Take a few steps into Flat Island Preserve and you expect to see Tarzan swinging wildly from the trees. Located in the Okahumpka Marsh, this 2,300-acre preserve is filled with lush wilderness and treats hikers to ancient oak trees and unique birding opportunities. Flat Island Preserve features two wooded islands as well as a 440-foot boardwalk leading to a canoe launch.
Decades of deliciousness
Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant in Lady Lake has the distinct honor of being a true family-owned restaurant. In fact, five generations of family members have operated the restaurant since its humble beginnings in May 1962. Many generations of customers have enjoyed outstanding service and scrumptious dishes such as Spaghetti a la Bruzzi, Delmonico steak, and lasagna. This food savvy family prepares everything from scratch, crafting everything with love to satisfy your taste buds.
We are the champions
High school teams in Lake and Sumter counties have provided fans with unforgettable memories over the years. In fact, we are home to a number of state champions:
Leesburg High School 2023—weightlifting
Leesburg High School 2021—bowling
Wildwood High School 2018 and 2021—basketball
Wildwood High School 2017 and 2018—women’s basketball
Eustis High School 2000 and 2003—baseball
Leesburg High School 1977, 2011, 2017, 2018—basketball
Leesburg High School 1977—baseball.
Wildwood High School 1964 and 1970—football
Eustis High School 1963 and 1983—football
The Forward Paths Foundation—a not-for-profit organization—helps homeless youth and those aging out of foster care secure housing, personal necessities and more. On the morning of Aug. 17, the organization celebrated the groundbreaking of “The Cottages on Grove,” a tiny home community in Eustis where youths will stay while they aim towards independence. The estimated time of completion for the project is early spring (2024).
Having problems finding something to wear in your closet? Your favorite outfits don’t fit anymore? Thinking about getting rid of a few things or looking to freshen up your wardrobe? If any of those thoughts hold true, then head to the new Plato’s Closet in Clermont, 240 Citrus Tower Blvd., Suite C in the Publix Plaza where Blockbuster once stood. You may be able to sell your gently used pieces (clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories) or trade them for other items.
One of Central Florida’s most notorious cold cases involves “Little Miss Lake Panasoffkee,” the name given to a young woman murdered in February 1971. Her body was found under a bridge by two hikers, and an autopsy revealed that her cause of death was strangulation. In October 1992, the case was featured on the show Unsolved Mysteries. Despite media coverage, multiple investigations, and her body being exhumed twice, Little Miss Panasoffkee has never been positively identified. Her body is interred at Oak Grove Cemetery in Wildwood with a metal marker reading: “Jane Doe—1971.”
The big 3-0!
The 2023-’24 school year marks a milestone anniversary for South Lake High School in Groveland as it turns 30. Rumor has it the Screaming Eagles may continue celebrating all year long. Best wishes to teachers, students, administrators, and staff. Enjoy!
In light of breast cancer awareness month, the Mascotte Police Department’s 4th Annual ‘Cruiser for the Cause’ fundraiser is set for Oct. 7 from 1-4pm. This FREE fun-filled event will take place in the Mascotte PD’s parking lot at 529 E. Myers Blvd., where guests will be treated to music, kids’ games, food, refreshments, resources, and more. A special event T-shirt will be available for purchase to benefit the Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation (GCCF). Additionally, Mascotte’s pink police cruiser will be on site and pictures are encouraged.
Keep trick or treaters safe
Remember safety first before sending your trick-or-treaters out on Halloween to ensure that your memories of the spookiest night of the year remain ‘boo-tiful.” Safekids.org suggests following the following guidelines:
Carry glow sticks or flashlights, use reflective tape or stickers on costumes and bags, and wear light colors to help kids see and be seen by drivers.
Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating.
Slow down and be alert. Kids are excited on Halloween and may dart into the street. Turn on headlights early in the day to help you spot kids from further away.
Remind kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks.
When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Choose face paint over masks when possible.
Masks can limit children’s vision.
Say 'boo' to decorative contact lenses
Halloween is here. Lake Countians desiring to complement their costume with zebra-striped or glow-in-the-dark decorative contact lenses may want to think twice. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says purchasing contact lenses without an eye examination and prescription from an eye care professional can cause serious eye disorders and infections that could lead to permanent vision loss. Remember, any type of contact lens is a medical device that requires a prescription and proper fitting by an eye care professional.