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A reunion of man and hawk
One thing I have noticed in my somewhat eventful life is that animals are very perceptive people. I mean they live, and survive on a very primitive level, and yet, just perhaps they are often more Christ-like than people.
Redemption: Blue Darters head to Sanford for unfinished business
Apopka will take the familiar path down Interstate 4 to Sanford to face the Seminoles, 11-1 on the season, the #1 seed in Region 1, and defending state champions of Class 8A.
CFCArts Black Friday BOGO includes Annual Holiday Extravaganza
CFCArts announces a Black Friday Sale for two of its biggest shows. Starting at 12:01 a.m. and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, November 26, patrons can purchase two tickets for the price of one for …
Spread holiday cheer through gifts that give back
The holiday season is a time to spread cheer, spend time with loved ones and give back to those in need in both small and big ways. Here are some ideas for great gifts that also give back.
Managing cold and flu season
While there’s no way to ensure you and your family members won’t get sick, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances.
Local News
AAA: Thanksgiving gas prices to be highest in eight years
The price of crude oil - which has been the main driver of rising gas prices this year - dropped 7% last week, as domestic oil production and stocks logged weekly gains.
In case you missed it: The Apopka news week in review
Here are eight stories that shaped the Apopka news week... all in one place.
Apopka Resource Center pushing past headwinds to create a hub to offer services for struggling families
The ARC has plans to help solve bigger, underlying, and ongoing needs that plague those who are struggling in Apopka.

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Nearly 48.3 million Americans will hit the road this Thanksgiving. Yet some may travel in a vehicle that isn’t ready for an extended road trip.
Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson announced some good news at the end of the November 17th City Council meeting. More state grant money is coming to Apopka.
Apopka resident Robert Wynn is seeing the world and getting paid to do it - all from the deck of US Navy assault ship.
Diane Velazquez is a survivor, and in politics, that's an important quality to possess. Last year, Velazquez made history when she won back Seat #2 on the Apopka City Commission. 
Business

2021’s best places to shop on Black Friday

Which stores offer the best discounts and for which items? To answer that question and help consumers maximize their Black Friday savings, WalletHub came to the rescue.
The pandemic almost killed The Cheesecake Factory. Then delivery cheesecake took off.
In March 2020, the chain furloughed 41k workers and cut pay for executives and board members by 20%. Then it came back, and here's how.
Apopka Fastsigns crosses milestone
Fastsigns of Apopka is celebrating an amazing 20 years in business this month. Franchisee Rod Quick’s early professional years working with Fastsigns inspired him to become a business owner.
No more anonymous code complaints: Orange County adjusts to new state law
If you are affected by a County code violation and wish to report it, you may not be able to do it anonymously anymore, thanks to a new state law.
Between low inventory from supply chain issues, and short-staffed stores, it may make sense to get your shopping done sooner than later.
 In the true spirit of the season, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida is giving thanks to its donors with a token of appreciation.
Rising home prices are pushing US home equity to a record high leading homeowners to cash out their equity at record levels as well.
Winn-Dixie customers are invited to support the USO by simply rounding up their grocery total to the nearest dollar or by making a donation of their choice at checkout.
According to estimates from Zillow, a Seattle-based real estate data company, the value of a typical single-family home in Florida is higher than the national average.
Health

Holiday mental health: Find common ground with family and friends when dealing with COVID-19 grief and anxiety

Holidays may deliver a range of emotions for family members, bringing a struggle between returning to normalcy, and a celebration of loved ones lost.

Is COVID-19 here to stay? A team of biologists explains what it means for a virus to become endemic

Now that kids ages 5 to 11 are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination and the number of fully vaccinated people in the U.S. is rising, many people may be wondering what the endgame is for COVID-19.

Florida Nursing Home Staff Vaccination Rate Increases Florida nursing home staff COVID-19 vaccination rate increases

AARP released the Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard, which tracks nursing home data, and it shows a promising trend.

Apopka firefighters union endorses Becker in mayoral election

The Apopka Professional Firefighters Association (APFA) has endorsed City Commissioner Kyle Becker in his campaign to become Apopka Mayor in the 2022 election.

breo Massagers: Ancient wisdom bridged with modern technology to create portable relaxation and pain-relief, anywhere, anytime

Breo Massagers is a visionary company at the intersection of powerful pain relief, cutting-edge convenience, and sustainable relaxation.

AdventHealth pediatric physicians weigh in on approved COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11

The Florida Department of Health is reporting that Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 3.15% and shares details on vaccines for kids.

Legislature okays $643 million ‘precautionary’ stash of monoclonal antibody treatments

A Florida Legislature panel authorized to make between-session budget decisions Thursday approved a $1.2 billion supplemental funding request by the state’s Division of Emergency Management (DEM) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida’s path from worst-to-first in COVID metrics raises questions about pandemic restrictions

Two months ago, Florida led the nation in COVID positivity rates and per capita hospitalizations and deaths. Now, the state has the nation’s lowest positivity and death rates.

Shipments of COVID-19 shots for kids 5-11 on the way to Florida, other states after FDA gives green light

WASHINGTON — Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a step that means …

Florida marijuana agency seeks to double workforce to handle pending boom

By John Haughey, The Center Square The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is expected to issue up to 27 new medical marijuana treatment center (MMTCs) licenses by July 1, 2023, more than doubling …

Government
The Apopka Burglary Report for November 14th-20th shows seven burglaries reported in Apopka. Two were residences, five were vehicles, and none were businesses.
Since its first event in 2011, the Orange County Mayor’s Toy Drive has collected and distributed more than 56,000 toys to Orange County, helping residents in need.
"You'll want to stand back," the elderly man said firmly, holding an Army-issued M1 Garand rifle and wearing a military uniform and a frown. I took a step back, as did others in the crowd, while he aimed his weapon at the sky...
Nick Nesta introduced himself to Apopka politics in 2020 with a bid for Seat #2 in the city commission's special election. He finished a distant fourth place behind the eventual winner Diane Velazquez, but he did not go unnoticed.
Workshop aims to bring clarity to RSR, Harmon Road issues
After months of unanswered questions, evolving terms, rising bids, and moving towers it looks as though clarity may be forthcoming on the three-way-swap proposal.
New federal grants available for District 10, application deadlines in Nov. and Dec.
Grants available for solutions on migratory birds, sustainable materials management, workforce assistance, small museums, youth homelessness and more From the Office of Rep. Val Demings As your …
Becker vs. Nelson: The Race to be Mayor
Earlier this month, The Apopka Voice sat down with Commissioner Kyle Becker, and Mayor Bryan Nelson for two 90-minute interviews. Here, in one place, are all four parts of the Race to be Mayor series.
Education
Every November just before Thanksgiving, in celebration of American Education Week, the Orange County Public School Foundation brings business and civic leaders into the classrooms in a fun and …
The Apopka Blue Darters continued their late-season surge with a one-sided 34-3 bludgeoning of the Bartram Trail Bears.
Apopka artist Mariah Salinas was honored at the L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards Event in Hollywood as a winner in the Illustrators of the Future contest.
The Blue Darters took the first step in capturing their fourth state championship with a 42-0 shutout of St. John's Creekside at Roger Williams Field Friday night in the 8A-Region 1 quarterfinals.

Vaccine clinics for young kids have launched at some FL schools; OCPS to start this week

COVID-19 vaccines for young kids are already available through some school districts in Florida offering clinics on campuses, while others are still awaiting other options.
Blue Darters heading to postseason for the 22nd straight year
For the 22nd straight season, the Apopka Blue Darters head into the 8A high school football playoffs hoping to win their fourth state championship after several near-misses in the last few years.
4-H Poinsettia Sale Supports Orange County Youth
Each year the Orange County 4-H Association sponsors the Poinsettia Sale to support 4-H youth development efforts. Proceeds from the annual sale provide scholarships and clover dollar awards to be used toward 4-H project activities.
Thank you readers! The Apopka Voice hits another milestone
Apopka's local online news site publishes its 10,000th article From Staff Reports It started with a parade. On December 12th, 2015, The Apopka Voice covered its first live event in the …
Opinion

Large out-of-town contributions to Nelson campaign set social media on fire

Social media is the razor's edge in local politics. It can propel an unknown candidate into a frontrunner, and it can deliver a powerful message to a large audience for pennies on the dollar.
Editor's Note: Earlier this month, The Apopka Voice interviewed Commissioner Kyle Becker and Mayor Bryan Nelson. The two 90-minute interviews were an informative look at the two candidates running to …
Opinion By Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix I grew up playing on the beaches near Pensacola — splashing in the surf, collecting shells, building sandcastles. To me, those shimmering white …
Editor's Note: Chuck Carnesale, the former Apopka Fire Chief from 2016-2019, sent The Apopka Voice a letter to the editor clarifying his opinion on the two-person squad trucks used by the AFD during …
Editor's Note: After reading Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson's remarks in The Apopka Voice about the Apopka Fire Department, its two-person staffing fire of apparatus, two-person squads, and the motives of …
Can Apopka Do More To Honor Veterans?
Opinion By Cindy Cummings Florida has always been a place where veterans come to settle. USA Today reports that the state ranks third in the national rankings, with 1.44 million veterans …
Giant snails not too big a problem for Florida to solve — twice
Are there lessons from the snails for dealing with other invasive species? Opinion By Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix We Floridians have so much to be proud of. Our beaches often rank at or …
Apopka Gardeners: Fall tips you can use from #andrethefarmer (aka... someone you know well!)
"The more you grow, the more you know" By Dr. Andre Baptiste, Owner & Orthodontist of Baptiste Orthodontics & Dentistry for Kids Hey guys, it's fall and for different people that means …
A doomed deal is not a good reason to harm gopher tortoises
Opinion By Reggie Connell, Managing Editor Craig Pittman is probably the best nature writer in Florida. He is the voice of wildlife and the environment in our state. In 2020, he wrote an …
How BLM Movements Have Impacted Florida Universities
Student groups have always been the spawning grounds of social activists that take part in both local and global changes, and that's no different for the BLM Movement.
Bonus Content

Keep Healthy and Stress Less Through the Holidays and Beyond [Video]

(BPT) - 'Tis the season — the season for colds, flu, stomach ailments and unfortunately, stress. Wellness Expert Jamie Hess shares …

Celebrating the Past, Looking Toward the Future This Diabetes Awareness Month

(BPT) - November is Diabetes Awareness Month — a time for us to reflect not only on how far diagnosis and treatment have advanced since the discovery of insulin just 100 years ago, but also on …

Pandemic Sparked Family Conversations We All Should Have

(NewsUSA) - And you thought nothing good came out of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a new survey from financial services firm Edward Jones, a third of all U.S. adults say that the trying …

Let Your Small Business Thrive with Smart Financial Planning

(NewsUSA) - Sales on Small Business Saturday and during the holiday season can often make or break a small business. During this time, many small businesses are focused on revenues and operational …

Unique and Inspired Gifts for People Who Love Adventure

(BPT) - Despite unprecedented challenges related to the global pandemic, the future of adventure remains bright! With the world opening back up, and people largely unhindered by travel and safety …

Top 4 reasons to choose an electric vehicle for your next road trip

(BPT) - Whether hitting the road to visit family or taking a cross-country road trip to make vacation memories, you need a vehicle that you can count on to get you to your destination. But you want …