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Serving Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Poinciana, Harmony, Narcoossee, BVL 117TH YEAR THURSDAY EDITION 50 CENTS MAY 9, 2013 George Jones Two Story House is for sale. Page C-1HomefinderCelebration pole vaulter wins Class 3A championship... Page A-9Sports For the latest activities, events and classes see ..Page B-4 We ekend We atherPa r tly cloudy No chance of rain OHS robotics team nationally recognized The robotics team at Osceola High School finished another successful year by being recognized as one of the most talented teams in the country. See page A-2 Index Schools r fnt b b f r r fn r t b ttrr County CommunityWould you support a Florida bill that would ban driving while talking on a cell phone? No, I would not. Yes, I would. I would need more information. I have no opinion. Vote at www.around osceola.com Results from the May 2 Question of the week: After more than two years in office, what grade would you give Florida Gov. Rick Scott? F 46.8% D 17.7% C 16.1% A 14.5% B 4.8% By Tiffanie Reynolds Staff W riter In 2012, there were 1,681 distracted driver crashes in Osceola County, but the new texting while driving ban, passed by Florida Legislature last week, is projected to put a dent in such numbers. Law enforcement is concerned with any distraction that takes away the attention of drivers from the roadways, said Osceola County Sheriff Bob Hansell. The bill Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law, currently sitting on Gov. Scotts desk, will make texting on any mobile device a secondary offense. Meaning, that in addition to a driver being pulled over for speeding, running a red light or any other offense, the officer also can give a second ticket for texting on a mobile device, if its linked to the primary offense. But proving that could be the most difficult part for any officer in distracted driving accidents. The driver-atfault has to admit to using their phone or a witness not involved in the case has to report that the driver was using their phone, according to S gt. Kim M ontes, p ublic information officer for Florida Highway Patrol in Osceola County. Those numbers are lower than whats actually happening out there. Those troopers are seeing drivers, for example, roll through stop signs, travel slower than the posted speed limit, travel faster than the posted speed limit, and when they can get a view of the driver, theyre looking at a device, looking at their phone, said Montes. Under the new bill, tickets for texting could cost up to $116 and up to six points against the persons drivers license. An added amendment to the bill allows for search of cell phone records only if an accident resulted in injury or death. For District 14 Sen. Darren Soto, these consequences arent enough to combat the problem of cell phone use on the road in Osceola County. He recently introduced a bill, which died in the State Senate, that would have given a driver at-fault jail time if a crash caused by texting resulted in a death. Ive seen the statistics. And, weve seen many people die as a result of accidents caused with texting while driving. Im not More than 1,600 Osceola distracted driving crashes recorded in 2012 Texting while driving bill could put dent in numbersReady for battleNews-Gazette P hoto/ Andrew SullivanHarmony High School students Nathaniel Griffin, left, and Ethan Shuttera rush to get in place in time for the start of t he cardboard boat races held as part of St. Clouds Smokin B lues, Bikes & BBQ event last weekend. The event also featured a bike r ally, barbecue competit ion a nd lives music and entertainment Tiffanie Reynolds Staff W riter A St. Cloud man, who was jailed for inappropriately touching a teenage girl in April, was slapped with more charges after a second victim came forward. On Saturday, Osceola County Sheriffs Office deputies filed 10 more lewd and lascivious molestation charges against Brian Shaw. On May 1, deputies took a report from a 13-year old boy, who said that between Halloween and Thanksgiving of 2012, Shaw, 47, offered to give him a ride on his fourwheeler in the Kenansville area. During the ride, Shaw inappropriately touched the victim at least 10 times, according to Sheriffs Office reports. Based on the victims statements, detectives obtained a felony warrant. Shaw was served the warrant in the Osceola County Jail where he has been from an April 28 incident. He was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of battery. In that alleged incident, deputies responded to the Kenansville area in reference to a lewd and lascivious crime, and spoke with the 13-yearold victim who said she was walking home from a friends house when Shaw approached her driving a four-wheeler. He Suspect slapped with 10 more molestation charges Police news See Police, page A-5Kissimmee Main Street has announced that its new executive director is Brianne Stefek, a ccording to a press release. A longtime resident of Kissimmee, Stefek comes to Kissimmee Main Street with previous experience in marketing, event coordination and communications. As the new executive director, Stefek will be responsible for overseeing all Main Street events including the Osceola Art Festival, Kissimmee 5K and Kowtown Festival as well as helping with business assistance and the continued revitalization of downtown Kissimmee. We are excited with the hire of Brianne as Kissimmee Main Streets Executive Director, said Main Street President, Jeff Wolff. With her great experience and knowledge of our community, she will be a great asset to downtown Kissimmee. Stefek previously worked for Virgin Holidays in Orlando where she was responsible for the promotion and sales of Central Florida attractions to incoming guests. I am thrilled to be selected as the new director of Kissimmee Main Street and look forward to the continued growth and success of the program, said Stefek. I cannot wait to share our Historic city with those who call it home and the many travelers who visit our area. For additional information, contact Kissimmee Main Street at 407-846-4643 or visit www.kissimmeemainstreet.com. Courtesy of Kissimmee Main Street.Kissimmee Main Street names new leader Shaw See Driving, page A-5 By Ken Jackson Staff W riter Osceola County School Board Chairman Jay Wheeler declined members Tom Long and Barbara Horns request to step down from his position at Tuesdays meeting, as they cited comments he made in recent emails they perceived as demeaning and unprofessional. Long and Horn referred the to the boards Nov. 26, 2012 meeting, when Wheeler was named chairman but asked to refrain from actions and public comments he made that drew unwanted negative attention to the board. The board, by charter rule, cannot remove a chairman, but both Long and Horn referenced what he said at the November meeting, should the board feel that behavior continued: I invite anyone; bring it up for a re-vote, and I will gladly step down. Horn referenced an email Wheeler sent to a TV reporter t hat said she and Long will never be able to wash off their political stink, perceived negative comments about outgoing Celebration High Laura Rhinehart, and that the Department of Education need pack up its toys and leave quietly and go back to its keepers, after a recent investigation. Long asked that Wheeler show character and step down. Im giving you the opportunity to be a man of your word, Lon g addressed Wheeler during the meeting. The system must be accountable to its expectations. We, the five of us, are the system. At what point do we hold the individual accountable? If you violate our intent, I will bring it up. Im keeping my word to the citizens of the county. Im asking you to keep your word. In his defense, Wheeler said the district, outside of his family, is the most important thing to him. I will question state agencies and any things that are wrong, he said. At the very end of the meeting, Long formally asked if Wheeler would step down. Wheeler refused to do so, asked for further comment, and hearing none, ended the meeting. He was not available for comment immediately after the meeting. Ive been hoping and praying he would stop (the controversial actions), Long said. I kept my word. FDLE questions individuals regarding accusations that county clerk promised jobsThe Florida Department of Law Enforcement has questioned individuals over the last two weeks connected to Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez regarding accusations of illegally promising jobs in return for campaign contributions. See page A-3 Wheeler refuses to step down from School Board
Page A2, By Katie Pedone For the News-Gazette The robotics team at Osceola High School finished another successful year by being recognized as one of the most talented teams in the country. The team, one of only two in Osceola County, includes members from Osceola High, Gateway High, the Osceola County School For the Arts and students who are home schooled. This year, the students faced the task of building a robot that could shoot Frisbees and climb a rung pyramid. Their robot walked away with awards from two regional competitions in Orlando and South Florida. Every year the challenges grow harder to achieve. Last year our robot had to shoot a basketball and have the ability to balance on a platform; this year it had to shoot a Frisbee and climb a pyramid, said team member Roberto Cruz. We always find a way to pull through and make it work, though. These challenges teach us so many different aspects of engineering. At the Orlando competition, the team received the Quality Award sponsored by Motorola. The award honored the team for having a reliable and consistent robot. This was the third year in a row the team claimed the title. At the regional competition in South Florida, the team walked away with an award for innovation and control for the robots design and programming. Last year, the team was ranked 32nd in the world by the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Organization; this time it finished 99th after the loss of many senior members. Im proud of this team, Elisabeth Clevenger, team captain, said. We had a lot of new members and its been great to see people really encompassing engineering and enjoying it. No one has been happier to watch this team grow than team sponsor Roger Johnston. These kids get better and better every year. They are gaining experience and getting easier to work with. They really understand the engi neering process and are able to do so many different things. It makes my job a whole lot easier. I really enjoy working with them, he said. The team is already preparing for next year by having meetings to keep their ideas flowing. You can never be too ready, you never know what task theyre going to throw at you the following year that you have to make your robot do. It c ould be something crazy, but we have to be ready to make it work and we always are, team member Luis Aristizabal said. Anyone interested in sponsoring the team for future competitions c an c ontac t team sponsor Roger Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org. OHS robotics team recognized nationally Submitted PhotoT he team, one of only two in Osceola County, includes members from Osceola High, Gate way High, the O sceola County School For t he Arts and students who are home schooled. 041813.TNGNEED MORE SPACE? Call Us!!! 407-847-59812852 Michigan Ave. Kissimmee, FL 34744 Thank you to all our loyal customers for patronizing our business during our remodeling! Stop In Today...Youll Be Glad You Did! HERSHEY FLORIST, INC. We Are Open For Business For All Occasions 813 13th St, St. Cloud, FL 34769 (407) 892-3210 www.Hersheyorists.com042513.TNG 041813.TNG Weekly Auctions Every Friday @ 7 PMSpecial Auction this Saturday, May 11th @ 7 pm 041113.TNG SCHOOL OF NURSINGGo for it. They are. Start Your NURSING Education Today!REGISTRATION UnderwayCALL US NOW! Classes Starting Soon* Financial Assistance Options available to those who qualify! *Want to be an...LPN ?Join our PRACTICAL NURSING program today! Practical Nursing LPN-RN Fast TrackAS Degree in Nursing FAST-TRACK optionsLPN (Practical Nursing) program in just 1 year*LPN RN Bridge Assoc. in Nursing Degree program in 1 year*RN Generic Assoc. in Nursing Degree program in just 1 yr. 9 months* ASK US about our MORNING EVENING WEEKEND Class Schedules* *Limited seating and very competitive must satisfy and pass the State Board exam requirements for LPN or RN potential licensure; Timeframe and class times vary per individual programs and sessions... please, contact our Admissions Ofce for more details concerning course requirements and schedules. 407-434-0008 3465 W. Vine Street Kissimmee(off Dyer Blvd. by the SunTrust Bank) www.MedLifeInstitute.com Join our ASSOCIATE DEGREE in NURSING program today!*Want to be an...RN ? MED-LIFE INSTITUTE 030713.TNG407 -892-2608In Our 52nd Year of Doing Business in Osceola County rd DOWN rd IN 30 DAYS rd IN 60 DAYS SAME AS CASH Same Day Delivery HOME APPLIANCE HODGINS New Major Brand Appliances 1024 New York Ave. St. Cloud, FL 34769 Appliance Parts For Most Major Brands Sales & Service Since 1961 NEWSPAPER CARRIERS Please fill out an application in person at our office, located at: 108 Church Street, Kissimmee, FL 34741 IH Sun Publications of Florida Publishers of the Osceola News Gazette is currently seeking CONTRACTORS FOR DELIVERY ROUTES (Independent Contractors) Van or Truck, Valid FL Drivers license and proof of Valid Auto Insurance Required. Experience a plus.
Thursday, May 9, 2013 NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A3 By Ken Jackson Staff W riter The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has questioned individuals over the last two weeks connected to Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez about accusations of illegally promising jobs in return for campaign contributions. It did not, however, publicly explain specifics about any investigation it is pursuing. Former Osceola County school teacher Rick Martin said that, after being subpoenaed to appear in front of FDLE investigators, he shared with them on May 1 information regarding his involvement with Ramirezs primary and general elections campaigns. This testimony was in addition to that given by Arthur Beau Osborne, who Ramirez hired as his chief deputy clerk then fired just six weeks after taking office, the last week of April. Osborne said he could not divulge the contents of his testimony, as he is under a gag order. Ramirez has not commented publicly on the investigation. A press release from his office stated that he has not been contacted by the FDLE in this investigation, or one brought by the agency in 2011 for the same allegations based on complaints from Beulah Farquharson, a Buenaventura Lakes community activist and a longtime Ramirez supporter and associate. Mr. Ramirez never offered anyone a job during the campaign because he knew that was illegal, Clerks Office spokesperson Marvin Cortner said. These news reports reportedly are based on allegations by (Martin), who claims he was offered a job by Mr. Ramirez in exchange for campaign contributions. Martin countered that claim following his FDLE meeting, saying he did not contribute to Ramirezs campaign with the expectation of a job. Martin, who said Ramirez had helped him in years prior through professional difficulties, recalled back to the spring of 2012, when he was working in Lake County and was contacted by Farquharson. At the time, she was on the primary ballot for the Supervisor of Elections position. She left the race before the primary. She called and said they had all these people running for office and that when they got in thered be jobs for everybody, Martin said. From that point, he began campaigning for Ramirez, donating time and $500 to the campaign, the most allowable by an individual under state law, in two installments. After Ramirez won the August Democratic primary, Martin said talk of working for Ramirez if he won election was mutual but in vague terms. No formal offer or request was made, but he said that he would listen if an offer surfaced. I told him Id help him win or lose, Martin said. I genuinely thought then that hed do a good job, and I thought I could be a part of something I hoped to help clean up and create a positive after all that went on under Malcom Thompson. I didnt know what my skill set could offer, so I sent my rsum to Beau. The talk was that thered be something in customer service. But I did not ask for a job and there was no expectation of one for my contributions. Martin said he told FDLE investigators all this during what he called minutes of grilling. He added they accused him of paying Ramirezs bill of over $6,000 to the Supervisor of Elections office for his vote tally challenge of his 2010 County Commission district 2 race against John Quiones. They can check my bank records, thats not the case, Martin said. They concluded that even if Armando said (offering a job) was illegal, he offered me something. I think Armando is in trouble. In its release, Ramirezs office said Martin has a long history of feuding with Osceola County School District officials and included a protective order filed against him by a co-worker at New Beginnings who alleges he verbally assaulted her in 2009. In addition, the press release stated that Martin continued to call the clerk about getting a job in the new administration after Ramirez took office, and that Mr. Martins continued attempts to contact Mr. Ramirez bordered on harassment he threatened to go to the media and the FDLE if he didnt get the job he was supposedly promised. Martin refutes those claims. I didnt file any complaint and I didnt harass anyone. I had moved on and was offered a teaching position out west, he said. The only reason I am involved was as a result of a subpoena that forced me to FDLE questions individuals regarding accusations that county clerk promised jobs See FDLE, page A-6 050413.SNG 1213 West Oak Street, Kissimmee, FL 407-846-4113Phones Answered 24hrs a Day Mom Deserves The Best Proudly providing the gift of County 1971 050913.TNG 050913.TNG 050913.TNG 042513.TNG CALL NOW 407-595-5678 S.Orange Blossom TrailTown Center Blvd.Town Center Blvd.Central Florida GreenWay 417S. John Yound Pkwy. S. 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Page A4, Love it or hate it, social media provides an outlet for political opinions some incendiary, some provocative and some sensible, sound and rational. The beauty of soliciting comments on Facebook is that the replies are quick, heartfelt and varied. Some folks who might not feel comfortable offering political opinions in a social gathering seem at ease discussing politics openly in a Facebook chat. My current 5,130 Facebook political page likes range from the most conservative or libertarian to the most liberal. The range of views on most posts offers a great diversity of thought. Most of the time the conversation is civil, but at times I have chastised those who cross the line. Many of them, but not all, dont really want an impartial or unbiased discussion but would rather defend their party and attack the other, much like sports fans cheering for their team and trash-talking the rival team. Interestingly, there is great variation within the parties, particularly in the Republican Party. Loyalty is expected among party members without agreement on issues, philosophy, preferred candidates or party direction. So recently, I posted the following question, hoping to glean how each political party is perceived by voters of differing affiliations: I would like some good, productive, honest feedback. Please refrain from insults and snark. Please indicate your party affiliation followed by what you think the Republican Party stands for, what you think the Democratic Party stands for and, if you like, what you think Libertarian, Independent, or any other minor party or movement stands for. This might go in a future column (without names). Thanks. Within hours, there were more than 100 responses and they were illuminating. Loyalty to party was not evident in these responses. While certainly not scientific, some interesting trends emerged. First, some believe there isnt a lot of difference between the parties, as evidenced by one of my favorite responses. GOP=Party of growing the government, big spending, and liberty killing. Ok to subvert the Constitution if it is for a GOP idea. DEM=Party of growing the government, and big spending. Ok to subvert the Constitution if it is for a DEM idea. Dont think either party adheres to any great principles it wouldnt compromise, if it meant winning... Rs and Ds are one [and] the sameIll hang out with Independents, at least we can speak our minds and owe no allegiance Second, there was some consensus that the problem is not ideology but that both parties are more interested in self-preservation or helping the influential. The battle in America is not right versus left, it is the people vs. special interest groups. Third, those who identified themselves as Republicans (more than 40 percent of respondents) were the least happy with their party for a variety of reasons, including the emphasis on social issues, increased intolerance and lack of cooperation. On the other end, a few believed the GOP wasnt conservative enough. Registered republican, extremely disappointed with continued focus on social issues cannot continue to legislate morality. As a republican, this past election was first time I voted democrat for President. GOP today is not the party of Reagan. It has become a close-minded party of elitists and heartless individuals As a Republican teacher, Id love to have party leaders in remedial kindergarten, Ill teach sharing, communicating, responsibility, respect and working together. (R) GOP has been taken over by people without compassion. Used to want less government intrusion into personal lives, now want to intrude into everybodys most personal decision (R) GOP is dominated by far right Tea Party. It has abandoned the pragmatic conservatism of Reagan and embraced a small tent purist ultra conservative platform. (R) GOP stands for nothing and they fold every time and dont know how to bluff. Soon will be a Libertarian (R) Fourth, respondents believed the Libertarian party primarily has good ideas but loses support because they are not realistic in their application. Libertarians are a strange hybridtook the most extreme elements of the right (personal freedoms) and left (anti-imperialist stance) and the result isnt the centrist ethos one would have expected. Libertarians 90% of what they stand for is good but t hat last 10% is so offensive, we will continue to reject the party as a whole Libertarians are the party of low taxes, high independence, and drowning kittens. When they lose elections they think Its because nobody likes low taxes and high independence. Fifth, there seemed to be a general belief that the GOP is the party of the rich and is becoming a small tent while the Democratic Party is for the working class, is more tolerant, appeals to women and minorities but spends too much. GOP represents the rich and comfortable, DEMs are enthralled by the blue collar, minority and womens groups, libertarians are purists, idealists but not realistic Rs stand for business/capitalism, the church and the NRA. Ds stand for protecting the environment, the poor and disabled and any voting block they think they can win Rs: Pro-business, pro-guns, pro-rich, proChristianity, pro-warfare, pro-death penalty Ds: pro-community, pro-environment, pro-welfare, pro-health care, pro-workers/unions D stands for big government and handouts. R stands for smaller government and earning it for yourself Rs stand for individual (Ive got mine, dont care if you get yours) and Ds stand for group (all should be given a fair shot) You can learn a lot about what people think if you just ask them. Oh, and it helps if you listen. To read see these comments in their entirety or additional comments, click here: Paula Dockery was term-limited as a Republican state senator from Lakeland after 16 years in the Florida Legislature. She can be reached at email@example.com. Their view OSCEOLA NEWS-GAZETTE Publisher/Ad Director TOM KIRK Editor BRIAN McBRIDE Sports Editor RICK PEDONE Lifestyles Editor PETER COVINO Chief Photographer ANDREW SULLIVAN Production Manager STEVE KRAUS Accounting Manager LOUISE McCLEAN Circulation Manager KATHY BECKHAM Staff Writer KEN JACKSON(USPS Number 513540) (ISSN 1060-1244) Published each Thursday and Saturday for $52 per year, by Sun Publications of Florida. All rights reserved. Periodicals postage paid at Kissimmee, FL. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Osceola News-Gazette, 108 Church St., Kissimmee, FL 34741.The Osceola News-Gazette is published by Sun Publications of Florida, a division of Lakeway Publishers of Florida, Inc. Phone 407-846-7600. Fax 407-846-8516. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Osceola News-Gazette is on the World Wide Web at: www.aroundosceola.com.Year 117 No. 41 Paula DockeryFlorida Voices O PINION O PINIONFacebook stimulates political punditrySun Publications of Florida cannot be held responsible for advertising claims. We reserve the right to refuse or discontinue any advertising, and to edit editorial content. All materials in these publications are copyrighted. Publisher will not be liable for any errors in advertising to a greater extent than the cost of the space occupied by the error, and accepts responsibility only for an error in the rst weeks issue. Fighting For Our Heroes Foundation is a non-prot 501(c) 3 organization that is based out of Kissimmee, Florida. Each year we assist thousands of local veterans, service members and their families each year with the numerous challenges they face after their military service has ended. As longtime veterans advocates, we work tirelessly each day to assist each of our veterans to receive the benets they are entitled to through the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you or a loved one are a veteran and are having benets issues please do not hesitate to contact us by visiting our interactive veterans benets blog through Facebook by using the keywords: Veterans Benets Support or you can contact us directly through our website at: www.ghtingforourheroesfoundation.org This week our Vice President Mr. Alan Alford will be appearing on the television show Inside E Street with former Senator Elizabeth Dole to discuss the VAs backlog and the challenges our returning veterans face after their military service has ended, check your local listing. Veterans are never charged for any of our services, as they already paid their membership dues on the battleelds serving to protect each of our families around the world. Therefore we rely solely on donations and sponsorships to maintain these vital programs to the veterans within our community. 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Thursday, May 9, 2013 NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A5 a lone, said Soto. Both Montes and Soto agreed that any kind of law would help curb cell phone use while driving. Currently, there are many safety campaigns by law enforcement, insurance and cell phone companies about cell phone use and driving. The biggest push by these campaigns is using talk-to-text or a hands free kit while on the road, as well as urging drivers to limit their use of their phone while in the car. Your brain can only do one thing well at a time, and when you start breaking off into multitasking, something is going to not receive as much attention, and that could be the driving, said Montes. If Gov. Scott signs the bill into law, it will be put into effect on Oct. 1. reportedly asked if she wanted a ride home and she accepted, Sheriffs Office spokesperson Twis Lizasuain said. Along the way, Shaw stopped the four-wheeler in a wooded area so it could cool down, he stated. While stopped, Shaw touched the victims leg and the victim immediately told him to stop. Shaw then began touching her breast and groin area and attempted to kiss her. The victim again rejected the advances and, according to the arrest report, he replied that, you probably wont let me pull down your pants. The victim then said she would walk home and tried to disembark the four-wheeler, but Shaw reportedly grabbed her; she pulled free and went home and immediately told her mother who called law enforcement. Deputies made c ontac t with Shaw at his 4755 N. Kenansville Road residence. He confirmed his identity but refused to cooperate with the investigation. Deputies noted possible influence of alcohol on the charging affidavit. Based on the victims statements, Shaw was arrested and booked on $500 bond into the Osceola County Jail.Deputies arrest New Jersey murder suspectThe Osceola County Sheriffs Office arrested a New Jersey man in Kissimmee for murder on Monday. Sheriffs Office deputies w ith the C ommunity Response Team East located and arrested Nestor Torres, 30, who was wanted out of Camden C ounty, N.J. for kidnapping and murder. Since March of this year, Torres has been a wanted fugitive sought by the U.S. Marshals New York / New Jersey Fugitive Task Force. According to New Jersey officials, on Feb. 23, Torrres shot and killed Stephon Cusion, 27, in the bedroom of a home in Lawnside, N.J. On May 6, deputies received information Torres may be at 103 W. Jackson St. in Kissimmee. Deputies located him at this address and took him into custody without incident. He is in the Osceola County Jail awaiting extradition to New Jersey.Poinciana men indicted following meth seizureUnited States Attorney Robert E. ONeill announced the return of an indictment charging Scott Eargood, 21, and Santos Zamora-Escobar, 27, both of Poinciana, with conspiring with each other and others to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, and 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine (count one), and knowingly and intentionally, while aiding and abetting each other, possessing with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, and fifty grams or more of actual methamphetamine (count two). The penalty for each count is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years, up to life in federal prison. According to court documents, on the evening of May 2, Polk County deputies initiated a traffic stop on Eargoods Jeep Cherokee in Polk County. Eargood was the driver of the vehicle, and Zamora-Escobar was the passenger. Deputies searched the vehicle and found $3,494 and 229 grams of methamphetamine. Information developed during the stop led to a search of a home on Platte Lane in Poinciana. Inside the home, officers found more than 110 pounds of methamphetamine. At a price of $20,000 per pound, the methamphetamine seized has an approximate value of $2.2 million. According to court documents, Eargood rented the Poinciana house four months earlier, at Zamora-Escobars direction, for the purpose of facilitating meth trafficking in Polk County. It was further alleged that Zamora-Escobar, Eargood, and others stored large quantities of methamphetamine at the residence, for further distribution. On May 3, as part of the ongoing investigation, agent s and detectives executed a search warrant in Highlands County at a mobile home in Avon Park. Law enforcement officers seized four ounces of meth, a long rifle, an AK-47-type rifle and three handguns from the mobile home. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements Homeland Security Investigations and the Polk C ounty Sheriffs Office as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation are investigating this case. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nations illegal drug supply. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray will prosecute it.PoliceContinued from Page A-1 Torres DrivingContinued from Page A-1 050413.SNG TOP P PRICES PPAID! 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Page A6, testify. I just want this nightmare to go away. I feel for the people (working) there. Osborne said he was compelled to respond to the FDLEs request, instead of being subpoenaed like Martin, because he holds an active law enforcement certificate. He spent 28 years with the Orange County Sheriffs Department. They were polite, they asked, and I cooperated, he said, noting he was not interviewed in FDLEs November investigation. It was pretty much a two-hour taped conversation. I started at the beginning, when Armando got on the ballot, and worked forward. Osborne said he knows that were looking for something specific, and said the line of questioning made it clear FDLE is conducting an investigation of Ramirez. Absolutely, a criminal investigation, he said. In January, Farquharson, who was not subpoenaed in this latest investigation, filed a criminal complaint with FDLE stating that Ramirez, Osborne and Cortner performed their duties prior to taking office, in violation of state statute. FDLE investigated but ruled the allegations were unfounded.Absolutely no reason was givenIn prior interviews and statements, top aides Osborne and Human Resources Department administrator Marta MoczoSantiago said they were given no reason for their terminations less than two months into the administration, contradicting things Ramirez said during April 11 and 19 press conferences. The Clerks Office furnished media documentation about their firings and that of court clerk Mary Rosado, who was cited with numerous instances of insubordination and unprofessional conduct. The only documents provided regarding Osborne and Moczo-Santiago were their dismissal letters. Osborne said he was given no reason for his firing when he was handed his termination letter personally by Ramirez on Feb. 18 and said nothing was mentioned about his job performance prior to that. It came completely out of the blue, Osborne said. I had questions for him, but all he said to me was that he lost confidence in me. Osborne said that none of the policy changes he proposed or implemented happened without Ramirezs knowledge, citing meeting minutes obtained through a public records request. Ramirez was listed as an attendee at all senior management meetings, and some department manager meetings, during Osbornes tenure. He had expressed knowledge of everything, he said. I attended and led all (managers) meetings. He was present but not involved. Osborne said that he worries what will happen with the offices top two officials, Ramirez and new Chief Deputy Clerk Jennifer Soto, admittedly learning their jobs on the fly. I am very concerned about where hes getting his advice from, he said. Moczo-Santiago reported much the same experience about her dismissal in an email received last week. Absolutely no reason was given and no opportunity for discussion, she said.FDLEContinued from Page A-3 Want to submit a community event? Submissions for community events must either be printed or typed on a full sheet of paper and mailed or delivered to the News-Gazette office, faxed to 407-846-8516 or sent by e-mail to email@example.com. Handwritten listings on scraps of paper will not be accepted. The deadline for Thursdays edition is Monday at noon. For Saturdays edition, its Wednesday at noon. If any current community events have to be canceled or changed, contact Editor Brian McBride at 321-402-0436. The Osceola Council On Aging Inc. has complied with r egistr ation r equir ements of chapter 496, F. S. Solicitation of Contributions Act. A copy of the o ff icial r egistr ation and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Ser vices by calling toll free within the st at e. Registration does not imply endorsement, appr ov al or r ecommendation by the st at e. 1-800-435-7352. Cer tif ication # SC-00067. AMEX VISA MC DISCOVER $_________________ Credit Card#____________________________________________________________________________ Expiration Date:_____________Signature________________________________________________ Your mother cooked 19,710 meals, washed 6,750 loads of laundry and kissed 542 booboos while you were growing up. You spilled orange juice in the back of the refrigerator. You left hand prints on the wall, and still mom made her famous chocolate chip cookies. You forgot to take your homework to school. You left your bike in the driveway. You dropped the glue, and still mom gave you a kiss and a hug before bed as she listened to your prayers. For most Americans, Mothers Day is a joyful occasion. A time to be with those we love. For some of us, its an opportunity to send flowers or a card to say I love you. For others, a time to gratefully receive those expressions. Most of all, Mothers Day is a time to honor those we love. But for millions of older Americans, this holiday will be no celebration. It will be a lonely day marked by sad hearts and empty stomachs. Tonight, millions of elderly Americans our mothers and fathers, our grandparents and neighbors and friends will go to bed hungry. For too many elderly Americans the thought of ending the day with a full stomach, and knowing they are cared about, is nothing more than a dream. We can make it happen, but only with your support. We will show you a whole new way to say I Love You to someone who really needs to hear it with a hot, nutritious meal.I ll love you forever, I ll love you always... I would like to sponsor Meals For MomOsceola Council on Aging 700 Generation Point Kissimmee, Florida 34744 (407) 846-8532PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: OSCEOLA COUNCIL ON AGING 041813.TNG 050913.TNG 050913.TNG 050913.TNG The Museum of Military History invites you to our rst Annual MILITARY APPRECIATION WEEKEND Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th FREE ADMISSION PARKING $7 Mac Overstreet Regional Park3271 Pleasant Hill Road Kissimmee FL 34746 Saturday, May 18th Opening ceremony 9:00 a.m. Explore military encampments Weapons demonstration Traveling Military Museum, WWII Battle Re-enactment Food vendors, bounce house, displays Radio controlled aircraft demonstration Sunday, May 19th Opening ceremony 10:00 a.m. Sea Cadets and Civil Air Patrol Competition Traveling Military Museum, WWII & USO Era Music bounce house, food vendors, displays Radio controlled aircraft demonstrations Closing Flag Ceremony Bring the whole family... For more information please call or check out the website: 050913.TNG Ofce Hours: Monda y Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Horas de Ocina: Lunes a Viernes 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 1100 Cypress Glenn Circle Kissimmee, FL 34741
Thursday, May 9, 2013 NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A7Last weekend you may have noticed cardboard-clad Vikings running amok at the St. Cloud lakefront. Nothing to be alarmed about, they were just participants in the carboard boat races, part of the annual Smokin Blues, Bikes and BBQ event put together by the St. Cloud Main Street Program. This years event featured Viking boaters, pictured above, who were actu ally Harmony High School students in disguise. Also featured was a barbe cue competition, split into backyard and pro categories. At left, Roy Du mars, right, and John Michael, of the team called Dantes Inferno, prepare a sample of brisket for judging. Below, Greg Smith of the Dixie Pigs team concentrates while slicing brisket underneath the teams tent. Barbecue competitors battled not only each other, but also the elements, as they cooked overnight in inclement weather Friday night to have their entries ready. Below left, live music was playing from the stage near the East Lake Tohopekaliga boat ramps.News-Gazette photos by Andrew Sullivan
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Thursday, May 9, 2013 NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A9 By Rick Pedone Sports Editor Rain hampered the performances of many of the countys athletes competing at the Class 3A and Class 4A state track meets in Jacksonville last week, but it didnt stop Celebration senior pole vaulter David Akins from winning the Class 3A state championship. Akins cleared 14-6 on his first vault, good enough to become Celebrations third state champion, following cross country runner Sean Blaney (2005) and sprinter Tyler Osorio (2011). The weather was bad, probably the worst I ever jumped in, but I fought through it, Akins said. The rain made it really hard to hold the pole, but I had a good tailwind, which helped, and I didnt have any problem with the traction. It was Akins first appearance at the state meet. He didnt begin competing in the pole vault until he was a junior. He quickly adapted to the sport. It took me five weeks and I was jumping 13 feet, he said. Akins placed fifth at the regional meet last year, one spot short of qualifying for the state meet. I decided that I was going to put all my effort into getting better, so I worked at it all summer, he said. I took a break for football, then I got right back at it. Akins got a new pole early this season and it helped him increase his jump by more than 2 feet over last year. My best was 15 feet in a meet. I did 15-6 in practice, he said. I wanted to go 15-6 at the state meet. I went right to 15-3 (after he cleared 14-6) but I missed it three times. Akins performance might have won him an opportunity to compete in college, however. The coaches from UNF (University of North Florida, site of the state meets) and USF were there and I spoke with them, he said. I hope they like what they saw. Others who earned medals at the Class 3A meet Friday were St. Clouds Travon Williams (14.44), third in the 110 hurdles, and his teammate, Ian McKenzie (49-5.25), sixth in the shot put. The weather was horrible, so it was a great time considering, Bulldog Coach Kevin Harkema said. He had the lead until the last hurdle. Osceolas Vallerie Norgaisse was the only county athlete to place in two events. She was third (44.36) in the 300 hurdles and eighth (15.35) in the 100 hurdles. Osceolas Deara Thomas (15.15) finished sixth in the 100 hurdles. Pole vaulter becomes schools second track champ in three years Follow us on Twitte r Storms Akins soars to 3A titleSee Track, page A-10 State champion Above, Celebrations David Akins persevered through dreary weather conditions to win the Class 3A state pole vaulting championship at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Akins cleared 14-6. Below, St. Cloud high hurdler Travon Williams (right) finished third in Class 3A.News-Gazette Photos/Donald Lamb Editors note: Harmony was scheduled to play Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas Wednesday in the Class 7A state softball semifinals at the Vero Beach Sports Village. The winner plays today at 7 p.m. in Vero Beach for the state championship. See aroundosceola.com for updates. By Rick Pedone Sports Editor The path for Harmonys Lady Longhorns to the Class 7A state softball tournament was difficult, but the team persevered through a 10-inning struggle Friday to defeat Lake Region, 1-0, at Longhorns field. Outfielder Lily Mann scored the games only run on Lauren Harris sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10 th inning to send Harmony to the state tournament. That was a great game by two great teams, Harmony Coach Jeff Fiorelli said. It was everything you would expect for a game that decided who would go to the state tournament. Mann led off with a double to left center and, one out later, went to third when pitcher LeLe Ocasio and Bri Kimura drew walks off Thunder starter Haley Wiseman. Harris, who will play for Florida State next year, fouled off a couple of pitches after working the count to 2-2 before she lifted a fly to short center field, barely behind the infield. No, I didnt think it was deep enough. I was hoping it was foul, Harris said. But, for Mann, a sophomore and one of the fastest players on the team, the fly ball was deep enough. I was going. I was ready, she said. Fiorelli said there was no thought of holding Mann at third base with one out. No, shes going all the way there, he said. That was our plan the whole game, to make them make the perfect throw. Mann easily beat outfielder Miranda Lefans throw, and the Lady Longhorns rushed the field to celebrate their second trip to the state tournament in three seasons. Harmony, 26-3, was the runner-up at the 2011 Class 4A (now 6A) state tournament at Clermont Ocasio gave up five hits and struck out nine, allowing just two runners to reach third. Lake Region had its best scoring opportunity in the sixth inning when it loaded the bases with two outs, but Ocasio fanned Wiseman to escape the jam. Harmony was held hitless through six innings by Wiseman, but Bri Kimura broke up the no-hitter and nearly won the game with a double off the right center field fence to lead off the seventh. Jodi Nestle singled one out later and Maddie Nichols drew a walk, but Wiseman escaped the jam by striking out the next two batters. The Lady Longhorns loaded the bases again in the bottom of the eighth when Mann singled and went to second on Molly Bakers sacrifice. Ocasio walked, and Kimura followed with a sharp fly to left center that looked like the game winning hit before the Thunders Kelsey Armstrong made a diving catch. Harris walked to load the bases, but Wiseman struck out the next batter on a 3-2 count to extend the game. It was a little frustrating, Mann, who celebrated her 16 th birthday two days prior, said after Harmony squandered two scoring opportunities. I was getting nervous. But, Ocasio was giving the Thunder nothing to build a rally around. Lake Region had only one base runner after the sixth inning, thanks to a good running catch by Mann in deep right field on a ball hit by Lefans in the ninth inning. Lefans had two of the Thunders hits. Fiorelli instructed Ocasio to intentionally walk Lefans in the sixth inning. I had no qualms whatsoever about putting her on base. She had two hits and she was hitting the ball hard, Fiorelli said. Ocasio said she was determined to keep her team close. I wanted to give my teammates a chance, she said. Lake Region, the 1998 and 2000 state champion, finished 21-9. Harmonys state tournament roster also includes Taylor Soltys, Brooke Harris, Dakota McCoy, Emily Fiorelli, Jaden Kline, Rebekah Batson and Savannah Austin.Lauren Harris hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to drive in Lily Mann with the winning run in Harmonys 1-0 7A-2 regional championship win over Lake Region Friday at Longhorn field. The Lady Longhorns played Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas at the Class 7A state tournament semifinals Wednesday. The winner plays for the state championship today at 7 p.m. at the Vero Beach Sports Village.News-Gazette Photo/Andrew Sullivan Lady Longhorns make their way to state again
Page A10, TrackContinued from page A-9 A-10 Larry Joseph honored at Big Toho Marina today By Rick Pedone Sports Editor Friends will remember long time Osceola County coach and educator Coach Larry Joseph today at 5:30 p.m. at a testimonial in his honor at Big Toho Marina at Kissimmee Lakefront Park. Joseph, 79, passed away Saturday. Joseph, an Air Force veteran, came to Kissimmee in 1965 from Ohio and became a positive influence on thousands of local high school students who played on his basketball and football teams at Osceola High. Later, as an elementary school PE teacher at Highlands Elementary, Joseph established a running club that encouraged many students to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. An avid outdoorsman, Joseph fished and hunted all over North America, and he joined friends on fishing trips to Brazil and other locations in Latin America. Joseph hunted big game, like Grizzlies, and his extensive collection of mounted ducks and fish were considered world class. Many of the items were donated to a nature museum in Ohio. Ken Baker, a local Realtor and the former Osceola High football coach, joined Joseph on many of his outdoors expeditions. He was a great guy. The kids he worked with responded to him. My three kids were in his running class in elementary school and today they run marathons, thanks in part to his influence on them, Baker said. Ill remember him as an avid fisherman; we went on probably thousands of fishing trips together and we always had a great time. Another long-time fishing companion of Josephs was former Osceola High math department chairman Raw leigh Sallee, who recalled early fishing trips with Joseph when he arrived in Kissimmee nearly five decades ago. I was going to show this rookie Yankee how we fished here in these whereabouts of Kissimmee, Sallee said. It was as if the bass had conspired not to hit my Koger bugs, and it was as if they could hardly control themselves engulfing Larry Josephs worms. I dont remember getting skunked, but my catch was pitiful compared to his limit of 10. Sallee and Joseph remained close friends and fishing companions for 48 years. What can you say about someone you have gone fishing with since 1965? Not enough, Sallee said. He was like my brother. Sallee said Joseph never forgot his Ohio roots. He always cheered for his Ohio State Buckeyes, and Woody Hayes, Sallee said. That sometimes caused a conflict, like when Sallees Florida Gators recently defeated Ohio State for football and basketball national crowns. I cheered for his Ohio State Buckeyes right along with him most of the time, but not then, Sallee said.This photo, taken by Carl Rudd in February, 1966, appeared in the Kissimmee Gazette. Larry Joseph, left, caught this 12 1/2-pound bass Feb. 11, and his good friend, Rawleigh Sallee, caught his 8and 7 1/2-pound bass Feb. 12.Photo/Special to the News-Gazette Osceola Coach Eric Pinellas said he conditions his athletes to perform their best regardless of the weather. We train to peak at state. I knew we would do well, he said. We are always mentally tough and thats what it takes to pull through in conditions like that. Harmony sprinter Christina Moody (57.85) was fourth at 400 meters and Liberty long jumper Kadijah Brown (17.25) was seventh. Celebrations Jhonny Victor was one of the top seeds in the high jump, but he was unable to come close to his seasons best of 6-8. Fourteen of 16 high jumpers no-heighted, Celebration Coach Joel Fox said. There was standing water and heavy rain the entire day. It was some of the worst weather possible for track. 041113.TNG 050913.TNG 041813.TNG
Thursday, May 9, 2013 NEWS-GAZETTE, Page A11 041813.TNG Window & Door Co. OSCEOLA Celebrating our 25th year in business 407-957-59591235 Hackney Road, St. Cloud, FL 34771 Hurricane Protection Made Easy FREE ESTIMATES! REPAIRS STARTING AT $20.00020713.TNG Take Control of your HealthTEST AS LOW AS$49Health & Wellness | STD | Drug & Alcohol Screening | Paternity | Much More! 050913.TNG NOW COUPON$10OFFWith this coupon. Any $49 Lab Test. A-11 Kowboys, Longhorns win 7A-2 region quarterfinalsOsceolas Gustavio Rios drives the ball during the Kowboys 12-5 win at Harmony last month. The teams played Wednesday in a 7A-2 regional semifinal. The winner advanced to Fridays 7 p.m. regional final.Photo/Special to the News-Gazette By Rick Pedone Sports Editor After several weather postponements, district baseball champions Harmony and Osceola emerged as 7A-2 regional quarterfinal baseball winners. The teams met for the second time this season Wednesday at Harmony in the semifinal round. The winner goes to the 7A-2 regional championship game Friday at 7 p.m. Fridays winner travels to the Class 7A state tournament at Fort Myers next week. Harmony, the 7A-6 district champ, reached the semifinals by beating Lake Minneola, 4-1, Monday. Omar Villaman struck out five and didnt walk a batter for the Longhorns, 19-7, and Kyle Covall doubled and drove in a run. Omar threw one of the best games of his career, Harmony Coach Mike Fields said. He kept the ball down and mixed his pitches well. Charley Reyes and Josh Corredor executed bunts to move runners into scoring postion in the fourth and fifth innings, when Harmony scored four times. Wyatt Derings suicide squeeze in the fifth brought home the final run. We played great t eam defense, we made only one error, Fields said. The victory was Harmonys first in the baseball regionals. Osceola, the 7A-5 district champ, had no problem Saturday in a 12-2 quarterfinal win over St. Cloud. The game, originally scheduled for Thursday, was delayed an hour Saturday because of more rain. But, the Kowboys jumped to a 5-0 lead and cruised into the semifinal round. I could not be prouder of our kids, Osceola Coach Scott Birchler said. We had to postpone this thing twice and this time of year is tough because kids are thinking about prom, graduation, the end of school and about a million other things. After sophomore pitcher Jake Grenus retired St. Cloud in the top of the first on just six pitches, Osceolas Hadrian Cortes and Armen Calilao led off the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back doubles. Edwin Bonilla brought home the first run of the game with a groundout before Bay McIntosh scored Calilao with a double. Omar Colon then hit a three-run homer to left. Big innings in your first at-bat really can build some momentum, Birchler added. After Omars home run, everything seemed to snowball from there. The Bulldogs, 16-13, fought back on Chris Caballeros solo home run in the second to make it 5-1. In the top of the third, St. Cloud scratched out another run as Chase Ritters two-out bloop single to center scored Sean Anderson. But in the bottom of the third, it was some sloppy play by the Bulldogs and a little luck by the Kowboys that quickly squashed any momentum St. Cloud was building. Osceola added two runs via a hit batter, a throwing error on a bunt attempt, a walk and a two-run single by Cortes that barely found the outfield grass. Osceolas big bats provided the final margin in the bottom of the fourth. Bonilla opened the inning with a double and came around to score on McIntoshs second double of the game. Tony Lima made it 9-2 with a sharp single and after Rod Weismore walked, freshman Frank Toro ham mered a home run to dead center field to make it 12-2. Grenus retired the side in order in the fifth to pick up a complete game win. He allowed three hits, one walk and struck out four. Jake really didnt have his best stuff, Birchler said. But he had a nice rhythm on the mound and worked through it. For the Kowboys, 19-5, Cortes led the way with three hits and an RBI. St. Cloud ace Abel Del Valle took the loss, giving up nine runs (seven earned), on eight hits, three walks and five strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. J. Daniel Pearson contributed to this story.
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Warm weather is special occasion season. Whatever your event a wedding, graduation party, family reunion or July 4th fete summer celebrations have one important thing in common. Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck. Fortunately, f rom r enting tables and chairs and other needed items, to do-it-yourself decorations, its possible to stretch your entertaining dollars this summer season. Here are some tips for ways you can get the most for your money, and host an event that guests will talk about well into fall: Create excitement with a theme. What will entice people to attend? Will your event be fondly remembered? Get co-workers raving about what a great job you did planning the company picnic. A fun theme can take the place of costlier entertainment options. Look for a low or no-cost location, such as a public park or your own backyard. Renting a venue can be expensive. Hosting your event in a no-cost location will allow you to put your entertaining dollars to work in other ways, such as food or decorations. You dont need to pay for a DJ if you have just one tech-savvy friend who knows what to do with an iPod dock and some speakers. You can further save on entertainment by inviting guests to bring their favorite lawn or board games to the party. Dont waste money buying when renting is more cost-effective. If youll need extra tables, chairs, dishes and cutlery, renting those items from your local rental store can be much more cost-effective than buying. Whats more, r enting can give you access to items that you might not even consider buying, such as a tent, dance floor, inflatable bounce house or machines for making popcorn, cotton candy or snow cones. You can even rent a photo booth for a really unique and memorable experience. Renting can help you stretch your dollar, create a one-of-aSection C REAL ESTATE IN OSCEOLA & SURROUNDING COUNTIES www.aroundosceola.com May 9, 2013 CLASSIFIEDS Pages C4 C6 LEGALS Page C7 economic stimulus by purchasing $40 billion a month in mo rt gage-backed securities and $45 billion a month in longer-term Tr easury securities T aken together, these actions should maintain down ward pressure on longer conditions more accommodativ e, the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement released Wednesda y. Once the Fed decides to scale back the asset purchases, kn own as the third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, mort gage rates probably will rise. How soon will that happen? expects the Fed to stop purchasing mo rt gage bonds in March. But this is conditional on the labor market and could chang e, he says. If the Fed tapers or ends QE3, it will do so because the econom y is stronger This would likely mean a rising interest rate en vironment . Mo rt gage tip:Never use a reverse mor tgage to buy insurance or an annuity.Mo rt gage Ne ws So ur ce : Ba nk ra te .c om 2013 3.52 3.60 3.80 3.75 3.52 12/12/20121/16/20132 /20/20133/27/20135 /1/20132.75 3.00 3.25 3.50 3.75 4.00 4.25 4.50 Ad justable rate mo rt gages So ur ce : Ba nk ra te .c om 2013 2.97 2.93 2.93 3.00 3.00 2.74 2.74 2.76 2.71 2.63 12/12/20121/16/20132/20/20133/27/20135/1/20132.00 2.25 2.50 2.75 3.00 3.25 3.50 3.75 1 yr ARM 5/1 ARM Bankr ate National Tr end s L ocal Mo rt gage Rate sInstitution Phone Ra te Orig Disc. Lock APR Ra te Orig. Disc. Lock APRThese are largest area rates that banks and thri ft s were charging W ednesda y. For additional Florida area rates visit www .bank rate.com By Po rate.co mBank rate mor tgage update with the record lows seen at the end of last year And the Federal Reser ve seems determined to keep them at the bottom for no w. percent the week bef or e, according to the Ban kr ate.com national sur vey of large lenders. The mortgages in this week s surv ey had an average total of 0.33 discount and origination points. One year ago that rate stood at 4.05 percent. F our weeks ago it was 3.73 percent. according to Ban kr at e s weekly sur ve y. percent the previous week and the benchmark 5/1 adjustable -rate mor tgage f ell to 2.63 percent from 2.65 percent As rates fall into record-low territo ry again, the F ed says it will continue to provide In almost all cases the rate is based on a lock-in period of 30 to 60 days Borr owers should review how the rates are calculated and inquire about additional closing costs such as appraisal fees and title searches NA means rate quotes not available on sur v ey date Ra tes are based on a loan amount of $165,000 to $417,000 with a 20 pe rc ent down payment. Bank of America 800-432-1000 3.375 0.00 0.25 60 3.458 2.625 0.00 0.00 60 2.736 SunTrust Bank 800-273-7827 4.400 1.00 0.17 60 4.526 3.625 1.00 0.15 60 3.840 STUFF FINDER HOME FINDER AUTO FINDER INSIDE TODAYS HOMEFINDERCLASSIFIEDSCLASSIFIEDS JOB FINDER Headlines in newspapers across the nation told of country singer George Jones death on April 26. But the headline that described it best was the Los Angeles Times, that said George Jones was the Voice of Heartbreak. Its true. Here was a man known for ripping ones heart out at the roots, and he did it better than almost anyone. His songs came from the heart because they came from his own life of emotional hardship. When he married Tammy Wynette, the third marriage for both, his music seemed to perk up a bit with some honky tonk and fast moving ditties like Were Not The Jet Set and I Dont Need Your Rocking Chair. Considered to be the king and queen of country music, the couple rose to fame and were enjoyed by . .members of the Chevrolet set as well as so many other lovers of country music. Together they bought their Two Story House shortly after they were married in 1969. For as long as she could remember, Tammy had dreamed of one day living in a southern mansion very much like Tara in Gone with the Wind. In 1971, Tammy told the Tampa Tribune, This is the home for us . Its the only place we want to be. Later in Georges autobiography, he wrote that in this house I was happier than Id ever been. All that came to an end with Georges boozing and drugging and the loud parties that turned once friendly neighbors into adversaries. They moved out in 1972 since the constant complaints made them feel that they couldnt live with the freedom they wanted. Divorce eventually came for the couple in 1975. Though the house was originally built in 1902 in downtown Lakeland by lumber company owner H.B. Carter, it was later moved to the outskirts of Lakeland by a subsequent owner. While still owned by Carter, it is said that notables such as Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt were entertained at this historic home. The neo-classical colonnaded home is the epitome of the deep south mansion that makes one think immediately of Tara. Within its 4,412 square feet are found 4 bedrooms, 6 baths, media room, fireplaces, a newly updated kitchen with all the bells and whistles, a detached 2-car garage, guitar-shaped pool, spa, pool deck, porch and decks. Also on the property is a stable with 4 oversized stalls, feed room, tack room, office and half bath. A fenced dressage practice area is attached. Theres chandeliers in every room, imported silks and satin all about. We filled the house with everything but somehow left love out.. . Lyrics from George & Tammy s hit single Two Story House. During their residence, George wrote two hit songs, Two Story House and The Grand Tour, both about the estate they called the Old Plantation Music Park. George Jones and Tammy Wynettes former dream home in Lakeland, Florida reduced from $2.3 million to $1.95 million. Reese WitherspoonReese Witherspoon and her agenthusband James Toth were arrested in Atlanta. James couldnt Walk the Line and was busted for drunk driving, and Reeses Best Laid Plans went awry as she also went to jail for her refusal to follow police instructions and her uncontrolled mouth, with the formal charge of disorderly conduct-obstruction. They were in Atlanta for her filming of The Good Lie. In an interview with a British magazine just before her Atlanta problem, Reese put the blame on her new baby for her recent craziness: Ever since I had the baby, I cant remember anything. Serious, this child stole my brain. But another reason Reese might be a bit testy these days could be the same thing that has driven thousands of home sellers to the edge of rage a bad (but getting better) real estate market. Since her home was listed at the end of last year, shes already cut the price by $2.5 million. The city of Ojai as it is today and self-proclaimed as Shangri-La, was the brainchild of Edward Libby, the early owner of Libby Glassware. While passing through in the early 1900s, he fell in love with the valley and what was then somewhat of an old western town. When most of the town was destroyed by fire in 1917, it was his opportunity to help rebuild and exercise his vision for the town into the popular style of Spanish Colonial Revival. Libby Ranch was originally built in 1923 for Mr. Libbey as a stable. In following years, the ranch evolved and was the fictional Shangri-La in the Frank Capra film Lost Horizon. The home has had other illustrious owners such as Harold Ramis It was designed by Wallace Neff with later additions by Austen Pierpont. The property throughout has centuryold hardware, fireplaces, arches, turrets, original stonework, plank floors and Spanish tiles. A total of 9 bedrooms and 7 baths are divided between the main house and three guest houses. Shangri-La price cut. Asking reduced to $7.25 million. For more interesting homes, check out TopTenRealEstateDeals.com. Stretching your summertime entertainment dollarsTop Ten Real Estate Deals.It was George Jones and Tammy Wynettes dream house, their own version of Tara from Gone with the Wind. The Lakeland home they called Old Plantation Music Park is in Lakeland and selling at the reduced price of $1.95 million. H OMEFINDER H OMEFINDERGeorge Jones Two Story House is for sale Photo/BrandpointFrom small gatherings to extravagant parties, there are many ways to cut costs. kind party and never have to worry about where youll store everything after the party is over. To find a local company for renting equipment and goods that will make your next event memorable and successful, visit RentalHQ.com to find the rental store nearest you. Get creative with food options. Everyone loves a barbecue, but costs can add up when youre buying food for a large number of guests. Start by creating a menu of a few key items that will be sure crowd pleasers. Then, head to your local club store to stock up on main ingredients. Fantastic food Time-crunched gatherings dont have to worry about fancy food when parties suddenly pop up; guests dont expect an elaborate meal. Take a no-nonsense approach by serving flavors everyone will love. Frozen appetizers you can pop in the oven and serve beside fresh seasonal items are ideal. Bite-size foods are best for easy snacking. Bake some Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks, which are made with 100 percent real mozzarella and lightly seasoned. Kids and adults alike will devour these snacks with a crispy coating and warm cheesy center. Add some zesty Farm Rich Jalapeno Peppers and everyones taste buds will be dancing. These snacks, available at Walmart and other grocery stores, pair well with fresh seasonal fare, so set out fresh grapes or strawberries, juicy sliced melon or chopped veggies with dip whatever you have on hand or can get quickly at the local market and youll have a spread that will disappear almost instantly. *Save money by sending savethe-date announcements and invitations digitally. Its easy to find free online services that will allow you to send e-vites, receive responses and even track who will be attending all online. Throwing a memorable summer soiree doesnt mean you have to spend a lot of money. From renting needed items and getting creative, its possible to stretch your summer entertaining dollars.
Q: For a recent do-it-yourself project, I replaced the baseboard along two walls of the kids playroom with a length of two-by-four wood. The kids tend to ram their toys into the base of the wall and this dented and marred the original baseboard and even damaged the drywall behind it. I removed the original baseboard. I also patched the damaged sections of drywall by cutting them away and replacing with new pieces of drywall held in place with wooden strips behind the drywall. This also helped to reinforce the base of the wall. Next, at my home-improvement store, I had two pieces of 2-by-4 cut to the length of each walls base. I left a quarter-inch off each end because I decided to leave the baseboard in place on the other walls. There was one error here: I had to re-cut one piece of wood because I forgot the two pieces would intersect at one corner. But it was not too difficult to saw off a couple of inches from one end. I attached the new bumper boards to the wall studs. To make it easier, I located and marked the studs first, then pre-drilled the boards. Once the boards were in place, I attached them to the studs using 4-inch wood screws, countersunk the screw heads slightly and covered with wood putty to hide them from the kids. Finally, I painted the new boards. The plain wood tended to soak up paint, so I had to put on two coats of primer first. Then I painted them with a kid-resistant paint (available at any paint store) with an eggshell finish that is easier to wipe clean. Once the kids are grown, I will likely replace the bumper boards with regular baseboard. You can save the old baseboard, but mine is too damaged, so I plan to scrap it and start fresh. Hope your readers can benefit from my experience! -Sam G., Baltimore A: That sounds like a great fix for the playroom. Thanks for sharing! Readers, to remove baseboard without damaging the drywall beneath or marring the paint, first run a box cutter or a small putty knife along the top of the baseboard to separate paint, glue or other material from the wall. Next, using a nail set (or a sturdy nail) and a hammer, locate the larger anchoring nails along the baseboard, place the nail set against the nail head, and hammer a few times. This will push the baseboard back slightly, creating a gap. Use a small prybar to pull the board away from the wall. To protect the wall, hold a piece of scrap wood against the wall and lean the prybar against it. Once the baseboard pulls away, you can either remove the finishing nails from the drywall or pound them in, so they dont stick out. Before storing or tossing the old baseboard, remove nails from it or hammer them to the side to keep others from getting injured. HOME TIP: Rub beeswax or bar soap onto the threads of a wood screw, and it will be easier to screw into solid wood boards or studs. Send your questions or home tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. My new e-book, Best Home Tips, is available to download on Amazon Kindle! Pick it up it today for just 99 cents. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc. Making kid-proof baseboards By Samantha MazzottaSolution to Sudoku puzzle on page C-3 Page C2, A AIR CONDITIONING 407-873-7462 ALL COUNTY AIR CONDITIONING, INC.LOW FLAT RATES!www.osceolacountyair.comON THE SPOT REPAIRSState Certified, Licensed, And Insured CAC1813534 H HANDYMAN HANDYMANCharlies407-460-2524Call Today & Save H HANDYMAN Get all of your to do list household repairs done with just one phone callCALL DANIEL (407) 279-2109Need A Handyman? Call Dan! CLEAN, DEPENDABLE, HONEST & AFFORDABLEwww.KissimmeeHandyman.com Professional Painting Plumbing Lighting/Fans Re-Caulking Licensed/Insured H HOME IMPROVEMENT We Do It All!! 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Q: My dad was in the V ietnam Wa r, and I have a $5 Military Payment Certi cate from 1961. I have been offered $50 for it. -Bob, East St. Louis, Mo. A: According to Vietnam W ar Collectibles by David Doyle, U.S. personnel in V ietnam were not paid in cash, but rather in scrip known as Military Payment Certi cates (MPC). This was done in an effort to curb black-market activities. When leaving V ietnam, troops could exchange pay certi cates for r egular U.S. currency. Doyle values your $5 MPC at $125. Of special interest to collectors are those numbered 591, 611, 641, 651, 661, 681, 691, 692 and 701. Beware of r eproductions, because some have popped up, especially at military shows. *** Q: I have collected Fenton Glass for several decades, and now nd I have gathered more than 300 pieces. About a third of my collection is Carnival Glass from the 1920s and s, which I found at local estate sales and ea markets. Since I am thinking of downsizing, I wonder what would be the best way to liquidate my collection for the best price. -Kathryn, Spring Branch, T exas A: Since there are dozens of antiques dealers in both Dallas and Houston, I would begin by seeing if there is any interest in your immediate area. Most dealers are helpful and can advise you. Consider investing in a good price guide to help determine values. I especially like Fenton Glass Identi cation and Price Guide by Mark Moran and published by Krause. Y ou also might consider eBay, since that will provide you with an international marketplace. Although it takes time and effort to photo, post and process items on eBay, it should allow you to get the maximum amount for your Fenton pieces. I monitored eBay for several days, and the activity for Fenton appears to be brisk. *** Q: I have my rst-grade r eader from the 1940s, Fun with Dick and Jane. I wonder if it has value. -Barbara, Ramona, Calif. A: Oh, Oh, Oh, see Barbara smile when I tell her that the reader is quite collectible and probably worth about $50. Condition is always important, and if there are torn pages or pencil or crayon marks, it certainly will be less. W rite to Larry Cox in care of King Features W eekly Service, P .O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Due to the large volume of mail he r eceives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all r eader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.Your Vietnam war scrip may be worth more than you think Solution on page C2 Thursday, May 9, 2013 NEWS-GAZETTE, Page C3 R ROOFING Locally Owned FREE EstimatesLic# CCC057668Qualty roofing at affordable prices! P PRESSURE WASHING BILLYS PRESSURE WASHINGCall Billy at 407-709-5617 Exterior Cleaning, Deck Cleaning, Driveways, Sidewalks and Pool areas for Residential and Commercial L LOCAL ROOFER24 POINTS CHECK-UP Serving Osceola, Polk & Orange CountiesOsceola County Resident Since 1959 Your Local Roofer for OVER 30 Yearswww.donschmidtroofing.comFlorida State Certified CCC#042852SPECIALIZING IN ALL RE-ROOFS & REPAIRSROOFINGLooking for the right people to get the job done just got easier. H OME IMPR O VEMENT GUIDE H OME IMPR O VEMENT GUIDE H HOME IMPROVEMENT No job too small!!!Serving Osceola County Since 1997 Windows Electrical 10% Discount Remodels or Full House L LAWN MAINTENANCEMANNYS LANDSCAPING & FENCING Lic./Ins. (407) 891-1272 (407) 908-4392 P PLUMBING LEAK TECH PLUMBING, INC. 24 hr Service SERVICE SAVER$00OFFExpires 07/31/2013APPLIES TO ANY SERVICE CALLNever A Service Fee H HOME IMPROVEMENTOwner Operated Licensed Insured OSCEOLA EXTERIORSServing Osceola County Since 1999 L LAWN CARE & PRESSURE WASHING Quality is Our Primary Concern ~ We Work With Your Budget $20 $49 P PEST CONTROL S SCREENING Lic#CRC1329212 Insured 407-857-507910X20 PATIO FOR $3150* Blue Skye Screening 10% Discount P PRESSURE WASHING L LAWN CARE For a fresh lawn callA+ BEST RATES 407-508-2791 407-508-2791 R ROOFING OFF T TREE SERVICE rfntbn rrbn br ft br brfn rttn nbrOur Staff is Fully Trained & Certified. We guarantee the lowest reasonable price & the highest quality service. We accept insurance claims & all credit cards.rfnrnrtbnttn L LAWN MAINTENANCE Davecitron7554@aol.com FREE ESTIMATESDave CintronOwner / Operator 407-218-2425Licensed & Insured H HOME IMPROVEMENT PPS General Repair Painting Int/Ext Drywall Flooring Tile Trim T TREE SERVICE FREE Estimate COMMERCIALRESIDENTIALLICENSEDINSURED TREE TRIMMING TREE REMOVAL TO SEE YOUR AD ON THIS PAGE CALL JODY OR KEITH AT 407-846-7600 Call for a List of Properties For Sale 1345 Shakerag Road, Kissimmee 407-933-4499050913.HF St. Cloud: . ................................. . ................................ . ................................ Kissimmee: . .......................... . .......................... . .................................... Clark ClarkInvestment Properties, Inc.RENTALS
rt btn ftffntrtbtfr frnrb CLASSIFIEDSCLASSIFIEDS 407-846-7600www.aroundosceola.comClassifiedOfficeHours: 8:00am-5:00pm,Monday-Friday Or Placeyourclassifiedonline24hoursaday!HOMEFINDER /<8:?*@CC@FE/<8;