Orange County woman accused of voter fraud in 2020 election to face judge Tuesday
ORLANDO, Fla. — An Eatonville woman is set to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of voter fraud. Watch: 20 arrested in Florida for voter fraud, state announcesInvestigators said Michelle Stribling voted in the 2020 election, even though she’s a felon who hadn’t gotten her voting rights restored. Watch: 3 Orange County residents among 20 arrested, charged with voter fraud in FloridaIf found guilty she could be sentenced to five years in prison. Read: Biden blasts ‘extreme’ GOP in Labor Day swing-state tripsChannel 9 will monitor her court appearance and provide updates on Eyewitness News. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.wftv.com
Eatonville residents push for pool to be restored
EATONVILLE, Fla. — Eatonville residents are stressed about another summer of public pool closures. Instead of being filled with clear water, pools are filled with dirty water and weeds. “They learned how to swim.”Locals said they have to travel out of town to access a public pool and get that experience. Martin said handing the pool over to the town and what happens after the first splash is the issue. Eatonville does not have impact fees with developers and did not have a maintenance agreement for the pool in the past.wftv.com
All-clear given after bomb threat at Orlando-area television station
EATONVILLE, Fla. — An all-clear was given Monday morning after a bomb threat was made against a television station Sunday night. Watch: Explosion injures 4 boaters in Volusia County, firefighters sayPeople evacuated the television studios on Wymore Road last night. Channel 9 was outside as police brought in K-9s to search the building. Photos: All-clear given after bomb threat at Orlando-area television stationExpand Autoplay Image 1 of 9 All-clear given after bomb threat at Orlando-area television stationPolice have not given information about who called in the threat. Read: 5 people sent to hospital in Daytona Beach following severe hit-and-run crashChannel 9 will continue to monitor this incident and provide updates on Eyewitness News.wftv.com
Confirmed bomb threat in Eatonville, police say
EATONVILLE, Fla. — Maitland Police Department said there is a confirmed bomb threat in Eatonville. We have a Channel 9 crew at the scene looking to find out more information. Investigators said they are working to find more information. Watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for updates on this developing story. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.wftv.com
Police respond to ‘dangerous situation’ in Eatonville
Video: Police respond to ‘dangerous situation’ in EatonvilleEATONVILLE, Fla. — Police responded to a “dangerous situation” in Eatonville. Eatonville police, Maitland police and Winter Park police responded to the area of Fitzgerald Drive near Lake Bell early Friday. Law enforcement officers kept a Channel 9 crew a couple of blocks away from the scene. READ: These laws go into effect in Florida on FridayCheck back and watch Eyewitness News for updates. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.wftv.com
Zora Neale Hurston’s legacy lives on in Central Florida, beyond
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Zora Neale Hurston may now be considered the most significant Black woman writer of the first half of the 20th century, but at the time of her death, family members say she was penniless. Her 85-year-old niece, Vivian Hurston Bowden, said the writer died without any recognition for her now-acclaimed work. “Nobody knew her before her death,” Bowden said. Her name is synonymous with Eatonville, but beyond growing up there, Hurston bounced around Central Florida writing her classics. READ: Little museum in Eatonville is big on culture, historyThey were set ablaze by someone in the Fort Pierce nursing home where Hurston died.wftv.com
Dedicated Senior Medical Center opens in Eatonville
EATONVILLE, Fla. — Orange County’s growing elderly population now has a new option for medical care. READ: 9 things to do this weekend: I-4 Express to open, Orlando Taco Festival & moreOrange County Mayor Jerry Demings was at the opening Friday morning of a new dedicated senior medical center. Photos: Orange County opens new dedicated senior medical center in EatonvilleExpand Autoplay Image 1 of 10 Orange County opens new dedicated senior medical center in EatonvilleDemings said this meets the county’s demand for medical services, as the area nears a population of 1.5 million people. READ: CDC announces that majority will be able to remove masks indoorsOne 92-year-old patient told Channel 9 what stands out at the facility. READ: Immigration services center honored by city of ApopkaThe medical center treats people under Medicare and Medicare Advantage.wftv.com
Orlando’s Norm Lewis continues to make musical history on Broadway
Before he made history by becoming the first African American to play coveted Broadway roles, such as Javert in Les Miserables and the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, Norm Lewis spent his years growing up in Eatonville, a town located just to the north of Orlando.
Who is Jerry Demings, Orange County’s first African American mayor?
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Jerry L. Demings was born June 12, 1959, in Orlando, Florida. Demings, along with his brother, graduated from Jones High School in 1977 before attending Florida State University. After graduation, Deming’s journey into law enforcement began while he was working for an accounting firm in Orlando. After Demings applied to be a bank examiner with the FDIC, an FBI recruiter suggested he add some law enforcement experience to his credentials. Demings and his wife, Congresswoman Val Demings, have three sons and five grandchildren.wftv.com
Hannibal Square Heritage Center sheds light on Winter Park’s African American community
Since its creation in 1975, the Crealdé School of Art at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park has aimed to provide outreach and foster cultural diversity. The Heritage Center is home to the award-winning Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park. Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 21 Hannibal Square Heritage Center (Hannibal Square Heritage Center)The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park was brought to life in 2001 during an impromptu meeting in the Winter Park Community Center office. The resulting exhibition, The Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park, was displayed and temporarily housed at the Winter Park Community Center until it was expanded by additional heritage days and outgrew its space. Read: Retired teachers describe the challenges of racial integration in Volusia CountyIf you would like more information or to visit, click here: Hannibal Square Heritage Center.wftv.com
Who were Harry and Harriette Moore, the pioneering activists from Mims?
MIMS, Fla. — Harry Moore and his wife, Harriette Moore, were pioneering civil rights activists. On Christmas night in 1951, a bomb exploded under the bedroom of the Moores’ Mims home. Harry Moore was killed in the bombing. Harriette Moore died nine days later. The Harry and Harriette Moore Cultural Complex is located in Mims and is open to the public for tours.wftv.com
Little museum in Eatonville is big on culture, history
EATONVILLE, Fla. — If you’re not paying close attention during your drive down East Kennedy Boulevard in Eatonville, you might just miss it. Nestled in a small duplex near Calhoun Avenue is one of Central Florida’s greatest cultural gems: The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Better known as “The Hurston,” the museum was named for Zora Neale Hurston, an African American writer, folklorist and anthropologist who was raised just up the street. The Hurston hosts works suitable for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Make your way down Kennedy Boulevard -- and look for The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts.wftv.com
Eatonville woman in new reality show explains importance of representing historic town
Raquel Daniels from Eatonville is on one of Netflix's newest reality shows, 'Twentysomethings.' She discusses why she reveals she's from Eatonville in the first episode in our Florida's Fourth Estate podcast with Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden,
The Town that Freedom Built: The story of Eatonville, America’s first official black town
EATONVILLE, Fla. — In 1887, during reconstruction, Eatonville, FL became the first official municipality in America that had been established by freed African-Americans. However, they wanted something of their own, and in 1887, Eatonville became the first black town to be officially incorporated into the United States. “The town was founded as a black haven,” Nathiri says. On the front page of an 1888 edition of the “Eatonville Speaker,” the author tried to recruit other black families, saying “Colored people of the United States! They were important in the founding of the city,” Nathiri says.wftv.com
Outdoor Zora Festival of the Arts activities rescheduled to June due to COVID concerns
EATONVILLE, Fla. — The recent surge in COVID-19 infections has forced the organizers of the 33rd annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival in Eatonville to reschedule their outdoor events.
>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<
Here’s how Central Florida is honoring MLK Jr.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Communities across Central Florida are coming together to honor Martin Luther King Jr.Here’s how counties across the region celebrated King in recent days:EatonvilleLeaders and members of the community gathered in Eatonville on Saturday for the town’s MLK parade. The YMCA of Central Florida, the Southwest Orlando Jaycees and the Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission presented the 2022 Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast on Monday morning. READ: Community gathers to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in EatonvilleMarion CountyHundreds of Ocala residents took part in the city’s annual MLK parade down West Silver Springs Boulevard Monday morning. The march ended at Webb Field at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. READ: Downtown Orlando MLK parade canceled due to COVID concernsClick here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.wftv.com
Community gathers to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in Eatonville
EATONVILLE, Fla. — People around Central Florida are honoring Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, ahead of Monday’s holiday. READ: Homeowners to get $42 million for citrus trees destroyed in Central FloridaLeaders and members of the community gathered in Eatonville on Saturday for the town’s MLK parade. Orange County Sheriff John Mina, Rep. Val Demings and other local politicians also took part. WATCH: Central Florida energy companies send crews to help storm victimsThe city of Sanford is planning to hold its MLK parade on Monday while Orlando canceled its planned parade that was set for Saturday. Orlando leaders held a community showcase to celebrate King’s legacy outside of the Dr. Phillips Center.wftv.com
Eatonville MLK Jr. celebration to go on as scheduled Saturday
EATONVILLE, Fla. — Eatonville’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is always a big draw. Last year’s parade was canceled, so this year’s event on Saturday will provide a much-needed boost to the economy. We just have a great time celebrating MLK Day,” business owner Glenn Paige said. READ: Downtown Orlando MLK parade canceled due to COVID concernsEatonville Mayor Eddie Cole said his town is doing its part to support the cause. “We’re making sure there’s no voter suppression, because we’re going to have voter registration going on at the same time,” Cole said.wftv.com
Declared winner of overturned Eatonville election still waiting to take office
More than a month after a circuit court judge overturned the results of a 2020 Eatonville town council election due to “illegal” votes, the candidate who was declared the new winner has still not begun serving in the position.
Judge overturns Eatonville Council election results due to 2 ‘illegal’ votes
EATONVILLE, Fla. — An Orange County judge has ruled that the results of a 2020 Eatonville Town Council election should be overturned after finding two votes were cast illegally. Councilman Tarus Mack had been declared the winner of the March 2020 election by a single vote over Marlin Daniels, 269 to 268. According to the ruling filed in Orange County Circuit Court this week, the judge agreed that at least two votes in the election were cast illegally. 🚨Today I’m proud to announce the results of my court case from my March 2020 election for Eatonville Council, Seat 4. 🚨 Update: The court overturned the election results and the Governor has been ordered by the courts to replace my opponent with me.wftv.com
Police: Man killed in drive-by shooting in Eatonville
Eatonville police say a man was killed in a drive-by shooting there Friday afternoon. (Kali9/Getty Images)EATONVILLE, Fla. — Eatonville police say a man was killed in a drive-by shooting there Friday afternoon. The shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. in the area of West Kennedy Blvd. Police say they’re still looking for the shooter, described as a dark-skinned black man driving a black Infiniti Sedan with dark tinted windows. READ: Airline pilot accused of installing spy camera in UCF student’s apartment windowNo other details were released.wftv.com
Historic Eatonville church looks to expand thanks to generous donation
Historic Eatonville church looks to expand thanks to generous donation (WFTV)EATONVILL , Fla. — Tucked in the center of Eatonville is the St Lawrence AME Church. Built by slaves in 1881, the small church has been a fixture in the Eatonville area for years and is looking to expand. Lomont Garber, the owner of the land, said that when the church approached him about acquiring the property, he declined at first. “Over time we got to witness the real goodness of what they do feeding the homeless, supporting Eatonville,” he said. “It’s a blessing to own the land and St Lawrence owns the whole block and we thank God,” Blair said.wftv.com
Child, man shot at Orange County motel
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A child and a man were shot at an Orange County motel Thursday morning, according to Eatonville police. Crime scene tape covered several areas of the Hometown Suites on East Kennedy Boulevard. Just before 5 a.m., investigators said a man drove up, got out of a car and started shooting. READ: Police: 3 teenagers shot in front yard of Winter Garden homeThe condition of the child and the man is not known. Eatonville Hometown Suites shooting (WFTV.com News Staff)Hometown Suites shooting (WFTV.com News Staff)WATCH: K9 takes down suspect who barricaded himself for hours in Orange CountyStay with Channel 9 for live updates on this developing story.wftv.com
Woman arrested after fatally stabbing childhood friend outside Eatonville motel, deputies say
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County deputies made an arrest in connection with a deadly stabbing that happened in Eatonville earlier this month. She is a suspect in the death of Felisha Johnson, 55, who was killed May 8 outside the Hometown Suites in Eatonville. READ: Decades long fight over a man leads to woman being killed by childhood friend, police sayJohnson worked and lived at the motel. READ: 17-year-old arrested in shooting death of Orange County mother, deputies search for second suspectPolice said this all stemmed from an argument that started decades ago. READ: Child Tax Credit: Parents will start receiving monthly advance payments July 15Hartfield is being held in jail without bond.wftv.com
Decades long fight over a man leads to woman being killed by childhood friend, police say
Police said Felicia Johnson was stabbed to death May 8, and her daughter called the deadly attack senseless. The incident happened inside of a motel parking lot after an argument over a man that happened more than 20 years ago, police said. Watch: Man seen shooting at person and random cars at Wawa gas station arrested, deputies sayJohnson was rushed to a nearby hospital where she died. “They both was involved with this guy 25 years ago,” said Anyssa Johnson, the victim’s sister. Watch: Local businesses prepare for first weekend since CDC’s new mask guidance for vaccinated peopleFamily members said Felicia Johnson had seen Hartfield just a few months ago.wftv.com
Anyone 40 and older can get COVID-19 vaccine at upcoming event in Eatonville
A vaccination record card is shown during a COVID-19 vaccination drive for Spring Branch Independent School District education workers Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)EATONVILLE, Fla. – Anyone 40 and older who’d like to get a COVID-19 vaccine can do so during a one-day-only event happening this weekend in Eatonville, as long as they secure an appointment. The event will happen Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Eatonville, located on Kennedy Boulevard. [TRENDING: Police fire pepper balls at Fla. spring breakers | Buc-ee’s opens in Daytona Beach | Data: AstraZeneca effective for all ages]AdAbout 500 Pfizer vaccine doses will be given and as of Monday, there were still 150 or so appointments left. To secure a slot, call either 407-335-4403, 407-960-1485 or 407-335-4179 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Important Central Florida sites in women’s history
This Women’s History Month, there are a number of stops on the Florida Women’s Heritage Trail right here in Central Florida you can visit to learn more about the contributions ladies have made to history right here in the Sunshine State. It is the oldest surviving incorporated black municipality and possesses a rich tradi- tional culture immortalized in the works of Zora Neale Hurston (1901- 1960). The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts offers a kaleidoscope of exhibitions repre- senting the work of African diaspora artists. AdZora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.) When she retired in 1918, she moved to Winter Park, and in 1929 became head of the dramatic arts program at Rollins College.
Eatonville's annual Zora Festival hosts two days of Afrofuturist exploration Friday-Saturday
click to enlarge image via ZORA! FestivalEatonville's annual Zora Festival presents cultural programming that honors Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most beloved African American writers of the 20th century, and the historic heritage of Eatonville, the Central Florida town she once called home.Hurston, author of celebrated booksand, grew up in Eatonville, the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the United States; she returned to Florida after her time as part of the Harlem Renaissance and as a WPA writer. Her prose captures the cultural vibrancy of her childhood hometown and serves as a historical snapshot of a community in which Black individuals could live as they pleased. She later dedicated herself to anthropological fieldwork, recording and collecting the oral history and folklore of Black America.In the spirit of her lively explorations of African American culture, the centerpiece of this year's Zora Fest is a two-day seminar curated by Dr. Julian Chambliss , formerly of Rollins College and now at Michigan State University. Chambliss is also a Zora Festival national planner.“Afrofuturism — What Is Its Sound?” will look at ways Black culture marries elements of futurism or science fiction to the oral tradition and music technology evident in Black history.orlandoweekly.com
1 dead following Eatonville drive-by shooting, police say
EATONVILLE, Fla. A man died Monday morning after a drive-by shooting Sunday night in Eatonville left two people injured, according to police. Brodrick Lampkin said officers in the area near Clark Street heard multiple gunshots and responded to the scene late Sunday night. Police rendered first aid to the two male shooting victims until medical could arrive. Early Monday, one of those victims died from his injuries, police said. Police are looking for a Kia Optima type vehicle with dark tint.
Winter Park Health Foundation grants $35,000 to local organizations to support COVID-19 relief
click to enlarge Photo via Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida/FacebookSecond Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida received sliced ham from Wawa on April 16The Winter Park Health Foundation announced on Wednesday it has distributed $35,000 in grants in support of Central Florida COVID-19 relief efforts. The WPHF grant specifically supports Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park residents who are eligible for the ALICE Fund, providing rent, mortgage and utility assistance to help prevent eviction and homelessness. Second Harvest Food Bank is receiving a $5,000 grant to provide food to older adults in Eatonville. The Winter Park Improvement Foundation will receive a $5,000 grant to support the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce's THRIVE Winter Park initiative, a "hyper-local charitable response to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on residents and small businesses in Winter Park to enable and accelerate the communitys recovery after the pandemic." WPHF says the funds will help "feed the frontline" by purchasing meals from local restaurants to feed frontline health workers responding to COVID-19.orlandoweekly.com
10 places to learn more about Central Floridas black history
Through the years, leaders in the community have stepped up to create museums or save historical houses belonging to prominent figures in Central Floridas African American history. Whether its Black History Month or any month of the year, weve put together a list of places to visit where you can learn more about the people who have broken barriers and served their communities. Mary S. Harrell Black History Museum, New Smyrna BeachLocated in an historic church, this museum was once a place of worship for a congregation of black Roman Catholics. African American Museum of the Arts, DeLandFounded in 1994, this museum features a revolving display of art, and over 150 African-related artifacts. This museum is used to preserve the town's history, while also displaying exhibits of prominent African American figures throughout history.
Vegan chef serving up food with a side of love in Eatonville
EATONVILLE, Fla. – Jenn Ross comes from humble beginnings. Along the way, she studied food science in great detail to get a better understanding of how nutrition works. She also adopted a vegan lifestyle because living a compassionate life in which human and non-human animals are treated fairly is important to her. Outside of offering delicious vegan Jamaican food in the heart of Eatonville, Ross also offers catering classes, adult and children cooking classes and home-delivery meals. She loves connecting with her community and uses food to bring people from all walks of life together through different events.
ZORA! Festival celebrates legacy of Central Florida author
Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and HumanitiesEATONVILLE, Fla. – The 31st Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, also known as ZORA! Fest, is a way for people in Central Florida to recognize and honor African-American culture. According to Visit Orlando, the festival is a multi-day, inter-generational event composed of public talks, conferences, movie screenings, arts education programming, a dance party and an outdoor festival of the arts. The festival is named after celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston, who grew up in Eatonville. “In her works, she celebrates her hometown, Eatonville, as representative of the dignity and beauty of rural Southern, African-American life and culture.
Eatonville school thought to be haunted will be demolished, town leaders say
EATONVILLE, Fla. - A former Eatonville school -- that became a popular spot for ghost hunters -- will soon be sold, as town leaders are set to approve a real estate purchase agreement with the Orange County School Board, that will help determine what will replace the old Hungerford Prep High School. The meeting, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Eatonville town hall, will lay out new terms of the deal, which include Eatonville retaining 6 acres of the property located behind the library. Eatonville Police detective Brodrick Lampkin told News 6 the changes have drastically decreased criminal activity on the property. City leaders told News 6 it's too early to tell how much the land will be sold for or what exactly would go there. Demolition of the building, which will be paid for by the town and the school board, is expected to be completed at the end of this year or early 2020.
Eatonville's historic Zora Neale Hurston museum gets a new home
click to enlarge image via ZORA! FestivalThe Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts will be moving into a brand-new spot.The museum named after the Eatonville author and anthropologist will move just down the road to a newly designed building at 344 E. Kennedy Blvd. So will the offices for the Association to Preserve Eatonville Community, which announced the move in a press release on Thursday.Currently, the museum known as the Hurston is housed at 227 E. Kennedy Blvd. Having negotiated a long-term lease, our organization is now in a position to plan strategically for the quality of facilities necessary to develop our vision. "Richard T. Reep was hired as the lead architect to design the new museum and offices, the association stated.orlandoweekly.com