Good Morning and welcome to the start of the Independence Day holiday weekend! Here’s The 5 Things You Need to Know In and Around Osceola County for July 3, 2020!

1. Officials with Publix have confirmed that two St. Cloud stores are among 21 in the Orlando area that have associates who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The local stores are the ones on South Narcoossee Road near U.S. 192 and on Canoe Creek Road in the Cross Creek Village.

The grocery chain says all of their employees who test positive are getting 14 days’ paid leave so they can quarantine. The company also said it will continue to enforce protective measures in their stores.

“The testing and reporting of cases by health departments varies widely state-by-state. As a result, we cannot fully and accurately report cases in real time, but we have been, and will continue to be, keenly focused on intensive, ongoing protective measures in all our stores,” Publix spokesperson Maria Brous said.

2. You can help students who are in need of school supplies through the Education Foundation of Osceola County’s Virtual Supply Drive.

With a plan in place now for school to resume in Osceola County this year, many students need your help now more than ever as they will be returning to school with no supplies to do their work. You can help the Education Foundation of Osceola County prepare for the 2020-21 school year by participating in its 2020 Virtual Supply Drive, which began Wednesday.

To understand the power of one donation, $10 can supply an elementary student with a supply kit to start the year off right, and $50 prepares a classroom with the supplies needed for the month. The annual supply drive historically draws competition among local businesses to see who can donate the most supplies, and despite the coronavirus pandemic the Foundation still wants to host the race to the finish line and award different businesses the title of “the ultimate donor!”, so get your donations in.

Go to Foundation and set up a one-time donation or a recurring gift. You can also text “Supply2020” to 41444 to make your donation.


3. As of Tuesday, the Kissimmee Utility Authority is receiving solar energy, and you can sign up to power some or all of your home or business with it. 

One of those customers is the city of Kissimmee. It signed on to the project back in 2019 as its first subscriber, and this week solar energy is powering 100 percent of its facilities — without needing any special equipment. The city will consume about 10 percent of KUA’s total output from the solar farm to power all of its city-owned facilities.

KUA customers can follow the lead of the City of Kissimmee, and power from 25 to 100 percent of their homes and businesses from the sun. For more information on KUA’s new community solar program, go to


4. UCF Athletic Director has been named the fourth-best AD in the country.

He was named among the top ADs in the nation on Tuesday, as Watch Stadium’s Brett McMurphy and Jeff Goodman ranked White fourth overall among all Football Bowl Subdivision athletic directors.

McMurphy and Goodman based their rankings of all 130 athletic directors based on the success of the coaches they hired in football and men’s basketball, the difficulty of opponents in their conferences, bowl appearances, NCAA Tournament trips, conference titles and national championships won.

Over the last three seasons, UCF is the only FBS program in the country to have every one of its team sports finish with a winning record every year.

5. If your 4th of July plans include setting off fireworks, keep in mind your safety, and that of your poor dogs.

Most area cities and parks have canceled 4th of July fireworks celebrations to avoid large crowds that would hinder coronavirus prevention efforts. That means many people will be, or have been, buying their own fireworks to provide the “rockets red glare”. Safety needs to be the main concern to have a safe and fun holiday, for you and your vulnerable pets, like dogs.

Things to keep in mind if you’ll be handling fireworks this weekend include:

Don’t light them in your hand.
Don’t let children fire them off.
Drinking and fireworks DO NOT mix.
Let the leftovers sit overnight, then wet them and throw them away.
Light them on a sidewalk or street and not in the grass.

While July 4th may be a favorite holiday for Americans, it’s one of the least favorite for their pets, like cats and dogs.

Something you can do before the booms and pops start is properly ID’ing your dog, in case they bolt or escape. This is a case where microchipping them can save their lives.

Another suggestion is putting them in a “thundershirt”, a tight-fitting garment designed to provide gentle, constant pressure to your dog’s body, producing a calming effect. Putting them in a crate can also make them feel secure, as can comforting them, or involving them in play to take their attention from the loud noise. It also helps to walk and feed them, and give them water in the daylight hours before the fireworks start. White noise, like turning up the TV at loud volume, can also drown out uncomfortable noises.

And now for today’s weather: Expect a higher storm chance for the weekend, starting today. There’s an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms developing late in the afternoon, with a high of 92. Tonight expect partly cloudy skies and a low of 75. The rain chances stay high through at least Monday.