About Michael W Freeman

Michael W. Freeman is a veteran journalist, playwright and author. Born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, he has lived in Orlando since 2002. Michael has worked for some of Florida's largest newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel. His original plays have draw strong audiences at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He is the author of the novels "Bloody Rabbit" and "Koby's New Home."

Baby Shower is coming up — for Lake County’s stray kittens

Kitten Baby Shower in Lake County

The Lake County Animal Shelter is hosting a Kitten Baby Shower on April 8. (Photo courtesy of Lake County Government.)

TAVARES — There’s hunting season, the holiday season, the summer vacation season …. So why not add one more.
How about Kitten Season?
Lake County just announced that its own Kitten Season would begin on Saturday, April 8, when the Lake County Animal Shelter will make a major push to find homes for the kittens they’re caring for.
As a result, the Animal Shelter is promising to bring along “dozens of fantastic felines” available for adoption during a Kitten Baby Shower on April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the shelter’s office at 28123 County Road 561 in Tavares.
“Cats of all types and ages will be free to adopt during the event,” the county agency noted in a news release.
The Kitten Baby Shower is being sponsored by L.E.A.S.H., Inc., a non-profit group of volunteers, based in Astatula, who love shelter pets and are working to make a difference in their lives.
Brian Sheahan, Lake County’s community safety & compliance director, noted that every spring, shelters all across the country get inundated with adorable newborn kittens, and based on the sheer volume alone, it becomes more important than ever to find homes for them. Continue reading

Facebook post leads to teen’s arrest on theft charges

Aaron Atkinson, 16, was arrested and charged with grand theft of a firearm after he posted this photo on his Facebook page. (Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.)

BARTOW – While social media sites like Facebook have enabled businesses to find new clients, artists to introduce their work to a larger audience, and charitable organizations to raise money, experts have long warned people, particularly teens, to be careful about what they post.
That turned out to be smart advice that Aaron Atkinson, 16, of Bartow, should have followed. On March 10, the Bartow teen was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and charged with armed burglary, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and grand theft of a firearm.
His arrest was directly linked to a photo that Atkinson posted on Facebook showing himself holding a gun – the same firearm that the sheriff’s office was searching for after it had been reported stolen from the victim’s car when it was parked in her driveway.
The sheriff’s office noted that after Atkinson posted the photo of the stolen gun on Facebook, one of his friends commented that he was “doing too much on Facebook” and the “polk sheriff” would be on his tail.
Atkinson replied, “[expletive] ’em”.
In her report on the arrest, Carrie Horstman, the public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, noted that detectives say that on the evening of March 9, Atkinson approached a 2016 Nissan Rogue parked in a driveway in Lakeland. He was there with another teen, later identified by the sheriff’s office as Raven Scott, 16, who stayed nearby on his bicycle. Continue reading

Social Media creates a boost for Networking

Finding places to network with others is a good start.


ORLANDO — Ask yourself this: is networking something you actually enjoy, or a part of the business world you feel obligated to take part in?
Truth is, networking remains a critical tool for marketing your business — and it’s gotten easier in the age of social media.
Without a doubt, social media now provides businesses with remarkable tools for reaching new and vast audiences. But don’t let anyone tell you networking is too old-fashioned to work anymore. It remains a potent tool when it comes to marketing.
Best of all, it shares the same benefit as posting something about your company on a social media account: it’s free! There are also a lot of opportunities to network in most major cities, including Orlando, and you can check out sites like Meet Up to learn more.
So it comes down to this: how much you hope to gain from networking really depends on how much time and shoe leather you want to put into it. Continue reading

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