Here are the 5 Things you need to know in and around Osceola County for June 18:
1. The Osceola County School District has renewed its School Resource Officer contract, spending $3 million on our students’ safety.
When students return to Osceola County school campuses, hopefully in August as scheduled for the 2020-21, parents and the community can feel secure in knowing the safety of those schools has been accounted for.
At Monday’s School Board meeting, the Osceola County School Board renewed its contracts with the Kissimmee Police Department, St. Cloud Police Department and the Osceola County School Board for School Resource Officers.
The cost to the school district is roughly $3 million, and it’s money the state mandates is spent after the 2018 school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. If the school year opens with students still on remote learning, the SROs will continue working within their agencies until campuses are open to students and staff.
Thanks to the work done by the county’s School Resource Officers, who make a positive difference in the lives of Osceola County’s students!
2. The Osceola County School District will hold in-person Class of 2020 graduation ceremonies next month — AND they will be live streamed.
For those who cannot make it to Osceola County School for the Arts or Osceola Heritage Park in three weeks to celebrate a senior class that’s quite literally been through it all, the Osceola School District has announced that it will LIVE stream all graduations via the district’s Facebook through Facebook Live and the District’s YouTube channel.
It all starts July 6 with Professional And Technical High, Adult Learning Center Osceola, Osceola Virtual School and Zenith, Osceola School for the Arts on July 7, Poinciana, Harmony and Osceola High on the 8th, Tohopekaliga, Liberty and St. Cloud High on the 9th, and Celebration, Gateway and Osceola Technical College on the 10th. Go to PositivelyOsceola.com or check out our Facebook page to get the full schedule of schools. A big “Thank you” to the school district for helping everyone recognize the years of hard work and success of these students and their teachers and families.
3. The number of new COVID-19 cases has been very high the last few days. A change in how they’re reported may be a factor in that.
It was another high day for new cases, with the state adding 2,610 new cases. Twenty-six are in Osceola County, running its number to 892. And 25 new deaths were reported statewide, including the 22nd one in Osceola, a 74-year-old male who’s listed as having contact with another case. That’s the first one reported here in nearly two weeks.
A new, and important, detail was reported late last week by Dr. Raul Pino, Orange County’s Department of Health lead officer — the state DOH is now counting positive antibody tests into the daily total. But some could be people who just have antibodies and are fully recovered or who never knew they had it.
4. But here’s some good news: U.S. retail sales jumped 17.7 percent in May as many businesses re-opened.
With the qualification period now complete for this year’s political candidates, the races for our state and federal officers are now clear. Earlier in the week Positively Osceola broke down the Kissimmee City and Osceola County officers that will be up for grabs starting in the Aug. 18 primary election, and now it’s time to talk about those trying to reach or return to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.
Osceola County contains parts of three State House of Representatives districts. District 39, which includes Celebration and Four Corners, is the only one with an incumbent running. District 42, made up of the east side of Lake Toho, over to and beyond St. Cloud and down into Polk County, features a Republican primary on Aug. 18 that will decide who goes on to the Nov. 3 general election to replace outgoing Representative Mike La Rosa. District 43, which has most of Kissimmee, Pleasant Hill Road and the northwest part of Poinciana, has a field of six interesting Democratic candidates who will square off to take the place of John Cortes, who is running for another office.
As a reminder, you must be registered to vote in Osceola County by July 20 to vote in the primary. All election and voting information can be found at the Supervisor of Elections Office website at voteosceola.com.
5. And finally, since we like to end on a fun note … the Food and Drug Administration has approved a prescription video game to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children!
For the first time in history, “go take your medicine” now can mean, “go play a video game”. Akili Interactive’s EndeavorRX is the result of seven years of clinical trials that studied over 600 children to figure out whether a video game could actually make a difference. The result is a treatment option that doesn’t include prescribing a traditional drug. As Akili calls it, “It’s time to play your medicine.”
In studies, after four weeks, one-third of children “no longer had a measurable attention deficit on at least one measure of objective attention” after playing the game, which involves dodging obstacles and collecting targets — a pretty standard video game — for 25 minutes a day, five days a week for four days.
The game first became available as a treatment in April for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for the weather … Some areas saw rain Wednesday, and more will likely see it on Thursday, with a 50 percent chance of afternoon storms. The high temperature should reach 90 before the rain moves in, and the low overnight will be 73 with partly cloudy skies after sunset.