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Brittni Larson

Stories by Brittni

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Georgia Miller wins Ave Maria University scholarship

Local wins big check

When Georgia Miller walked into the room she thought everyone was there to congratulate her on winning a Christmas sweater contest. It was much better.

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Drivers licenses provide keys to independence for foster kids

Driving training for foster kids

A new program helps teens and young adults in the foster care system ages 15 to 21 get their learner’s permit and then a license. It pays for driver’s education classes and car insurance through state funding.

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Orlando students welcome Japanese visitors

School welcomes Japanese students

On Dec. 11, the robotics club at Orlando Science Charter School welcomed 20 Japanese students from Meizen High School to share science knowledge and how school works in each other’s countries.

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Tiny taster brings big, healthy flavors to Baldwin Park

Blogger encourages healthy eating

The 5-foot-tall Annia Villa — the “tiny” in Tiny Taster — takes dishes that are simple and quick enough for every day and elevates them just a little while packing in big flavor.

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Winter Parker writes sci-fi thriller

Winter Parker pens thiller

The story takes readers on a ride after an earthquake and the release of hungry, green-eyed serpents, which take over the ocean eating everything in sight.

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Senior pool sharks jump into the deep end

Ladies run the table

Residents at some local senior living communities spend their golden years trying new hobbies and sports, including eight women who have their own pool playing group at Village on the Green in Longwood.

Orlando doctors help find hepatitis C cure

Hepatitis C cure announced

In more than 90 percent of trial patients of a new drug, hepatitis C was undetectable in their blood 12 weeks after treatment, which doctors consider a cure.

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Rollins College students live-tweet history

Live-tweeting from 1893

A Rollins College class took social media’s “throwback” posting theme to the next level last week, treating the public to a day of tweeting and instagramming the news like it was 1893.

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More seniors learn to say hi-tech hellos

Seniors learn to Skype

Dealing with confusing pop ups, emailing, opening photo attachments of their newly arrived grandchildren, even turning a computer on can be a challenge for seniors who didn’t grow up with this type of technology at their fingertips.

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WUCF radio station celebrates 35 years on air

Station celebrates milestone

Central Florida's only stictly jazz station, which began in the days when UCF was FTU — and was also once named WFTU — celebrated 35 years on Sept. 12.

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Blow dry bar trend heats up in Winter Park

New hair trend hits

Women step into Cherry Blow Dry Bar wearing messy top-knots and thrown up pony tails. They leave with tresses fit for the red carpet.

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Altamonte veterans event hosts pioneer female general

Female vet headlines event

After 28 years in the service Wilma Vaught retired as a brigadier general, for many years was one of the most highly decorated military women — a trailblazer for women in the military.

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Is the impact of caffeine dictated by your genes?

Students study caffeine effects

Ten high school students were taught how to isolate and test a piece of their DNA that research has shown is an indicator for how a person metabolizes caffeine during a summer program at Rollins College.

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The Finley Project offers support for grieving mothers

Mom creates charity after loss

The Finley Project, created by Maitland mom Noelle Moore, is aimed at helping moms heal after they’ve lost a child.

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Orlando-area filmmakers take on 48-hour movie-making challenge

Making a movie in 48 hours

Filmmakers from all over the world, including Orlando, race the clock each year to make a movie in just 48 hours during The 48 Hour Film Project.

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Winter Park organizations help seniors grow in-home gardens

Seniors get gardening tips

Local nonprofit Our Whole Community and the Winter Park Housing Authority have partnered up to help improve seniors’ access to healthy foods.

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Taste of the Nation event helps end childhood hunger

Take a bite out of hunger

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Orlando is celebrating its 25th year helping to combat childhood hunger this year. In its 25 years, it has raised more than $3 million,

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Tracking tooth imprints can improve children's safety

Prints can provide clues

A few minutes and a little wishbone-shaped piece of wax could make all the difference for a parent looking for their missing child.

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TEDx Talk fame leads local teacher to seek election

Teacher finds his voice

Joshua Katz, a University High School algebra teacher, is running for school board after his TEDx Talk on the “toxic culture of education” garnered public support encouraging him to run.

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Bank helps customers find jobs in unlikely places

Jobs in unlikely places

In 2012 Fifth Third partnered with company NextJob, identified customers who had lost their jobs, and offered them NextJob’s employment seeking service.

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Ballroom dance lessons benefit seniors with dementia

Dancing through dementia

In 2013 a team of researchers released a study that shows staying active — with your brain and body — could be effective in staving off Alzheimer’s disease.

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Study says new Lake Nona VA may be too small

Can Lake Baldwin VA stay open?

Study says that even after the new Lake Nona-based VA Medical Center opens, the growing veteran population in Central Florida will require at least 300,000 more square feet of space for medical services.

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Capitalist goes environmental in new bank venture

Capitalists go environmental

First Green Bank opened its first location in Winter Park, expanding the Central Florida community bank with a mission to conserve the environment to its fifth location.

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Oviedo artists prove creativity doesn't ail with age

Seniors keep creativity alive

Palm Valley is home to a surprising amount of talented senior artists. Some residents have just discovered their artistic talents, while others have spent their lives expressing themselves through art.

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Brookshire Elementary artists use artwork to inspire

Elementary artists compete

The students competed in the school’s first time participating in the National Parent Teacher Association Reflections Program, inspired by the words: “Believe, Dream, Inspire.”

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Ice cream social to raise money for Ronald McDonald House

Ice cream for a cause

There are two Ronald McDonald Houses in the Central Florida area where families whose children are being treated in nearby hospitals can stay for free.

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Simulator offers insight into living with dementia

Training through simulation

The goal of the Virtual Dementia Tour is to reach all communities, from caregivers to grocery store workers, to give them an elevated social consciousness and awareness for dealing with those with dementia.

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Rollins student finds happiness hula hooping

Student starts hula hoop biz

When Morgan Kennedy was chosen to participate in a work hula hooping contest, she had no idea a toy would completely change her life.

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Rollins student founds charity in her daughter's honor

Charity helps families with sick kids

You couldn’t tell Chanell was sick just by looking at her, and she did her best to never let on that she was. Her bravery inspired her parents to start the Chanell Wright Foundation out of their Apopka home.

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Pet Rescue by Judy moves into forever home

Pet Rescue moves in to new home

The new Pet Rescue by Judy Animal Resource Campus will open on March 23, a dream facility that founder Judy Sarullo has worked toward for the past 21 years.

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The price of saying 'no' to vaccinations

Not vaccinating comes with risks

Since 2008, the rate of parents choosing to not vaccinate their children for non-medical reasons in Orange and Seminole counties has been creeping up, worrying doctors.

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Woman’s Club of Winter Park celebrates its 99th birthday

Club looks to fund renovations

At the Woman's Club of Winter Park's 99th birthday party last month, members announced a plan to raise $300,000 in the next three years.

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Genetic test looks into your future

Tests serve as crystal ball

At the Winter Park Health Assessment program at the Florida Hospital for Women Winter Park, clients can get their DNA tested for potential health issues to find them before they strike.

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Business turns charge-fees into charity

Fees fuel school enrichment

At the right business, just with the swipe of their credit card, a consumer can help a school keep the sound of music flowing from band classes, or a school garden grow.

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Hiring Orlando vets

Helping vets find jobs

More than 30 employers attended the job fair in Orlando on Jan. 23, where many veterans and their spouses mingled with hiring managers hoping to find jobs.

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Winter Park couple shares their success

Nicholsons give back

For Sonja and Tony Nicholson, giving is not an option; it’s a requirement. It’s hard to go through life in Central Florida without seeing their names somewhere.

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Hog Eat Hog designs with the grain

Custom woodwork in W.P.

From beginning to end, there’s a man, not a machine, involved in the making of a piece of furniture from design studio Hog Eat Hog in Winter Park.

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Winter Park military pilot gets a Super Bowl-worthy welcome

Parade surprises pilot

Winter Park native Lt. Chuck Nadd received a hero’s welcome parade after he returned home from Afghanistan last week.

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Highland Games returns to Central Florida

Kilts, cabers, whiskey and pipers

The sights, sounds and smells are all Scotland, but if you’re a Central Florida resident, you don’t have to leave home to experience it.

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Kincaid Construction celebrates 50 years

Builder celebrates 50 years

In 1963, Rodney Kincaid went home and told his wife he’d quit his job. She asked what his new one was going to be, and he said he was going to have to make one for himself.

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Maitland resident curing cancer one step at a time

Walking for a cure

The day of her race when her ankle, still weak from her accident long ago, began to wobble beneath her and her knees began to buckle in exhaustion, it was hard to keep pushing.

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Shop big at small Winter Park businesses this Saturday

Skip the mall, shop small

Retailers on Park Avenue are hoping the community will come out and support small, local businesses on Small Business Saturday.

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College Park illustrator draws for Disney

Illustrators' works come alive

Many have called him the “master of the googly eye.” Long’s zany characters have danced across the pages of dozens of children’s books, many of which he’s authored himself.

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Orlando jewelry-maker designs memories

Memory-making treasures

The creator of jewelry line Eureka’s Treasures hopes that those who purchase her jewelry use it to remember special moments.

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Winter Park's Wine on the Way goes global

Get wine your way

Wine on the Way owners Adam and Gigi Chilvers curate the wine like a collection, but one that could entertain grandiose or lean budgets.

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Winter Park's powerhouse homes

Homes sell off energy

This past spring, the Wilsons paid just 25 cents for their electricity, water and sewage consumption.

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Winter Park grads launch site to get to college

Making admission easier

College Creed was started as a way to help already well-prepared high school students polish their college admissions essays.

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A dance studio that feels like home

Dancer's dream job

Florida Tribal Dance in Orlando offers unique tribal belly dancing classes in a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere.

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Lu Lu's Ice cream serves nostalgic family fun

Locally-made ice cream

At Lu Lu’s Ice Cream Shop in Winter Park, you’ll find locally made ice cream at a price the whole family can enjoy.

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Orange's mightier kids

County wins health award

Orange County Public Schools is one of only eight districts in Florida to receive the top Gold Award for its healthy policies.