Ocala News

This tax is used to fund public safety and transportation infrastructure only, not recurring costs or salaries.

Post Date:12/17/2018 2:54 PM

OCALA, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2018) – In an effort to make the community aware of City of Ocala initiatives funded by the Marion County penny sales tax, residents and visitors will begin noticing new road signage and vehicle decals throughout the city limits to identify such projects and purchases. The City is using its portion of the one-percent sales tax dollars to maintain the high standards our citizens have come to expect for safe roads, a safe community and more.

Public Safety

In order to increase the presence of public safety personnel in residential neighborhoods and decrease response times during emergencies, two new Ocala Fire Rescue fire stations and a police district office have been constructed for a total of approximately $5,196,242.88. Continue reading

Marion County, Florida (December 14, 2018) – Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) deputies arrested 46-year-old Donald Buie for Battery by Strangulation (Domestic) and Simple Battery (Domestic) following an investigation into allegations of domestic violence.

On December 10, 2018, MCSO detectives received information that Donald Buie had been accused of committing domestic battery by strangulation. The victim described multiple incidents of this occurring. Following and in-depth investigation, Donald Buie was arrested and charged with False Imprisonment, 2 counts of Battery by Strangulation, Simple Battery (Domestic) and Simple Assault (Domestic) with no bond. Continue reading

(OCALA, Fla.) Dec. 14, 2018 – Seventeen children from Wyomina Elementary School, who were selected to participate in the Cathy’s Kids program, spent a morning to remember with Ocala Fire Rescue firefighters.  

For years, members of the International Association of Firefighters Local #2135, comprised of Ocala Fire Rescue firefighters, have honored the tradition set forth by Cathy Fender, Cathy’s Kids Founder, of gifting a child a morning of shopping, followed by a trip to the park with undivided attention. Though inclement weather diverted the group from the park, the shopping experience was nothing short of great. 

At 10 a.m. a school bus, filled with children identified by school personnel as members of families in need, arrived at Walmart Supercenter on 19th Avenue Road. There, each child was paired with at least one adult and treated to the shopping experience of a lifetime. Clothes, shoes, and of course toys for the children and their family members were purchased.  Continue reading

(OCALA, Fla.)-Families expecting a new child soon have some additional good news; Marion County’s World’s Greatest Baby Shower is back for the third year in a row. Organized through the Healthy Start of North Central Florida Coalition and Well Florida Council, and brought to the public by Early Learning Coalition of Marion County, Tobacco Free Partnership of Marion County, Staywell Medicaid, Alpha Center for Women and AdventHealth Ocala, the county’s World Greatest Baby Shower is a free, educational event for expectant and new parents.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Purpose Room (3300 NW 10th St., Ocala). The Baby Shower will be offered in two sessions to accommodate the more than 300 families expected. The first session will run from 3-5 p.m.; the second will run from 6-8 p.m. Families can attend either session – the content will be the same in each one. There is no cost to attend and pre-registration is not required. Fathers are encouraged to join; an exciting activity just for dads will be held during each session. Continue reading

(OCALA, Fla.) Dec. 3, 2018 –Ocala Fire Rescue (OFR) is no stranger to lending community support, but there’s one cause that is especially close to our hearts – Cathy’s Kids.

Honoring the tradition started by former OFR firefighter, Cathy Fender, Ocala firefighters – members of the International Association of Firefighters(IAFF) Local #2135 – are slated to complete a shopping trip with 20 Wyomina Elementary School students.

WHO: Ocala Fire Rescue firefighters / IAFF Local #2135 

WHAT: Cathy’s Kids Shopping Trip

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 14 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Walmart Supercenter, 2600 SW 19th Ave. Rd., Ocala, FL 34471

WHY: Founded in 1995, Cathy’s Kids is a program that allows children of households in need to experience an unparalleled shopping excursion with hometown heroes. During the trip, each child has the undivided attention of at least one adult focused on making their holiday wishes come true.

For more information about this event, please contact Public Information Officer Ashley Lopez at 352-817-5914.

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers

1607 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL 34470


Center Hours

Monday, Thursday and Friday ~ 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday ~ 9:00a.m. to 7:00p.m.

Saturday and Sunday ~ 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.

Continue reading

The Marion County Genealogical Society will meet Thursday December 20, 2018 at 2 PM at the Marion County Public Library located at 2720 E. Silver Springs Blvd. in Ocala.  A brief business meeting will be followed by the Holiday Party.  For further information, contact Joel Swanson at (352)897-0840 or president@mcgsocala.org.

Location: Tuscawilla Park
829 NE Sanchez Avenue
Ocala, Florida 34470

Join us for Let’s Skate Ocala! from Nov. 17-Dec. 30 located in beautiful Tuscawilla Park at 825 NE Watula Ave.  The “synthetic” ice rink is open to the public Thursdays, 5-9 p.m., Fridays, 5-10 p.m., Saturdays, 2-10 p.m. and Sundays, 4-8 p.m.  The fee to skate is $5/person/45-minute skate session for ages 3+.  Need a place for your holiday party?  Rent the rink for only $150/two hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.  Enjoy festive music, a food truck, a photo booth and more! Every Friday we provide FREE hay rides and these FUN Theme Nights: Nov. 23-Family Game Night (BOGO admission); Nov. 30-Skate with the Symphony; Dec. 7-Hawaiian Limbo and Kona Ice; Dec. 14-Under the BIG Top, Games and Prizes; Dec. 21-Santa’s Workshop, Cookie Decorating and Reindeer Games and Dec. 28-All Things Disney and Let’s Go to the Movies featuring Beauty and the Beast!  The Let’s Skate Ocala! Holiday Skating Rink will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.  If you need additional information, please give us a call at 352.368.5517.  Happy Holidays!

Ocala Fire Rescue (OFR) stations will serve as donation collection sites for food, toiletries and toys, all benefiting local charities. Donations will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 14.

During this time of year, the demand for aid and donations at food banks and charities increases. Below is a list of donations that will be accepted, as well as addresses to OFR stations where donations can be dropped off.

Accepted Items:

Canned items (meats, fruits, vegetables, soup)

Dry goods (pasta, rice, dried beans, cereal)

Other non-perishables (fruit cups, juice boxes, peanut butter, crackers)

Toiletries (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes)

Baby items (baby food, diapers, wipes)

New, unwrapped toys in original packaging  Continue reading

One of the goals and primary focuses of the CEP from its inception has been to raise the wage level in our community. From our initial 5-year strategic plan (Moving Forward), one of the three BIG goals has been to not only attract new jobs but jobs which pay an average wage which is 15% higher than the county average. We evaluate every project we are working against this measure and we ask local government to only incent those businesses and jobs which will meet this standard.

The Census Bureau and various other economic entities provide a variety of ways for us to track this growth. The primary metric we use is the Average Weekly Wage as reported in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Today, the average wage which is required for us to incent a project is over $42,000/year. This is a 27% increase over the initial target wage just a few years ago. Continue reading

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