Umatilla

Ham Radio Field Day set for this weekend

TAVARES, Fla.—Each June, more than 40,000 amateur radio operators, known as “hams” set up temporary transmitting stations in public places  throughout North America to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill, and service to our communities and nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933 and remains the most popular event in ham radio. The competitive aspect of Field Day is to contact as many other amateur stations as possible between 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

The public is invited to attend the event in Tavares this weekend that will showcase mobile command vehicles from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake Amateur Radio Association (LARA.) It will be held at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Training Bureau and Lake Tech Institute of Public Safety Weapons and Driving Range, 13000 Frankies Road, Tavares.

LARA consistently wins top honors each year in Florida and North America. The club was established in 1952 by a local group of radio amateurs and now has a membership of over 150 “Hams.” LARA’s vast radio systems enable worldwide communications, amplifying the club’s impact and reach. For their life-saving work, hams worldwide have received commendations and international praise.

 

Ham Radio Field Day set for this weekend Read More »

Information finally released following search warrants executed on gaming facilities earlier this month

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—Only Inside Lake was on the scene earlier this month as Lake County Sheriff’s Office detectives, in conjunction with the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) searched an internet gaming facility in unincorporated Umatilla, and LCSO has finally released information regarding that search warrant and three more.

On June 13, 2024, four search warrants were executed at different illegal gaming establishments in Lake County. Detectives with the Leesburg, Clermont, Eustis, and Mount Dora police departments also assisted with the investigation that stemmed from continued concerns that illegal gambling throughout Lake County leads to an increase in law enforcement calls for service, criminal activity, and other threats to public safety, LCSO spokesperson Chanel Martin said.

The Umatilla location was the site of an attempted armed robbery in August 2022; in that a incident a security guard was shot. No arrests have been made in that case.

“Illegal gambling establishments operate outside the legal, regulated market to exploit vulnerable Floridians. They are usually associated with organized crime, do not generate state tax revenue, and do not provide the same consumer protections or safeguards as legal gaming operators,” said Lou Trombetta, FGCC Executive Director.

Detectives seized approximately 170 gaming machines and approximately $211,000 from the Hot Spot,11145 U.S HWY 441, Tavares; Hot Spot, 11203 U.S. HWY 441, Tavares. Cyber Monkey. 23505 State Road 40, Astor and Hot Spot II, 37415 SR 19, Umatilla, according to Martin.

Detectives seized all illegal gaming devices and issued misdemeanor notices to appear in lieu of physical arrests to six operating employees. The citations were issued with reference to Florida State Statue 849.01, which states it is illegal to keep or maintain a gambling house.

Previous stories: Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares – Inside Lake

LCSO Searching for 2 Suspects After Security Guard was Shot in Attempted Robbery Wednesday Night – Inside Lake

Information finally released following search warrants executed on gaming facilities earlier this month Read More »

Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—There is a large law enforcement presence at two internet gaming facilities, one in unincorporated Umatilla and one in unincorporated Tavares, Thursday morning and Inside Lake is working to find out why.

Inside Lake received multiple tips and was on the scene at Hotspot, 37415 State Road 19, Umatilla, briefly and witnessed several marked units from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at the business around 9:30 a.m. A tipster also said there was a law enforcement presence at another Hotspot, located at 11203 U.S. Highway 441, Tavares, near County Road 473.

“We’re working an investigation regarding those gaming establishments, the details of which will be released at a later date,” LCSO Lt. John Herrell told Inside Lake.

Law enforcement investigating internet gaming facilities in unincorporated Umatilla and Tavares Read More »

FWC: License-free freshwater fishing this weekend

FLORIDA—The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting a license-free freshwater fishing weekend Saturday and Sunday

Florida residents and visitors of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to try recreational fishing this weekend and FWC has helpful resources for new anglers to get started.

Largemouth bass are Florida’s most popular freshwater fish and if you catch one 8 pounds or heavier, submit it to TrophyCatch. There is a special promotion this season where pink-tagged bass are swimming and worth extra prizes in five waterbodies across the state. Try your luck and you could even win sunglasses just for fishing in these five waters!

All other rules, such as seasons, bag and size limits apply during license-free fishing weekend.

Keep the fun going all year and buy a recreational freshwater fishing license, to renew or purchase a fishing license, visit GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

FWC: License-free freshwater fishing this weekend Read More »

LCSO Investigating possible murder-suicide in Umatilla

UMATILLA, Fla. – The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what may be a murder-suicide in Umatilla Friday morning.

LCSO and Umatilla Police Department responded to a home at 44 South Kentucky Avenue around 5:30 a.m. after a complainant reported receiving a “suspicious text message,” according to a press release.

When law enforcement arrived, they found Tracy Bean, 50, and Ki’anna Lister, 25, both deceased. Today is Lister’s birthday, according to the birthdate released by LCSO.

PHOTO: Marilyn M. Aciego/Inside Lake

“The victims displayed signs of homicidal trauma, Lake County detectives are on scene investigating the possible murder-suicide,” according to the press release.

The relationship between Bean and Lister has not been confirmed, LCSO said, the investigation is ongoing.

Inside Lake spoke briefly with Bean’s family member on scene, and she did not want to be identified or make a public comment.

No other victims were found and there are no signs of danger to the public, LCSO said.

LCSO Investigating possible murder-suicide in Umatilla Read More »

FHP identifies Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday

ASTOR, Fla.—The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the man killed in Astor early Wednesday morning.

Robert Sangster Jr., 26, of Umatilla, was standing in the westbound lane of State Road 40, near Blue Creek Lodge Road shortly after 4 a.m. when he was struck by a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by a 58-year-old Polk City woman. The woman swerved to avoid Sangster Jr., but the right side of the SUV collided with him. He was pronounced deceased on the scene. The woman was not injured and remained on scene, FHP said.

The crash closed State Road 40 for approximately five hours.

FHP identifies Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday Read More »

Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday morning; SR 40 shut down

Update: FHP identifies Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday – Inside Lake

ASTOR, Fla.—A 26-year-old Umatilla man was killed Wednesday after he was struck by an SUV on State Road 40 in Astor, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Umatilla man was standing in the westbound lane of State Road 40 shortly after 4 a.m. when he was struck by 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by a 58-year-old Polk City woman.

The woman swerved to avoid the man, but the right side of the SUV struck him, killing him. His next of kin has not been notified. The Polk City woman was not injured and remained on scene, FHP said.

State Road 40 west of Blue Creek Lodge Road remained shut down in both directions at press time while troopers conduct their investigation.

Umatilla man killed in Astor early Wednesday morning; SR 40 shut down Read More »

National Safe Boating Week kicks off Saturday

LITTLE LAKE HARRIS, Fla.—The unofficial start to summer is upon us and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding boaters to stay safe during National Safe Boating Week that begins Saturday.

Inside Lake had the opportunity to speak with FWC’s Kristen Turner and Chad Weber, along with Hunter Bland of the National Safe Boating Council Friday about staying safe on the waterways. Florida is the “Boating Capital of the World,” with more than 1 million vessels registered in the state, according to FWC.

Florida does have some requirements for boating but common sense and taking simple precautions can prevent a tragedy. A boating safety course is required for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988; classes are available in classroom setting and also online, FWC-approved courses can be found here.

All vessels are required to have personal flotation device (PFD) for each person onboard and FWC encourages everyone to wear it at all times. In an emergency situation, people often won’t have time to put on a PFD. This reporter and Inside Lake Photographer Bonnie Whicher were required to wear a PFD during a ride-along Friday. The weather cut the ride-along short, but Weber used that opportunity to educate the Inside Lake staff on how to handle changing weather conditions.

FWC Officer Chad Weber PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

“You need to know where you are at. (Bad weather) is one of the hidden dangers (people) overlook,” Weber said. “The best thing to do is get out of the water.”

Bland said often homeowners will let a vessel stay at their dock to ride out a storm and he’s even known people to invite boaters in their home to ride it out.

“There are good people out there,” Bland said.

Filing a “float plan can also save your life, Turner told Inside Lake. Though not required, a float plan is letting someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. The United States Coast Guard provides a fillable PDF float plan and suggests you provide it to a reliable person, along with a photo of the vessel. While the information would be extremely helpful in an emergency, Bland stressed that something as simple as a text message letting someone know your plans, would suffice.

FWC Northeast Region Public Information Director Kristen Turner PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

Weber also suggested other things to have onboard, such as rain jackets, a cooler with water and a first aid kit; tools and extra fuses can also come in handy, Bland added.

For more boating information from FWC, visit https://myfwc.com/boating/

National Safe Boating Council Program Director Hunter Bland PHOTO: Bonnie Whicher/Inside Lake

National Safe Boating Week kicks off Saturday Read More »

Lake County Schools high school graduations scheduled for this week and next week

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.—Caps will be flying through the air this week and next as Lake County Schools seniors say goodbye to high school and hello to adulthood. Graduations are scheduled to begin Tuesday with Tavares High School and will end with Lake County Virtual School next week. Schools are listed below in alphabetical order.

East Ridge High School—9 a.m. Wednesday at UCF/Addition Arena

Eustis High School—9 a.m. Saturday, at Eustis High School Panther Stadium

Lake County Virtual School—6 p.m. May 23, at Mount Dora High School Auditorium

Lake Hills School—occurred May 1 at Lake Hills Gymnasium

Lake Minneola High School—7 p.m. Friday at UCF/Addition Arena

Lake Success Academy—3:30 p.m. Friday at Lake Success Academy

Leesburg High School—8 a.m. Saturday at Leesburg High School Stadium

Mount Dora High School—8 p.m. Thursday at Mount Dora High School Stadium

South Lake High School—7:30 p.m. Wednesday at UCF/Addition Arena

Tavares High School—7:30 p.m., Tuesday UCF/Addition Arena

Umatilla High School—7 p.m. Friday Grafton Center Elks Club

 

Lake County Schools high school graduations scheduled for this week and next week Read More »

5th Annual Lake County Back the Blue and Red Walk

Photos from the 5th Annual Back the Blue and Red Walk. Organizer Shannon Cook has been supporting law enforcement since 2019 with this walk. This year, firefighters were added to the event, and the name was changed. PHOTOS: Bonnie Whicher/Special to Inside Lake

5th Annual Lake County Back the Blue and Red Walk Read More »

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