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Local News

  • 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.

  • Youngsters put classic touches on the season

    Jack Frost’s Southern cousin has put an occasional nip in the air, turkey leftovers are long gone, and the holiday season is officially in full swing. Now it’s time for sounds of the season to fill the air.

    After weeks of practice, the Ocala Youth Symphony is ready to present its annual holiday concert. The Dec.7 musical event will be at Central Florida Community College. The 90-minute performance is composed of holiday and classical music, and a mix of numbers. “We do all kinds of stuff,” director Cindy Robertson said.

  • Marines are Santa’s helpers

    It is customary to see the tall white boxes with a picture of Santa Claus on it during the holiday season. And this year is no exception.

    The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign officially kicked off Oct. 15. And the program is anticipating giving away more toys than in 2007.

    Guy White, past coordinator of the Toys for Tots program and Ocala West Marine Corps League member, said they are hoping to help 11,000 children this year. Last year, the group gave toys to 9,948 children in the county, which amounted to about 28,000 toys.

  • Give the gift of life this season

    What does everyone have, yet everyone needs? You can give it and get it. No one can recreate it and there is no substitute for it, but you can use someone else’s. And if you don’t have it, or get it, you’ll die?

    You guessed it, the correct answer is blood.

  • A Lions’ night for heros

    Being Veterans Day, it was a  fitting night to honor them. Not only was the evening about honoring the heroes who served our country, it was about raising money for some causes to benefit our veterans.

    The Ocala Southwest Lions club had a fundraiser to support the Fisher House and Hero Assistance Dogs, Inc. The event, which was at Our Place Lounge, sold about 100 tickets prior to the benefit and brought out about 150 overall to support the Lions’ causes. “We are thrilled,” said Reva Goldstein, Lions club member.