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Opinion

  • With Sumter County schools starting early this year, the upcoming tax-free holiday comes at a convenient time.
     The 2014 sales tax-free holiday begins this coming Friday,  Aug. 1.
    Parents and students can save money on  back to school shopping with the sales tax-free holiday from Aug. 1 through Aug. 3. Sumter County schools start up on Thursday, Aug. 7.

  • There is always hope that crimes will be solved and that the perpetrators of wrong and evil deeds will be apprehended and brought to justice.
    Hopefully, that will be the case for  the armed robbers who reportedly shot a pizza delivery man in the face last week, dragged him from his vehicle to take money from his pants pockest and then ran off into darkness with two pizzas and a bottle of soda.

  • For some folks, the idea of paying an additional $18 a year to the county for their fire assessment fee may not be a big deal; for others, the increase may be costly.
    Unfortunately, the County Commission is not making it very easy for residents who are subject to the fee hike to comment about the proposed rate increase.
    If approved, the fee which would go from $106 a year to $124 when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

  • Sumter Adult Education has a program that makes it easy for you to take high-quality, affordable online courses and online career enhancement courses. Through a partnership with ed2go|GES, you can develop new skills and knowledge in order to stand out in today’s competitive job market.
    This program allows you to enhance your personal and professional skills and prepares you to launch a new career or advance in an existing one, no matter where you’re located.

  • It’s called the Florida Move Over Act and it was enacted to help protect law enforcement and emergency vehicles stopped at emergency situations by having motorists move over into an inside lane when possible to provide more room between them and the vehicles.
    The law was enacted following some hits and close calls for emergency workers stopped at wrecks and other emergency by motorist coming too close.
    Well, the law has now been expanded. Utility crews are now protected by the Florida Move Over Act, as they work on the side of roads and highways.

  • The Lake-Sumter State College Alumni Association needs your help in making its alumni network  stronger.
    If you have completed a course or graduated from LSSC the college needs you.
    “We are looking for lost alumni. If you or someone you know attended LSSC and would like to receive information about our programs, special events, or volunteer opportunities please email your contact information to the Alumni office at Morrisc@lssc.edu to start receiving information about all of our exciting news and events.”

  • It often goes unnoticed and draws little attention at times but the City of Coleman is about to hit the map.
    For Sumter County’s smallest city, Coleman is embarking on a progressive project that is likely to have many heads turning throughout the state, and perhaps even throughout the country.
    On Monday, the city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recent expansion of the Coleman 70-kilowatt solar-powered water system.

  • County Commissioner Garry Breeden did a nice job last week during the board’s Tuesday meeting. He was instrumental in clarifying an important issue before the board and of interest to many of the people in the audience.
    The topic was the planned removal of two large oak trees included in a repaving project on County Road 121.
    The planned tree removal brought an outpouring of concern from residents who do not want the trees removed. Armed with a petition opposed to the county’s plan, community members attended the meeting and spoke of their disapproval.

  • Elder Options may be a means for  local residents with health conditions to provide support to others with similar conditions.
    The organization is seeking individuals with one or more chronic health conditions, who want to be able to support and help others learn to take control of their ongoing health conditions by facilitating workshops once a week for 2 ½ hours for six weeks.

  • Teacher Appreciation Day, Field Day, Spring concerts, sports competitions and awards ceremonies, plays, debates, school application and testing, testing, testing. They are all part of that familiar end-of-school-year rhythm, which has started for most and will begin to play out through the year’s end, and the hopeful promotion of our babies to their next level in school.
    Would that it were so simple - and pleasant - for all families!

  • As National Police Week started the beginning of this week, law enforcement officers across the nation remember and honor our fallen heroes – those officers who in the service of their communities have given the ultimate sacrifice are remembered.

  • As the event chair of this year’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life committee, I would like to thank residents of Sumter County for their generosity and support.
    Fifteen of the 19 registered teams participated in this year’s event, with all teams raising more than $38,877 for the American Cancer Society’s research, education, and service programs.

  • When it comes to preparing for hurricane season we can never be over prepared.
     Individuals need to make sure all hurricane supplies are current and not outdated.  
    Make sure you have a family plan in place and do not wait until it is too late to start planning.  
    Follow the guidelines in this article to see if you and your family are prepared for hurricane season.
    Hurricane season is almost here and it is time to update your hurricane plans!

  • Chicken Dances, pie         eating and survivors,         all the rage at the                Relay for Life

    Nobody even knew what it was. I only went to the meeting to cover this future event that was being planned. I went to find out what it was all about and to give this “Relay for Life” group some promotion.

  • By Kevin Concannon
    USDA Under Secretary for Food,
    Nutrition and Consumer Services

    As a child, I always looked forward to the carefree joy of summertime. I remember the long days of playing outside at a nearby park until I needed to come home for lunch. Unfortunately, many of our nation’s children do not experience the simple joys of summer. In fact, far too many are left worrying where their next breakfast or lunch will come from when schools are dismissed for summer break.

  • It comes with mixed emotions. For many people with a history in and around the Bushnell area, the demolition of the old Foodway grocery store building on Main Street comes with bittersweet feelings.

  • As economic conditions around the state start to improve, projects waiting on back burns for better financial times to arrive are beginning to awaken.
    In Sumterville, that means the rumblings of a massive community project thatwill change the undeveloped landscape into what is planned to be a flourishing community of substantial proportions.

  • Sumter County’s Master Gardeners program has a lot to be proud about given their annual festival this past Saturday.
    Patrons filled the parking area at the Wildwood Community Center and perused dozens of vendor exhibits of anything from orchids to pottery, from glass outdoor sculptures to bromeliads. The event provided a great opportunity for gardeners and plant enthusiasts to purchase a desired plant and also learn some interesting facts.
    This show is a definite hit. It’s well put together and provides  something for just about any interest.

  • Sumter County students swept the Big Spring Regional Science Fair once again! The 2014 Science Fair brought out the best and brightest middle and high school students to discuss their research, experimental designs, and conclusions with a host of judges from a variety of professions.
    Sixty-one eager researchers from South Sumter Middle, South Sumter High, Wildwood Middle High, and The Villages Charter School brought 53 projects to the Florida National Guard Armory in Ocala on the morning of Feb. 20.

  • All you have to do is look at the staggering weight totals for unwanted or unneeded prescription drugs that were turned in for disposal this past weekend to realize that Project Medicine Cabinet is a beneficial program throughout Sumter County.
    This year, about 1,500 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at the two drop-off locations in the county, one in The Villages and the other in Bushnell.