Ocala News

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Post Date:01/14/2020 10:15 AM

OCALA, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2020) – The City of Ocala will host a retirement celebration for Councilwoman Mary Sue Rich Friday, Jan. 31, 6 p.m. at the Hilton Ocala. Rich was a council member for District 2 since November 1995 and served the community for over two decades. She officially retired in December 2019.

The community is welcome to attend, and tickets are available to purchase through Eventbrite. All proceeds will go to the Mary Sue Rich Scholarship Fund at the College of Central Florida to help future generations become leaders within our community. For anyone unable to attend the dinner, donations can be made to the scholarship fund through the same ticketing service. Reception tickets are $15 per person. Semi-formal attire is requested.

As an Ocala native, Mary Sue Rich has seen the city grow and change throughout the years, and her involvement in helping others has always been a primary goal in her personal and professional life. She has been a driving force behind the Racial Harmony Task Force, which sponsors One Ocala/One America, a weeklong celebration that highlights the diversity within the city of Ocala. Each year during the annual UNITY breakfast, the Mary Sue Rich Diversity Award is given out to those who have distinguished themselves by promoting racial harmony or cultural awareness in the community. It encompasses the values that Mrs. Rich preaches in her everyday life. Continue reading

OCALA, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2020) – City of Ocala business offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 20 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There will be no residential collection for sanitation, yard waste or recycling routes Monday, Jan. 20.

Residential sanitation collection regularly scheduled for Monday, Jan. 20 through Thursday, Jan. 23 will experience a one-day delay and will be collected Tuesday, Jan. 21 through Friday, Jan. 24.

Waste Pro recycling collection for City of Ocala residents regularly scheduled for Monday, Jan. 20 through Thursday, Jan. 23 will experience a one-day delay and will be collected Tuesday, Jan. 21 through Friday, Jan. 24.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Residential Sanitation Department at 352-351-6697.

OFR Engines 1, 3 and 5, Rescues 1 and 4, Tower 1, Battalion Chief 11, and a Safety Officer were dispatched to the call. Engine 5 arrived on scene within three minutes to find a working structure fire and a burn victim outside the home. The patient advised that a second person was trapped inside.

While Rescue 1 worked with Marion County Fire Rescue in preparing the burn victim for transport, Rescue 4 and Engine 5 crews began fire operations with a search for the victim inside. As crews made their way to the rear of the structure the second patient was located. Unfortunately, the second patient had succumbed to injuries sustained.

The fire was under control within twelve minutes. The burn victim was transported as a trauma alert to UF Health Shands Hospital.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The State Fire Marshal’s office will be leading the investigation.

The Ocala Police Department and Marion County Fire Rescue also responded.

Sandra Wilson, Interim City Manager for the City of Ocala, presented information on City Council’s eleven strategic initiatives ranging from addressing the impacts of drug abuse and the homeless issue to being proactive on infrastructure, to name a few.  She also shared how the City has used the penny sales tax to fund public safety needs and roadway improvements throughout the City.

Connie Ann Pendleton of Ocala Business Brokers is the outgoing President of the Ocala Business Leaders 2019. She is an accomplished business person in selling businesses to investors / entrepreneurs. She knows her way around the business world and is well liked. She brought humor and structure to the Ocala Business Leaders. Although she will still be part of the club her leadership will be missed. Following her is the new President, Patrick Dolder of Pals Ocala Auto Repair. You will hear more about him when the new year starts. In January, Patrick will be sworn in.

Gerry Dietrich with Mobile Directory was speaker for Ocala Business Directory. Gerry has a unique product in that his app when loaded into your smart phone  and activated will broadcast your ad when you get near different other smart phones. Gerry is constantly making improvement to his system. Many of the Ocala Business Leaders are using the App… Another way to get the word out!

There’s nothing like an emotive quote to make you think, pause, or smile.  Teddy Roosevelt once mused, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  Ross Perot attested, “Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face.  You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers.”

These two trailblazers may have had opposing political views, but they certainly share a similar ideology when it comes to human connections and the crux of what we all have in common:  the desire for interactions with others who are kind in spirit and speak with sincerity.

Look no further because eight of these benevolent smile makers comprise the team at Columbia Bank.  A staff that has been unchanged since the Ocala branch opened in 2017. Continue reading

Ocala’s downtown square that it is!!

Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus at the downtown square on select evenings during the month of December. There will be holiday music and snacks, too!

This is a chance for all of Ocala’s good little boys and girls to talk to Santa and share their holiday wishes with him.

Come downtown and create some lasting holiday memories.

A Trump rally organized by the Rainbow Springs Right- Minded Conservatives made a strong statement of support for President Trump in Dunnellon.

As supporters of a strong defense, small government, low taxes and traditional American values we want our voices to be heard.  Our message to others is this… if you love America you will support President Trump.

Linda Szaflarski


Dunnellon, Florida

Congratulation to Les Singleton while he celebrates his retirement after 36 years of service to the Episcopal Church of the Mediator, in Micanopy Florida.  Good Luck Les!

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