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Opinion

  • 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.  

  • In 2013, there were over 130 traffic crashes in Florida that involved motorists who violated the Move Over law. Of those crashes, 81 resulted in injuries and 2 in fatalities. This month, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding motorists of the state’s Move Over law.
    The Move Over law was enacted in 2002 to help protect law enforcement officers, emergency workers, and tow truck drivers when they are performing their duties along the roadside. In July 2014, the Move Over law was expanded to include sanitation and utility vehicles.

  • The deal is done. Starting the beginning of February, the county will no longer be involved in the pet adoption business - at least not directly.
    Instead, the Sumter County government has channeled its pet adoption responsibilities to the Humane Society of Sumter County.
    While the county has received some stinging criticism about its decision and some harsh comments about its pet adoption operations, this move is very likely to be beneficial to not only the county and the Humane Society but most importantly to unwanted and discarded pets in need of good homes.

  • If you’re thinking of launching the new year off by volunteering some of your time, the following opportunity may fit the bill.
    Florida LAKEWATCH is looking for volunteers in Sumter County who are ready to roll up their sleeves, get their elbows wet, and make a valuable contribution to the future of Florida lakes.
    If you have a boat (almost any kind) and a couple of hours a month you may be a candidate for the Florida LAKEWATCH volunteer lake monitoring program.
    Florida LAKEWATCH Regional Coordinator for Sumter County, Dan Willis, describes how the program works.

  • The Florida Department of Health urges Floridians to take precautions to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as there have been several recent incidents leading to multiple deaths and hospitalizations in Florida.

  • An Environmentally-Friendly
    Guide to Gifting
    By Jason Mahon
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection

    Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be stressful and costly, not to mention the effect all those plastic toys and electronics have on the environment. This year, try something different by going green for the holidays. Use these green gifting tips and ideas to find exactly what you need this holiday season.

  • By Wyatt Fraas,
     wyattf@cfra.org,
    Center for Rural Affairs
    Farm to School programs appeared in the ‘90s with a three-way focus: fresh, local foods in schools; agriculture and nutrition education in classrooms; and purchases that support local family farms. Years since have seen these programs grow to include 40,000 schools and 23 million students.
    However, the focus has slipped from ‘local family farms’ to ‘local food.’

  • Decades ago, the community of Lake Panasoffkee was filled with volunteers of all sorts participating in a variety of activities to raise money for a variety of local causes.
    Community volunteers got out to help raise funds for the local fire department, the local library and the community center not to mention a variety of special community events.
    But times change, and situations change. Oh, Panasoffkee still has its community volunteers, but it just doesn’t have enough of them.

  • Thanksgiving is much more than a big meal with family and friends. It’s a time to reflect on, and be thankful for, all of the good things you have. Even with all of the uncertainty and turmoil in the world, you have so much to be thankful for. It’s important to be grateful, not just on Thanksgiving, but each and every day. Rather than lamenting what you feel is lacking in your life, begin each new day by developing an attitude of gratitude. Take inventory of your blessings and you will be surprised at just how much you have to be thankful for.

  • The Great American Smokeout is today - Thursday, Nov. 20. The Florida Department of Health in Sumter County and Tobacco Free Florida are encouraging tobacco users in Sumter to plan in advance to quit today or to use the day to make a quit plan.
     The Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is currently in its 39th year. The observance raises awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to successfully quit.

  • All was silent on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. The world had just experienced a previously unthinkable holocaust, a four-year battle of attrition, where the cruel efficiency of 20th century technology of heavy artillery, tanks, airplanes and poison gas met trench warfare and would take 16 million military and civilian lives. Millions more were seriously injured and permanently disabled.

  • Alright, granted, the Halloween costume is still warm from the holiday. So who in the world is ready to think about Christmas already?
    Well, for one, the City of Bushnell. And it’s not too early to beginning thinking about helping a needy child this upcoming holiday season.
    Later this month, the city will launched its annual Grant a Christmas Wish 2014 gift event.
    Every year the City of Bushnell works with the Children’s Home Society to help provide Christmas gifts for less fortunate Sumter County children.  

  • Everyone loves a good Halloween scare, but not when it comes to safety. Friday, trick-or-treaters will be out haunting the neighborhoods, and the Florida Highway Patrol is reminding motorists and pedestrians to use extreme caution and to safely share the road.
    Parents and drivers should take extra care in safeguarding children. Low visibility and heavy pedestrian traffic can make Halloween roadways a bit “tricky;” These safety tips can help keep this holiday a “treat.”
    Motorists:

  • It’s going to be an unusual Halloween in Lake Panasoffkee. For decades, kids have relished the community’s celebration of the haunting holiday in the local park.
    But this Halloween is different. This year the annual Halloween in the Park has been cancelled.
    Organized each year by The Friends of the Panasoffkee Community Library, this year the group says they don’t have enough volunteers to put on the annual event.

  • March of Dimes, the leading organization for mom and baby health, urges parents to immunize their children against infectious diseases before the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. Influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles are just a few of the serious vaccine-preventable diseases that still affect children and adults in the United States today.

  • What an unusual election year this is here in Sumter County. When voters went to the polls Tuesday, they didn’t have to worry about making a final decision between local candidates seeking election.
    There weren’t any local candidates to select from in any county government or School Board races.
    As a matter of fact, the only local candidate appearing on the ballot was Mary Hatcher, a Bushnell candidate for the seat of judge in the 5th Judicial Circuit.