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Opinion

  • Sumter County Adult Education is providing a variety of courses this season aimed at adults.
    For example, if you’re interested in improving your employment potential, the next entry level class in air conditioning, heating, and ventilation, offered by the Sumter Adult and Community Education Center, begins Jan. 11, 2016, in Wildwood.
    In three courses students can learn to be an HVAC Mechanic I.  Register at the Sumterville site.

  • It’s going to be very odd this football season not to have a Wildwood varsity football team.
    For some, the idea of not having a varsity team has been met with anger and upset. When you look at how strong Wildwood’s varsity teams have been in past decades, it seems unbelievable that the school can be in the situation that it is: just not enough kids to muster up an adequate varsity football team.
    For some staunch Wildwood football enthusiasts, even that thought must be incomprehensible.

  • The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is in need of voluteers in Sumter County for a variety of projects that help youngsters.
    RSVP is recruiting Sumter County resident’s age 55 and older who are willing to share their time and experience with children in need within our community.
    RSVP a new program with Big Brothers/Big Sisters beginning in the fall.

  • I am a Son of the South. I was born in the State of Virginia, which is home to Richmond, the capital and heart of the Confederacy. As a young boy growing up in the mountains of Virginia, General Robert E. Lee was one of my heroes. I saw him as a brilliant military tactician who took a ragtag army of Southern boys and men and turned it into a formidable fighting machine that held its own against the better-equipped and larger Union Army. He was, in my mind, a symbol of Southern honor and culture… brave and humble, both in victory and defeat.

  • The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is urging Floridians and visitors to protect themselves against West Nile Virus. The FDOH last week confirmed the first case of West Nile virus illness in Florida for 2015 in an adult female resident of Walton County. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that causes mild to severe illness and there have been 38 other states with confirmed cases in 2015.

  • County commissioners came through for SCARC recently. The board has agreed to fund the organization with the more than $40,000 that state legislators recently hacked from SCARC funding during recent state budget cuts.

  • The Florida Department of Health this summer invites residents to get active and enjoy the natural wonders Florida has to offer.
    Get Outdoors Month encourages residents to fully enjoy Florida’s 161 state parks, 10 state trails and 12 national parks.
    “Getting outdoors with friends and family, whether it be hiking, biking, swimming or just having fun, truly strengthens Florida’s communities,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Get Outdoors Month is a great reminder to get outside and be active.”

  • Summer has arrived and if you’re like me, you’ll be spending more time outside, soaking in all the natural beauty Florida has to offer. This time of year, especially as we approach our national Independence Day, marks the start of the season most associated with the use of fireworks. While it is important to have fun and to celebrate our nation’s freedom, we must be cautious and remember that fireworks can be dangerous when used improperly.

  • The story is not a new one. The plot remains the same. Once again, SCARC Inc., serving Sumter’s developmentally disabled citizens, is facing budget cuts from the state that threaten to damage the invaluable program headquartered in Bushnell.
    Once again, the voices of the needy are being overlooked. And once again, there is a plea from program operators and  supporters for help.
    A story appears on this week’s front page about the cuts.

  • Summer hits in Sumter County and along with it comes an opportunity for a bit of positive contact between community youngsters and local law enforcement officers.
    Throughout the county, various cities and locations hold what’s been known as Cops and Kids Day.
    These events provide some very positive opportunities for youngsters to get up close and interact with local sheriff’s deputies and police officers.

  • The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently announced, in a public-private partnership with GEICO Insurance, and unveiled a statewide safety campaign to tackle the problem of distracted driving on Florida’s roads. As part of a national effort to encourage drivers to pull into a safe location to use their phone for calling, texting and accessing mobile apps, Florida has designated 64 Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Turnpike Service Plazas throughout the state as “Safe Phone Zones,” more than any other state.

  • It’s a good thing. They get together through the year to laugh and raise money and plan. They meet, sometimes rowdy and sometimes dressed funny. They taste different foods, hold yard sales, host breakfast and so much more.
    It’s all for me  …  and you.

  • Seeds of Hope ends their 10th anniversary Food Drive with a celebration by presenting the Wildwood Soup Kitchen and Wildwood Food Pantry with a check for $22,656.11 each, plus over 24,000 pounds of food to divide.
    Our seven concerts were huge successes with over 3,500 guests attending.
    It takes a whole community to accomplish great things. Seeds of Hope, The WWFP and WWSK wish to thank everyone that helped make our campaign the success it was.

  • As the baby boomers and their elders contend with all the different Medicare and health care options that are available, there is one group that can help smooth out some of the snarls  and complications along the way and help steer you to a desirable health care plan.
    The organization is called SHINE. It’s short for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders.
    SHINE isn’t a private company. Its representatives don’t make profits on the health care decisions that they help their clients make. They gain no financial reward from your decisions.

  • The City of Bushnell deserves some kudos for its attempts to breathe some life in to the city’s new downtown park.
    It’s a shame not to see more people taking advantage of the park.
    With benches, a nice gazebo, an impressive fountain and green areas, the park often remains empty for most of the day.
    But city leaders have been busy attempting to increase usage of the park. They’ve had several events on the grounds and are planning more.
    We think that’s a good idea.

  • You probably have your own inner vision of a homeless person. Maybe someone who can’t be too far from the bottle. Maybe someone who talks to people that only they see.
    Maybe you’d be very surprised. Maybe you’d be very wrong.
    Coming in May is an eye-opening experience. It’s an event called the 2015 Face of Homelessness Gala.
    While the event isn’t until May ticket sales are beginning now online.
    Hosting the event, is  The Refuge at Jumper Creek. The facility is Sumter County’s only homeless shelter,.

  • Florida has experienced an alarming increase in the number of fatal hit and run crashes during the last two years. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is partnering with the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA), the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) to get the message out that fleeing the scene of an accident can result in tougher penalties.

  • The Florida Department of Health is working with other state and federal officials to monitor individuals who may have been exposed to measles cases across the state. In the past two weeks, four cases of measles have been identified and reported among travelers with unknown or no measles vaccinations who visited Florida. Two cases involved international travelers.

  • When you buy locally grown food you are investing in your community while enjoying the fresh/delicious bounty grown by local farmers.
    One of the main benefits of buying locally grown food is: it’s fresher, tastier, and more nutritious plus you are buying directly from family farmers which helps them stay in business.