Today's News

  • Some things different about Station 21

    Friendship Station 21 may look like an average firehouse, but it is a little different than the others in the county – and not because the staff is temporarily housed in a doublewide mobile home out front.

    Throughout the county there are 27 fire stations. Twenty stations house full-time paid firefighters, while the other seven are volunteer stations.

  • Bring your Valentine to the dinner dance

    The next Cherrywood community event will be our Valentine's Dinner Dance on Feb. 9, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now - see Nancy at Bingo - this has always been a sellout. Cost is $12.50 per person.

    Marty Carroll will entertain and the menu is of baked ziti and meatballs, smothered chicken, scalloped potatoes, vegetables, salad, rolls and beverages - and our sweet table.

    Keep your eye on the Chirp for news about the upcoming Luau.

    Until next time, be safe and most important be happy, Linda Hallermeier and the team.

    Sock Hop

  • It's a very merry Preserve tradition

    Just down the road apiece last month’s Christmas holiday was assuredly made merrier for a good many preservists by a group of Spruce Creek Preserve volunteers. This spirited group, intent on sharing their Christmas cheer, prepared and served a most delectable Christmas dinner to a special gathering of Preserve residents in the Community Center ballroom.

  • Mourning the late, great housing boom

    In an October column we did a mini seminar on the sub-prime mortgage mess. During the late, great housing boom, mortgage companies and banks were borrowing low-interest money, lending it to home buyers, then selling off bundles of mortgages to dumb investment banks, not-so-smart hedge funds, and other cocky high-rollers.

    Things may be darker than revealed so far. New York and Connecticut are investigating whether lenders were slipping in “no document” and “exception” loans, which made the bundled mortgages even more risky for investors.

  • Managing to outfox a master trickster

    Learning the ropes was as much a part of the job as printing and delivering production manifests at the General Motors assembly plant in Doraville, Ga. Part two concludes my first memories of my entry job with the automotive manufacturer.

    Grease was used liberally and frequently to keep the wheels of the assembly line rolling smoothly, and without any undue friction. Lubriplate was the brand name and a sticky concoction it surely was.

  • For sale: One lying bathroom mirror

    Nobody enjoys privacy more than Yours Truly. I confess I am not a very happy camper when that privacy is compromised in any fashion. Recently, I endured a tremendous trespass on my privacy.

    One day last week, I got up as usual and tottered off to the bathroom for my accustomed routine. It was then I got the shock of my life of which I am not over as of yet. I am sure this experience will be with me many years down the road. I am not sure I need counseling – but maybe a day or two at a rehab center just might do the trick.

  • Eerie unveiling of human endurance

    Australian writer Jeanette Turner Hospital has given us a haunting tale that keeps on resonating even after the last page. The title, Due Preparations for the Plague, is taken from a 17th century work of Daniel Defoe who as a child witnessed the horrors of the Black Death, an ironic title in that the premise of both his work and Hospital’s is that there is no way to prepare for a plague.

    Hospital’s plague is terrorism which chooses randomly saints and sinners alike.

  • CERT volunteers are ready to respond

    The Citizens Emergency Response Team had its first meeting of the New Year on Jan. 16 in their new place, the Heritage Real Estate building. A big thank you goes out to Palm Cay owner Ken Kirkpatrick for providing this space.

    Many issues on the CERT agenda were discussed; the purchase of supplies, distribution of CERT bags to members, two-way radios, and volunteers needed to train for Ham operators (radio operators classes are free but there is a cost for the book). If interested, call Bob Pleffner, he’s listed in the Palm Cay directory.

  • Ambulance services under MCFR's roof

    Now we know the direction the county’s ambulance service will take. But the avenues mapped have yet to be traveled.

    At Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting the vote was for merging Emergency Medical Services Alliance personnel with county fire services. When Barbara Fitos spoke at the Jan. 14 State Road 200 Coalition meeting, she addressed the benefits of such a marriage, and three other commissioners were apparently of similar mind.

  • CERT uses horse sense in drill

    They have done it before – but not like this. This past weekend, at the On Top of the World communities, they searched on foot and on horseback to find people who had gone missing in the woods around the community.

    But it was just a drill.

    It was the first time that the OTOW Citizens Emergency Response Team and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol would participate in a disaster exercise together. “We are just flying high about this,” said Marion County Sheriff’s Office CERT Coordinator Norman Scott.