A panel has chosen a Mount Dora teacher who says “poetry chose her” as the Lake County Library System’s first poet laureate. In her role, Laura Sobbott Ross will serve a one-year term volunteering for events and writing for the Lake County Poet Laureate Journal.
Sobbott Ross is a widely published award-winning poet whose work has appeared in more than 100 literary journals. In addition to four Pushcart Prize nominations, she was a finalist for the Art & Letters Poetry Prize and won the Southern Humanities Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. She has published two chapbooks, “A Tiny Hunger” and “My Mississippi,” and a third book, “The Graffiti of Pompeii,” is scheduled for publication this year. Her recent poem, “The Writing Lesson,” reflects her strong affinity for the Lake County community.
“My goal is to get it out there, make it accessible and enjoyable,” Sobbott Ross said. “Lake County is artistic. It’s time we uncovered the raw, untapped potential of the people in our community.”
Sobbott Ross is a state-certified English teacher and trained writing coach. Much of her career was spent teaching children in the Lake County Schools system. She currently teaches English to ESOL adults and GED prep at Lake Technical College and has experience working with students ages 5 to 91.
For more information about the Lake County Library System or to find out about future programs, call 352-253-6180. Find more local news in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis here and follow Mount Dora Buzz on Facebook. Free subscriptions to the monthly issue of 'The Buzz' are available here.
You’ve seen them and maybe even shared them. They’ve no doubt made millions of people smile. Police Departments from near and far have been putting their humor on display as their Lip-sync Battle videos go viral.
Recently, Tavares Police Department challenged Eustis Police to expose their lighthearted side in what has become a social media showcase of law enforcement’s pop culture cred.
In Eustis, one officer bravely stepped up to the dare. Sitting alone in his police truck on the central Florida city’s lakefront, Community Service Officer Jim Franquiz primitively rigged a selfie-stick to his cup holder before teasing viewers of what was to come. Unlike more sophisticated productions by larger departments, Franquiz had a single prop: his sunglasses.
The next thing you know, the officer was grooving and moving his lips to “Don’t Stop the Rock,” a 1990s dance anthem by Freestyle.
Keeping his cool under pressure, the seasoned officer impressively tackled the feat in the very first take and without rehearsing. The result was widespread, online public praise.
Franquiz chose the retro dance tune, because it took him back to happy times in South Florida dance clubs and rollerskating with his wife.
When asked how his fellow officers responded to his video, Franquiz laughed and said, “I think it was really a case of ‘Better you than me.’”
A personable extrovert, the 32-year veteran law enforcement officer has relished his job even on the most difficult days and wears his love of Eustis on his sleeve. “I want the community to know that everyone that puts on this uniform is a just a regular person, working day and night,” said Franquiz.
The officer, who has two daughters and a grandchild, said his wife has been keeping him updated on the growing reaction to his video on social media. Meanwhile, in the spirit of law enforcement’s Lip-Sync Battle, Eustis Police Department announced it was challenging Mount Dora Police Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office to post their own videos. No doubt, the community will be waiting. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, click here. To get area's news in your inbox once a month, subscribe to the free month issue of Mount Dora Buzz here.
Concert-goers may have a new local venue to see some of their favorite performers. The county seat of Lake County is on the verge of adding a performing arts center to its growing list of entertainment attractions.
City officials have begun the process of evaluating the feasibility of building the center at one of three locations within the city limits that range in size from 53,000 to almost 83,000 square feet.
Currently, the closest performance venues are Mount Dora Community Building with 633 seats, nearby Apopka Amphitheater with seating for 1,500 and additional lawn seating to accommodate 5,000, and Clermont Performing Arts Center with 1,200 seats.
The Tavares study will help determine the center’s location, size, uses, funding, construction and operational costs. The study and contract negotiations are expected to take up to a year for completion.
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