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‘Meditation,’ by Lei Yixin, near the picnic pavilion in Lake Phalen Regional Park. City of Saint Paul, CC BY-ND
Successful city parks make diverse communities feel safe and welcome
The nonprofit Trust for Public Land released its annual ParkScore report which ranks U.S. cities based on the quality of their parks. How would Apopka's parks compare?
The AAA Tow-to-Go Program will be in effect all of Memorial Day weekend.
AAA activates 'Tow to Go' in Florida for Memorial Day weekend
The Auto Club Group is activating its Tow to Go program in Florida, offering a safe ride for would-be impaired drivers and their vehicles.
Know the dangers found on lakes during severe weather
Life can be better by the lake, but it’s crucial to recognize the dangers that accompany severe storms. High water levels, flooding, and floating or flying debris are common hazards during and after hurricanes.
Launch of the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis, for the final space shuttle mission STS-135, on July 8, 2011.  Center for Space Agriculture and Biotechnology Research and Education program (SABRE), IFAS and NASA collaboration.
UF and partners launch Space-Edge Accelerator to promote space business development
The University of Florida is working with several universities to launch a new space-focused business accelerator.
Habitat for Humanity: Lessons from the front lines of the housing crisis
Habitat’s work in some of the most economically challenged places in America has given the organization a unique perspective on the many aspects of the housing crisis.
Local News
And just like that... Pop-Up plant classes starting in June from UF/IFAS
UF/IFAS Extension Orange County provides education and information to residents and businesses through workshops, publications, and mass media in the areas of family life, youth development, natural resources, horticulture, and agriculture.
Apopka Police Department Arrest Report
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 May 18th.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Apopka resident writes open letter to Gov. DeSantis
Rod Olsen is a former HOA President of Rock Springs Ridge and an Apopka resident who wrote an open letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urging him to make policy changes in schools and in teaching history that concern him.
Jackson Quinn brings PFAS water samples into a temperature controlled room, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lab in Cincinnati. The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced its first-ever limits for several common types of PFAS, the so-called
States need to keep PFAS 'forever chemicals' out of the water
The EPA issued new standards last month for PFAS levels in drinking water. The standards give water systems three years to conduct testing and another two years to install treatment systems if contaminants are detected.
Broccoli on the plant. Photo taken 11-02-20.
UF scientists finding new way to keep broccoli – and perhaps other vegetables -- fresher, longer
The new UF/IFAS research will help scientists around the world preserve broccoli and other vegetables. It will also help plant breeders find the right genetics for fresher produce. 
Construction on U.S. 90 in Santa Rosa County as Florida Department of Transportation crews work on a bridge reconstruction project over Simpson River.
Florida unemployment rate up slightly in April compared to same time last year
The Florida Department of Commerce released a new report on the state’s unemployment rate, showing that while it has risen slightly from a year ago, it continues to outpace the national average.
Business
Johnny Abreu, owner of Well Painted of Central Florida, with his son, Randy
The value of premium painting services: Why quality matters in your home renovation project
In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the advantages of choosing quality over affordability when it comes to painting services, and why using an established, Apopka-based company is a wise investment for your renovation project.
Eden Crest is a new 300-home development coming to Apopka.
New 300-home development coming to Apopka
Situated on a prime 95-acre tract at 851 South Binion Road, the community, which will be known as Eden Crest, will consist of 300 single-family homes and townhomes.
WOMEN BUILD raises more than $220,000 for Habitat Homes 
This is the 11th Anniversary of WOMEN BUILD. This transformative experience enables women to directly help other women and families in Seminole County and Apopka by raising dollars for and helping to construct Habitat homes. Watch the video and be inspired.
UF/IFAS researchers are trying to breed and grow blackberries, which ripen in April, May and June in the Sunshine State.
The Wekiwa Springs neighborhood is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and urban convenience. Now, it has a ranking to match.
As average temperatures rise across the U.S., heat illness is a growing safety and health concern for workers indoors and outdoors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that environmental heat exposure claimed the lives of 36 workers in 2021 and 56 in 2020.
When households pay more than 30% of their income toward housing, the census calls those households “cost-burdened.”
Health

As states loosen childhood vaccine requirements, health experts’ worries grow

An infant in Fayetteville, Ga., receives one of several routine vaccinations typically required for children entering K-12 schools. On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic and with growing skepticism around vaccinations and government requirements, some state lawmakers want to end state vaccine mandates for children.

Vaccines protect not only the patient but also those around them. Science has shown that a population can reach community immunity once a certain percentage of the group is vaccinated.

Delay in Florida Medicaid trial raises stakes for hundreds of thousands

Florida's trial on Medicaid eligibility, resulting in 1.8 million people losing coverage, has been indefinitely postponed because the judge overseeing the case had a death in her family.

How cannabis and psilocybin might help some of the 50 million Americans who are experiencing chronic pain

Cannabis – also known as marijuana – is an ancient medicinal plant with promising new medical applications.

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is an ancient medicinal plant. Cannabis-based medicines have been used for at least 5,000 years for applications such as arthritis and pain control during and after surgery.

How does the VA support veterans 65 and older?

Census Bureau data shows that in 2021, nearly half of U.S. veterans were 65 years or older, compared to about 17% of the general population.

Florida's Community Health Centers step up as Walmart closes rural healthcare services

The Community Health Center in Apopka is located at 225 East 7th Street.

Community Health Centers are in all of Florida's 67 counties, serving patients in more than 800 locations - including Apopka, and dozens of mobile units and school-based sites statewide.

Advocacy groups urge Florida to apply for 2025 summer meal programs for low-income kids

In participating states, low-income families will receive $40 each month for each eligible school-aged child, up to $120, to buy groceries, beginning in the summer of 2024.

While Florida was one of 15 states that opted out of the Summer EBT program this year, according to the department's guidelines, state officials have until August 15th to notify the U.S. Department of Agriculture whether Florida will participate in the summer of 2025.

DOH-Orange highlights National Water Safety Month

Florida offers countless opportunities to enjoy water recreation in pools, lakes, and other surrounding bodies of water. That is why water safety is critical.

AdventHealth Apopka debuts $26.3 million expansion 

This new floor will address the increasing demand for complex care within the community. The 30,230-square-foot expansion adds 38 inpatient beds, including cardiovascular progressive care beds and four dialysis bays.  

Government
The Apopka Voice publishes a weekly burglary report from the Apopka Police Department that includes reported burglaries of businesses, residences, and vehicles. 
In an OP/ED from May 15th, Orange County Commissioner Christine Moore urged Apopka to take a more conservative approach to its Tourist Development Tax grant bid. On Monday, Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson pushed back on Moore's assertion in an OP/ED he sent to The Apopka Voice.
According to the report, at approximately 12:15 p.m., officers from the APD responded to an armed robbery at the Fifth Third Bank, located at 1725 S Orange Blossom Trail.
In case you missed it, The Apopka News Week in Review includes five articles that shaped the City—all in one place. It includes details on the City's TDT grant request.
The band
A big Apopka weekend ahead
From the commemoration of Emancipation Day to the soul-stirring melodies of the Saturday Sounds musical concert and the heartwarming interaction at the Cookies & Milk with a Cop event, this weekend in Apopka is set to be an enriching experience for all.
Apopka Police Department swears in a new officer
A well-staffed police force fosters trust and confidence among the residents, ultimately contributing to a sense of security and well-being in the community.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson says the state has bought too much land for the corridor and should sell some of it.
Ag Commissioner wants to sell off lots of Florida preserve land
The Florida Forever program has protected more than 10 million acres out of 42 million total in the entire state.
Opinion

City Council: Tie up loose ends before budget season

Apopka City Hall.
I wanted to remind you of a few significant loose ends you should get tied down before the FY2024/25 budget takes hold. There are five issues I think you need to either advance or conclude in the coming months:
"When Apopka’s application was returned to the county a few weeks ago, while extremely well written and documented as to its benefits, there was a much larger request for $13 million. I have never seen a smaller municipality receive this large one-time grant."
Some Florida communities owe their very existence to golf. Sarasota is one, and The Villages is another. The Naples area is so linked to the links that it currently boasts the most golf courses per capita in the nation.
It's time for Code Enforcement, the Apopka City Council, and the RSR Homeowners Association to push back on the Golf Group with the authority and leverage it possesses.
Bonus Content

Phone cameras can take in more light than the human eye − that’s why low-light events like the northern lights often look better through your phone camera

Smartphone cameras have significantly improved in recent years. Computational photography and AI allow these devices to capture stunning images that can surpass what we see with the naked eye. Photos of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, provide one particularly striking example. …

Hurricane forecast points to a dangerous 2024 Atlantic season, with La Niña and a persistently warm ocean teaming up to power fierce storms

If the National Hurricane Center’s early forecast, released May 23, is right, the North Atlantic could see 17 to 25 named storms, eight to 13 hurricanes, and four to seven major hurricanes by the end of November. That’s the highest number of named storms in any NOAA preseason forecast. …

How to prepare your vehicle and secure your home for a summer road trip

(BPT) - As peak summer travel season approaches, the cost and stress associated with road trips are top concerns for many travelers. With 43% of households planning road trips as their top travel …

How to honor the veterans in your life this Memorial Day

(BPT) - Memorial Day is about more than just kicking off summer with a backyard barbecue. It's a day of respect and remembrance that honors the men and women who have given their lives while serving …