August 29, 2019 icon depicting Clear weather 84°F

Lake Sentinel

When will Hurricane Dorian hit Orlando?

As Hurricane Dorian looks to slam into Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, when will Orlando start feeling the effects of the storm?

Lake County deputies are credible witnesses despite offensive Facebook posts, state attorney says

After an investigation prompted by outcry from activist groups, the State Attorney’s Office determined that 16 Lake County Sheriff’s Office employees are credible court witnesses despite offensive Facebook posts flagged by the Plain View Project.

Utilities eye Dorian, calculating reinforcements needed for restoring electricity

Florida utilities calculate response needed for Hurricane Dorian's landfall.

Hurricane Dorian: Lake County, Clermont offer sandbags to residents in advance of storm

Lake County government and Clermont have several sites where residents can pack sandbags in preparation for Hurricane Dorian.

Veteran Mount Dora lawman Robert Bell promoted to police chief

Mount Dora's acting police chief, Robert Bell, has been promoted to police chief.

Leesburg High students earn valuable experience teaming with Habitat to build house

Students in Leesburg High School’s Construction Academy will build a three-bedroom, two-bath home near downtown Leesburg in a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter. A groundbreaking ceremony took place Monday, Aug. 26.

Trenton Duckett, Leesburg boy missing since 2006, remembered at candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil in remembrance of Trenton Duckett, who disappeared at age 2 in 2006, will be held Tuesday night outside of of Leesburg City Hall. People will begin gathering about 7 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. vigil.

Facing child porn charges, retired FBI agent wants contact with grandkids

A now retired FBI agent, charged with 30 counts of possessing child pornography, wants supervised contact with his grandchildren. Kenneth Bensman, 64, who lives near Mount Dora with his wife, Elizabeth, who also works with the FBI, was released from the Lake County Jail on $35,000 bond following his arrest July 11 on seven counts of possessing child pornography.

Dog dies, resident injured in Clermont fire that leaves four displaced

A fire Sunday in Clermont killed a dog, injured one resident and left four people displaced, city officials said.

Video shows caregiver at Mount Dora group home standing on disabled woman’s head

Mount Dora police on Monday released videos showing the alleged abuse of a disabled woman by caregivers at a group home. One caregiver can be seen standing on the woman’s head.

Hey Ralph Smith, I challenge you to step up for the homeless | Commentary

The plan for the Salvation Army homeless shelter is 50 beds to start with, maybe on property near the current operation on Dixie Avenue in Leesburg.

Pilot killed in Groveland plane crash, officials say

The pilot of an experimental aircraft was killed in Groveland after the plane crashed shortly after take off, officials said on Friday.

No change to Obamacare premiums in 2020 in Florida

The state insurance regulators released their annual list of approved health insurance plans for 2020 on Friday afternoon and they projected no change -- as in 0.0% -- to the average cost of premiums.

Leesburg police ask for public’s help locating SUV in fatal hit-and-run

Leesburg police on Friday released a description of an SUV whose driver is believed to have struck and killed a 32-year-old pedestrian in a hit-and-run Sunday.

Feds search for site to house 500 immigrant children in Central Florida

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is looking for a space to house 500 unaccompanied children somewhere in a wide swath of Central Florida. Parts of Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia, Lake, Sumter and Polk counties are in the location area.

Florida pre-K: State changes rule to judge readiness for kindergarten

Florida is about to make changes in how it judges its pre-K program, but many early childhood educators and advocates doubt it will be a real improvement. For years, Florida has judged its program -- mostly run by private preschools and daycare centers -- on how its young graduates did on a “readiness test” given when they started kindergarten. That pre-K rating system has been criticized ever since lawmakers created it nearly 15 years ago while authorizing the Florida Voluntary Pr-Kindergarten program for the state’s 4-year-olds.

Reasonable gun owners know something must give | Commentary

Keep them? Ban them? The Florida Legislature must come up with a slate of common-sense rules regarding guns.

‘Very heavy set’ caregiver stands on Mount Dora disabled woman’s head in abuse case, cops say

Four caregivers at a Mount Dora group home were placed on administrative leave and charged with abusing a disabled woman at a group home, court records show.

Lake County deputy indicted for civil rights violations in 2016 shooting of unarmed woman, feds say

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Richard Palmer has been indicted on civil rights charges in the 2016 shooting of an unarmed woman.

Eustis charts new identity through $16M sailing and conference center

Eustis officials are excited about the prospect of giving the Lake County city an identity through sailing. The city is proposing to build a $16.35 million sailing center on the site of the Eustis Community Building that would involve U.S. Sailing, the governing sport of sailing, as well as the Lake Eustis Sailing Club and Lake Eustis Youth Sailing Foundation.

After 44 years, Groveland Fire Chief Willie Morgan prepares for retirement in 2020

Groveland Fire Chief Willie Morgan is preparing to leave the department he's headed for 44 years. He'll become project manager of the city’s soon-to-be-built 33,000-square-foot multimillion-dollar Public Safety Complex and will retire from the city by late 2020.

Emergency homeless shelter a necessity in Lake County | Commentary

Lake County finally will be getting a homeless shelter -- thanks to the Salvation Army.

Tavares Police Department set to move into Public Safety Complex, with Fire Department relocating a week later

The Tavares Police Department will move into the city's new Public Safety Complex at Alfred and Caroline streets.

Orlando man charged with DUI manslaughter in 2018 Lake County crash

Orlando resident Michael Ramos, 24, has been charged with DUI manslaughter and other charges in connection with a 2018 crash near Groveland that killed the other driver.

Fourth Lake Correctional Institution guard charged in videotaped beating of prisoner

A fourth corrections officer has been charged and arrested in the secretly videotaped beating of an inmate at the Lake Correctional Institution near Clermont. Ian Gretka, 25, of Leesburg, who was hired in August 2016, was charged with malicious battery and will be fired, state corrections officials said in a news release.

Pedestrian, 32, killed in hit-and-run on U.S. 441 in Leesburg

Leesburg police are asking the public for assistance in identifying a vehicle that struck and killed Paris Fred Antonio Smith, 32, on Sunday. He was killed while crossing U.S. Highway 441, police said.

There’s got to be a better way to ‘meet’ legislators | Commentary

State delegation meetings aren't what they used to be -- it's not really a chance to talk with your representative or senator.

Star Wars sneak peek for politicos violates spirit of ethics law | Commentary

Whatever are elected officials doing at the Disney Star Wars "sneak preview"? It's just a bad idea, and it violates the spirit of the state's ethics rules.

Most local governments propose same tax rate but will get a windfall thanks to soaring property values

Central Florida counties and cities have started writing next year's fiscal budgets at a time when the region saw a huge tax windfall because of soaring property values. But residents shouldn't expect any tax decreases. Most local governments are maintaining the same property tax rates, which homeowners will pay more.

FBI agent’s badge, credentials, credit card stolen in Tavares, police seek man who used the plastic at Family Dollar

FBI agent Lamar Baugher reported the theft of his his badge, credentials and a credit card, which was used to make purchases last week at a Family Dollar store in Eustis.