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Local News

  • The Growth of Social Security

    Part 3 in a continuing series

    By Bill Koch

    A Benjamin in 1940 would be worth nearly $350 today. That’s about what Ida M. Fuller received on Jan. 31, 1940: $22.54.

    That was her first Social Security check. In fact, Fuller was the first regular Social Security recipient under the new old-age benefit enacted into law some five years prior by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935.

  • Del Webb Stone Creek Gets $1.5 Million Upgrade

    Stone Creek

    The look is fresh and the atmosphere exciting at Del Webb Stone Creek where Del Webb has completed a $1.5 million-plus beautification of amenities at one of its largest communities.

     The modernization includes a top-to-bottom transformation of Elan Spa, Reunion Clubhouse and Stone Creek Grille at the Golf Club.

  • AAA: March Pump Prices Highest in 5 Years

    Staff Report

    Rising demand and tightening fuel supplies led to a significant jump at the pump last week. Florida gas prices rose an average of 14 cents, before slipping a penny over the weekend. 

    Florida drivers are currently paying an average price of $2.75 per gallon for regular unleaded. Sunday's state average is 13 cents more than a week ago, nearly 30 cents more than last month, and nearly 10 cents more than this time last year. 

  • The Creation of Social Security and Other “Old People” Programs

    Part 2 in a continuing series

    By Bill Koch

    The early years of the 20th century brought some interesting – but not especially hopeful – opportunities to older folks looking for some rest and relaxation in their golden years.

    Although the concept of retirement – and retirement communities – seemed strange, even unworldly, an increasing number of older workers found themselves contemplating the principle, if only out of necessity.

  • Start Celebrating Mom Now!

    By Bill Koch, editor

    She lay their screaming, uttering highly uncomfortable and very unlady-like phrases, threatening the destruction of all mankind if she survived your arrival.

    She sweated. She growled. She spat. And she wept – and not for your little darlingness.

    You were the pain. You were the problem. You were the cause of it all – you and that dang father of yours!

  • Saddle Up for Some Fun in Saddle Oak Club

    Organizer Terry Jansen, not pictured, supervises a group of rowdy pool volley ball players. “I keep them together.”

    The players clash twice a week in 378-home Saddle Oak Club’s pool. “I send them home (after the games) to have a good night’s rest.”

    Originally from the Netherlands, Jansen came to Florida for the warm weather and her health. “We’re not all old here. We’re young at heart.”

  • Chefs of Napoli owner, Citrus men arrested in sex-trafficking case

    Brad Bautista

    Citrus County Chronicle

    Two Citrus County residents and the owner of a regional chain of restaurants were among 10 people arrested May 16 in a human-trafficking investigation that lasted two years.

    One of the restaurants, Chefs of Napoli IV, is in the Heath Brook Commons area at 5400 SW College Road in Ocala.

  • The Myths about Social Security

    By Bill Koch

    While Social Security serves as a financial safety net for more than 60 million Americans, the federally insured retirement system has suffered from a variety of rumors, misinformation and unusual tales.

    Following President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing Social Security into law on Aug. 14, 1935, the myths began circulating, many of them warranted and based on political promises.

  • Gambling My Life Away

    By Bill Koch

    I received a text message early Monday morning asking whether I had purchased $50 in lottery tickets in Cleveland on Sunday.

    The message requested I text back yes or no. I texted no.

    I’ve never been to Cleveland nor do I have a desire to go to there. Chicago? Definitely. But Cleveland. Not a chance.

    Nor do I play the lottery. Which I believe is about the most asinine investment strategy in the world. You’d be better off buying lamas.

  • Who Are You?

    By Bill Koch

    We’ve never met. Well, we’ve probably never met. I only know a handful of people in the communities our two newspapers serve in Marion County.

    We reach a lot of eyeballs: 40,000-60,000. (That’s assuming most of our readers have two eyes.) Many, many minds are currently pondering the deeper meaning of the content – and the ads – we regularly deliver to our readers.