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Local News

  • Do we need another park in the Corridor?

    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Department values your opinion. We have the opportunity to again apply for federal grants that will provide park property in the State Road 200 area.

    Community input will help us to prioritize needs in your ever-growing and improving county parks system. The survey will only take a few minutes and is available until Feb. 16. The link for the surveys is http://www.marioncountyfl.org/Parks/Pr_default.aspx.

  • Tax time breeds tax return scams

    Attorney General Bill McCollum issued a consumer advisory warning last week for Floridians to be on the lookout for tax-related scams. Complaints about fraudulent tax preparers are reported to the Attorney General’s Office each year, as are issues with identity theft and fraudulent charities.

    The attorney general also advised consumers to ask about service fees up front and avoid tax preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than anyone else.

  • CFCC gets OK to offer 4-yr. degrees

    Central Florida Community College will begin the process of offering two baccalaureate degree programs, following approval by the District of the Board of Trustees at its Tuesday meeting. While the college will begin working immediately thorough the approval process, the baccalaureate programs will be offered no earlier than fall 2010, according to Dr. Charles Dassance, CFCC president.

    The programs will not be offered until the college receives adequate funding for them.

  • Burglar cleans up at car wash

    Sometime between 7:30 p.m. on Jan.17 and 11 p.m. Jan. 18, the Bubble Clean Car Wash on S.R. 200 was burglarized.

    When a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the business, which has the same owner as Hilton Automotive, he noticed a car wash sprayer wand lying on the ground, and a coin meter box which appeared to have been tinkered with, according to a sheriff’s report.

    The burglar was unsuccessful in getting any money from that change box. However, the equipment room money machines were a different story.

  • Ancient aircraft spark memories

    Two ounces of booze were given to crewmembers after flying a mission in the Pacific. The whiskey was supplied by military doctors to help offset the affects of going from temperatures of 20 degrees below zero, at an altitude of 20,000 feet in the B-24, to 110 degrees on the ground, Ed Grass recalled, while he walked around the World War II bombers on display at the Ocala Airport as part of this year’s Wings of Freedom tour.

  • Do we need another park in the Corridor?

    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Department values your opinion. We have the opportunity to again apply for federal grants that will provide park property in the State Road 200 area.

    Community input will help us to prioritize needs in your ever-growing and improving county parks system. The survey will only take a few minutes and is available until Feb. 16. The link for the surveys is http://www.marioncountyfl.org/Parks/Pr_default.aspx.

  • Eyewitnesses to history

    While the wide-eyed children anticipated the clock striking noon, adults packed into the Webber Center at Central Florida Community College – all waiting to hear the first words from America’s 44th president, Barack Obama.

    Joyce Peoples, gifted student teacher at Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary School, brought her class of 22 fourth- and fifth-graders to the televised inauguration event at the college. Princpal Leanna Dixon said the students were “really excited” to attend the historic swearing in.

  • Internet access ... ... with a sweepstakes twist

    At first glance, it may be perceived as a place to strictly log onto the Internet. But in reality, it’s a game promotion also.

    Local Internet cafés seem to be popping up everywhere in Marion County. Driving by, the word Internet could make the average person assume it is a place to access the Web. Technically it is, but users can also enter “sweepstakes.”

  • Marion Mavericks cultivate hope

    “I’m really excited,” said Nola Wilson, small farms extension agent for the Marion County Extension Service. She is thrilled that the newly-formed Marion Mavericks have decided to take on the ambitious task of creating a community victory garden at the Marion County owned- 4-H Farm property.

    “I’m so glad that we have a community group willing to organize and oversee this,” Wilson said. Having a public garden in the present tough economic times is a “very positive thing.”

  • Munroe facing budget biopsy

    “This is my favorite subject,” said Steven Purves, president and CEO of Munroe Regional Medical Center (MRMC), after he was introduced by Pat Gabriel. He was the first guest of the New Year to speak to the packed house at the S.R. 200 Coalition’s monthly meeting.

    During his presentation he discussed the challenges the nonprofit hospital faces, as well as the mission and the history of MRMC. The mission of the hospital is to keep the quality of patient care up, while keeping the cost of medical care down, he said.