School Siting Ordinance Updated … and other News & Business Briefs

Prepare for hurricane season

With the 2017 hurricane season upon us, the officials of the Florida Department of Health — Orange County encourage residents to make preparations that can help ensure safety in the event of severe weather. Preparation tips include:

  • Determine risks to your home, property or business.
  • Develop or update an emergency evacuation plan, and review the plan carefully with your family. Don’t forget to include pets.
  • Assemble a disaster supply kit.
  • Strengthen your home and complete any needed repairs.
  • Identify your trusted sources of information for any severe weather event or hurricane.
  • Prepare an emergency preparedness kit, including water (at least one gallon a day per person), nonperishable packaged or canned food (enough for at least three to seven days), any necessary medications, a first aid kit, flashlights with extra batteries, pet care items and important documents stored in a waterproof container.

For more information, visit

School siting ordinance updated

Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County School Board Chairman Bill Sublette participate in a ceremonial signing of the updated school siting ordinance.

Southwest resident and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the board of county commissioners joined Orange County School Board Chairman Bill Sublette, Southwest resident and Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins, and OCPS board members to announce the passing of the updated school siting ordinance and participated in a ceremonial signing. The updated ordinance, which was passed at a recent commissioners meeting, establishes standards for OCPS to build new schools and renovate existing sites, including charter schools.

OCPS grew by nearly 6,000 students this year and is the second-fastest growing district in Florida. During the past 13 years, the school district has opened 43 new schools to accommodate growth, and six new schools are slated to open next year, including two in Southwest Orlando.

MBA Orlando named NGLCC Chamber of the Year

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the business voice of the LGBT community, named Metropolitan Business Association of Orlando as its 2017 NGLCC Chamber of the Year. Each year, the organization’s winner is seen as a role model for other chambers and raises the bar for impacting the LGBT business community where they live and work.

“MBA Orlando is creating new, exciting opportunities for its members and for local businesses to thrive throughout Central Florida,” said Justin Nelson, NGLCC co-founder and president. “Executive Director Kellie Parkin and the dedicated board of directors and volunteers have fostered consistent growth in membership, programming and corporate partnerships, and inspiringly served as a valued hub of support for the entire Orlando community following the Pulse nightclub tragedy.”

Day of Action volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed June 21, on Heart of Florida United Way’s ninth annual Day of Action, to participate in literacy-related projects and help distribute books to children at several HFUW partner agencies, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Orlando Day Nursery, UCP of Central Florida, and Winter Park Day Nursery, among others.

United Way’s Day of Action is a communitywide volunteer event that aims to reduce summer reading loss, which is the gradual decline of reading proficiency while children are away from the classroom. By providing low-income students with access to books, the nonprofit hopes to encourage reading and enhance literacy during the summer months. Last year, HFUW distributed more than 20,000 books to 2,300 local children.

To register or learn more about volunteer opportunities during Day of Action, email or visit

Challenge is on to find homes for shelter animals

For the second year in a row, animal shelters in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties launched the Great Summer Challenge, a summerlong effort to see which shelter can garner the highest percentage of adoptions, reunifications and releases among the community’s three “open admission” shelters. Open-admission shelters are public animal shelters, which means they do not ever turn away a dog or cat in need.

In 2016, the challenge helped facilitate more than 5,000 adoptions, reunifications with lost families, and releases to foster and rescue partners. Last year, Seminole County Animal Services took home the title after increasing its live-release numbers by 14.2 percent, helping 953 animals. Osceola County reported 966 animals successfully released, and in Orange County, 3,370 animals were either adopted, reunified or released to rescue and foster

To look for animals available for adoption, officials at the shelters encourage residents to visit in person or view their websites and Facebook pages.


Jeannette Bajalia, founder and president of Woman’s Worth, was invited to speak at Florida Hospital for Women during the Total Well Being event, part of a series in partnership with Florida Hospital designed to proactively educate women in, or working toward, retirement on issues pertaining to health, retirement and financial planning. Florida Health is empowering its team and those it serves to manage a full spectrum of lifestyle issues, including holding on to wealth by holding on to health.

Orlando Health reveals its new Team Member Center, a convenient resource for potential employees.

Orlando Health opened its new Team Member Center at 55 W. Gore St., the new “front door” for potential Orlando Health employees. The $12 million project includes a 1,175-square-foot lobby/waiting area with three private interview rooms that are equipped for teleconference interviews. The center also features an open application room with six desktop computers and seats. Applicants can apply online using the computers or apply from anywhere in the world using their own devices, making the organization’s application process entirely digital.


Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza begins a rewards program.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza officials announced the restaurant has a new rewards program, Coal Fired Club, where patrons are rewarded for eating the food they love. Once registered, members will receive a complimentary personal pizza and continue to earn rewards every time they dine in or take out. Anyone interested can register in person or online at





West Orange Chamber of Commerce members celebrate the five-year anniversary of Dawn Gilmore Productions. 

West Orange Chamber of Commerce representatives held an anniversary celebration for Dawn Gilmore Productions. WOCC builds partnerships, strong businesses and commitment to the community by serving as the leading business advocate in Central Florida, facilitating opportunity to nearly 1,000 member businesses. For more information about WOCC, call 407-656-1304 or visit ♥

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