Ocala News

There were 36 in attendance at this week’s meeting. We listened while Michelle Stone, Marion County Commissioner for District 5  told us about a few things that are happening in Marion County. She touched on two of the topics the Commission is focused on; Public Safety and Economic Development.

The 1 cent sales tax is helping fund Public Safety. With 60% of the money raised to help with improvement of roads and infrastructure, 20% to the Sherriff’s Department and 20% to Fire Rescue.

To help with Economic Development, the County has welcomed new commerce such as Chewy and Auto Zone. They are also reviewing options to develop tracts of land in Belleview. Michelle recognizes how important it is to preserve land while offering opportunities for development.

In her fight to protect our water Michelle is learning a lot about how to appropriately develop space at Silver Springs in a protective manner. She reminded us all that we will soon be a part of the 220 miles of biking trails across Florida. Continue reading

Knowledgeable. Honest. Attentive.  These are a few words that describe local REALTOR ®, Nicki Schwartz of Roberts Real Estate, Inc. Nicki says,” I use the latest technology to assist my clients.  If you are buying a home, I can take away the burden of the many hours used to search for the perfect home online. If you are selling a home, my marketing plan will provide you the most exposure for your property”. She continues, “I believe in providing excellent service and personal attention to each client. This kind of service, coupled with the power of technology, is a winning combination for client satisfaction and peace of mind”.

Nicki moved to Ocala in 2004 after a long, weekend visit the previous summer.  The beauty of central Florida and the friendly residents was enough to convince her and her husband to relocate. “I love Ocala, so it is easy for me to sell Ocala”.

Nicki believes it’s important to be an active member of the community- to be a good citizen. “We have a wonderfully active community. This sense of community keeps us rooted”. When speaking about raising her children, “I hope my kids are learning, from my husband and I, the importance to serve one’s community.” Continue reading

Part of the South Eastern Youth Fair is a Dog Show where the youth and their dog compete.

First place winner, Brianna Fryer and her dog Jazzy, a 15 month old Rat Terrier.

Second place winner was Amanda Valez with her Blue Healer called Tag-A-Long. Amanda is also the winner of the trophy sponsored by Ocala DownTown / Seniors Voice newspapers.

Good job ladies, stay involved with the Youth Fair and thanks for competing.

Brianna Fryer

Amanda Valez


A great time was had by all. The weather was perfect, the fish were biting, The food was good, there were plenty of shade trees and friends.  Trophies furnished by BJ Trophies. Trophies were awarded to the biggest fish and the oldest fisher person.

Biggest Fish – George Wright – Anna Marie Sneed

Oldest Fisherman – Louise Ramsey

Most Fish – George Wright

Click on thumbnail to see larger view.

City Employee Volunteers: Carla Chindoma, Kelsey Mears, Charles Dobson, Brandon Farmer, Darrin Williams

Parks Dept. Crew: John Spencer new director Division Head

Sponsors: BJ Trophies, Roberts Funeral Home, Clark’s Funeral Home, Greater Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, Colleen Duris PA, City of Ocala Recreation Parks and Recreation, Nelson’s Lawn service, Publix Supermarket, Silver Spring Water, TomL Publishing LLC (Seniors Voice)

Volunteers: Dustin Echols [Clay Electric – cook], Margaret Wise, Dorothy Gunsby, Helen Coleman, Vernice Franklin, Ida Scott, Delores Wise, Marvelene Murihead

Be on the lookout for the fall fishing derby October 16, 2017

MARION COUNTY, FL (May 18, 2017) – Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Major Crimes Detectives identified Emanuel Angelo Tuggerson (B/M DOB: 8/11/1997) and Isaiah Ishmael Richard (B/M DOB:1/1/1997) as suspects in the homicides of Baily Zylo (DOB: 8/21/1998) and Andy Fockler (DOB: 8/14/1978) on January 29, 2017, in Weirsdale.

Richard was located and arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Tuggerson is at the Marion County Jail on unrelated charges, and will be served with an arrest warrant for these charges while in custody.

On January 29, 2017, deputies responded to 14241 SE 151st Place Road in Weirsdale after receiving a 911 call. Deputies discovered that an apparent home invasion robbery had occurred with two fatalities inside the home. 18 year old Bailey Zylo and 38 year old Andy Fockler were pronounced dead on scene. Continue reading

Ocala roll-over accident on MLK(OCALA, Fla.) May 11, 2017 –  A vehicular accident reported at 12:12 PM, resulted in an SUV rolling over at the intersection of NW Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. and NW 10th St.

Ocala Fire Rescue responded to a two motor-vehicle accident, with possible entrapment, this afternoon. Upon arrival, Fire Engine #3 encountered two vehicles obstructing the road; a pick-up truck with moderate damage to the impact site, and a heavily damaged SUV which had rolled-over. Inspection of the vehicles revealed that the driver and passenger of the SUV needed assistance in exiting. Applying moderate force, firefighters were able to open the passenger’s side door, however, assistance from extrication equipment was needed to remove the driver.accident on MLK Jr Ave in Ocala

Both individuals in the SUV were transported to the hospital as a precautionary measure, having suffered the impacts of a vehicle that rolled-over. The driver, sole occupant, of the pick-up truck was not transported.

Ocala Police Department and Marion County Fire Rescue also responded.

Spring 2017 Home Garden& Lifestyle Expo was held April 22 at the Klein Conference Center in the Ewers Century Center at the College of Central Florida Ocala.

The event was put on by the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, The Marion County Building Industry Association (MCBIA) and the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors (OMCAR).

TomL Publishing (this paper) had a table there and enjoyed meeting vendors from last year and some new vendors. We heard from some of our readers encouraging us to continue telling it like it is. I would guess about  40 vendors.

They had a drawing every hour for a door prize and plenty of give-aways.

I learned some interesting stuff as I always do at these Expo’s.

There were free seminars and a couple of food vendors, some outside vendors with plant life and the Master Gardeners were inside answering questions asked of them by the visitors.

The flow of visitors was steady, giving the vendors time to talk to each one. We have a couple of  Vendors we will be talking to Monday AM.



OCALA, Fla. (April 21, 2017) – If not yet in full bloom, the economy is certainly growing stronger in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region.

According to today’s employment summary by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the unemployment rate in March for the CareerSource CLM region was 5.2 percent, down 0.7 percentage point since February and 0.6 percentage point lower than the area’s rate a year ago of 5.8 percent.

Out of an expanded labor force of 201,238, there were 10,556 unemployed, a drop of 1,281 over the month and 915 less than a year ago. Significantly, there were 190,682 people with jobs throughout the three counties, an increase of 1,893 over the month and 5,882 more than in March 2016.

Additionally, the DEO reports that the Ocala metropolitan statistical area (MSA) posted 103,700 nonfarm jobs in March, an increase of 4,000 new jobs for a 4.0 percent growth rate over the year. That’s the third fastest rate among all Florida’s metro areas.

For the third consecutive month, the Ocala MSA continued to hold the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all metros in Florida in professional and business services, at 11.0 percent. The Ocala MSA had the third fastest job growth rate in mining, logging and construction at 10.4 percent.

Kathleen Woodring, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president, said that the region is gaining momentum when it comes to positive economic indicators.

“This is exactly what we like to see: expansion of the labor force fueled by strong job growth,” she said. Continue reading

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