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By TomL

The 2nd Annual Mac N Cheese Festival was put on by the Lady Lake Chamber. It was also a business Showcase with Arts & Crafts, Live DJ, and Local Business vendors filled the Log Cabin Grounds. An estimated 2,000 people passed through the vendor rows. They had a Mac N Cheese tasting judge by well known people.

The Mac N Cheese Festival started out with my wife setting up our table in a shady spot, the day was beautiful with a slight breeze, vendors were busy rushing around. We decided to travel light, bringing papers for just the Villages and the Lady Lake area. a few brochures and of course candy. It was fantastic the amount of people appearing at opening time and it stayed that way most of the day. They had a Mac N Cheese contest. The categories were Best Tasting, The Mayors Choice, The People’s Choice, Judges Choice, Best Decorated Booth, Best Decorated Booth Mac N Cheese Theme and the Best Gift Basket!

I met a lot of people that day and saw people I had not seen in years so it was a good day for me. I bought my son some Girl Scout Cookies that are sometimes hard to find.

A lot of fun was had by all. It was the second year and everyone is looking forward to next year including me.

Judges Choice Winner: Kiwanis of Lady Lake

Mayors Choice Winne: Watercrest at Spanish Springs

Peoples Choice Winner: Watercrest at Spanish Springs (With 225 Total Votes)

Best Decorated Booth: United Southern Bank (TROPHY)

Best Decorated Booth Mac N Cheese Theme: Visiting Angels & (GIFT BASKET  from Luke Emerson Edward Jones)

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9th Annual 2023 Habitat Ocala Strawberry Festival! (Photos by C. Kay Johnson13)


The Festival Is presented by Habitat for Humanity of Marion County

An estimated 22,000 people attended? They sold 188 fats of Strawberry’s.

There were 211 Exhibitors. The reason for the Strawberry Fest is to promote Family day and raise funds for Habitat Houses so they can continue to do all those great things they do for the local people in need.

It is hard to tell how much was raised this early and there was fund raiser’s going on inside the Festival like Parking was being shared by several groups needing funds, food and many more. There were many Sponsors involved which is listed at the end of this story. Continue reading

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TO THE EQUESTRIAN WORLD, BOYD EXELL NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION. Fascinated by horses from the age of six, six times World Champion Boyd Exell’s path to international sporting greatness began when a school teacher in his native Australia introduced him to a carriage driving friend. His passion was cemented when he went on to win the Australian Pairs Championship at the age of 16. Photos by C. Kay Johnson13

By TomL

Saturday Morning Donald Trump stated that he would be arrested for the Stormy Danniel’s thing  all the top  FBI and the DOJ have already looked at. In fact the statue of limitation has run out. They are struggling to make him look bad. I ask how many times can they investigate the same thing??? I think Trump has grounds for Harassment!

April 2023 news brings something that I have been reporting for three years. Dr Anthony Fauci who is supposed to be the leading Medical Authority in our country proves to be a lot less in my opinion. Three years ago my research on the internet stated that the United States were involved in suppling money for research at the Wuhan Lab. It goes on during Obama’s term at which during that time the money was being funneled through a company and then sent to the research Lab so it would not be visible to the American people. Several bad mishaps at the Lab brought attention to the Lab and Obama told Fauci to shut down our part of the research on on the viral research, Fauci did not! The research went on for some years hidden under some cloat of secrecy. Continue reading

I want to highlight several areas describing the economic growth our community has experienced throughout the last year.


An item which can no longer be denied is the growth of Ocala as a regional healthcare hub. Continued investments and expansions by AdventHealth Ocala, HCA Ocala, and HCA West Marion have added beds, new service lines, and increased access to care throughout the community, all while continuing to provide amazing care through the pandemic. We recently cut the ribbon on a new 26,000 sq. ft. cath lab at HCA Ocala wrapping up their revamped tower while at HCA West Marion a third tower was started with the ribbon cutting on an inpatient rehab and more beds. AdventHealth continues to expand services especially with its refurbished and expanded NICU and its new, free-standing ER in Belleview. Finally, UF Health began work this past year on a new Ocala Neighborhood hospital at US 27 and I-75. Continue reading

Dear Friends,

We are now at about the halfway point of the 60-day Legislative Session in Tallahassee. We are reminded of how blessed we are to be living in this great state and it is an honor to be able to serve you in the Florida Senate. Thanks to you, Florida continues to thrive economically and we are seeing hundreds of people moving here every day. While we are excited that they have chosen Florida to work and raise a family, it does present us with many challenges as we address the explosion of growth. Our leadership team in the Senate, along with Governor DeSantis and the Speaker of the House, is working tirelessly to address these needs and continue to make Florida’s future secure.

Senator Travis Hutson recently presented SB 240 in the Pre-K – 12 Education Committee. This bill revises current high school graduation requirements to place a specific emphasis on educational curriculum that is focused on technical education and career training. Additionally, this legislation establishes a program that allows local businesses to assess the job market for their specified region and collaborate with local schools to ensure that roles found to be of a greater need are greater emphasized in our educational system. As the entire nation attempts to address labor shortages in key fields such as nursing and logistics, Florida will lead through innovative educational policies that benefit individual students and the economy as a whole. Continue reading

Guest Columnist: Leslie DiCesare, Executive Director

Lady Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

We enjoyed a busy March at the Lady Lake Area Chamber of Commerce full of events and more! The Chamber hosted several networking events including breakfast at Keke’s in Lady Lake. Businesses had a chance to network and take home door prizes.

The Chamber also hosted our monthly networking lunch at Texas Roadhouse in Lady Lake. Attendees leave with quality leads & referrals. Non-Chamber members are invited to attend an event as a guest before joining.

The 2nd Annual Mac N Cheese Festival/Business Showcase was well attended, and local businesses & clubs were able to compete for the chance to take home a 6ft trophy. The winner for Judges Choice was Kiwanis Club of Lady Lake, Mayor’s Choice was Watercrest at Spanish Springs, Peoples Choice was Watercrest at Spanish Springs, Best Mac N Cheese Theme Decorated Booth was Visiting Angels, and Best Overall Decorated Booth was United Southern Bank. Donations were collected for our community outreach programs. We are looking forward to bringing this event back next year even bigger and cheesier! Continue reading

The Marion County Library System and Coping with Dementia LLC have announced a Spring series of free ABC of Dementia workshops again in 2023.  Dates and locations through April, 2023 are as follows.

Belleview Library, located at 13145 SE County Hwy 484.  Workshops will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 31; and Friday, April 28, 2023.

Dunnellon Public Library, located at 2-351 Robinson Road, will offer a workshop on Thursday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Marion Oaks Library, located at 294 Marion Oaks Lane in Ocala, will offer a workshop on Wednesday, April 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sankofa Public Library, located at 1821 NW 21st Street in Ocala, will offer a workshop on Thursday, April 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Continue reading

We the voters are worried about our state and our vote. Acting like your about to announce a run for President is not fair to the Florida voters…We stuck our neck out against the other candidates and now the news media’s are taunting you to announce. DON”T DO IT!

Florida had some rough spots but was not in bad shape. Yes you did some good things to ensure our vote be counted, I’m still not sure double the cost of the lottery was a good thing. How much is a dream of winning and living poverty free for life. I don’t beleive in the Turnpike Extension and many other pending things. You need to stay and take care of the things you started.  Continue reading

Anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction.  There is no doubt that the improvement of technology in today’s society has greatly benefited our society as a whole.  But, sending a text message, talking on a cell phone or using a navigation system creates hazardous road conditions.  These and any other distractions, such as tending to kids or passengers in the back seat, eating, watching an event outside of the vehicle, interacting with passengers, unsecured pets, putting on makeup or grooming, adjusting radio or climate controls, checking your GPS app or daydreaming.  These distractions can endanger you, your passengers, and others on the road.

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual-taking your eyes off the road,
  • Manual-taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive- taking your mind off driving.

Texting while driving has been proven dangerous beyond dispute due to the fact that it requires all three distractions at once to complete. Taking one’s eyes off the road for the average 5-6 second text, is enough to travel the length of a football field at 55 MPH.  A lot can happen during that distance that creates a hazardous condition on the roadway.  Continue reading

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