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Local News

  • 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

  • Christmas lights ... east or west?

    The best known and most expensive Christmas lights are about 20 miles east of our 200 Corridor – as Roger’s reindeer flies. A slightly longer drive is a bigger and less crowded option …  including a visit from Santa Claus …  only a few miles further to the west of us. Just drive east on C.R. 484 to Dunnellon, hang a right at the light onto U.S. 41 and you’ll see Rainbow Springs State Park just a few miles north on your right.

  • From garbage to energy

    A facility that turns garbage into energy was dedicated last week in Marion County – a step that will save about 300,000 barrels of oil each year, according to officials.

    The move will also provide renewable energy to some 3,000 homes a day.

    The new “green” project, known as the Baseline Landfill Gas to Energy project, will  run 24 hours a day and will eventually produce four megawatts of electricity, said Rod Jones, managing director and part owner of Atlanta-based G2 Energy, the company that supervised the construction of the facility.

  • 200 Coalition gets year-end report

    At the last S.R. 200 Coalition meeting of the year, the lagging economy was the topic of discussion as many businesses and residential approved lots sit empty along the Corridor.

    Pat Gabriel, Coalition president, estimated the square footage of vacant retail parcels and residential approved lots to be in the hundreds of thousands. She worked with the Board of Realtors and a few real estate businesses in obtaining her figures.

  • Shopping for serious bargains

    Analysts have been making predictions for weeks about the seasonal holiday sales. Though many forecasted the gift giving season would be slow, it was hard to tell on black Friday.

  • Scouts saddle up for Camporee

    This fall’s Boy Scout Camporee at Camp Shands in Melrose was attended by more than 200 scouts and leaders from Ocala and surrounding areas. The theme this year was Wild West Weekend.

    Each troop was to build a “covered wagon” to be mounted on 2 by 4s with a plywood floor but no wheels were to be used.

    Only boy power was to be used to carry the wagons. The covered part could be decorated with a Wild West theme.

    A race was to be held Saturday night with the wagons. The race kept the "horses" warm as well as the spectators.