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While Florida may be best known for its theme parks, sunny beaches and citrus fruits, it also offers lush ecosystems for visitors and residents to explore. Potential explorers can participate in eco-tours in The Villages and surrounding area to learn more about the state’s plants and wildlif…

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After being handed a diagnosis that's tough to swallow and discussing treatments with professionals, many wonder where to go next. Loved ones listen and offer help, but something still seems missing — someone who understands.

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When residents vote in the primary, many of the poll workers they meet won’t just be staffing a precinct — they’ll also be fundraising through the Adopt-A-Precinct program. And they’re ready for it. For several months, the Sumter County elections office has been preparing poll workers for th…

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Brooklyn Webb felt a mix of emotions starting her last first day of school at The Villages Charter School on Thursday. The senior said the first day of classes was pretty easygoing but it also was emotional. “It’s honestly pretty sad for my mom and me,” Webb said. “This is my 14th year atten…

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For local health care employers looking at staffing levels, it’s not just about current numbers — it’s also about what’s needed to meet a growing future demand. As people continue to move into The Villages and the surrounding area, the demand for health care services is rising. Other growth …

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A historic step toward supporting area athletes took place Saturday night in The Villages. The second annual Buffalo Stampeders Sportsman Gala raised more than $700,000 inside the Brownwood Hotel & Spa, where Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker and dozens of local business representati…

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Amid scenic pastureland 20 minutes north of Ocala sits a small farm called Magic Oaks. It's the birthplace of Medina Spirit, the star-crossed colt who hit the finish line first at last year's Kentucky Derby.

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It’s not just a celebration. While more than worthy of praise, the 50th anniversary of Title IX should be the inspiration for continuing to push for an equal playing field for women in sports, according to those who dedicated their lives to fighting for it. Signed into law by President Richa…

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Like a lot of outsized numbers that almost seem commonplace around Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, The Villages’ medal haul from this month’s National Senior Games requires a dose of scale. The raw numbers: 147 medals, 55 of them gold, across 16 sports contested during the just-completed fes…

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For many educators, the desire to teach doesn’t end once they retire. Carolyn Ruhe, co-founder of Tutors For Kids,  estimates around half of its volunteer tutors are retired teachers.  “For many of them, they appreciate getting to step back and not take the lead,” she said. “They like helpin…

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Movies are returning to Spanish Springs Town Square. The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center will debut its new Cinema Series at The Sharon on Tuesday. The series will feature art house, indie and classic hits, and begin with weekly showings on select Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays wh…

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Organizations like food pantries expect to see demand for certain items jump each summer when kids are out of school and heat creates a greater need for hygiene products and help with transportation. This summer, local families face inflation as another hurdle. Consumer prices are up 9.1% co…

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When Pastor Mark Ingmire decided to leave his previous church to plant one of his own in 2020, he knew the timing was a bit curious to some.

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Joan Gissinger had just finished baking a birthday cake for her husband, Andy, during a storm when they heard a loud boom and their power suddenly went out. “I said to my husband, ‘Oh my gosh that was loud, it must have hit somewhere close,’” said Joan, of the Village of Amelia. “I looked ou…

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As Florida attracts new residents, its voting power, and representation, are rising.  The same is true in the tri-county area, and in The Villages.  Today is the final day to register to vote, or to update or change your political party, before the August gubernatorial primary. After today, …

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With political candidates now locked into their respective races, campaigning and voting during the Aug. 23 primary election may seem like the next steps. However, there is more being done behind-the-scenes. Local election supervisors are diligently at work to design, proofread and produce b…

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Residents of The Villages will vote this November on establishing a fire district independent of county control within the community. Rep. Brett Hage, R-Oxford, successfully shepherded a bill he sponsored to create the new district through the Florida Legislature, which ended its 2022 sessio…

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The customary blue roadway signs with a bold white "H" on the way to 1451 El Camino Real represent far more than just another hospital ahead.

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Villages residents in Sumter County are just the governor’s signature away from deciding if they want to approve an independent special fire district for themselves. Gov. Ron DeSantis received the bill Friday from the Florida Legislature with unanimous support — seeking to allow The Villages…

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Former commissioner Gary Search and suspended commissioner Oren Miller, who ran a joint 2020 campaign, were charged with felony perjury in December.

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In the 2022 Sumter County commission race, two camps of Republicans have unmistakably emerged: One that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Gov. Ron DeSantis, and one that’s sharpening a knife for his back.