Local News

  • 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.

  • The Corridor's gopher guy

    Did you ever wonder what that freshly-turned mound of dirt in your lawn or garden is? Well, it might be the work of a pocket gopher.

    No not the cute, cumbersome and once common land turtle that is protected by law – the Florida gopher tortoise. These furry animals live underground, do their damage sight unseen and can turn a beautiful lawn into an eyesore overnight.

  • Shopping for answers

    “How much do four golden delicious apples weigh? How many lemons would it take to have pound?” Do those sound like those dreaded math questions we had to calculate in grade school?

    Students from Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary School were recently put to the test to answer questions like these but text books were only part of the equation and kids went shopping. Second- and third-graders, and their parents, were invited to the new Publix Supermarket at Canopy Oaks for “math night.”

  • Does the community want a new park?

    The chief of Marion County Community Resources Bureau, Dr. Lee Niblock, will be the featured speaker at this month’s S.R. 200 Coalition meeting. He heads the Parks and Recreation Department and is scheduled to talk about the possibility of a second public park in the Corridor.

    The county has its eye on an attractive site and funding may be available, even in this depressed economy. The department is conducting an online survey that will close Feb. 16, to determine if the community would support a new and bigger park.