• 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.

  • 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.