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Post Date: 07/10/2020 2:43 PM

OCALA, Fla. (July 10, 2020) – In order to accommodate a road resurfacing project, lane closures will be in place along North Magnolia Avenue, from State Road 40 to NE Fifth Street Monday, July 20 through Saturday, October 17.

All necessary devices will be in place to redirect traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with Saturdays reserved for weather delays. During construction times travelers may experience delays, noise, dust, and heavy equipment within the project areas.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.


OCALA, Fla. (July 10, 2020) – Due to scheduled runway and taxiway construction work, the Ocala International Airport will be closed nightly, 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., during the following:

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, July 16 through 7 a.m. Saturday, July 18
  • 8 p.m. Sunday July 19, through 7 a.m. Wednesday, July 22

Aircrews are advised to plan accordingly to accommodate these critical airport infrastructure improvements.  During these nightly closures, the airport will be closed to all fixed-winged aircraft.  Rotary wing (helicopter) operations will be permitted away from construction areas.  Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) will be published on the FAA NOTAM website to publicize the closure to aircrews.

For more information, please contact the Ocala International Airport at 352-572-0492 or visit www.ocalaairport.com.

Held on the outdoor stage July 23 to August 1!

Vocalists are Shannon Guinn, Deion Howard, James Taylor, and Megan Wager, with Philip King as music director and pianist.

Reservations available by phone or online only

Join us for a theatrical concert featuring some of OCT’s best-known performers!
This 90-minute concert with no intermission will be held on our brand-new outdoor stage behind the theatre. Seating is limited and safely distanced at small tables (up to groups of four) on the patio around the stage. There will be outdoor concessions.
Featuring old and new favorites from All Shook Up • Annie Get Your Gun • Big Fish • Cinderella
Dear Evan Hansen • Guys and Dolls • Into the Woods • Mean Girls • On the Town • Seussical
Songs for a New World • The Sound of Music • Sweet Charity • You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown • and more!
Physical tickets will not be printed. You will receive an email confirmation for you records when you complete your order. When you come to the performance please check-in at the outdoor stage area and we’ll have your name on our VIP list for that performance!
Performances held on our recently renovated our Outdoor Stage located behind the theatre! Please consider making a donation at check out.

Find out more…

OCALA, Fla. (July 9, 2020) – The City of Ocala’s Aquatic Fun Centers are extending their summer season. Both the Jervey Gantt Aquatic Fun Center, 2390 SW 36th Ave., and the Hampton Aquatic Fun Center, 255 NW Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., will remain open through August 8, Mondays through Saturdays, with two swim sessions, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Facilities will remain closed Sundays to facilitate current cleaning and sanitation measures.

Beginning August 15 through September 5, both facilities will be open on Saturdays only, with two sessions, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

The final day of the season will be Monday, September 7 with two sessions, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. The Aquatic Fun Centers will close for the season Monday, September 7, 5 p.m.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, additional restrictions and guidelines are in effect for operations at both facilities:

  • Temperature and health screenings at entry
  • Plexiglass shields installed at customer service counters, as well as six-foot separation markers for entry
  • Reduced bathing loads to 75% normal capacity that are monitored and adjusted to ensure proper social distancing
  • No swim lessons
  • Waterslides are closed
  • Groups, camps, and field trips are prohibited
  • Reduced number of chairs available with distancing guidelines in place
  • Concessions are pre-packaged foods only

Admission for each swim session is $2 for ages 17 and under and $3 ages 18 and up. Admission is free for ages one and under. Facility operations are subject to change and staff continue to monitor conditions based on recommended guidelines. A detailed list of restrictions and guidelines for both aquatic centers can be found at www.ocalafl.org/aquatics.

For more information, please call the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352-368-5517.

Three Ways to Stay Connected to Your Senior Loved Ones While Social Distancing

After more than 45 days in lockdown, it’s no surprise that many people are going a tad stir-crazy. But it’s far worse for seniors: Not only have visits from their kids and grandkids been suspended, but there’s the extra stress that comes with the nagging suspicion that they’ll be advised to remain on lockdown long after younger people begin trickling back to work and the world starts opening up again.

In fact, the AARP Foundation has even come up with this dire comparison: Prolonged social isolation, for those aged 50 and older, “is the health equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” Fortuitously, some of the niftiest technology offers solutions both to keep us connected and protect against some of the miscreants taking advantage of the situation.

  • Health Checks. If you are worried that all of the anxiety is harming your loved ones’ overall well-being, the machine-learning algorithms that analyze activity data as part of Alarm.com’s Wellness solution can provide you with the very details you’ve suddenly found yourself obsessing about.

Did they open their medicine cabinet when they should, to take their prescription? Have their sleeping, eating, and (yes) bathroom patterns changed? Are they up and about during the day? Continue reading

(NAPSI)—According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in the U.S., more than 12 million children receive free or reduced-price breakfast at school, and more than 29.7 million get lunch through the national school lunch program. For many, school meals are the only consistent food they get in a day and, while many school districts have continued distributing meals during the pandemic shutdown, when the school year ends, so do school meals. But there is hope and help.

Nationally, companies and non-profit organizations are partnering to help meet the needs in the community. One such partnership between Herbalife Nutrition and Feed the Children, a nonprofit organization, aims at solving the issue of food insecurity. The two organizations have united under the shared commitment to defeat hunger worldwide.

The Importance of Nutrition 

The most vulnerable members of our society, children, rely on school meals and feeding programs to survive. Families living paycheck to paycheck may not have savings or support systems to help them. When children are guaranteed proper health and sanitation measures, they are able to prevent and fight disease, enabling them to develop both physically and mentally into strong children who become contributing members of their communities.  Continue reading

(NAPSI)—Young men and those who care about them should consider the story of Max Mallory. At 22 he graduated from college and started his dream job in the video game industry. He landed the job before graduation at the company where he had interned for almost a year. Set up in his own apartment, he started to live his life on his own and navigate the nuances of that first professional job.

Life was fine until mid-October, when Max experienced what seemed like stomach troubles and minor back pain. After two visits to urgent care centers where doctors prescribed antibiotics, he came home to stay with his dad and visit a urologist. He never made it to that medical appointment. Doubled over with sudden pain the next afternoon, he called 911. Late that evening in the emergency room, he heard the worrisome diagnosis: late-stage testicular cancer.

His cancer journey lasted only seven hard-fought months. He had an aggressive testicular cancer, choriocarcinoma. He passed away three days after he received the first round of stem cells.

He couldn’t have prevented his testicular cancer with self-exams, since he “was born with” one testicle that was healthy.  Continue reading

SAINT LOUIS, MO – APRIL 22: Clean up after the destruction left behind by tornadoes that ravaged the area. April 22, 2011 in Saint Louis, Missouri

(NAPSI)—The preparations you make now, ahead of storms, floods or hurricanes, can help you recover faster and stay safe during cleanup. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of power equipment, small engines and battery power, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars, reminds home and business owners to get ready before a storm strikes and make preparations now.

“Weather can be unpredictable, so itís important to always keep your equipment in working order, to have the right fuel on hand and to know where your safety gear is. This is doubly true during storm season, as the weather can change quickly,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “You also want to know how to use your equipment safely and use caution when cleaning up.”

These tips can help homeowners and businesses plan ahead for storm cleanup:

  • Take stock of your outdoor power equipment. Make sure it’s in good working order. If needed, take the equipment to an authorized service center for maintenance or repair. If you need to buy a new piece of equipment, get it before the storm and learn how to use it.
  • Find your safety gear. Avoid the scramble for sturdy shoes, safety goggles, hard hats, reflective clothing and work gloves, which should be stored in an accessible area with your equipment.
  • Review the owner’s manuals. Read product manuals to ensure you know how to operate your equipment safely.
  • Have the right fuel on hand. Fuel stations may be closed after a storm. Store your fuel in an approved container. Use the type of fuel recommended by the equipment manufacturer. It’s illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment (for more information on proper fueling visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com).
  • Charge batteries. Collect the batteries for your outdoor power equipment and fully charge them ahead of the storm.
  • Use safety precautions. Be aware of fundamental dangers that can occur. For instance, chainsaw kickback may happen when the moving chain at the tip of the guide bar touches an object or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut. Always stand with your weight on both feet, and adjust your stance so you’re angled away from the blade. Hold the chainsaw with both hands. Never over-reach or cut anything above your shoulder height. Have a planned retreat path if something falls.
  • Ensure portable generators have plenty of ventilation. Generators should never be used in an enclosed area or inside a home or garage, even if the windows or doors are open. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide inside. Keep the generator dry. Do not use it in rainy or wet conditions. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.
  • Drive Utility Type Vehicles (UTVs) with caution. Keep the vehicle stable and drive slowly. Do not turn the vehicle mid-slope or while on a hill.
  • Be aware of others. Keep bystanders, children and animals out of your work area. Don’t let other people near outdoor power equipment when starting or using it.
  • Pay attention to your health. Storm cleanup can be taxing on the body and the spirit. Don’t operate power equipment when you’re fatigued. Drink plenty of water and take regular breaks.

Keep this advice in mind and you may be better prepared to weather any storm.

“Viral” by Kevin E. Ready 

(NAPSI)—A story of hope and the indomitable will of the human spirit. This is a popular fiction saga of a pandemic—written well before the COVID-19 virus was ever heard of—and the actions taken by people around the world to fight it. The story is told from the viewpoint of several key characters in various countries and walks of life. It includes realistic descriptions of the disease and heartfelt sub-stories of the characters as they deal with the pandemic.

A woman of science must step up and become a leader and, hopefully, a savior. A first responder finds himself fighting for the lives of thousands. Valiant medical workers face near-impossible tasks while risking their very lives. Sounds only too real. Purchase at https://amzn.to/2AieoiT.

“Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again” by Glenn Aparicio Parry 

To recreate a whole and sacred America, it is important to piece together the forgotten fragments of history currently keeping the country divided. Just as a traditional Native American potter begins a new pot with shards of old pots, “Original Politics” re-constellates the nation as a whole out of the seemingly disparate shards from its origins.

Perhaps the most significant forgotten piece is the profound effect Native America had on the founding values of this nation. “Original Politics” demonstrates how the best aspects of America’s founding vision were inspired from Native American cultures: natural rights, liberty, and egalitarian justice. Native America has inspired bringing all the world’s peoples together on one soil in a harmonious cultural mosaic of unity and diversity. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3bgwsHe.

“Stitching a Life: An Immigration Story” by Mary Helen Fein 

It’s 1900, and 16-year-old Helen comes alone across the Atlantic from a village in Lithuania, fleeing terrible anti-Semitism and persecution. She arrives at Ellis Island, and settles on the Lower East Side. She finds a job and devotes herself to bringing the rest of her family to the New World.

A few at a time, Helen’s family members arrive. Each goes to work and contributes to bringing over their remaining beloved ones. Helen meanwhile, falls in love with a man who introduces her to a different New York—of wonder, beauty and possibility. From She Writes Press, purchase at https://amzn.to/3cs356h.

Final Flight” by Eric C. Anderson

On a clear, cold night high above East Asia, a China Air passenger jet disappears from radar with all aboard. It’s an anomaly, a fluke. And then a couple of hours later, it happens again.

It’s 2023. Former Air Force maintenance officer Jason Montgomery and Rob “Ski” Kalawski have just landed the gig of their lives. China Air’s aging fleet of Boeing 777s desperately needs navigation hardware and software upgrades. It’s a multimillion-dollar contract, and they’re just the guys to do it. Right? Wrong. Jason’s just the middleman, but he finds himself trapped between yakuza gangsters, a tattooed dragon-lady sales exec and murderous Russian mobsters. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3ba9Qbc.

BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. For more reading ideas, visit BookTrib.com and subscribe to the weekly newsletter.

Cosby Hayes Begins Underpass Mural as Backdrop to Skatepark

The City of Ocala, through its Cultural Arts and Sciences Division, announces work on a new mural on the underpass behind the Ocala Skatepark. Tallahassee-based artist, Cosby Hayes will begin painting the new mural on June 8. The latest project commissioned by the Division will serve to enhance the Ocala Skatepark that the city opened in 2019.  The mural was approved by City Council in September 2019 as part of the 2020 fiscal year budget with the concept approved by the Ocala Municipal Arts Commission (OMAC).

The concept for the mural features a repeating pattern of multi-colored skateboard trucks. “The mural utilizes the full canvas and explores the relationship between the viewer and the subject matter. By painting the skateboard trucks much larger than life, an interesting visual contrast is created,” said Hayes. “In addition, the negative and positive space between the parts of the skateboard create a visually unique composition and, hopefully, a captivating backdrop for skateboarders and photographers alike. The colors invoke a feeling of inclusiveness and the celebration of our differences as people, and how the things that make us different are also the things that make our communities more vibrant and interesting places to live and visit.” Continue reading

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