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Tim Freed

Stories by Tim

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Police chief retires after 35 years in Winter Park

Chief moves on

It’s difficult for Winter Park Police Chief Brett Railey to wrap his head around it: the fact that he will wake up next Monday morning and not put on his uniform.

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Local parents rise up against FSA test

Parents battle FSA

Fourteen families are still fighting to have their children move on to fourth grade after refusing to take the FSA — a test deemed unnecessary and secretive by parents.

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Incoming police chief Vernon Hale chooses to stay in Dallas

New chief withdraws

Dallas Police Department Deputy Chief Vernon Hale has had a change of heart, informing the city he will not be taking over as the new Winter Park Police Chief.

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Orange County woman uses text message to escape hostage situation

Hostage escapes from husband

It began with a single word via text massage: “help.”

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Winter Park names Vernon Hale new police chief

City picks Dallas deputy chief

Winter Park has found its new police chief in Dallas Police Department Narcotics Division Deputy Chief Vernon Hale, who was interviewed last week and accepted the job offer.

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New library moving forward in MLK Park

Park plans proceed

Martin Luther King Jr. Park remains the official site for the new Winter Park library/civic center – for now.

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Winter Parkers fight to keep library out of park

Library petitioners to speak

The struggle over the location of a new library/civic center in Winter Park will reach a turning point on Monday as Winter Park residents will defend their stance of keeping the new facility out of MLK Park.

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100-year-old Winter Parker loved years in the Navy, boxing

Resident reaches 100

Winter Parker centenarian Elmer Brown has seen the world from a Navy repair ship, and says he never lost a boxing match.

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Maitland proposes tentative tax hike while Winter Park holds the line

Cities set tax rates

With a traffic-calming measure proposed by a commissioner, money to pay for it voted down.

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Betsy Owens leaves Friends of Casa Feliz to pursue another cause

Casa Feliz director steps down

Betsy Owens will be leaving her position at Friends of Casa Feliz after 12 years of promoting historic preservation.

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Winter Park sets new vision in motion

Planning for the future

Winter Park set its eyes on the future for decades to come last Monday as the City Commission voted to accept a new vision – a series of statements that guide the city when crafting new policies.

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Winter Park riding the brakes on bike share program

Bike share gets flat tire

A growing bike share program has a flat tire in the city of culture and heritage, but one Winter Park board is hoping to get it pedaling forward once again.

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Winter Park hosts tribute to Orlando Pulse shooting victims

Community comes together

Winter Park took a moment on Tuesday to reflect on the lives lost in the deadliest shooting in U.S. history – one month after 49 lives were tragically cut short so close to home.

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Winter Park, Maitland look to blaze conservation trail through wetlands

A new way to walk

Winter Park and Maitland residents might have a new conservation trail to look forward to – and it could give some students a new route to get to school.

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West side of Winter Park continues to transform with three-story residential home

West Winter Park evoloving

Winter Park residents on the west side of the city called into question the direction their neighborhoods are headed during last Monday's City Commission meeting.

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City Commission votes down proposed preschool in Winter Park

Ladybird project raises questions

The issue of whether or not the city of culture and heritage has enough room for its preschoolers came up during the Winter Park City Commission meeting last Monday.

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Meet Mary Martin, Winter Park’s first permitted artist

Painter tests new law

Mary Martin has the chance to paint a gem in Winter Park only available with permission from the city: the sidewalks of Park Avenue.

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Winter Park votes to sell proposed parkland

Project pushed aside

A Winter Park property now out for bid was the proposed site for Comstock Garden.

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Winter Park votes to undo bolstering of historic preservation ordinance

Preservation laws changed

The Winter Park City Commission voted to amend its historic preservation ordinance during its meeting last Monday – undoing the changes voted through by the Commission last December meant to better protect historic homes in the 134-year-old city.

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Mead Botanical Garden finishes Lake Lillian restoration project

Lake Lillian gets a lift

City officials and residents gathered at Mead Botanical Garden last Thursday to celebrate the restoration of one acre of the Lake Lillian wetlands, as well as a new boardwalk path opening to the public.

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Rollins College vigil held to mourn Pulse shooting victims

Winter Park mourns victims

The ceremony at Knowles Memorial Chapel gave locals a chance to reflect on the loss of life and what happens next for a hurting city.

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Eatonville to receive cutting edge, Silicon Valley-style data center

Town gets free Wi-Fi

The new cutting edge data center in Eatonville will feature rooftop solar panels, 10 megawatts of electrical power, a 3-point check-in security process and enough building reinforcement to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

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John Michael Night inspires community with steps at Trinity Prep

Night crosses stage

Trinity Prep senior and lacrosse star John Michael Night received roaring applause for standing and walking at his own graduation, six months after tragedy struck.

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Potential Park Avenue corridor building project gets mixed reactions

Park Avenue addition

A development project for a 53,000-square-foot, three-story office building combined with retail, restaurant space, and basement parking is being pursued by Battaglia Group Management, LLC.

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Winter Park Chamber CEO donates kidney

A generous gift

Pieces of a puzzle can fall into place in the strangest yet most wonderful ways – just ask Winter Park Chamber of Commerce CEO/President Patrick Chapin.

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Circuit courts to look at library bond controversy

Park petition pointless?

An effort by Winter Park residents to keep the city’s new library out of Martin Luther King Jr. Park might be a pointless endeavor – at least that’s what the city contends.

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Peter Weldon seeks to recreate Park Avenue charm

City seeks quality

The city’s Economic Development Advisory Board recently discussed what’s gone wrong along U.S. Highway 17-92 and what went right with Park Avenue.

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Winter Park floats idea of regulating drones

Devices a concern?

Winter Park City Commissioners briefly discussed a flying nuisance at the end of their meeting on May 9.

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Patrick Chapin resigns from the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

Steps down as CEO

Winter Park Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Patrick Chapin announced his resignation from the Chamber earlier today, May 18.

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Winter Park Police arrest homicide suspect

Arrest made after shooting

A suspect connected to a recent Winter Park homicide was arrested last Thursday by Winter Park Police.

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Do Winter Park’s historic districts need work?

Request raises questions

A simple request for a black aluminum gate turned into a greater discussion of how architectural rules should be set within historic areas of the city.

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World War II buddies fought for opposing sides

Seniors fought same battle

For two seniors living in Longwood, a world war is simply water under the bridge – despite the two men fighting for opposing sides 70 years ago.

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Residents look to shut library out of MLK Park

Petition could change project

A group of Winter Park residents are on the verge of pushing a petition to prohibit the new library from being built in Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

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City OK with losing money on Booby Trap

Property overpaid for?

Winter Park may have a potential buyer for the former Booby Trap property – a transaction that would still leave the city $160,000 in the hole.

Winter Park sees two shootings in two days

In two days

Winter Park saw two shootings in two days earlier this week, with one resulting in the third homicide the city has seen this year.

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Winter Park Commission says no to backyard chickens

No chickens for Winter Park

Did the Winter Park City Commission lay an egg during their last meeting? Pro-chicken residents in Winter Park would argue “yes.”

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Winter Park Country Club staff driven out

Driven out as construction starts

The restoration process of Winter Park’s cherished 100-year-old golf course is ahead of schedule, but Country Club employees were caught off guard when the city unexpectedly laid them off.

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Winter Park Police up ticketing for pedestrians, bicylists

WPPD ups enforcement

In the coming weeks Winter Park police officers won’t hesitate to write you a ticket. The reason? To send an important message.

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Winter Park considers relocating city hall

How to reuse the library

Winter Park City Commissioners directed staff during their Monday meeting to look into the existing Winter Park Public Library property as a potential site for City Hall down the road.

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Winter Park residents pipe up on historic preservation changes

Residents talk preservation

Changes to Winter Park’s historic preservation ordinance are picking up steam – but some residents are urging the City Commission to slam on the brakes.

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Winter Park Commissioners debate history versus character

Debating preservation

Historic preservation is back for debate before the City Commission, but will Commissioners continue to agree to disagree?

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Winter Park board considers allowing fast food on Fairbanks

Certain kinds OK

Winter Park’s Planning and Zoning Board took a step toward allowing certain kinds of fast food along Fairbanks Avenue on Tuesday.

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Weldon reopens historic preservation discussion

Reopening the ordinance

It didn’t take long for newly-elected Winter Park City Commissioner Peter Weldon to come through on one of his biggest campaign promises.

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Eatonville mayor indicted on voter fraud charges

Grant charged with fraud

Eatonville Mayor Anthony Grant and two co-conspirators were arrested this week charged with voter fraud in connection with the 2015 mayoral election in Eatonville.

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Winter Park plans next step for new library project

It passed, what's next?

The city and the Winter Park Public Library now turn their attention toward finding an architect.

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Undergrounding slows down in Winter Park

How to speed up the process

A report card released by the city for the year 2015 shows that Winter Park has fallen short of its goal of 5 miles of undergrounding per year, only reaching just over 3 miles.

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Park Plaza Gardens closes for renovations

Park Plaza closes

One of Winter Park’s most fabled restaurants has temporarily closed its doors – the result of wear and tear on a building that’s more than a century old.

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Cooper, Library, Weldon win in Winter Park

Landslide and nail-biter

The votes are in – and it was close. Winter Park City Commissioner Carolyn Cooper defended her seat and Winter Park will get a new library.

Open letter sent by Winter Park mayor raises questions

Motives questioned

The mayor of Winter Park wants you to think twice about the city’s new historic preservation ordinance – but was there an ulterior motive behind his recent open letter to residents?

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Juvenile suspect arrested for Winter Park homicide

Homicide suspect in custody

A juvenile suspect has been arrested in connection with the first homicide case Winter Park has seen in two and a half years.