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Oviedo dancer takes stage for Fox show audition
By Sheridan Block | July 19, 2012

The soft sounds of a jazz ensemble fill the studio. With each pluck of the bass line, the dancer's body touches each note in a perfect groove. Her body flows with the steady beat. Chicken Town Girl doesn't think she can dance - she knows it.

Oviedo's Brittany Ortner earned the nickname "Chicken Town Girl" during her audition for the current season of Fox's hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance when she strutted her stuff for the judges across the stage.

"They didn't show that he asked me to do a chicken dance. I didn't just whip it out," Ortner said. "But, hey, I am a goofy person. If someone asks me to whip it out, I'll go for it."


Beat heat of power bills with these tips, tricks
By Nikki Walters | July 04, 2012

With year-round warm weather, it's often hard for us Floridians to pinpoint where one season ends and another begins. In fact, it seems like Florida forgot to get in line when Mother Nature was handing out spring, fall and winter seasons - instead, it lounged lazily on the beach, sipping coconut cocktails while the rest of the country got our share. But with more-than-mild winters that keep us freshly suntanned all year long, not too many of us are complaining.

That is, until the official summer season rolls around to let us know that summertime in Florida ain't for sissies. With scorching temperatures that peak well before the calendar's official summer start date, we realize that our warm weather paradise comes with a price - and it's a hefty one. Energy costs for Florida residents can be as brutal as the harsh afternoon rays. Nevertheless, by implementing some cost-saving techniques, you can prevent the burn of high monthly power bills.


Local pop-rock band released first full-length album last month
By Sheridan Block | July 04, 2012

Think about the longest you've ever had to wait for something you so badly wanted and multiply that by 1,000. If there's one thing that being in a band has taught Jon Messeroff, lead vocalist and guitarist for RUG, it's that patience is necessary when it comes to making music.

"I think we're starting to take the right steps," Messeroff said. "We're talking to the right people and making the right connections that could benefit us. We're pretty comfortable with what we're doing now."

RUG is a four-piece pop-rock band from Orlando. Oviedo resident Messeroff leads in vocals, Hogan Birney supports on bass, Andrew Brooks gives melody with the guitar and Cornelius "C.L." Freeman sets the rhythm on drums. Though RUG was created in 2008, the current lineup has only been playing together for under a year.


Numbers show economy looking up
By Bel Huston | July 04, 2012

While economic uncertainty has been the norm for some time now, it appears that things may be looking up, at least by the numbers.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced recently that Florida's unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 percent, two percentage points lower than it was a year ago. The figure represents the lowest rate since December 2008.

Additionally, the state's workforce boards have placed 150,000 people in jobs since January 2012, the DEO reports, and the number of unemployment has fallen below 800,000 since January 2009.

While the numbers seem to be heading in the right direction, University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith said they are a misleading sign of the health of the labor market.


Winter Springs officials approve new sign code
By Jessica J. Saggio | March 15, 2012

For businesses and groups that wish to promote their events, the city of Winter Springs has approved a temporary sign code that allows for a more lax policy on sign usage.

Previously, large signs such as balloons and banners to promote grand openings and big events were banned in Winter Springs. However, after some revisions, city commissioners approved new temporary guidelines that allow the use of such attention-getting devices.

"We wanted to help local businesses and residents promote their events such as grand openings and promoting garage sales and things," said Bobby Howell, planner for the city of Winter Springs.

The ordinance allows for 45-day periods where businesses can use an oversized balloon or banner to promote a grand opening. However, it cannot exceed more than 25 feet above the roof of the building in which it is attached. Likewise, ground-anchored balloons cannot exceed more than 25 feet above the ground. Tethered balloons can be flown up to a maximum height of 100 feet above the ground.


Taxpayers may get less money this year
By Whitney Hamrick | March 15, 2012

It's that time of year again. We've got our minds on our money and our money on our minds, but better us than the IRS. It's tax season and residents may see some changes in tax returns this year.

Taxpayers may be surprised to see less money than expected on their tax returns this year. Dan Wilder, a CPA with Wilder Accounting and Tax CPAs in Oviedo, said that this is a common reaction.

"Credits such as the 'Making Work Pay' are not available this year and the residential energy credit was dramatically limited from the previous year resulting in a decrease in refund or increase in amount owed."


Culinary team to stir up competition
By Jessica Saggio | February 22, 2012

As the team scrambled around a make-shift kitchen, the smell of mascarpone chicken cooking atop a portable burner wafted throughout the classroom. While students around the room chattered, ready for the weekend and the bell to ring, a team of dedicated young culinary artists prepared a three-course, gourmet meal complete with an edible centerpiece.

The Winter Springs High School Culinary Team circled around a table as they presented their masterpiece to a guest judge who evaluated the meal they made with only two burners and one hour's worth of time. The team listened intently to the expert's advice, because with only a few days until the ProStart State Invitational culinary competition, each dish has to be perfected.


Seminole schools to stay open after vote
By Katie Kustura | February 22, 2012

More than 1,500 students and 100 faculty and staff members will get to stay at the Seminole County elementary schools that were facing closure following a decision at a recent Seminole County School Board meeting.

Last week, in a unanimous decision, the SCPS school board elected to not close Geneva Elementary School and Keeth Elementary School. Six other elementary schools - Casselberry Elementary, Hamilton Elementary, Stenstrom Elementary, Lake Orienta Elementary, Wekiva Elementary and Carillon Elementary - can also rest easy as the board will not consider closing any schools during the coming school year.

Superintendent Bill Vogel said he was pleased that people in the community and state lawmakers were so concerned about education in Seminole County.

"It seemed like a vast majority of the people recognize that we do have a budget problem, and they all want to work together so we don't have to be back here next year," Vogel said.


Paul Mitchell School brings style to Oviedo Mall
By Jessica Saggio | February 22, 2012

With its newest addition, the Oviedo Mall is betting on a future full of good looks and even better hair days.

Last week, mall officials announced that the Paul Mitchell School would be moving to a location in the Oviedo Mall from its current facility in Casselberry. The school signed a three-part lease with the mall that will include a cosmetology school, a salon and retail space. With more than 15,000 square feet, the school will be located on the north side of the mall near the Regal Cinemas and wrap around Kay Jewelers.

"We're excited to be in the Oviedo Mall because everything there goes hand in hand with what we do," said Giulio Veglio, owner and director of the Paul Mitchell School. "It's a beautiful community and a beautiful mall."

After being located in Casselberry for nearly 10 years, Veglio said the Paul Mitchell School was ready for a change that would put it in a more active environment. Due to low traffic at its current plaza in Casselberry, the move to Oviedo would allow the school to utilize mall traffic for its salon and retail departments, he said.

"The economy died out and the whole area died out, so we were looking for something more exciting where you can go get a cup coffee, go to some stores, do a little shopping and then get your hair cut," Veglio said, who also considered moving to Uptown Altamonte. "The Oviedo Mall is a hidden jewel. It just felt like I was outside when I was inside. It was beautiful, it was clean and I just had a great feeling about being there and, all of sudden, I got excited and thought this is the place it has to happen."


Seminole schools face cuts
By Jessica J. Saggio | January 19, 2011

Facing more than $39 million in cuts, the Seminole County Public School System has its work cut out for it.

Despite a history of wise spending and high success rates academically, Seminole County schools are faced with more cuts proposed by legislators in Tallahassee. Beginning with a proposal to shut down Longwood Elementary, a series of tough decisions are being faced head-on by Superintendent Bill Vogel and the school board.

The closure of Longwood elementary would save about $1 million, Vogel said, and all tenured teachers would be placed in other schools.

He also said he hopes to place teachers who are under contracts as well. Children will be rerouted to other nearby schools, including Highlands Elementary and Winter Springs Elementary. However, other staff, including custodians, principals and office staff, may be out of jobs if not placed in other positions.


Oviedo project costs $4 million under budget
By Jessica J. Saggio | January 19, 2011

An estimated $11 million project to rebuild and rejuvenate public works facilities in Oviedo has now entered its final phase, more than $4 million under budget.

The project included the acquisition of land to centralize city operations, constructing a new fire and fire administration building, constructing a new administration and engineering public works complex and fuel depot, and renovations to the city's existing fleet buildings and storage bays. With renovations starting this month, the entire project is expected to be completed by October of this year, said Assistant City Manager Bob Bentkofsky.

"Some of the projects weren't quite as costly as we thought," said Bentkofsky. "We actually benefited from what's been going on in the economy. When you build things now, the costs are much lower than what they were in 2006, when this project was approved, and before the economy went into the recession."


Oviedo Police Academy needs new recruits
By Tom Iversen | January 19, 2011

If you've ever wanted to shoot an uzi, learn to take down criminals, or just get a better understanding of what police officers do, here's your chance. The Oviedo Police Department is currently accepting applications for the 2011 Community Police Academy.

The 11-week program gives citizens a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Oviedo Police Department. It uses an interactive setting to provide training in all aspects of law enforcement.

"Most people don't know about all the things we do, just certain aspects," said Lt. Heather Capetillo. "Participants will be amazed to learn about some of things we do. It's a great learning experience and a lot of fun. People of all ages sign up and many of them end up becoming good friends."


Drago wins by 16 votes
Recount makes Drago new Oviedo City Councilwoman
by Michelle Y. Ertel | November 08, 2010

SANFORD--About 104 hours after the polls closed on Election Day, an open position on the Oviedo City Council was finally decided after a vote recount Monday.

After the recount, the newest member of the Oviedo City Council, by 16 votes, is Cindy Drago.

On Election Day, there were 7 contenders for this seat and on Monday morning, 6 days later, it came down to 2 remaining candidates, Drago and Oviedo attorney, Paul Sladek.

Sladek, who congratulated Drago at the Supervisor of Elections office immediately after the recount, was 14 votes short of Drago on Election Day, making this election the tightest in recent Oviedo history.

Drago, 58, will take over the city council seat held for almost 10 years by Dominic Persampiere. He was sworn in as mayor when Mary Lou Andrews resigned the position in July.


Oviedo’s water confusion causes frustration
By By Jessica J. Saggio | October 20, 2010

OVIEDO - Dave Darling wants a reasonable water bill. After living in Oviedo for six years, Darling was shocked when he received his latest bill from Alafaya Utilities Inc. that had increased by almost 50 percent.

Darling was even more appalled when he attempted to discuss the bill with the utilities company.

"Everyone's pointing fingers and not helping," Darling said.

Everyone, he said, includes Alafaya Utilities, the City of Oviedo and the Public Service Commission of the State of Florida.

Darling received his bill and called to discuss it with Alafaya Utilities, but a customer service representative told him to call the City of Oviedo, which purchased the utilities company Sept. 15.


Referendum will settle city buy-out
By Gary Roberts | August 19, 2010

OVIEDO - In next Tuesday's primary election, Oviedo residents also will decide whether the city should purchase the assets of Alafaya Utilities, which supplies wastewater and reclaimed water to the city.

The public referendum will ask voters to issue up to $36 million in revenue bonds to acquire and improve these water systems. A majority vote is required for passage.

In April, the Oviedo City Council voted unanimously to place this issue on the ballot, unified in their belief that the proposed purchase is good for the city and good for its residents.

"The acquisition of Alafaya Utilities is a complete win-win for the city of Oviedo," Mayor Dominic Persampiere said. "It would allow the city to combine its water system with the wastewater and reclaimed water systems, making one complete system. The benefits just go on and on and on."

Deputy mayor steps up to finish Andrews’ term
By Michelle Yoffee | August 04, 2010

OVIEDO - Standing in the front of the room with his family looking on, Dominic Persampiere became Oviedo's Mayor on Monday.

Persampiere, 46, put his hand on a Bible being held by his teary-eyed 89-year-old grandmother and made it official. Also at his side were his wife, Debbie, daughters Amanda and Krysta, his mother, Toni Solomito, and his father and stepmother, Tony and Mary Persampiere.

As per the city's Charter, or constitution, Persampiere will complete the term of resigned Mayor Mary Lou Andrews, which expires in 2011. Currently, the mayor's term is two years.

Before Monday's swearing-in, Persampiere was deputy mayor. On Monday, the City Council elected Councilman Steve Henken to fill his spot.

Oviedo Selected in Top 100 Places to Live (2009)
Relocate America | 2009

Located in the heart of Central Florida just 10 minutes from Orlando, Oviedo is surrounded by lush, sub-tropical hammocks with dense trees, fresh water lakes and ponds. Oviedo has it all when it comes to location. Situated in eastern Seminole County, Oviedo is centrally located and minutes from downtown Orlando, major highways and interstates, the Orlando and Sanford International Airports, colleges and universities, beaches and a plethora of attractions, including the Kennedy Space Center, Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios and the new Medical City at Lake Nona.

"Shop Oviedo" is the Economic Development
Committee's pilot program to give local
businesses and residents an economic stimulus

OVIEDO - The City of Oviedo is seeking the services of a qualified firm or individual
to provide a web based "consumer loyalty/discount" program.  This pilot program's
goal is to encourage the citizens of the City of Oviedo to utilize city businesses versus going outside the city for their shopping, dining, service and entertainment needs. was recommended by the EDC to participate in this new venture at it's last meeting which took place at City Hall on March 6th, 2009. . Additional presentationsmust be made to finalize the selection process with the City Council.

  Shop Oviedo Meeting
  Shop Oviedo Update
  Click the download link to listen to the "Shop Oviedo"
audio recording from the meeting at City Hall held 03-06-09
  Download File

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