A-8 for a listing of
classes, events and
OSCEOLA E NS- GAZETTE
www.aroundosceola.com March 21, 2009
'PLAYING IN THE DIRT'
At right, St. Cloud resi-
dent Kim Eich holds a
handful of sugarsnap
peas ready for plant-
ing. Below, Herb and
Monica Leibacher, of
Celebration, sort the
week's vegetables into
plastic bins for share-
holders to collect.
is a shared
By Juliana A. Torres
Kneeling among rows of
green vegetables and herbs,
Natalie Harley, of Kissimmee,,
pushed tiny sugarsnap pea
seeds into the dark, rich soil of
a garden supported by a whole
community of people.
"I love it," Harley said. "I'm
learning a lot. It enables me to
have food out of a garden that
I wouldn't normally buy."
The eventual sugarsnap
pea plants, planted close
together, aren't for human
consumption, but rather for;
the deer, who seem to like the
sweet vegetable, in hopes that-
they'll stay away from the rest
of the of crops.
It's one of the hazards the,
community must deal with in
their new garden. A group of
28 shareholders have. bought
into a season of fresh produce,
from this small farm accept-
ing all successes and setbacks
associated with growing-
organic produce in a con-
cept called community-sup-
ported agriculture. The garden
takes up about a quarter-acre
behind a horse farm on the
property three miles east of
St. Cloud, owned by Allan and
The shareholders help pay
for the costs of seeds, prepara-
tion and maintenance of the
garden at the beginning of the
season and take away their
portion- of whatever is harvest-
ed once a week. The upfront
cost depends on the size of
their share and whether or not
they want to help in the week-
"Everybody buys in. They,
all by into all the progress and
all the losses," Nancy Pratt,'
who owns the property, said.
"We lost all tomato plants to
frost. So no tomatoes this
See Farm, page A-2
By Jessica Solis
In an effort to save money
during the next academic
year, Osceola County School
Michael Grego unveiled on
Tuesday an office reorganiza-
tion plan for the district that
includes pay cuts and transfers
for top-level employees.
The plan will save more
than $500,000, Grego said.
.With the changes, two of
the district's senior staff posi-
tions chief administration
officer and chief of school
operations will be elimi-
Instead, Grego said, the
employees heading the posi-
tions will take on different roles
at the district. Along with the
changes come pay cuts, he
"We need to take pretty
severe measures at this time,"
Grego said of the reorganiza-
tion. "That streamlines, the
The plan is meant to help
the district stay afloat during
and keep cuts
away from the
with a $61 mil- Grego
Jim, DiGiacomo, the dis-
trict's chief administration offi-
cer, will transfer to the new
KOA Elementary School in
Poinciana and serve as its prin-
cipal when the school'opens in
August. Bob Nanni, the dis-
trict's chief of school opera-
tions, will now head the facili-
ties department previously led
by Eric Houston, who will step
down to the position of director
of architectural services, in the
See School, page A-3
By Juliana A. Torres
The Kissimmee Public Infor-
mation Office unveiled plans
Tuesday to offer live streaming
and archived Access Osceola
programming, including com-
mission meetings, online.
City staff initially estimated it
would cost thousands to imple-
rrient the necessary equipment
and pay a company annually to
maintain videos online. Howev-
er, Public Information Officer
Carla Banks demonstrated the
city's new video capabilities,
possible after only a $250
equipment purchase, which her
staff can maintain on their
Residents will be able to
view the commission meetings
live on the Internet, with only a
seven- to .eight-second delay,
and access archives of any
Access Osceola original pro-
gramming on demand. The
new system would provide a
different method for those who
don't get Channel 199 on
Bright House Network, where
the public access channel was
recently moved per new state
regulations, to view the city's
See I ssimmee, page A-3
$1.5M marijuana bust Tuesday
Meth lab discovered in St. Cloud residence i7
By Juliana A. Torres
Staff Writer ,
Osceola County law enforce-
ment uncovered a crop of 1,222
marijuana, plants hidden in a
wooded area off Boggy Creek
Road, and a methamphetamine
lab in St. Cloud earlier this week.
The marijuana crop was dis-
covered while Osceola County
Sheriff's Office deputies searched
for an elderly man, reported miss-
ing earlier that day. In the process
of the search, they deployed extra
units, including their helicopter
and K-9 units.
The helicopter unit, first saw
the crop from the air, in a dense-
ly wooded area at the intersec-
tion of High Plains Lane and
Boggy Creek Road, northwest
of the Narcoossee area.
"You could not have seen this
one from the road," agency
spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain
said. "When we sent deputies on
ground to look at it, they con-
From the air, the crop looked
like it might consist of a couple of
hundred plants. On the ground,
deputies found the plants,
between one and two feet tall,
clustered in groups of two or
three. There were 1,222 of them.
"This was certainly a substan-
tial find because of the number of
plants, but it is not uncommon to
have a marijuana operation out-
side," Lizasuain said.
Most advanced marijuana
operations are grown inside, with
heat lamps, she said. However, if
the young crop had been allowed
to grow to maturity and
processed, it .would have been
worth about $1.2 million on the
Lizasuain said the owner of the
property, whom investigators are
trying to contact, lives out of
state. The property itself has no
structures on it.
Deputies had not arrested any-
one at press time Friday.
"We are currently looking for
anyone that has information
about the operation," Lizasuain
Anyone with information can
call the Sheriff's Office at 407-
348-2222 or Crimeline at 800-
The missing elderly man was
found that afternoon.
Meth lab in St. Cloud
St. Cloud police discovered a
suspected methamphetamine lab
at 1110 Jersey Ave. Wednesday
after which they called the Osce-
ola County Investigative Bureau
to the scene.
Around 6:30 p.m. that day,
bureau agents disassembled the
See Busts, page A-2
Photos/Osceola County Sheriff's Office
Above left, authorities found meth-making
equipment Tuesday in a home in St, Cloud.
Also on Tuesday, authorities found more than
a thousand marijuana plants growing in a
plot off Boggy Creek Road, shown in the
# + *. # 1
mal laws. See
City has new .....
airboats an issue
Page A2, NEWS-GAZETTE Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com Saturday, March 21, 2009
Continued from page A-1
year, but we learn from that."
Additionally, all the food
grown in the garden is done so
organically. They use compost
from the farm, worked the soil
with organic commercial prod-
ucts, used fish 'emulsion to fer-
tilize the soil and picked off
harmful bugs by hand, dusting
the plants with an organic
product if the pests..get-too
Long strips of plastic table-
cloth blowing in the wind dis-
courage deer from their pro-
duce. If that doesn't work, then
hopefully there's the offering
of sugarsnap peas, which
already have proven to. be a
favorite this year.
"Our standards are to be as
natural ,and sustainable to the
environment that we can be,"
farm on her property was start-
ed in January last year after the
Pratt family went looking for
organic, locally grown produce
in Osceola County. They were
mostly unsuccessful,' finding
only one person who offered
St. Cloud-grown honey, and
was about to move out'of state.
"That's why we .decided:
OK, we're just going to start
our own," Nancy Pratt said.
They moved the white pick-
et fence enclosing the proper-
ty's horses an acre back to try
their hand in farming. Pratt
enlisted the help of Morgan
Ohland, who had been a part-
ner in a community-supported
garden in Brevard County that
was shutting down. With her
experience and advice along
the way, the first season sup-
ported by just 10 shareholders
- was a success, Pratt said.
"Everybody was so pleased
with the produce," she said.
"It's like a work of art when
.you get home and lay it all out.
It was just brilliant."
The creativity and collabora-
tion as a community involved
in the garden made the extra
effort producing the organic
foods worth it.
"That's what keeps the
shareholders coming back,
because it's hard work in this
heat," she said.
This season, the community
planted arugula, rapini, asian
greens, Brussels sprouts, let-
tuce, fennel, kale, eggplant,
beans, carrots and heirloom
tomatoes as well as thyme,
lavender, sage and basil. The
different crops are planted in a
staggering schedule, so some-
thing is always being harvest-
ed. The farmers have to gauge
how much of each should be
"It's a real balancing act.
You want to have enough for
everyone but don't want to
have an abundance of one
thing," Ohland says.
One year, there was an
abundance of rapini which
Ohland learned grows well in
the Florida climate so much
so that the shareholders
begged her riot to plant .any
more the following season.
This year, kale has been in
abundance so far. Sharehold-
ers pass different recipes to
keep the vegetable. That's part
of the challenge, eating what is
grown, Ohland said. Most peo-
ple who decide not to buy into
the next season, realize that
ing just doesn't fit into their
lifestyle, because they're not
really, cooks or don't know
what to do with the produce
they receive, which tends to be
very different than that found
in the supermarket.
One share is enough for a
family of four; a half-share
enough for two. Shareholders
pay less if they agree to 'help
weed, plant and upkeep the
garden about for six hours per
week. Seven of the sharehold-
ers this year are working'
arrive early in the morning on
Saturday to harvest whatever
is ripe and sort it in plastic
bins, one for each share.
Before everyone else arrives
to pick up, their bins, the
group gathers to pray, giving
News-Gazette Photo/Andrew Sullivan
Kissimmee couple Nick
and Deanna Hobby stop
to pick up their weekly
share of produce from
the CSA farming plot.
The two have been
involved with the project
since last fall.
thanks for fruit of the labor.
"Because we all know how
hard it is to grow a garden,
we give full credit to God,"
Sometimes citrus from a
local grove- supplement the
produce and often- hand
stone-ground wheat bread
and local marmalade is avail-
able for purchase.. Pratt
hopes the, small community's
efforts will eventually create a
whole market of various local-
ly produced foodstuffs that
residents can all share.
"It's a lot of fun," Pratt
says, "It's very therapeutic to
be out here, playing in the
The current season ends
in the first week of June. The
quarter-acre of garden space
can ,only support the conm-
munity's current number of
shares, but Pratt says she'd
like to see more community-
supported gardens else-
where, perhaps in an empty
'lot in a neighborhood that'
To find out more informa-
tion or to be added to the
waiting list for the upcoming
season, contact Nancy Pratt
to child porn
Robert Zuelsdorf, a retired
Poinciana resident, pleaded
guilty to 205 counts of posses-
sion of child pornography
March 13 in Osceola County
A judge will
dorf, 65, on
April 13. Each
charge carries a
tence of five
years in prison.
retired as chief executive officer
from Wilbur Smith Associates,
an engineering and consulting
firm based in Columbia, S.C., in
2004 after 35 years with the
firm. He later retired in Solivita,
a development in Poinciana.
The Kissimmee Police
Department began investigating
Zuelsdorf after a local computer
repair store turned in his com-
puter to police after finding an
image of child pornography
while transferring files on March
4, 2008. The hundreds of
pornography images later dis-
covered by Orange County
Sheriff's Office forensic special-
ists included photos of girls
between the ages of 1 and 12.
Several members of the
police department attended
Zuelsdorf's hearing last week
because he is trying to use his
money and. influence to keep
himself out of jail and on proba-
tion instead, department
spokeswoman Stacie Miller said.
"He deserved to be locked up
away from our most vulnerable
citizens, which is our children,"
Kissimmee man killed
A 20-year-old Kissimmee
man was killed in a hit-and-run
crash on U.S. Highway 192
Ryan T. Jones, driving. a
Yamaha motorcycle that night,
was killed when he drove into a
Cadillac SUV as it turned into a
driveway off Highway 192. The
driver of the SUV, which was
reported stolen, fled the area on
foot, the Florida Highway Patrol
The SUV, turning into the
driveway of La Hacienda Meat
Market near the intersection of
Four Winds Boulevard, crossed
in front of Jones' motorcycle as
he drove west of U.S. Highway
192. Jones was thrown from his
motorcycle and died at the
scene of the crash.
There is no description of the
driver, according to state troop-
Crash at John Young
Officers from the Kissimmee
Police Department were work-
ing a traffic crash at the intersec-
tion of John Young Parkway
and Oak Street Thursday.
One person was airlifted to
Orlando Regional Medical Cen-
ter for precautionary reasons.
No other information was avail-
able at press time Friday.
Woman in hospital
after domestic dispute
Kissimmee police are looking
for an armed
murder in a
domestic 'distur- t
65, is being Benway
attempted murder. Around 6
a.m. Thursday, police respond-
ed to 103 Dellwood Drive,
where Benway lives. They
found an injured female, who
was then airlifted to a local hos-
Anyone with information on
Benway is asked to contact the
Kissimmee Police Department
at 407-846-333 or Crimeline at
Pleads guilty to
Kissimmee resident Mario
Maurice Small Sr., 40, pleaded
guilty in federal court in Orlando
Wednesday to possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon.
His sentencing is scheduled
for June 10.
Small, arrested last month,
had a warrant out for his arrest
since December as the result of
a nine-month investigation tar-
geting drug sales in the McLaren
Circle area of Kissimmee.
According to Kissimmee police,
undercover officers purchased a
handgun, with its serial number
scratched off, from Small. The
transaction was one of many
that resulted in warrants of 67
individuals who have a total of
187 prior felonies.
So far, 65 of the 67 suspects
wanted in the operation dubbed
"Kissimmee Crackdown" have
Small's charge of possession
of a firearm by a convicted felon
carries a federal sentence of 10
,years in jail.
Small is the father of 15-year-
old Mario Small Jr., who .was
shot and killed in a robbery gone
wrong in June.
lab and recovered evidence
to prosecute the possible nar-
"It was not an active lab,
but agents found materials
that were consistent with a
methamphetamine lab, so
charges are pending," Liza-
. .The owner of the home,
who is renting out the prop-
erty, called in the possible
illegal activity, Lizasuain said.
Deputies are filing the appro-
priate paperwork to charge a
suspect for the lab, she said.
The owner, -according to
the county property apprais-
er records, is Lori Ann Bass.
Her son was living in a por-
tion of the house, Lizasuain
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.1 ** .,*. ',1
Continued from page A-1
Saturday, March 21, 2009 Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A3
March for peace
set for March 28
A Florida March For Peace
will be at 2 p.m. Saturday,
March 28, in Melbourne.
The march, which will go
from 2205 Front St. to Mel-
bourne City Hall, is being
organized by Humanists for
Peace and Patriots for Peace.
Organizers and supporters
are calling for a transformation
of America's pro-war foreign
policy away from militarism.
For more information, go to
Quifiones to hold
town hall meeting
Osceola County Commis-
sion Chairman John Quifiones
will host a town hall meeting in
Buenaventura Lakes at 5:30
p.m. on Thursday, April 2, to
discuss community enhance-
ment projects'in the district 2
"Once commission approval fc
is received, the on-demand C
video streaming will be avail- rr
able for viewing within the
coming weeks and that will give si
staff time to establish the plac- fu
ing of links to accommodate di
the video files and create ir
prompts on the Web site to w
alert Web visitors of where Ji
those options are to access the B
streaming video," Banks said. di
The only other costs associ- a;
ated with new system would be lc
a purchase of hew hard drives cl
costing less than $1,000 In
should the city need more 1
space to store the archived
video. The rest of the $8,000 c
already set aside in the budget 'if
for online videos would go back ir
into the general fund, Banks ty
Banks also reported the p
results *of an ,online survey u'
addressing residents viewing si
habits of Access Osceola. ,
Commissioner Carlos al
Irizarry, still insistent that' g,
Access Osceola is a waste' of. o
taxpayer money, argued, that ,
the 74 people who responded
to the survey weren't enough to,
prove that ,more people were si
watching Access Osceola. r(
"It is not a secret that I'm bt
against spending taxpayer dol-
lars on something that's not la
worth it," he said. "I am not tr
against the project but I cannot VA
justify it if 'only 74 people are rc
Banks said that national tel- ra
vision ratings were deter- "V
mined by surveying only a frac- vi
tion of possible viewers and yt
that there was no way of know- q
ing for sure how many people
actually watched any channel. ad
or program. F
Despite Irizarry's criticism, ti.
S the rest of the commission la
already directed staff to move tm
Continued from page A-i1
Five top positions on the tf
leadership team also were C
reclassified, Grego said, ..and
assistant superintendent Di
staffers had their titles changed S
to chief officers, with salary st
,hGrego's annual salary, 'C
which is determined by the rr
school board, will remain e:
unchanged, at $188,000. ,n
The district's department of
curriculum and instruction also ca
is getting a makeover in tr
Grego's new plan, with five
resource 'teacher positions ti
being eliminated. The employ- b,
ees will have the opportunity .h
for voluntary transfers within st
the district, and choose where fl
they'd like'to be relocated. st
They also can be transferred h
without choice, w
"They will have the oppor- tr
tunity ... during our district
transfer period to apply for ts
those positions out in our tI'
schools," Grego said.
Overall, the pay cuts and n
transfers result in a $548,658 s1
savings, Grego said. ti
On Wednesday, Orange tr
County Public Schools re
announced that the district is tl
facing a $240 million cut frorfm sI
its operating budget for next s<
year, almost 17 percent. The a.
amount is a $138 million ft
adjustment from the $102 mil-
lion projected shortfall made 4
in 'November. The estimate E
was based on projections at o
community and to answer
County staff also will attend
the meeting, which will be at
the Robert Guevara Communi-
ty Center, 501 Florida Park-
"We're kicking off some
major community enhance-
ment projects in Buenaventura
Lakes, and a town hall meeting
is really the best way to update
everyone on what's coming
up," Quifiones said.
For more information, con-
tact the Osceola County Public
Information Office at 407-742-
Year-end report now
The city of St. Cloud has
completed its .end-of-year.
report for 2008, and it is now
available online on the cityils
Web page, www.stcloud.org,
>rward with the online Access
)sceola project, during' last
"I think that the commis-
on has voted to provide
unds in this year's budget to
o what you're doing. I'm not
iterested in discussing what
'e already voted on," Mayor
im Swan said, addressing
anks. "You found a way to
o what this commission
asked you to do for a whole
it less. I think there is greater
chance for folks to use the
iternet rather than Channel
Still, the future of Access
)sceola could change entirely
the city's funding partners,
including the Kissimmee Utili-
/ Authority, decide not to
contribute funding toward the
public access channel in their
coming budgets, Commis-
[oner Cheryl Grieb said.
accesss Osceola lost consider-
ble funds when the county
government decided to pull
ut of the program.
In other business, commis-
oners heard complaints from
residents about noise from air-
oats on Lake Tohopekaliga.
. "People who move to the
>ke come for the peace and
tranquility and to enjoy the
wildlife Juanita Gewerth, a
resident of Canterbury Ter-
ace neighborhood who rep-
esented the petitioners, said.
We can't have a normal con-
ersation in our own back-
ard. This is infringing on our
quality of life."
Durbin said the city's
agreement with the Florida
ish and Wildlife Conserva-
on Commission, which regu-
Ltes use of the boat ramp on
he Kissimmee lakefront,
ie state Revenue Estimating
-onference earlier this month.
Osceola County School
districtt Spokeswoman Dana
chafer said the 'district isn't.
et to experience a massive
budget shortfall similar .to
)range County's. District esti-
iates show the budget will
experience a 12 percent cut
"We ..planned for a worst
ase scenario that's coming
rue," Schafer said.
Grego said the reorganiza-
on plan is one of several
ack-ups the district has to
elp soften the effects of the
tate's budget troubles. With
irther cuts expected at the
tate level next year, he said
e doesn't know if teachers
'ill have to take pay cuts in
"Everything is on the
ible," Grego.said. "I can't say
hat teachers are not."
And because the state does
ot meet minimum federal
:andards for funding educa-
on, Osceola and other dis-
ricts are unsure if they'll
receive federal stimulus money
hat could provide relief. The
tate is currently trying to
cure a waiver to help it
access federal education
Contact Jessica Soils at
07-846-7600, Ext. 207.
-mail at jsolis@
document center, public infor-
mation office, surveys and
The report offers details
from every city department for
calendar year 2008. In it,
departments list their top
accomplishments, statistics and
The report is posted online
as part of the city's efforts to
"go green" and cut down on
costs. However, a copy of the
report is available for viewing at
the city clerk's office (City Hall,
Building A, third floor). Paper
copies are available upon
request and the charge is 15
cents per page. To request
paper copies of the report, call
The Internal Revenue Ser-
vice is offering free assistance
expires next month. A new
agreement that controls
access to the lake could help
regulate some of the airboat
Until a new agreement can
be negotiated, however, the
'city cannot do much to
address the noise from the air-
boats, he said.
Commissioners also briefly
discussed cutting down the
number of commission meet-
ings from once a week to
every other week, as a means
of saving money. They decid-
ed the savings about $2,722
annually in Access Osceola
staff time as well as minimal
costs in the reduction of ener-
gy and those associated with
keeping a police officer avail-
able for road patrol were too
nominal to justify the extra
delays in city projects.
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with tax preparation Saturday
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Volunteers will prepare
2008 tax returns for free for
residents with an annual
income of $42,000 or less,
who also would qualify for the
earned income tax credit.
Residents are asked to bring
all the necessary documenta-
tion for filing a federal tax
return and bank account and
routing numbers if they want
direct deposit of refunds.
The IRS estimates that up to
25 percent of eligible house-
holds fail to claim the earned
income tax credit because of
The St. Cloud Greater
Osceola Chamber' of
Commerce in recent
weeks has hosted sever-
al ribbon-cuttings, sig-
naling the opening of
new businesses. At right
are those who gathered
for the ribbon cutting at'
A & E Benefit Consul-
tants, 1610 13th St., on
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lack of awareness. This year,
qualifying residents could be eli-
gible to claim up to $4,824.
The Florida Office of Small
Business Advocate has
announced the dates and loca-
tions for a series of small busi-
ness issues forums throughout
the state during March, April
These forums have been
designed to give small business
owners and supporting organ-
izations, such as local cham-
bers of commerce and other
economic development organ-
izations an opportunity to
voice their concerns over cur-
rent issues facing small busi-
nesses and to brainstorm pos-
The Central Florida forums
include March 27, Orlando
area, and March 31, Mel-
While there is no registra-
tion fee, all participants are
asked to complete the online'
registration form at
ing may be limited in some
locations, so registrations will
be accepted on a first come,
first served basis.
For more information, visit
http://floridaosba.org/ or contact
,Jennifer Crews at 850473-7817
or by e-rnail at jennifer.crews@
Continued from page A-i
Talk of the
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Page A4, NEWS-GAZETTE Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com Saturday, March 21, 2009
St. Cloud needs.more voters
St. Cloud voters Tuesday showed they
were happy enough with St. Cloud City
Council members Mickey Hopper in seat 4
and Jarom Fertic in seat 5 to put them back
into office. Hopper earned 55.7 percent of
the vote in a three-way race (which means no
run-off) while Fertic won his seat with 52.9
percent of the vote in a two-way race.
What is disappointing about Tuesday and
early voting, however, is that only 7.,9 percent
of the electorate turned out to cast a ballot on
the two hotly contested seat races and two
very important referendums. Only 1,598 vot-
ers going to the polls out of an electorate of
20,357, was a dismal turnout and shows that
a change in election dates for St. Cloud was
needed. And most voters 79 percent of the
ones that went to the 'polls, that is agreed,
.choosing to change electiori dates to coincide
with the November elections held by Osceola
County and the Osceola, County School
District. The change will save the city an aver-
age of $22,885 annually.
We believe that having city elections on the
first Tuesday after the first Monday in
November and then a run-off election in
December, if needed, will improve turnout dra-
matically, since voters are coming out anyway
on Election Day to make choices on local and
state candidates and issues and national candi-
dates. We disagree with critics of the election
date change that St. Cloud candidates or ref-
erendums will be lost on a lengthy ballot.
We also were happy to see that voters
approved four-year terms for council mem-
bers and eight-year term limits. Eight years is
enough for local officials to serve their com-
munity and four-year terms allow them to
develop expertise in performing their duties,
with the possibility of coming back for -a sec-
ond term, voters-willing. Rotation of office
holders is good because entrenched incum-
bents who, in reality aren't doing a good job,
can't manage to continue feeding at the pub-
*lic trough just because of name recognition on
We now have term limits for all city office
holders in Osceola County and we should
work for term limits for county and constitu-
tional office holders as well. We also have
term limits for our state. legislators, thanks
to a state referendum approved in 1992
that 'was .upheld by the Florida Supreme
Court in 1999.'.
Strange doings are going down on the farm
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-- Syndicated Content -
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ear 110 No. 24
MARVIN G. CORNER
;V. Assistant Editor
RICK W. MADEWELL
- _Sports Editor .
Os N RICK PEDONE
Ye Carol Gorrell 24
Kathy Beckham OR ER
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Rebgon drMiving people away from God
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To the editor:
In response to the. letter of "Death
penalty or life" published in the Feb. 28
edition of the Osceola News-Gazette, I
would like to comment.
Casey Anthony, if found guilty,
should not only get the death penalty,
but all child murders should get the
same punishment as they murdered
their victim. If she killed her with the
chemical found, it should be done to
Casey then bury her with duct tape on
her head in a bag, by her house.
The same goes for Joseph Smith,
who killed Carlie Brucia; the person
who killed Trenton Duckett (who is
missing), and all other child murderers
in the state or country.
Why is everyone trying to protect
the rights of a murderer, but not the vic-
tims? That's a sick philosophy.
Do the same to them as they did to
these precious kids they murdered.
To the editor:
I read with great disappointment the
recent SunRail editorial written in this
paper. As a community volunteer who
has been involved in advancing SunRail
for years, it is discouraging to see infor-
mation distributed as fact when it is clear
that the opinion is based on inaccuracies.
SunRail represents a very important
part of the future of transportation in
Central Florida. Here in Osceola County,
we treasure the open spaces and natural'
beauty of our community. Controlling
sprawl and offering a transportation
alternative that doesn't involve paving
over all of our open land is crucial.
Andthat's what makes the misinfdr-
mation cited by state Sen. Paula Dockery
so concerning. We are at a crucial
moment poised to secure more than
$300 million in federal funds to help build
our first passenger rail line. SunRail is one
of only five projects out of a pool of 300
that reached the distinction of qualifying*
for final design with the Federal Transit
Administration. This is a fact.
Perhaps most disturbing is the sugges-
tion that the project costs more than $2
billion. To arrive at that number, those
who oppose the project have taken cap-
ital costs for the project and added more
than 30 years of operations and mainte-
nance costs for the system. To provide
some perspective, that would be like pur-
chasing a home for $150,000 and then
-writing a check on closing day for that,
plus the cost for lawn care over the next
30 years, plus the costs to fix your roof
in 20 years, plus the cost to replace your
carpet ... you get the idea.
When you consider that a large por-
tion of operations and maintenance costs
come from the fares riders pay, you can
see that the number is completely inaccu-
rate. On a side note, the cost to add a
lane to Interstate 4 in lieu of a rail project
like SunRail would be $7 billion and
that doesn't even include operations and
maintenance costs. This is a fact.
Finally, the liability system that is nec-
essary to operate SunRail is standard in
all 23 commuter rail projects nationwide.
Specifically, the Tri-Rail system in South
Florida has operated under that system
for more than 20 years. This is a fact.
I encourage everyone, including the
'Osceola News-Gazette, to take the time
and learn more about the project. This is
a project that .provides an important
transportation alternative for people who
live in our community.
* *.* I
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- -- m
Saturday, March 21, 2009 Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A5
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Page A6, NEWS-GAZETTE Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com Saturday, March 21, 2009
Osceola's Larry Brown moving on after
By Rick Pedone
Osceola High School is
in the market for a new
boys basketball coach after
Larry Brown said Wednes-
day that he is pursuing
other opportunities after
two years at OHS.
'Brown completed his
38th year in the profession
this season, leading the
Kowboys to a 19-10 record
and a regional playoff
berth. In two years at OHS,
the Kowboys were 36-21.
Brown's career record,
both in college and high
school, is 689-345.'
"I enjoyed my two years
here and I feel good about
some of the things we were
able to accomplish," Brown
Brown was hired by for-
mer Principal Chuck Par-
adiso in. 2007 after Red
Johnston left the program.
Kowboys athletic direc-
tor Jim Bird thanked
Brown for his contributions
"He did a good job., He
got second in the district
this year and got into the
playoffs, which is an
said. "We appreciate what
he did for our program and
wish him the best."
Bird said there shouldn't
be any trouble filling the
"We've got about 50
applications already, some
pretty good ones," Bird
Brown, who -won two
state high school champi-
onships in Texas, said he is
at both the college and high
"I'll go to the (NCAA)
tournament and see how
things are shaking out and
what looks good," Brown
said. "I'll know more about
where I want to be after
dBrown was in Texas last
weekend, where one of his
state championship teams
was honored at the state,
Brown was introduced to
local basketball fans at the
2005 Great Florida
Shootout when -he coached
Houston Westfield High to
the championship. West-
field won 36' in a row
before losing the state
championship game. Nine
players from that team
played Division I basketball,
Since he arrived at OHS,
Brown joined Oviedo
Coach Ed Kershner and
several other prominent
high school basketball
coaches to form the Florida
Association of Basketball
Coaches, which quickly
attracted more than 450
members, Brown said.
"I'll still be involved to a
great extent with that
through the spring, at least,
and .then we'll see what
happens," Brown said. "It's
a great organization that is
going to help basketball in
Florida.. A lot of great peo-
ple are involved with it.
That's probably what I'm
most proud of since I've
beer in Florida."'
Brown endured several
health problems at OHS.
He underwent double knee
replacements last, year, and
shortly after the Kowboys
lost in the regional round to
Dr. Phillips last' month,
Brown had surgery to
remove a melanoma. He
said that the surgery was a
Brown said the Kowboys
program should thrive in
"I think so. We have a
great young team here,
four starters are coming
back,". Brown said. "I
expect them to do very
well. I hope they do."
Bird said interviews will
be conducted at the end 'of
the month, and the position
should be filled by early
One candidate is long-
time Kowboys assistant
Steve Mason, who has
coached the JV teams to
16-1 and 15-1 records the
past two seasons.
Liberty High also is look-
News Gazette Photo/Andrew Sullivan
Larry Brown led Osceola to the regional bas-
ketball playoffs. Brown announced this week
that he will not return next year.
-ing for a new basketball
coach after Scott Cornman
stepped down after the
Chargers were eliminated
from the Class 5A regionals
Liberty Athletic Director
Scott Birchler said Corn-
man took a position with
the Florida Virtual School
and moved to northern
Birchler said the position
would soon be posted.
Flag football preview:
Young Bulldogs boast playoff experience
By Ken Jackson
St. Cloud, in just its sec-
ond. year of flag competi-
tion and its first in a district,
advanced all the way to the
District 8 championship
game before falling to
perennial Orlando power
For the first time, all six
county, schools fielding
teams (Celebration the
exception) are full district
members. Osceola, St.
Cloud, Gateway, Poin-
ciana, Harmony and Liber-
ty are in District 8 along
with Dr. Phillips and Free-
dom. The top four qualify.
for the district tournament
at Dr. Phillips.
The Bulldogs were an
impressive 8-2 in the regu-
lar season and beat Free-
dom in the district tourna-
ment, largely with the play-
ers they started with the
year before as an indepen-
dent. They won rivalry
games against Osceola and
Harmony, the two-time
Orange Belt Conference
The better news is that
just two of them graduated,
and the main cogs are
back, like quarterback
Diana' Martinez, the county
player of the year, and
Megan Lubick, Kayla Mar-
tinez, Jillian Swyers and
Kristine Carcione, who all
Receivers Ashley Munns1
and Cierra Adams also
return. Another receiver,
Andrea Parmley, should
return from a soccer injury
at some point.
Newcomers Alexis and
Annalise Barberi can play
on both sides of the ball
and receiver Sam McClel-
lan, "Can catch anything
that is thrown at her,"
Coach Melissa Jackson
Jackson also said that
the Bulldogs' strong
defense came back mostly
intact, giving her a good
feeling about the season.
'"We had tight games
with Harmony,. Freedom
and DP last year," Jackson
said. "I believe our chances
of making the tournament
St. Cloud lost to Dr.
Phillips, 12-0, in its opener
Tuesday before downing
Osceola, 15-0,. Thursday.
The Panthers saw some
success last year as an inde-
pendent, going 3-5 in their
inaugural season.. Coach,
Bryan Peay takes over the
program, which he said is
infused with enthusiasm.
"We have a very young
program being in our sec-
ond year and we're looking
to improve and compete,"
Peay said. "Hopefully, if
that improvement takes
place we'll be fighting for
one of the four district play-
off spots if we play up to
our potential and begin to
believe in ourselves."
Senior Tania Santiago
leads the offense at quarter-
back. Other key players are
sophomores Kaley White
lette Torres (center/line-
backer), Naria Watson (run-
ning back/rusher) and
The Kowgirls were 5-4,
but missed out on a district
tournament berth in, the
final week of the season.
Coach Shaw Maddox's
offense took some hits to
graduation, so a defense
that brings back some key
players will have to take the
lead until a new group of
girls starts to click and
"'We hope we can get
into the top four this year,
it's all going to depend on
how the offense comes
around," Maddox said.
"Our defense will be pretty
Angie Mangiat and Lisa
News-Gazette Photo/Ken Jackson
St. Cloud quarterback Diana Martinez splits a pair of Osceola defend-
ers during their game Thursday at Kowboys field. St. Cloud won, 15-0.
Capellan will split time at
quarterback; Capellan will
also play receiver. Jessie
Shourds and Sarah Lam-
bert will play center. Joce-
lyn Gonzalez, Jessica Nel-
son, Kashawn Brown and
Constance Uzzle will rotate
at running back and receiv-
er depending on the forma-
tion. Alexa Tondi and Ann
Guerrero also will play
On defense, Capellan
and Catherine Phillips will
contribute at linebacker.
Tondi and Jasmine Mar-
tinez will play the corners,
Myra Bravo will rush and
Maria Lopez is the safety.
The Kowgirls are off to
an 0-2 start after losing to
Freedom, 26-0, Tuesday
and at St. Cloud, 15-0,
The Longhorns were 4-
3 under Coach Paul
Strauch and qualified for
the district tournament, but
fell to Dr. Phillips a year
after beating them for the
Harmony got significant-
ly younger after winning
that .title, and some of the
young leaders from last
year are back, like seniors
Libby Pace (receiver), Jessi-
ca Kessler (linebacker),
Hannah Shetters (corner-
back), Jennifer Gilliam
(safety) and Michelle
Abshire (rusher). Junior
receivers Jordan Ashcraft,
Alyssa Miceli and Brianna
Heck also return.
Hannah Brown and Leah
Smith and seniors Alyssa
Viscorrii and Clare Dulaney
'may be able to help out a
defense that is still young.
"We have a couple of
younger girls that should
help out," Strauch said.
Miceli intercepted three
passes in a 19-7 win over
DeLand to open the season
Monday. The Lady Horns
trounced Poinciana, 39-0,
Danielle LaPoint returns
to coach the. Chargers in
their second season. They
will try to build off a season
she called disappointing,
and they will have to do it
with only three returning
varsity players: senior Kim
Carrasquillo, Who scored
three touchdowns in a 30-0
win over Poinciana to open
the season Monday, and
juniors Saundrina Smith
,and Monique Mitchell.
Because of. so few num-
bers, they along with many
others will play both sides
of the ball.
"They are working hard
and have a lot of heart. I
think that will give us an
edge in games. It's hard to
get these girls down,"
LaPoint said. "The. team
knows what to expect from
other teams this year and is
aiming high; they want to
make the district tourna-
The Eagles are coached
in the program's third sea-
son by Emil Wells.
is not a
Put down your bracket sheets for a
second, I gotta vent.:
This has nothing to do with AIG brag-
ging that it spent $165 million of our
money to pay their top execs for doing a
stellar job dragging down the company.
to the point that their corporate welfare
fund now looks like charity.
Until that happened, I started to calm
down from the froth I built up about the
Florida High School Athletic Association
trimming back sports schedules again,
and calling it a cost-minding measure.
The state has reduced the number of
games that teams who throw or kick a
ball can play from 25 to 20. It's part of
a 20 percent across-the-board reduction
in playing dates, and the volleyball, bas-
ketball and baseball players and coaches
are lashing out.
Five years ago, the FHSAA cut the
max from 28 to 25. That was to try to
trim a week off the regular season and
keep seasons from overlapping from fall
to winter and winter to spring. (Then
how come Fm still going out of my mind
in November writing off fall sports and
previewing winter ones, and the same in
On the TV broadcast of the state boys
basketball tournament, FHSAA Execu-
tive Director Roger Dearing said that
football makes money statewide (its
schedule wasn't touched) and in many
places, boys basketball generates. rev-
enue. The rest pf the programs are left
to survive on their own.
So, let them. You don't take the
game away from kids. Not when, if it
indeed is a money situation, they can
raise the money on their own.
When it comes to money, the biggest
outlays are transportation and officials.
Not a whole lot you can do about the
umps and refs (A car wash/bake
sale/50-50 raffle, anyone?), but for mov-
ing teams, you switch from a bus to rent-
ing a van or two for the day.
Facilities are not an issue, except the
cases of baseball and softball, which have
coaches who have to maintain fields
throughout the year. It's a worthwhile
endeavor to do that for 12 or 14 home
games, but is it worth it for only eight or
10 of them?
You get rid of games, you get rid of
gate receipts. And concessionsales. And
another chance for these programs to
And, don't forget the ultimate form of
competition the tournament. Regular
season get-togethers give the kids a
break in the routine while they await the
district tournaments. A spring break or
holiday event takes all week and means
three to five games,
So if there's eight or 10 district
games, six conference games and then
four games in a tournament, your sched-
ule is full. Didn't get in that rivalry game
or the traditional game with the out-of-
state team from up north? Your cries fall
upon deaf FHSAA ears.
So, instead of setting the maximum
number of games allowed as low as 20,
keep it high. Let schools decide how
many they choose to play. If a ball club
has both the backing and a good reason
for playing 30 games, allow it, and elim-
inate overall won-loss records as playoff
Telling my school that I can only play
20 games because that's all the school
down the road can afford to play is like
telling me I have to sell my house for
cheap because the one down the block is
In short, successful programs should
not be held back from succeeding.
(Unless they cheat.)
Most coaches, the good ones, aren't
as interested in this particular season as
they are stringing several good. ones
together and building the foundation of a
strong program. They want to be good
for years to come.
Former Osceola baseball coach Jim
Murphy once ranted when the FHSAA
reapportioned the districts that the gov-
erning body's main concern was getting
neatly-packaged seasons completed
without regard for coaches trying to put
together a healthy program.
He was dead on.
And with that, my rant is done. You
may return to your bracket sheets. You
didn't have Butler going to the Elite
Eight, did you?
Saturday, March 21, 2009 Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A7
Hoops organization helps coaches
By Rick Pedone
News-Gazette Staff Writer
Larry. Brown's tenure as
the Osceola High basketball
coach was short, lasting just
two seasons, but an organiza-
tion he helped to launch dur-
ing that time may benefit the
sport for years to come.
Brown, who announced his
decision to leave the Kowboys
program Wednesday, joined
his good friend, Oviedo
Coach Ed Kershner, in form-
ing the Florida Association of
Basketball Coaches last year.
The goal, Brown said, is, to
help coaches around the state
develop their programs.
Orlando's Jack Love is the.
executive director of the orga-
nization, which already boasts"
450 members from both the
high school and college ranks.
Brown serves as president
and Kershner the first vice-
president of the organization.
The FABC will hold clinics
around the state and also
sponsor the annual Senior
Showcase, pitting the top
prep basketball seniors in the
state, at Freedom High April
18 at 4:30 p.m. Also set is a
3-point shooting contest, a
dunk competition and a Team
Florida vs. Team USA All-Star
game at 8:30 p.m.
Brown sees the need for
improvement at the grass
roots level of Florida high bas-
ketball school coaching.
"One thing that struck me
when I came in here (two
years ago) was that a lot of the
teams you see don't have real
strong fundamental skills, the
shooting and rebounding and
ball-handling, that you see at a
lot of other places," Brown
The.FABC also is sponsor-
ing the first Court of Legends
Induction ceremony at the
Rosen Centre in Orlando
April 18 at 12:30 p.m., when
more than two dozen leg-
endary coaches, players and
teams will be inducted into the
organization's equivalent of
the hall of fame.
"Harold Rosen has been a
big supporter since Ed and I
brought this up, and his sup-
port has helped this thing real-
ly take off," Brown said.
Brown said the FABC has
established a good relation-
ship with the Florida Athletic
Coaches Association, the
long-time state association
that supervises coaches in all
Florida prep sports.
"Wink Barnette (the
FACA director) has been
enthusiastic about- working
with us, and we're actually
taking over a few of the pro-
grams from the FACA,"
Brown said. "We want this
thing to work with every-
body. Our. goal is to get the
kids involved in doing things
the right way at an early
age, in the youth leagues,
and take it on up from
Lady Dogs softball
St. Cloud's Lady Bulldogs
softball team edged Celebra-
tion, 2-0, Thursday as pitcher
Sam Gale struck out six.
Jessica Kraus struck out 11
for Celebration, 8-6.
St. Cloud, 10-4, sill host
Osceola Tuesday at, 6 p.m. in
an Orange Belt Conference
OHS water polo
Osceola's boys and girls
water polo teams posted vic-
tories Thursday over Timber
The boys won, 14-8, and
the girls earned a 12-2 win
behind three goals from Cas-
Osceola had success
against Edgewater Wednes-
The boys (7-3) won 26-8
as Juan Casado scored 11
,' The Kowgirls (8-2) won
19-1 as Heather Larson
scored 5 times.
The Osceola High
wrestling team is seeking,
sponsors to defray the cost of
the team's state champi-
Those interested may con-
tact Athletic Director Jim Bird
The city of Kissimmee Ath-
letics Division has opened
registration'for the 20th
Annual Terry Stewart Memo-
rial Golf Classic.
The event will take place
April 18 at 8 a.m. at the
Kissimmee Golf Club.
The fee for the four-person
best ball tournament is $60
per person ($240 per team),
which includes golf and cart
-fees, a commemorative golf
towel and cup. A sit-down
luncheon and raffle will fol-
low. The registration deadline
is April 15.
Proceeds from the Golf
Classic will be used to present
scholarships to youngsters
to participate in the city's
recreational and athletic pro-
For information, call the
Fortune Road Athletic Com-
plex at 407-518-2504.
Photo special to the News-Gazette
The St. Cloud High cheerleaders placed third at the Florida Championships
competition at the state fairgrounds last month. The team competed for the
first time at the FHSAA State Cheerleading Finals at Tallahassee last week in
the small varsity division. Team members include: Heather McDuffy, Lindsey
Rae, Aubrey Hubbell, Christina Franco, Olivia Piana, Airka Sanchez, Victoria
Canellas, Kelsey Malott, Shannon Esford, Noni Vega, Erica Wilson, Christina
Garrison, Maris Caruso and Coach Bryana Dye.
The Kissimmee Kowboys
Youth Football registration is
available at www.kissim-
Call 407-908-0086 for
Spring Break Hoops.
The Poinciana Spring
Break Basketball Camp, for
:ages 8-16 at Poinciana High
School April 6-9, will empha-
size the importance of funda-
mentals. Cost is $70 per
player. The camp attracted
70 players last year so regis-
tering early is a must. For
information, call 646-489-
The Harmony Youth Foot-
ball League is holding regis-
tration for its spring flag foot-
ball season and its fall tackle
football and cheerleading sea-
Children ages 6-16 are eli-
gible. Spring football begins
April 1. Call Jason at 407-
414-8908 or e-mail jrgo-
email@example.com for flag
Registration is available
online at www.harmonyfoot-
ball.com for both flag and
tackle football. "
Volunteer coaches are
needed. Visit the Web site
and click on volunteer for
The Kissimmee Little
League is holding registration
for' its Senior Division at the
Oak Street fields today from
1 to 3 p.m. and at the Denn
John Avenue fields, next to
Valencia Community College,
Monday and Thursday from 6
to 9 p.m.
A copy of the birth certifi-
cate for each player and three
proofs of residency is
required.'The fee is $85, $35
for the second child and $25
for each additional child.
St. Cloud Youth Football
will hold online registration
only for returning fall tackle
and flag football players and
cheerleaders. New players
may register April 1.
Registration for the current
spring flag football season is
also available. The spring sea-
son begins April 1.
To register, 'visit www.scyf-
The Reflections Artistic
Skating Club will hold a
fundraiser April 26 from 6 to
9 p.m. at Skate Reflections,
1111 Dyer Blvd., Kissimmee.
' The fee is $10 per person
and -includes open skating
(with rental), a pasta dinner
with dessert, demonstrations
by the skaters and a silent
auction. Skaters from the club
compete at a variety of
regional, national and interna-
, i Announcing the
Osceola County Veterans Council's
8th Annual Veterans
"EDUCATING THE FUTURE BY
REMEMBERING TIHE PAST"
For visitor information call
800-333-KISS or visit FlorldaKiss.com
Contact Don Smith
We Invite ,You =
As We Celebrate Our
-March 29th April 1st
Sunday I Monday Tuesday Wednesday
11:00am, 6:30pml 7pm I 7pm I 7pm
Guest Speakers: Evangelist Joe A. Bryant from Tennessee;
Pastor Raymond Hall from Victory Baptist, Port St. John, FL; Brother David Gibbs III from
Christian Law Association; Pastor Mickey Carter from Landmark Baptist, Haines City, FL
Lock Slaven Baptist Church
14246 Boggy Creek Road, Orlando, FL 32824
407-851-5420 LANE STOCKTON, PASTOR
Make an appointment today to discuss
your estate planning needs.
Wills, Health Care Surrogates,
Guardianship, Power of Attorney,
Living Wills. Trusts. Probates. etc.
1 block from Emmett
*Learn more about wills at: www.brinsonandbrinson.com
Saturday, May 9, 2009
5:00 to 9:00 P.M.
Council on Aging
700 Generation Point, Kissimmee
Page A8, NEWS-GAZETTE Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com Saturday, March 21, 2009
Woman's Club flea market
The Kissimmee Woman's Club will host a
St. Patrick's Day flea market yard sale today
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the clubhouse,
1616 W. Oak St. There will be trash and
treasures, ,home-baked goods, paperback
books for 25. cents and hardback books for
50 cents. All proceeds will go toward schol-
HOME open house
Helping Others Make the Effort is host-
ing an open house Saturday, March 28,
from 1 to 3 p.m., at the HOME campus,
924 Determination Way, Kissimmee. Help-
ing Others Make the Effort is a non-profit
organization dedicated to breaking the cycle
of homelessness in Osceola. County. For
more information, call 407-932-0943 or e-
mail Mary Downey at mdowney@
Author P.J. Seccuro will have a book
'signing Saturday, March 28 from noon to 3
p.m. at Waldenbooks, 3105 W. Vine St.,
Kissimmee. Seccuro penned the action' and
adventure book "The Intervention." For
more information, call Terry Cordingley at
888-361-9473 or e-mail at terry@tate
Audubon society meeting
Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society will
meet Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. at Kissimmee
Utility Authority on Carroll Street in Kissim-
mee. The program by Jenny Welch will be
on eagles in Osceola County. She will have
information on where to see them and talk
about one Kissimmee pair at Highlands Ele-
mentary School. The public is welcome to
the free presentation. For more informa-
tion, call 407-729-5168.
Women's self-defense class
The Kissimmee Police Department will
offer a free .self-defense class for women
April 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the
Kissimmee Police Department. Training
Officer Stephen Heister will teach the class.
Heister will teach women some easy tech-
niques on how to defend themselves. He
also will discuss crime prevention tips.
To register for the class, contact Carmen
Vargas, domestic .violence manager/victim-
advocate for the 'Kissimmee, Police Depart-
ment, at 407-847-0176, Ext. 3234, or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. .Partici-
pants must be 18 or older. Class registra-
tion closes March 30.
The Rock Church event
The Rock.Church, 5515 W. U.S. High-
way 192, Kissimmee, will welcome Pastor
John Scaduto and Prophetess Marilyn
Scaduto from Upper Room World Min-
istries, one of the largest churches in the.
Northeast, Sunday, at 11 a.m.
For more information, call 407-396-
7777 or visit www.therockchurches.com
Bull riding, barrel racing
The Caleb Sanderson Invitational will be
at the Kissimmee Sports Arena.Saturday,
March 28, at 7 p.m. General admission is
$10. The arena, is two-and-a-half miles
south of U.S. Highway 192 on South
Hoagland Boulevard. For more information,
call 407-933-0020 or visit
www.ksarodeo.coin. Children 12 and
younger are free.
'Family Services of Metro Orlando is host-
ing a free community awareness'meeting
about becoming a foster or adoption family,
Monday at the Oak Street Community Cen-
ter, 717 N. Palm Ave., Kissimmee. More
than 170 children and youth are waiting for
adoptive families in Orange and Osceola
counties. For more information, call Anna
Brown at 407-398-7334.
Robert Rosen, financial adviser with
Edward Jones, is offering a free portfolio
review Friday, 8:30 to 11 fa.m., at his
Edward Jones office, 214 E. Oak St.,
Kissimmee. When was your last checkup? A
periodic review of your portfolio can ensure
your investments remain on track and take
you in the direction you want to go. Your
free portfolio analysis will provide you with
a complete picture of your financial situa-
tion. Make sure your portfolio is keeping up
with the changes in your life. Light snacks
and drinks will be provided.. To RSVP and
for further information, call 407-870-5464.
The inaugural 2009 Spring Community
Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat-
urday, March 28, at Osceola Heritage Park.
The festival, with the theme of "Celebrat-
ing the Family," will be a day of fun, games,
activities and helpful information, lots of
food and family enrichment.
The festival will feature the fourth Annual
Power Praise Concert, from 6 to 9 p.m. at
the park, which is at 1875 Silver Spur
Lane, Kissimmee. Admission will be free for
the concert as well as the festival, but park-
ing will be $5. Featured at the concert will,
be the gospel, music of Bredda Rups, Span-
ish gospel artists, praise teams and choirs.
Proceeds from this event will go to chil-
dren in the foster care system and also
those foster children in need of scholarships
for their higher education. A portion of the
proceeds also will help support local food
pantries to meet the needs of the homeless
and displaced persons in the community.
Water safety event -
The city of St. Cloud Parks and Recre-
ation Department is coordinating the
S.O.S. Splash For Our Kids' Safety event
for Friday, April 10, noon-4 p.m., at the
Chris Lyle Aquatic Center, 3001 17th"St.
This yearly event at the pool helps rein-
force water safety throughout the communi-
ty, just in time for the hottest time of the
year. Also, the "Shark and Minnow" mas-
cots will be present. It is free and open to
the entire community, but no food or bever-
ages can be brought into the center. The
event is sponsored by City of St. Cloud,
American Red Cross and Community Coali-
tion of Osceola Water Safety.,
For more details, visit the Parks and
,Recreation Web page at www.stcloud.org or
The First Baptist Church of St. Cloud is
celebrating its 100 anniversary in October.
.The church's historic committee is seeking
any articles, photos, postcards and other
memorabilia related to the 100 year history.
Anybody wanting to contribute can call the
church office at 407-892-7125 or e-mail at
email@example.com. For more information
about centennial celebration planned
events, visit fbe'stcloud.org.
The next meeting of the PA-WV-VA-MD-
NC Club will be Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at
the St. Cloud Senior Center, 3101 17th St.
Everyone from the club states is invited to
This will be the last meeting for the sea-
son. Coffee will be provided. For additional
information about the club or meetings, call
President Nada Grimes at 407 957-9870.
Historical open house
Fisk Funeral Home's historical open
house will be Saturday, March 28, from 9
a.m. to 4 p.m in St. Cloud.
St. Cloud's official historian Bob Fisk will
'present handwritten journals from 1915
spotlighting St. Cloud's first families; histor-
ical photographs and memorabilia of St.
Cloud's early days; and the funeral home's
1892 horse-drawn carriage. Refreshments
will be served.
The Silhouettes of Spring Fashion Show
and Lunch is today at 11 a.m., at the St.
Thomas Aquinas Social Hall,. 900 Brown
Chapel Road, St. Cloud.
The, event,-sponsored by the Council of
Catholic Women, features fashions from
Belk Department Store, gourmet lunch,
silent auction, purchase-a-purse, door prizes
and entertainment. Tickets cost $15 each.
For tickets, call Kelly at 407-344-0704
or Regina at 407-452-3831.
The proceeds will benefit Free the Kids,
the St. Cloud Food Pantry, Help Now, Bish-
op Grady Villas, St. Thomas Aquinas
School and the Osceola County Council on
The Osceola County Council on Aging
will host an Employment Expo and Empow-
erment Fair at the Barney E. Veal Center,
700 Generation Point, Friday, April 17,
from 1 to 5 p.m.
Workshops on interview techniques,
resume writing and locating financial
resources in tough economic times will be
offered for those age 17 years and older.
There is no charge for the event. In addi-
tion to the various workshops offered, a
limited number of interview haircuts will be
offered and a clothes bank will be available
for participants to find free interview
clothes while they last.
Participants can expect to meet repre-
sentatives from schools and educational
centers; apply for food assistance for low
income families and to connect with
No children under 16 years of age
please. For further information regarding
participating or if you are an employer or
education institution who would like to offer
services or employment opportunities, con-
tact Debi Wood at 407-846-8532.
Elections office events
The Osceola County Supervisor of Elec-
tions office has a number of events on tap.
* The Elections Office will be registering
voters at the Kissimmee Kowtown Festival,
today, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the
Residents can register to vote, update
their address, change party affiliations, and
educate themselves on the voting process.
Demonstrations on the voting equipment
will be given, along with promotional items
to be taken home.
The Supervisor of Elections office will
be holding the Sunshine State Young Read-
ers Association Election at Sunrise Elemen-
tary School and Bellalago Academy Mon-
day, from 9 to 11 a.m., for third through
fifth-grade students and at Narcoossee
Community School Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to
12:30 p.m., for third through eighth-grade
The students will be voting for their
favorite Sunshine State book, using the
Touchscreen voting units.
The office will bring the election to
Chestnut Elementary School Wednesday,
from 9 to 11 a.m., for third through fifth-
grade students and at Canoe Creek Charter
School, from 9 a.m. to noon, for kinder-
garten through eighth-grade students.
The office also will be holding the elec-
tion at' Thacker Avenue Elementary School,
Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for third
through fifth-grade students.
For more information on educational
programs given by the Supervisor of Elec-
tions office, call us at 407-742-6100 or
visit our website at www.voteosceola.com.
Domestic violence meeting
To address the .issue .of domestic vio-
'lence, the Osceola County-Osceola County
Council on Aging and Help Now of Osceo-
la, will host a meeting Friday.
For more information, call 407-847-
3286 or 407-847-3260 or visit www.help-
Osceola County Extension Services is
offering classes and programs.
To register, call the number provided in
each listing or call 321-697-3000.
Thursday, March 26, Reduce Stress by
Decluttering Your Home. This class helps
you identify ways to organize your home
and how to get rid of things that clutter
your home and life; 1-2 p.m.; Road,&
Bridge, 3850 Old Canoe Creek Road, St.
Saturday, March 28, Homeowner Irriga-
tion Workshop. Learn how to save on your
water bill, operate your irrigation controller,
keep your landscape healthy and check
your system for leaks; 9-11 a.m.; St. Cloud
Civic Center, Room 2, 3001 17th St., St.
Cloud. Registration is required, call 407-
Tuesday, March 31, Meal Planning. How
do you plan what your family will eat?
Learn ways to vary your meal planning with
ease and less frustration, all while balancing
your food dollar; 10-11 a.m., Animal Con-
trol, 3910 Old Canoe Creek Road.
Tuesday, March 31, EZ Nutritious
Healthy Cooking. Trying to be nutrition
conscious for your family and finding it diffi-
cult to prepare quick healthy meals at
home? Learn tricks that might make this
See Community, page A- 11
To publicize a nonprofit event or
meeting, submit in writing a notice
to the newspaper's office in
Kissimmee at 108 Church St. or
mail it to the newspaper at P.O
Box 422068, Kissimmee, FL 34742.
The newspaper's fax number is
Spread the word in the Osceola News-Gazette
407-846-8516. E-mail events to
Deadlines -are 5 p.m. Monday for
Thursday's paper and 5 p.m.
Wednesday for Saturday's paper.
Those categories of community
events listed in Thursday's paper will
be: activities, benefits, bingo, civic
groups, classes and for/about kids.
Those categories of events listed in
Saturday's paper will be: health, hob-
bies/games, military, miscellaneous,
recreation, religion and thrift stores.
For more information on community
events, contact Associate Editor Brian
McBride at 407-846-7600, Ext. 211.
Accolades to the academy
KISSIMMEE POLICE DEPARTMENT
8 North Stewart Avenue
News-Gazette Photo/City of Kissimmee
The Kissimmee Police Department held a graduation ceremony March 11 for the 2009 Civilian Academy. The
purpose of the academy is to build a partnership between residents and their police department. Thirty-one res-
idents participated in the academy, learning about a variety of aspects of the police department and criminal
justice in general. Presentations were given about criminal investigations, crime scenes, narcotics and communi-
ty relations. The class was able to get hands-on training with the SWAT team and firearms training with certi-
fied instructors. The eight-week course began Jan. 28.
Saturday, March 21, 2009 Online All The Time www.aroundosceola.com NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A9
At Adams Homes,
we are putting our
confidence in writing
so you can put your
confidence in us.
If Adams Homes lowers the base price prior to the completion of your new home, then
that is the price we will honor at closing.
Interest Rate Protection
Adams Homes will arrange for your rate to be locked in with an approved lender
for 150 days with a float down option.
Mortgage Payment Protection
Adams Homes will provide your family with Mortgage Payment Protection against
involuntary job loss during the first two years you own your new home.
Adams Homes guarantees that we will complete the construction of your new home
within 150 days of contract acceptance.
Paid Closing Costs
Adams Homes will pay all closing costs with an approved lender.
*Disclaimer: Conditions and restrictions apply. Offer subject to change or termination without prior notice.
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Models Open Daily Until 6:00 pm