- There has been plenty of buzz over the last few months of rare Florida Panther sightings in the nearby areas of Tangerine, Lake Jem, and Astatula. An Orlando Sentinel columnist even wrote about her recent sighting of the elusive and endangered species. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has evidence of panther sightings throughout Florida and because the animals typically avoid confrontation simply sighting a panther in your area is not cause for alarm. The FWC is particularly interested in sightings in all areas north of the Caloosahatchee River, which includes Lake County. In order to assist in their panther conservation efforts, the commission requests those sightings be reported to www.FloridaPantherNet.org Although area sightings of these big cats are extremely rare, black bears are a much more common occurrence. If you missed the video of Mount Dora's resident bear in the Lake Gertrude area, you can find it atwww.MountDoraBuzz.com/articles in the archive section. Even with all this buzz about apex predators, please don't worry...just sleep with one eye open.
- Mount Dora City Council cleared the way for the long awaited Epic Theater location, The project is now in the design stage. The large screen multiplex will be built between Target and Walmart just off US 441.
- Everyone has their local favorites and now they can vote for them in the"Best of Mount Dora 2015" awards beginning March 1. Scroll down this page to the "Best of Mount Dora" section for the categories and voting instructions.
- April 6 kicks off the beginning of the third phase of the Downtown Streetscape construction project. All businesses will remain open during this phase which will improve the underground infrastructure, as well as the sidewalks of Donnelly Street between 3rd & 4th Avenues, plus 4th Avenue between Baker & Alexander Streets. After two previously successful phases, Burkhardt Construction will return as the project's contractor and has leased the former space of The Drawer on the corner of 4th & Donnelly Street as their local office during the project.
- "Views from Above", a collection of aerial photos of Mount Dora, Tavares and Eustis has been making the social media rounds and can still be seen at http://www.mountdorabuzz.com/views-from-above.html
- After much anticipation, The Health Basket finally opened in its brand new building on US 441 and East Crooked Lake Dr. The much larger space provides an expanded product mix, including organic wines, bulk food items and more. In the coming months, look for PizzAmore to move uptown on 5th Avenue. Watch for more area store and restaurant openings at www.Facebook.com/ShopMountDora
- Mount Dora just added another Seaplane Tour company to its list of attractions. Jones Brothers & Co. Seaplane Adventures of Tavares has opened a downtown Mount Dora location in the Renaissance Building. Like the vintage Beaver seaplane tours out of Lakeside Inn, Jones Brothers & Company will be offering sightseeing flights over Lake County, as well as charter flights.
- In time for spring weather, Beef O'Brady's restaurant in Mount Dora, opened its new patio. This new location opened a couple of months ago in the Stoneybrook Shopping Center on US 441. Publix Liquors also just opened in the same shopping center last month.
- Last week The Travel Channel advised 'The Buzz' that their Hotel Showdown series is in hiatus. When the series returns it will air the episode featuring Adora Inn and various sights around Mount Dora. Stay tuned for an update on the air date at www.Facebook.com/MountDoraBuzz
- Get more local news throughout the month at www.MountDoraBuzz.comand on our Facebook page.
This Month's 'Shout-Out'
March's shout-out goes to Lake Cares Food Pantry. With the help of volunteers from First United Methodist Church, they have begun the first "Lake Cares Mobile Food Pantry" at the Martin Luther King Center in Mount Dora on the 1st and 3rd Friday each month. As a result, the non-profit can now feed up to an additional 160 families per month. Thank you for all you do!
March kicks off the BEST OF MOUNT DORA 2015. Readers vote for their favorite businesses in Mount Dora in each of the following categories:
- Best Cup of Coffee
- Best Bartender
- Friendliest Customer Service
- Best Place to Grab a Beer
- Best Accommodations (B&B, hotel or inn)
- Best 'Date Night' Restaurant
- Best Burgers
- Best Place to Buy Gifts
- Best Pizza
- Best Ethnic Food
- Best Festival or Event
Readers can vote for one business per each category atwww.MountDoraBuzz.com/vote or www.Facebook.com/MountDoraBuzz. Deadline for voting is March 15. Stay tuned for the Best of Tavares edition in May.