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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
Carl’s Comment***SOMEONE MUST KNOW SOMETHING!This was an act of COWARDICE, PLEASE HELP KPD Get These Cowards OFF YOUR STREETS!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Late Fee: $5 for payments made after the 5th of the month.
Instructor: B&B Tang Soo Do
ADULT BEGINNNER TENNIS
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
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
NO CLASS: 11/26, 12/24, 12/31
Fee: $60/4 week session
Instructor: John LeFort
DOG GROOMING - NEW
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
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
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:
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
§ Phone number
§ What they want for Christmas
§ Names/ages of siblings
§ 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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.