Polk County man charged with sexual battery on a teen


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Travis Burton arrested

Travis Burton, 30, of Haines City, was arrested and charged with sexual battery on a 16-year-old girl. (Photo by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.)


HAINES CITY — A Polk County man is facing charges that he kidnapped a teenage girl, tied her up, and sexually battered her after agreeing to pay her $300 for sex.

On Saturday, Dec. 2 around 9 a.m., deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Travis Burton, 30, of Haines City, for kidnapping and sexual battery of a minor. Deputies say the alleged incident happened earlier that morning in the Davenport area. Burton now faces charges of sexual battery on a 16-year-old girl. Deputies say he also tied her up inside an unoccupied Davenport home.

In his report on this arrest, Brian Bruchey, the public information officer for the sheriff’s office, noted that “According to the affidavits, Burton punched the girl multiple times in the face shortly after she arrived at the residence where Burton was waiting. He then bound her with tape, cut off her underwear, and sexually battered the girl a total of four times throughout the early morning hours.” Continue reading

Phantasmagoria meets Dickens in a new “A Christmas Carol”


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Phantasmagoria “A Christmas Carol” opens this Friday.


ORLANDO — For years, theater director John DiDonna has been a familiar face to Orlando area audiences for his annual productions of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic “A Christmas Carol,” known as “Dickens By Candlelight” and featuring a three-member cast that played all the roles — by candlelight.

DiDonna is back this year with a new production of “A Christmas Carol” — but this time, he’s taking it in a new direction, by merging Dickens with Phantasmagoria, his long-running series about a circus-like troupe of performers who reenact chilling tales of terror.

Opening this Friday is “Phantasmagoria’s A Christ Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas” at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center. This is an opportunity to celebrate the season as Phantasmagoria presents its own unique adaptation of the Dickens’ classic, featuring not just Tiny Tim and Scrooge, but also dance, puppetry, projections, music and the recreation of one of the most famous ghost stories of all time.

Freeline Media sat down with John to find out what his new production, which opens on Friday, is all about.

Freeline Media: You’ve had a long, successful run around Christmas time doing the production “Dickens By Candlelight.” How did “A Christmas Carol” get merged this year with the troop at Phantasmagoria? Continue reading

Yoga and animal adoptions merge in a special event on Saturday


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Cats and yoga
TAVARES — How do you combine our love for exercising, healthy living and physical fitness … with a love for cats?

That’s easy. It’s call “Meowga”!

Or, as Elisha Pappacoda, the public information officer for the Lake County government noted, “You bring the yoga mats, we bring the shelter cats!”

This event is being held on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. at the Lake County Extension Center, 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares, as a way to have fun with a certified yoga instructor leading the class, but also as a way to raise awareness of the need to find homes for the cats and dogs now in the Lake County Animal Shelter.

It was the Animal Shelter and LEASH Inc. – an organization that works to ensure that feral cats are spayed and neutered – organized Meowga as a way for residents to get together and relax, stretch and unwind – surrounded, of course, by carefree felines from the shelter. Who knows, maybe one of the participants will decide they want to adopt one of the cats, too. Continue reading

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