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

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Holiday Home Tour and Winter
returns to Celebration December 3rd and 4th
Offers a Free “Cup of Thanks” to Florida Residents this Giving Tuesday Osceola Kowboys to Clash with Vero on Friday, Trip to Final Four at Stake Precautionary boil water advisory due to water main issued on Tuesday for Indian Ridge, Indian Ridge Villas customers For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com Inside this issue Salvation Army to kick off Red Kettle Season with Captain Ken Chapman riding the ICON Park Wheel for 10 hours FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25 2022
Wonderland
Dunkin’
For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com 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

ON DEMAND LIVESTREAMS

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

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

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

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

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

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IN & AROUND OSCEOLA

LIVE as the Lee family (Celebration Sanitation Service) unveil their newest sanitation truck dedicated to their organ donor son, Dylan

LIVE with Osceola High School Girls varsity volleyball coach, Carrie Palmi, after her team beat Dr. Phillips in the Region 2 Finals

LIVE with the City of St. Cloud’s Finance Department for the Halloween Contest

Help Now of Osceola’s 13th Annual DV Rally, Awareness Walk & Candlelight Vigil

LIVE with the St. Cloud Police Department talking about their collaboration with the DEA in a national Rx take back

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VIDEOS ON DEMAND

KUA Movie in the Park: Sing 2November 4th

Kissimmee Utility Authority will begin its 2022-2023 Movie in the Park series on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at Kissimmee Lakefront Park. The event will feature free admission, free popcorn, prize giveaways, and the showing of Sing 2 on a 50-foot screen! Activities begin at 5:30pm and the movie at 7:00pm.

Orlando Health’s exciting volunteer opportunities!

Orlando Health has some exciting volunteer opportunities that are sure to make a positive difference in the lives of those who volunteer at one of its facilities. Orlando Health is asking community members to consider choosing one or more of its facilities to #volunteer at. For more information, visit www.OrlandoHealth.com/Volunteer-Services

Misery - Osceola Arts

Next up on the Osceola Arts Main Stage is William Goldman’s Misery at Osceola Arts directed by Jeremy Seghers! This must-see show will run from Friday, October 28th through Sunday, November 6th. Showtimes are Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. On Saturday, November 5th at 2pm there will be a special American Sign Language interpreted performance.

Good Samaritan Society Kissimmee Village

Hurricane Ian floodwaters have receded, but the residents of Good Samaritan Society Kissimmee Village are still looking for answers from the community owners.

2022 State of Osceola County

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

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Red Kettle Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NEWS
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St. Cloud explores ways to “speed up” construction company in its downtown construction project to help local businesses
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St. Cloud Jeweler warns other local businesses after thieves attempt early morning break-in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NEWS

Up next at Osceola Arts, Lionel Bart’s ring a classic stage musical Oliver, plus other festive events

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

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

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

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free Movie in

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

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

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

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

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NEWS
KUA to host
the Park featuring ‘The Grinch’ Friday, December 2 at Kissimmee’s Lakefront Park

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

Keith Urban, Cody Johnson, & Hardy

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

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

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

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It’s Manatee Awareness month and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is reminding boaters to go slow, and look out below!

November is an important time for boaters to go slow and lookout below to watch for manatees as they travel to warmer water sites around the state.

Manatees depend on water generally warmer than 68 degrees Fahrenheit to survive the winter, so in the fall they travel to Florida springs, power plant discharges and other warm-water sites.

While manatees are large, they can be difficult to see in the water. That is why it is important to: follow guidelines and follow all manatee protection zones; look out while boating; wear polarized glasses and always give them space. Manatee protection zones are marked by waterway signs and maps of manatee protection zones are available online at MyFWC.com/Manatee by clicking on “Data and Maps.” During the colder months, seasonal manatee zones require boaters to slow down in certain areas to prevent manatees from being injured or killed by motorboats or personal watercraft.

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FWC is reminding boaters to go slow, look out below during Manatee Awareness month and beyond
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Florida KidCare covering monthly premium payments for families in Florida counties impacted by Hurricane Ian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Orlando Health acquires Sabanera Health Dorado in Puerto Rico to create Doctors’ Center Hospital

| Orlando Health Dorado

Orlando Health is joining forces with Doctors’ Center Hospital in Puerto Rico to create Doctors’ Center Hospital |Orlando Health Dorado. The new brand replaces Sabanera Health Dorado, the former name of Puerto Rico’s most advanced acute care hospital.

Orlando Health, a non-profit healthcare organization that serves the southeastern United States, announced recently that it has acquired PRISA Group’s and Triple-S Management’s participation in Sabanera Health Dorado, an agreement that both parties identified as a huge step on taking the new facility to its next level of excellence and benefiting all residents of Puerto Rico’s northern region while solidifying the efforts to promote medical tourism on the island.

The Orlando-based healthcare system and Doctors’ Center Hospital have also forged an agreement to team up on four additional hospitals on the island: Doctors’ Center Hospital San Juan, Doctors’ Center Hospital Bayamón, Doctors’ Center Hospital Manatí and Doctors’ Center Hospital San Fernando De La Carolina.

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Osceola County Commissioner Viviana Janer Kicks Off ‘The HotSpot’ at BVL Library

The BVL Library, part of the Osceola Library System, officially opened a new 190-square-foot covered patio known as “the HotSpot” on Thursday offering Internet access to the public in a more social setting, thanks to the efforts of Viviana Janer, County Commissioner for District 2.

“This is a great new feature that will allow people to interact in a much more social environment without disrupting patrons inside the library. I thought this was a unique way to expand the library’s footprint – as well as its impact on the community,” said Janer. “I envision residents working on projects or surfing the internet on their own personal devices while sipping on a cup of coffee and enjoying a pastry from their favorite bakery, which is something you can’t do inside the library.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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:

minor

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

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

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Even
car accidents can cause back injuries, don’t wait to seek medical attention
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FAMILY LAW

Draper Law: Ten Mistakes to Avoid During Your Divorce

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

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

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Osceola County Clerk of the Court & Comptroller Kelvin

Soto Publishes “Osceola

On the Rise” County Financial Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Osceola Kowboys to Clash with Vero on Friday, Trip to Final Four at Stake

For Osceola Head Coach Eric Pinellas the path to the Final Four is simple. Contain Vero Beach star wide receiver Vandrevious Jacobs on defense and finish drives in the end zone on offense.

But while the path may be simple, it will not be easy as the second-seeded Kowboys (9-3) meet the top-seeded Indians (11-1) in a Suburban 4, Region 3 Final at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at the Vero Beach Citrus Bowl.

“I’ll be honest, I’m glad they don’t run a single wing offense,” Pinellas said of his opponent after Osceola narrowly escaped upset losses in the first two rounds of the playoffs against single wing teams DeLand (30-28) and Treasure Coast (10-7). “But we have no delusions that this is going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Vero has a very capable offense, backed by a smallish but athletic defense that makes plays. “With few exceptions, every game is a dogfight at this point and we’re expecting another one on Friday.”

One might think Osceola would have an advantage after Vero Beach star quarterback Tyler Aronson was lost for the season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand in a Nov. 21 loss to Martin County. But backups Jake Whitley and Efrem White have filled in admirably – leading the Indians to a district-clinching win over Treasure Coast (10-7 in overtime) as well as playoff wins over Harmony (24-14) and Melbourne (26-7). Still it is Jacobs, an FSU pledge and one of the top receivers in the state, who concerns Pinellas the most.

The senior has 84 receptions for 1352 yards and 19 touchdowns – despite playing the last three-and-a-half games without his quarterback. “We need to account for him on every snap, because he has the ability to score from anywhere on the field,” Pinellas said. “He’s one of those players who will always going to get his stats, the important thing will be to not give up the big plays and get him on the ground after he catches it.”

Although they do not run the ball much, Vero can be effective on the ground. Led by Quincy Rodgers (85 carries, 605 yards, 5 touchdowns), the Indians are averaging five yards a carry and have scored 23 rushing touchdowns this season.

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HEALTH

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

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

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

Try These Strategies

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

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

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

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

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HEALTH

Orlando Health hospitals awarded top grades for patient safety

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

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

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

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

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS

Universal Orlando’s Holidays Celebration Kicks Off

Running daily through January 1, 2023, Universal Orlando Resort presents its destination-wide Holidays celebration.

Universal Orlando will feature an incredible collection of festivities inspired by pop culture’s most beloved stories and characters, including Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Grinchmas, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s and more. Guests can also savor an array of new and fan-favorite holiday-inspired menu offerings across the entire resort and visit the all-new Holiday Tribute Store to shop unique merchandise inspired by Dr. Seuss’s the Grinch, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal’s very own Earl the Squirrel character, and more.

Indulge in Holiday Delights Across the Resort

Universal Orlando Resort offers next-level cuisine for the whole family to enjoy this holiday season across the entire destination, including comforting classics, returning fan-favorite fare and tasty treats inspired by this year’s festivities.

See below for some of the must-try menu items Universal Orlando is serving up during the holidays:

• Earl’s Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Acorn Bomb (available at TODAY Café and Battery Park – located alongside the lagoon near Mel’s Drive-In): A holiday fan-favorite is back, now themed to the beloved, original Universal character – Earl the Squirrel. The delicious beverage consists of a chocolate acorn shell filled with salted caramel and mini marshmallows, served with Italian hot chocolate.

• Roast Beast Sandwich (available at Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous): Guests looking for comfort food flavors can savor the Roast Beast Sandwich – a mini meatloaf sandwich featuring French onion soup-dipped roast beef with a cheddar cheese sauce –and even a “secret” sauce – served on a pretzel bun.

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POSITIVELY DELICIOUS

Florida Snap Beans with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms, Positively Delicious!

Fresh and healthy, simple and inexpensive to make, and a great way to enjoy ingredients grown right here in the sunshine state. We think you’ll agree… it’s positively delicious!

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound Florida snap beans, stems trimmed

• 16 large Florida button mushrooms, rinsed and sliced

• 2 large onions, peeled and sliced

• 2 teaspoons olive oil

• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

• 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

• Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the preheated sauté pan. Add sliced onions to pan and cook them for 3 to 5 minutes until almost caramelized. Add the green beans and garlic to the pan and continue to cook ingredients for another 3 to 4 minutes until the green beans are almost to desired tenderness. Add mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and butter. Cook another 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve warm.

SOURCE: Fresh from Florida

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POSITIVELY DELICIOUS

Florida Shrimp Sandwich with Avocado, Positively Delicious!

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

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound medium-sized Florida shrimp, peeled

• 1 large Florida avocado, peeled and seed removed

• 1 small red onion, sliced thin

• ½ cup rice vinegar

• Seafood seasoning

• 4 slices whole-wheat bread

• Olive oil for cooking

• 1 lemon, juiced

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

• 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine

• Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

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

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