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Opinion

  • Water - it is our most valuable resource.
    Industries can’t manufacture it and it’s not a renewable resource - what we have is what we have.
    It can be cleaned and filtered or it can be polluted but it cannot be mass produced.
    That means that protecting it should be of major concern to all of us.
    That’s what the County Commission recently saw when a group of citizens, mostly from The Villages, came to object to plans to let a bottled water company extract hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per day from a proposed well site in Sumterville.

  • The recent closing of Center Hill’s Central Beef Industries is not only devastating to the 214 workers who have lost their jobs, the company’s demise also has a major impact on the local community as well as the cattle industry in the southeastern part of the country.

    Central Beef  has been a historical part of Sumter’s local industries since the 1940s.

    Its closure will impact its former employees who primarily live in the southern part of the county. The closure is likely to add economic stress to many families in an area.

  • For 50 years, United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties has worked to increase financial stability resources for low-income families and individuals in the community.
    Recently United Way continued to invest by giving $21,978 to Sumter County School Board for the adult education program.

  • The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) recognizes February 15-19, 2016 as Hit and Run Awareness Week in an effort to highlight the impacts of leaving the scene of a crash and reduce the number of hit and run crashes in Florida.
    In 2015, there were more than 92,000 hit and run crashes in Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol alone worked 23,333 of these crashes.

  • There is still time to add your support to a worthwhile project that helps feed needy members of the community.
    You still have time to attend the remaining four concerts sponsored by Seeds of Hope (SOH) and benefiting the Wildwood Soup Kitchen and the Wildwood Food Pantry.
    Concerts are free but a bag of food, cash or a tax deductible check made out to: Seeds of Hope-WSK is greatly appreciated, particularly by the individuals and families who benefit from these programs.

  • The Florida Department of Health in Sumter County would like to make Sumter County residents aware of the emergence of Zika virus (Zee-Ka) (ZIKV) in several South and Central American and Caribbean countries. ZIKV is an infectious virus that is spread by the bite of mosquitos.

  • There’s some good news for persons wanting to continue their education but could use a bit of a financial boost to help in the process.
    Sumter Adult and Community Education Center has been awarded a grant from United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties to support scholarships in the HVAC and GED programs!  
    Scholarships are now available for the next entry level class in air conditioning, heating, and ventilation which begins Feb. 1, in Wildwood.  

  • If you are like most Americans, your pet is a beloved member of the family. Having your pet injured or killed by a wild animal can be a tragic and traumatic event.

  • Along with the new year comes new challenges to community newspapers like the Sumter County Times.
    One of those challenges is to provide quality news and event coverage with a limited staff. There’s lot of news and events going on in Sumter County and only a few of us here to provide that news coverage.
    Here’s where the good news comes in.
    We’ve got a recommendation for the new year that can help your club or organization, your church or your school, look like publicity champs in the Sumter County Times.

  • Sponsors are needed for a worthy non-profit organization that helps to keep graduating students safe.  
    Project Graduation is a group of parents who work independently to provide for an all-night post-graduation celebration for the high school graduating seniors in our community.  
    With family, friends and community support, volunteers hope to make this year’s fundraising efforts successful, to encourage full participation with great incentives.  Their goal is to provide safety awareness that benefits both our young adults and our community.

  • During this holiday season, the Florida Highway Patrol joins law enforcement across the nation cracking down on impaired driving by sharing the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. The enforcement campaign runs from December 18, 2015 through January 3, 2016.
    From December 16, 2014 to January 1, 2015, 20 people were killed in Florida from alcohol-related crashes. Of the 288 alcohol-related crashes that occurred over the same time period, 20 percent occurred on New Year’s Eve.

  • Make your high diploma or career training your New Year’s Resolution!
    Interested in improving your employment potential?  
    The next entry level class in Air Conditioning, Heating, and Ventilation begins Jan. 11, 2016 in Wildwood.
    In three courses, learn to be an HVAC Mechanic I.  Registration is now open

  • Just as an individual has health care needs that are unique to them, so are the health care needs of communities.
    The needs that Sumter County residents face can be very different from those other counties experience.
    To determine the needs of Sumter County, residents and business leaders are being encouraged to take a community health survey the can help steer health care providers.
    The Central Florida Health Alliance (CFHA) and WellFlorida Council are conducting surveys to gauge the health of communities in Lake, Sumter and South Marion counties.

  • As we approach a time of annual reflection, our gratitude must reflect back to shine on all of you, our community.
    Without you, we would not have been able to achieve our Humane Society/SPCA’s mission of rescuing and connecting endearing animals with wonderful people. For this … we’re Fur-ever thankful.

  • Get ready, the renovation work on State Road 48 in Bushnell is scheduled to continue through the new year.
    With numerous road projects already under way on the congested road, more work is planned.
    If you're curious about how long the project will take, you may want to plan to attend and upcoming meeting on the subject.
    The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will host a public information meeting to talk about widen State Road 48 from a three-lane road to a five-lane roadway in Sumter County.

  • Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace starts Nov.1 and ends Jan. 31, 2016. Navigators in North Central Florida are available for free to help people compare plans, learn about financial assistance and sign up for insurance through the Marketplace.

    Roughly 1.27 million Floridians have affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Still, over 3 million Floridians remain uninsured.

  •      Be a part of the celebration and visit to our local Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County this month and meet the friendly adorable dogs waiting to be adopted.   Visit their website at www.hsspca.org to view their pictures and learn a little about each one.

  • In recognition of World Heart Day, the Florida Department of Health in Sumter County will be celebrating by hosting a 5K Walk/Run on Sept. 26. The department is also partnering with community organizations to host Hands-Only CPR trainings at two convenient locations in Sumter County on Sept. 29.
    The 5K Walk/Run will be at the Kenny Dixon Sports Complex (back of park), 824 West Noble Avenue, Bushnell, with registration at 8 a.m. The event start time is 9 a.m.

  • Mid Florida Senior Services, is partnering with the City of Bushnell, to open a new Senior Service Center here in Bushnell on Oct. 6. The program will be held at the Bushnell Community Center, located at 407 E. Belt Ave.
    The center will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9 am to 1 pm every week.
    Any senior that wishes to participate in this program as a recipient or volunteer will be required to register with Mid Florida Senior Services ahead of time by calling 352-793-6111.  

  • By Janis Harrison
    Adult Education Teacher
    SCARC, Inc.
    Recently the Florida Legislature defunded the AWD (Adults With Disabilities) grant for education. This affected 12,000 citizens with disabilities in Florida.
    Our agency (SCARC, Inc.), has now received funding from our gracious Sumter County Commission to continue our classes this year, while letters are written and phone calls are made that explain why we believe the defunding was a mistake.