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!

  • Gas Prices May Drop by Up to 15 Cents

    Staff Report

    The summertime seesaw at the pump continues this week. After rising 7 cents early last week, Florida gas prices are moving lower once again.

    The average price for Florida gasoline is $2.67 per gallon. The state average is 4 cents more than this time last week and 23 cents more than a month ago. However, Florida drivers are paying 13 cents less than this year's high, and 10 cents per gallon less than this time last year.  

  • Man Killed While Pushing Disabled Car

    A man was killed late Thursday while attempting to push a disabled car on State Road 40 near Southwest 60th Avenue, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    Authorities reportedly pronounced Guadalupe Guillermo, 20, of Ocala, dead at the crash scene.

    Three men, including Guillermo, were pushing and steering a disabled vehicle west on the outside lane of State Road 40 toward a gas station at the intersection, according to a report. 

    The other men were Esgar Nunez, 20, and Samuel Lopez, 21, both of Ocala.

  • West Marion Community Hospital, Citrus Memorial Hospital Get High Marks

    A national healthcare ranking organization has given West Marion Community Hospital a B rating, the hospital’s third consecutive B since 2018.

    Citrus Memorial Hospital in Inverness received its fourth consecutive B rating since the fall of 2017, also making it one of the best-ranked hospitals in the area.

  • Summer Gas Prices Heating Up Across the Country

    Gas prices are heating up alongside summer temperatures. In the last 15 days, state averages have jumped, pushing up the national average nearly a dime to $2.75. In addition to rising gasoline demand, 13 states this month have introduced new gas taxes that have contributed to the national average increase. Those states include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont.

  • How Hot is It and What Does the Heat Index Mean?

    Forecasting the weather may not be an exact science. The meteorologist announces it’s going to be sunny and cool, and storm clouds dampen your day.

    With recent temperatures lingering and loitering in the upper 90s, managing your time in the Florida sun can get complicated. Recently recorded heat indexes (what it feels like) have climbed well into the triple digits – in some areas reaching nearly 120.