Two Years in A Row: Orlando’s WOKB Radio Station Wins National Award


When you see them, congratulate them. They are the winning team at WOKB 1680 AM radio station, headed by Shanti Persaud. The team recently won its second Stellar Award for Best Gospel Station in the Large Market.

Lady Drina, host of the station’s Lady Drina Live on the Afternoon Drive, accepted the award on behalf of the station during the ceremony held in Las Vegas.

“What a mighty God we serve, ” she said in her acceptance speech. “On behalf of our CEO Shanti Persaud and team WOKB, we are so honored – second time in the row. We are honored. We are thankful. And it’s a team of us. It’s just not one person….We are a team.”

The Stellar Awards is the first and only Gospel Music Awards show in the country, honoring Gospel Music artists, writers, and industry professionals for their contributions to the Gospel Music Industry. The Stellar Awards ranks high in status as the only Gospel Music television awards program syndicated in over 140 markets nationwide. (Information from the show’s website). The Chicago-based Central City Productions, Inc. (CCP) produces the show.

The Orlando based WOKB station won in the same large market category in 2017.

It’s a very unique radio station, promoted as Orlando’s longest running Gospel Station in the Central Florida market. WOKB combines a mix of traditional, contemporary gospel music, ministries; call-in community programming and teen spotlight. It is in the Top 20 of radio stations in Central Florida.

Here a list of some the station’s features:

  • “GET UP MORNINGS” with the Erica Campbell Morning Show (hosted by Glenn Allgood)
  • Mid – DAY with Urban Empowerment Talk show from everything from parenting to politics to finance all designed to empower Central Florida’s urban communities
  • Afternoons with Lady Drina Live on the Afternoon Drive
  • Evenings with Brother Chris Shaw with music, local ministries, Fun Talk and Play or Pray
  • Late Evening to overnight playing contemporary and traditional gospel with energy, passion, and emotion from artists like: Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Dottie Peoples, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Edwin Hawkins and Vickie Winans all night long.
  • Brother Gerrille on Sundays with music, ministries and talk.
  • Caribbean Connection Gospel with Lady D (Diana Taylor)

The team will celebrate the award with a special event later this month. It’s planned for Saturday, April 28, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the 3in1 Cafe in the West Oaks Mall in Ocoee. 

For more information about the station contact Shanti Persaud, or call: (407) 293-9652.
© Orlando Community News, 2018




Posted in Community news that can help

Will Voters in Central Florida Cities Get Out and Vote on Tuesday, March 13?

Most of you will read this on the day of  your local general elections and say something like, “Oh yeah, now I remember!”


If you live within the city limits of Apopka, Belle Isle, Ocoee or Winter Park and you are registered to vote, remember to vote today, Tuesday, March 13!  

Call your City Clerk’s office or the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office if you don’t know exactly where you are supposed to vote. Better yet, go online to the elections office website, put in your address and the other required information to find out where you are supposed to vote. Also, research the candidates and issues for yourself, before actually voting. That way, you can vote wisely not blindly inside the voting booth.

Keep in mind: Local elections are just as important as state and national elections. They all matter and your representatives are elected to serve you. Right now, state officials, mayors and even sheriffs are deciding whether or not to train and arm teachers to help protect students in schools throughout the country. 

The Town of Eatonville had its general election on this past Saturday, March 11 and Mayor Eddie Cole reclaimed his position by earning 30 more votes than his competitor – educator Angie Gardner, according to the elections office website. Thirty votes! That could be registered voters on one town street or usher board members at one of the churches in historic town! Incumbent Councilman Rodney Daniels beat Marcus A. Davis to get re-elected for Seat 3. 

The cities of Apopka and Winter Park will also elect a mayor.

Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary faces challenger Jim Fitch, a Navy veteran who is fairly new to Winter Park (2016 from Haines City), reports say. 

In Apopka, incumbent Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, who defeated long-time mayor John Land, is on the ballot with Orange County Commissioner Bryan Nelson. That will be an interesting race to watch. Nelson, originally from Apopka, has also served as a state representative. 

Two other seats on the Apopka commission are being hotly contested, with four candidates vying for each seat. (Open Seat 1: Suzanne Kidd, Gene Knight, Theresa Mott and Alexander H. Smith. Seat 2: Incumbent Diane Velazquez is on the ballot with Leroy Bell, Alicia Koutsoulieris and Alice Nolan.) Members of the Apopka commission, like those in Winter Park, are elected at-large, so all eligible voters can vote on the candidates. 

Belle Isle voters will vote on one Commission seat, District 6, and 13 different charter amendments. (District 5 Commissioner-Vice Mayor Harvey Readey ran unopposed.)  Jim Partin and Andrew Thompson are running for the open District 6 seat. With 13 different charter amendments, from how to fill vacant seats on the commission to whether a candidate be required to live in the district for which they seek election, voters should make sure they voice their opinions by voting in today’s election.

Voters in some parts of Ocoee will only vote on eight charter amendments, while others who live in other areas will also vote for commissioners. District 2 Incumbent Rosemary Wilsen faces Robert Rivera, a retired police officer. District 4 Incumbent Joel F. Keller faces George Oliver III, a businessman who ran again Keller back in 2015 when reports said Oliver may have been the first Black person to seek a commission seat in the City of Ocoee. Another close race: Keller beat Oliver by only 20 votes.

– Trish Martin, Founder & Publishing Editor


© Orlando Community News, 2018



Posted in Community news that can help, Election Connection

Performing Arts Center to Honor Dr. King

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Soon it will be 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee and people around the country will pause to honor the civil rights leader’s life. 

Here in Orlando, the Pine Hills Community Performing Arts Center plans to honor King and his dream Saturday, April 7 at the St. Andrews Auditorium, 801 Hastings St., Orlando, FL 32808. 

Organizers plan a tribute through creative arts, starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under age 16.

“Hope to see you at this great event as we remember and pay tribute to our beloved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Michael Kimbrough, executive director of the performing arts center.

“We will honor Dr. King with recitals of some of his famous speeches, quotes and sermons…The speeches will be mixed with dance, poetry and more.”

For more information, call (407) 234-9619.

Over the years, young people, including a younger former President Barack Obama, have been inspired by King.

Leader of the civil rights movement since the mid 1950’s, King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, an event that sent shock waves reverberating around the world.

King was known worldwide for his impassioned sermons and speeches and nonviolent protests to fight segregation and achieve significant civil rights for African-Americans. Founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), King also spoke out publicly against the Vietnam War and formed a coalition of poor Americans  – Black and White – alike to address such issues as poverty and unemployment.

On April 3, 1968, King and other SCLC members were called to Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike. He gave what would become his last sermon at a local church that evening and the next evening he was fatally shot. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, at the age of 39. He was married to Coretta Scott King and the couple had four children. Several months later, authorities arrested James Earl Ray, who was later charged and convicted. No testimony was heard in the trial, Ray died while serving his 99-year sentence and controversy still surrounds the assassination of King.  (Source: The History Channel, 

© Orlando Community News, 2018


Posted in Community news that can help

Hello Mayor: Voting Underway in Local Cities

haveyouvotedtodayIt’s election season! Yes! Right now, people are voting – whether early, by absentee ballot or at their polling place, in cities throughout Orange County.

In Eatonville today, Saturday, March 3, voters will decide whether to keep Eddie Cole as mayor or put educator Angie Gardner into the position. Eatonville voters will also vote to re-elect Rodney Daniels to Town Council Seat 3 or put in Marcus A. Davis. The Eatonville polling place will be open today from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.  Location: Town Hall, 307 E. Kennedy Boulevard.

In less than two weeks on Tuesday, March 13, registered voters in Apopka, Belle Isle, Ocoee and Winter Park will go to the polls. 

In fact, voters in Apopka, and Winter Park, like those in the Town of Eatonville, will vote for mayors.

In Apopka, incumbent Joe Kilsheimer and Bryan Nelson, who currently serves as Orange County District 2 Commissioner, are running for mayor.  Two other seats on the Apopka commission are being hotly contested, with four candidates vying for each seat. (Seat 1: Suzanne Kidd, Gene Knight, Theresa Mott and Alexander H. Smith. Seat 2: Incumbent Diane Velazquez is on the ballot with Leroy Bell, Alicia Koutsoulieris and Alice Nolan)

In Winter Park, only the mayoral seat is on the ballot: Incumbent Steve Leary will face opponent Jim Fitch. 

Belle Isle voters will elect someone for District 6 on their city council and decide on 12 amendments having to do with the city charter. Jim Partin and Andrew Thompson are vying for that District 6 seat.

Ocoee voters will decide on eight separate issues, including term limits for mayor and city commissioners.

So, some of these elections are about issues, not candidates. 

Get out and vote to let your voice be heard on the issues and candidates. make sure you research the candidates by name and the pros and cons of the issues on your city’s ballot. 

Contact your city or town clerk for details about voting within the city or the Orange County Supervisor of Elections for registration and voting requirements.

Voting in every election is your right and responsibility.

– Trish Martin, Founder & Publishing Editor




Posted in Community news that can help, Election Connection | 1 Comment

’Tis the Season of Giving

December 16, 2017 (Orlando) – ‘Tis the Season…the Season of Love (Giving) – Not that it doesn’t happen throughout the year but today there are three major “gives” going on throughout Central Florida of which residents can take advantage.

The big gives today are in Orlando (Pine Hills), Apopka and Sanford! Go or take someone you know who’s in need of a little help (be it Food, Clothing, Toys, Services) this Christmas. There is no cost.

  • Seasons Blessings Community Giveaway. Sponsored by the Experience Christian Center, Pastor Derrick L. McRae. Time: 9:03 a.m. – 12 p.m. Location: Evans High School, 4949  Silver Star Road, Orlando, FL 32808.
  • Season of Giving Food Distribution. Sponsored by Florida Senator Randolph Bracy.  Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Location: John H. Bridges Community Center, 445 W. 13th Street, Building F, Apopka, FL 32703.
  • Holiday Food Baskets. Sponsored by Communion Packaging L.L.C. First come, first served per family. Drive-thru set up. One basket per car and  One toy, sponsored by David Hoenig.  Time: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. Location: 751 Cornwall Road, Sanford, FL 32773.

Go or if you can’t go, spread the word. You never know: it could be a blessing to someone who is in right now.

God bless you and Merry Christmas. Remember we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, reflecting on God’s love for all of us. He gave us his only begotten son, Jesus, the Christ, Emmanuel! Thank you Lord! It’s in that spirit that we should give (and receive). Amen.


– Trish Martin, Founder & Editor




Posted in Community news that can help

City of Orlando Nov. 7 Election


November 1, 2017, Orlando — City of Orlando residents: It’s your turn.

You get to vote for your commissioner if you’re in District 1, 3 or 5 during the upcoming election on Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

If you are registered to vote, you can vote by mail (absentee ballot), vote early (which got started this week and ends on Sunday, Nov. 5) or you can go to your city polling place on Tuesday.

The election campaign season has been a lively one, with all three commissioners having competition to keep their seats and defend their work at debates. Competition could be a sign that more and more residents want to take stake in their city, showing their concern about issues such as gentrification/city development, homelessness, economic development and crime. 

Jim Gray (District 1) has two competitors: Sunshine Grund and Tom Keen. Robert Stuart (District 3) has one: Asima Azam. There were over nine people running for Regina Hill’s (District 5) seat. Two withdrew their candidacy. Another one entered but it’s unclear whether he qualified. Here are the other six candidates vying for Hill’s seat: Jibreel Ali, Ericka Dunlap, Sarah Abuobadia Elbardri; Betty Gelzer, Cynthia Harris and Ondria James. 

Go online and research the candidates.

It’s time to vote. After the election, you can attend city council meetings and express your concerns on the various issues. Hold the people elected accountable.

Early voting is always a good idea because you can go when it’s most convenient for you. It’s going on now through Sunday at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office, 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806.  

Early voting hours are: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Today is the deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to your residence. That ballot as to be returned to the elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

The hours on Election Day is 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at your city polling place.

If you need more information, call the Supervisor of Elections Office: (407) 836-2070 or visit the website:


© Orlando Community News, 2017


Posted in Community news that can help, Election Connection

Long-time Orlando Station Wins National Award

WOKB’s recent achievement makes you feel like saying: Yes we can. Yes we did. 


WOKB Team Members. Front Row from left: Glenn Allgood, Shanti Persaud, Lady Drina and Rodney Johnson. Back row from left: Chris Shaw and Brother Gerrille. Photo by: Kalila Foy

The gospel radio station at 1680 on the AM dial recently won the title of Best Radio Station of the Year (Large Market) at the 32nd Annual Stellar Award show in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show,  which aired April 9 on TV One and scheduled to air again on May 8 and May 14 on Bounce TV,  is produced by Chicago-based Central City Productions, Inc. and has become the premier Gospel event that recognizes and honors African-American artists, according to the show’s website.

Nominees for all of the categories for this year’s show went through a process of applying, screening and online voting (by the general public). WOKB’s award was one of six handed out to top radio stations from around the country. 

WOKB listeners rallied behind the station when Operations Manager Shanti Persaud put the word out that the station had been nominated. The listeners and fans voted online as often as possible and the rest…as they say, is history! 

The station had applied once before but this time around, the station made it through the application process and went all the way through, Persaud said during a recent interview.

“I feel like, really?” she said. 

Persaud’s acceptance speech was concise but very heartfelt.

“I thank God for leading me, my dad for pushing me into this position and giving me the opportunity and the Stellars. But really, this awards goes to my listeners, my supporters, especially my team at WOKB! We are Central Florida’s Longest Running Gospel Radio Station. It’s hard to go wrong when you have a team that shares the same passion for our community. Thank you so much. This is such an honor. Thank you!”

WOKB is unique in that you will not only hear inspirational music but also sermons by local and national preachers, national programming, sports commentary; real talk on various topics, as well as helpful information on finance, real estate and the law. 

WOKB, with offices at 50 South Clarke Road in Ocoee, has been broadcasting in Central Florida since 1956.

Kudos to Persaud (who’s often seen out and about, along with team members, in the Central Florida community) and the entire WOKB team: Glenn Allgood, Brother Gerrille, Chris Shaw; Lady Drina, Lady D and everyone else who work at the station including those behind the scenes. Way to go to all of you who make up the WOKB family! God did that – with the team effort! 


© Orlando Community News, 2017


Posted in Community news that can help

Guest Editorial: Barack Obama – A Good President

Editor’s Note: It’s February 2017 and Donald Trump is President of The United States. While many wish it was a dream and feel uneasy about his presidency, some are elated and anxious about his promised changes. As President Barack Obama prepared to leave office and conducted farewell speeches, audience members could be heard chanting, “Four More Years! Four More Years!” Once, he responded: “Can’t do that.” True and probably wouldn’t want to do four more years either because of obstruction from the majority Republican controlled Senate. One of the highlights of this online publication is its Guest Editorials – occasional thought-provoking editorials from people who live in the community or surrounding Central Florida area. Here’s one from Adele Doctor, who recently wrote on her Facebook page about the change in the U.S. presidency. Her perspective caught my attention so I am sharing. 

Feeling Proud

January 20, 2017 — My thoughts on this historic inaugural day 2017:adele

I have been watching tributes to the Obamas for the past few days and I wanted to express my feelings on his presidency. I have listened to people who assumed that all Black people supported Obama just because he was Black. Now, don’t get me wrong. I AM proud of my race but that is something that I would neither change or deny. I am proud of Barack Obama because he has always been strong and optimistic even ’til 11:59 a.m. on today. Eve-n in the midst of doubt, disrespect and sheer opposition, he remained strong. I didn’t say – right. I may have disagreed with some of his positions, but no man is perfect. I feel he did a lot of things right.

There are some people who will not even admit that he was a good president. Some still won’t admit he was “their” president. The truth and fact are – he was/is a good man and was a good president!

But, now I must accept the fact that Trump is now our president. I will pray that somehow, with God’s help, he will be able to fulfill the duties of the highest office in the free world.

The same awesome responsibility was bestowed upon Obama eight years ago and now history has a lot of accomplishments to add to his legacy. fovever44presobama

I am so proud to have lived to witness a part of history that I was able to experience with my kids and grandkids. You cannot erase that from my mind or the history books! With God’s help, he made it through not only one term, but two – despite the people who opposed him from his Day 1.

With God ALL things are possible. This holds true for the years to come.

From this United States Navy veteran, I salute you Barack Obama and family. Fair winds and Following Seas President Obama!

Adele Doctor is a long-time Central Florida resident. She is known for her work with bone marrow transplant education and survivor support, along with other health initiatives especially for children. She’s retired from the Navy and currently works as the administrative assistant to the Dean of Math at Valencia College. She’s also a proud University of Central Florida alumni.

© Owrlando Community News, 2017
Posted in Community news that can help

Gun Safety and Buy Back Today

February 9, 2017 (Orlando) — If you don’t want it, turn it in – anonymously. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s gun safety – buy back event is underway today for anyone wanting to turn in a weapon.

It started at 7 a.m. and will continue until 7 p.m. at the Orange Blossom Trail Development Board, 2719 South Orange Blossom Trail.

This is open only to people turning in guns. The sheriff’s office plans to hand out $50 gift cards for guns turned it. (Real and unloaded)

Here’s what you need to do when you take your gun down there: make sure it’s UNLOADED and stored in a plastic bag inside your car. A deputy will remove the gun from the car for you. No questions asked, no identification required.

There will be FREE gun locks available on site for any additional firearms you may own, according to information from the sheriff’s office.

For more information contact: Brooke Eckenrod 407-254-7387


© Orlando Community News, 2017







Posted in Community news that can help | 1 Comment

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season


Community Health and Wellness Partner, Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center Offers Tips on Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Between the Thanksgiving and New Years Eve holidays, most Americans gain anywhere between 2-8 lbs., with an average gain of 3.5 lbs. As we know, weight gain, can lead to various illnesses. What can you do to make sure you make healthy choices this holiday season?

Recognize common causes of weight gain:

  • Social PressureThe holidays are a socially sanctioned time to relax, stop caring about health and eat what you want. But people still feel guilty about this so, they’ll pressure you to join them so they can feel better about their own indulgences.
  • StressHoliday commitments means stress; stress means comfort eating and no one comfort eats – celery sticks. Cortisol (the stress hormone) also promotes weight gain, especially the dreaded “belly fat.”
  • Broken routinesTraveling means you spend a lot of time sitting; you get thrown off your regular exercise routine and you’re not always in control of your food.
  • Emotional associationsMaybe it’s no struggle for you to pass up any random candy on the street, but if Grandma made it just for you, it gets a lot harder, especially if you have fond memories of eating it in years past.

What can you do?

  • Surround yourself with like-minded friends/family members
    • Set yourself up for success!
  • Don’t get hungry
    • Make sure you eat enough protein to curb your sensations.
  • Have a plan
    • Make sure you plan your meals and if you are going to indulge, make sure it’s in healthy increments.

The Wayne Densch YMCA staff wishes you a Safe, Fun and Healthy Holiday Season! Submitted by: Associate Executive Director, Jeremy Garren. The Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center is located at 870 N. Hastings St., Orlando, FL 32808. Phone: (407) 299-4350.

© Orlando Community News, 2016


Posted in Community news that can help, Faith and Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,