Author Archives

James Combs

Akers Media Group's James Combs has been a staff writer for several local publications since August 2000. He has had the privilege of interviewing some of Lake County's many fascinating residents—from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans—and bringing their stories to life. A resident of Lake County since 1986, James recently embarked on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. He has lost 60 pounds and walks nearly five miles a day. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, skeet shooting and watching his beloved Kentucky Wildcats!
To the ‘rescue’

To the ‘rescue’

Sometimes restaurants simply aren’t up to par Something needs to be done to raise the bar That’s why Sidelines in Mount Dora is temporarily shut down So customers no longer have to leave with a frown The Spike TV reality show “Bar Rescue” will help change the restaurant’s overall mood That means better décor, superior service, and tastier food. Taffer’s 48-hour renovation of Sidelines is…
A New Game Plan

A New Game Plan

Community partnerships in Central Florida may bolster the economy through sports tourism by drawing fans and athletes—and dollars. Story: James Combs When it comes to strengthening Central Florida’s economy through sports tourism, officials from Orlando and Lake County are working to get the ball rolling. A potential partnership was formed last September, when Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks invited Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer for a…
James Combs’ The Hit List

James Combs’ The Hit List

According to the Eustis Police Department, a 26-year-old man used a baby stroller to steal shampoo from a local grocery store. This guy apparently isn’t right in the head…and shoulders. A Eustis woman is facing felony battery charges after police say she hit her boyfriend over the head with a roller skate and broke it. Let’s be perfectly clear about something. This wasn’t a hate…
ready to rumble

ready to rumble

Man and machine roar into the Lakefront City this month as one of the country’s largest motorcycle festivals revs up for another year of nonstop excitement. From stylish bikes and live entertainment to unforgettable motorcycle shows and bikini-clad women, Leesburg Bikefest is certain to get your motor running. Story: James Combs Leesburg Bikefest: The 20th anniversary and a little history Orange roadsters, blue choppers, and…
The “center” of attention

The “center” of attention

Tacko Fall is standing tall in the world of college basketball. Story: James Combs Opponents of the University of Central Florida men’s basketball team have a tall order. They must find a way to slow down Tacko Fall, the Knights’ 7-foot-6-inch center who is the tallest player in college basketball. So far, their efforts in stopping him have come up short. Fall, who played high…
One Shining Moment

One Shining Moment

The last-second buzzer beaters. The unbelievable upsets. Tears rolling down the cheeks of seniors playing their final collegiate game. Yes, drama will unfold this month on the basketball court as March Madness takes center stage. One Lake County resident remembers it all too well. He shares what it’s like to play in the NCAA Tournament and the Final Four.  Story: James Combs // Photos: Courtesy…
Down on the range

Down on the range

When it comes to indoor gun ranges, Franklin Dickinson is armed with innovation, imagination, and creativity. His Jacksonville-based company, Basics Range and Gun, features both a bull’s-eye range for shooting accuracy and a tactical range for law enforcement officer training. It has become wildly popular among gun owners and police officers alike. Dickinson, a developer in Orange Park, is bringing his concept of a “family-friendly”…
New library: It’s on the books

New library: It’s on the books

A new chapter is in store for the Fruitland Park Library. Plans are underway for construction of a new 12,000 square-foot facility that should be complete in late 2017 or early 2018. The new library will feature three community rooms to host various programs, as well as additional computer stations for adults, teenagers, and children. Moreover, there will be a designated teen area with age-appropriate…
James Combs’ HIT LIST

James Combs’ HIT LIST

After a dog named Buddy was euthanized, members of Responsible Dog Owners of The Villages appeared at a Sumter County Commission meeting to express concern about the county’s handling of lost and abandoned animals. Perhaps this will spark a new movement called “Dog Lives Matter.” One man and two women were arrested after having sex in their car with the windows rolled down while parked…

James Comb’s the Hit List

1 // A 20-year-old Oxford man arrested for marijuana possession told arresting officers that he was happy about Dallas police officers being shot. Dude, it’s time to get your life together and quit blaming cops for your troubles. For you, the stakes have never been “higher.” 2 // A grandmother sprayed a garden hose at two sisters who were engaged in a knife fight near…
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