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The Lifeline

Bringing you the best local stories in and around our community.

Hello Summer

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And just like that, another Florida summer is upon us, but luckily you don’t have to go very far to enjoy our beautiful Sunshine State. Here are our top picks for fun things to do in your neighborhood and around town this summer.

How Rube!

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Ever hear of a Rube Goldberg machine? It’s an elaborate contraption that’s as fun to build as it is to use, and a team from Sanford Middle School just won the district’s very first wild and wacky Rube Goldberg Competition.

Boston Strong

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For this Winter Springs marathoner – who just completed her third-straight Boston Marathon – running is therapy, charity, and camaraderie all in one.

Get Ahead of the Class!

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If you’re like most parents, you probably greet the end of summer with a mixture of emotions. However, summer will be over before you know it – which means back-to-school time is just around the corner. Are you ready?

Meet Chris Anderson

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Seminole County’s new Supervisor of Elections is a former Sheriff’s Deputy and Army veteran who wants to take the mystery out of the elections process

Divine Timing

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From helping our youth to serving our senior citizens, a group of students at Holy Cross Lutheran Academy are following the lead of one stellar community champion

Flip the Calendar

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Oviedo’s most iconic calendar is getting a new look and some new life as The Oviedo Preservation Project hands off its signature photo calendar to the Chamber of Commerce.

The Hall Calls

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The 2019 class of inductees into the Seminole County Sports Hall of Fame spans decades, multiple sports, and the full spectrum of community service

The Apple of His Eye

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Oviedo high-schooler gets a surprise visit from Apple CEO Tim Cook and a prestigious scholarship to attend the company’s iconic developers conference in California.

A Different Kind of Exam

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You’ve heard of a teaching hospital... But how about a schoolteacher who’s now an emergency-room physician? Meet ER doctor and former Hagerty High teacher Lindsey Elmes.

Gather Round

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As girls join the boys in their Scouting adventures, this local Scoutmaster finds herself in familiar territory – on the cutting edge of leadership

Meet Nina Yon

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She’s the new CEO of The Sharing Center, and she brings an invaluable point of view that unites the rich and the poor

A Concert for the Kids

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Get ready for a star-studded evening of entertainment on August 18, all to benefit the Steinway Society and its mission to help children in need take a seat at the piano.

Our Own Olympian

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Back from the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi – with two silver medals to add to her overflowing trophy case – Sanford tennis star Brittany Tagliareni continues to inspire

It's A Long Story

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Did you know we have a New York Times bestselling author living right in our own backyard? We do, but his journey to writing success was no quick read.

Making A Splash

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Did you know Oviedo has its own synchronized swimming team? Meet the Synchro Belles, adorable young ladies who are tackling this demanding sport with grace and gusto.

Extra Curriculars

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For these dedicated educators, being a retired teacher doesn’t mean they’ve retired from teaching. They continue to instruct and inspire, this time as volunteers in our local schools.

Flashes and Floaters and Shadows, Oh My!

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It’s Monday night. You’re watching the ball game, when suddenly you see spots in your vision. You blink several times, but the specks don’t go away. In fact, you start noticing new sparks of light and a shadow in your field of vision. Should you contact your eye care specialist?

It's A Snap!

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Taking care of someone with a developmental disability can be hard. The Special Needs Ability Program is here to help.

House Hunting

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There are too many foster teens in Seminole County who don’t know the warmth of a loving home. It’s Sharon Shoemaker’s job to help them find one.

The Story of My Life

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LMHS principal Dr. Mickey Reynolds joins a national movement to preserve the stories of everyday Americans, and her family’s saga is one of compassion and perseverance.

Changing of the Guard

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Meet Kevin Smith, Lake Mary’s new city manager, and join us in bidding a fond farewell to three great leaders who’ve served the city for more than 75 years combined.

Double Feature

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There are two great options for live theater in downtown Sanford. Here’s a preview of upcoming shows at Theater West End and the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center.

Playmaker

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Daniel “Bobby” Tuttle, a homegrown talent – and the son of a Lake Mary High School baseball icon – uses his Hollywood success to help others find their best selves.

The IT Girls

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The IT Girls at Crooms Academy of Information Technology. The club helps girls in every grade at Crooms explore their potential in STEM subjects.

Vegans Unite

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The leader of Central Florida’s vegan movement lives right here in Sanford, and she’s helping local vegans connect with each other and the vegan-friendly restaurants around them.

On-Campus Credit

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For 10 years, students at Lake Brantley High School have gotten real-world experience working at the on-campus CFE Credit Union branch, and now would-be bankers at Lake Howell High are breaking into the business, too.

A Helpful Decade

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As Helpful Hands, Inc. prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, we look back at what has become one of the Oviedo-Winter Springs community’s most, well, helpful charities.

Do More with Four

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Remember the Cutest Quads? The stars of our Jan/Feb 2017 cover are now active, adorable toddlers, and the whole Faraji family has been on a nonstop adventure.

Love at First Byte

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Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and it’s got us in the mood for love... with a cyber-fantastic twist. On the hunt for happily married couples who met online, we called out to our social media followers and found six adorable duos who were happy to share how they met and fell in love on the interwebs.

Challenge Accepted

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As Sanford-based Teen Challenge Orlando celebrates a major expansion, the addiction counseling organization renews its commitment to build a legacy that lasts.

A Mission of Mercy

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Dr. Pearl Burns practiced dentistry in our community for more than 30 years. In retirement – if you can call it that – Dr. Burns is traveling to the far corners of the globe to provide free care for those in need.

Their Garden Still Grows

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Altamonte Springs boasts one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in town - Spring Valley - and its upkeep is all thanks to The Spring Valley Garden Club, which recently celebrated 50 years of community, friendship, and philanthropy.

A Handoff to Autism

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Thanks to football legend and Florida resident Doug Flutie, founder of The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. Lake Mary will serve as the local hub building awareness and helping families affected by autism.

Delivering Strength and Sunshine

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For the past five years, Lake Mary resident and cancer survivor Lisa Desjardins has been delivering bags filled with special comfort items to local cancer patients. She hopes that her sentiment will bring patients hope and happiness during an otherwise dark and uncertain time.

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.

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.

Tom-Tom

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We sat down with Tom Tomerlin and Tom Krueger – the economic development directors for the cities of Lake Mary and Longwood, respectively – to learn more about these fast friends (but sometimes friendly-foes) and the fascinating field in which they work.

Wish, Granted

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Thanks to some skilled grant writing, three attorneys are now on staff at SafeHouse of Seminole to help survivors of domestic abuse.

Living Vickaryously

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Philanthropy is the fabric of this fantastic family, and teenage son Evan Vickaryous is now sinking his feet into one of the community’s most worthwhile charities.

Remembering Whitey Eckstein

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Seminole County recently lost one of its most memorable community servants. Join us as we pay tribute to a teacher, commissioner, husband, and father who never lost his passion for helping others.

Fun and Games

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The National Veterans Wheelchair Games came to Orlando this summer, and volunteers from the Rotary Club of Lake Mary helped make the event a smashing success.

People Make Parks

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We play in them, picnic in them, relax as we stroll through them, and admire their natural beauty. Our pristine local parks are part of what makes our community so great, but those parks don’t keep themselves. Here we’ll meet two of the hardworking – and often unseen – people who make our parks special.

My Great Aunt Syl

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On the heels of her 100th birthday, Longwood resident Sylvia Hall sits down with her niece – LML’s associate editor Georgia Fojo to reflect on her life.

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.

Wow!

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The WOW Legacy Group is helping local women in need rebuild their lives and Fall into Fabulous

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.

Their Year

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The Lake Mary High School girls’ water polo team plays for the state championship and leaves it all on the water

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.

It's All About the Kids for the Heathrow Women's Club

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At their last luncheon meeting of the season, members of the Heathrow Women’s Club gathered to distribute the tens of thousands of dollars they raised during the past year. Whether it was a garage sale, a formal gala, movie night, or any of the club’s other fundraising activities, the generosity and hard work of the members is always impressive. And the funds they raise are always donated to a great cause, positively impacting the lives of disadvantaged children in our community.

His World's A Stage

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Plenty of area high schools put on fabulous plays, but this one was actually written by a classmate. Meet Crooms Academy playwright Cooper Valentine.

His Own Claim to Fame

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Hall of Fame athletes have it, the intangible that separates them from other elite players and helps them transcend the game itself. Longwood’s Coury Knowles has his own version of it, too, and though he never took the field, he earned a rightful place with his teammates in the UF Baseball Hall of Fame

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.

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.

"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.

We the People of Sanford Middle School

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Sanford Middle School’s We The People team is a group of 29 civic-minded eighth graders who compete in various trivia and debate competitions about the history and function of the United States government. And if you’re going to show off your Constitutional knowledge, there’s only one place to go...

Living History

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The staff of the Goldsboro Museum is determined to keep the town’s rich history alive. Meet Francis Oliver who has spent decades collecting local archives, which are on display at the Goldsboro Museum – one of several projects of the Goldsboro West Side Community Historical Association, which Francis helped establish in 2009.

Who Put On The Heat?

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Lake Mary Life publisher, Sheila Kramer, shares chapter 4 of her ongoing adventure – downsizing and moving to Lake Mary's Griffin Park. Her latest update? A heated pool for year-round enjoyment is confirmed!

Teachable Moments

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He just swam the St. Johns River, from Sanford through Jacksonville. He once rode a bike – in his classroom – for more than seven hours straight. He’s built homemade cameras, weather balloons, and more. It may sound like weird science, but Lake Mary High physics teacher Luther Davis does it all for his students and the community.

Stick the Landing

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Lyman High students reach for the stars at the recent Florida Student Astronaut Challenge and bring home a first-place trophy in one of the competition’s most difficult events

ART on Patrol

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Have you noticed local cop cars emblazoned with anti-drug artwork? It’s all thanks to a partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and talented middle schoolers to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

A Joyful Jubilee

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United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida celebrates the 25th anniversary of its annual gala, with many more years of service in our community to come

Join us in showering lots of love on these marvelous local moms

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In early March, Lake Mary Life conducted an online contest in search of the World’s Greatest Mom. We asked our Facebook followers to tell us in 100 words or less why their nominee deserved to win. We received dozens of beautiful nominations and found it impossible to pick a single winner – so we picked two! In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13, we’ve compiled the nominations for World’s Greatest Mom to celebrate our winners and the many wonderful and fiercely-loved local moms in our community.

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.

We Signed On The Dotted Line!

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The deed is done! After signing on the dotted line, Lake Mary Life business owners Sheila and Michael Kramer walked over to put the SOLD sign on the lot where their new home will be built in Griffin Park in Lake Mary. Read about their experience picking the perfect location for their custom home.

The Heart of a Star

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This young Winter Springs actress is traveling the world to promote her hit movie and shine a new light on homelessness right here in our community

Act II

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Retirement is not for everybody, and it just didn’t work out for two local go-getters who found fulfilling new careers after their traditional working days were done

The Big Band Era Lives!

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...And it resides right here in our community. Meet the modern-day big band leaders who are sharing The Great American Songbook with new generations of music lovers.

Let There Be Light

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Fresh off an appearance on a national TV show, these Alaqua Lakes residents share the secrets behind their unbelievable holiday lights display

Two Is Better Than One

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One young man and one young woman from across the State of Florida are recognized every year for their performance on high-school AP exams. This year, Seminole County is home to BOTH!

Double Header

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A half-century after the original baseball team at Crooms Academy played its final inning, eager young players are bringing baseball back to Seminole County’s most historic high school

The Jolly Trolley

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A new, free trolley service is up and running in downtown Sanford, and it’s the perfect way to peruse the city’s always-hopping street festival scene

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 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!

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!

Yes, Seminole County, there is a Santa Claus

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A little Christmas magic is all it takes to transform Longwood's Donna and Lowell Smith into Santa and Mrs. Claus. For 10 years, the couple has worked with community leaders to make sure the area's neediest children can experience a bit of that holiday magic for themselves.

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.

Suds & Scopes at Hourglass Brewing in Longwood

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The Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College is hosting its first-ever Suds & Scopes at Hourglass Brewing in Longwood this Thursday, November 30th. It's a FREE event! There will be several telescopes set up outside the brewery as well as fun space trivia and prizes! Space art will also be available for sale.

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.

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

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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

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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.

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.

Orlando Date Night Guide

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Did you see our recent guest article by Stephanie Patterson, managing editor at OrlandoDateNightGuide.com? The amazing ODNG team is constantly researching the best local activities, food, adventures, and locations for any couple’s date-night style – and if you haven’t noticed, they’ve garnered quite a following!

What to Enjoy in Sanford Every Month

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Sanford is growing by leaps and bounds - with seemingly a new business added almost weekly and special events popping up on a consistent basis. With all this new activity taking place in our own backyard, here’s a run-down of all the regularly-scheduled Sanford events you can - and should - add to your list of community outings.

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.