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Saint Cloud's Election Rules Need Adjustment! Is Colt Coming Manager Says Yes, Rumors, Only Rumors! Water,Water Nowher Soon! So Let's give away Our Water!

| by Carl Cricket | November 19th, 2014 | 6174 words

The City of Saint Cloud is a city which many people enjoy all the activities available to them, not only provided by the city but also by many local businesses. However, the city’s election rules are in need of updating, including but not limited to the city’s position on runoff elections. Many times in recent history a certain candidate would garner the majority of votes but all their votes counted for a percentage under 50%, causing a runoff between the top vote getter and the next candidate with votes, regardless of how many votes they received. Voters become confused as they thought the elections were over, then a runoff date is set (usually a month(approximately) later and voters are either too tired from Holiday shopping, lack of interest (after all, there’s only one (1) candidate) or simply forget. It’s time the Saint Cloud City Council let the voters decide if they want to continue runoffs and adding that extra expense to the city, no matter how small that charge might be. Let Them Vote! :yes:


This next little tidbit is borrowed from WFTV and it regards Colt Manufacturing’s continued promise to appear at their alleged new location. They’ve already been fined and face another fine by the end of the year. Here’s the story;

The on-again, off-again deal between the State of Florida and Colt Manufacturing to bring more than 60 jobs to Kissimmee appears to be on-again; just not anytime soon.
Representatives from the firearms company have been in Osceola County meeting with county leaders to discuss the building the county paid to renovate for the company and Colt’s contractual obligation to the state to hire 63 workers with an average wage of $45,060.
On Dec. 31, 2013 Colt was forced to repay the state $50,000 when missed its first benchmark when it failed to hire 10 full-time workers. According to the company’s contract with the state, Colt needs to hire 10 more workers (for a total of 20) by Dec. 31, 2014 to avoid paying back another portion of the $250,000 the state paid to the company through Florida’s “Closing Fund.”
“We’re frustrated by the slow pace, but the Colt folks are frustrated as well,” said Osceola County Manager Don Fisher who has been having meeting with Colt’s leadership. “I am optimistic, they flew in for face-to-face meetings and looked me in the eye, said they would meet the obligation of the agreement.”
The agreement between the State of Florida’s Department of economic Opportunity and Colt was originally signed on Dec. 22, 2011. The agreement, signed in 2011, called on Colt to hire all of its full-time workers by Dec. 31, 2014, however, according to state documents obtained by Eyewitness News, the deal with Colt was amended on Jan. 9, 2013 moving the hiring deadlines back.
“They’ve told us that they plan on complying with the agreement and they still have over a year, we did share that in the community, the building not being occupied, has been difficult” said Fisher.
Osceola County, which along with the state paid to renovate the building in Kissimmee for Colt, says it has been approached by other companies interested in moving into the facility. However, the county is unable to lease out the empty building due to the agreement with Colt.

Rumor’s are floating all around the county and we’re delighted because we can pass these knee slappers along to you.

Is it true FORMER county commissioner Frank Attkisson is planning to pick up his family and move to Kissimmee so he’ll be able to run for yet another office, this time back in Kissimmee?

Is it true Mr. Otero has been adopted by cigar club members with their political and financial support?

What has Mike Horner got to do with the last two previous questions? Why are certain club members upset because local governments are dropping out of OLE like flies?
Is it true Mike Horner is now working for the Kissimmee Chamber and is seeking to be the head cheerleader again? Why has he been contacting some people who have expressed interest in running for office in Kissimmee? Perhaps he wants to be a donor?

Once again, RUMOR has Brandon Arrington being selected as Chairman and Mike Harford, once again, will be the Vice Chairman. How can this happen without a sunshine violation? Someone is speaking with someone IF this rumor is true.Can anyone spell FDLE?
According to his alleged plan, Arrington would like to be county chairman when he announces his intent in running for a constitutional office, here in Osceola County. :lalala:

An Observation; it seems the two new school board members have received the approval of school board member Jay Wheeler and that has got to be a major boost for Mr Booth and Mr Thacker! :&gt;&gt;
Of course, we all know the honeymoon will last for as long as the two new guys don’t vote with him. We hardly ever agree with Wheeler but we agree that the two new members are their own person and will make their own decisions. We believe they’ll make decisions to HELP our school children & NOT be seeking the spotlight by calling others silly names as was done withing the last year. :crazy:

And finally, OUR Water and no one seems to be watching out for Osceola County. Why do we say this? We have, in previous blogs stated that our water supply is going away and we also explained how our water was about to be given away, oops, we mean “shared” with other districts. Well, we truly have serious doubts in those who claim to be watching out for Osceola County. Take a look at this story from WFTV. Yes, it’s the St. John’s Water District, BUT, it has a serious effect on ALL of Central Florida;
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Florida may be running out of fresh water faster than previously thought.

9 Investigates has been reviewing depositions of senior staff members with the St. Johns River Water Management District as a result of a hearing before Judge E. Gary Early with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. According to statements made by staff members, the water models used by staff at the St. Johns district may have had a fundamental flaw that caused the water management district to miscalculate how fast water is coming out of the Floridan Aquifer versus how fast the aquifer is recharging.

According to the deposition of Assistant Division Director for the Division of Regulatory, Engineering and Environmental Services Thomas Bartol, the water management district failed to account for what are known as sinks and drains. Sinks and drains are essentially lakes and other bodies of water where groundwater flows in and out of the aquifer. In the deposition, Bartol told attorneys, “So when we went back, we discovered this error. We kept those features in the model and just focused on the withdrawal, and that 29 CFS (cubic feet per second) jumped to somewhere between 45 to 50.”

In the same deposition, Bartol is asked to elaborate on groundwater, with attorneys asking, “Currently, the district recognizes that there has been a regional decline in groundwater levels, correct?” Bartol answers, “Yes.”

“We’ve taken more than our fair share, let’s just say that,” said Dr. Bob Knight of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute. “The environment is getting the short end right now.”

Knight says using the model with the error, St. Johns issued what are known as “consumptive use permits” based on the presumption that water was flowing back into the aquifer faster than it was. The largest drain on Florida’s groundwater is agriculture and residential, use; however, Knight says even the permit for Niagara Bottling in Lake County was approved by St. Johns using the model with the error.

“There are a lot of good people and good staff at St. Johns that should have known that these problems were already too large,” said Knight. “The modeling approach has been a problem for a very long time.”

“If there were errors made, absolutely there is a concern, but at this point in time I don’t know if that is definitely the answer,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Chairman John Miklos.

Water management district officials say they are still reviewing their models and calculating flows at places like Silver Springs and Wekiva Springs.

“Staff has been briefing me on this and we’re taking a closer look at it,” said Miklos.

Permits already issued by St. Johns, including the ones for Niagara Bottling, may not be able to be amended until they come up for renewal.

The state has five water management districts; each district has an unpaid governing board that is appointed by the governor of Florida. According to the state, the districts are charged with maintaining “programs to manage the consumptive use of water, aquifer recharge, well construction and surface water management.” It is unknown if the other four water management districts have found similar errors in the models used for calculations.
Folks, we’re in trouble and when you look at some of the people we’re trusting to help us, then seeing those very same agreeing to give away millions of gallons of OSCEOLA’s water and not one County Commissioner has raised an eyebrow, in fact two FORMER Commissioners denied any knowledge of the group agreeing to give the water away! Just WHO is running this asylum?

That’s it for now. We’re working on something new, like we always try to do! Until next blog, may God bless each and every one of you as we ask you be safe, healthy, and always happy!

Osceola County School Board Reorganization

At the November 18 meeting, Osceola County School Board members Jay Wheeler, Ricky Booth, and Clarence Thacker were sworn in and took office. In addition, Tim Weisheyer was named as Chairman of the Osceola County School Board again for a second year, and Kelvin Soto was named as Vice-Chair.

“I am extremely grateful for the trust the Board has placed in me as Chairman,” said Tim Weisheyer. “I look forward to working with my fellow Board Members as we remain focused on improving student achievement and preparing students for success in our global economy. It is my belief that education is a precursor to economic development, and I am confident we have a School Board that is committed to creating an environment for economic expansion, success, and vitality in our community.”

Osceola County School Board meetings were set for the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the School District Administrative Complex, located at 817 Bill Beck Blvd. in Kissimmee.
Willows Double Homicide Anniversary

Kissimmee, Fla. (November 19, 2014) – Thursday marks the 8th anniversary of the double homicide that occurred at the Willows Apartments in Kissimmee.

On November 20, 2006 at approximately 4:45 a.m. the two victims, Alejandro Rivera and Hector Santiago were confronted by 3-4 Hispanic males in the parking lot of the Willows Apartment Community located at 1640 West Carroll Street in Kissimmee. The suspects were described in their late teens to mid-twenties. The suspects robbed the victims shot them multiple times. The suspects fled in a small light colored vehicle with black bumpers, estimated to be a 1985 – 1990 style.

The Kissimmee Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit is asking anyone with any information to contact the department at 407-846-3333 by email at seeitsayit@kissimmee.org or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). Calls made to Crimeline remain anonymous, and, tips to Crimeline that lead to the felony arrest of a suspect are eligible for cash rewards of up to $5,000 dollars in this case.


City of Kissimmee Commissioners Sworn Into Office
Vice Mayor & Mayor Pro Tem Selected

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (November 19, 2014) — Commissioner Wanda Y. Rentas and Commissioner Art Otero were both sworn into office on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in the Commission Chambers of Kissimmee City Hall.

The Honorable Jeffords D. Miller administrated the oath for Commissioner Rentas, whose granddaughter and grandson held the bible for her, as she was sworn into Seat 2.

The Honorable Heather O’Brien administrated the oath for Commissioner Otero, whose grandson held the bible for him, as he was sworn into Seat 4. This is the second term for both Commissioner Rentas and Commissioner Otero. Commissioner Rentas was first elected to Seat 2 in November of 2010. Commissioner Otero previously served the City of Kissimmee in Seat 1 from November 2008 until November 2012.

The term of office for both Seat 2 and 4 shall be four years.

After the ceremony, the Commission selected the positions of Vice Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Commissioner Rentas was selected Vice Mayor and Commissioner Shaw was selected as Mayor Pro Tem.

Kissimmee Police Arrest Loss Prevention Officer for Video Voyeurism

Kissimmee, Fla. (November 19, 2014) – Kissimmee police arrested a loss prevention officer for sex offense video voyeurism.

On November 17, 2014, Kissimmee police officers responded to Ross Dress for Less located at 3819 W. Vine Street in Kissimmee in reference to a suspicious incident. Officers contacted the 13-year-old victim’s mother who explained an unknown suspect took a photo of her child while she was using the restroom.

Officers, along with the store’s assistant manager, viewed the video surveillance which showed one of the loss prevention officers entering the female restroom and a few minutes later exiting the restroom while looking at an image on his phone. The assistant manager positively identified the employee as 28-year-old Antonio Aletriz-Torres. Torres had already left the store for the evening.

On November 18, 2014, detectives made contact with Antonio Aletriz-Torres at his residence and asked if he would come to the Kissimmee Police Department to speak with them. While at the department, Aletriz-Torres cooperated with the investigation. Antonio Aletriz-Torres was charged with sex offense video voyeurism. He was transported to the Osceola County Jail where he is held on a $2,500 bond.

Festive events scheduled in St. Cloud for all to enjoy during month of December

St. Cloud, Fla. (November 18, 2014) – City of St. Cloud is preparing for the upcoming holiday season. The following Parks and Recreation programs/events are offered to the community in December:
Movie Matinee – December’s movie is The Holiday (rated PG-13) Dec. 3, 12:30 p.m., at the St. Cloud Community Center (3101 17th St.). Free movie and free popcorn for people ages 18 and up.
23rd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony – The year’s event is set for Dec. 5 at City Hall (1300 9th St.). Activities begin at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony begins at 6 p.m. This traditional event includes entertainment, arts and crafts, “snow,” a bounce house, and a visit from Santa Claus.
Marina Building Banquet Hall – December features only one banquet hall open house Dec. 10, 4-7 p.m. Visitors can see for themselves why the banquet hall is the best place to host special occasions, including wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, and business meetings. The Marina Building Banquet Hall is located at 1104 Lakeshore Blvd., second floor.
Movie at the Lakefront – Dec. 12, sunset: The Polar Express (rated PG), at Lakefront Park (1104 Lakeshore Blvd.). A family movie is shown every month on a giant inflatable movie screen. This year-round monthly program is free to the community.
Kids Night Out – December’s Kids Night Out is set for Dec. 13, 7-11 p.m., at the Civic Center (3001 17th St). The cost is $10 per child (dinner and dessert included). The Kids Night Out program offers supervised care and fun activities for children ages 6-11 while parents enjoy an evening to themselves.
Cookies with Santa – This special event is set for Dec. 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Civic Center, and the cost is $10 per child ages 6-11 (includes lunch). Children will enjoy arts and crafts and a visit from Santa Claus, who will eat cookies with the children and read them a story.
Splash with Santa – Dec. 20, 12-5 p.m., Chris Lyle Aquatic Center (3001 17th St.), $3 for Osceola County residents; $4 for nonresidents of Osceola County. Santa Claus will arrive at 2 p.m. Attendees will enjoy crafts, games, and swimming with Santa. This event is for children ages 12 and younger.
Winter Break Day Camps – All day camps begin at the Civic Center at 7 a.m. and all children must be picked up by 6 p.m. each day. Camp is for children in kindergarten and up to 14 years old. Day camp fees are $50 per child for Osceola County residents and $70 for nonresidents of Osceola County. Discounts may be available to those who qualify.
Week One: Dec. 22, 23, and 26
Week Two: Dec. 29, 30 and 31 & Jan. 2, 2015

For details on any Parks and Recreation activity, project, program, or rental facility, please visit the Parks and Recreation Web page at www.stcloud.org, e-mail ParksAndRecreation@stcloud.org, or call (407) 957-7243.
Note: Schedule is subject to change without advanced notice.

Imagine Kissimmee Charter School Poised to Become Kissimmee’s K-8 School of the Arts

KISSIMMEE, FL, November 17, 2014 — Imagine Kissimmee Charter Academy (IKCA) continues to demonstrate excellence in both educating and enriching students through a strong academic program, coupled with a thriving Fine Arts program for 5th through 8th grade students. For eight years, IKCA has provided Art and Drama programs, which have collaborated to bring shows such as Beauty and the Beast Junior, Once on This Island Junior, and Aladdin Junior to the Osceola Center for the Arts.
This year expands upon this foundation, as the Fine Arts department announces the addition of their new Technical Theatre class as well as the IKCA Dance Team, an after-school activity. These classes seek to make connections between the Fine Arts and the core content areas of Language Arts and Social Sciences. Students write and produce their own shows based on a Social Sciences topic they’ve chosen and perform them for the community as a culminating project.
Director of the Drama program, Paul O. Mahoney, explains the importance of the Fine Arts Program at IKCA, stating, “I tell students that I know they may not end up being professional actors when they grow up, but I really see our drama program as a place where students can come out of their shells, build character, and learn to collaborate as they mature to become contributing members of society.”
Imagine Kissimmee Charter Academy sees great value in nurturing the talents and abilities of their students in areas where the community can share in the experience. This year’s show will be Shrek Junior, with students from the Drama program, the Technical Theater Class, and the Dance Team all working together to deliver their finest performance.
For more information on the show schedule, or how to support the Fine Arts program at IKCA, please contact Paul O. Mahoney at paul.mahoney@imagineschools.com.
Imagine Kissimmee Charter Academy is located at 2850 Bill Beck Boulevard, Kissimmee, Florida, 34744.

This month’s presentation at the meeting of the Pine Lily Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society will be on the Lake Toho Restoration Initiative project on the Judge Farm property with Brian Wheeler, Executive Director of the Toho Water Authority. The meeting will be held on Thursday November 20th at 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 101 W. Dakin Av, 2nd Floor, Kissimmee FL 34741.

Mr. Wheeler has served in his capacity as the Executive Director since its inception in October 2003. He previously served as the Director of the City of Kissimmee Department of Water Resources, the predecessor to TWA, from 1985 to 2003.

Toho Water Authority is a special purpose district created by legislative act of the State of Florida. The Authority is a partnership between the City of Kissimmee, Osceola County, and Polk County providing water, wastewater, and reclaimed water service to approximately 250,000 people in most of Osceola County and portions of neighboring Orange and Polk Counties.

In addition to his duties as Executive Director, Mr. Wheeler is the President of the Florida Water Environment Association Utility Council and serves as Treasurer for the Water Environment Research Foundation. He is an active member of the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association Utility Council, the American Water Works Association, the Water Environment Federation, the Association of Municipal Water Agencies, and National Association of Clean Water Agencies. Mr. Wheeler also previously served on the Environmental Protection Agency National Drinking Water Advisory Committee.

Mr. Wheeler holds a BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Sanitary Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida.

This program is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

The purpose of the FNPS is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. Pine Lily is an umbrella chapter covering Osceola County and the surrounding communities. For further information or to join our organization call 407-433-4483, PineLilyFNPS@aol.com or visit www.fnps.org.
Click It or Ticket Campaign Kicks Off November 17, 2014

Kissimmee, Fla. (November 17, 2014) – Kissimmee police will be participating in the national Click It or Ticket campaign that will run from November 17 - 30, 2014.

Click It or Ticket kicks off on November 17, 2014 and will run through November 30, 2014. Kissimmee police will be exercising zero tolerance as it deals with seat belt usage. Motorist not wearing seat belts can be issued a $116 citation. If a child is not in a child seat, the driver can be issued a $166 citation and receive three points on their license.

The campaign will include message board signs reminding motorists to utilize their seat belts, roving enforcement and check points throughout the City.

“The Kissimmee Police Department takes pride in participating in the national Click It or Ticket Campaign and encourages motorists to always wear their seat belts and place children in appropriate car seats. Raising awareness that seat belts save lives is the goal. Kissimmee officers will continue to remind motorists to buckle up every trip, every time,” said Chief Lee Massie.
City of Kissimmee Offers Fall Adult Programming

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (November 14, 2014) The City of Kissimmee is pleased to announce programs offered for adults this Fall season at the Oak Street Park Community Center and the Mark E. Durbin Community Park at Lakeside.

Join us for one of the oldest forms of martial arts at the Oak Street Park Community Center. Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art which teaches empty hand and foot fighting for self–defense. Tang Soo Do also teaches people to live a healthy and harmonious life.
Location: Oak Street Park Community Center
717 N. Palm Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741
Age: 6 years old and older
Dates: November – December
Day: Tuesday & Thursday
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
NO CLASS: 11/27, 12/25
Fee: $55/month plus one-time uniform fee of $20
Code: 350305
Late Fee: $5 for payments made after the 5th of the month.
Instructor: B&B Tang Soo Do

This program is designed to introduce tennis to adults who have never played tennis before or for people who have played, but have never received any instruction. Adults will be taught basic techniques of the game; forehands, backhands, volleys, and serves.
Location: Oak Street Park Community Park – Tennis Court 9
717 N. Palm Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741
Age: 15 years and older
Dates: November – December
Day: Wednesday
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
NO CLASS: 11/26, 12/24, 12/31
Fee: $60/4 week session
Code: 350400
Instructor: John LeFort

Pets love pampering just as much as we do. Bring your dog to our dog grooming class where you will be taught techniques to help keep a healthy, happy dog between their regular grooming sessions.
Location: Mark E. Durbin Community Park at Lakeside
2253 Lakeside Drive, Kissimmee, FL 34744
Age: 18 years old and older (if under 18 years old must be accompanied by adult) Dogs of any age are welcome
Date: 11/19, 12/17
Day: Wednesday
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Fee: $10
Instructor: Uptown Pet Salon Staff

For more information or to register, please call the City of Kissimmee Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities Department at 407.518.2360 or visit the Oak Street Community Center at 717 North Palm Avenue, Monday thru Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

City of Kissimmee Offers Kiddie Korner Program

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (November 14, 2014) - The City of Kissimmee is offering a Kiddie Korner program for three to five year olds at the Oak Street Park Community Center this Fall.

The program offers three different options to register for, with a one-time registration fee of $25.00:

Day Fee
2 Days: Tuesday/Thursday $75/month
3 Days: Monday/Wednesday/Friday $100/month
5 Days: Monday–Friday $150/month

The program runs Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. except on City Holidays or other designated dates.

Children ages three to five years old will participate in arts, crafts, games, themed parties, music, signing, an occasional field trip and much more, with instructor Ms. Joanne. Birth certificates are required at the time of registration and children must be potty trained.

For more information or to register, please call the City of Kissimmee Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities Department at 407.518.2360 or visit the Oak Street Community Center at 717 North Palm Avenue Monday thru Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Kissimmee’s Mermaid Aquatics Receives Autism Speaks Grant

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (November 14, 2014) - City of Kissimmee recreation partner Mermaid Aquatics recently received an Autism Speaks grant to support programming at the Bob Makinson Aquatic Center for autistic children and adults. Earlier this year, the group Autism Speaks announced the establishment of the Autism Speaks Scholarship Fund for Swimming and Water Safety. The grant program provides scholarships for swimming and water safety lessons for individuals with autism.

Programs were selected based on a successful history of supporting individuals with autism and providing services to financially disadvantaged children and adults on the autism spectrum. Mermaid Aquatics, LLC of Osceola County is a recipient of the Swimming and Water Safety Scholarship Fund. Their program, OCEAN (Osceola Children Embracing Autistic Needs), provides swim lessons and water safety instruction.

“The program begins at six months of age and provides instruction for adults too. Participants are taught safety skills such as proper entries and exits, when and where to swim, and how to call for help. Survival skills include learning how to blow bubbles, bobbing to safety while getting a breath, back floating, and rolling over. These lessons are designed to help children and adults with ASD enjoy water activities safely” said Kimberly Lytle, owner of Mermaid Aquatics.

A 2012 study reported 49% of people with autism are prone to wandering. Water poses a significant threat to the safety of those with autism. According to the National Autism Association, accidental drowning accounted for 91% of the total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering incidents, from 2009 to 2011.

“The ability of individuals with autism to swim and to understand the importance of water safety is a major factor in efforts to prevent the heartbreaking drowning incidents that are far too common in our community. Everyone in the autism community should have access to these critical services. By removing a significant financial barrier for families, the Autism Speaks Scholarship Fund for Swimming and Water Safety will allow more people with autism to acquire these skills and will better ensure their safety as a result.” Said Lisa Goring, executive vice president of Family Services at Autism Speaks.

“The City of Kissimmee is thrilled to be able to partner with Mermaid Aquatics and Autism Speaks to provide this service to those with autism. We’re very concerned with the safety of all members of our community, and to be able to provide a service free of charge towards the safety of a high risk group is a great opportunity. The City of Kissimmee looks forward to future endeavors in support of the autism community, along with other special needs communities” says Jason Carroll, Manager of Recreation and Leisure Services for the City of Kissimmee.

For more information on the City’s aquatic programs currently available, please visit www.kissimmeeparks.org or call 407.518.2351.
Kissimmee Police SWAT Team Ranked one of the Top Teams in the World

Kissimmee, Fla. (November 14, 2014) – The Kissimmee Police Department’s SWAT Team placed 2nd overall at the SWAT Round Up International Competition that took place this week at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Gun Range in Orlando. 55 teams from around the United States and Europe competed at the event. Five (5) points separated the Kissimmee team from the 1st place overall winner from Lakeland Police Department.

The competition included events such as a hostage rescue, tower scramble, officer rescue and an obstacle course. SWAT Round Up International celebrated its 32nd year of competition. The week-long event included education and training seminars, a trade show along with the competition. The first SWAT Round Up Competition was held at the Kissimmee Police Department’s gun range 32 years ago.

Kissimmee’s SWAT team is a part-time specialty unit that has over 20 members, of those, eight (8) make up the competition team.
‘Move Over Law’ helps save lives of first-response, law-enforcement, sanitation, utility service personnel

Submitted by City of St. Cloud Public Information Office
St. Cloud, Fla. (November 13, 2014) – City of St. Cloud reminds its citizens that the State of Florida’s Move Over Law (Florida Statutes 316.126) now includes sanitation and utility service vehicles. Under this law, motorists must slow down to 20 miles per hour lower than the posted speed limit when emergency first responders, law enforcement, sanitation, or utility service vehicles are on the side of a road or parked along the roadway.
“We have some hard-working employees who are out there serving our community every day and everyone should be aware of this law and mindful of our sanitation and utility service vehicles when they are stopped or parked on our roads,” said Public Services Administrator Deputy Chris Fasnacht. “One second of disregard for this law can cause devastating results for all involved. We really need everyone’s help in protecting our law enforcement officers, emergency responders, sanitation personnel, and utility service personnel who stop along our roadways performing their jobs in keeping everyone safe and our community healthy!”
Under the Move Over Law, motorists are required to:
· Approach these vehicles with caution;
· Change lanes away from these vehicles if traveling on a multilane roadway and when able to move over safely; or
· Slow down while maintaining a safe speed of 20 mph below posted speed limit, being careful not to impede or block the flow of traffic, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.

Information about Florida’s Move Over Law may be found at www.leg.state.fl.us.

“You better watch out… Santa will be calling soon!”
City of Kissimmee Announces Santa Calling

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (November 10, 2014) — “Santa Calling” is a City of Kissimmee tradition that will take place on Wednesday, December 10th from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Parents interested in having Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus call their child(ren) may fill out a Santa Calling form with the following information:
§ Child’s name (how to pronounce if necessary)
§ Age (10 years-old & younger)
§ English or Spanish speaking
§ Gender
§ Phone number
§ What they want for Christmas
§ Names/ages of siblings
§ School/Grade/Teacher
§ Pet type/their names
§ Parent wish’s for their child
§ Best time to call between 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10th

Santa Calling requests may be emailed to santa@kissimmee.org, mailed to: Oak Street Park Community Center, c/o Santa Calling, 717 North Palm Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741 or dropped off at one of the Santa Calling mailboxes located at Oak Street Park Community Center, Chambers Park Community Center, Mark E. Durbin Park at Lakeside Community Center, Kissimmee Civic Center or Kissimmee City Hall. The deadline for receiving all requests will be Wednesday, December 3rd at 5:00 p.m. or if mailing, envelopes must be postmarked by December 1st, 2014.

For further information, please call 407.847.2388 or e-mail the complete information to santa@kissimmee.org.

*Please note that Santa Calling is a phone calling service and not a gift giving service.
Osceola School District Receives $2.27 Million Grant for Partnership to Improve STEM Teaching and Learning

The Florida Department of Education has awarded the Osceola School District a competitive grant in the amount of $2.27 million to improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teaching and learning. The Year 1 amount is for $567,543.58, under the 2014-2017 K-12 Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) for STEM. The grant project’s comprehensive budget reflects a Year 2 sum of $819,036.85 and Year 3 sum of $883,368.00 for a three-year total of $2,269,948.43. The MSP program is intended to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers through partnerships between high-need school districts and the STEM faculty in Institutions of Higher Education (IHE).

Osceola’s project partners include two Florida school districts, Okeechobee County School District and Volusia County Schools. The IHE/University partners are Dr. Yiping Lou and Dr. Luanna Prevost, University of South Florida; Dr. Pamela Blanchard, Louisiana State University; and Dr. Brad Gemmell, University of Texas at Austin. The project will:
• Help science teachers form Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that can help teach students content through the process of inquiry-based activities in multiple content areas;
• Facilitate lesson study for science teachers in PLCs;
• Provide professional development to science teachers on using technology to assess students on their inquiry skills and to remediate struggling students;
• Assist teachers in increasing student engagement and incorporating cooperative learning strategies;
• Partner science teachers with scientists from the three collaborating universities to improve the science teachers’ content knowledge;
• Use existing tools to develop an Inquiry Skill Analyzer (iSA) to assist teachers in analyzing their own and their students’ science inquiry skills to identify areas of need and/or strength and to monitor progress; and
• Develop and share a bank of rigorous STEM model lessons and professional development modules that are aligned to Florida’s Standards for Science and Mathematics, as well as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards.

Expected outcomes include a technology-enhanced, inquiry-based process for science learning and remediation through formative assessment and cooperative learning that will better engage middle and high school students, leading to higher student success on standardized science tests. The project will also yield lesson plans and assessments that help teachers understand which science areas cause students to struggle. The Middle School Curriculum and Instruction Department, under the leadership of Michael Allen, Assistant Superintendent, will oversee the project. Leah Torres, Science Resource Specialist, who co-wrote the proposal with Heather Wright, Research and Evaluation Specialist in the Research, Evaluation, and Accountability Department, will serve as project lead.
Sheriff’s Office Participates in Statewide Holiday Safety Campaign
Osceola County – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is joining in a national effort to reach out to all Thanksgiving travelers with one important message: Buckle Up. Historically, Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year, putting more people on the road, and unfortunately increasing the likelihood of crashes. Each year in the United States, tens of thousands of passenger vehicle occupants die in motor vehicle crashes. In 2012, more than 300 people were killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend alone. It’s a sad statistic, but even sadder is that many of those deaths could have been prevented with one simple click of a seat belt.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent. In 2012, approximately 12,174 people survived crashes because they were buckled up. If everyone had worn their seat belts that year, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved. And that’s just the point of this national seat belt campaign: Buckle Up America – Every Trip, Every Time.
“More than half the drivers and passengers being killed in crashes aren’t wearing seat belts. We encourage all motorists to buckle up,” said Sheriff Bob Hansell. In 2012, a total of 21,667 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes, so that means that more than 10,000 of those occupants were not buckled up. Thanksgiving weekend in 2012, a disturbing 60 percent—that is, 6 out of 10—of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. At night, the statistic was even worse: 69 percent of the occupants killed at night were unbuckled.
So this Thanksgiving, and every day of the year, make sure your seat belt is buckled before you start any road trip—whether it’s one mile or a thousand. For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
Detectives Need the Public’s Help in Identifying Female Who May Have Information Regarding Poinciana Homicide
Osceola County (November 19, 2014) – Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives need the public’s help in identifying a possible individual who may have information about the Poinciana homicide that occurred October 30, 2014.
During the investigation, detectives spoke with a witness who told them she saw a female exit a black vehicle in the area of San Lorenzo Road and Colonade Court. According to the witness, the female went to the residence prior to the homicide. It is unclear when the female left the home. The witness, who asked to remain anonymous, describes who she saw as a petite, white or Hispanic female. Detectives are not naming this individual as a suspect or person or interest, but would like to speak with her to see if she can provide any additional information about the homicide.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (407) 348-2222 or Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS (8477). Calls made to Crimeline remain anonymous, and tips that lead to the felony arrest of suspects and/or the recovery of stolen property and drugs are eligible for cash rewards of up to $5,000 dollars.
On October 30 approximately 5:00 p.m., deputies responded to 390 Colonade Court in Poinciana. Upon arrival, they located a fire inside the home. When the fire was extinguished, the body of Yury Francisco Campos-Diaz, 27, was discovered inside the residence. The cause of death is still under investigation. In the residence, detectives located more than 100 marijuana plants. It is unknown at this time the correlation of the grow house to Diaz’s death.

Rating: 4.9 out of 9 votes cast

Deputies Need Public's Help in Locating Missing 82-Year Old Man

| by KSIB | November 13th, 2014 | 157 words


Mr. Gustafson  has been located and appears to be in good health, but is being evaluated at a local hospital. Thank you for your assistance.

Osceola County (November 13, 2014) – Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies need the public’s help in locating John Charles Gustafson, 82.

John was last seen this morning at 5:30 a.m. near his residence on Alligator Lakeshore West in St. Cloud.

He is blind in one eye and recently had cataract surgery in the other. John also has 3rd stage Alzheimer’s disease.

John is described as an 82-year old white male, 5′10”, 155 lbs. with blue eyes and grey hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (407) 348-2222 or Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS (8477). Calls made to Crimeline remain anonymous, and tips that lead to the felony arrest of suspects and/or the recovery of stolen property and drugs are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000 dollars.

Rating: 3.9 out of 23 votes cast

Hey Honey,We Washed The County Commission Thoroughly And More,A Final Insult perpetrated By 4 County Commissioners, Who's Running For Tax Collector? more......

| by Carl Cricket | November 7th, 2014 | 4550 words

Well, yes, we sat out the last two weeks and watched just like the vast majority of voters did, while the votes were counted. To be honest, the voter turnout was poor. No, wait a minute. It was PISS POOR! Shame on any registered voters who did NOT cast a ballot. Most likely the same people who complain all about every so called crooked politician but were too damned lazy :) to even ask for an absentee ballot to be mailed to them, AND IT INCLUDED FREE POSTAGE TOO! SHAME ON YOU WHO DID NOT VOTE. You really weren’t good neighbors by NOT voting since you stuck it to them as well! It was them who carried your sorry butt at the ballot box. Boy, we’d bet they aren’t real happy with those of you “good neighbors” either!
Meanwhile, we congratulate those of you who did vote and clear some of the dead wood at the County Commission, prevent the deadwood here in Kissimmee, although Mr. Fisher is a good and decent guy who should continue to be involved, and the confusion in Saint Cloud was caused by another bunch of NON VOTERS. So, again, SHAME on YOU! Saint Cloud was always a city where elections garnered a whole lot more voters, but this particular election was one of the worst ever! ONE (1) city council seat and you couldn’t get the job done! Now, a special election will be held on December 2,2012. Those of you who claim excuses for not voting, call the Supervisor of Elections office at 407-742-6000, OR Email: SOE@voteosceola.com, OR get up off your posterior and go to the Supervisor of Elections Office at 2509 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. The folks at the office are very nice, very accommodating, and will be VERY happy to see you at their office. It doesn’t cost you a dime to get/request the absentee ballot and it includes a postage paid envelope! Come on City of Saint Cloud, no matter who you’re voting for, (and we hope it’s Mr. Askey) GET INVOLVED. If you do NOT vote, YOU have NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN! Now, get off you butts and get that absentee ballot.

Okay, all that said we just want to congratulate those of you who DID VOTE! Nice job and we appreciate your involvement. And by voting, you have EARNED the right to bitch, talk, complain, anything you like because you, our friends, have EARNED the right to complain!

Now, with all that said, Mr. Attkisson hasn’t been in and does not intend to be at Monday’s Commission meeting AGAIN! Unless he’s excused and on County business, we certainly hope his salary will be adjusted. Although, it will definitely be adjusted at the end of his term! Same for John Quinones who lost to a woman who never attended a debate, who literally “mailed it in” to newspaper interviews and who, we believe will need training on what her powers include. There are agencies who deal with child and adult abuse and staff will need to advise her along the way. The two senior Democratic Commissioners will have two years before facing replacement, and the way it looks now, based on their voting history, they are in trouble!

That leads us into the next item,which is the purchase of something called Candella Island, a property in the lake known as BIG Lake Toho. Candella Island is locked up with a chain and very large lock, despite the county stating it’s open for viewing! We asked someone who has been in Osceola and, in fact, in the very same area their entire life and this person has NEVER heard of anything named candella. So, no matter how you try, we couldn’t find anyone who had ever heard of this 25.68 acres island! So, we couldn’t find it, even at a distance, and there were no views at all, far or near! Anyway, this island is being used, according to staff and minutes of their meeting, canoes & Kayaks! Now, the county just opened a launching spot in a brand newly constructed park laid out for the very same alleged need. Kayaks and Canoes, so WHY should we the taxpayers allow such an expense which, by the way, will be bonded out to cover the purchase. Oh, our bond rating, according to the County is a mere BBB-, a step above what we’d call JUNK status! Now, of course Frank Attkisson skipped out of the meeting (guess he was very busy again) but the remaining four (4) commissioners, Fred Hawkins, John Quinones, Mike Harford, and Brandon Arrington voted IN FAVOR of this contract.OHHH!! This is a done deal and the seller of the island? Technically it’s owned by CANDELLA ISLAND,Inc., however, signing as its’ PRESIDENT was Phillip Charles Owen, address listed as 1130 E. Donegan Ave., Suite 4, Kissimmee,FL. Signed on 10-29-14. So, there you have it. THE DEAL of the day! What troubles us is the 4 commissioners who would sink taxpayers further in debt, need to be reminded of their spending habits when their elections come up.
***WE apologize for leaving the purchase price out! YOU’RE PAYING…….$3,850,000.00 for this empty, so called “island"!

Finally, we understand Osceola County’s current Tax Collector, Patsy Heffner is planning to retire next year, at least according to the latest RUMORS. This apparently has current county commissioner Brandon Arrington all excited over the news since he’s VERY,VERY interested in the well cushioned post, not to mentioned the 100+K salary which goes along with the post! We’ll keep you posted as time nears however we’ll wager Disney will be a big contributor along with several members of the so called cigar club. Money will be the name of the game if Arrington runs for the post! Let’s hope he goes for it, leaving the commission seat and losing the tax collector post. THAT our friends would be a really funny outcome. Just remember how easily he has been spending YOUR/OUR money! We’ll remind you next time he runs.

That’s it, actually more than enough, so thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

As always, may God bless and watch over you! Be healthy and safe and do a nice thing for someone.


This will be long BUT, these committees are open and NEW members are needed badly. PLEASE consider a committee you like!

Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
The membership shall include: one citizen actively engaged in the residential home building industry in connection with affordable housing; one citizen actively engaged in the banking, or mortgage banking industry in connection with affordable housing; one citizen who is a representative of those areas of labor actively engaged in affordable home building; one citizen actively engaged as a for- profit provider of affordable housing; one citizen actively engaged as a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing; one citizen who is a real estate professional in connection with affordable housing; one citizen who actively serves on the local planning agency pursuant to Florida Statutes, Chapter 163; one citizen who resides within Osceola County; one citizen who represents employers within Osceola County; and one citizen who represents essential services personnel, as defined in the Osceola County LHAP.
13. Appointment to reappoint/replace Domingo Sanchez, “Home Building Industry related to Affordable Housing", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
14. Appointment to reappoint/replace Patricia Del Bagno, “Banking or Mortgage Industry related to Affordable Housing", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
15. Appointment to reappoint/replace Anna Pinellas, “Advocate for Low Income Persons", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
16. Appointment to reappoint/replace Karl-Heinz Theobald, “Representative of a For Profit Provider of Affordable Housing", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
17. Appointment to reappoint/replace Patricia Filippone, “Representative of a Not-For- Profit Provider of Affordable Housing", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
18. Appointment to reappoint/replace Aamir Khan, “Representative of the Essential Services Personnel in Osceola County", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
19. Appointment for a “Real-Estate Professional Associated with Affordable Housing” position, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
Board of Adjustment
The members of the Board of Adjustment shall be knowledgeable in the field of Comprehensive Planning and shall be familiar with the Osceola County Comprehensive Plan, the Land Development
4 Regular Meeting – November 10, 2014

Code, and other applicable regulations. This Board is composed of seven members one of which will be appointed from each Commission District and two members being appointed as at-large positions.
20. Appointment to reappoint/replace Michael Cambron, “District 1″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
21. Appointment to reappoint/replace Barbara Hadley, “District 3″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
22. Appointment to reappoint/replace Donna Deese, “District 5″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
23. Appointment to reappoint/replace Derrek Adkins, “At Large", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
Community Development Block Grant Advisory Task Force
24. Appointment to replace Carmen Carrasquillo, “District 2″, whose term expires December 31, 2015.
Code Enforcement Board
The Board shall consist of seven members who shall be residents of the County and who shall be appointed by the County Commission on the basis of experience or interest in the subject matter. The membership of the Board shall, whenever possible, consist of the following: Architect, Realtor, Businessman, General Contractor, Engineer, Subcontractor.
25. Appointment for an “Alternate” position.
Enterprise Zone Development Agency Board
This 11 member Board shall consist of four candidate recommendations by the City of Kissimmee for appointment by the County Commission; plus four member appointments by the County Commission; and three additional members shall be appointed to fill at-large positions. Categories for this membership include, a Business Operator, a Resident, a local Financial or Insurance Agency representative, local Law Enforcement personnel, local Code Enforcement personnel, Private Industry Council or Workforce Development Board, non-profit community based organizations, local Chamber of Commerce, and three additional appointments from any of the eight categories. The County Commission will appoint a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from among the Commissioners and they will serve in that capacity for the duration of their term unless the County decides otherwise. The terms of each Commissioner shall be four years, except for the initial term as established.
26. Appointment to replace Jacqueline R. Hunter, “Resident residing within the Zone”, whose term expired December 31, 2012.
27. Appointment to reappoint/replace Douglas Etheredge, “Local Code Enforcement Agency”, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
5 Regular Meeting – November 10, 2014Fire and Rescue Advisory Board
This Commission consists of seven members: one Fire Commissioner being appointed from each County Commission District and two Fire Commissioners serving in at-large positions.
28. Appointment to reappoint/replace Paul Riccardi, “District 1″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
29. Appointment to replace Suzan Vis, “District 3″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
30. Appointment to replace Sadie Dymmek, “District 4″, whose term expired December 31, 2013.
31. Appointment to reappoint/replace Grant Everage, “District 5″ position, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
32. Appointment to a vacant, “At Large” position, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
Homeless Advisory Board
This Board is to provide for participation in the planning, development, implementation, and assessment of Osceola County’s homeless advocacy efforts pursuant to Federal Register Rules and Regulations. Each member must be and continue to be a resident of Osceola County throughout their membership on the Advisory Board.
33. At-large representative who is, or formerly was, homeless. 34. At-large representative from a local non-profit agency dealing with homeless.
Housing Finance Authority
This Authority consists of five residents of the County who shall be knowledgeable in one of the following fields: Labor, Finance, or Commerce.
35. Appointment to reappoint/replace Casmore Shaw, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
Land Conservation Advisory Board
This Advisory Board consists of a total of nine members who shall be residents of the County throughout their term and who shall be appointed on the basis of experience. The City of Kissimmee and the City of St. Cloud shall each nominate one member for appointment consideration. The membership shall have expertise in the following categories: Conservation of Natural Resources, Ecology, Ecotourism, or Environmental Education, Land Appraisal, Land Management, and Real Estate or Land Acquisition.
36. 37.
Appointment to reappoint/replace Michael Crikis, “Environmental Interest", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
Appointment to reappoint/replace Gary Suhl, “Agriculture", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
38. Appointment to reappoint/replace Casmore Shaw, “Civic Organization", whose term expires December 31, 2014.
Library Advisory Board
This Board consists of seven members, one appointment from each of the five County Commission Districts; and two at-large members. The membership should consist of one member of the Friends of the Library group and one member of the Osceola County Bar Association.
39. Appointment to reappoint/replace Stephanie Garber, “District 1″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
40. Appointment to replace Jefferey (Scott) Mousseau, who has termed out, “District 3″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
41. Appointment to reappoint/replace Mary Tumbleson, “District 5″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
Planning Commission
The members of the Planning Commission shall be knowledgeable in the field of Comprehensive Planning and shall be familiar with the Osceola County Comprehensive Plan, the Land Development Code, and other applicable regulations. This Commission is composed of 10 members, two being appointed from each County Commission District.
42. Appointment to reappoint/replace Michael Romack, “District 1″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
43. Appointment to replace John Perlowski, “District 1″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
44. Appointment to reappoint/replace Luis Jimenez, “District 2″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
45. Appointment to reappoint/replace Keith Trace, “District 4″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
46. Appointment to reappoint/replace Jeffrey Wolff, “District 4″, whose term expires December 31, 2014.
School Board Business Advisory Board
Categories: Engineer, Architect or Landscape Architect, Licensed Real Estate Broker, Sales Associate, MAI Appraiser, Residential or Commercial Developer, Financial Consultant, Banker, Accountant, Statistician, Economist, Urban Planner, Licensed Contractor, Biologist, Environmental Scientist, Real Estate Development Attorney, and Corporate Executive. Qualifications: Members should be persons who possess such skills as would assist in the evaluation of capital expenditures.
7 Regular Meeting – November 10, 201447. Appointment to reappoint/replace W. Turner Wallis, “Land Surveyor” position, whose term expires December 01, 2014.
48. Appointment to reappoint/replace Melvin C. Welch, “Corporate Executive” position, whose term expires December 01, 2014.
49. Appointment to reappoint/replace Shawn Hindle, “Civil Engineer” position, whose term expires December 01, 2014.
50. Appointment to reappoint/replace Stacy McCland, “Lawyer” position, whose term expires December 01, 2014.
County Administration
51. Long Range Agenda.
For Information
52. Announcement there are no Board of County Commissioners meetings scheduled on the fourth Monday of November 2014.
In accordance with Florida Statutes, Chapter 286.0105, any person wishing to appeal a decision made by the Board of County Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such a meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings. For such purposes he or she may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which may include the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is based.

City of Kissimmee Offers Turkey Camp for Students

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (November 6, 2014) The City of Kissimmee is calling all kids! It’s time to get out the house and enjoy some fun, because good times are back at our annual Turkey Camp. Join us for 3 days of activities and planned field trips from Monday, November 24 to Wednesday, November 26.

The City of Kissimmee is offering Turkey Camp for Kindergarten through 8th grade students. Camp will be held at the Berlinsky Community House located at 300 East Monument Avenue at the Kissimmee Lakefront. The fee is $65 per child for all 3 days or $25 per day. This price includes admission to field trips and transportation, and supervision from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Campers must bring a packed lunch each day.

Field Trip destinations include Wild Florida Airboats & Wildlife Park on Tuesday, November 25, and a trip to Regal Cinemas to watch “The Penguins of Madagascar” followed by a stop at Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory on Wednesday, November 26. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, November 19. Registration is available at Oak Street Park Community Center or online at www.kissimmeeparks.org. An information packet must be completed and on file before the first day of camp.

For more information about this program and other programs at the City of Kissimmee, please call the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department at 407.518.2360 or visit us online at www.kissimmeeparks.org.

The School District of Osceola County, FL
Melba Luciano, Superintendent

Press Release (English and Spanish)
November 6, 2014 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dana Schafer, Public Information Officer - Osceola School District – 407-870-4007 or 407-908-8811 (cell)

Osceola County School Board Proclaims November 2014 As Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Students, parents, school staff, and administrators all have a role to play in preventing bullying on school campuses. As such, the Osceola County School Board has proclaimed November 2014 as Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Throughout November, schools will be encouraging students to participate in a variety of awareness and prevention activities designed to keep Osceola schools safe.

Bullying is when physical, verbal, or emotional harm or intimidation is intentionally and repeatedly directed at a person or group of people. Sometimes it involves direct attacks such as hitting, name calling, teasing, or taunting. Sometimes it is indirect, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone. Students should feel and be safe everywhere on campus—in the cafeteria, in the library, in the rest rooms, on the bus, and on the playground. Everyone in schools in Osceola County is working together to create a climate where bullying is not acceptable or tolerated.

For more information about bullying prevention, visit www.stopbullying.gov. Individuals can call the Speakout Hotline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477) to anonymously report anything of concern to safety and security.
City of St. Cloud offers its traditional community Thanksgiving event Nov. 22

St. Cloud, Fla. (November 6, 2014) – The City of St. Cloud Parks and Recreation staff is coordinating the 23rd Annual Community Thanksgiving Celebration for Nov. 22, 12-2 p.m., at the St. Cloud Civic Center (3001 17th St.).
City of St. Cloud officials are inviting the St. Cloud community to join families, friends, and neighbors to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Doors open up at 11:30 a.m., and turkey and the traditional side items will be served by City officials and volunteers starting at 12 p.m. Admission is free, but donations of nonperishable food items for the St. Cloud Community Pantry are welcome and everyone is invited to bring a covered dish or dessert (if able to) to share with everyone. It is highly recommended that all covered dishes and desserts are placed in disposable containers.
“Once again, we are preparing for this traditional get-together to celebrate our blessings as the close-knit community that we are proud to be,” said Parks and Recreation Director Stephanie Holtkamp. “We all look forward to this special experience that brings people from diverse backgrounds together and promotes cultural awareness, understanding, and community building.”
For further details on this event and any other Parks and Recreation activity, project, program, or rental facility, please visit the Parks and Recreation Web page at ParksAndRecreation@stcloud.org
St. Cloud City Council Seat 4 run-off election set for Dec. 2

St. Cloud, Fla. (November 6, 2014) – City of St. Cloud reminds St. Cloud’s registered voters of the established date for the upcoming run-off election. St. Cloud City Council approved Ordinance No. 2014-05 during a council meeting March 13 to establish the guidelines for the city’s municipal elections. The regular election was held Nov. 4 with a run-off election date set for Dec. 2, if a run-off were necessary.
Per the City’s charter, a candidate must reach 50 percent of votes, plus one vote, to win an election. The unofficial final results (yet to be canvassed) for the St. Cloud Municipal Election for Seat 4 are:
· Dave Askew, 4465 votes (44.80 percent)
· Mickey Hopper, 4144 votes (41.58 percent)
New Administrative Appointment

On November 4, the Osceola County School Board approved the following administrative appointment:

Dustin Sassic, Assistant Principal at Thacker Avenue Elementary School for International Studies
During his career with the Osceola School District, Dustin Sassic has held the following positions: Teacher at Horizon Middle (2005-2006), Teacher at Cypress Elementary (2006-2010), Teacher at East Lake Elementary (2010-2011), Teacher/Dean at Narcoossee Middle (2011-2012), and Dean at Narcoossee Middle (2012 - present). He received his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from SUNY Cortland and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education.

City of Kissimmee Announces Temporary Lane Closures for MLK Road Project

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (November 4, 2014) — The City of Kissimmee announces intermittent lane closures on Dyer Boulevard south of Commerce Boulevard on Monday, November 10, and lane closures and lane shifts at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Thacker Avenue on Tuesday, November 11, due to asphalt milling and resurfacing. Traffic delays can be expected and the work is only expected to take one day for each location.

These road improvements are part of the on-going Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard road project.

For more information, please contact the City of Kissimmee Public Works & Engineering Department at 407.518.2170.
Kissimmee Police Looking for Armed Robbery Suspect

Kissimmee, Fla. (November 3, 2014) – Kissimmee police detectives are looking for an armed robbery suspect.

On November 3, 2014 at approximately 12:30 a.m., officers responded to Ker’s Winghouse located at 3405 W. Vine Street in Kissimmee in reference to an armed robbery.

Officers spoke with the manager who stated as he was attempting to exit the business via the side entrance, a black male burst through the side door and pointed a hand gun at his face and demanded all of the money from the safe. After receiving the undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled the area. No one was injured during the incident.

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’6” tall with a small build. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans, black gloves and had his face covered with black silk material, possibly a do-rag.

Anyone with information about this suspect or the crime is urged to contact the Kissimmee Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit at 407-846-3333, by e-mail at seeitsayit@kissimmee.org or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). Calls made to CRIMELINE remain anonymous, and tips that lead to the felony arrest of suspects and/or the recovery of stolen property and drugs are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000 dollars.

St. Cloud Parks & Recreation presents wholesome events for all to enjoy
Submitted by City of St. Cloud Public Information Office
St. Cloud, Fla. (October 23, 2014) – The City of St. Cloud Parks and Recreation staff is preparing for the upcoming November activities, including:
PegHorn Event – A PegHorn Pig-Out and Harvest Hoopla event is set for Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at PegHorn Nature Park & Trail (2101 PegHorn Way). The event features a barbecue competition and many activities for children. Everyone is invited.
Marina Building Banquet Hall Open House – Nov. 12, 4-7 p.m. The Marina Building Banquet Hall is located at 1104 Lakeshore Blvd., second floor. This is the ideal venue for wedding receptions, Sweet 16 and Quinceañera (15th birthday celebration) parties, office functions, and more. Stop by to see what’s available and enjoy the spectacular views from any one of the three balconies.
Movie at the Lakefront – November’s movie is Maleficent (rated PG) and it will be shown Nov. 14 starting at sunset (5:32 p.m.). A family movie is shown at Lakefront Park (1104 Lakeshore Blvd.) every month on a giant inflatable movie screen. Everyone is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. This year-round monthly program is free to the community.
Fishing Tournament – The Borrow Pit Pond Youth Fishing Tournament is set for Nov. 15, 8-11 a.m., at Barrow Pit Pond (off of Budinger Avenue, across the street from St. Cloud Elementary School). Registration is recommended and the cost is $5 per child (15 and younger). All participants must bring fishing poles and tackle. This is for shore fishing only and bait will be provided.
Youth Basketball – The Ron Riley Youth Basketball Winter League games begin Nov. 15 at the Civic Center (3001 17th St.).
Kids Night Out – This will be a challenging and fun Game Night that includes video and board games. November’s Kids Night Out is set for Nov. 15, 7-11 p.m., at the Civic Center. The cost is $10 per child (dinner and dessert included). The Kids Night Out program offers supervised care and fun activities for children ages 6-11 while parents enjoy an evening to themselves.
Movie Matinee – November’s movie will be “The Help” (rated PG-13) Nov. 19, 12:30 p.m., at the St. Cloud Community Center (3101 17th St.). Free movie and free popcorn for people ages 18 and up.
Community Thanksgiving – Everyone is invited to attend the 23rd Annual Community Thanksgiving Celebration Nov. 22, 12-2 p.m., at the Civic Center. Admission is free, but donations of nonperishable food items for the St. Cloud Community Pantry are welcome and everyone is invited to bring a covered dish or dessert if able to (in disposable containers) to share with others.
Day Camp – Three day camps are set for Nov. 24, 25, and 26, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Civic Center. Children in kindergarten and up to 14 years old are invited to take part of each exciting day camp. The cost per day/per child is $20 for Osceola County residents and $25 for non-Osceola County resident. Registration is required. Discounts may be available for those who qualify.

For details on any Parks and Recreation activity, project, program, or rental facility, please visit the Parks and Recreation Web page at www.stcloud.org, e-mail ParksAndRecreation@stcloud.org, or call (407) 957-7243.
Note: Schedule is subject to change without advanced notice.
Osceola School District Receives National Distinguished Service and Leadership Award For Outreach To Homeless Students

The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) has selected the Osceola School District as the sole recipient of the prestigious 2014 NAEHCY Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership for its outstanding efforts to provide service to the homeless children, youth, and families in our community. This national award highlights the school district’s focus to ensure that every child and youth experiencing homelessness is successful in school, from early childhood through higher education. In order to narrow the achievement gap among homeless students and permanently-housed students and to raise all students’ achievement levels, the district’s Families In Transition (F.I.T.) program implemented a “100,000 Books Project” to promote reading literacy over the summer of 2014.

The goal of this project was to build a consistent, year-round culture of reading, especially for underprivileged students. The F.I.T. Program partnered with Superintendent Melba Luciano as she challenged students to read 12 million minutes over the summer as part of the Superintendent’s Summer Reading Challenge. Through an outside vendor, Osceola School District’s Special Programs Department purchased 25 large pallets of gently-used chapter books for $5,000, which was paid for from a donation from Walt Disney Resorts. With over 8,500 hours of volunteer service from community members and 21 different community agencies, the books were cleaned and bagged so that every Osceola student in kindergarten through Grade 3 was able to receive five books to keep. For the district’s 4,500 homeless students in many cases, these books started a student’s home library as no books were in the home, and allowed them to participate in the Superintendent’s Summer Reading Challenge like permanently-housed students with books of their own.

The 100,000 Books Project was a huge success. The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge encouraged children to read books and log their minutes as they read for the world record during the summer to help avoid the “Summer Slide”, the loss of skills that can happen while out of school. Kids from 7, 285 schools worldwide read and logged an impressive 304 million minutes, breaking last year’s world record of 176 million minutes. Boggy Creek Elementary, one of the Title I schools in Osceola County, earned the number one spot in the world with students reading close to 11 million minutes alone. Two other Osceola County schools ranked among the Top 20 schools in the 2014 Scholastic Summer Challenge for reading minutes: Flora Ridge Elementary ranked number ten in the world with 3,837,367 minutes read and Reedy Creek Elementary ranked number thirteen in the world with 3,334,409 minutes read. These three Osceola schools will be listed with the other Top 20 schools in the 2015 Scholastic Book of World Records.

“Through planning, monetary donations, collaboration and partnerships, and volunteerism, the 100,000 Books Project instilled the love for reading in the hearts of those children living in deep poverty,” said Superintendent Melba Luciano. “Winning this national award speaks to how the Osceola School District is reaching its vision to outperform and to help each and every one of our students succeed.”

Rating: 4.3 out of 117 votes cast

Catching Up, Contributors Here At Carl's, Who We'd Like To See Elected (but know our knack for picking winners, lol)

| by Carl Cricket | October 23rd, 2014 | 3482 words

Okay, all, after reading a comment from Kissimmee Resident we felt badly so here we are. BTW, it’s been two weeks since we last wrote but hey, who’s counting?
If anyone watched either of the two debates that were televised, (YES, we know Telemondo had one but chose NOT to broadcast an English version, once again providing ammunition for those not liking the way some things are going) but besides fangate, it was interesting in the last debate that Mr. Scott told an outright fib, and we wonder how many caught it since it actually related to Osceola County. Scott claimed that Florida never hands out money to relocating companies/businesses ahead of time and that they ALL had to meet certain guidelines placed upon them FIRST before receiving state funding/grants/money! BIG FIB! He forgot, or his staff forgot the Colt travesty begun by, if you believe him, none other than Commissioner Frank Attkisson, dressed in his cowboy boots and shirt, grinning ear to ear. No, he did NOT know “his” Colt deal was going to appear to be failing but the Governor took the Commissioner’s word for most of it and agreed to provide Colt with lots of cash, some of which the state asked to have returned for failure to be compliant with their deal. But hey, listening to some, Colt is still coming!

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Rating: 3.9 out of 54 votes cast