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

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Six Wrestlers From Osceola County Will Vie for State Championships Today at Silver Spurs Arena

Body of missing Florida teen Madeline Soto found near St. Cloud, mother's boyfriend Stephan Sterns named as prime suspect in girl’s death

Record-Breaking Spring Break Anticipated at Orlando International Airport: 3-2-1 Rule Essential for Travelers

Mega Millions Jackpot Climbs to $650 Million, Next Drawing Tuesday March 5

Osceola Arts proudly presents "Dreams and Realities: Works by Vera Gubnitskaia

For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com Saturday, March 2, 2024

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.

LIVE as the St Cloud Little League Season Officially Opens

LIVE at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new K-8 school in Osceola County in the Kindred Development

LIVE at the Osceola County Fair with the Burn the Jukebox band

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IN & AROUND OSCEOLA

LIVE with Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry at her Ice Cream Social Community Update event in Celebration

LIVE at Osceola County Animal Services with Osceola County Commissioner Brandon Arrington and Miss Silver Spurs Riley DeRosa, her court and Rodeo Queens from around the U.S. and Canada

LIVE at the Silver Spurs Rodeo Parade in St. Cloud

LIVE as City of St. Cloud held a ribbon cutting for its new mobile pantry program, managed by Osceola Council On Aging

LIVE at the Kissimmee Police Department’s Annual Award Ceremony at the Kissimmee Civic Center

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ON DEMAND LIVESTREAMS

LIVE with Attorney Charlie Draper

February 21st, 2024

LIVE with City of St. Cloud’s Strategic Initiatives Administrator Abismael Abreu

February 15th, 2024

LIVE with Osceola County Commissioner Brandon Arrington and his dog Brody

February 7th, 2024

LIVE with Silver Spurs Quadrille Marshal Ashley Fluke and District 5 Osceola County Commissioner Ricky Booth

February 2nd, 2024

LIVE with Demetrius Chappell, St. Cloud Police Departments Lone Ranger

January 30th, 2024

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VIDEOS ON DEMAND

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

Positively Osceola, Making a Positive Difference in and Around Osceola County!

Stay informed and inspired with Positively Osceola, your 24/7 go-to news in and around Osceola County! Positively Osceola shares the latest updates on local events, community achievements, and inspiring stories. From heartwarming features to breaking news, PO has you covered. Experience the power of positivity with Positively Osceola!

Buckle Up for Action: Demolition Derby to return to the 80th Osceola County Fair in February!

Get ready for heart-pounding excitement at the Osceola County Fair, coming back from February 9-18, 2024! Mark your calendars for February 11, when the adrenaline-fueled Demolition Derby returns - it’s a crowd favorite you won’t want to miss!

Don Schmidt Roofing

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

KUA Movie in the Park: “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts”

Kissimmee Utility Authority’s next Movie in the Park will feature “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” at Kissimmee Lakefront Park on Friday, March 1st. The event will feature free admission, free popcorn, free inflatables, free crafts, a free photo booth, and prize giveaways. The movie series is a partnership between Kissimmee Utility Authority and the City of Kissimmee Government.

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Osceola School District’s

KICK-OFF TO KINDERGARTEN

EVENTS!

Calling all our little learners! We can’t wait to see you in Kindergarten in August. All incoming kindergarteners and their parents/guardians are invited to attend any one of our three upcoming Kick-Off To Kindergarten regional events:

2.26.24

I’M GOING TO

2.29.24

3.5.24

For the following schools: For the following schools: For the following schools:

Boggy Creek Elementary

Central Avenue Elementary

Cypress Elementary

Flora Ridge Elementary

Highlands Elementary

Kissimmee Elementary

Mill Creek Elementary

Thacker Avenue

Elementary School for International Studies

Ventura Elementary

Osceola Virtual School

Bellalago K-8

Celebration K-8

Chestnut Elementary School for Science and Engineering

Deerwood Elementary

Island Village Elementary

Koa Elementary

Poinciana Academy of Fine Arts

Pleasant Hill Elementary

Reedy Creek Elementary

New “BB” K-8 - located in Knightsbridge

Sunrise Elementary

Westside K-8

Canoe Creek K-8

East Lake Elementary

Harmony Community School

Hickory Tree Elementary

New “CC” K-8located at Sunbridge

Lakeview Elementary

Michigan Avenue Elementary

Narcoossee Elementary

Neptune Elementary

Partin Settlement Elementary

St Cloud Elementary

at Osceola High School 5:30-7:30 p.m.
p.m.
at Poinciana High School 5:30-7:30
p.m.
at St. Cloud High School 5:30-7:30
Event Highlights Will Include: School Tables Highlighting Programs and Offerings Helpful School Department Information Information from Partners In Education
In Partnership With: For more information, contact Osceola School District’s Early Childhood Learning Center 407-870-4911

Kissimmee Fire Department Earns Prestigious International Accreditation

The Kissimmee Fire Department has achieved an internationally renowned accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).

This honor is the result of an exhaustive evaluation process, including in-depth peer reviews of the department’s policies, operational practices, safety protocols, and a comprehensive on-site assessment. The accreditation process culminated in a final review and approval by the CFAI Board on February 27, 2024, underscoring the department’s commitment to excellence and adherence to the highest standards of fire safety and emergency services.

CFAI is dedicated to helping fire and emergency service agencies worldwide achieve organizational and professional excellence. By voluntarily seeking accreditation, Kissimmee Fire Department has ensured that it stays up-to-date on industry standards, follows best practices, ensures continuous improvement, and keeps citizens and fire personnel safe.

To learn more about the City of Kissimmee please visit, Kissimmee.gov

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Lady Bulldogs Aim High, Eagles Look to Soar, Harmony and Osceola Hope to Repeat in Girls Softball

Regular season for high school softball has opened and the new season brings a high level of optimism for one traditionally solid program, while others are in rebuild mode and one program looks to make a huge leap to respectability.

“We have a high level of expectation for this team,” veteran coach Ray Whobrey says about his St. Cloud Bulldogs program. “We had a lot of young talent on our roster last year and they responded by earning a regional bid. That team is a year older and more experienced and that is the key reason for our optimism.”

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Orlando International Airport’s Gallery MCO Goes

Wild, with Wild Florida Exhibit Through March 14

Experience visual interpretations of natural Florida in the new Wild Florida exhibit at Gallery MCO through March 14, featuring photographs, paintings, etchings and mixed media by Florida artists from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s permanent collection of art.

On display in the select exhibition are photographs by Clyde Butcher and Steve Vaughn, paintings by Carol Elder Napoli, Jeannie Schubert and Sherry Lynn Lee Diaz, etchings by John Costin, and mixed media by Karin Bastidas and Beth Appleton.

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NEWS

OSCEOLA WEATHER

Osceola County Weather: The 80s return under mostly cloudy skies, 70s tomorrow with higher rain chances this weekend

Happy Wednesday Osceola! After starting out the day in the upper 50s, we’ll warm into the mid 80s under partly cloudy skies with a south southeast wind 5 to 15 mph, and gusts as high as 20 mph. A new weather front overnight will drop us back into the 70s on Thursday with rain chances at 10% on Thursday. Friday will mark the start of higher rain chances that will continue through the weekend and into Monday.

Tonight

Areas of fog after 4am. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 61. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight.

Thursday

Areas of fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 76. North northeast wind 5 to 15 mph.

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NEWS

Celebrating Black History Month in Osceola County: A Tapestry of Culture and Community

February is the month set aside to celebrate Black History Month, a time to honor the achievements, history, and cultural richness of the African American community. This commemoration began in 1915, fifty years after the abolition of slavery, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a revered historian, established the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Although the annual recognition is a welcomed one, the profound and extraordinary impact of the African American community on our nation, and notably in Osceola County, certainly warrants recognition and celebration every day, all year long.

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St. Cloud Celebrates Launch of New Innovative Mobile Food Pantry with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The City of St. Cloud held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning, along with the Osceola Council on Aging, for its new mobile food pantry, a refrigerated box truck that will assist those still experiencing food insecurity in the St. Cloud community.

“The City awarded a $103,000 Community Development Block Grant to our partners at the Osceola Council on Aging, to help them purchase this refrigerated truck, which enables them to continue providing this critical service to our residents,” said City Council Member Kolby Urban, who presided over the ribbon cutting.

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NEWS
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Central Florida leader Jay Galbraith Appointed as President to Steer BRIDG Into New Era of Innovation

Jay Galbraith has been appointed as the new president of BRIDG, a not-for-profit, public-private partnership that excels in advanced system integration and packaging. BRIDG is centered around the 500-acre NeoCity technology campus in Osceola County and is dedicated to fostering inclusive regional economic growth.

Today’s announcement heralds a pivotal advancement, charting a course for sustained excellence as BRIDG spearheads pivotal programs and federal contract awards. These are indispensable for bolstering national security and fostering domestic autonomy in the sophisticated domain of semiconductor advanced packaging and microelectronics systems. With Galbraith at the helm, his extensive tenure exceeding three decades in strategic leadership and government affairs significantly benefits not only Central Florida but the entire state, driving transformative endeavors forward.

“The BRIDG board of directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jay Galbraith as president of BRIDG,” stated Clarence Thacker, chairman of BRIDG board. “Jay brings a wealth of experience and connections in Central Florida and beyond. His strength in business administration and partnership relations strengthen the sustainability of the organization well into the future.”

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READ

Osceola County Secures $4M for CuttingEdge Tech Library Initiative

Osceola County has received yet another significant technology boost with a $4 million grant from the Multipurpose Community Facilities Program (MCFP) to support the creation of the Osceola County Technology Library. This substantial investment is set to enhance community services directly, focusing on advancing work opportunities, educational access, and health monitoring for residents.

The planned facility represents an investment in empowering the local community with cutting-edge technology and resources. The $7.2 million library will encompass an 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art space located in District 2.

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Valencia College, Osceola County School Graduate Faith-Christina Duncan: Challenge Accepted!

Faith-Christina Duncan is a beaming, glowing, 4-foot-8-inch bundle of positive energy, and is a graduate of Osceola County Schools and Valencia College!

She’s hard-working, happy, and determined to succeed. Yet, when Faith-Christina Duncan was born, doctors reluctantly told her parents that they were sorry to inform the couple that the baby had Down Syndrome.

Mike and Nancy-Carole Duncan didn’t blink. Instead, they embraced Faith-Christina and got to work – arranging appointments with neurologists, physical therapists, and cardiologists (who would be needed to repair the holes in her heart) to begin helping Faith-Christina overcome any obstacle that stood in her way.

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NEWS

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.

READ MORE, CLICK HERE: https://bit.ly/42NvIpm

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SPORTS

Girls Flag Football Orange Belt Conference Champion to be Crowned Next Week

Although the spring sports season is less than two weeks old, a spring sports team champion will be crowned next Friday as the Orange Belt Conference conducts its weeklong Girls’ Flag Football Championship beginning Monday evening with quarterfinal games.

The Harmony Longhorns, winners of the last three championships and nine of the last 12, will be the top seed for the tournament. They will open play in the tournament by hosting Tohopekaliga at 5 p.m. Celebration will play Liberty at 7 p.m. in another quarterfinal on the Harmony campus.

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Magic’s Winning Streak Continues with Decisive Victory Against Salt Lake City Stars

The Osceola Magic won their sixth straight game Tuesday, defeating the Salt Lake City Stars 131-113 at the Maverik Center.

D.J. Wilson scored a season-high 35 points on 14-of-19 shooting and added nine rebounds and seven assists in the victory.

“We’ve been learning from our mistakes and building good habits,” Wilson said. “When we play team basketball on both ends, the sky is the limit for us. We were locked in defensively tonight, and that helped us lead to many easy buckets. We’re ready to get back to Osceola and protect home court.”

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NEWS

St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce’s New ‘CoLab’

Coworking Space to Bridge the Gap for Small Businesses

The St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce has announced its newest initiative, CoLab @ the Chamber, a new coworking component of the Chamber Small Business program. This initiative is designed to bolster the growth, success, and operational efficiency of small businesses within the community, and represents a commitment to fostering a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

CoLab @ the Chamber offer resources and networking small businesses need to thrive with monthly subscription plans available to both members and non-members.

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Kindred K-8 Groundbreaking: Osceola’s Newest School to Welcome 1,500 Students in 2025

On Friday, a ground breaking took place in the Kindred community in Kissimmee, where a new K-8 school will open in the Fall of 2025 and serve almost 1500 students.

The Osceola School District is pioneering a fresh approach to K-8 education with the introduction of their Kindred K-8-AA school, emblematic of a broader strategy also reflected in the upcoming Sunbridge and Knightsbridge K-8 schools in Poinciana, set to open this fall. This innovative facility will feature a comprehensive three-story classroom wing, an administration suite, a media center, a fine arts wing, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria. Constructed on a sprawling 20-acre site, the Kindred K-8-AA is designed to foster a holistic educational environment, complete with a 400-meter running track, a soccer infield, and three full-size outdoor basketball courts, ensuring a blend of academic excellence and physical development.

The Kindred K-8 AA campus, which is located off of Cross Prairie Parkway, will be equipped with distinct parent and bus circulation paths, each shaded under aluminumcovered canopies for added comfort. Additionally, the facility will boast around 200 parking spaces. It’s designed to efficiently manage a double-stacked queue of approximately 297 cars within the parent loop, enhancing on-site traffic flow and safety.

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NEWS
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NEWS

Celebrate Spring at St. Cloud’s Spring Fest!

Join the City of St. Cloud for a day of fun and festivity at the Spring Fest, happening at Hopkins Park on Saturday, March 30, from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Located at 620 E. 17th Street, this family-friendly event promises an array of activities for everyone to enjoy. Dive into the excitement with bounce houses, savor the flavors from a variety of food trucks, explore unique finds from vendors, get creative with crafts, and enjoy fun-filled games.

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Valencia College Unveils State-of-the-Art Precision Optics Lab , Honors Inaugural Graduating Class

On Thursday, Valencia College, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, inaugurated its new Precision Optics Lab and celebrated the graduation of the inaugural class from Florida’s first optics technician program, a 15week course that was launched in October 2023 to address the demand for skilled technicians in precision optics and photonics in Central Florida. Osceola County Manager Don Fisher, and Valencia College President Dr. Kathleen Plinske, spoke during the ceremony.

For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com NEWS During the month of February, PET ADOPTION is just $14 Find your at Osceola County Animal Services www.OsceolaCountyPets.com All new adoptions receive a complimentary pet carrier. (while supplies last)
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NEWS

Beat the Heat Before It Hits With Osceola Air: Essential AC Maintenance Tips for Florida’s Winter Months

As the cooler months of February grace Florida, it’s the perfect time to consider preventative maintenance for your air conditioning units. This crucial step ensures your system is primed to handle the intense heat that the Sunshine State is renowned for in the warmer months. Preventative maintenance is not just a recommendation; it’s essential for the longevity and efficiency of your AC unit.

Routine checks and servicing during Florida’s winter months can prevent unexpected breakdowns when you need cooling the most. According to Osceola Air, preventive maintenance is key to ensuring your air conditioning is ready to combat the sweltering heat that inevitably returns. Moreover, maintaining your air conditioner, especially tasks like routinely replacing or cleaning its filters, is the most important maintenance task to ensure efficiency.

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Orlando Health Network launched innovative care models in 2023

Orlando Health Network launched various innovative health care models in 2023 to enhance the quality of patient care. Since its inception in 2013, the network has generated more than $165 million in savings to patients, payers, employers and taxpayers, according to the Clinically Integrated Network Value Report 2023.

The recently released 2023 report details how the network, part of the Orlando Health hospital system, launched multiple initiatives during 2023 to ensure that the nearly 300,000 patients it serves in Central and West Florida receive timely, efficient, and effective medical care from more than 6,600 multispecialty providers.

“Our 2023 Clinically Integrated Network Value Report showcases our myriad innovative care models, clinical and quality programs, and strong performance across value-based arrangements in the past year,” said Erik Walker, MD, board chairman, Orlando Health Network. “Now serving nearly 300,000 patients, Orlando Health Network achieved notable accomplishments for the tenth year in a row through the thoughtful collaboration with our dedicated providers and health system partners. On behalf of our network, I am once again humbled to share these efforts and their accompanying achievements.”

Initiatives launched by the network in 2023 include the Orlando Health Support Team for Aftercare and Resources Outpatient Centers, which are designed to effectively manage the post-hospitalization and advanced pharmacy needs of patients.

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NEWS
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Osceola School District Announces Finalists for

Prestigious Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year Awards

The list of candidates for the Osceola School District’s Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year awards has been narrowed down to the top ten finalists in each category. These exceptional individuals were each greeted with an unexpected visit from Superintendent Dr. Mark Shanoff, who personally delivered the exciting announcement.

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NEWS
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KUA Celebrated for Exceptional Efforts in Community Power Restoration with FMEA Award

KUA was one of 16 Florida public power utilities recently recognized by the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) with a Restoring Communities Award. The award recognizes public power utilities for their exemplary power restoration efforts to their own communities and for providing or receiving mutual aid following significant weather events or when fellow public power communities were in need of extra assistance.

Florida public power utilities were honored for their efforts to restore power quickly and safely when called on in 2023. This not only included providing mutual aid assistance following the unprecedented landfall of Hurricane Idalia in the Big Bend region, but for other weather and non-weather-related emergencies. The 2023 Restoring Communities Awards also recognized public power utilities providing supplemental crews to fellow utilities for large-scale projects like infrastructure upgrades.

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Maximize Your HVAC Investment with Osceola

Air’s February Repair Buyback Program

In the twilight years of an air conditioning system, homeowners often grapple with the critical choice between repair or replacement. Opting incorrectly can lead to substantial financial outlay on a system on the brink of failure. During the month of February, Osceola Air is offering an innovative solution to this dilemma through its February Repair Buyback Program, designed to offer homeowners peace of mind and significant savings.

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Mark your calendars for an unforgettable local experience at the Whiskey In The Cloud Craft Spirits Festival 2024, happening on Saturday, March 2, in the heart of downtown St. Cloud, from 6-9 pm.

The event, now in its second year, promises an evening filled with the finest whiskey and spirits, captivating live music, local restaurants, food trucks filled with positively delicious fare, fine cigars, and the warmth of community spirit, all bundled into one ticket.

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NEWS
2024:
Festival Coming
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Experience Whiskey In The Cloud Craft Spirits Festival
St. Cloud’s Premier Craft Spirits
in March

NEWS

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

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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Exploring Osceola County’s Natural Trails and Spaces: A Paradise for Avid Runners, Walkers, and Kayakers For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com

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.

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HEALTH

Orlando Health: Good Sleep Is Key for Seniors To Stay Healthy

A good night’s rest can be harder than it sounds, particularly when you reach your mid60s.

But getting the right amount of sleep — and making sure the quality of your rest is what it ought to be — is key to avoiding serious medical conditions as you age.

CHANGING SLEEP PATTERNS

As you get older, your need for sleep changes. Infants require 14 to 17 hours of sleep. Once you reach adulthood, your sleep needs are down to just seven to nine hours each night. At 65 or older, you only need seven to eight hours of sleep. That’s not as easy as it might sound. READ

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Making Business Better, Together

OSCEOLA BUSINESS R E F E R R A L S E R V I C E OBRS.NET

INJURY LAW

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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Law: Which
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Draper

HEALTH

Neysa Perez Crespo, MD Family Medicine Orlando Health

It’s a warm day and you’ve just finished a brisk walk outside. You don’t feel very thirsty, so you forget to toss back some water.

As you age, your urge to drink — your thirst perception — tends to diminish, and that can lead to dehydration. Failing to drink enough water is a common health issue among Americans, older people in particular.

According to one estimate, 20% to 30% of the elderly population is prone to dehydration for various reasons. One study found that up to 40% of elderly people living outside of nursing homes may be “chronically underhydrated.”

The consequences can be serious. Dehydration is a common cause for hospitalization among seniors, and an estimated 17% of those seniors die within a month of being hospitalized.

If you’re a senior, it’s not hard to stay hydrated. Prevention is as close as the nearest water tap. But it takes awareness and diligence to ensure that you’re drinking enough water to stay healthy.

WHY ARE SENIORS AT RISK?

One of the consequences of aging, in addition to a diminished sense of thirst, is that your body simply has less water than it did when you were younger. In other words, older people have a built-in water deficit. That’s one reason why it’s so important for seniors to stay hydrated.

In addition to that, other factors make seniors more vulnerable to getting dehydrated, including:

• Medications such as laxatives for constipation and diuretics for heart conditions and high blood pressure.

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Orlando Health: Why Staying Hydrated Is Even More Important as You Age For more Positively Osceola, visit our Social Media & Website! PositivelyOsceola.com

Elevate Your Child’s Learning Experience

With Pre-K through 8th Grade Creative

Inspiration Journey School in St. Cloud

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.

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Heads Up. We’re Here.

We know emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. With 14 ER locations throughout Central Florida, we’re ready to provide expert emergency care if you’re facing one. No matter which one you choose, you’ll find a place where chaos meets calm and uncertainty finds answers. Giving you more reasons to choose well. OrlandoHealth.com/ER

Spring into Magic: The 2024 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival Begins

The 2024 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival has begun! It’s a cherished event that transforms Walt Disney World’s EPCOT into a breathtaking spectacle of florals and greenery. Spanning from February 28 through May 27, this festival invites guests to immerse themselves in a world of stunning gardens, elaborate flower displays, and impressive topiaries.

Celebrating the beauty and diversity of nature, the festival also features a variety of outdoor kitchens, offering delectable bites and refreshing beverages that complement the spring season. Alongside the visual feast, attendees can enjoy a lineup of live music and interactive workshops, making the Flower & Garden Festival a must-visit event for all ages. As spring unfolds, EPCOT becomes the perfect backdrop for creating unforgettable memories amidst the blossoms.

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Universal Orlando Resort’s seasonal celebration, Universal Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval, begins Saturday, February 3 and runs daily through Sunday, April 7. The fanfavorite event returns to Universal Studios Florida with an expansive menu of sweet, savory and spicy dishes inspired by New Orleans favorites and iconic Carnaval flavors from around the globe, a dazzling Mardi Gras parade where guests can catch tons of beads, live concerts by top names in music on select nights – including recent addition, breakout pop sensation Nessa Barrett – and more.

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IN THE LOOP
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Universal’s Mardi Gras 2024: Let the Good Times Roll! Universal
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Orlando Resort kicks
Carnaval

Island H2o Water Park Unveils 2024 Season Lineup With Spring Break Bash

Island H2O Water Park has announces its 2024 season opening, set to kickoff on March 8. To celebrate, the park will kick off with a Spring Break Bash, March 14-23, inviting thrill-seekers of all ages to join in the aquatic adventure.

The Spring Break Bash at Island H2O Water Park will feature a multitude of exciting activities, including daytime contests with enticing prizes, opportunities for guests to score double points redeemable for exclusive park perks, captivating movies on the wave pool every Thursday from 3 to 5 pm, and delightful Family Foam parties on Friday and Saturday from 12 to 2 pm. Additionally, a DJ will spin the latest tunes every Friday and Saturday from 2 to 4 pm and interact with the crowds with HulaHoop contents and trivia, ensuring non-stop entertainment throughout the event.

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SeaWorld

Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival Sets Sail on a Taste Adventure Until May 19, 2024

Oceans of flavor and fun are waiting at SeaWorld Orlando during its 2024 Seven Seas Food Festival. From foodies to families, everyone will find tasty delights among more than 200 distinct offerings. Revitalize your taste buds as you share this welcoming, open-air experience on select dates February 2 – May 19, 2024.

Explore more than 50 fresh global cuisine choices to pair with over 75 wine and cocktail selections and 75 craft beers. It will be easy to sample your way around the world with exciting flavors and local craft beers, plus live performances.

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IN THE LOOP - THEME PARK NEWS
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Sunshine State Supper: Florida Chicken and Rice with Garden Vegetables

Experience the positively delicious flavors of Florida Chicken and Rice with Vegetables, where tender, seasoned chicken meets aromatic rice and a colorful array of fresh Florida vegetables. This hearty dish is a symphony of textures and tastes, perfectly capturing the essence of wholesome, homestyle cooking with a sunny Florida twist. It’s a comforting, nourishing meal that’s sure to satisfy.

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Coastal Fusion: Florida Snapper and Shrimp Scampi

Dive into the positively delicious world of Florida Snapper and Shrimp Scampi, a culinary masterpiece that blends the delicate flavors of freshly-caught Florida snapper with succulent shrimp in a classic scampi sauce. This dish is a celebration of the ocean’s bounty, offering a taste of Florida’s coastal charm in every mouth-watering bite. It’s a seafood lover’s dream come true, bursting with flavor and freshness.

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The Floridian Feast: A Beef Meatball

Savor the positively delicious Florida Beef Meatball Sandwich, a flavorful tribute to the Sunshine State. Juicy, seasoned beef meatballs pair perfectly with a zesty homemade marinara sauce, all nestled in a fresh sub roll. Topped with melted cheese, each bite offers a delightful blend of traditional flavors and culinary innovation, making it a must-try for anyone craving a taste of Florida.

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Sandwich Extravaganza

Sunshine State Snapper: Crispy Florida Fish with Watermelon and Sweet Chili Fusion

Savor the positively delicious Fried Florida Snapper with Watermelon and Sweet Chili, where golden, crispy snapper meets the refreshing sweetness of watermelon, topped with a tantalizing sweet chili sauce. This dish is a symphony of flavors and textures, embodying the essence of Florida’s coastal cuisine in every bite. A true delight for the senses!

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Sunshine Harvest: One Pan Florida Romaine Salad

Discover the positively delicious taste of this One Pan Florida Romaine Salad, a simple yet stunning blend of fresh Florida romaine, vibrant vegetables, and a zesty dressing. Each ingredient shines in this easy-to-prepare dish, offering a burst of sunshine in every bite. It’s the perfect combination of health and flavor, crafted to delight your palate!

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Sunshine State Crunch: Florida Celery with Pimento Cheese

Indulge in the positively delicious combination of Florida Celery with Pimento Cheese, a perfect blend of crunchy, garden-fresh celery and creamy, rich pimento cheese. This dish celebrates the simple yet exquisite flavors of the South, bringing a burst of freshness and indulgence to your palate with every delightful bite. It’s a classic with a Floridian twist!

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be confident.

We provide trusted, quality care in your community. At Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital, get access to care from an expert and compassionate clinical team for all of your healthcare needs — from emergency services to heart care, surgical services and more — all close to home. Giving you more reasons to choose well. OrlandoHealth.com/StCloud

choose well.

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