Ocala News

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While the CEP hosts literally hundreds of events each year, there is one series which stands above the rest. Our exCEPtional Mornings breakfast presented by HCA Florida Ocala Hospital is designed to foster connections, inspire growth, and cultivate success for everyone involved.

The CEP started our exCEPtional Mornings breakfast more than a decade ago and the reason was to create an event that once a month would provide an opportunity to bring the business community together. It allows us to share information with them that is valuable to our community and to bring a speaker who is of significance to the local business community. Our most recent speakers have included Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Marion County Board of Commissioners Chair Michelle Stone with the State of the County, and Robert Long, CEO of Space Florida. It is a great mix of elected officials, agency leaders, and business executives. In fact, those are often our most popular when we have one of our local business executives who talks about their business.

Many times, businesses get focused on what they are doing and what is happening inside of their business. They do not know these incredible stories of success that we are seeing in our community, which can be inspirational but also create new opportunities for businesses. They want to hear these speakers, but they also want this opportunity to network. They know that the people they want to see will be there. I know many people have told me, “Yes, I make sure I am at breakfast because I know I will see people I need to talk to there.”

The breakfast this highly sought after event. The event has grown steadily over the years. After selling out our previous home at Church of Hope for 22 straight months, we moved in January to the Reilly Arts Center where we regularly host more than 400 attendees for the event. Make sure to secure your spot for the next gathering in July. Register today at OcalaCEP.com.

For the CEP, it is a chance to share valuable information: whether that is a program, event, or initiative of the CEP; something happening within local government; or to celebrate a success. It has really been exciting to watch how this program has grown and allows us to share all that is exceptional about living, working, and playing in this community.

This is a photo by CKJ-13 Kay Johnson of the Florida National Cemetery. It is the resting place of my mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law Wilbur & Mary Standen. A great couple. Wilbur was in World Wart two and lived to be 90 yr old Mary made it to 95. They lived on our farm after retiring and saw their grand children.

Ocala Fire Rescue responded to a plane crash at the Ocala International Airport on Saturday, June 8, at 7:51 p.m. The initial dispatch included Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF), Engine 4, Squad 7, Battalion Chief 11, and a Safety Officer, following a distress call from a pilot who reported his aircraft had crashed.

Upon arrival at 1770 SW 60th Ave., crews discovered an experimental aircraft with its tail elevated, nestled against a tree line just outside the airport’s fence line. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, was alert but unable to exit the plane due to its precarious position and the surrounding trees.

Given the challenging offroad location, first responders utilized a smaller vehicle to reach and extricate the pilot. Once the pilot was assessed and stabilized by emergency personnel, he was carefully helped out of the wreckage and escorted to a waiting ambulance for transport to a medical facility. Continue reading

Babe it’s HOT outside!  That means Rainbow Springs State Park is getting very, very busy.  This news letter is going to be a reminder to everyone about the dos and don’ts of the park weather your new to our area or here year-round, it’s always good to review.  The weekends are extremely busy and as most have seen Hwy.41 north and south bound lanes are backed up.  This creates a very dangerous situation. Therefore, you will notice a Sherriff Officer monitoring the park,  the park entrances and exits on the weekends to ensure safety .

To keep the traffic flowing, off of Hwy 41, you might be redirected out.  So don’t be surprised when we have reached capacity and the park is closed that you are informed of this. Plan you day early as there are many times we reach capacity within 1-2 hours and may not reopen. We do this for safety reasons.  In our swim area the water is very deep so be prepared with either a life vest, which MUST be worn, you cannot use it to float on top of.  Styrofoam noodles not plastic noodles are the only floatation allowed in the water.  No tubes, rafts, Kayaks or paddles boards are allowed in the swim area.

If you are on a vessel you can dock it at the boat ramp rental area and walk to the swim area to swim. No swimming is allowed outside of the swim area , no scuba diving is allowed in the State Park  aquatic area. Please remember we are an aquatic preserve. If you swim outside the area you are disturbing the underwater life and growth. Infants  can be in the 2 holed tube float and handicapped individuals can use their approved handicapped device. The swim dock is small so we ask that no chairs, strollers, tables and personnel belongings are on the dock , no sun bathing as well as this becomes a trip hazard. Leave you radios up on the lawn area and not on the swim dock.

Parents, please keep an eye on your children we do not have life guards and things can happen quickly. Lastly, do not  hang on the rope lines, when you do this it wears away the coating on the ropes causing them to stretch, and then the ropes sink to the bottom. Do not  climb on the big orange buoys.  Boats that are powered by gas and trolling motors are not permitted in the River of the State Park.  Trolling motors must be lifted and you must paddle into the aquatic area.  Our Patrol Boat has an electric motor and that is how we are able to patrol  the water. Rainbow Springs State Park welcomes you and we want you to have a great memorable time so please help us to keep you safe as well. We are looking for volunteers on our Boat Patrol, Wednesday crew , parking and gift shop.  If you have just a few hours please contact Thea.M.Knott@FloridaDep.gov. Office:352-465-8518.

Laura Fronk

Volunteer Liaison

OCALA, Fla. (June 18, 2024) – The Ocala Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce their 2024-2025 season with timeless masterworks, world premieres, and stellar soloists under the baton of Maestro Matthew Wardell. The season begins June 30, 2024, with Red, White, and Ocala Symphony Orchestra Blue, and subscription performances begin October 2024. The upcoming season will feature six subscription concerts and seven special concerts for guests of all ages. Unless otherwise indicated, events are held at the Reilly Arts Center located at 500 NE 9th St. Ocala, FL 34470.

“The Big Cheese”: United Southern Bank (Lady Lake Branch) Winner of The Best Decorated Booth


“Peoples Choice”: Carrabba’s Italian Grill of Lady Lake


“Judges Choice”: Mission BBQ of Lady Lake

Meet BeBo CJ Johnson Photographer new puppy. I ask Kay if she had any photo’s she would like to share. She said she has a picture of her new puppy named BeBo. Just look at this photo BeBo is cute as a button. The photo of course was excellent. CKJ-13 Kay Johnson takes great photos for us. We are blessed.

Memorial Day at the Veterans Park in downtown Ocala. This photo is a solider setting up the wreath  In honor of the fallen.  Our deadline held us back from having photo’s in our June issue but we have plenty in the July issue. CKJ-13 Kay Johnson went out and took pictures for us and it made me feel like I was almost there. Many of the World War two veterans were attending and showing support their brothers in arms. Honoring those who did not come home, and remembering. A lot of Vietnam veterans were honored. I saw photos of Howard who we honored on our front page last month. He had just turned 100. Many County, state and federal representative were in attendance. I was pleased to see them there. We have more photos on pages 6 & 7 in this issue. Share our digital newspaper with your friends. We are as close as your smart phone.

Tom Loury said that.

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested the driver of a pickup truck that crashed into a farmworker bus early Tuesday, killing eight, on charges of driving under the influence-manslaughter.

Bryan Maclean Howard, 41, faces eight counts of DUI-Manslaughter, the FHP said in a statement. No further details were released, including what substance allegedly left Howard impaired.

Troopers said he was driving the 2001 Ford Ranger when it crossed into the center line on State Road 40, a straight but somewhat hilly two-lane road that passes through horse farms. The truck sideswiped the bus, causing it to veer off the road at about 6:40 a.m. It crashed through a fence and into a tree before overturning. In addition to the eight killed, at least 40 were injured.

Meet Sassy she is a 16 year old miniature horse, she is certified. She came to our house in 2020 after losing our Golden Retriever.   We started taking her on walks to different places. Each time, people would stop us to pet her and ask questions. That’s when I decided to get her certified as a therapy animal. She was certified in September, 2023 by Pet Partners. After that she started making her visits and putting smiles on the faces of many people. More photos on page 6 by CKJ-13 Kay Johnson.

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