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In The News

Get the latest Oviedo and Winter Springs news and find out what’s happening all around Seminole County from the most recent Oviedo-Winter Springs Life articles.

Raising Awareness

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A.W.A.R.E. (As We Age Resources Exist) is a local group out of St. Stephen Catholic Community, Oviedo, that helps seniors and their families find the resources they need.

RAPID Progress

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Nonprofit organization, RAPID Progress, is helping adults with intellectual disabilities – and their families – have fun and live more fulfilling lives.

Double Duty

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Law enforcement is a family affair for this devoted team of husband-and-wife crime fighters with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

"Art Should Be Available to Everybody"

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In Seminole County, several visual art groups bring color and creativity to the community on a regular basis. Here we showcase three of these groups – one a relative newcomer, while the other two have been around for decades. All three are brimming with talented artists who encourage and support each other as they help make our world a more beautiful place.

Myths and Facts about Breastfeeding

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Welcoming a new baby is one of the most joyous moments in life, but choosing the best way to feed a little one can be challenging. A lactation consultant can be a helpful ally in the process.

Let's Buddy Up

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The Buddy Up Tennis program based at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry gives players with Down syndrome the chance to make friends and have fun, but the volunteers who run it get so much more.

Sikh and You Shall Find

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Here in Seminole County, you don’t have to go far to immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind cultural experience. Get to know the local Sikh community, which welcomes all with open arms.

Catch It To Cure It

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Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that is 90 percent preventable, says Dr. Ahmad Idris of Florida Hospital Medical Group in Altamonte Springs.

A Fortnight in February

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Lake Mary Life Publishing's talented editor and business manager, Michael Kramer, takes his talents on the road as a touring jazz pianist with Michael Andrew & The Gershwin Big Band!

A Special Gift For a Special Someone

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Our community director Samantha Taylor surprises Publix grocery bagger, James, with swag from his favorite event – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. Read on to see how one small act of kindness meant more to Samantha than you know.

We’ve Got a Thing For Manatees!

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Last year our art director, Heather Loomis, traveled about 30 minutes to Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival to view one of her favorite mammals – the manatee. Now, it’s your turn! Check out Florida’s only two manatee festivals happening this month. Manatee season runs from mid-November through March.

Sticking To It! – Lake Mary Life Publishing Staff Shares Their New Year’s Resolutions

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Our staff is pumped for 2018 and we’re feeling good about the things we want to achieve both personally and professionally. So, to make us a little more accountable and help you get to know each of us a little bit better, we’d like to share some of our resolutions. We’ve made an oath to stick to it – for real – and will update our readers on our progress in a couple of months!

Tis The Season... For Some Fun!

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Here is our list of the best holiday events to check out this season in and around Seminole County. Get excited for cooler days, hot cocoa, milk and cookies, twinkling lights, and a jolly good time.

Fall Festival Round-Up

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Autumn is officially here (as of September 22)! Check out the best places around Seminole County to celebrate all things Halloween and Harvest-time.

Little Shop of Horrors Comes to WSHS

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Winter Springs High School drama students epitomize the phrase, "The show must go on." Not even Hurricane Irma could prevent these dedicated thespians from making sure their fall show, "Little Shop of Horrors," opens on schedule this week.

The Equifax Data Breach - What To Do

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From mid-May through July, hackers broke into Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, and accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for over 200,000 people. The following information has been provided by Greene, Dycus & Company, CPA’s on how you can protect yourself from the repercussions of this breach if you were one of the American consumers affected.

An Ode to Summer Helps Contest Winner Keep Cool

Featured Photo from An Ode to Summer Helps Contest Winner Keep Cool

Congratulations to Christine Fuller, who recently won a stylish Yeti cooler courtesy of Kim Coburn and her team at RE/MAX Town & Country Realty. To enter the contest, Christine penned a poem describing what she loves most about summer. Of all the entries, Kim and her team loved Christine's the most, which earned her a Yeti Tundra 35 worth $300.

Ready, Set...Run!

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Fall is around the corner and that means the season of 5Ks and fun runs is almost here! Check out our roundup of races from September to December, happening throughout Seminole County.

10 Reasons Why I’ll Keep Traveling the World

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I’m back home from an incredible trip and I’ll admit I’m still catching my breath. In three of the most invigorating months of my life, I visited seven countries in Asia (three with my boyfriend and four with my sister), took a total of 20 flights, snapped over 5,000 photos, and had one epic adventure.

The Great American Eclipse of 2017

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Something exciting will be happening in our skies on Monday, August 21 - the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979! Although Central Florida is not in the line of totality, nearly 90 percent of the sun’s surface will be obscured by the moon for Seminole County observers of The Great American Eclipse of 2017.

Humans Of Seminole County

Featured Photo from Humans Of Seminole County

Over the past few months, our staff members have captured and collected snapshots of locals who are out and about having fun (some even caught reading our magazine!) in our Lake Mary, Altamonte-Wekiva Springs, and Oviedo-Winter Springs communities. Take a look at our “Humans Of” pictorial and see if you recognize any of your neighbors!

Protect Your Pet From Canine Influenza

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Many pet owners in Central Florida may not be aware that a strain of the canine influenza virus is sweeping through our community. To help us better understand this potential health concern, one of the veterinary staff at Lake Emma Animal Hospital is here to answer our questions. You can also visit the hospital on Sunday, August 6th, from 9am to noon for their vaccine clinic to help protect your pet.

SCPS Announces Elimination of District Level Testing

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BREAKING NEWS: Seminole County Public Schools announced today that it plans to eliminate all district level testing in Seminole County elementary schools. This new direction will say bid goodbye to dozens of exams such as the Iowa Assessment and could save up to 10 hours in the classroom per subject for each student.

Community Leadership Academy Class of 2017-2018

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Last week, SCPS Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin hosted the 2017 Leadership conference and invited the new Community Leadership Academy to attend. The Community Leadership Academy is a group of seventy-five local parents and SCPS alumni, college students, and business professionals who have been selected to receive a special behind-the-scenes look at our school district this year. As a former teacher, a mom of three children (two of whom attend an SCPS school), and the Education Editor for Lake Mary Life Publishing, Inc., I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

Our Favorite Vacation Memories

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Summer vacations. What families (especially kids) look forward to all year. Days filled with no routine, junk food, fun excursions, outdoor activities, and lots of cable. Here are a few of our staff's favorite family vacation memories (complete with some throwback photos!) for you to enjoy.

Our Adventures at Comic-Con

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There are many comic book conventions in the United States, but there is only one that is considered the place to be for all things geeky - it’s close enough to Los Angeles to attract the major studios and celebrities, more than 160,000 people attend, and the lines to get in have their own Twitter accounts - this place is San Diego Comic-Con. My husband and I went in 2011 and 2012 and had the most unbelievable experiences. This year we brought our oldest kids (Joey age 12, and Aaron age 9.) We left our three-year-old daughter back in Florida with her grandparents.

Back 2 School Fairs

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Seminole County goes back to school August 10th! Check out some of these fun, helpful, and educational Back-2-School Fairs coming up over the next several weeks.

New Pop Up Gallery in Winter Springs

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A pop-up art gallery that showcases local artists has sprung up in Winter Springs. But, check it out while you can, because it won't be around for long! Watercolorist Patty Kane opened Gallery on 434 a few months ago but will be closing it at the end of September. That's because the artist has decided to seize an opportunity to move into McRae Art Studios, a collective of artists in Orlando.

Our Favorite Summer Movies

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As a homeschool kid with a stay-at-home mom and three younger siblings, summers growing up usually meant lots of out-of-the-house activities and family “field trips” to places like the library, the Science Center, The Orlando Rep, and friends’ houses that had pools. But one of us kids’ favorite outings was the $1 summer movie classics and double features that some local movie theaters would play. Thinking about some of our favorite summer movies, the Lake Mary Life Publishing staff offers up the ones we’ve watched on repeat for years.

Growing Where She's Planted

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In March, our very own Tracey Fojo (mother to our associate editor, Georgia), graduated from the Seminole County Master Gardener program. Despite being a longtime avid hobbyist gardener who has “gardened a good bit in life,” she sat on the idea of joining for several years. But now that Tracey, a native of Trinidad, is an official Master Gardener, she couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the program and all that she’s learned. “I’m coming to understand where we live now in a whole new way through gardening,” she shares.

Best Firework Roundup!

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Even though fireworks were invented in China at some point between 600 and 900 A.D., our national independence day just wouldn't be the same without them! Find the best local fireworks happening all over Central Florida with our Firework Roundup.

Drive-In Theaters and Outdoor Movies Round-Up

Featured Photo from Drive-In Theaters and Outdoor Movies Round-Up

Nothing screams summer more than a warm, balmy evening sitting outside watching a movie and munching on candy and popcorn while sitting in your car or on a blanket surrounded by family and friends. The nostalgic days of enjoying a drive-in movie theater close to home are almost over, but a few still remain in Florida to bring that sense of wholesome family entertainment to your summer. So while you’re out and about during your summer road-trippin’, stop off at one or a few of these vintage gems and enjoy summer the way it was meant to be - on the big screen.

Our Favorite Childhood Books

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When I was in elementary and middle school, my mom encouraged us four siblings (whom she all homeschooled from kindergarten through high school like a complete superhero) to participate in Book It! - the Pizza Hut summer book club. The general guidelines that I remember were for each age category you had to read a certain number of books and then you’d receive a mini personal pizza and a congratulatory pin. As a family who often visited Pizza Hut, especially on Sunday afternoons post church, and even knew the kind, red-headed waitress Nancy by name, it was a no-brainer.

Bring Fido This Summer!

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It’s summer! The kids are out of school and you’ve already got the mini-van packed and ready for a day at the beach, a trip to the theme parks, a hiking adventure on the weekend, and countless other fun family outings. But you don’t have to leave Fido behind on all of your excursions. Try some of these canine-friendly locations to bring the entire family together for those last golden rays of sunshine.

A Memorial Day Tribute to My Grandfather

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On July 2, 1942, almost seven months after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather, John Kubik, was inducted into the Army in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A fresh-faced 21-year-old, he was the third of seven children to his Czechoslovakian parents who immigrated to the United States when he was a toddler (we didn’t learn until my grandfather was in his 80s that he actually knew some of the native Czech language!). Although a farmer’s son, my grandfather always did have an engineering brain. And while in the Army, he put that brain to good use inventing a piece of valuable equipment still used today, even though he’s never been recognized for it.

Lake Mary Life Publishing Acai Bowls!

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It's Healthy Friday at Lake Mary Life Publishing...or is it?! Since a surprise visit by a local food truck a couple weeks ago, our Art Director, Heather Loomis, and Account Executive, Penny O'Connell have been obsessed with recreating a recipe for Acai Bowls. Now the health trend is sweeping our office...although not everyone is quite on board...

FRINGE Festival Local Stars

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The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival--one of my all-time favorite events--is in full swing at venues in and around Loch Haven Park in Orlando. Seminole County is well-represented at the 26th annual festival, with riveting performances from a critically acclaimed Steampunk theater troupe and shows performed by three local high school thespian troupes.

Local Artist Recognitions

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As the arts writer / editor for Lake Mary Life Magazine and its sister publications, I am fortunate to have a front-row seat to the abundant artistic talent we have here in Seminole County. Recently, the creative skills of three lovely, local ladies garnered awards and attention from judges and fellow artists alike.


Featured Photo from MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU CONTEST!

We’re pretty big Star Wars fans around here (all the above photos are from OWSL staff members), so we couldn’t just let the official Star Wars holiday pass without doing something every bit as memorable as Darth Vader’s famous line.

Perks of the Job

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As a journalist, sometimes you hit the pavement just trying to get anyone to give you a quote. And then sometimes you meet amazing people who feed you lots of free food! While writing our 'Eat and Run' food truck feature for the May/June issue, our new associate editor Rebekah Grier was completely blown away by the generosity of Angelo's Italian Kitchen on Wheels who literally fed her one of everything off their menu...


Featured Photo from A (B)RAINY DAY IN WASHINGTON

I have always been fascinated by science. As a young lad, I took a liking to astronomy and even owned a telescope. Through the years, I have been a big fan of Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard), Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye (The Science Guy).

Asia, Here I Come

Featured Photo from Asia, Here I Come

Today’s the day I set off for the biggest adventure of my life – backpacking through Asia! I’ll be visiting seven countries in just under three months and, by some stroke of divine timing, I’ve managed to coordinate my trip to travel the first half with my boyfriend, Stefan (he’s in between jobs and currently abroad) and the second half with my little sister, Julia (she’s a recent college grad).

Great Scott- we met Lea Thompson at the Enzian

Featured Photo from Great Scott- we met Lea Thompson at the Enzian

Whenever I go to a bridal shower and they have that activity where you write down a date night idea for the couple, I always write “Go to the Enzian.” It is by far our favorite movie theater. For movie buffs, the Enzian play classics. For those who like independent films, it’s the only place in town you can see them. The theater even boasts one of the best restaurants and bars in town – Eden Bar. This week, the Enzian is hosting the Florida Film Festival.

Best Earth Day Events in Central Florida

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Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22nd! To celebrate, cities across Seminole County and Central Florida are hosting Earth Day events. These are wonderful family-fun outings and a great way to learn more about how to protect our health, the planet, and the people who inhabit the Earth.

A Fun Family Day, This Was

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Star Wars is a VERY big deal in my house. My husband grew up as a huge fan, and has definitely shared the love with our kids. Truth be told, I didn’t even see the movies until I started dating him in college. I wasn’t sure I’d like them – I’d always been a Star Trek fan. I was surprised, but it’s hard not to fall in love (even a little bit) with something that your partner is so passionate about.

Seminole County Moms Run This Town!

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Oviedo-Winter Springs Life magazine Art Director Heather Loomis shares her experience, and the inspiring encouragement, she's enjoyed by becoming a member of the mom's running group, Seminole County Moms Run This Town. Wether you're a leisurely walker or an experienced marathon runner, there's a spot waiting for you, too!

Meet The Editors

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Get to know our experienced, special topics editors: Jill Cousins, sports and wellness; Jill Duff-Hoppes, arts; and Pam Neff, education. They’re always on the lookout for great stories and want to hear from you, our readers.

Not Lions, Not Tigers, but a BEAR- Oh Mann!

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We know living in Seminole County that bear sightings can be a common occurrence. We couldn't believe this photo that photographer ValariC captured last year with a bear in the background! The Mann family was posing for their holiday card when a visitor decided to crash the party. Needless to say, that was the end of the photo shoot.

Live from my kitchen- Banana Bread you have to make

Featured Photo from Live from my kitchen- Banana Bread you have to make

Have you ever tried Facebook Live? My twelve-year-old, like most kids his age, is obsessed with YouTube, and live streaming. He wanted to go live on Facebook, so I thought- why not bake banana bread with the kids, and he could live stream it from my phone? We did. To my surprise, more than 1,100 people viewed it. Dozens of them asked for the recipe, so here it is... ENJOY!

‘Tis the Season to Run

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Is your New Year’s resolution to run/walk in a race this year? Well look no further, we have gathered all the races in Seminole County through May 2017 with the links to sign up and get more information. Happy running!

Meeting the Need

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The Foundation for SCPS launches new Families in Need program to address the changing challenges of local families in distress and prevent student homelessness whenever possible

Lions Unite

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Oviedo High School graduates from the 1950s and early 60s gather for a once-in-a-lifetime reunion to celebrate the school’s storied past

Badge of Life

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Through an innovative mental health program, this local law enforcement officer is helping other first responders cope with the immense stresses of the job

WSHS Runner Wins State, Makes History

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En route to the 2016 Class 4A Florida High School Athletic Association boys’ cross-country championship, Winter Springs High School senior Matt Doyle had finished second in the district tournament and third at regionals. So, no one was expecting him to contend for a title at the November state meet in Tallahassee... except for his coach, Ocky Clark.

Flock of Eagles

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Meet five brand-new Eagle Scouts – all from the same Winter Springs troop – and learn about the community service projects that helped them earn their Eagle’s wings.

Inspiring Progress & Partnerships

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Formerly known as SWOP, Inspire is one of Seminole County’s most important resources for residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities. “Inspired” by its new name, the agency has a new leader and new energy to give clients the dignity and opportunity they deserve.

Honor Guards

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As another Honor Flight carries veterans from Central Florida to Washington, D.C., we pay tribute to the local Guardians who accompany them

The Selfless Gift of Love

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I didn’t give you the gift of life, But in my heart I know. The love I feel is deep and real, As if it had been so. For us to have each other Is like a dream come true! No, I didn’t give you The gift of life, Life gave me the gift of you. While the origin of this touching poem is unknown, it captures the special bond between parents and their adoptive children. In honor of November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Oviedo-Winter Springs Life salutes two couples from our community who made the choice to adopt in the face of some extraordinary obstacles, and an organization that helps keep families together.

Thank You, Sheriff

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Local leaders pay tribute to Sheriff Don Eslinger on the eve of his retirement and share their thoughts on the man who quietly kept Seminole County safe for more than 25 years

Robots in Disguise

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In case you haven’t noticed, robot-building teams at Hagerty and Oviedo High are some of the fastest-growing and most career-building clubs on campus.

How To Help This Holiday

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Last issue, we helped you get in the giving spirit early by sharing what local nonprofits need in the months before holiday giving begins in earnest. Now, the green-and-red rubber is meeting the road, and it’s time to help our local charities make the holidays merry for neighbors in need. From serving meals to sponsoring a wish list for a child in foster care, there are dozens of ways, both big and small, that you can make a difference.

East Meets West for Oviedo High Diplomat

Featured Photo from East Meets West for Oviedo High Diplomat

This summer, Oviedo High School junior Payton Bogert had the unique opportunity to live for ten days at Princeton University and serve as a High School Diplomat during a cultural exchange program with students from Japan. Payton was one of 40 American students chosen nationwide to live with 40 Japanese high schoolers. The young women spent their time introducing each other to cultural celebrations from each country and discussing world even

Better Than They Hoped

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One of Oviedo’s most important charities, HOPE Helps, is almost ready to move into its new resource center, where thousands of local men, women, and children will be given the food and support they need to avoid homelessness. The new facility is a wonder, and a testament to the community’s support of HOPE, but the community isn’t done yet.

ROAR: What a Friendly Web They Weave

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When one of Seminole County’s most worthwhile and sensitive charities needed a new website, local Web developers donated their time – and more than a little careful thought – to create a site that is as functional as it is discreet

Up to Speed

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As a high schooler, she ran hundreds of miles on the roads and trails around Oviedo. This summer, at the Olympic Games in Rio, Jenny Simpson made history as the first American woman to medal in the 1,500-meter race.

Built on Faith

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In a previous issue, OWSL took you on a tour of historic homes in the Oviedo area. This time, we visit the historic churches that form the bedrock of our community’s rich history.

In a Pickle

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Pickleball is taking the community by storm! Find out why this curious new game is a smash hit with friends and neighbors alike.

This is Our Shining Star

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If Disney Dreamers & Doers are the best of the best among our local students, what do you call the cream of that crop? Meet Lake Howell’s Disney Shining Star, a student chosen from among the district’s Dreamers & Doers who exemplifies imagination at work.

A Shot in the Arm

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When the upcoming Oviedo Medical Center formed its inaugural Board of Trustees, the hospital tapped Oviedo and Winter Springs residents to serve. OWSL caught up with four of these tireless advocates to discuss how the new Medical Center will change the landscape of our community forever – and for the better.

Super Powers

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Plenty of local teens spent this summer in the sun and sand, but no one worked harder than Oviedo beach volleyball standout Rileigh Powers

Forever Young

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With new leadership for the first time in a generation, the Winter Springs Senior Center continues to grow and give local seniors an inviting place to gather and engage

Proclamation Nation

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One of the year’s most famous “months” is on the horizon. October will rightly be awash in pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but September and October have a number of other official titles, too, some serious, some fun. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during the next two months and why the monthly designations are such an important part of Americana.

Artists in a Supporting Role

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The Seminole Cultural Arts Council is preparing for another busy season. Find out how this group of art advocates is helping everyone in the county enrich their lives through the visual and performing arts.

Cooking Up a Career

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Indian Trails is home to Seminole County’s only middle-school culinary program. And the school’s junior chefs are preparing for a future in the kitchen.

Challenge Accepted

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Everyone’s a winner in Oviedo’s Challenger Baseball League – where special-needs players can truly embrace America’s pastime with the help of dedicated volunteers.

Work From Home

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Oviedo’s new fire station is a cutting-edge facility where local first responders will live, work, and prepare to keep the community safe

Living History

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The past is very much present in Oviedo. It can be found in distinctive houses throughout the city that date back to the 1880s. The passage of time and Florida’s severe weather can quickly wear down a house, but careful maintenance and repair of historic homes, plus a little tender loving care, literally builds character. What really makes a house historic however, are the generations of lives lived within its walls.

Our Town's Top Teachers

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Join us as we congratulate the Teachers of the Year from our local schools, men and women who exemplify the community’s commitment to quality education for each of our kids