Owl trapped in water is rescued in Polk County

Darren Monk

Firefighter Darren Monk holds the owl he helped rescue in Mulberry on Monday.

MULBERRY – There’s an old joke about firefighters in small towns with very fire fires, who are quick to respond to calls of a cat stuck high in a tree, needing to be rescued.
This week, there was a variation of that story in Polk County, where an injured owl actually did get rescued by Polk County firefighters.
The owl, which has been given to the Woodland Wonders Wildlife Rehabilitation Service so it can be treated and rehabilitated, probably owes its life to those firefighters. They pulled the injured owl from a small pool of water Monday morning near Mulberry.
Kevin Watler, communications specialist for the Polk County Board of County Commissioners, reported that around 7:30 a.m. Monday, Polk Fire’s Station 710 in the Willow Oak area got a call about an owl that was trapped in a man’s pool.
“The resident wasn’t sure who to contact, so he called Polk County Fire Rescue,” Watler noted.
Capt. James Towns, Engineer Darren Monk and Firefighter James Parker went to the home on Bailey Road in Mulberry, where they found the owl stuck in about a foot of water, with one claw tangled in a tarp. The owl was caught there and unable to fly. Continue reading

Fringe Review: “Falkland”

falklands orlando fringe

Tasty Monster Productions is bringing their show “Falklands” to the Orlando Fringe Festival.


ORLANDO – On a cold island where it seems relatively easy to find solitude, an aging sheep farmer has a chance encounter with a young British soldier. As they start up a conversation, it will eventually grow into a brief but strong friendship between them.
They’re on the Falkland island, and both came by way of Britain. The sheep farmer’s parents were so traumatized by the devastating Nazi bombings during World War II that the family opted to resettle on Falkland, since the island has been a British territory since 1841 and is mostly inhabited by British residents. The young solider, wide-eyed and fairly green, just arrived from Belfast.
But the soldier isn’t there to learn farming or to get a local job. He’s a British soldier, and has been sent there to hold back the attempt by the Argentinian government to reclaim the island — by force.
The farmer, who as a child lived through the Nazi Blitzkrieg, knows only too well that this conflict has the potential for a devastating conclusion — and that’s long before the bombs start dropping nearby.
“Falkland,” the historic drama being presented by Tasty Monsters Production and premiering at Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, takes a look back at a small chapter in history from the early 1980s, one that’s been far eclipsed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is almost certainly totally unknown to most younger patrons.
It’s a production that deals with a difficult mix of subjects — war, political conflicts, nationalism — that have plenty of resonance today, despite the fact that the Falklands War happened for 10 weeks in 1982. At the same time, the show’s producers and performers, Heather Bagnall and Luke Tudball, deal with it in a quiet, low-key manner, allowing the human drama to take precedence over the politics. Continue reading

Fringe show will look back at the Pulse massacre and its aftermath

Voices from Orlando Fringe

“O-Town: Voices from Orlando” will be performed at the Orlando Fringe Festival featuring performances by Henry Gibson, Jenn Gannon, Mark Rush, David Lee, Gabriella Juliet, Daniel Cooksley and Rebecca Fisher. (Photo by Beverly Brosius.)

ORLANDO – The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, and runs through May 29. This year the nearly three-week long festival will feature the largest line-up of shows in its history.
One of the shows will shift away from the kinds of zany comedies that often typify Fringe, and take a look back at an event that happening nearly a year ago, and that shocked people around the globe: the massacre at the Pulse nightclub near downtown Orlando.
O-TOWN Voices is bringing the world premiere of “O-Town: Voices From Orlando” to Fringe, with a Special performance on the eve of the One Year Anniversary of the June 12, 2016 attack on Pulse Nightclub. David Lee, the writer and director of Ant Farm Productions and the recipient of the 2016 Orlando International Fringe Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, created this original theatrical event that shares stories and experiences from the days, weeks and months the Pulse massacre. The show was put together based on interviews, blog postings and stories from The Orlando Sentinel’s coverage of the massacre, recreating them on stage with six local actors.
Producer Margaret Nolan said this project started to come together right after the Pulse attack, when she reached out to David to create a monologue about the massacre.
“I commissioned him to write the monologue ‘O-Town’ last year after the tragedy as part of an international theatre action called AFTER ORLANDO,” she said. “That was a collection of 78 plays from playwrights from around the world. I produced an evening here of curated pieces in Orlando in the Mandell at Orlando Shakes in October.”
Freeline Media asked David to tell us how this show was created. Continue reading

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