Massive Medicare fraud takedown; 240 arrested

Massive Medicare fraud takedown; 240 arrested

More than 240 individuals—including doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals—were arrested this week for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings. The arrests, which began Tuesday, were part of a coordinated operation in 17 cities by Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams, which include personnel from the FBI, the […]

Wet ‘n Wild closing for good

Wet ‘n Wild closing for good

Orlando, Florida — Wet ‘n Wild, America’s first water park, which opened in 1977 will permanently close on December 31, 2016. Universal Studios purchased the water park in 2013. Universal Orlando Resort Public Relations Vice President Tom Schroder wrote, “We’re grateful to our countless fans and team members for making Wet ‘n Wild such a […]

Citizens furious over clearing of the former Waldo police chief

Citizens furious over clearing of the former Waldo police chief

[Last updated on June 17, 2015, at 5:44 p.m.] Waldo — Despite five officers coming forward, hundreds of complaints from citizens, warnings from the American Automobile Association (AAA), and a book that ousted the Waldo Police Department; former Waldo Police Chief Mike Szabo has been cleared of any wrongdoing. In addition to the officers coming […]

DOH: No need for panic over a potentially deadly bacteria in Florida seawater

DOH: No need for panic over a potentially deadly bacteria in Florida seawater

Florida —This week, several media outlets published stories that contained inaccuracies about the safety of Florida’s beach water related to cases of Vibrio vulnificus infections. Vibrio vulnificus is a potentially deadly bacteria. While it can destroy tissue, officials said it is not a flesh-eating disease, as some media outlets have stated. Annually, the Florida Department […]

To the Editor: It takes a big guy to be a GAL

To the Editor: It takes a big guy to be a GAL

  Fathers’ Day is upon us and like Mothers’ Day, it brings to mind the importance of parents and especially fathers and fathering. I’m fortunate to be a Father, Grandfather and no less important, a Guardian ad Litem who advocates for and befriends children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse, neglect […]

Bail bonds business owner and his girlfriend arrested

Bail bonds business owner and his girlfriend arrested

A bail bondsman that usually bonds criminals out of jail, found himself behind bars Thursday. At approximately 1 p.m., Thursday, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Robert Alexson, 55, of Bushnell. Alexson is the owner of Bob’s 24 Hour Bail Bonds, located off of Hwy 44 in Lecanto. Detectives also arrested his girlfriend, Brandi Jugov, 23, […]

$1 million in grant funding for cannabidiol research

$1 million in grant funding for cannabidiol research

Gainesville, Florida — The Florida Department of Health today announced $1 million in grant funding to the University of Florida for research involving cannabidiol and its effects on refractory childhood epilepsy. The award is designed to provide treatment with a new medication, derived from cannabis, to children with resistant epilepsy through a Food and Drug […]

Department of Health warns Floridians and visitors to avoid 64 massage establishments

Department of Health warns Floridians and visitors to avoid 64 massage establishments

Florida — The Florida Department of Health, with support from local law enforcement agencies, carried out Statewide Operation Trigger Point May 13 through 15. The operation to stop the dangerous practice of providing health care without proper licensure culminated in 64 cease-and-desist notices served to individuals and establishments practicing massage or operating a massage establishment […]

Woman fired from job and blocked from Facebook after she stomped on American Flag

Woman fired from job and blocked from Facebook after she stomped on American Flag

WARNING: Videos contain adult language Some might have heard of the Eric Sheppard Jr. challenge, which is an anti-American knock-off of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. You also might have heard of Erica Walker. She is one of Eric Sheppard’s followers. Walker is a black female, who also supports the New Black Panthers Party. She […]

OPD officer who fired 23 rounds into an occupied vehicle, fired

OPD officer who fired 23 rounds into an occupied vehicle, fired

Orlando, Florida — The Orlando Police department has fired one of its officers after an internal investigation revealed he violated department policy as well as Florida statutes. On February 24, 2014, an investigation was initiated against Officer David Johnston, 25, for violation of Obedience to Laws and Department Procedures, Obedience to Policies and Procedures and […]

FHP: Motorcycle safety awareness month

FHP: Motorcycle safety awareness month

Florida — In a state where growing numbers of motorcycles and vehicle drivers share the roads, it is important for all motorists to practice safe driving behaviors to prevent motorcycle crashes. With more than 80,000 miles of roads and ideal, year-round riding conditions, Florida is a popular location for motorcyclists. More than a million drivers […]

“Down the drain” animal rescue

“Down the drain” animal rescue

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Facebook fan Ramon Gonzalez snapped several photos of the Davenport Fire Department and PCSO Animal Control Officer Kami Scarborough, as they attempted an animal rescue. They responded to the area after someone reported hearing a kitten meowing in the drainage system off of US Highway 17-92. They worked together as a […]

UPDATED: Florida missing child found

UPDATED: Florida missing child found

UPDATED: Girdhari was found safe at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd appreciates everyone that shared Girdhari’s photo on social media. A Florida MISSING CHILD Alert has been issued for MORGAN ARIANA GIRDHARI. Her black hair might have been dyed red. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans, and […]

To the Editor: Clean-up good ol’ boy practices and wink-and-nudge government

To the Editor: Clean-up good ol’ boy practices and wink-and-nudge government

Dear Neighbor, In September when a group of Okaloosa County elected officials met with over 200 citizens in an “Accountability Okaloosa” town hall meeting, one of the topics on many minds was tightening financial controls and improving fiscal stewardship at the county level. The elephant in the room was the Tourist Development Council scandal replete […]

Open House: Low cost spay and neuter clinic

Open House: Low cost spay and neuter clinic

Saturday, April 25, 2015, Misfit Spay and Neuter Clinic is hosting an Open House event. The staff invites you to celebrate their long awaited, and highly needed plan of reducing the homeless pet euthanasia rates in central Florida. Open house will be held at 220 North Rockingham Avenue, Tavares, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. […]

Endangered boy: Father fled crash scene on foot with 8-year-old son

Endangered boy: Father fled crash scene on foot with 8-year-old son

[Last updated on April 23, 2015, at 11:02 p.m.] “Thank you for your assistance in locating 8-year-old Jonathan Smittle,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. The boy was located with his father. The PCSO and the Department of Children and Families is currently investigating this incident. No further details have been released at this time. […]

4th case of Measles confirmed in Florida

4th case of Measles confirmed in Florida

Florida — On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health confirmed a case of Measles in an unvaccinated adolescent in Indian River County. This brings the total cases of Measles between Indian River and St. Lucie counties to four. Measles is a serious respiratory disease caused by a virus of the same name (Measles). The disease […]

Officials: Walmart closing is very suspicious

Officials: Walmart closing is very suspicious

The closing of several Walmart stores has left nearly 2,000 employees jobless and looking for answers, while some say they believe it is military related. On April 13, 2015, several Walmart stores suddenly closed. A sign was taped to the door of the businesses that read: “We apologize for the inconvenience. This location will close for […]

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