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

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2022

Osceola County Chairman Arrington urges community to focus on continual rise of waters from Hurricane Ian Inside this issue Osceola County, St. Cloud to reopen sandbag distribution sites Sunday at 8am

Viva Osceola Returns to Kissimmee’s Lakefront Park October 8, presented by Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital Central Florida Expressway Authority Announces SR 417 Road and Ramp Closures Beginning Sunday Night KUA’s FREE Movie in the Park Series to kick off with ‘Spiderman: No Way Home’ Friday October 7 For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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WEEKLY LIVESTREAMS Good Morning Osceola Mon, Wed, Fri at 7:30AM

In the Loop LIVE Tue at 6:00PM

Daybreak LIVE Wed at 9:00AM

Osceola Matters Thu at 6:00PM

In the Loop LIVE Sat at 8:00AM For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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ON DEMAND LIVESTREAMS Osceola Matters LIVE with Brandon Arrington, Commissioner for District 3 September 20th, 2022

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

LIVE with Nolan and Rob, looking back and forward for Friday night football! September 21st, 2022

The City of Kissimmee Government officially swore in two new Commissioners September 14th, 2022

LIVE with Big John’s Rockin’ BBQ owner John Glover as Big John’s preps for their 7th year anniversary September 9th, 2022

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IN & AROUND OSCEOLA LIVE at Hope Partnership Hope Commons

Live with Ricky Booth at Osceola Heritage Park making burgers for first responders and shelters

LIVE talking about Hurricane Ian and it’s effects left on Osceola County

LIVE with Kissimmee Utility Authority Director of Corporate Communications, Tiffany Henderson

LIVE at Poinciana High School’s Football Field as they host Teneroc

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VIDEOS ON DEMAND Florida Extreme Motor Show Expo On Sunday, October 16th at 11am the Florida Extreme Motor Show Expo is pulling back into Osceola Heritage Park, Central Florida’s hottest event venues for Car Show Fans of every kind with over $3,000 in cash prizes. There will be Live music and LIVE entertainment for the whole family!

Viva Osceola The Osceola Chamber is inviting the community to the 30th year of Osceola County’s premier Latin festival featuring entertainment, food, fun, and games for the whole family, Viva Osceola! This event will be on Saturday, October 8th, from 11:00am to 6:00pm at the Kissimmee Lakefront Park.

Old Town’s Vette Fest On October 1st, from 10am to 3pm, in honor of the epic Corvette, Old Town is inviting Corvette owners to bring their amazing vettes - both classic and new, to come spend the day showing off their muscle power and shine. Registration begins at 10:00am with a Corvette-only cruise down Old Town’s main street at 3:00pm. We’ll see you at VetteFest at Old Town!

Downtown St Cloud Monthly Market It’s time again for another stroll through the Downtown St Cloud Monthly Market. On Wednesday, September 28th, you can enjoy walking through St. Cloud’s beautiful downtown district, browsing through the iconic shops and pop-up vendors. Enjoy live music along with a great selection of positively delicious fare from downtown St. Cloud’s unforgettable restaurants.

Conviértete en profesor ¿Le gustaría hacer una diferencia en la vida de nuestros estudiantes siendo un maestro? Si tiene al menos una licenciatura (Bachelor’s Degree), es posible que pueda obtener una certificación de maestro en Florida. El Departamento de Recursos Humanos del Distrito Escolar de Osceola (localizado en Kissimmee, FL), llevará a cabo una sesión informativa virtual describiendo los pasos para obtener certificación de maestro en Florida.

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NEWS

Toho crews are assessing and responding to impacted areas caused by Hurricane Ian, no advisories have been issued Toho Water Authority (Toho) crews are currently assessing and responding to impacted areas caused by Hurricane Ian. At this time no water service outages have been reported and no precautionary boil water advisories have been issued. Customers who suspect sewer overflows occurring in the area, can report them by calling our customer service at 407-944-5000 or email customerservice@tohowater. com. Please provide an address/location to where sewer services may be impacted. Due to flooding, Toho is asking any customers who filled their tubs in advance of the storm to wait to drain to decrease the volumes going to the lift stations that transport sewage to the treatment plants. In addition, please wait to wash any dishes or laundry, which are high-volume water uses. Also, a reminder to turn off irrigation timers as there is no need to irrigate. Customers can visit Toho’s website www.tohowater.com for updates regarding services. Customers should also stay tuned to media outlets for updates regarding Toho. Safety is a top priority for our employees and our customers. Toho wants to thank customers for their patience and to be safe. Photo Source: Toho Water For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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NEWS KUA Customer Service Center to reopen Monday Kissimmee Utility Authority’s Customer Service Center will reopen to customers on Monday, Oct. 3. Located at 1701 W. Carroll Street in Kissimmee, the Customer Service Center will resume normal business hours from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Customers can also make payments and manage their account at my.kua.com. 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.

City of Kissimmee Cancels Curfew Effective Immediately At 10:00 a.m. Kissimmee City Manager Mike Steigerwald canceled a mandatory curfew that was in place from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Additional information on City operations, services and recovery efforts will be announced in the coming hours. For more information about the City of Kissimmee, visit www.kissimmee.gov. For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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NEWS

Silver Spurs Riding Club Steps Up to the Grill to Feed First Responders, Those Still in Hurricane Shelters The Silver Spurs Riding Club canceled its Boots Bulls and Barrels rodeo that was scheduled for Saturday night October 1 because of Hurricane Ian, but that didn’t keep the non-profit organization from getting busy behind grill to feed first responders and those still staying in school hurricane shelters. The cancellation of the rodeo meant the organization had over 1000 hotdogs and 0ver 1100 hamburgers on hand, so they decided to do what they do best, care for the community. So they broke out the charcoal grills and started cooking. Members from the riding club are visiting hurricane shelters throughout the county making sure people receive a hot meal as they wait to get back in their homes. “We’re working with the Emergency Operation Center, and the Red Cross, and they’ve given us a list of where the hamburgers and hotdogs need to go. This club was founded on giving back to the community, for those who don’t know the club’s history,” Osceola County Commissioner and Silver Spurs Member Ricky Booth shared at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. Volunteers will continue to feed first responders and those in shelters as long as the hamburgers and hotdogs last, but what the Silver Spurs Riding Club will never run out of is their passion for community. For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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NEWS Osceola County Property Appraiser Office Recertifies Certificate of Excellence, One of Four Nationwide The Osceola County Property Appraiser Office under Katrina Scarborough’s leadership has recertified their Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration, one of four jurisdictions nationwide to receive the CEAA and recertify twice. The office first earned the certificate in 2010, and this required recertification is a demonstration of their continued commitment to best practices. “I am so proud of my office for their efforts in our second recertification award in the Certificate of Excellence in Assessment Administration for 2022. We are one of four jurisdictions nationwide to receive the CEAA and recertify twice. We will continue to adhere to the Assessment Administration’s accepted standards and best practices through excellent customer service and full transparency. Our mission is to ensure the fair and equitable assessment of properties within our county while applying the guidelines set forth by the Department of Revenue”, said Katrina Scarborough, Osceola County Property Appraiser.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3Ra5m9k

Osceola County Fire Rescue & EMS Receives $1 Million Grant from Department of Homeland Security Osceola County Fire Rescue & EMS received a $1 million federal grant this week focused on helping Officers and Chief Officers receive training, certification, and skills to best serve the community. As the county continues to grow rapidly, more and more pressure is placed on first responders, and grants like this can make a positive impact. The Assistance to Firefighters Grants will provide funding for Fire Officer I and Fire Officer II classes for Battalion Chiefs, Lieutenants, and Engineers who currently do not hold these very important certifications.

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NEWS City of St. Cloud offers free ‘Growth Wheel’ one-onone business help via UCF partnership The City of St. Cloud has partnered with the Business Incubation Program at the University of Central Florida to offer Growth Wheel, free oneon-one counseling for local businesses. “Through this partnership, our local businesses can meet one on one with business coaches to talk specifically about their unique business situation, and learn how to develop strategies to increase revenue, strengthen their business model and implement new growth strategies,” said Antranette Forbes, Economic Development & Special Projects Manager for the city. “This is a great opportunity for business owners to get some outside, professional help to strengthen their businesses.” For more information, call Esther Vargas at 407-343-4300 or email her at esther.vargas@ucf.edu.

$7 million available to Osceola Residents for Emergency Rental Assistance The Osceola County Emergency Rental Assistance program will begin accepting applications on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022.

There is approximately $7 million available in the income-based program aimed at helping Osceola County’s most vulnerable tenants. It provides financial assistance to those who are past-due on their rent because of financial hardships caused by or during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance is available for 1- 18 months or until all funding has been expended. Eligibility rules will apply. Pre-Applications are available at http://housing. osceola.org. Programs Applicants must comply with the following: • 80 percent or below area median income for the household • Osceola County resident

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NEWS

Kissimmee looks to add new Tesla-based free on-demand transportation service in January The Osceola Chamber’s Downtown Kissimmee Council hosted its annual Osceola Update Breakfast on September 7 at the Kissimmee Civic Center and featured Osceola County Manager Don Fisher, and City of Kissimmee Manager Mike Steigerwald. Steigerwald shared what the community can expect to see in the near future in the city, including a change to the Kissimmee Connector, a fixed route bus service operated by LYNX that kicked off in January of 2019 and moves local riders around 18 different locations in a continuous loop around the city. The Kissimmee Connector currently moves people around the city Monday through Friday between 6 am and 8:09 pm as a continuous loop from the SunRail/Amtrak intermodal Station to AdventHealth Kissimmee, Kissimmee City Hall, Kissimmee Lakefront Park, Osceola County Courthouse Complex, Osceola Regional Medical Center, and Hart Memorial Central Library, and 13 other stops along that route before making its way back to the train station. The cost of continous bus service is $540,000 annually with an average of 500 riders per month, which comes out to about $60 per rider. As of September 30, the Kissimmee Connector will no longer make its continuous loop around the city. That after Kissimmee City Commissioners voted to end its service rather than pay $100,000 to extend the service through December 9, 2022.

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NEWS 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.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/3RSndD0

Say ‘I Boo’ with a Halloween Wedding “Scare-amony” at the Osceola County Clerk and Comptroller’s Office If you’ve been thinking of saying “I boo” and still haven’t decided where the “scare-amony” will be, how about making that special moment happen at the office of Kelvin Soto, Esq. Osceola Clerk of the Circuit Court & County Comptroller Office? The Osceola Clerk of the Circuit Court & County Comptroller Office will host a Spooky Celebration of love & marriage at their Halloween Group Wedding Ceremony & Reception on October 31st, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. in English at 2:00 p.m. in Spanish. Registration is first come, first serve for up to 15 couples and will be open from Monday, September 19th, 2022 – Thursday, October 27th, 2022. Couples must purchase their marriage license from the Osceola County Clerk of Circuit Court. See the information listed above for details regarding marriage licenses.

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NEWS City of St. Cloud Approves 2022-23 Budget The St. Cloud City Council on Wednesday approved its 2022-23 city budget during a final public hearing. The $209.2 million budget keeps the millage rate at 5.1128, where it has been since 2016-17. “St. Cloud is one of the fastest growing areas in a state that’s one of the fastest growing places in the country,” said City Manager Veronica Miller. “With that growth comes challenges, but also opportunities. This budget allows us to keep our focus on providing great services to our residents and continuing to uphold our mission of providing a safe and healthy environment, managing our resources and planning for the future.” One mill is equal to $1 in property tax levied per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. Based on the average property value of $232,000, the average homeowner pays $1,187 in city ad valorem taxes per year.

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NEWS First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces Florida Cancer Connect Spanish Translations First Lady Casey DeSantis has announced updates to Florida Cancer Connect, Florida’s centralized website providing tools for individuals and families battling cancer. Updates include a fully translated Spanish website and testimonials from Hispanic cancer survivors, recorded and produced in both Spanish and English, premiering over the next month. Existing English survivor testimonials will have Spanish subtitles available. “Florida Cancer Connect is an extension of our longstanding commitment to all Floridians impacted by cancer,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Our goal is to make cancer resources user friendly, which is why I’m excited to announce the addition of readily available Spanish resources to increase the accessibility of support to those in the cancer fight looking for help and hope.”

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

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NEWS KUA Seeks Student Art Entries for 2023 Calendar of Electrical Safety Kissimmee Utility Authority invites Osceola County students to showcase their artistic expression to promote electrical safety in the utility’s 29th Annual Calendar Art Contest. The annual contest is open to Osceola County students enrolled in Kindergarten through fifth grade, including public, charter, private, and homeschooled students. Students are asked to use crayons, markers or paints to depict an electrical safety topic specified by grade level in the entry form. A panel of local judges will select the 12 best entries to be used for each calendar month, which will be featured in the utility’s 2023 calendar. The 12 winning students will have their artwork featured in the calendar and receive a $150 cash prize. A grand prize winner, selected from the 12 winning students, will have artwork featured on the calendar cover along with the student’s name and affixed to one of KUA’s fleet vehicles for one year.

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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.”

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NEWS Osceola County Commissioners Approve $2.24 Billion Fiscal Year 2023 Budget

Osceola County Commissioners approved a $2.24 billion Fiscal Year 2023 budget on Monday that they say will focus on citizens, with a continued focus on transportation, housing services and public safety, while maintaining the same general tax rate that has been in place since 2011.

“As one of the fastest growing counties in the country, we continue to plan and create a quality community by providing the highest level of service to our residents with the proper amount of fiscal insight and suitability,” said Osceola County Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington. “Our focus remains on making sure that our residents have numerous residential, professional, educational and recreational opportunities that can only be found in Osceola County.

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Representative Kristen Arrington Secures $108,000 in Funding for Osceola County Historical Courthouse Representative Kristen Arrington, announced this week that a project she sponsored was approved through the Local Support Grant program.

This project provides $108,000 to the Osceola County’s Historic Courthouse in Kissimmee. The 132-year-old Osceola County Historic Courthouse requires inspection and analysis by a preservation architect. This analysis will detail the current condition of historic brick, glass, and wood, and prescribe a scope of work for preservation. Preserving this historic building is of regional significance, as it is the oldest operating courthouse in the state, and listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings. According to the Florida House of Representatives, during the Fiscal Year, 2022-2023 General Appropriations Act for Local Support Grants Program enabled members of the Legislature to request nonrecurring funding for local governments, education entities, or privately-operated programs to support local initiatives.

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NEWS KUA’s FREE Movie in the Park Series to kick off with ‘Spiderman: No Way Home’ Friday October 7 Kissimmee Utility Authority will kick off its 2022-2023 Movie in the Park series on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, at Kissimmee Lakefront Park. The event will feature free admission, free popcorn, contests, prize giveaways, and the showing of Spiderman: No Way Home on a 50foot screen! Activities begin at 5:30 pm and the movie at sunset. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs and a picnic-style dinner! The movie series is a partnership between KUA and the City of Kissimmee. Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth-largest community-owned utility powering 84,000 customers in Osceola County, Florida. For more information, visit www.kua.com.

FWC shares BearWise Tips for Fall With autumn approaching, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds residents and visitors that our state’s black bears are more active in search for food. You can help prevent negative interactions with bears and other wildlife by securing garbage, removing food attractants, and following other BearWise® practices. During the fall, bears start consuming more calories to pack on fat reserves for the winter, even if they are not hibernating as they do in colder climates. Any accessible food source, such as unsecured garbage, pet food or bird seed, can be enticing to a hungry bear preparing for the winter, potentially drawing them into conflict with people. “Adult bears need to take in approximately 20,000 calories a day during the fall,” said the FWC’s Bear Management Program Coordinator, David Telesco. “If given the opportunity, bears will take advantage of easy meals from things including unsecured trash cans and bird feeders. However, if bears don’t find a food source in a neighborhood, they’ll move on.”

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NEWS Own a Small Business? You May Be Eligible for Help from Osceola’s $1.4 million Fund Do you own a small business and has it been impacted by COVID-19? The Osceola County Housing and Community Services Department’s Microenterprise Assistance Program provides financial aid to qualifying small businesses. The program offers a onetime $5,000 grant to qualified, for-profit businesses located within unincorporated Osceola County to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus on a first-come, firstready basis. A total of approximately $1.4 million is available. Applicants must possess a business license and must be current on all County taxes, assessments, and fees to participate. They also must be income eligible – with a threshold of 80 percent of below the Area Median Income has calculated by HUD.

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NEWS Viva Osceola Returns to Kissimmee’s Lakefront Park October 8, presented by Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital

VIVA Osceola, presented by Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital, returns to Kissimmee’s Lakefront Park on Saturday October 8th from 11am – 6pm and will feature “live” music with headliners Domino Saints, Nano Cabrera, and Sammy Velez.

There will also be local entertainers performing on the LA NUEVA Exitos 96.5’s Somos stage during the event. VIVA Osceola guests will enjoy authentic Latin food from Sabor Boricua; a variety of ice cold beverages, beer, and have a chance to participate in the free Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital’s photo booth, KUA’s Kid’s Power Zone -complete with bounce houses, free snow cones, and a kid’s craft activity area. The exciting event will also feature a variety of vendors, businesses, and a local live mural artist onsite to design a custom mural. Viva Osceola is a free event for the whole family, brought to you by The Osceola Chamber and Orlando Health St Cloud Hospital, coming to Kissimmee on Saturday, October 8th 11am – 6pm.

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NEWS 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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NEWS 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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INJURY LAW Draper Law: Tips for Safe Bicycle Riding in Central Florida

Few things are better in the Sunshine State than taking your bicycle out for a spin. Unfortunately, Florida leads the nation for bicycle fatalities. Here are some tips for bicyclists and drivers to keep the roads safe. How bicyclists can stay safe on the roads Bikers should make sure their vehicles meet Florida safety guidelines. Specifically, bicyclists should use a headlight while the sun is set, which lets other vehicles see them at night. Additionally, all bikes should have reflective lights and working breaks. Although Florida doesn’t require cyclists over 16 years old to wear helmets, wearing one can minimize injury and can even save your life if you’re hit by a car.

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NEWS Osceola Arts to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with “The Tie That Binds/ El Lazo Que Une: works by Alberto Gomez” Osceola Arts celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a new visual arts exhibit “The Tie That Binds/ El Lazo Que Une: works by Alberto Gomez” from September 1 through November 6. Florida-based artist Alberto Gomez is a humble observer with an artistic vision that is rooted in his native Colombia. “I consider my work to be categorized as magical realism in the visual sense similar to the writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende. This style is a tradition in my Latin American homeland. My work depicts the combination of daily life and fantasy together in the story. I consider my technique to mirror that of the poet using symbols, and a sense of place with the people presented in my art. My inspiration comes from my love of people.

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NEWS 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. For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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FAMILY LAW Draper Law: Starting Over After Divorce Divorce can be one of the most emotionally and financially devastating experiences a person can have. After the process is complete, the newly divorced person is left to recover from the pain of losing their marriage and rebuild their lives. While staring over after divorce may seem daunting, there are steps you can take to get back on your feet. Financial Adjustments Going from sharing a home and finances with your former spouse to being on your own can be a difficult change. While you may not have control over the difference to your financial situation, you can control your budgeting and spending. Sit down and create a realistic budget which includes some savings. Even putting a small amount aside each month is a positive habit and can help you be prepared should you have unexpected expenses.

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POINT OF SALE IN OSCEOLA COUNTY

WHAT IS POINT OF SALE? When we say “Point of Sale,” we’re referring to marketing and promoting tobacco products in retail environments – like gas stations, convenience stores, and other retail outlets.

SOME TACTICS THEY USE ARE: Discounting products, appealing to children and young adults.

POINT OF SALE IS THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY’S MAIN MARKETING METHOD.

Paying retailers for prime product location and advertising. Targeting lower-income communities.

WHY IS POINT OF SALE IMPORTANT?

Studies show that tobacco use is associated with exposure to retail advertising and relatively easy access to tobacco products.

Schools with a higher number of tobacco retailers nearby tend to have higher smoking rates.

More cigarettes are sold in convenience stores than in any other type of store.

WHAT IS OSCEOLA COUNTY DOING?

We are implementing tobacco education and prevention to create awareness within our community. This includes educating local decision makers about the local tobacco retail environment which includes information about product placement and the amount of tobacco retailers near schools.

YOU CAN GET INVOLVED!

CONTACT JEANNE@CIVCOM.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.




SPORTS

By J. Daniel Pearson For Positively Osceola

Friday Games Moved By Ian, 99th Edition of “The Game” St. Cloud Hosts Osceola In one of the oldest and longest continuous rivalries in the state, Osceola and St. Cloud will meet on Monday night at Tom Gannarelli Field in the 99th edition of “The Game.” This contest, as well as several other in-county games, was moved to Monday due to Hurricane Ian. The series dates back to 1925 and the two teams have played every year with the exception of 1944, when it was interrupted during World War II. Prior to 2000, the Osceola-St. Cloud football game was a ‘can’t miss” local sporting event. “The Game” brought crowds of up to 10000 fans as the two biggest and formally only two high schools in the county would meet for its annual battle for local bragging rights. A lot has changed since “The Game” was first played. Until Gateway opened in 1986, Osceola and St. Cloud were the only two public high schools in the county and their rivalry produced many close and memorable games. Perhaps the biggest game-changer in the rivalry occurred in 2004 when Harmony opened, siphoning off large portion of St. Cloud students and subsequently its athletes. Since then, the Kowboys have dominated the series and now lead it 67-27-4. St. Cloud’s last win in the series was a thrilling 41-35 win in 2010 – a victory they would later have to forfeit on a player eligibility issue. The last official victories for the Bulldogs came in in the early 2000s, when the Bulldogs won back-to-back games by nearly identical scores of 28-24 in 2005 and 27-24 in 2004. Since then, St. Cloud has had some up-and-down seasons; while Osceola has emerged as a state powerhouse – reaching the state championship game three times since 2007. During the current 11-game on-field winning streak, Osceola has outscored St. Cloud 469-126. Every game has been decided by at least 20 points with the exception of 3418 in 2016 and 42-27 in 2011. Still both sides say the game remains important to the schools and the community.

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SPORTS Undefeated Tohopekaliga heads to Space Coast, 3-0 Harmony travels to Eua Gallie, headlining week five games Early season games are fickle. Depending on the schedule, expectations, district vs. nondistrict, and a thousand other factors, early season games normally will not define what type of season a team will have or hope to have. Still, Harmony (3-0) and head coach Don Simon is not down-playing the importance of Friday night’s non-conference road game against Eau Gallie (4-0). “First of all this is our last game before we get into district play and our first district game is going to be the next week against Melbourne – a team very similar to Eau Gallie. It will give us a good measuring stick to where we are right now and where we need to get to. Second of all, Harmony has not gotten off to a 4-0 start since 2006. Our players are aware of this, are excited about it and understand what they are going to have to do to get to that point.” It will not be an easy task. Led by quarterback Mari Crooms (completion percentage 69%), a pair of talented running backs in Delonte Williams and Tay Welch; and two outstanding receivers in Baker Alvarez and DJ Jordan, Eau Gallie will come into the game with an offense that has been averaging 45 points a game. On defense, the team has allowed less than 10 points a game. “Big, fast, strong on both sides of the ball,” Simon said about this week’s opponent. “Right now I would say we are on schedule as far as where I hope we would be at this point in the season. That said, Friday night’s game with Eau Gallie is going to be a tremendous challenge for us. Like our last game with Palm Bay, this is going to be a slugfest.” Harmony is coming off a bye week after a last second pass defense on a two-point conversion preserved a 13-12 win over Palm Bay.

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COMMUNITY Eight prized bass are still swimming! Catch them by Sept. 30 to win The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program is about to end another season. Any bass caught in Season 10 (Oct. 1, 2021 – Sept. 30, 2022) must be submitted by Oct. 15 to qualify for prizing. The same deadline applies to the eight pink-tagged bass still swimming in specific waters throughout Florida, as part of the 10-Tag Celebration to commemorate TrophyCatch’s tenth season. Catching one of these special bass and successfully submitting it to TrophyCatch will net the lucky angler a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card and $1,000 to shop at AFTCO, plus a chance at an additional $10,000. For the specific locations and rules, visit our TrophyCatch website. The TrophyCatch program rewards anglers who provide documentation of their catch and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida.

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COMMUNITY Huntington Learning Center, Reading Tutoring For All Levels The power to read is inarguably one of the most important skills fundamental to a student’s ability to function and prosper in school and beyond. It infiltrates every facet of life, from the most miniscule tasks such as reading a menu to more difficult tasks like analyzing dense texts in advanced college courses. Setting a strong foundation from the very early stages of your child’s life is incredibly important for him or her to be able to build upon and grow as your child advances in school. Huntington Learning Center offers reading tutoring programs designed to help students in elementary school through high school develop the language skills they will need in the classroom and beyond. Our highly experienced reading tutors strive to help students reach their full potential, instilling a strong understanding of reading basics that can then be applied in ways that help them to explore and understand the world around them in a meaningful way.

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HEALTH

Thomas R. Kelley, MD Family Medicine Orlando Health

Orlando Health: Being a Grandparent Can Add Years to Your Life Ask any grandparent about their grandkids, and you’ll likely hear all about the joy they bring. But as it turns out, your adorable grandchild can add more than just a smile to your face – they can add years to your life. Studies show that active grandparenting reduces stress, increases mental engagement, encourages better physical health and boosts longevity. Even in older adults without grandchildren, research shows that spending time with young children and caring for them extends life span. Grandchildren Keep You Active If you’ve ever babysat for a toddler, you know they don’t sit still, which means you don’t, either. Whether playing catch, making meals or just picking up their toys, one big benefit of helping care for your grandchildren is that it gets you up and moving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults should get 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week to help to maintain their strength and stamina, as well as reduce health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. The added motivation of wanting to stay healthy and present for your grandkid’s milestones prompts, many seniors to keep those preventative doctor visits and make healthier food choices. Grandkids Keep You Mentally Alert In addition to moving your body, taking care of grandchildren exercises your brain. Spending time with them requires memory, analysis and multi-tasking, not to mention quick reflexes. This boost to your mental activity strengthens nerve cell connections, helping to slow cognitive decline and potentially ward off Alzheimer’s disease. To keep engaged with older grandchildren, stay involved in their interests, music or technology. Many seniors find themselves learning to play video games or attending sporting events that might not have been a part of their daily life before grandkids.

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HEALTH Orlando Health: Study evaluates college football players’ positions for risk of concussions

A new research study looks inside the brains of college football athletes to measure levels of traumatic brain injury (TBI) biomarkers by player position. This study, conducted in collaboration with researchers at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) and Penn State University, and published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, sheds light on which positions are at the greatest risk for elevations in brain injury biomarkers. The biomarkers are proteins and other substances released from the brain after it has been damaged. Researchers followed 52 college football athletes, pre-season and post-season, and measured four biomarkers (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 [UCH-L1], total Tau, and neurofilament light chain polypeptide [NF-L]). The players were grouped by two established classification systems: speed versus nonspeed positions, and Profile 1, Profile 2, and Profile 3. “We found the biomarkers were much higher in football players in speed positions such as quarterbacks, wide receivers, defensive backs, running backs, halfbacks, fullbacks, tight ends, defensive backs, safety, and linebackers who build up momentum prior to tackling or being tackled, compared to non-speed positions like offensive and defensive linemen who engage other players before significant momentum can be generated,” said Linda Papa, MD, lead author of the study and emergency medicine physician and director, Academic Clinical Research, Orlando Health ORMC. “Interestingly, biomarkers increased in all positions over the course of the season despite very few players being diagnosed with a concussion. This suggests that repetitive head impact exposures elevate TBI biomarkers without having a concussion.” Furthermore, Papa and colleagues used a three-tier player position classification system developed by researchers using biomechanical measurements including head impact strain magnitude, head impact frequency and intervals.

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

Race into Fall with the Disney Wine & Dine Half-Marathon Weekend The 2022-23 runDisney race season kicks off Nov. 3-6 with the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. The popular race weekend features a 5K, 10K and half marathon, as well as the Disney Two Course Challenge (10K and half marathon) and Post-Race Party. Guests can experience the blend of music, stories, and culinary delights found during the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival and the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration. The weekend features a Coco-themed 5K, a Raya and the Last Dragon-themed 10K and a half marathon celebrating the music and magic of Soul. Guests can also experience the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, including the opportunity to buy merchandise and gadgets for runners.

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

Largest-Ever HBCU Week Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in October High school students from across the Southeast and beyond will descend on Walt Disney World Resort next month for the largest-ever HBCU Week featuring a huge college fair, a parade of high-stepping marching bands, a fierce battle of the bands and a live ESPN broadcast. A record number of high school students (more than 5,000) and Historically Black Colleges and University representatives (nearly 50) will take part in the weekend event, October 7-9, 2022, when more than $10 million in scholarships are expected to be awarded, which would be another event record. Since 2017, more than 3,500 on-the-spot admissions have been offered, along with more than $23 million in scholarships.

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS Universal Studios Florida to feature 10 Haunted Houses, Five Scare Zones, Two Shows to Bring Deepest Fears to Life

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Universal Orlando Resort has revealed more gruesome details about the impending terror that awaits guests brave enough to face Halloween Horror Nights 2022 – including the six horrifying original concepts that complete this year’s lineup of 10 haunted houses, five sinister scare zones and two live shows. The event kicks off Friday, September 2 and runs select nights through October 31. All Tickets are On Sale Now – Click

As the world’s premier Halloween event turns 31 this fall, a haunting conglomerate of unfathomable experiences inspired by traditional Halloween elements and some of guests’ worst fears come to life in this year’s collection of original haunted houses and scare zones.

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

Family Halloween Fun is Back with SeaWorld Orlando’s Spooktacular Halloween is back with candy, costumes, your favorite Sesame Street friends, and plenty of spooky surprises. Treat your family to all the festive fun of SeaWorld Spooktacular, select dates, Sept. 17 – Oct. 31 SHOW OFF YOUR COSTUMES Kids love trick-or-treating during this daytime event as they explore the decorated trail and meet all sorts of colorful characters. And that’s just the beginning! From spooky stories and a Halloween dance party to moments with furry friends like Count von Count, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and more, this is immersive family fun you’ll only find at SeaWorld. All guests are welcome to dress up in costumes. Guests who are ages 13 and older may not wear costume masks or hoods, and all costumes are subject to the normal dress code for the park. In addition, face painting is not permitted on any guests unless it is done by park artists. WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN – A NEW TERROR SURFACES Howl-O-Scream has washed ashore at SeaWorld Orlando, and this time, the fear is everywhere. Experience the family fun by day and the bone-chilling terror by night. For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

Howl-O-Scream to Return to SeaWorld Orlando beginning in September with new scares and more

SeaWorld Orlando’s Howl-O-Scream will wash ashore for its second year in Orlando on select nights from September 9 through October 31, 2022, and as SeaWorld says, there will be “nowhere” to hide! This year promises to be bigger ands badder with more pulsepounding, sweat-inducing haunts, thrills, and chills, and night-time eerie coaster riding! Make your way through angry haunts and scare zones as you attempt to find shelter indoors, only to find you’ve entered a house of horrors. Experience nighttime coaster rides, quench your thirst for fear at a fiendishly interactive bar, and enjoy the freakishness of one of SeaWorld’s live shows. Evil is returning—with a howl and a scream and 28 nights of fully immersive fear in fall 2022, only at SeaWorld Orlando. Be Among the First to Scream. Sign up for Howl-O-Scream emails now and get access to exciting updates, promotions, exclusive offers, and more. Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore, and blood. Howl-O-Scream 2022 is a separately-ticketed night event. No guest costumes will be allowed.

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TechCentral is a brand new creative space providing access to tools and technologies that will help the community gain the necessary skills to make their dreams a reality! Featuring: Recording Studio Sewing Studio iMac Computer Lab with Adobe Creative Suite Virtual Reality Equipment Robotics for Kids Photography Studio 3D Printing On Demand Located on the second floor of Hart Memorial Central Library 211 E Dakin Avenue | Kissimmee, FL | 34741

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POSITIVELY DELICIOUS Seared Florida Swordfish Steaks with Arugula and Peach Salsa, it’s Positively Delicious! Here’s a recipe for Florida Swordfish that takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, and we think you’ll agree that it’s positively delicious! INGREDIENTS • 4 (6-ounce) Florida swordfish steaks • 10 ounces Florida arugula • 2 large Florida peaches, pit removed and diced small • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped • 1 lime, juiced • ½ red onion, diced small • 1 lemon, juiced • 2 tablespoons olive oil • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste PREPARATION In a small mixing bowl, combine diced peaches, lime juice, diced red onion, cilantro and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Stir ingredients to combine. Taste salsa and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated until use. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the sauté pan. Lightly season both sides of the swordfish steaks with salt and pepper. Carefully add the seasoned swordfish steaks to the sauté pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until swordfish is cooked throughout. Remove swordfish from pan and let drain on a paper towel. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the arugula, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss the arugula to coat and season lightly with salt and pepper. To serve, place an even amount of arugula on each of the 4 plates. Place a swordfish steak on top of the arugula on each plate. Top the swordfish steaks with an even amount of peach salsa. Serve immediately. SOURCE: Fresh from Florida For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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POSITIVELY DELICIOUS Florida Snapper and Shrimp Scampi, it’s Positively Delicious! Florida seafood, fresh, abundant, healthy to eat, and without a question, positively delicious! Check out this simple recipe for Florida snapper and shrimp scampi! INGREDIENTS • 4 (6-ounce) Florida snapper fillets • ½ pound medium Florida shrimp, peeled and deveined • 4 cloves garlic, minced • 3 shallots, minced • 1 tablespoon capers • 1 tablespoon pimentos, diced • ½ cup white wine • ½ cup bottled clam juice • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper • ½ cup fresh parsley, minced • 12 ounces vermicelli or angel hair pasta, cooked • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 3 tablespoons butter Sea salt, to taste PREPARATION Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and shallots and sauté for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring often. Raise heat to medium, add capers, pimentos, wine, clam juice and pepper; simmer for 2 minutes. Add fillets and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add shrimp, spreading them evenly over the skillet; simmer for 3 minutes until fillets and shrimp are cooked through. Stir in parsley; add salt to taste. Place fillets and shrimp on pasta on individual plates. Spoon scampi sauce over all and serve. For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website!

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