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The sun rising on Lake Apopka, as seen from the lakeside observation tower on the Clay Island loop.
Take a Hike: Enjoy 530 miles of multi-use trails in the district
February and March provide mild weather, which makes it the perfect time to discover the outdoors, and with 42 properties containing over 530 miles of multi-use trails spread throughout the District’s 18-county service area, a prime hiking spot is just a short drive away.
Orange County Commission using $4.5 million of COVID-19 money to pay residents' medical debts
According to a county presentation on the question, Central Florida Jobs with Justice requested that the county spend $8.7 million of COVID-19 relief money for medical debt relief.
The exterior view of the Bethel African American Methodist Episcopal Church at 125 S. 6th St. in Philadelphia. Breton, William L., circa 1773-1855.
A brief history of the Black church’s diversity, and its vital role in American political history
Both during and after the end of slavery, African Americans began to establish their own congregations, parishes, fellowships, associations and later denominations.
AAA: Florida gas prices drift lower after setting a new 2024 high
By mid-week, the state average reached a new 2024 high of $3.37 per gallon before falling another five cents. Last year's high was $3.85 per gallon. 
Everything coming to Hulu in March
March is right around the corner, and you might be already preparing to venture outside more now that it’s warming up. Well, put your hiking boots away as Hulu has other ideas.
Local News
UF/IFAS unveils online tool: Know your termite risk with an interactive distribution map
In Florida, termite infestations are a year-round risk for properties and trees. While not swarming year-round, they consistently forage and develop new colonies, leaving signs of their presence. 
Everything coming to Amazon Prime Video in March
Whether you're in the mood for a gripping mystery, a heartwarming romance, or a thought-provoking documentary, there's something for everyone on Amazon Prime Video this March.
Alligators are a common sight for visitors to the District’s Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.
Breaking News: Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is closing this weekend
The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is scheduled to reopen on March 1st, resuming its regular operating hours from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.
Apopka City Hall
Apopka Chamber Board calls for local and minority businesses to receive 10% bid preferences
The Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce Board voted 36-0 to implement a new policy to increase local and minority bid preference opportunities from 3% to 10%.
Orange County wins Regional Diamond Award for land conservation
Orange County Government has received the Executive Award of Regional Significance from the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) for its commitment to land conservation . …
Three of the Groveland Four. Left to right: Sheriff Willis McCall, jailer Reuben Hatcher, Walter Irvin, Charles Greenlee, and Samuel Shepherd. Not pictured: Ernest Thomas, killed earlier by law enforcement.
FAMU Law graciously accepts desk of Groveland Four attorney from the Apopka Historical Society 
Alexander Akerman was a prominent defense attorney who played a pivotal role in the legal proceedings of the Groveland Four case, one of the most notorious racial injustice cases in Florida's history. 

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Business
No Florida Property Taxes? A legislative study could be the first step toward phasing them out
The elimination of Florida property taxes and replacing them with a consumption tax is being proposed in the House of Representatives.
Americans spend millions of dollars on Valentine’s Day roses. I calculated exactly how much
The National Retail Federation estimates people will spend $2.6 billion on Valentine’s Day flowers. The Society of American Florists says 250 million roses are produced for the holiday.
DoorDash Drivers are striking for tip transparency. Some drivers will refuse to work on the app to protest low wages and DoorDash's decision to remove a third-party app that allowed them to see their tips.
Florida bills would regulate food delivery services
Florida lawmakers are advancing bills that would regulate food delivery platforms in the Sunshine State while adding identity protections for consumers.
Tax abatements have long been a tool cities use to encourage developers to build homes low-income residents can afford.
The Wyld Oaks development is not Taurus or Benge Development. Their success rate in Apopka is unblemished, and they bring a plan that should be seen with optimism.
Love is in the air this February – and Goodwill Industries of Central  Florida (GICF) is celebrating with a special donor appreciation event. 
As part of this strategic collaboration, comprehensive lessons will be developed to equip students with the essential knowledge and confidence required for success in their health care careers.

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Health

Nearly 2 million Americans are using kratom yearly, but it is banned in multiple states: A pharmacologist explains the controversy

Kratom products are sold online and at smoke shops and gas stations, like this one in Lone Tree, Colo.

The primary concern about kratom is that it can mimic how synthetic opioids work in the body, potentially causing overdoses, severe withdrawal symptoms, and other serious health issues. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration recommends against its use.

Florida health centers face financial strain without Medicaid reimbursement increase

The centers are urging lawmakers to adjust the rates to cover what they've found to be a gap of $106, or just over 42%, for every Medicaid patient visit.

Florida leads all states in Affordable Care Act plan registrations

In the most recent open enrollment period for health insurance, which ran from Nov. 1 to Jan. 16, 4.2 million Florida residents signed up for Affordable Care Act plans.

Nonprofit begins its quest for one million signatures, getting Medicaid on 2026 ballot

The group said it will require one million signatures of registered voters in Florida to get the measure on the ballot. As of December 31st, there are more than 13.3 million voters.

Baptiste Dentistry for Kids launches Children’s Dental Health Month awareness campaign

Studies reveal that children with cavities in their baby teeth are three times more likely to develop cavities in their adult teeth.

Government
State Sen. Joe Gruters sponsored Senate Bill 1448, which would add transparency for social media platforms operating in Florida that foreign adversaries own.
The Apopka Voice publishes a weekly arrest report that includes arrests, crashes, calls for service, and traffic citations. This report is for the week ending February 17th.
In honor of Austin Duran, Apopka is erecting a service hero street sign at the corner of East 5th Street and South Park Avenue.
Applications are now available for artists and crafters who wish to enter the 62nd Annual Apopka Art and Foliage Festival.
In case you missed it: The Apopka news week in review
In case you missed it. The Apopka News Week in Review includes six articles that shaped the City... all in one place, including details on a sewer line break that closed a major intersection.
Rod Olsen honored as the 2023 Volunteer of the Year by the Apopka Police Department
Rod Olsen was recently honored by the Apopka Police Department as the Volunteer of the Year for 2023.
Zero Fatalities: Orange County Adopts Vision Zero Strategies to Save Lives
Vision Zero recognizes that people sometimes make mistakes, so road systems and related policies should be designed to ensure human error doesn’t result in severe injuries or fatalities.
Opinion

The high cost of doing nothing about homelessness

In “A Tale of Two Tent Cities“ the authors state, “Local governments have essentially three choices in responding to the presence of homeless encampments.”
As a Republic form of government, we elect our sitting officials to represent us, and we must give them our opinions of how we want our society to run. We didn’t send them to their seats for them to run the various levels of government as THEY see fit. 
In 2023, the Apopka City Council took the first steps toward transitioning from a local bank-heavy portfolio to a more diversified investment plan.
A perfect example of conflict resolution took place in the last couple of weeks when a local youth sports organization and the Apopka Parks and Recreation Department butted heads before ultimately finding resolve.
Bonus Content

How electrolytes like potassium and magnesium can boost your cognitive health

Guava Health explores the lesser-known brain-boosting advantages of two vital electrolytes: potassium and magnesium, and how they actively contribute to cognitive health.

How telematics could lower insurance premiums for safe drivers—and help discourage bad driving habits

Cheap Insurance explores how the growing field of automotive telematics is changing the auto insurance landscape for drivers.

Women on quarters: Who they are and why it matters

Stacker explored the fascinating lives and achievements of the 20 remarkable women celebrated by the U.S. Mint's American Women Quarters Program.

As the average credit card balance surpasses $6.5K, here's how to tackle debt on a budget

In light of increasing average credit card debt, Experian breaks down 7 ways to reduce your credit card debt on a budget