General Population, Special Needs, Pet-Friendly Shelters Available

Marion County, Florida (September 6, 2017) – Marion County Public Schools and the Marion County Division of Emergency Management have announced school closings and shelter openings in preparation for Hurricane Irma. All Marion County Public Schools will be closed Friday and Monday, September 8 and 11, 2017. Emergency Management will be opening multiple shelters hosted by our local public schools beginning at 5:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8.

General Population Shelters:

  • North Marion Middle School (2085 W Highway 329, Citra)
  • Fort McCoy School (16160 NE Highway 315, Fort McCoy)
  • Lake Weir High School (10351 SE Maricamp Road, Ocala)

[Read more…]

At CEP, Things Are Always Changing

At the CEP, things are always changing. We are looking for ways to provide an ever greater return on investment for our partners and for the community. We are excited to announce a new program to encourage entrepreneurs and two new team members who have recently join us.

1 Million Cups-Ocala

Ocala soon will be the newest home of a national program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs. 1 Million Cups — based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee — is a free, weekly gathering that helps to build startup communities on a grassroots level. [Read more…]

We are #1

We are #1 (or at least a finalist)! I am very excited to share that the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) has been named a finalist for the 2017 Chamber of the Year award, presented by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. The CEP along with the other three finalists for the award will be celebrated at a special event on Tuesday, July 18, in Nashville, Tenn., with the winner to be announced that evening.

This is an incredible testament to the success of our partners and leadership in implementing their vision with our Moving Forward campaign. We are excited for this recognition and to shine a light on the great work being done in this community.

Chamber of the Year is the nation’s only award recognizing the leadership role chambers have in their communities. Those honored with the Chamber of the Year designation have demonstrated organizational strength and made an impact on key community priorities, such as education, transportation, business development and quality of life. [Read more…]

Health Care For All?

By A.J.(Tony) Powell.

Are you tired of all the ranting broadcasters, TV personalities and ‘reader letters’ which are dominated by a lot of heat but very little light?

The Democrats, under President Obama, tried and failed to come up with a workable Health Care Plan.

Now, Trump admits that he can’t do as he promised – Lower premiums and Full Coverage for all.

Why do working tax-payers have to subsidize politicians and government workers? Why do we need Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and so many other Government run fiascoes?

Why are our veterans pushed off into over-crowded, second-rate facilities often many miles from where they live? Our military should have a ‘Front-Door-Pass’ to the best medical facility they can find.

Trumps Republican opponents in the House & Senate have failed to pass their ‘Robbing Hoods’ plan.

(As I’m sure you know ‘Robin Hood’ stole from the rich, to help the poor. I don’t have to expand on ‘Robbing Hoods’ – Do I?) [Read more…]

Fishing Derby

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

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)

Volunteer: 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

Michelle Stone Guest Speaker

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. [Read more…]

Meet Nicki Swartz

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”. [Read more…]

South Eastern Youth Fair Dog Show Winners

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.


Two Suspects Arrested In Weirsdale Double Homicide

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.

Richard and Tuggerson are being charged with two (2) counts of Murder in the First Degree and are being held on no bond. At this time MCSO Major Crimes Detectives are still collecting information, we will release more information as it becomes available.