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Local News

  • Pass the bread and nurture faith

    One of the greatest gifts the church has to offer is the gift of community, belonging and nurturing faith together. From the very beginning, Jesus’ disciples have been known as those who lived in relationship with one another praying, teaching and fellowship to the breaking of the bread.

    We continue that tradition by gathering regularly with other disciples around the table at church and in our homes. Discipleship is learned through participation in a community.

  • Breaking the sound barrier

    Their goal is to make the world of silence a little easier for their clients and loved ones. Citrus Hearing Impaired Program Services (CHIPS), which opened a branch in Marion County off State Road 200 in May 2008, offers a variety of services to the deaf, hearing impaired, and speech impaired.

    The nonprofit organization provides interpreting, education, referral services and advocacy to its clients. “There is a need” for these types of services in Marion County, said Maryjo Lawson, CHIPS program manager.

  • What’s Christmas without a tree?

    A fresh tree or a fake one? For some there is no question, they want a traditional Christmas tree – one that smells just like the tree they remember dad picking out at a roadside lot.

    In years past, Christmas tree lots were a common sight in any community – the Boy Scouts and church groups used set up on vacant lots. But the popularity of artificial trees and retailers stocking “live” ones has cut out many of the street corner vendors.

  • Some days are ‘normal’

    When he turns on the ignition and heads to work at 6 a.m., he never really knows what the day will bring. For John Rawls, a master deputy for the Marion County Sheriff’s Southwest District, he starts each working day with a sort of routine.

    Rawls, who has been employed at MCSO since 1998, said if he does not have to relieve a nighttime deputy he routinely does his security checks at local businesses to make sure nothing has been disturbed. This is especially important on the weekends, because some businesses are closed.

  • More Martin, live on FM

    His voice is a familiar one; and after more than 15 years on a Citrus County radio station, the Gene Martin Show has moved to Dunnellon. Oak Run resident and popular radio personality Gene Martin switched stations after being laid off from his former radio job.

    A few weeks before Christmas, Martin learned the news of his departure. But after the word spread his phone started to light up with offers. However, they were all from AM radio stations and Martin wanted to be on an FM station.

  • Square dancing is unique to America

    Pssst – well it’s no secret, square dancing is one of the best all-around activities for all age groups. Wait a minute, how can anything with the word “square” being part of it be all that great? Well modern western square dancing is not quite what you may have learned in school. This puppy rocks!

    It’s a party every time you go as it brings people together for fun and fellowship – even during class lessons. The fun starts right from the beginning, meeting new people and making new friends and continues the more you dance.

  • Marion firefighters celebrate 30th anniversary

    Thirty years ago, Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) did not exist. Instead, 20-plus independent volunteer fire departments were scattered around the county.

    Each department was staffed with its own firefighters, owned its own apparatus and was headed by its own fire chiefs and boards of directors. Turf wars pervaded most districts, and jurisdictional lines hindered response.

  • A holiday good deed

    As they sat in the common area, 20 area residents awaited the arrival of the young boys with the big voices. With their holiday cheer and bright smiles, Cub Scout Pack 707 was coming to sing Christmas carols to the residents of the Quiet Oaks Distinctive Assisted Living facility.

    And it wasn’t hard to tell that resident Betty Journalist was enjoying the holiday festivities. She smiled throughout the program and sang along to some of the familiar carols. At the end of the show, Journalist said she loved it.

  • Residents recycle e-junk

    Instead of putting their old computer monitors, printers and televisions out at the end of the road, Marion County residents are opting for a greener solution to disposing of their electronic junk.

    Walter Edwards dropped off about a dozen electronic discards on Household Electronic Recycling day to do his part in making the world a little greener. His old items, which included a keyboard and PC monitor, had been sitting around his house for years. “I am happy they had this today,” he said.

  • My Apologies to Santa

    They’re trying to take Christ out of Christmas

    and banning the manger scenes too,

    labeling Christmas trees as holiday trees

    and now they have targeted you.

    Despite your long history of kindness

    and the children wide-eyed at your pack,

    those stuffy, mean spirited grinches

    have you under attack. Your familiar old pipe is long gone,

    I truly do empathize.

    The “ho, ho,” of your greeting’s been converted