Inside Poinciana Florida

Archive for January 2009

KISSIMMEE, January 30, 2009— A free slice of the “Real Florida” is now available to residents and visitors with today’s opening of Shingle Creek Regional Park.

It is the first phase of a project years in the making that uniquely blends nature with glimpses into how early pioneers used the area’s natural resources at the headwaters of the Everglades.

“This park is a perfect example of the great things that happen when government collaborates and thinks outside the box,” said Osceola County Commission Chairman John Quiñones. “The result is a natural treasure that residents and visitors will be able to enjoy for years to come.”

Shingle Creek was a lifeline for early inhabitants including Native Americans, who used it for transportation, hunting grounds and camps. Starting in the mid-1800s several of Osceola County’s pioneer families settled here and various structures found within the park can be traced to them.

“Preserving this land for the future shows how much we value our pioneering traditions and our environment,” said Commissioner Michael Harford, who represents District 1 where the park is located. “Shingle Creek is an important part of our eco-system and our heritage. This park ensures both are safe for future generations.”

The park offers a unique blend of nature and history in a setting quietly hidden within an urban area. More than 1,000 acres have been acquired at a cost of $11 million using a variety of grants and matching funds. Partners include: Osceola County, City of Kissimmee, South Florida Water Management District, and the Trust for Public Land. The Florida Communities Trust funded nearly 80 percent of the project through land acquisition. The Florida Office of Greenways and Trails funded nearly half of the trail construction expenses.

Approximately 200 acres are accessible with today’s opening. In the next five years, officials plan to expand hiking, biking and paddling opportunities. Seven historic structures will also be restored in coming years.

Located just minutes from the busy tourist corridor of U.S. Highway 192, the park is in the middle of a destination that offers a myriad of accommodations with direct access to the Walt Disney World Resort as well as other local attractions.

Osceola County is an increasingly rare place where visitors may easily embrace Central Florida’s natural resources. The park will allow visitor to experience vivid encounters with a wild and vanishing Florida. Bald eagles, wild turkey, great blue heron, yellow-bellied slider turtles, white-tailed deer and river otters are some of the animals that can be spotted in the area.

Shingle Creek Fast Facts

– Boat launches will be restricted to non-motorized, carry only boats such as canoes, kayaks and small johnboats.
– Visitors may bring their own canoe or kayak to experience the 2-mile scenic journey along
Shingle Creek, launching from Steffee Landing located at 4266 West Vine St.
– A fishing dock
– A canoe and kayak launching area
– A children’s play area that includes a paleontological surprise
– 1.25 miles of hiking trails
– A horseshoe pit
– Parking and restrooms
– Plans call for addition sites to open with more hiking trails, a bike path and a nature center
– Seven historical structures will eventually be restored
– Park use is on a first come, first served basis. Hours vary with the season. From October-March, the park will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. During spring and summer, the hours will be 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.
– Maps will be available at the paddling and hiking trails, and signs will establish where users are and where the trails end.
– Some areas within the park and along the trails are designated for wildlife conservation and may have restricted access. Signs will request users to stay on designated trails only or enter the park at designated entrances and trailheads only.
– Partners developing and operating park: Osceola County, City of Kissimmee, South Florida Water Management District, Trust for Public Land, Florida Communities Trust, Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways and Trails, and the Osceola County Environmental Lands Conservation Program.

For more information on Shingle Creek, contact Osceola County Parks at 407.742.7800.

Saturday, February 7th, 2009 at 10:00am
APV Community Center

Thursday, Gebruary 12th, 2009 at 6:30pm

For Information contact Dr. Thomas A Bryer, email
or visit the project web site at:

“Everyday Polk County Sheriff’s deputies work to keep our community a safe place for families,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “The quality of life for our residents is a top priority. This is a perfect example of that effort. The arrest of this suspect sends a clear message – illicit businesses are not welcome in our community.”

On Tuesday, January 6, 2009, Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives received information that a place of business was being used to create and distribute pornographic material that may contain images of females as young as 14 years of age.

The business, “The Antique Mall,” 3170 US Highway 17, Winter Haven, is operated by 55-year-old John F. Denitto, 564 Koala Drive, Poinciana.

During a sworn interview, a confidential source told detectives that within the last 30 days a white female, who appeared to be approximately 16-years of age, had been observed at the business.

Detectives were told Denitto directed the girl to a room set up like a studio and instructed the girl to remove her clothes in order for him to take photographs. In addition, detectives were told that Denitto paid the girl $40.00 for posing nude.

Detectives were told the confidential source asked the girl her age and she replied 14. Detectives learned that Denitto uses the same side room to manufacture films that include males and females engaged in sexual acts.

At approximately 4:00 pm, on Friday, January 23, 2009, PCSO detectives, working in an undercover capacity, visited the business and observed the suspect with a hand-written sign on the counter advertising “Models Wanted Paid Hourly.” When the undercover detectives asked what types of models were being sought, Denitto said he was looking for nude, female models and would pay $20.00 an hour.

While at the place of business, detectives observed a room on the east side of the building with a white sheet covering the entrance and a sign that stated “restricted area.”

At approximately 11:36 am, on Tuesday, January 27, 2009, Polk County Sheriff’s detectives served a search warrant at “The Antique Mall,” where they made contact with Denitto.

During the search several photo albums of nude women were discovered in various locations throughout the store. In a room adjacent to the southeast side of the business, detectives discovered a video camera, several photography books, a 35 MM camera, a Polaroid camera, and several nude photos of women. In addition 6 VHS tapes were seized. The Honorable Judge Kevin Abdoney determined the tapes to be obscene.

Through their investigation, detectives learned that after manufacturing the obscene material, he sends it to a location in south Florida and to another Antique Shop in Louisiana.

Post Miranda, Denitto confessed to paying women to pose for nude photographs and movies. He also said he manufactures the movies for sale. He said he charged $65.00 to manufacture and produce a pornographic movie.

Denitto is charged with 6 Counts of Manufacturing Obscene Materials, and Felony Wholesale Promotion of Obscene Material.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Osceola County – On January 27 at approximately 2:10 a.m., Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Publix located at 801 Cypress Parkway in Poinciana. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with two alleged victims later identified as Samuel Sierra and Orlando Palacios-Perez who indicated they were approached by two unknown males who implied they had a weapon and demanded money. Sierra and Perez told deputies the men took their money and fled in a 2-door Honda. Deputies set up a perimeter and searched the area for the suspects and vehicle. After further investigation, detectives discovered Sierra and Perez had lied about the incident to get a ride home from deputies. Sierra and Perez were arrested for Filing a False Police Report. Both individuals also had drugs on them so they were also charged with Possession of Marijuana. Perez was also charged with Making a False 911 Call. Both suspects were booked into the Osceola County Jail.

Governor Charlie Crist and Lt Governor Jeff Kottkamp will hold a
Town Hall Meeting.

This will provide an opportunity for the citizens of this area to coice their concerns about
issues important to them…

Monday January 26th, 6-7pm
(registration and door opens at 5pm)

Valencia Community College
Osceola Campus
Bldg 2 -Rm 2-101
1800 Denn John Lane

Osceola County – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting two DUI saturation patrols January 30 as part of the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest campaign. The patrols will be from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. covering all areas of the county.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office encourages everyone to act responsibly. If you intend to drink, make arrangements to get home safely. Use a designated driver, public transportation or a taxi.

The last saturation patrols on January 16 resulted in 71 citations and 6 arrests.

Osceola County, Florida – Osceola County Commissioner Brandon Arrington, joined by County staff and members of the project team, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony recently to mark the commencement of improvements to John Young Parkway at Osceola Parkway.

The improvements include widening John Young Parkway from four to six lanes with a 238-foot crossover bridge above Osceola Parkway.

“Building a bridge over the intersection of John Young Parkway and Osceola Parkway will greatly enhance the flow of traffic in that area,” said Commissioner Arrington.

The completion date is scheduled for December 2010 with a total cost of $33.9 million dollars. For more information, contact the Osceola County Public Information Office at 407-742-0100.

Originally posted by: The

POINCIANA | Community activists who had been working for more than two years to get Poinciana its own hospital thought they had gotten a holiday gift when a administrative law judge in Tallahassee decided in their favor on New Year’s Eve.

Now it appears that there will be yet another challenge to the state’s approval of the facility, and that could delay a final decision by months, if not years.

“It keeps going back to the same circle of appeals,” a frustrated Annette Brown – who co-founded the Friends of the Poinciana Hospital Group – said after learning that the parent company of two area hospitals was gearing up for yet another challenge to the proposal by Osceola Regional Medical Center to build a $116 million facility in the community, which has more than 110,000 residents living in its immediate area.

“This is about greed,” said Fernando Valverde, co-founder of the group. “It’s nothing but greed.”

Click here for the complete story

Originally posted by the Orlando Sentinel January 1, 2009
Roberto Perez de Leon was thrilled with a belated Christmas present on Wednesday — an administrative judge’s call for a hospital in his community.

After months of listening to residents and hospital officials argue about the need for a hospital, Administrative Law Judge Charles A. Stampelos filed his recommendation to the state Agency for Heath Care Administration that it approve an acute-care facility in the development, which spreads over Osceola and Polk counties.

Stampelos was concerned that traffic congestion and road accessibility are major problems for residents seeking medical care. Building a hospital, he wrote, would alleviate those problems — a sentiment echoed by Perez de Leon, 65, who lives in Poinciana’s retirement community, Solivita.

“The judge is on our side. He heard our message and realized this community is really hurting,” he said. “It’s the greatest news possible.”

Perez de Leon nearly died when his lungs collapsed in February. Fearing an ambulance wouldn’t reach him in time because of constant traffic congestion, a neighbor rushed him to one of the area’s nearest hospitals, in Celebration, about 20 miles away.

Having a hospital nearby is crucial for the health of those in Poinciana, he said.

Residents of the unincorporated community with a population estimated at 70,000 have fought for the hospital since 2006. Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, owned by HCA Inc. of Nashville, Tenn., filed a request to the state to build a 120-bed acute-care facility, which was approved in 2007.
Click here for the complete story

January 2009

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