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Local News

  • 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.

  • Is gas driving car sales?

    With gasoline prices climbing higher, with no end in sight, car dealerships around the country and the Corridor are seeing a change in car buying priorities. Customers are trading gas-guzzling land yachts for smaller vehicles with better gas mileage.

    We burned a bit of $4 a gallon gas and visited new car dealers who had time to talk, in the area and neighboring Citrus County.

    Honda of Ocala

  • Midway Church more than a 'meeting house'

    I recently attended the annual family church reunion at the Midway Church in Midway, Ga., 28 miles south of Savannah. As a boy growing up in Hinesville, about 8 miles west of the church, I looked forward to the last Sunday in April when descendants of the church founders gathered at the church for a one-day meeting and picnic afterward under the huge oaks that part of Sherman’s Union army camped under.

  • Candidates talk about education

    At this month’s State Road 200 Coalition meeting, Marion County School Board candidates were invited to attend and give a five-minute presentation on why they are the best person for the job. Coalition vice president Cindy Congdon, who led the meeting in the absence of president Pat Gabriel, introduced each candidate and began with candidates present from District I.

  • Hi ho Segway ? awaaaaaay!

    If your typical round trip in the trusty old gasoline guzzler is from one of our western Corridor communities to the S.R. 200 Wal-Mart and back or even a round trip to the Regal movie theater, you might be a Segway prospect.

    What the heck is a Segway? It’s the result of a brainstorm Dean Kamen had years ago way up in snowy New Hampshire. And it is best described by having you look at this picture:

    Step onto it and be surprised when several gyroscopes keep you upright and stable. Hold onto the T-bar grips and just lean forward slowly. The Segway eases slowly forward.

  • New home hatches for Station 21

    It was only the Friday before when Marion County Fire Rescue turned dirt for its newest fire station – and they did it again on June 6 with the groundbreaking for Friendship Station 21. But it will be about a year before firefighters and volunteers can move into their new digs off S.W. 90th Street and move out of their current building, which was once a turkey processing plant.

  • Tales of cattle and 'Crackers'

    She has told stories about old-time turpentine and phosphate mining – but last week she came to OTOW to talk cattle ranching in Florida, which is part of the Florida History Series at Master the Possibilities. But storyteller Kathy Dobronyi does not simply tell stories of old Florida – she becomes an old Cracker gal – Dolores Cribbs.

    Dolores entered the room at Live Oak Hall in a straw hat, long dress and bearing a deep Southern accent. While she puts out her prop, a poster board with photos and captions, she never breaks character.