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Local News

  • Grading Congress members online

    “They work for you. Remind them,” is the motto of a new Web site that allows users to grade members of Congress.

    The site, GradeGov.com, allows the public to get more involved with the people representing them in Washington. Elizabeth Letchworth, owner of GradeGov.com, said she came up with the idea about four years ago, after working in the United States Senate for 26 years. She felt the public was disconnected from their representatives in Congress, which she said is an issue that is getting worse.

  • Contest on to name new park

    Creative thinking people are invited to dream up a name for the new county park in the State Road 200 area.

    Those suggested names should be entered in the “Name New Park” Contest offered by the Marion County Parks and Recreation Dept, either via a ballot in this issue of the South Marion Citizen or through the county’s Web site, www.marioncountyfl.org/Parks.htm

  • New local Jewish congregation

    For the first time in 35 years, a new Jewish congregation has been formed in Ocala to serve the needs of the growing Jewish population of southwest Marion County and environs.

  • Residents to name new Corridor park

    Just like they did with Liberty Community Park, a member of the public will provide the military-themed name for the newest 40-acre park on the Corridor.

    Marion County Parks and Recreation department is once again teaming up with the South Marion Citizen for the latest park-naming contest. About 400 entries were received from the community when Liberty Park, off S.W. 103rd Street Road, was named in June of 2004.

  • County dedicates new EOC

    Marion County has dedicated its new emergency operations center just in time for hurricane season.

    “I hope we never have to use this building,” said Sheriff Ed Dean at the May 22 event. “But chances are we probably will. We’re going to be ready.”

    The 15,000-square-foot building has been in development for the past year. Its role is to provide a safe, comfortable location for emergency supervisors, support staff and media during a disaster.

    It is located next to the sheriff’s operation center in Ocala.

  • MRMC to expand

    The operating room expansion project at Munroe Regional Medical Center (MRMC) will soon be under way.

    The approximately $10 million project will include three full service operating rooms, which will primarily be used for orthopedic and general surgeries, a 20-bay post anesthesia care unit and an expanded surgical waiting area.

    On Monday, more than a dozen people, including MRMC president and CEO Steve Purves, director of the Munroe Foundation, Beth McCall, and House of Representatives speaker of the House, Larry Cretul, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.

  • Education, fun at Safety Fair

    Summer is right around the corner.

    And, to get parents and children prepared for it, the 2nd Annual Kids Summer Safety Fair is set for May 30.

    The event, sponsored by Single Parent 2 Single Parent, Marion County Children’s Alliance and Safe Kids of Marion County, gives families an opportunity to learn about local summer programs and safety tips.

    In addition, the free event will give parents and children the opportunity to learn through different interactive safety demonstrations like a children’s self-defense class by Martial Arts World.

  • Riding for Hospice

    Though he is a doctor, no one is taught to know what to expect when a family member has a terminal illness, said Dr. Peter Polack. But, Hope Hospice was there to help.

    Ocala Eye’s, Dr. Michael Morris, and James Tomlinson, marketing director, came up with the idea to have a bicycling event in memory of the late, Dr. Frank Polack, who is Peter’s father. To give back to Hospice, who cared for the eye doctor, Ocala Eye is hosting the 2nd Annual Frank Polack Memorial Ride, which will be May 31.

  • School board member talks budget

    Budget cuts and stimulus funds were hot topics at this month’s S.R. 200 Coalition meeting as Marion County School Board member Jackie Porter took to the floor.

    The newly elected Porter discussed some of the challenges the district will face in the upcoming school year – like supplemental pay for teachers. Porter said School Supt. Jim Yancey had the extra money for teachers on the budgetary “hit” list.

  • Decorating for Mom

    “I’m sure she’ll like this cake,” said second grader Alex Hardy.

    Hardy, along with about 200 other students from Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary School, participated in the Mother’s Day Publix Cake Decorating Day.

    “The kids love to do this,” said Robert Vadney, bakery manager at the Canopy Oaks Publix.

    The students headed to the art room to decorate the cakes, which were in the shape of a heart. The wide-eyed students anxiously listened to the directions given by bakery staff and awaited the decorating process.