Local News

  • Mandatory burn ban in effect in Marion

    An emergency declaration was issued this week by the County Commission making a burn ban in the county effective immediately.

    The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning until further notice.

    If citizens are caught burning, they could face fines and other consequences.

    The drought index, based on a scale from 0 to 800, is nearing 700 in Marion County. Any number above 500 is considered the wildfire danger zone.

  • Liberty ready to put out fires

    In February 2008 Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) had a groundbreaking ceremony for Liberty Station 32. A little more than a year later, the 30th Marion County fire station officially opened for business.

    Local officials and residents attended the ribbon cutting ceremony recently at the new station on S.W. 49th Avenue.

  • American Legion names Marion captain Firefighter of the Year

    The American Legion Post No. 58 in Dunnellon has named Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR) Captain Clifford Grier, 46, the “Firefighter of the Year.”

  • Spring art show features three Oak Run artists

    Fine Art on Broadway’s annual spring show, this year entitled Clash of Cultures, opened Friday evening at the Brick City Center for the Arts.

    Three of Oak Run’s artists were featured in the show.

    Aina Sturms showed two of her newest paintings, Paul Martin Brown showed a collage of Wild Orchids of Marion County and Stan Folsom entered several new works in a dramatic contemporary style.

    Brown and Folsom both won Honorable Mentions for their work.

  • Quick Care Center coming

    New health care facilities are coming to the area, thanks to expansions at West Marion Community Hospital.

    Ginger Carroll, chief executive officer for West Marion, explained the additional services that will be available in the next few months when she spoke at the March meeting of the S.R. 200 Coalition meeting.

  • Suddenly: Howard’s out, Niblock’s in

    It came as a shocker to many Marion County residents when county administrator Patrick Howard announced his intent to resign last week and the county swiftly moved to appoint Lee Niblock, the county’s community resources bureau chief, to the position.

    During a public hearing Feb. 25, the Marion County Commissioner accepted Howard’s letter to retire effective Feb. 27 and then approved a three-year contract to hire Niblock for the job, according to a county press release.

  • CCS takes pride in helping Toys for Tots

    “Toys for Tots is my thing,” said Ginnie Wise, project director assistant at CCS Mechanical Inc. For the last couple of years she has coordinated the business’ efforts in collecting toys for the United States Marine Corps annual toy drive.

    The company contributed 1,566 toys last Christmas, which totaled about $17,000. They donated more toys than anyone else in Marion County, with the help of the community. “They take pride in it,” said Jim McCarthy, liaison for Marion County Toys for Tots and member of Ocala West Detachment 1072.

  • Finding a sketching niche

    Ronda West has been drawing professionally for years,  but it wasn’t until recently she started to “play around with celebrities.” Before moving back to Florida with her husband, historical western fiction author Charles West, she was doing commissioned portrait work for customers, which she still does.

    After moving to Oak Run,  she tried her hand at drawing famous faces and found her niche. West’s first celebrity pencil portrait was of actor John Wayne.

  • What was your ‘first time’ after age 60?

    Did you go skydiving for the first time in your 60s? Or did you get married at age 61 for the first time? Did you change careers after age 60, or discover a helpful health- or financial tip? Did you start a new hobby, or find a great recipe geared toward seniors?

    If so, we want to hear from you.

    We are looking for first-time accomplishments after age 60 for an upcoming special section called “Savvy After 60” and a special page, “You’re never too old.” Share your information with our readers.

  • Silver River Museum a goldmine of history

    There are, at my last count, six museums in Marion County. I’ve asked several friends to name them. Most knew of two, a few named three and one came up with four.

    Apparently we have some great places to visit – but some of these Marion County museums need to be excavated. So I’m going to tell you about one of these lesser-known collections. It’s a terrific place that adults and kids alike will find truly awesome.