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Local News

  • Not the typical saddle tramp

    If people thought about it a bit, “everybody’s got a least one book in them,” said Charles “Chuck” G. West. But getting it published is a different story.

    For West, the road to getting his first manuscript in print was not an easy one. In the early 1980s, the former print shop owner decided to start penning a medical science fiction book. “It’s so hard to get published,” he said.

  • More are ‘living on the edge'

    With a dwindling economy to blame there is an ever-growing number of homeless people and at-risk residents in Marion County. The recent increase of people needing assistance and shelter is keeping organizations like  the Salvation Army of Marion County and the Annie Johnson Senior Services very busy.

    Alice Hodgkins, director of the Center for Hope at the Salvation Army of Marion County, has seen an increase in single men at the shelter. She attributes the increased male population to job losses.

  • Mall foreclosures • ‘no way’

    Rumors have been swirling through the Corridor recently about the foreclosure of the Market Street at Heath Brook and Berkshire Oaks, but representatives of the properties are saying “no way.”

    To Trent Comer, marketing director for United American Realty, the rumors surrounding the Market Street at Heath Brook are nothing new. He has been hearing various tales about shopping center problems for more than a year now.

    And the latest one about the open-air mall going into foreclosure is another one to add to the list.

  • TPO hoping for roads 'stimulous'

    Marion County Commissioners, city officials and members of the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) recently gathered in the commission auditorium to discuss “priority” road projects, which will hopefully be funded by President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

  • Parents and kids get a night out

    “It really is a trend,” said Tom Whatley, director of the education at Ocala Civic Theatre. The concept of “Parents Night Out” is not a new one. In fact, other theatres have been doing it for a while.

    The idea for the evening is to give parents a chance to get out of the house and enjoy a live theatre production, while being able to bring the children along also – solving the age-old babysitter dilemma. So Ocala Civic Theatre has adopted the family outing combination for their current performance of The Baker’s Wife.

  • Our Web is reaching out to readers

    Many of our readers have learned the joys of navigating the electronic highway along with its frustrating software detours, potholes and crashes. Personal computers, using e-mail mailboxes and Web surfing have trickled up to the greatest generation via their kids, the baby boomers, and the grandchildren, who don’t know life without PCs.

  • Town hall meetings will discuss school budget cuts

    Superintendent of Schools Jim Yancey will present possibilities for next year’s district budget cuts – estimated at $25- to $33 million for operations alone – at a series of town hall meetings.

    This series of meetings gives parents, employees, and community members the opportunity to offer suggestions on budget-cutting ideas and which school and student programs they consider most important. Meetings take place from 6 to 8 p.m.

    Feb. 17 at Belleview Middle. Feb. 19 at Dunnellon Middle, Feb. 23 at West Port High. Feb. 26 at Horizon Academy.

  • Little cash for parks, libraries

    Because the economy is lagging, some activities are thriving during the tough times. “Libraries are busy” and “parks are busy.” They are places where people do not have to spend a bunch of money, said Pat Gabriel, S.R. 200 Coalition president, as she welcomed guest speakers from the Marion County Parks and Recreation Department and the Marion County Public Library System to the February meeting.

  • Do we need another park in the Corridor?

    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Department values your opinion. We have the opportunity to again apply for federal grants that will provide park property in the State Road 200 area.

    Community input will help us to prioritize needs in your ever-growing and improving county parks system. The survey will only take a few minutes and is available until Feb. 16. The link for the surveys is http://www.marioncountyfl.org/Parks/Pr_default.aspx.

  • A winter fire safety warning

    With cooler temperatures in the air, many residents will fire up their space heaters, one of the leading sources of fires in the nation. If precautions aren’t taken and units aren’t serviced properly, fireplaces, space heaters and central heating systems could spark a devastating house fire.