Positively Osceola News Today, Osceola County's Leading and Trusted Source For Local News

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Celebrate Independence Day at St. Cloud’s 4th on the Lake: A Fun-Filled Evening for All Ages

KUA’s New Online Energy Assessment Tool: Stay Cool and Save Energy This Summer!

Support Young Talent at St. Cloud’s Summer Young Entrepreneurs Market!

Join St. Cloud Police and OneBlood for a Community Blood Drive on Tuesday June 25

Featured Videos

Monday June 24, 2024
“Boating with Brandon” Episode 3 Now Streaming, Exploring Osceola’s Natural Splendor and Community Changemakers Hurricanes and Tropical Deluges in Florida Boost Threat From the 'World's Deadliest Animal' Poinciana Set to Shine with Association of Poinciana Villages’ 2024 Fireworks Spectacular on June 29
You’re not just our patient. You’re our neighbor. For more than 50 years, Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital has been honored to provide exceptional care for the Osceola County community we proudly call home. And because it’s your home, too, you deserve trusted healthcare within reach, so we can foster a partnership focused on health and wellness — together. Giving you more reasons to choose well. OrlandoHealth.com/StCloud choose well. Minutes from Home. A Lifetime of Healing.

ON DEMAND LIVESTREAMS

LIVE with Creative Inspiration

Journey School Founder and CEO

Patty Marquis

April 18th, 2024

LIVE with Huntington Learning Center

April 11th, 2024

LIVE with Jason Wethington from St. Cloud’s Theatre in the Cloud

May 10th, 2024

LIVE with Jennifer Panzella, Director of Education with Osceola Arts

May 2nd, 2024

LIVE with Charlie Draper of Draper

Law Office

April 18th, 2024

VIDEOS ON DEMAND

Boating With Brandon Episode One

Osceola County is on the verge of captivating its residents and visitors alike with a new video series that promises to explore its hidden natural treasures like never before. Titled “Boating with Brandon,” this 10-part series is hosted by District 3 Osceola County Commissioner Brandon Arrington.“

Boating With Brandon Episode Two

“Boating with Brandon” not only highlights the rich biodiversity of Osceola County but also profiles the influential change-makers who are shaping its future. In this episode, viewers will experience the thrilling pace of Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures at Southport, guided by the skilled Captain Chris Bryan. Joining Commissioner Arrington is ClickOrlando’s Trooper Steve Montiero.

Boating With Brandon Episode Three

Joining Commissioner Brandon Arrington in Episode Three of "Boating With Brandon" is Osceola County Commissioner for District 5, Ricky Booth, who delves into the rich history and natural beauty of the county’s scenic waterways, including Trout Lake, Lake Lizzie, Buck Lake, and East Lake Tohopekaliga. This episode showcases the beautiful biodiversity in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.

Don Schmidt Roofing

Don Schmidt Roofing takes pride in every project by using only the finest materials and craftmanship.

Wild Florida Albino Alligators

Wild Florida is one of Central Florida’s must-see gems. Take a look at their unique Albino Alligators! Schedule your next Animal Encounter at Wild Florida. WildFl.com

IN & AROUND OSCEOLA

LIVE at Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at Mt. Peace Cemetery

LIVE as Commissioner Booth and St. Cloud Team Up For Swimming Safety

LIVE at the St. Cloud Fire Rescue Meet and Greet

IN & AROUND OSCEOLA

LIVE for the Awarding of Pa’Pikar Latin Grill in Kissimmee with the Downtown Beautification & Innovation Award

LIVE at the Ribbon-Cutting for OUC’s New St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center

LIVE for the Osceola County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony

LIVE as Commissioner Grieb and Osceola Community Health Services Announce the Start of Senior Smiles Osceola Denture Program in District 4

LIVE for the Operation Ride SMART Press Conference with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office

Celebrate Independence Day at St. Cloud’s 4th on the Lake: A Fun-Filled Evening for All Ages

Join the City of St. Cloud for the spectacular Annual 4th on the Lake Celebration at St. Cloud’s Lakefront Park! Festivities kick off at 5 p.m., transforming the park into a vibrant hub of entertainment and community spirit.

Delight in an array of food trucks offering positively delicious bites, explore the AllAmerican Car Show featuring classic and modern vehicles, and enjoy the dynamic kids zone filled with engaging games and exciting prizes. There will be local vendors showcasing unique crafts and products, making it a perfect opportunity to find something special.

The celebration takes a colorful turn at 6:30 p.m. with a lively Bike Parade for children 12 and under. Young participants with decorated bikes will parade around the main stage, adding a charming touch to the festivities. As the evening marches on, the Derek Mack Band will rock the stage, filling the air with tunes that will have everyone dancing along the lakefront.

The night culminates in a breathtaking fireworks display at 9:15 p.m., lighting up the sky over St. Cloud’s Lakefront Park, a dazzling tribute to our nation’s independence. Bring your family, friends, and a sense of celebration to this unforgettable community event. Let’s make this 4th of July a cherished memory for all at St. Cloud’s Annual 4th on the Lake!

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Poinciana Set to Shine with Association of Poinciana Villages’ 2024 Fireworks Spectacular on June 29

The Association of Poinciana Villages is gearing up for its 2024 Fireworks Spectacular, taking place on Saturday, June 29, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Amphitheater at Vance Harmon Park, located at 625 Country Club Drive in Poinciana. This event, free and open to the public, promises an evening filled with entertainment and community spirit.

The Fireworks Spectacular will feature an array of live music and entertainment. Poinciana’s favorite emcee, Carol Saragusa, will guide attendees through the festivities. Additional attractions include a 360-degree photo booth set up by IBA Music and a Kids Zone offering inflatables, face painting, balloon art, and more.

The main event, a breathtaking fireworks display, will begin at 9 p.m., orchestrated by Pyrotecnico. This grand finale will light up the Poinciana skies with unforgettable fireworks choreographed to music, providing a spectacular visual treat. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to comfortably enjoy the evening’s festivities, which is anticipated to be one of the grandest events of the year.

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Florida's Closed Primary System: What You Need to Know to Vote

In the upcoming primary elections on August 20, voters in Florida must remember that the state operates under a closed primary system. This means that only voters registered with a specific political party are eligible to vote for their party’s candidates in the primary election. Understanding this system is crucial for participating effectively in Florida’s electoral process.

WHAT IS A CLOSED PRIMARY?

A closed primary system restricts voting in primary elections to those who are registered members of a political party. In Florida, this means: Registered Republicans can only vote for Republican candidates. Registered Democrats can only vote for Democratic candidates.

Independent or No Party Affiliation (NPA) voters are not permitted to vote in partisan primaries unless there is a Universal Primary Contest (UPC), where all candidates are from the same party, and the winner will face no opposition in the general election.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The closed primary system impacts how and when voters can participate in choosing candidates for the general election. It ensures that only party members influence the selection of their party’s candidates, which can affect the overall electoral outcome and the issues that candidates prioritize.

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Experience the Hilarious Chaos of 'The Play That Goes Wrong' at Osceola Arts Through June 30

Osceola Arts is set to delight theatergoers with its upcoming presentation of the sidesplitting comedy “The Play That Goes Wrong”, running through June 30 on select dates. Known for its uproarious humor and slapstick mishaps, this award-winning production promises an evening of laughter and entertainment.

“The Play That Goes Wrong” takes audiences to the opening night of the Drama Society at Cornley Polytechnic, where everything that can go wrong does go wrong. As the curtains rise, the actors face a series of hilarious disasters, from forgotten lines to faulty props and collapsing scenery. Despite the chaos, the determined cast muddles through with unyielding spirit, striving to reach the final bows. This play within a play offers a behind-the-scenes look at theatrical calamity and the resilience of performers.

Special Performances:

Audio Described Performance: Friday, June 28 at 7:30 PM

American Sign Language-Interpreted Performance: Available on select dates

Rated PG, this family-friendly production is perfect for audiences of all ages who appreciate physical comedy and a hearty laugh.

The play will be staged at Osceola Arts’ main theater. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at OvationTix.

NEWS
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St. Cloud Celebrates Grand Opening of Florida Avenue Multi-Purpose Trail

The City of St. Cloud kicked off the grand opening of its Florida Avenue Multi-Purpose Trail on Saturday morning at Lakeshore Blvd, with runners, walkers, and “trotters” making their way along the new trail, culminating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9th Street.

St. Cloud City Manager Veronica Miller expressed her enthusiasm during the ribbon cutting, “We are so excited to have everyone here today for the ribbon cutting of the Florida Avenue Multi-Purpose Trail. The trail meanders down the median with the landscaping, shade, park benches, and lighting that you all saw today. What a beautiful addition it is to the city.”

Construction of the trail began in July 2023, costing $2.3 million, funded by mobility fees. The event was well attended, with 100 Florida Avenue Multi-Purpose Trail shirts handed out to attendees.

In attendance were St. Cloud Council members Ken Gilbert, Linette Matheny, and Kolby Urban. Council Member Shawn Fletcher was unable to attend. State Representative Paul Stark, St. Cloud Chamber President and CEO Dirk Webb, City Mascot Sami the Sandhill Crane, and Swish, the Osceola Magic Mascot, also showed their support by attending the event.

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Join St. Cloud Police and OneBlood for a Community Blood Drive on Tuesday June 25

The St. Cloud Police Department is teaming up with OneBlood to host a community blood drive on Tuesday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event offers a convenient and vital opportunity for residents to donate blood and support those in need.

The blood drive is open to all eligible donors. Participants must be at least 16 years old, with those aged 16 requiring parental permission. Donors should bring a valid ID to the event. This drive is a perfect way for the community to come together and make a significant impact by helping to save lives.

For additional details and to schedule your donation appointment, visit OneBlood. org and use sponsor code #23834. Your participation can make a difference – join us in supporting our community and contributing to a life-saving cause.

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Orlando International Airport to Host Orlando Philharmonic Concert Celebrating Nation's Birthday

Saturday June 29

To honor the Fourth of July, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is hosting its annual Liberty Weekend concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. This year, enjoy the musical festivities in a fresh setting: Terminal C at Orlando International Airport. Join GOAA for a spectacular celebration of freedom and community spirit!

The annual performance by the Orlando Philharmonic will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29, on Level 2, Departures, of Terminal C at Orlando International Airport. The musical program will include patriotic favorites and American classics. The Aviation Authority invites the community to attend the free event.

Experience the Terror of 'A Quiet Place' at Universal Orlando's New Halloween Horror Nights House

Guests will need to silence their screams when they enter the post-apocalyptic world of Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster movies, A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, in an all-new chilling haunted house at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. The terror of the excruciating silence is set to begin Friday, August 30 at Universal Orlando Resort.

Directed by John Krasinski and critically acclaimed for its suspenseful yet mostly silent storytelling, A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II follow the Abbott family as they try to survive the aftermath of sightless creatures with a sharp sense of hearing that draws them to prey on anything that makes the slightest noise.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/4aZaMhs

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Calling All Young Cooks: Compete in Florida Future Chef 2024 Competition!

Florida Future Chef 2024 invites budding young chefs, ages 7 to 13 to showcase their culinary talents by preparing their favorite dishes. Participants can submit a video, 2-5 minutes long, demonstrating the preparation of a dish using in-season Florida commodities. This is a fantastic opportunity for young cooks to get creative in the kitchen and share their culinary skills with a panel of judges who will evaluate the entries.

Don’t miss your chance to enter the Florida Future Chef Competition before the July 12 deadline! Submit your entry video through the provided link and get ready to impress the judges. The top three finalists selected from the submissions will compete in the exciting in-person Florida Future Chef Finale in Tampa September 9-11. This event will be a grand showcase of young culinary talent, with participants presenting their best dishes and vying for the title of Florida Future Chef.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3Rz6G8L

Sip, Shop, and Savor on Saturdays at the Downtown

St. Cloud Farmers Market: Enjoy New Summer Hours!

Discover the charm and vibrancy of the Downtown St. Cloud Farmers Market, now with new summer hours! Every Saturday, from 9 AM to 1 PM, New York Avenue and 9th Street come alive with a bustling marketplace offering an array of fresh produce, delectable treats, and unique crafts.

At the market, you can start your day with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a sweet pastry, then explore the stalls brimming with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. Indulge in handmade crafts and savor savory delights from local vendors.

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NEWS

KUA’s New Online Energy Assessment Tool: Stay Cool and Save Energy This Summer!

Kissimmee Utility Authority has launched a new online energy assessment tool to assist customers with managing their energy bill, just in time for the summer heat. The online tool allows customers to take a short 5-minute survey with specific information about their home and energy consumption habits and receive a customized report with solutions to help them lower their bill.

Customers can better understand their electric consumption and summer fluctuations while discovering energy-saving ideas that are customized to their home, and simulate changes in their homes. To access the tool customers can visit kua.com/selfaudit and enter their information to begin the process.

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Universal Orlando Unveils Dark Universe: An Exciting Realm of Legendary Monsters Coming to Epic Universe in 2025

“It’s Alive! It’s Alive!” Next year, Universal – the pioneer of the horror genre – will bring its timeless monsters to the present day with the debut of Dark Universe – one of the five immersive worlds featured at the all-new Universal Epic Universe opening in 2025.

The most mysterious world of Universal Orlando’s newest theme park, this captivating new land will envelop guests in monstrous adventures across various attractions, shops, restaurants and character meet and greets that will thrill everyone from families to classic Monster fans alike.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3VTFdBq

NEWS
“Boating

with Brandon” Episode 3 Now Streaming, Exploring Osceola’s Natural Splendor and Community Changemakers

The third episode of “Boating with Brandon,” the inspirational 10-part video series hosted by Osceola County Commissioner, Brandon Arrington, is now streaming, delivering another immersive adventure of exploring and featuring Osceola County’s beautiful waterways. The episode is available on Positively Osceola’s social channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and Youtube. The episode will also be available on Positively Osceola’s audio podcast.

“Boating with Brandon,” not only highlights the rich biodiversity of Osceola County but also profiles the influential change-makers who are shaping its future. In this episode, viewers will experience the thrilling beauty of the Chain of Lakes on the eastern side of Osceola County near St. Cloud, guided by Commissioner Brandon Arrington.

Orlando Health Unveils Expanded Trauma Center 8 Years After Pulse Tragedy

Today marks eight years since the Pulse nightclub massacre, the second deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

During the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) received an influx of 44 victims. Not one of the 35 victims who made it to

the hospital alive was lost. Now eight years later, the hospital is unveiling its newly expanded Level One Trauma Center that was redesigned based on input from physicians and nurses who treated the Pulse survivors.

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PARK NEWS

Dive Into Fun at Aquatica Orlando's New AquaGlow: A Dazzling Neon Nighttime Swim Party!

Aquatica Orlando has unveiled AquaGlow, an electrifying nighttime swim party that transforms the award winning waterpark into a vibrant neon wonderland. Launched on Friday night, this all-new event features the dazzling Electric Tides laser show over the iconic wave pool and an illuminated lazy river with glowing tubes, creating a stunning backdrop for an unforgettable experience.

A standout feature of AquaGlow is the transformation of Roa’s Rapids into Roa’s Rapids Amp’ed Up! Guests drift through a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and mist effects, elevating their nighttime adventure.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3Rl3C06

Brick by Brick: LEGOLAND Florida's Summer Brick Party Brings Back Non-Stop Fun!

LEGOLAND Florida Resort has announced its annual and most anticipated summer event, Summer Brick Party! Through August 11, families, and LEGO aficionados of all ages are in for a treat with new and thrilling shows, characters, and mouthwatering seasonal treats.

The Park’s beloved characters, including LEGO Shark Suit Guy, will be making a return, along with events like Red, White & BOOM!, the Park’s annual 4th of July celebration and more.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort is heating up with adrenaline-pumping shows! Catch the highflying action of Go Xtreme! where you’ll be on the edge of your seat as stunt performers compete for fame on LEGO City’s hit TV show soaring on skateboards, stunt bikes and more. Stick around after the show to meet the newest character, “LEGO Producer” for pictures and high fives.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3Ra2Inc

PARK NEWS

Country Bear Musical Jamboree: Reimagined Fun at Magic Kingdom

Get ready for a foot-stomping good time as the beloved Country Bear Musical Jamboree returns to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

After a comprehensive upgrade and refreshing update, this fan-favorite attraction will make its grand debut on July 17, 2024, bringing a fresh yet familiar experience to both seasoned park-goers and new visitors.

The Country Bear Musical Jamboree has been a staple of Magic Kingdom's Frontierland since its inception, delighting guests with its charming blend of humor, music, and animatronic artistry.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to Open June 28 at Walt Disney World Resort

Get ready to “Drop on in” with Princess Tiana this summer, as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on June 28!

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure invites guests to join beloved characters Princess Tiana, Mama Odie, Louis, and all-new friends on a thrilling adventure, all set against the music and excitement of a New Orleans celebration. This new attraction will feature dozens of Audio-Animatronics figures, a foot-tapping soundtrack, and a celebration where everyone’s welcome. Tiana's Bayou Adventure is replacing Splash Mountain at Disney's Magic Kingdom, which closed in January 2023.

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Support Young Talent at St. Cloud’s Summer Young Entrepreneurs Market!

Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time to head downtown to support the vibrant young talent in St. Cloud! Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 26, and Wednesday, July 31, when the Young Entrepreneurs Market will be bustling with activity from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both evenings.

This exciting market, held in downtown St. Cloud, offers a fantastic opportunity to discover innovative products and services created by our local young entrepreneurs, ages 21 and younger. The event is free to attend and features complimentary parking, making it a convenient and family-friendly outing.

Wild Florida's Gator Week Raises $4,000 to Support

Osceola Students

Father's Day, celebrated on the third SuFor the third consecutive year, Wild Florida visitors have generously contributed $4,000 during Gator Week to support the Wild Florida Cares Scholarship Fund. This year’s event, held from May 27 through June 1, 2024, attracted wildlife enthusiasts, tourists, and locals to celebrate Florida’s iconic reptile, the American alligator. To encourage donations, guests were granted free entry to the Gator Park with contributions to the Wild Florida Cares Scholarship Fund.

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As hurricane season approaches, it’s crucial to ensure that trees on your property are not interfering with power lines. If you’re a Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) customer and have trees encroaching on power lines, KUA offers a tree trimming service to help maintain safety and reliability.

To request this service, simply submit a tree trimming request online at kua.com/treerequest or call KUA at 407-933-9898.

NEWS
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Prepare for Hurricane Season: Ensure Safe Power Lines with KUA’s Tree Trimming Service

Hurricanes and Tropical Deluges in Florida Boost Threat From the 'World's Deadliest

Animal'

Floridians and tourists flock outdoors in the Sunshine State during the summer months and may not realize that the world's deadliest animal is an ever-present uninvited guest.

Mosquitoes, stealthy and virtually invisible, are enjoying the weather and thriving in every outdoor setting. And they bring a serious health risk with them, potentially carrying diseases like Dengue fever, Zika, malaria, West Nile virus and Equine Encephalitis.

This week the Florida Mosquito Control Association (FMCA) and its members - 67 mosquito control programs including 15 independent districts - are reminding the public to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and the diseases they transmit.

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Lights, Camera, Action! Touchstar Luxury Cinemas to Launch Poinciana’s First Movie Theater!

Poinciana is set to make a significant leap in local entertainment as it prepares to welcome its first movie theater. The community will soon experience a touch of cinematic luxury, thanks to Touchstar Cinemas.

Touchstar Luxury Cinemas, a wellrespected name in the movie theater industry, has secured the site for Poinciana’s first-ever movie theater, Phase 2 of Poinciana Towne Center on Doverplum Avenue, situated just north of the current Walmart Supercenter. The Orlando-based company finalized the purchase for approximately $3.4 million on June 14.

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NEWS

Osceola County Property Values Surge: 2024 Estimates Show Strong Growth

In a recent report, Osceola County Property Appraiser Katrina Scarborough released the 2024 estimates of taxable values, providing crucial data for local taxing authorities as they plan next fiscal year’s budgets. These estimates encompass both real and tangible personal property values, as mandated by Florida Statute 200.065(8).

“Osceola County continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Residential and Commercial market values throughout Osceola County are very strong and show increases over 2023. The county saw over $2 billion in net new construction,” Property Appraiser Katrina Scarborough shared.

NEWS
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KUA Releases 2024 Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Ahead of June 1 Atlantic Hurricane Season Start

With the start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season beginning on June 1 and running through November 30, Kissimmee Utility Authority has released its 2024 Osceola Hurricane Guide, a free, bilingual, comprehensive preparedness guide offered annually to Osceola County residents.

A partnership between KUA, Osceola County, the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud, Toho Water Authority and UF IFAS Extension in Osceola County, the handbook includes information on emergency shelters, evacuation routes, generator safety and power outage restoration as well as helpful telephone numbers, and a disaster supplies checklist.

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Meet the Candidates: St. Cloud Greater Osceola Chamber of Commerce’s Politics in the Barn Comes to OHP in July

The St. Cloud Greater Osceola County Chamber of Commerce has announced that their Politics in the Barn event will take place at Osceola Heritage Park Event Center in Kissimmee on July 24 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. This event provides a unique opportunity for constituents to meet and greet candidates running in the 2024 election in Osceola County.

Politics in the Barn offers a relaxed, informal setting where attendees can interact with candidates and discuss their platforms. The event will also feature a Straw Poll hosted by the Supervisor of Elections Office, allowing attendees to cast their preliminary votes and gauge the political climate ahead of the official election.

MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3UMLygg

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This job fair is by invitation only. To be considered for an invitation, scan the QR code or visit jobs.osceolaschools.net - search keyword “Job Fair” and complete the application. Questions? Contact the HR Department of the Osceola School District at 407 870 4800

In the Loop

Penguin Trek Set to Chill and Thrill at SeaWorld Orlando

Starting July 7

SeaWorld Orlando is about to get even cooler with the grand opening of its highly anticipated new ride, Penguin Trek. Slated to open on July 7, this unique family launch coaster promises a one-of-a-kind adventure through the icy expanse of Antarctica.

Penguin Trek invites thrill-seekers to board snowmobiles and join an expedition team racing through a breathtaking Antarctic landscape. With speeds reaching up to 43 miles per hour, riders will experience a series of twists, turns, and close calls as they navigate the dangers of a crumbling ice cavern.

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As the educational landscape continues to evolve in and around Osceola County, parents are seeking more than just a conventional schooling experience for their children. They seek environments that foster individual growth, creativity, and a sense of community. Creative Inspiration Journey School (CIJS), a tuition-free Pre-K through 8th grade public charter school located in St. Cloud, has emerged as a beacon of innovative education, offering an unparalleled learning journey for students. Elevate Your Child’s Learning Experience With Pre-K through 8th Grade Creative Inspiration Journey School in St. Cloud

NEWS
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KUA Introduces Cutting-Edge Surge Protection for Enhanced Home Safety

KUA customers are now eligible to sign up for the utility’s new surge protection program, which can protect large appliances from electric surges.

The surge protection device is installed directly on the customer’s meter and diverts high-energy surges that can enter through electric power lines from coming into the home.

Homeowners insurance or renter’s insurance typically doesn’t cover appliance damage caused by electric surges, but customers now have the option to protect expensive appliances through KUA’s Surge Protection Program. Items covered under the program include appliances such as air conditioning equipment, refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, and electric ranges.

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SDOC REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME VPK CLASSROOM LEAD

Individuals seeking employment as a VPK instructor for the school year must meet one of the following credentials.

CDA

issued by Council for Professional Recognition, a passing score

Paraprofessional test and completion of the DOE Emergent Literacy Course outlined below in #6.

2

60+ Semester hours

college credited from accredited college or university,passing score Paraprofessional test and completion of the DOE Emergent Literacy Course outlined below in #6.

Associate's or Higher Degree

in an unrelated field, minimum six (6) credit hours in early childhood education or child development, passing score Paraprofessional test and completion of the DOE Emergent Literacy Course outlined below in #6

Associate's or Higher Degree

in Early Childhood Education or Child Development, passing score

Paraprofessional test and completion of the DOE Emergent Literacy Course outlined below in #6.

Birth Through Five Child Care Credentials

5 6 completion of an approved Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC), Florida Department of Education (DOE) Child Care Apprenticeship Program (CCAC) or DOE Early Childhood Education Program (ECPC). Approved programs require a high school diploma or GED, a minimum of 120 hours of training, a minimum of 480 hours of experience in an early childhood childcare setting, early childhood portfolio, and a formal observation. passing score Paraprofessional test and completion of the DOE Emergent Literacy Course outlined below in #6.

Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Instructor Emergent Literacy and Standards Course Requirements

Scaffolding and Think, Show, Tell, Talk: Language and Vocabulary Development for Preschoolers (in person and virtual instructor-led STSTTP) 5 hours; 0 5 CEUs 1 3 4

Implementing the Florida Standards in Preschool Classrooms: 3 Years Old to Kindergarten (online VFSP) 5 hours; 0 5 CEUs or (SPC3TK) instructor-led 3 hours; 0 3 CEUs

Emergent Literacy for VPK Instructors (online VPK21) 5 hours; 0 5 CEUs

Language and Vocabulary in the VPK Classroom (online LVPK21) 5 hours; 0 5CEUs

Phonological Awareness Development for Preschoolers (online VIPA21; in-person and virtual instructor-led PAP21) 5 hours; 0.5 CEUs

Building a Strong Foundation for Emergent Literacy (virtual instructor led BSFEL) 5 hours; 0.5 CEU

Dialogic Reading: Language and Vocabulary Development for Preschoolers (in-person and virtual instructor-led DRP) 5 hours; 0 5 CEUs

Book Embedded Vocabulary Instruction: Language and Vocabulary Development for Preschoolers (in person and virtual instructor-led BEP) 5 hours; 0 5 CEUs

Ignite Creativity This Summer with Osceola Arts!

This June, while schools take a break, Osceola Arts turns up the heat with its Summer Arts Camps at Valencia College’s Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses, starting Monday, June 3rd, at 9 AM. Dive into a world where visual and performing arts meet, offering diverse camps tailored for the Central Florida community.

Whether you’re into painting, acting, or dancing, there’s a spot just for you!

Designed for kids aged 8-13, these camps provide a unique blend of learning and fun in a top-notch facility that sparks creativity. Each session concludes with a dazzling showcase, where students display their newfound skills. Witness the remarkable transformation and celebrate the achievements of these young talents.

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As the cooler air of winter gives way to the vibrant blossoms of spring, Florida residents know all too well that the sizzling heat of summer is just around the corner. Preparing for the inevitable spike in temperatures means ensuring your air conditioning system is in top-notch condition. Why? Because a well-maintained AC system is not just about comfort; it’s about health, efficiency, and longevity. And when it comes to reliable air conditioning services in Osceola County, there’s one name that stands out: Osceola Air.

NEWS
Maximizing Comfort and Efficiency with Osceola Air: The Critical
of Spring Air Conditioning Tune-
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Ups Before the Summer Blaze
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Get Ahead of the Storm: Essential Tips and Resources from KUA

It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 5 to May 11, and KUA wants to remind you about the importance of preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Having emergency preparations completed before a hurricane watch or warning is issued is critical.

When a storm alert is announced, take care of last-minute tasks quickly. Make sure emergency supplies like food, water, batteries, pet essentials, and first aid kits are fresh and sufficient. Create a list for any missing items and get them promptly. Fill your car with gas, check the oil and tires, and have evacuation essentials ready.

NEWS
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Osceola County Expands Senior Smiles Mobile Denture Program for Greater Access and Care

Senior citizens in select areas of Osceola County now have even more reasons to smile, thanks to the Senior Smiles program—a county initiative launched in 2023 by District 2 Commissioner Viviana Janer. Senior Smiles provides affordable and accessible denture services through a collaboration between the Osceola County Commission and Osceola Community Health Services, and is now available to qualifying seniors in additional areas of the county.

Senior Smiles Osceola offers comprehensive services, including full dentures, partials, X-rays, and extractions, all carried out on a mobile dental trailer equipped with two exam rooms. This allows the Osceola Community Health Services team to deliver quality dental care directly to seniors ages 55 and older.

Funding for the program has now been expanded through the American Rescue Plan Act to reach even more areas within the county. District 4 Commissioner Cheryl Grieb recently distributed vouchers for free dentures to Hope Partnership in Downtown Kissimmee that will make it possible for 45 qualified seniors to receive no-cost dentures and denture services.

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Addition Financial Credit Union Expands Partnership with Osceola County School District to Launch Student-

Operated Branch at Osceola High School

Addition Financial Credit Union and the School District of Osceola County have announced an expansion of their High School Branch Program partnership, with plans to open a student-run Addition Financial branch at Osceola High School.

Addition Financial’s High School Branch Program is designed to introduce young people to financial literacy and money management skills. The credit union will provide full training to Osceola High School students who are accepted into the program and will prepare them to fully staff and run the credit union branch, to be located on the Osceola High School campus.

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Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital doctor performs first laparoscopic nephrectomy – kidney removal surgery

Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital’s

Dr. Sarat Sabharwal performed the hospital’s first laparoscopic nephrectomy this month, a milestone for patient care.

Nephrectomy, or removal of a kidney, may be necessary when a patient has recurrent kidney infections, irreversible damage, long-term obstruction or tumors that indicate kidney cancer.

Laparoscopic nephrectomy – a minimally invasive approach – uses tiny incisions in the abdomen that result in decreased blood loss, less pain, plus a shorter hospital stay and recovery. Many patients are able to return to full activity within 3-4 weeks after surgery.

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VISIT OSCEOLA

Exploring Osceola County’s Natural Trails and Spaces: A Paradise for Avid Runners, Walkers, and Kayakers

Osceola County is a hidden gem for avid runners, walkers, and kayakers seeking a combination of physical fitness and natural beauty. Although the county is one of the fastest growing regions in Florida, its picturesque landscapes, serene lakes, and wellmaintained trails, offer a haven for those who want to stay active while immersing themselves in nature.

In this article, we will take you on a journey through ten of Osceola County’s finest locations where you can experience invigorating runs and leisurely walks amid breathtaking natural landscapes.

• Shingle Creek Regional Park:

Shingle Creek Regional Park, often referred to as the “Headwaters of the Everglades,” is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and fitness enthusiasts alike. This vast park offers a network of scenic trails suitable for running and walking. The trails wind through lush forests, along the banks of Shingle Creek, and provide opportunities to spot local wildlife. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or an intense trail run, Shingle Creek has something for everyone.

• Celebration Lakeside Park:

Celebration, a charming community in Osceola County, and known to many as the ‘Town that Disney built,’ boasts Celebration Lakeside Park, a beautiful destination for runners and walkers. The park features a loop trail around Lake Rianhard, offering picturesque views of the water and surrounding greenery. The flat terrain and wellpaved paths make it an excellent choice for a leisurely walk or a brisk run.

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Positively Osceola Unveils Dynamic Business Support Initiative, ‘Positively Osceola Plus’

In a move set to revolutionize local business growth and community engagement, Positively Osceola, the leading hub for local news, sports, and events in Osceola County, has unveiled an innovative initiative known as ‘Positively Osceola Plus.’

‘Positively Osceola Plus’ is designed to extend a helping hand to businesses, organizations, and individuals in and around Osceola County, fostering their capacity to connect with target audiences and achieve their marketing and promotional aspirations.

Recognized as Osceola County’s foremost source for trusted information, Positively Osceola is leveraging its extensive reach and credibility to provide an enhanced platform for businesses looking to expand their marketing presence and connect meaningfully with their communities.

Positively Osceola Plus offers a comprehensive suite of support services tailored to meet the diverse needs of local enterprises. From strategic marketing guidance and targeted advertising to community outreach initiatives, the program aims to empower businesses and organizations in amplifying their visibility and achieving their goals.

NEWS
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HEALTH

Orlando Health: Avoid Sunburn with These Tips

Almost all of us have experienced a sunburn at some point in our lives. But getting a sunburn is dangerous because it increases your risk of developing skin cancer — one of the most common types of cancers in the world. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime.

THE STAGES OF SUNBURN

Sunburn is actually a radiation burn caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. When you’ve had too much sun, the skin turns red and painful within a few hours. Sunburn symptoms tend to worsen within 24 to 36 hours, and it can take anywhere from days to weeks, depending on the severity of the burn, to feel better.

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INJURY LAW Draper

Law: Which vehicles are more likely to be involved in serious or fatal accidents?

Sadly, serious and fatal accidents take place on a daily basis in Central Florida. These crashes can happen in a number of ways and can be caused by not following traffic laws, inexperience, intoxication, distracted driving, fatigue, and medical issues.

Statistics show that fatal car accidents can often occur based on the type of vehicle. You may think that sports cars are most likely to be in crashes due to their speed and performance. However, according to the NHTSA, it’s the everyday cars, trucks, and SUVs on the roadways that are involved more frequently in serious or even deadly accidents, with sedans and pickup trucks accounting for more than three-quarters of fatal accidents. If you drive out on the roadways, here’s what you need to know about which vehicles have been involved in many of the crashes.

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

LEGOLAND’s Summer Brick Party: Family Fun from June 1 to August 11

From June 1 to August 11, LEGOLAND®

Florida Resort is bringing back the Summer Brick Party, a celebration packed with fun activities included with your park admission or select annual passes. Get ready for thrilling shows, favorite characters, and special summer treats across various areas of the park. It’s an exciting way to soak up the sunny season with family and friends, offering everything from live entertainment to tasty food and drinks—all in one place.

Catch the action at the Go Xtreme! stunt show and Brickbeard’s Watersport Stunt Show, where energy and excitement fill the air. These shows are perfect for families looking for fun and laughter, featuring high-energy stunts and spectacular performances. Plus, meet some of LEGOLAND’s coolest characters, like the Shark Suit Guy, who’s always up for a photo and ready to add a splash of fun to your visit.

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SeaWorld’s Viva la Música: Celebrate Latin Culture

Every Weekend from June 1 to June 30

Experience the vibrant color and rich culture of Viva la Música, returning to SeaWorld for five festive weekends from June 1st to June 30th. This family-friendly Latin celebration is included with park admission and features an array of Latin entertainment, from thrilling live music to dynamic dance performances. With the park’s coolest attractions and animal adventures as your backdrop, each Saturday and Sunday will offer something exciting for everyone. Don’t miss out on the sound, spice, and spirit of this special event that captures the essence of Latin culture.

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Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to Open June 28 at Walt Disney World Resort

Get ready to “Drop on in” with Princess Tiana this summer, as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on June 28!

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure invites guests to join beloved characters Princess Tiana, Mama Odie, Louis, and all-new friends on a thrilling adventure, all set against the music and excitement of a New Orleans celebration. This new attraction will feature dozens of Audio-Animatronics figures, a foot-tapping soundtrack, and a celebration where everyone’s welcome. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is replacing Splash Mountain at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, which closed in January 2023.

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Splash into Cinema: Island H2O’s Dive In Movie Nights from May 31 to July 26

Grab your popcorn and get ready for a summer full of cinematic splashes at Island H2O Water Park! Every Friday from May 31 to July 26, starting at 6 PM, families and friends can gather to watch a series of beloved films on Central Florida’s LARGEST Outdoor Digital Wave Pool Screen. Each movie night is a unique opportunity to enjoy blockbuster hits and family favorites in a vibrant, poolside setting. As a special treat, Season Passholders receive a FREE bag of popcorn at every screening. Don’t forget to check our website for any updates to the movie lineup!

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

POSITIVELY DELICIOUS

Refreshing Treats: Watermelon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting

Delight in the positively delicious and whimsical treat of Florida Watermelon Cupcakes. This unique dessert replaces traditional cupcake batter with fresh, juicy slices of Florida watermelon, creating a refreshing and light base. The watermelon is topped with a rich, creamy layer of cream cheese frosting, enhanced with a zest of lemon for a burst of citrus flavor. This inventive dessert is perfect for summer gatherings, offering a sweet, hydrating bite that’s sure to impress.

Positively Delicious Hearty Harvest: Florida Chicken, Sweet Potato & Kale Salad

Enjoy a nutritious and vibrant meal with Florida Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Salad. This positively delicious dish combines tender grilled chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, and fresh kale, tossed together for a wholesome and satisfying salad. Ideal for a lunch or light dinner, this salad is a delightful way to enjoy Florida’s fresh produce and proteins.

Sunshine in a Bowl: Florida’s Ultimate Tropical Fruit Salad, It’s Positively Delicious

This Florida Tropical Fruit Salad is a positively delicious celebration of Florida’s finest produce. This refreshing blend of colorful fruits is perfectly sweetened with a hint of local orange blossom honey, creating a delightful treat that’s as pleasing to the palate as it is to the eye. Enjoy this luscious salad on a sunny day for a true taste of tropical paradise.

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Experience Positively Delicious Pan-Seared Florida Culotte Steak

This Pan-Seared Florida Culotte Steak is a positively delicious choice for any meat lover, offering a rich and savory experience. This tender cut is expertly seared to achieve a perfect crust, locking in its natural juices and enhancing its robust flavors. Simple yet luxurious, this steak is sure to impress at any dinner table.

Coastal Cravings: Positively Delicious Florida Blue Crab Panini

This Florida Blue Crab Panini is a positively delicious twist on the classic sandwich. Bursting with the fresh, sweet flavors of local blue crab, this panini is grilled to crispy perfection, melding the delicate crab with a melty, creamy cheese. Ideal for a luxurious lunch or a satisfying dinner, it’s a gourmet treat that brings a taste of the Florida coast right to your table.

Positively Delicious Savory Sensations: Florida Chicken, Mushroom & Bacon Melt

Indulge in the positively delicious flavors of a Florida Chicken, Mushroom, and Bacon Melt. This mouthwatering sandwich layers tender chicken, savory mushrooms, and crisp bacon under a blanket of melted cheese, all nestled between toasted bread. Each bite delivers a satisfying crunch and a burst of hearty, rich flavors, making it a perfect choice for a fulfilling meal.

POSITIVELY
DELICIOUS
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