Significant: May 2022

This month will always be one of the most significant months for me and this publication. First off, we the people in this country celebrate Mother’s Day. Our mothers and mother figures seemed to have the most positive influence on us: They certainly do more than we give them credit for.

Mother Altamese J. Martin

As I celebrated the holiday this year with my 86-year-old mother and immediate family, I took note of a couple of things. I heard a minister remind mothers how blessed they were and how they should always celebrate motherhood. But more importantly, the minister said, we all need to celebrate mothers – not just one day but everyday. A mother’s love most closely reflect God’s love for each one of us: It’s unconditional. (Reference: I Corinthians 13: 4-8, Bible)

Sometime after the holiday, I made a trip to my local grocery store and before I got inside, it started to rain. Hard. If you’re in Central Florida, you know what that means. I wasn’t alone dashing in and out of the store with groceries. I couldn’t help but notice that it was mostly women and most of them had way more groceries than I. In my mind, they were mothers or mother figures, getting food for their household during an afternoon thunderstorm. That’s just one thing we overlook that mothers do – seemingly effortlessly. And won’t a mother cheer on their baby or babies on – even if no one else does? Yes! Sometimes, it’s just them being there, listening especially when we’ve had a bad day. Mothers are GREAT! We shouldn’t make life so hard for them. In fact, children are called to obey their parents and honor or value their father and mother (parents or legal guardians). Read the promise from God in Ephesians 6: 1-4, Bible. There’s no expiration date of God’s expectation of children.

This May, we also celebrate the 11th anniversary for Orlando Community News! I can only thank God for the vision for this online publication, the good news and information shared so far and it’s future. To God be the glory! God has even added a partner, my husband, Nate Marshall! As we do more, we pray, together as a family and community, that people will be uplifted and lives improve from something that is shared here. The best is still yet to come!

Remember to send your submissions and story ideas for consideration to me at orlandocommunitynews@gmail.com. We will soon set up a method for readers to donate electronically to this community organization. Better yet, continue to pray with us for its success. In Christ’s name and for his namesake. Amen.

Trish Martin Marshall, OCN Founder and Editor
Posted in Community news that can help | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Significant: May 2022

Local City Elections: Take Your Soul to the Poll Today, March 8

March 8, 2022 (Orlando) — Community leaders and other concerned, everyday people can’t say it enough: local elections are just as important as statewide and presidential elections.

The type of person we choose to represent us – to help with things we need or don’t need in our communities – is key to change. Responsive and Servant Leaders are needed. I think we all can agree to that. So today, Tuesday, March 8, if you live in your city limits and you are eligible to vote, GO VOTE because voting really IS a part of you speaking up about happens in your neighborhood. Research the candidates and GO VOTE.

You should have received a Sample Ballot of the public offices open and the names of the people who are for those offices. Polls are open until 7 p.m. today for elections in the City of Apopka, City of Belle Isle, City of Maitland; Town of Oakland and City of Winter Park. The Town of Eatonville had its election on last Saturday and voters there elected a new mayor, Angie Gardner, who previously served as a town council member.

If you did not receive a Sample Ballot where you currently live, that can mean one or two things. One, you moved and forgot to update your contact information with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office or two, you live in an area of the city that does not have an open public office on which to vote.

Every vote counts and we see that again in Eatonville’s election where races where won by three and five votes, for instance.

If you have any questions about voting today, contact the elections office. Address: 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806. Phone number: (407) 836-2070. Website: http://www.ocfelections.gov

-Trish Martin Martin, OCN Founder and Editor

Posted in Community news that can help | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Local City Elections: Take Your Soul to the Poll Today, March 8

Local City Elections: Early Voting Starts Monday, Eatonville’s Saturday Election, New Faces Vying For Public Offices

February 27, 2022 (Eatonville, Florida) – You have seen the signs, right? Political signs once again cover major corridors and intersections throughout Orange County. Yes, it’s election season in local municipalities throughout the county.

If you live in the Eatonville town limit and you are eligible to vote, you should have received information from the town clerk’s office about the upcoming election. Early voting starts Monday, Feb. 28 and ends on Friday, March 4, at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office. Election Day voting is Saturday, March 5 at the Eatonville Town Hall. If you live here and you are registered to vote, you have the opportunity to select the Mayor, along with town council members for seats two, three and five. Council Seat Two has the most competition. What’s noticeable is the number of newcomers to local public office races including in the race for seat two. Many of the newcomers are women.

Take Ruthi Critton, Eatonville native who’s also known by her real name – Ruth – who’s running for council seat two. She has never campaigned for public office before but she said she was encouraged to get involved with the city, shortly after graduating from college, working in the banking industry for about six years and moving back into her family home with her husband. Running against incumbent Theo Washington (current Vice Mayor) and former town council member Angela Thomas, Critton said several things sparked her interest in joining the council.

“I’ve always had a lot of pride in my hometown. Mu-Mu [my mother, Muriel Critton]’s great uncles was one of the founders of the town. Then, when I moved back here, the mayor of the town, Eddie Cole, approached me about getting involved so I joined an advisory board and started going to the meetings. There’s always a lot of controversy and I thought, that’s not why 22 men got together and founded the town.”

Critton noted also there are very few young adults involved in the town. “Eatonville has so much to offer and the only way to show it is to get young adults to come back and get involved. It’s my intention to serve…I want people to feel the way I feel.”

Ruthi Critton

Her campaign, themed “A New Choice, A New Voice,” seeks to bring back programs for the youth – and not just recreational ones, she said. Youth ages 14-18 need more attention; they need programs to prepare them to take care of themselves, said Critton, a graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University who works in estate planning and real estate law. She said the town has a lot of seniors and it would be good for those residents to mentor young people in the town. She would also like to have special events for senior residents. The third thing she mentioned was something most folk talk about when it comes to Eatonville – the oldest Black incorporated municipality in the United States: economic development. Outside of COVID-19 and its aftermath, people should still be able to work their business from within their own community, said Critton, the oldest daughter of Pastor Ronald Critton of Beth Tehillah Ministries in Casselberry and the late Muriel Critton.

Angela Thomas is not new to the Town Council but she’s been away since 2016 when she said her schedule did not permit her to dedicate time to Eatonville. Now, working by day as a title clerk and mortgage loan officer, she said she can be more focused.

“Eatonville has so much potential,” said Thomas, a Kentucky native who has lived in the town for more than 12 years. “We are unique in our own way and there’s nothing we can’t do as a group.

Somehow, we have to put God back into the equation, working for the betterment of the people.”

Angela Thomas

She pointed out the significance of the names of several men who were influential in establishing Eatonville; Their names are biblical, she said of Joseph Clarke and Josiah Eaton. She said she didn’t have one particular thing to address in reference to what issues she wants to work on.

Thomas is a mother of seven adult children and grandmother of 24. She is a member of Macedonia.

For more information about Critton’s campaign, send an email to ruthicritton@gmail.com or about Thomas’ campaign, call (321) 310-6233.

Editor’s Note: We were unable to reach Theo Washington for this article but we will update it if possible, prior to the election on Saturday. Also, in other Eatonville election news: Incumbent Mayor Eddie Cole has a repeat challenger: Angie Gardner. Also, incumbent councilmember Rodney Daniels faces off against former councilmember Tarus Mack for seat three. For seat five, Wanda Randolph faces Marilyn Davis-Sconions.

Posted in Community news that can help | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Local City Elections: Early Voting Starts Monday, Eatonville’s Saturday Election, New Faces Vying For Public Offices

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

The team at WOKB won again recently! WOKB 1680 AM, Orlando won The Stellar Gospel Music Award’s Major Market Radio Station of the Year during the Stellar awards show which aired on BET in August. The radio station, which broadcasts from Ocoee, was among four finalists throughout the county, including stations in Houston, Charlotte and Chicago. Lady Drina and Glenn Allgood received the award on behalf of the station. WOKB 1680 is also in the midst of a major fundraising campaign to expand to the FM dial (100.7 FM is coming soon.) Contact WOKB 1680 CEO Shanti Persaud, shanti@wokbradio.com or (407) 293-9652, for details on how you can help the station grow and reach more people. – Trish Martin, Orlando Community News, 11/25/2021

OrlandoCommunityNews

twiceforwokb

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…

View original post 270 more words

Posted in Community news that can help | Comments Off on Two Years in A Row: Orlando’s WOKB Radio Station Wins National Award

Two Years In: Let’s All Tell God Thank You!

November 25, 2021, Thanksgiving Day – In everything, give God thanks! We have confidence in him. He is God. He’s in Control and He is Mindful of Us. We recognize his great mercy toward us. Hallelujah!

The world should pause today and give thanks to God Almighty! In fact, everyone in the world should just give God thanks every day and strive to please him every day!

For at least two years, God has kept all of us here on purpose!

It’s been rough going through a pandemic but through it all, he has been with us and he has provided for us. (Mercy!)

So let’s show God our gratitude! Amen, he’s so Worthy of our Thanksgiving!

#FirstandForemost

#ThankYouLord

Posted in Faith and Family | Tagged | Comments Off on Two Years In: Let’s All Tell God Thank You!

Orlando Elections: Commissioners Keep Their Jobs

The official results are in and all three City of Orlando commissioners will stay in office for another term – four more years. Commissioners Jim Gray and Regina I. Hill handedly beat their opponents in the Nov. 2 City of Orlando Election, while Commissioner Robert F. Stuart squeaked by his challenger Nicolette Fariello Springer. As predicted by some, the city election results revealed low voter turnout: Of the 96,068 registered voters in districts 1, 3 and 5, only 12,600 or 13.12% actually cast ballots, based on information obtained from the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office.

The commissioners’ new term will begin on Jan. 10, 2022.

Here are some details about the city’s election results:

  • In District 1, Gray got slightly more than 62% of the votes cast while Sunshine L. Grund came in second with close to 23% of the votes and Bill Moore came in third with close to 15% of the votes. There are 40,712 eligible voters in the district; About 3,400 actually voted.
  • In the close District 3 race, Stuart barely beat Springer, getting nearly 51% of the votes cast. Springer got just over 44% of the votes and the other candidate, Samuel Chambers, got just over 5% of the votes. Just to show you that all voters matter: Stuart had 3,539 votes and Springer had 3,073 votes. It was that close! There are 32,796 eligible voters in the district; Close to 7,000 voted.
  • In District 5, Hill beat Shaniqua “Shan” Rose to win a third term on the city commission, getting just over 73% of the votes cast, while Rose got nearly 27% of the votes. There are 22,560 eligible voters in the district; About 2,200 actually voted.

If you have any questions or concerns about the election or the results, contact the City Clerk’s office or the county elections office: City Clerk, (407) 246-2251/ Orange County Supervisor of Elections, (407) 836-2070.

Orlando Community News, 2021
Posted in Community news that can help, Election Connection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Orlando Elections: Commissioners Keep Their Jobs

Early Voting Winding Down for Upcoming City of Orlando Election

October 29, 2021 (Orlando) – If you live in the city limits of Orlando and you are registered to vote, this should be a reminder: There are two days left of Early Voting at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office – Saturday and Sunday. Hours on Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. If you miss early voting, don’t miss the opportunity to vote at your polling place on Election Day – Tuesday, Nov. 2. Voters will elect city commissioners for districts 1,3 and 5.

If you have a completed mail in ballot, it’s too late to actually mail it so election officials advise voters to drop off their completed and properly signed ballots to the elections office, located at 119 West Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806.

One great aspect of our country’s democratic process is people are able to vote and another one is people are able to qualify and run for public office.

In the city, all three incumbents of the open commission seats have at least one challenger.

In District 1, including communities such as Lake Nona and Vista Lakes, two people are on the ballot with Commissioner Jim Gray, who was first elected to the commission June 1, 2012. In District 3, including communities such as Rosemont and College Park, two people are on the ballot with Commissioner Robert F. Stuart, an Orlando native who previously served as co-chair of the Mayor’s Working Committee on Homelessness and on the taskforce for Orange County’s Council on Aging. In District 5, including communities such as Parramore, MetroWest and Mercy Drive, one person is on the ballot with Commissioner Regina I. Hill, who was first elected to the commission in 2013.

The contenders are:

Sunshine L. Grund, who has lived in the Northlake Park community since 2013 and who says she is running a campaign without donations and Bill Moore, a lifelong resident and former Orlando Police Officer, for District 1.

Samuel Chambers, Orlando native and Florida State University graduate who has worked in a legislative office, and Nicolette Fariello Springer, who has worked as assistant director of a research center, for District 3.

Shaniqua “Shan” Rose, a former City of Orlando employee and current President of Change For The Community, Inc., for District 5.

Voters will choose who will represent them on the city commission. Local races for these public offices are just as important, if not more important as state and national races because the people who serve locally make key decisions about the everyday needs and wants of residents and business owners.

With changes to elections laws being voted on and enacted throughout the country (including in Florida), voters here will have to navigate carefully to make sure their vote is counted.

In Orange County, the election officials will do a vote by mail voter certificate signature comparison on ballots received for this election. That process started Oct. 5 and will continue each business day up until election day and run continuously until the first unofficial results are obtained, according to the election office’s website.

Polls are open on election day from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

If you have any questions or concerns about voting in the upcoming City of Orlando Election, contact the elections office. Phone: (407) 836-2070 or Visit online: http://www.ocfelections.com

Orlando Community News, 2021

Posted in Community news that can help, Election Connection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Early Voting Winding Down for Upcoming City of Orlando Election

Unapologetically You: Dr. E. Laverne Williams’ Nuggets of Wisdom for High School Graduates

REpost! For all high school graduates

OrlandoCommunityNews

Dr. E. Laverne Williams

Retired Educator, Professional Christian Counselor and American Red Cross Volunteer, Dr. E. Laverne Williams, has imparted wisdom to high school graduates from Central Florida for years. And the tradition continues: She participates in drive-by graduation celebrations sponsored by her church, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Eatonville, acknowledging scholarship and honorable mention recipients.

Also, in a recent interview, she shared some wisdom nuggets to hold on to during challenging times like these. The nuggets, meant for high school graduates heading off to college, military, vocational schools or the workforce, are good for anyone feeling an overwhelming amount of stress, social isolation, trauma or various social, emotional and mental health issues.

Take note of Dr. Williams’ own “Be-Attitudes” nuggets:

▪ Be unapologetically yourself: You will never influence the world by trying to be like the world.

▪ Be the source of what you want to attract in your…

View original post 815 more words

Posted in Community news that can help | Comments Off on Unapologetically You: Dr. E. Laverne Williams’ Nuggets of Wisdom for High School Graduates

Unapologetically You: Dr. E. Laverne Williams’ Nuggets of Wisdom for High School Graduates

Dr. E. Laverne Williams

Retired Educator, Professional Christian Counselor and American Red Cross Volunteer, Dr. E. Laverne Williams, has imparted wisdom to high school graduates from Central Florida for years. And the tradition continue recently when she participated in drive-by graduation celebrations sponsored by her church, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Eatonville, acknowledging scholarship winners and honorable mention recipients.  

Also, in a recent interview, she shared some wisdom nuggets to hold on to during challenging times like these. The nuggets, meant for high school graduates heading off to college, military, vocational schools or the workforce, are good for anyone feeling an overwhelming amount of stress, social isolation, trauma or various social, emotional and mental health issues.

Take note of Dr. Williams’ own “Be-Attitudes” nuggets:

▪ Be unapologetically yourself: You will never influence the world by trying to be like the world.

▪ Be the source of what you want to attract in your life: Whatever you want to experience yourself, be that source within the lives of others.

▪ Be confident: Do not feel the need to conform to anyone else’s ideas and realities of who you should or should not be.

▪ Be humble: Humility is not appearing passive and weak. Your character has to be one of confidence, while respecting those around you and what they have to offer others. Set aside differences, pride and opinions to create humility.

▪ Find your niche (post COVID-19): Spend time with roommates, join clubs, play sports; meet friends, create a community or multiple communities of individuals who make you feel safe, happy, secure and supported so that you can be yourself.

Why is sharing nuggets like these each year so important to Dr. Williams? She said, “Because the idea, the thought, the energy of graduating from high school is a challenge within itself.

“Education has changed drastically during the past 10-15 years. It has transitioned from teaching and learning to coaching and tutoring to pass state tests and to boost school grades. In my professional opinion as an educator for more than 45 years, authentic education has been watered down and diluted so much that it takes the true meaning of life-long learning out of the classrooms. The majority of teachers have been stripped of their creativity, originality and innovative strategies of the teaching and disciplining the “whole” student. We owe the majority of this erosion to Common Core and legislators/educational legislations that have managed to irreparably damage the educational system.  

Our young people/students need to know that their church family has supported and encouraged them throughout their educational matriculation. They also need to know and understand that the love, prayers and support will continue.”

The past two years (2020 and 2021) have been like none other because of the effects of the COVID-9 virus on our daily lives. Many high school graduates throughout the country delayed their first semester of college, while some took classes online and others went ahead off to college (some of whom learned later on that their on-campus housing closed down because of a spike in Coronavirus cases: They had to either leave campus or stay in their dorm rooms with strict quarantine rules.)

In her role as a counseling professional, Dr. Williams has seen and heard more than any one person should. But God has given her the grace, love, authority; peace, joy, empathy and education to observe and help people through their difficult and dark crises and sometimes their hopeless-appearing challenges.

“Our students have been through so much during their 13 years in school. For instance,  social media challenges/threats (bullying), biased testing, increased peer suicides, drug  use/abuse/addictions, homelessness, sexual abuse/molestation, domestic violence;  social-economic deprivation, COVID-19 Pandemic as well as educators who are often unmotivated, inexperienced and insensitive to the needs of our children of color, minorities. The majority of minority students are not being taught or trained to become leaders or independent thinkers partly because of the misuse and abuse of technology and the lack of discipline in the homes and schools.”

She said, “Call me old-school, traditional or old-fashioned if you like. We must get a handle on parenting, educating and disciplining our children and young people. There are no real role models in many of our homes and definitely NOT in our schools. There must be leaders and role models within every entity of our children’s lives in order to facilitate the positive and independent growth that our students so critically/crucially need to become contributing members of society!”

Thank God for the church! Thank God for Macedonia’s Pastor Willie C Barnes, who has the heart for children and understands the importance of training up children in the way they should go and instilling in them the importance of having a true relationship with God.

Dr. Williams ended the interview by sharing some wisdom nuggets for parents/guardians of graduates also:

▪ Keep in touch. Don’t become a helicopter parent.

▪ Be prepared to listen and provide guidance, options and suggestions – not quick fixes. Keep this in mind parents: T.L.C. – you have TRAINED them, you LOVE them and now you must CAST them. Clip their wings and watch them soar!

▪ Don’t hit the ceiling or get irate about grades.

▪ Know when to get involved (Parents know their students better than anyone else. If you suspect a mental health condition or some type of allergic reaction that may send your student into a tailspin, respond immediately by seeking medical and/or professional mental health help.)

▪ Be open to new routines; consider large changes for the student and for the family.

Congratulations to all high school graduates! Always do your best and keep these nuggets in mind! Dr. Williams can be reached via email at elaverne77@gmail.com if you need more information.

– Trish Martin, Founder and Editor, Orlando Community News

Posted in Community news that can help, Youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Unapologetically You: Dr. E. Laverne Williams’ Nuggets of Wisdom for High School Graduates

May is For Mothers 💕

May is for Mothers so we celebrate all mothers, all month! God bless you as you enjoy your special day – Sunday, May 9, and your special month! Even in this time of COVID-19, face masks, social distancing and vaccines, you are not forgotten: You are appreciated – for all of the great work you have done and are doing!

“Strength and honour are her clothing; And she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
-Proverbs 31: 25-28, KJV, The Bible

To my Momma, Altamese J. Martin, I love you and I pray you experience a wonderful holiday – quality time with your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, even if virtually. You are blessed and I know that you know this so we celebrate with you! 

Prayer: Thank you Father God for Momma. Thank for your grace and mercy, provision and protection, strength; comfort and longevity in her life. We know this is your doing and it’s marvelous in our eyes! Thank you for turning her set backs into set ups! Hallelujah! Thank you for a praying Mother. She Loves you and is full of your wisdom. She has worked hard and is blessed. Her seed is blessed. Let all of us come to know you and follow her example as she follows Christ. In Jesus name! You have kept her in the midst of it all. Glory! Hallelujah! Thank you Father God! We can sing together: “Down through the years, the Lord’s been good to me, Oh, Down through the years, the Lord’s been good to me. I know the Lord’s been good to me!” Amen! 

Go ahead mothers – Sing! Shout! Dance! for the gift of motherhood and God’s keeping power! You are here for another Mother’s Day on purpose and your children are here to honor you and shower you with gifts and unconditional love!

For anyone who is missing their mother this holiday season because she has passed on, I pray that you reflect on the good times and feel the love and comfort of God. 

I know that God often places other mothers in people’s lives to fill the void so embrace those Grandmothers, Mother-in-Laws, Godmothers, Aunties and other women of distinction who have positively influenced your life! Reach out to them in whatever way possible. Show your love!

May God bless and keep you all!
Happy Mother’s Day! 

From Orlando Community News
Founder and Editor: Trish Martin

Posted in Community news that can help | Comments Off on May is For Mothers 💕