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I love corresponding with our readers. Reader G. responded to a column I wrote recently as follows: 

I’d like to start the new year by reminding you that your actions can directly impact your community. The “See Something, Say Something” program is an important tool you can use to keep our community safe. You can play an active role in community safety by reporting suspicious or illegal act…

Fourteen Florida-based organizations are recipients of grant funding totaling $200,000 to strengthen economic development and recruitment programs in the state.

Wildwood Soup Kitchen, located at 203 Barwick Street in Wildwood, offers free hot lunches every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

We are taking appointments Monday–Saturday from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. YOUR Humane Society SPCA is located on 994 CR 529A in Lake Panasoffkee. For more information, email or call 352-793-9117. 

Mid-Florida SCORE, part of a national organization that provides free business mentoring services, has three upcoming online programs that are designed to help entrepreneurs and other small business owners maximize their efforts. 

My husband and I recently updated our cellular phones from the dinosaur age. There was no way we could stick with phones that didn’t allow us space to take more pictures of our sweet grandbabies at Christmas. That’s where we drew the line. 

The Lady Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Art in the Park festival returns Jan. 22–23 with booths featuring arts and crafts by local and national vendors. A student art show is also planned.

Comic books have inspired countless Hollywood blockbusters over the last 20 years, but even the most devoted comic book fan may not recognize just how influential the genre was more than a half century ago.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is recognized nationwide the third Monday in January, and the man and his legacy will be recognized in communities across the nation, including the community of Royal.

Welcoming a baby to your family is an exciting time. Doing paperwork, even for something as important as a Social Security number for your newborn, is probably one of the last things you want to do. We’ve made it easy. If your child is born in a hospital, the most convenient way to apply for…

Effective Dec. 27, the U.S. Department of State increased its fee for passport books by $20 for passports prepared at their Passport Acceptance Facilities. 

At last Wednesday’s AdventHealth News Briefing, Dr. Vincent Hsu, the hospital system’s executive director of infection prevention, cautioned that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. 

Sumter County Animal Services hosted the adoption event, “I’ll be Home for Christmas” on Dec. 17 and 18. The event was to find “fur-ever” homes for as many dogs and cats as possible. Animals Services found fur-ever homes for 47 animals and transferred 52 animals to rescue agencies in December.

Jewish Federation of the Villages and Greater Sumter County, Inc. is hosting “Jazz and More…” a program of music and comedy, at Leesburg’s Lake Square Mall, 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 30.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 17 this year, and the man and his legacy will be recognized in communities across the nation, including those in Sumter County.

The Lady Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Art in the Park festival returns Jan. 22–23 with booths featuring arts and crafts by local and national vendors.

Quite often I am asked about the newspaper business. There are a lot of clickbait stories discussing the demise of the American newspaper. Those stories make our readers and advertisers wonder if we will be around in 30 years.

FORT MYERS — So the grandkids are coming down to Florida to visit Grandpa and Grandma. You don’t know where to spend the day to keep them active and entertained? Give Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers a try. It makes for a fun day trip.

Cost of living is a significant component of financial planning. The cost of living may dictate where people live and work, and a high cost of living can influence how individuals spend their free time. 

AdventHealth Dade City is hosting an in-person seminar addressing various surgical weight-loss options, as well as how extra weight affects overall health, including blood pressure, energy, fertility, joints and sleep. 

Every year, folks make New Year’s Resolutions and after a hiccup or two, they wind up wishing they could go back in time. I.e. they break those resolutions faster than you can say Flux Capacitor.

AdventHealth Zephyrhills is offering two free virtual wellness programs in January: “Safeguard Yourself from Colon Cancer,” with board-certified gastroenterologist Thomas John, M.D., who will discuss colorectal cancer screenings. And, “Kidney Stones? No Thanks, I’ll Pass!” with board-certifi…

Dec. 28, AdventHealth Central Florida Division saw the number of its patients hospitalized with COVID-19 increase to about 240 in its hospitals in seven Central Florida counties.

Improving personal health is a popular New Years resolution. A 2020 Finder survey found that an estimated 188 million Americans planned to make resolutions to carry them into 2021. Similar numbers of people likely will put personal goals on the calendar this year. Those focused on health and…

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Tavares, FL (January 8th, 2022) ~ The City of Tavares presents our 1st Annual RHYTHM ON RUBY street party featuring live music by PETTY CASH & SKIN DEEP this Saturday, January 8th in downtown Tavares.  The family-friendly event features live music, local flavor, street performers, and more!

Each Christmas, area community members gather as volunteers to smoke turkeys, prepare sides and desserts, load vehicles and then deliver complete meals to Sumter County families in need.

“Is this an indigo snake?” Questions like this occasionally pop up on Facebook, NextDoor and other social media platforms. Typically, however, the accompanying photo is of a southern black racer or another common Florida snake, and not the impressive, elusive eastern indigo snake.

SECO Energy pledged to donate $5 from the Pennies from Heaven program to a local chapter of the American Cancer Society for every new SECO Energy member who enrolled in SECO’s Surge MitiGator surge protection program Oct. 1–Nov. 15.

Wildwood Soup Kitchen, located at 203 Barwick Street in Wildwood, offers free hot lunches every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Through Jan. 1, the Florida Highway Patrol will be out in force for the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign. 

Do you love nature and want to do your part to help conserve and protect the flora and fauna of Florida? If so, the Florida Native Plant Society has a new guide with tips and information about how people can support the environment.

United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties, based in Leesburg, is offering a free 15-week course that provides resources and instruction related to budgeting, job seeking, home buying, acquiring a GED and more.

Romance is in the air each February. Valentine’s Day is celebrated annually on February 14 and many couples take advantage of the holiday to express their affection for one another. There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and couples with the time and means to do so may want to tra…

“It is with sincere appreciation that Sumter County Animal Services thanks Big Dog Ranch Rescue for the major transport of 18 dogs on Wednesday, December 15. Volunteers walked the animals before loading them up on a beautiful, spacious bus that will take them to Georgetown, Delaware to hopef…

Perhaps you are of an age when you remember the 1967 “Doctor Doolittle” movie starring Rex Harrison. In the climactic scene, Dr. Doolittle is in front of the judge who doesn’t believe Dr. Doolittle can talk to animals.

There is so much to be thankful for this holiday season. One key take-away is that lifesaving is a community effort. Our mantra, “Adopt – Donate – Volunteer” perhaps resonated more profoundly through this pandemic than ever before as you continued to remember the animals. Foster families ope…

The Sumter County Jail expansion did more than just meet the increasing demand for additional local detention beds to service the community’s judicial needs. It also garnered an award of merit for the Sumter County Facilities and Parks Division in October from the Central Florida Chapter Ass…

American Legion Tri-City Post 18 invites all to join them for bingo games on Dec. 30. Doors open at noon, and the first ball drops at 1 p.m. Cash prizes are offered.

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FORT MYERS — Thousands of lights, hundreds of historic decorations and one unique experience await you nightly, 5:30–9 p.m. at Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s 20-acre winter estate in Fort Myers. The light show continues until Jan. 2, 2022.

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