Minneola Snow Day

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minneola-snow-dayMinneola, Fl - Please join us at our 5th Annual Snow Day presented by the City of Minneola on Saturday December 12th, from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Enjoy a day of sledding down the snow slope, riding the holiday train, sipping hot chocolate all while listening to holiday music with the ones you love.  And then jump on the new 360 Snowboard challenge Simulator and see who can stay on the longest - you or the kids! And for the kids…well, they can do all those things with you!!! Plus make a holiday picture frame for the family photo with Santa starting at 2:00 pm.  There will also be face painting, all free!!!  Radio Disney will be joining us from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm with games and prizes! For a small charge you can also test out your skills on the North Pole Rock Wall Climb, western shooting Gallery, and bungee jump!  There will also be awesome food and snacks available for purchase including Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Caramel Apples, hot dogs, chili, nachos, smoothies and much more! For questions or more information please call Kat Hiatt at 352-394-3598 ext 229.

Weak Hurricane Season Could Mean Tornado Activity

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TornadoTavares, Fl — The good news is the Atlantic hurricane season ends today, but, according to the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, the bad news is increased tornado activity is predicted from December 2009 to April 2010. The reason for the predicted tornado activity is El Niño, which is an abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific. An El Niño weather pattern usually occurs every three to seven years and it can impact global weather patterns. For Central Florida, an El Niño typically means a weak hurricane season, but a strong tornado season in the winter. The last two El Niño seasons in 1997-1998 and 2006-2007 produced deadly tornadoes throughout Central Florida. The most recent El Niño season resulted in three tornadoes in Lake County: the Christmas Day tornado in Leesburg and the Groundhog Day tornadoes in Lady Lake and Lake Mack, which killed 21 people. Historically during El Niño periods, the strong and violent tornado threat is greatest at night and in the morning. “That's why we want people to get a NOAA weather radio,” said Jerry Smith, Director of the Lake County Emergency Management Division. “If they have a NOAA weather radio it will help them be aware. Instead of waking to a tornado, the weather radio will help alert them giving them time to safely shelter in their home.” When a tornado strikes, there may not be much time to act. Preparing now for an emergency will give you and your family time to enact a safe and well thought-out plan. A few tips to preparing a family disaster plan include: •    Plans should be kept simple. The best emergency plans are those that are easy to remember. •    Be familiar with escape routes in case you need to evacuate your neighborhood. Plan several escape routes for different contingencies. •    Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster. •    Make sure that all family members know where the portable, battery powered radio and NOAA weather radio are located and always keep a supply of extra batteries. •    Select one calling point, possibly a friend or relative, where family members can check in to, in case they are separated from the rest of the family. •    Learn and post emergency phone numbers and information. •    Take a basic first aid and CPR class. For more tornado safety information, contact the Lake County Emergency Management Division at (352) 343-9420. Article Courtesy of Lake County Emergency Management Division

Lake County Inducts Two Into Women's Hall of Fame

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lake-county-womens-hofTavares, Fl — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners held its annual State of the County presentation on Tuesday, which included the induction of two new members into the Lake County Women's Hall of Fame. Inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame were Doris Ragan and Alta C. Trask. Created by the Board of County Commissioners in 1995, 27 inspiring women and outstanding community leaders are now enshrined into this Hall of Fame. Doris Ragan is well-known throughout the Tavares community as an educator, horticulturist and community activist. She taught a variety of subjects at Tavares High School from 1946-1981 and then continued as a substitute until 1990. During her life, she has provided countless volunteer hours to the community. Some estimate she donates more than 500 volunteer hours annually. A Tavares mayor once described her as “the ultimate community volunteer.” The city twice proclaimed Doris Ragan days in her honor. Alta C. Trask, who passed away on April 8, 2009, was an instrumental figure in the City of Eustis. She was the first female Eustis commissioner serving from 1985 to 1988. In addition, she was the first female Eustis mayor during her tenure in 1986. The City of Eustis proclaimed July 16, 2009, as Alta C. Trask Day to honor her memory and the example she set for all to follow. A tradition since 1994, the State of the County presentation is an opportunity for the Board of County Commissioners to share the highlights and achievements of Lake County Government from the past fiscal year. In addition, the annual report presented at the State of the County event provides the citizens with a detailed report that reflects the Board's accomplishments and priorities. To download the State of the County presentation or 2008-2009 Annual Report, log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov, keyword: annual report.

Naturally Gifted: Ferndale Preserve Opens To The Public

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ferndale-preserveFerndale, Fl - The Lake County Parks & Trails Division announced this month that it is opening to the public the 192-acre Ferndale Preserve, which is located off County Road 455 in South Lake County, after several years of making improvements to the purchased property. Ferndale Preserve is open Wednesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The preserve is the first County park to feature an equestrian trail. Other activities that can be enjoyed at the preserve include biking, hiking, picnicking, bird watching and wildlife viewing. Ferndale Preserve features a variety of birds and other wildlife due to its diverse habitats, including shoreline along Lake Apopka, meadows, forests and wetlands. In addition, the preserve's elevation allows for picturesque views of Lake Apopka and the hilly countryside present along County Road 455, a state designated scenic byway called the Green Mountain Scenic Byway.Some of the improvements that were made to the preserve since the County partnered with the Lake County Water Authority and St. Johns River Water Management District in 2006 to purchase the property include construction of a pavilion, grassy parking lot and marked recreational trails. Much of the time-intensive work that has been accomplished at the park includes land restoration activities, such as uprooting non-native plant species and planting native vegetation. For more information or to make reservations for Ferndale Preserve's pavilion, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at (352) 253-4950 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Article Courtesy of Lake County Parks & Trails Division

Keep Your Resolutions

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keep-your-resolutionsMake your resolutions a lasting success-

Keeping resolutions requires patience and perseverance.

As each year draws to a close, you may find yourself making resolutions to improve your health. But chances are good those well-intentioned proclamations begin to go by the wayside before the New Year is even a few weeks old.

"It's not hard to make resolutions. But it's very hard to keep them," says Michael Fleming, MD, past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. "It's easy to make excuses to yourself about why you can't follow your resolutions."

Keeping your vows

If you're serious about resolutions, Dr. Fleming says you can be successful. But you must set aside the excuses and be self-disciplined.

"I tell people they have to want to do it for themselves," Dr. Fleming says. "I say, 'Don't do it for me. Do it for you.'"The most common resolutions are health-related—losing weight, increasing physical activity and quitting smoking. All require a change in behavior or lifestyle. And that's often hard for many people to do.

"It wouldn't be a resolution if it wasn't something that was difficult to do," Dr. Fleming says.

That's why it's important to seek help from family and friends. Ask them to remind you of your resolutions and provide encouragement.

"Enlist someone to be a coach and a cheerleader. You probably can't do it alone," Dr. Fleming says.

Tips for success

Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says you have a better chance of meeting your resolutions if they are realistic.

"If your goal is to lose weight, you don't want to start out by trying to lose 50 pounds," Tanner-Blasiar says. "Start by trying to lose five or 10 pounds."

It's also best if you tackle resolutions one at a time.

"With resolutions, you've got to be sure you're not biting off more than you can chew," Tanner-Blasiar says.

To achieve resolution success, Tanner-Blasiar offers these tips:

Be patient. It takes time to form new habits. Allow yourself time to set aside your old, bad habits and adjust to your new lifestyle.

Pace yourself. Sometimes it's easier to gradually make your resolutions come true. Work in one-week increments. For example, if your resolution is to walk for exercise, increase your routine by 100 steps a week.

Chart your progress. Write down what you do each day to meet your goals. If it's in writing, you're likely to hold yourself more accountable. You can also easily monitor your progress.

Remind yourself. Post notes, pictures and news articles around your home and workplace that remind you of your resolutions. Ask family and friends to provide verbal reminders.

Follow a plan. Make it as easy as possible to follow your resolutions. If you plan to lose weight, clean out your refrigerator and cupboards of unhealthy food choices. Set up a diet and stick to it. If you say you're going to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables every day, make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand.

Get some rest. It's easier to deal with stressful changes when you're well-rested. Try to get at least eight uninterrupted hours of sleep every night.

Seek advice. Don't be afraid to get professional help from a doctor, dietitian or counselor. If your goal is to quit smoking or lose weight, check out support groups.

And most important, Tanner-Blasiar says you should never get discouraged if you temporarily fall off the resolution wagon. Just climb right back on board.

"If you make healthy choices most of the time, you're still better off," Tanner-Blasiar says. "Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Just get up the next day and make a fresh start. Don't scrap it altogether."


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