 counties impacted by Hurricane Ian can get a break on their premium payments through the end of the year.

The Florida Healthy Kids Corporation Board of Directors have approved Hurricane Ian premium relief for Florida KidCare member families. This premium relief applies to all 26 Florida counties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as eligible for individual assistance. To help families following this storm, Florida Healthy Kids has agreed to cover 100% of eligible family monthly premium payments for October. Monthly premium payment relief will also be made available for November and December coverage to those who contact us with a need. READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3NlKg7I

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Valencia College Graphic Design Student, Toho High School Grad Salma Sanchez Wins International Competition

Tohopekaliga High School graduate, and current Valencia College graphic design student, Salma Sanchez, is well on her way in becoming a successful graphic designer, and that journey has huge roots in Osceola County.

When Salma Sanchez arrived in the U.S. at age 15, she had never taken an art class. Sure, she’d been drawing and doodling and even created a cover for a book she made up. But Salma never had any formal art training, which wasn’t offered in her school in the Dominican Republic. Instead, she watched YouTube videos to learn different techniques.

So when she arrived at Tohopekaliga High School and saw Jenny Mohess’s classroom, she immediately asked if she could study graphic design. Mohess had a long career in graphic design, working for Apple and Microsoft before she shifted gears to teach at Toho High School in Osceola County.

There, Mohess is part of a team that helps Toho High students earn college credits at Valencia in arts-related fields.

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Lakeland Stands in Way of Osceola Kowboys’ Shot at State Championship

A familiar opponent will stand in the way as the Osceola Kowboys (10-3) try to return to the state championship game for the second time in three years as they travel to Lakeland to face the top-ranked and undefeated Dreadnaughts (12-0) in the FHSAA Class 4S state semifinals on Friday night at 7 p.m.

The game is a rematch of a Sept. 16 regular season game, where the Kowboys spotted Lakeland a 14-0 first quarter lead and fought back but eventually lost 25-22.

“There are some subtle advantages to playing them a second time, but not necessarily in the ways you think. At the end of the season and there’s no question they are probably a better team than the one we lost to in September. But we are also a better team than we were in September. We know their personnel but they know ours too, so those things are basically a wash,” Osceola coach Eric Pinellas said. “The real advantage comes from the fact that we have played them on the road, just as we faced Jones on the road, just as we played Rockledge on the road. We understand what it’s like to play in hostile environments because we have played in those environments all season so the crowd and the noise should not be an issue and that’s the main advantage.”

Instead Pinellas believes the most important things in the game will be taking care of the ball and not falling behind early. In the September loss, Osceola turned the ball over four times, was stopped on fourth down three other times and saw its kicking team shank two punts that rolled a total of eight yards. And although Osceola also forced four turnovers, they only turned those turnovers into seven points.

“With a turnover and a bad punt, we spotted them 14 points early in the game and we never could quite recover from those errors,” Pinellas said. “You simply cannot do that against a great team and think it’s going to be okay. We need to establish our running game early, finish drives and take advantage of any turnovers we create. Conversely, we need to make sure they have to drive the length of the field when they have the ball.”

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Osceola Library System’s social worker, Matthew Jarmon, helps individuals and families in the community

The Osceola Library System is now offering a professional social worker to better connect Osceola County citizens with important community resources, programs, and services critical to improving lives and fostering greater well-being.

Their new social worker, Matthew Jarmon, will offer individual or family assistance and referral in many important areas, including:

• Mental Health and Counseling

• Substance Abuse

• Housing Assistance and Houselessness

• Health Care

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Margaritaville at Sea offering free 3-day cruises for military, first responders and teachers

The Margaritaville at Sea cruise line is offering a 3-day, 2-night cruise to Grand Bahama Island to all active and veteran military, first responders, law enforcement, and educators for their dedication to serving our communities at home and abroad. The cruise will sail from the Port of Palm Beach in Florida to Freeport in the Bahamas.

The Heroes Sail Free offer applies only to the registered member(s) sailing in your party. You will see the Heroes Sail Free fare discount applied during checkout after entering in all guests’ information and clicking “View pricing by Guests.” Please visit the GovX site for more details on GovX membership eligibility. The Margaritaville at Sea cruise line says they are currently experiencing significant call volume into their reservations center due to a high level of excitement for this program.

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Mecum, World’s Largest Collector Car Auction Returns to Kissimmee January 4-15 with 4,000 Cars

With a projected 4,000 vehicle consignments to be offered at the annual live auction event at Osceola Heritage Park in Florida, Mecum Kissimmee 2023, the world’s largest collector car auction, will feature a broad selection of American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, exotics, trucks, Hot Rods, customs and more to cross the auction block Jan. 4-15.

The 2023 auction lineup is building momentum right out of the gates with The Chuck Cocoma Judge & GTO Ram Air IV Collection joining the roster to kick things off with serious muscle power. The collection is led by an exceedingly rare Orbit Orange 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible and includes a total of six Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IVs from the 1969 and 1970 model years among the nine lots that make up the rare muscle-car collection.

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Creative Inspiration Journey School sees continued student growth amid school facility expansion

From the first day that Creative Inspiration Journey School opened its doors in the Fall of 2019, it was easy to see that it wasn’t going to be just another tuition free public charter school, it was focused on creating an environment of learning for its students unlike any other school in the St. Cloud and Osceola communities.

CIJS uses the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, which allows children to direct their own learning process according to their needs, and in a less-structured environment. This gives the students a apportunity to grow at their own pace, both as individuals – and community members.

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FAMILY LAW

Draper Law: Ten Mistakes to Avoid During Your Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, it can feel like every aspect of your life from where you live to how you are going to support yourself is at risk. At a time like this it is a natural response to be afraid but, if you are not careful, that fear can lead you to make errors which could hurt your case. The good news is that you can avoid mistakes during your divorce.

Knowing what actions to avoid during divorce is critical. Draper Law Office has experience helping clients circumvent mistakes and make the right choices during divorce. Call 407.846.0075 today or go to DraperLawOffice.com to set up your free, no-obligation consultation in one of their three locations: St. Cloud, Kissimmee, and Orlando.

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Osceola County Clerk of the Court & Comptroller Kelvin

Soto Publishes “Osceola

On the Rise” County Financial Report

In January, the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office underwent some changes, as set forth by Amendment 10 in the Florida Constitution, and was reestablished as the Osceola County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Office in order to provide a checks and balances system for Osceola County government’s finances.

To help citizens better understand the county’s finances, Osceola County Clerk of the Court & County Comptroller, Kelvin Soto, Esq. has published the inaugural edition of the Osceola On The Rise Popular Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year ended 2021.

“Osceola On The Rise” is a summary of the financial information provided in the Osceola County Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) which was jointly prepared by the Comptroller’s office and the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners.

“I am proud to share with you this first ever Popular Annual Financial Report in Osceola County. As the County Comptroller, I am committed to fulfilling our constitutional duty of transparency in government and responsible stewardship of our citizen’s finances,” said Honorable Kelvin Soto, Esq. . “It is my hope that you will find Osceola On The Rise valuable, enjoyable and informative.”

Osceola On The Rise provides information about the Osceola County community like statistics and demographic information, directories of parks, recreation facilities, libraries, emergency services, public services and annual events, Clerk and County accomplishments, and an overview of the County’s financial well-being.

To view or download the “Osceola On The Rise” publication just click here. Print copies are available by request. Contact communications@osceolaclerk.org.

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HEALTH

Orlando Health hospitals awarded top grades for patient safety

Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital and Orlando Health South Lake Hospital have received “A” grades for patient safety by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety and transparency in the U.S. health system. For Orlando Health South Lake, this is its 9th consecutive “A” grade from Leapfrog.

“Our clinical teams work extremely hard to achieve and maintain outstanding quality of care across the entire Orlando Health system,” said George Ralls, MD, chief medical officer, Orlando Health. “We have implemented quality and safety clinical practices across our system that protect our patients from harm and ensure the best possible outcomes. Our focus on quality and commitment to excellence has resulted in awards and recognition by other national, well-respected organizations.”

The American Heart Association recently recognized six Orlando Health hospitals for consistently following the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of stroke. In addition, U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, ranked five Orlando Health clinical programs amongst the top 50 in the US, including a number one ranking for Neonatology in the state of Florida in 2022. Additionally, six Orlando Health hospitals were recognized as 2022-2023 High Performing hospitals in a total of twelve categories. And Orlando Health recently received 24 Beacon Awards for Excellence in nursing care from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses – more than any other healthcare system in Florida – recognizing high-quality patient care and a healthy work environment.

“Earning top recognitions for quality and safety is a continual journey,” adds Dr. Ralls. “Every achievement is a reflection of our mission to improve the health and quality of life of the individuals and communities we serve”

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HEALTH

5 Tips for a Healthy, and Satisfying, Holiday Season From Orlando Health

It can be tough to resist your aunt’s special stuffing or mom’s once-ayear Bûche de Noël when you’re trying to avoid packing on the pounds over the holidays. The truth is: You don’t have to. You just need to be smart and intentional about what you eat.

The following tips will help you enjoy the holidays – and not feel regret come New Year’s Day.

Try These Strategies

1. Don’t abandon hard-earned good habits just because it’s the holiday season.

Even if you’re doing OK maintaining other parts of your healthy routine, like exercising and getting good sleep, food and alcohol — ever-present at this time — can create special challenges. But many holiday traditions — shopping, wrapping, decorating, caroling — don’t necessarily involve food. Make a list of celebratory activities that don’t revolve around eating, then enlist your family and friends to brainstorm even more personal, meaningful favorites.

2. Don’t skip breakfast — do skip treats you can get 365 days a year. (We see you, M&Ms.)

You can make mashed potatoes any day. But your aunt’s stuffing? That’s special‚ so enjoy it — but skip that store-bought roll. Yes, mindful eating can be hard to practice in a busy season, but the holidays roll around every year — odds are good this won’t be your last piece of pumpkin pie ever. Sugar cravings are real, for sure, and also totally normal. Rather than struggling to eliminate those feelings, try to manage them and find balance in your diet. Give yourself a “cookie budget” — or whatever it is that you really want — and then use it wisely on things that are truly special to you. Ordering pizza on a crazy night? Add a salad. A more balanced diet will help you stay mindful because you’ll get better nutritional value from what you are eating. Just slowing down and making more conscious decisions can cut the calories quickly. But don’t overthink it — if all else fails, eat a vegetable.

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POSITIVELY DELICIOUS

Florida Shrimp Sandwich with Avocado, Positively Delicious!

Shrimp, not just any shrimp… Florida Shrimp, and add in some fresh avocado and without question. It’s positively delicious!

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound medium-sized Florida shrimp, peeled

• 1 large Florida avocado, peeled and seed removed

• 1 small red onion, sliced thin

• ½ cup rice vinegar

• Seafood seasoning

• 4 slices whole-wheat bread

• Olive oil for cooking

• 1 lemon, juiced

• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stripped off the stem and chopped fine

• 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine

• Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

In a small bowl combine the thin-sliced red onion and vinegar; let this mixture marinate for about 10 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Season the water with 2 tablespoons of your favorite seafood boil seasoning. Make a bath of ice water in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Place peeled shrimp into the seasoned boiling water. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes, or until cooked throughout. Remove shrimp from the hot water and place them in the ice water bath, allowing shrimp to cool. Place the bread on a cookie sheet; lightly drizzle with olive oil and a dash of seafood seasoning. Place the bread under the broiler to toast (being careful not to let them burn). Remove the shrimp from the ice bath to a bowl. Add 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp seafood seasoning, juice of ½ lemon, fresh thyme, and half the garlic; stir to coat.

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

Seaworld’s Christmas Celebration Kicks off and runs through January 3

The holiday season is on the way, and no one does it better than SeaWorld Orlando. Gather your family and join all your festive friends at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, select dates through Jan. 3, 2023.

Watch as SeaWorld Orlando is transformed into a winter wonderland sparkling with over 3 million beautiful lights.

Create unforgettable holiday memories at SeaWorld’s wondrous Christmas celebration with Rudolph and his friends, SeaWorld’s award winning Celebration on Ice, SeaWorld’s Sesame Street Christmas Celebration, the “Sounds of the Season” Performance Series, and so much more. SeaWorld has it all for the holidays.

And of course, delicious holiday treats and shopping of every kind. It’s SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration!

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