CF Open House Dec. 5

Posted on: November 09, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: DR. RAPHEL ROBINSON
352-854-2322, EXT. 1589
raphel.robinson@cf.edu
WWW.CF.EDU

CF Open House Dec. 5

OCALA, Fla. (Nov. 9, 2018) — The College of Central Florida invites recent high school seniors and those looking to advance their career to an open house on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the Ewers Century Center at the Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.

Future students are encouraged to stop by and receive assistance with the application process, financial aid, placement testing, academic advising and registration for spring semester, which begins Jan. 7.

To apply for financial aid at the event, please bring these documents: Federal Student Aid ID available at fsaid.ed.org; email address; 2016 W-2 and Federal Income Tax Forms (1040, 1040A or 1040 EZ) of you and/or your parents (if you are a dependent student); 2016 untaxed income (Social Security, disability, workman’s compensation, etc.); driver’s license or state ID; Social Security card; spouse or parent’s Social Security number and date of birth.

For Florida residency verification, please bring a copy of your Florida driver’s license and a copy of your Florida vehicle registration or voter’s registration. Students under the age of 24, parent or guardian information is needed.

For more information, visit www.CF.edu/openhouse or call 352-854-2322, ext. 1379.

Contact CF Marketing and Public Relations Director Lois Brauckmuller at 352-854-2322, ext. 1374, brauckmL@cf.edu or Marketing and Public Relations Manager Tina Banner at 352-854-2322, ext. 1565, bannert@cf.edu.  The Ocala Campus is located at 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Fla. 34474-4415, 352-873-5800. The Citrus Campus is located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Fla. 34461-9026, 352-746-6721. The Levy Campus is located at 15390 N.W. Highway 19, Chiefland, Fla. 32626, 352-658-4077. The Hampton Center is located at 1501 W. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34475-6456, 352-873-5881 and the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34470-5001, 352-291-4455. For additional information, visit College of Central Florida at www.CF.edu.  

###

Romeo, Liberty and Forest Win Second Annual "Soft Skills" Competition

Posted on: November 06, 2018

NOVEMBER 2, 2018 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, Public Relations & Communications Director
352.671.7555 ◊ FAX: 352.671.7735 ◊ CELL: 352.840.3265
Email:  Public.Relations@Marion.k12.fl.us

ROMEO, LIBERTY AND FOREST WIN SECOND ANNUAL
“SOFT SKILLS” COMPETITION

MARION COUNTY – With 23 public schools participating in the second annual “Soft Skills” competition, three local schools are sharing bragging rights for finishing first.

Romeo Elementary, Liberty Middle, and Forest High scored the highest in their grade-level categories for being most creative, most consistent, and most effective in a recent contest coordinated by the Career and Technical Education department of Marion County Public Schools.

Schools were tasked with creating plans to integrate “soft skill” concepts – dependability and reliability, work ethic, communication, positive attitude, and team-work mentality -- into their everyday lessons and activities.  Plans involved all teachers, staff, and students.  These “soft skill” concepts are the most-desired qualities local companies want in new employees based on a recent survey of business leaders. 

Winning schools also submitted their own videos and will receive a faculty/staff luncheon sponsored by Mojo Grill and additional shopping days in the “Tools 4 Teaching” store at the Public Education Foundation of Marion County.

Winning videos can be viewed by clicking these links:  Romeo Elementary           Liberty Middle             Forest High
Judges also wanted to recognize Dunnellon Middle’s video entry in the spirit of the competition.
For more information, contact CTE Executive Director Mark Vianello at Mark.Vianello@marion.k12.fl.us. 

#                      #                      #
An Equal Opportunity School District
SPEAKup Hotline: 866.SPEAK.UP
www.marionschools.net

35th Annual Light Up Ocala is Saturday, Nov. 17

Posted on: October 23, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2018) – Light Up Ocala returns to downtown Ocala Saturday, Nov. 17 from 4 to 9 p.m. The theme for this year’s event is “Here We Glow Again.”

This year’s event will feature two stages and two entertainment zones throughout the downtown area with entertainment and more than 100 vendors the whole family will enjoy. Entertainment will include live music, dance, food, crafts, and, of course, the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony at approximately 6:30 p.m.

• Stage One – Sponsored by Ocala Health and WOCA
o Downtown Square – SE Broadway and Magnolia Avenue
• Stage Two – Sponsored by Florida Hospital Ocala
o Citizens’ Circle – Fort King Street and Osceola Avenue
• Entertainment Zone – Sponsored by Campus USA Credit Union & Insight Credit Union
o North Lot – Corner of NE First Street and NE First Avenue
• Whoville – Sponsored by the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors & Watson Realty
o Marion Theatre – Magnolia Avenue and Fort King Street

At 4:30 p.m., the Junior Sunshine Parade will begin at the corner of S Magnolia Avenue and E Fort King Street. The parade will make its way through the downtown area, going past the gazebo, up to NE First Street, then returning to SE First Avenue and E Fort King Street. The parade will include performances from local dance studios, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Troops, Cup Scouts Packs, a marching band and a special appearance by Santa. 

“Whoville featuring the Grinch” also returns to Light Up Ocala this year. Whoville will be located at the Marion Theatre parking lot, 50 SE Magnolia Ave. Complimentary photo opportunities will be available with the Grinch and the Whos of Whoville.

The Let’s Skate Ocala! synthetic ice rink will be located at Tuscawilla Park and will operate through Monday, Dec. 31. Admission is $5 per person for a 30-minute session and includes skates. The rink is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m.

Free shuttle rides will be available for guests throughout the event:

• The first shuttle will pick up guests at the Marion Technical Institute parking lot, 1614 SE Fort King St., and will drop guests off at the intersection of SE Osceola Avenue and SE Third Street. This shuttle will run approximately every 20 minutes between 3:45 and 9:30 p.m.

• The second shuttle will pick up guests at the Let’s Skate Ocala! synthetic ice rink located in Tuscawilla Park, 500 NE Sanchez Ave., and will drop guests off at the intersection of NE Watula Avenue and State Road 40. This shuttle will run approximately every 10 minutes between 3:45 and 9 p.m.

Free parking will also be available in the downtown parking garage located at 296 SE Broadway St. throughout the event, as well as the County Courthouse parking garage located at 110 NW First Ave. from 3 to 10 p.m.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352-368-5517.

###

Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org

Community Voting For the 2019 Levitt AMP Ocala Grant Awards Opens Nov. 1

Posted on: October 18, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Oct. 18, 2018) – The Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA), in partnership with the City of Ocala, is in the running for a third year to bring a 10-week live music series to Ocala in 2019.

Sponsored by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national foundation dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of America through free live music, MCA and the City of Ocala hope to qualify as one of 15 winning organizations competing in the Levitt AMP Ocala Grant Awards.

The Levitt AMP Ocala Grant Awards is a matching grant opportunity created by the Levitt Foundation to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities with populations up to 400,000. Up to 15 non-profit organizations will receive $25,000 each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series – a free, outdoor concert series featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians.

The proposed venue site for the 2019 series is historic Webb Field at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex located at 1510 NE Fourth St. The City of Ocala and MCA’s proposal will be available to view on the Levitt Foundation’s website, www.levittamp.org, Thursday, Nov. 1.

Online public voting for the 2019 Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series will open Thursday, Nov. 1 and close Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (5 p.m. Pacific Time). The top 25 finalists following the online public voting will advance to the next stage in the grant awarding process. The Levitt Foundation will review the proposals of those 25 finalists and select up to 15 Levitt AMP winners, which will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 18. To vote, please visit grant.levittamp.org/voter-registration-page.

“Marion Cultural Alliance is excited about the prospect of winning a third Levitt AMP concert series for Ocala, which we can bring to the community next summer,” said Jaye Baillie, Executive Director for MCA. “The community’s response to the past two Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series events has been wonderful to wonderful to watch. Folks young and old from communities across our city enjoyed 10 weeks of dancing, swaying and singing on the great green lawn at historic Webb Field.”

A successful public voting campaign for Ocala depends on community participation to get as many online votes as possible to bring the concert series to town. Community support, as measured by the number of online votes received, will be a key factor when the Levitt Foundation selects up to 15 winners.

For more information, please visit www.levittamp.org or contact the City of Ocala Cultural Arts Office at artinfo@ocalafl.org or 352-629-8447. 

###

Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org
 

Marion Technical College Celebrates Its First Group of Commercial Vehicle Driving Graduates

Posted on: October 12, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 11, 2018

Marion Technical College Celebrates Its First Group of
Commercial Vehicle Driving Graduates

OCALA, FL – Marion Technical College celebrates the first graduating class of its Commercial Vehicle Driving program this Monday, October 15, at 8AM at 1014 SW 7th Road in Ocala.
          The inaugural graduating class includes eight students who attended the eight-week program of classroom instruction regarding driving rules, regulations and expectations, driving scenarios using a tractor-trailer state-of-the-art driving simulator, and driving one of four semi-trucks with trailers on local roads and throughout Florida.  The course required students to complete 1,000 miles of driving including at least 200 miles at night.
          Six students already have pre-hire letters, meaning once the students complete the program and earn their Commercial Driver’s License Class A, they have immediate driving jobs.  This class of commercial driver’s license allows these students to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, to include a towed vehicle that is heavier than 10,000 pounds.  This includes any vehicle from tractor-trailers, flatbeds, and livestock carriers.
          Marion Technical College is very proud of this first class of Commercial Vehicle Driving graduates.  Adrian Green, one of the graduating drivers, commented, “The CVD program is second to none!  It allows a person to make a good living and support their family.  It is the experience of a lifetime!”
          The next group of Commercial Vehicle Driving students starts October 17.  For more information, contact Earl Scott at 352.671.7204 or earl.scott@marion.k12.fl.us.


#                 #                 #
Marion County Public Schools
1014 SW 7th Road, Ocala, Florida 34471    tel. 352.671.7200    fax 352.671.7297
An Equal Opportunity School District

Downtown Road Closures- Saturday, Oct. 13

Posted on: October 11, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2018) – The following is a list of road closures that will be in effect for the Thrill the World event happening in downtown Ocala Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 10 p.m. All necessary devices will be in place to redirect traffic.

Road closures effective Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. – 
• SE First Avenue from SE Third Street to Silver Springs Boulevard
• Broadway Street from Magnolia Avenue to Osceola Avenue
• Fort King Street from Magnolia Avenue to Osceola Avenue
• Second Street from Magnolia Avenue to Osceola Avenue

Detour routes –
• SE First Avenue (northbound) – East on Third Street, north on Watula Avenue, back to Silver Springs Boulevard
• SW Broadway Street (eastbound) – South on Magnolia Avenue, east on Third Street, north on Watula Avenue, back to Broadway Street
• SW Fort King Street (eastbound) – South on Magnolia Avenue, east on Third Street, north on Watula Avenue, back to Fort King Street
• SW Second Street (eastbound) – South on Magnolia Avenue, east on Third Street, north on Watula Avenue, back to Second Street
• SE Broadway Street (westbound) – North on Osceola Avenue, east on Silver Springs Boulevard, south on Watula Avenue, west on Third Street, north on SW First Avenue, back to SW Broadway Street
• SE Fort King Street (westbound) – North on Osceola Avenue, east on Silver Springs Boulevard, south on Watula Avenue, west on Third Street, north on SW First Avenue, back to SW Fort King Street.

###

Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org

City of Ocala to Host Tire Amnesty Day Saturday, Oct. 13

Posted on: October 01, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Sept. 28, 2018) – The City of Ocala is providing residents with free tire disposal Saturday, Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Disposal locations will be at the corner of NE 14th Street and NE Eighth Avenue and the Hampton Aquatic Fun Center located at 255 NW Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 

Tires generated by businesses will not be accepted and there is a limit of 10 tires per resident. This service is for residents living within the city limits. A driver’s license listing a city address may be requested.

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

###

Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org

Local CEO Speaks on Career Success, Oct. 17

Posted on: September 21, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Sept. 21, 2018) — The College of Central Florida’s Business and Technology Department will host Doug Cone Jr., founder and CEO of Cone Distributing, in a special event  on Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Ewers Century Center, 3001 S.W. College Road., Ocala.

Cone will talk about career success strategies and the importance of learning from your mistakes. Cone is a board member of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership and was named Ocala’s most influential man in 2016 by Florida Trend magazine for his community contributions.

There is no charge to attend and refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Bonnie Hays at 352-854-2322, ext. 1855, or haysb@cf.edu.

For more information about CF, visit www.CF.edu.

Contact CF Marketing and Public Relations Director Lois Brauckmuller at 352-854-2322, ext. 1374, brauckmL@cf.edu or Marketing and Public Relations Manager Tina Banner at 352-854-2322, ext. 1565, bannert@cf.edu.  The Ocala Campus is located at 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Fla. 34474-4415, 352-873-5800. The Citrus Campus is located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Fla. 34461-9026, 352-746-6721. The Levy Campus is located at 15390 N.W. Highway 19, Chiefland, Fla. 32626, 352-658-4077. The Hampton Center is located at 1501 W. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34475-6456, 352-873-5881 and the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34470-5001, 352-291-4455. For additional information, visit College of Central Florida at www.CF.edu. 

###

Ocala Electric Utility Rate Increase Effective Oct. 1, 2018

Posted on: September 17, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Sept. 17, 2018) – Effective Oct. 1, 2018, Ocala Electric Utility (OEU) will implement rate changes affecting both residential and commercial customers.

These rate changes will be phased in over a three-year period beginning Oct. 1, 2018 with a 3.5 percent increase for residential customers and 1.5 percent for commercial customers. Additional increases of 3.5% residentially and 1.5% commercially will take place annually Oct. 1, 2019 and on Oct. 1, 2020.

The 3.5 percent residential rate increase is approximately $4.56 per month for a residential customer consuming 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). This will be $3.67 increase in the customer charge and $0.90 in the energy charge. The total rate increase over this three-year period will be approximately 10.7 percent for residential customers and 4.7 percent for commercial customers. According to staff, with this increase, OEU’s rates are still in the middle one-third of all utilities in Florida.

The Ocala City Council held a publicly advertised workshop Monday, Aug. 6 where an electric rate study was presented to council members for discussion and public comment. These rate increases were presented to the Ocala City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 11 where council members voted to adopt the new rates effective Oct. 1, 2018. OEU has not implemented a base rate change since 2012.

“Throughout the electric industry, costs have continued to rise,” said Mike Poucher, Director, Ocala Electric Utility. “As Ocala Electric Utility continues to improve its reliability and commitment to excellent customer service, we are making every effort to minimize rising operational costs of our business. OEU has intentionally maintained its rates, in part, because of the economic recession and its effects on our community. However, as the cost of goods and services continues to rise, the upcoming rate adjustments will help ensure the continued reliable energy delivery that our community depends upon.”

For more information, please contact Ocala Electric Utility at 352-629-2489.

###
Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org

Marion County Agriculture Literacy Day is scheduled for: Friday, November 16, 2018

Posted on: September 04, 2018

Dear Ag Literacy Day Readers:  We need you!!!!

Marion County Agriculture Literacy Day is scheduled for:
Friday, November 16, 2018


As you know, each year Marion County Farm Bureau Federation coordinates the facilitation of Ag Literacy Day throughout our county.  This annual reading event is a chance for farmers, ranchers, University of Florida IFAS extension, 4-H agents and master gardeners, FFA teachers and students, along with agriculture industry representatives, county and school officials to go into elementary classrooms to read a children’s non-fiction book about Florida’s agricultural industry to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This year’s book is titled:  These Florida Farms.

We are likely to have 20 schools participating with some only needing a class or two to be read to and some that will have school-wide requests.  This is a successful day each year because of the volunteers—It simply can’t be done without YOU! FFA teachers, if you make arrangements directly with an elementary school, please just keep us informed of your plans and let us know if you will need materials provided through MCFB or if you will request your materials directly through the FAITC.

To sign up to read or for additional information, please contact:
Amanda Permar, MCFB Federation Coordinator amanda.permar@ffbic.com
352-237-2124
You are greatly appreciated!

Books and materials are provided to readers “free” thanks to funding FAITC receives from sales of the agriculture specialty license plate called the ‘Ag Tag,’ and a donation from the Florida Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee.

Community Center Public Meetings- Thursday, Sept 6.

Posted on: August 31, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2018) – The City of Ocala will host a series of public meetings Thursday, Sept. 6 to solicit feedback on a proposed community center for the west side of Ocala and surrounding areas.

Meetings will take place at noon and 6 p.m. at the E.D. Croskey Recreation Center, 1510 NW Fourth St., with a newly added meeting at 3 p.m. at the Ocala Golf Club, 3130 E Silver Springs Blvd.

All three public meetings will have a similar agenda, format and content. Input from these meetings will help City staff and the consultant, Wannemacher Jensen Architects, ensure that this proposed community center supports residents’ and stakeholders’ visions for the west side of Ocala. 

These meetings are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department at 352-368-5517.

###

Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org

Road Closure: NE First Avenue Water Main & Service Replacement Project

Posted on: August 31, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2018) – Due to necessary construction for the NE First Avenue Water Main and Service Replacement Project, NE Broadway Street from NE First Avenue to NE Osceola Avenue, will be closed beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4. This project is expected to be completed by Friday, Sept. 7.

This project is designed to tie the existing eight-inch water main on NE First Avenue to the new 12-inch water main, which was installed on NE Broadway Street in May 2018.

All necessary devices will be in-place to re-direct traffic. Construction will take place Tuesdays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. During construction times, travelers may experience delays, noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.

Detour routes:
• Eastbound and northbound traffic wanting to turn east on SE Broadway Street must turn north to State Road 40, head east and turn south onto SE Osceola Avenue. Any vehicles that request to park in the parking lot of 101 SE Broadway will be flagged in by a flagman on SE Osceola Avenue.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

###

Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org

Changes To The Affordable Housing Incentive Fund

Posted on: August 29, 2018

OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2018) – In response to a growing need for affordable housing in our community, the Ocala City Council adopted changes to the City’s existing affordable housing incentive fund during a regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. These changes will offset development costs associated with building new affordable housing.

The purpose of the affordable housing incentive fund, which has existed since 2005, is to direct a portion of fees paid for any new development in the city toward offsetting the cost of fees for affordable housing development in the future.

What is an affordable housing unit?
An affordable housing unit is a unit occupied by a household earning 80 percent or less of the median household income for the Ocala metropolitan statistical area (MSA), adjusted for household size, when that household is spending no more than 30 percent of their income on the cost of the unit.

What are some of the recently approved changes?
The recently adopted changes better address the current need for affordable housing in our community by increasing the maximum fund distribution to $10,000 per unit for multi-family development, broadening the types of fees that the fund can be used for, encouraging mixed-income development by allowing no more than 40 percent of the proposed units in a development project to receive funds, increasing the affordability period to 10 years for multifamily developments, simplifying the lien process, and allowing for a density bonus for affordable housing development projects.

Who can apply for the fund?
Developers or builders applying for a city site plan or building permit to build affordable housing units can request as a part of their application to receive affordable housing incentive fund money to offset the cost of their development fees.

For more information, please contact David Boston, Senior Planner, City of Ocala Growth Management Department, at 352-629-8243.

###

Media contact: Katie Young Hunnicutt, Marketing and Communication Manager
Phone: 352-401-3978, Email: khunnicutt@ocalafl.org

Appleton Inspired Speaker Series Features Hollywood Miniature & Model- Maker John Eblan

Posted on: August 25, 2018

Jonh Eblan working on a miniature

OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 24, 2018) — The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, continues the monthly Inspired Speakers Series with John Eblan on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. These monthly presentations feature individuals who not only excel in their fields, but are also an inspiration to others.

Eblan will discuss how he became a model-maker and highlight some of his past model-making projects for big-budget Hollywood films. Largely self-taught, he has created incredibly detailed miniatures for “Pearl Harbor,” the “Star Wars” movies, “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith,” as well as “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “Star Trek.” In addition, he has built or overseen several fantastic model builds for a number of high-end collectors around the world, including Kuhn Global.

Founder of the FX Company, Eblan is currently vice president of QMx FX Cinema Arts, leading the QMx shop. Eblan says, “There's no doubt that what we do is work. But it’s in a really fun environment. We get to build spaceships and cool props all day. Everybody here has the opportunity for creative input and collaboration.”

Tickets are free for Appleton members and College of Central Florida students; $10 for nonmembers. Advance reservation or purchase is recommended at AppletonMuseum.org or by calling Griselle Gonzalez at 352-291-4455, ext. 1836.
Owned and operated by the College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR 40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). Parking is free. For more information, call 352-291-4455 or visit AppletonMuseum.org.

###
 

CF International Film Series Kicks Off Sept. 11

Posted on: August 25, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: JOE ZIMMERMAN
352-854-2322, EXT. 1233
ZIMMERMJ@CF.EDU
WWW.CF.EDU

CF INTERNATIONAL FILM SERIES KICKS OFF SEPT. 11

OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 23, 2018) — The College of Central Florida’s International Film Series kicks off in September starting with “Duckweed” on Tuesday, Sept. 11, and “Frantz” on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Shows start at 2 p.m. at the Appleton Museum and at 7 p.m. at the Ocala Campus in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building 8, Room 110.

“Duckweed” is about a father and son's tense relationship that takes a turn when the son travels back in time to explore the bittersweet events that led the family to where it is today. This film is in Mandarin with English subtitles. It is rated NR and has a total run time of 102 minutes. “Frantz” recalls the mourning period that followed tragic conflict as seen through the eyes of the so-called lost generation after WWI. This film is in German and French with English subtitles. It is rated R and has a total run time of 118 minutes.

Viewings are free at CF. Series membership, which includes fall and spring screenings at the Appleton Museum of Art, is $15 for individuals, $25 for dual membership and includes a bonus film each year. For information about membership, call 352-873-5808.

For a full series list and more information on the International Film Series, contact Joe Zimmerman at 352-854-2322, ext. 1233, or visit www.CF.edu/filmseries.

Contact CF Marketing and Public Relations Director Lois Brauckmuller at 352-854-2322, ext. 1374, brauckmL@cf.edu or Marketing and Public Relations Manager Tina Banner at 352-854-2322, ext. 1565, bannert@cf.edu.  The Ocala Campus is located at 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala, Fla. 34474-4415, 352-873-5800. The Citrus Campus is located at 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto, Fla. 34461-9026, 352-746-6721. The Levy Campus is located at 15390 N.W. Highway 19, Chiefland, Fla. 32626, 352-493-9533. The Hampton Center is located at 1501 W. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34475-6456, 352-873-5881 and the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Fla. 34470-5001, 352-291-4455. For additional information, visit College of Central Florida at www.CF.edu.

City of Ocala Special Waste Amnesty Day- Saturday, Sept .15

Posted on: August 23, 2018

The City of Ocala will conduct a special waste amnesty day Saturday, Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of at NE 14th Street and NE Eighth Avenue.

Special waste consists of household hazardous waste and electronics. Neither of these types of waste is permitted to be picked up with regularly scheduled residential waste collection. Special waste from businesses will not be collected.

Examples of hazardous waste items accepted:
• Lawn and garden chemicals                                        
• Paint, paint thinners, gasoline and antifreeze
• Cleaning fluids
• Fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent lamps
• Used oil and filters
• Batteries (auto batteries, rechargeable batteries, etc.)
• Pool chemicals
• Aerosol cans
• Thermometers and thermostats

Examples of electronic items accepted:
• Battery chargers
• Computers, keyboards and monitors
• Small copiers, printers, answering machines and fax machines
• CD, DVD, Blu-ray and MP3 players
• Stereos and televisions
• Cell phones, tablets, PDAs, scanners and cameras

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

New CDL College Course In Ocala Trains Truck Drivers

Posted on: August 23, 2018

The first nine Marion Technical College students arrived Monday for their first day of truck driving school. In just eight weeks, these students will be certified to drive 18-wheelers.

See the full news article by the Ocala Star Banner here

City of Ocala Holiday Schedule: Labor Day- Monday, Sept. 3

Posted on: August 15, 2018

City of Ocala business offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 3 in observance of Labor Day. There will be no residential collection for sanitation, yard waste or recycling routes Monday, Sept. 3.

Residential sanitation collection regularly scheduled for Monday, Sept. 3 through Thursday, Sept. 6 will experience a one-day delay and will be collected Tuesday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 7.

Waste Pro recycling collection for City of Ocala residents regularly scheduled for Monday, Sept. 3 through Thursday, Sept. 6 will take place Tuesday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 7.

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

Partial Lane Closures Along SE 19th Avenue- Wednesday, Aug. 15

Posted on: August 13, 2018

Due to necessary relocation of the generator at Lift Station 120 located at 3090 SE 18th Ave., partial lane closures will be in effect along SE 19th Avenue near SE 31st Street Wednesday, Aug. 15 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The City sanitary sewer collection system utilizes gravity to transport liquids to one of two Water Reclamation facilities,” said Luis Acosta, Central Equipment Maintenance Division Head, City of Ocala Water Resources Department. “Lift stations are used to lift the sewer back to a higher elevation when needed. There are over 130 lift stations throughout Ocala. Having generators at major locations prevents sewer backups during power outages.”

All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic. During construction times, travelers may experience delays, noise and heavy equipment within the project area.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Water Resources Department at 352-351-6772.

Ocala/Marion County Visors & Convention Bureau to Host Community Workshop

Posted on: August 13, 2018

The Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau (OMCVCB) will host two community workshops in preparation for the upcoming (2019-2024) OMCVCB 5-year strategic plan.  The OMCVCB will be looking for community input on various opportunities that will serve to help promote future tourism development goals for Ocala/Marion County.

These public workshops will serve as an opportunity for industry and community partners, as well as residents, to provide input on actionable items to be accomplished in the upcoming years.  Workshops will be held over the course of two days to accommodate the community’s schedule and allow for maximum attendance.

The following is the information for the Community Workshops:
Location:  Growth Services Meeting Room
Address:  2710 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 34470
Date:  Wednesday, August 22, 2018
            Thursday, August 23, 2018
Time:  2:00PM – 5:00PM

Road Closure- NE First Avenue Watermain and Service Replacement Project

Posted on: August 10, 2018

Due to necessary construction for the NE First Avenue Watermain and Service Replacement Project, NE First Avenue from NE Second Street to NE Third Street, will be closed beginning Monday, Aug. 27. This project is expected to be completed by Monday, Sept. 10.

This project includes the complete replacement of watermains and services on NE First Avenue from Broadway to NE Fifth Street.

All necessary devices will be in-place to re-direct traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. During construction times, travelers may experience delays, noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.

Detour routes:
• Northbound traffic on NE First Avenue will go west onto NE Second Street to NW First Avenue, north onto NW First Avenue to NW Third Street, east onto NW Third Street back to NE First Avenue, and north onto NE First Avenue.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

FlipSetter, Inc. the Latest Business in the Power Plant Business Incubator

Posted on: August 09, 2018

Careers and Colleges Expo Aug. 30 at CF

Posted on: August 03, 2018

The College of Central Florida and Marion County Public Schools present 2018 Careers and Colleges Expo Thursday, Aug. 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the CF Gymnasium, 3001 S.W. College Road., Ocala.

Representatives from more than 80 educational institutions, businesses, professional and government organizations, and the military will be on hand, sharing valuable information with area high school students and their families.

College-bound students, as well as those interested in career exploration, will find valuable information at the expo.

There is no charge to attend the event.

For more information about CF, visit www.CF.edu.

Medical Professionals Needed: Medical Career Fair

Posted on: August 01, 2018

Healthcare professionals as well as individuals interested in careers in the medical field are invited to attend the 2018 Medical Career Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at One Health Center, 1714 SW 17th St., in Ocala.

The free event is sponsored by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion in partnership with One Health Center, an urgent care “all-in-one” facility. Healthcare businesses will be recruiting to fill in-demand positions, including: Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Home Health Aides (HHAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Medical Office Assistants, Personal Care Aides, Registered Nurses (RNs) and Sitter/Companions.

“We are very excited to partner with One Health Center to bring this exclusive opportunity to businesses and medical professionals in our community,” said Brenda Chrisman, CareerSource CLM’s business development officer.

To date, the following businesses plan to attend: Genesis Healthcare – Oakhurst Center, Family Life Care, Home Instead Senior Care, Marion Oaks Assisted Living, Ocala Community Care, Ocala Health and Rehabilitation, One Health Center, ResCare Homecare, Safer at Home, The Vines Hospital, TimberRidge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, VIPcare Healthcare and Visiting Angels. For updates on participating businesses, check the Calendar of Events or Career Fairs and Hiring Events page at careersourceclm.com.

In addition, representatives from the College of Central Florida, Rasmussen College and Saint Leo University will provide details about postsecondary healthcare programs and CareerSource CLM staff will also be on hand with information about fee-free job-placement and career development services.

While advance registration is not required, candidates interested in fast, easy access to the event are encouraged to register at www.employflorida.com. Candidates should also bring copies of their resume, dress professionally and be prepared for on-the-spot job interviews.

“Candidates interested in updating their resume, getting help preparing a 30-second ‘elevator speech’ or sharpening interview skills are encouraged to visit one of our three career centers for free assistance,” Chrisman said. The centers are located at 2703 NE 14th St., Ocala; 683 S. Adolph Point, Lecanto; and 2175 NW 11th Dr., Chiefland.

Chrisman added that limited space is still available for healthcare businesses interested in taking advantage of the “targeted, effective and efficient way to engage with qualified candidates.” There is no charge to participate, interview space is available upon request and logistics and staff support are also provided.
Businesses or candidates interested in learning more should call 800-434-5627, ext. 1713.

CMIT Solutions Launches Technology Revolution Across Ocala

Posted on: July 31, 2018

CMIT Solutions is launching a technology revolution throughout Ocala.

The nation’s leading provider of information technology (IT) services to the small and medium-sized business community announced today the opening of a new office in Ocala serving small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Ocala area. Local business owners and management now have a trusted IT service provider in town to provide flat rate, around-the-clock maintenance and monitoring solutions.

“Think of us as your outsourced IT department. Our goal is to enable our clients to focus on what they do best - supporting their customers and growing their business,” said Phillip Smith, owner of CMIT Solutions of Ocala. “These businesses will now have access to a full-time IT staff they can trust at prices they can afford.”                                  

Offering a broad spectrum of proactive computer maintenance, monitoring and virtual technology packages, along with quick response services when unexpected crises occur, CMIT Solutions has carved out its niche as an industry innovator that specializes in working with the small business community. Combine this with the company’s leading technology partners, including Microsoft, Dell, and Intuit, and the area’s business communities now have an edge in today’s increasingly challenging marketplace.

“When it comes to technology infrastructure, small and medium-sized businesses need the same tools and support services as large enterprises — just on a smaller scale and at prices they can afford,” added Smith. “They need the same assurance that their confidential business data will be protected, computers will run without interruption, and their systems will remain free from viruses, spyware, hackers and failures. Furthermore, they’ll need the same expert advice and problem-solving approach that large businesses receive from high-dollar consultants. CMIT Solutions is one of the only IT providers offering this level of expertise and customized service at rates small businesses can afford.”

Smith joins CMIT Solutions with over 20 years of service in the United States Navy, and 10 years of experience in healthcare IT consulting as a project manager. With his professional background, Smith is well equipped to support the small business community.

“With the support of CMIT’s home office, technology partners, and a network of 190-plus offices nationwide, we are part of an organization with remarkable resources,” said Smith. “The opportunity allows me not only to interact with my community, but to help other small to medium-sized businesses operate in a more efficient and secured environment.”

For more information on CMIT Solutions of Ocala and the services it offers, please email psmith@cmitsolutions.com or visit https://cmitsolutions.com/ocala/.

Saint Leo University-Ocala Offering Cold Case Homicide Course

Posted on: July 23, 2018

Saint Leo University will offer students the opportunity to dig for clues and investigate a long “cold” case for the Ocala Police Department beginning this fall.

Cold Case Homicide (CRM 490) will be offered 5:30 to 8 p.m., Mondays, at Saint Leo’s Ocala Education Center, 1930 S.W. 38th Ave., in the Meadowbrook Office One complex at the intersection of South West 20th Street and South West 38th Avenue. The course will be offered during the Fall 1 Semester, which begins August 20 and ends October 14.

Saint Leo has many partnerships with law enforcement agencies, and counts many law enforcement leaders as alumni, including Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham and Deputy Chief Mike Balken. Since the Ocala area has several unsolved cases, the chief offered one for study in the Saint Leo class.

Any criminal justice student, who is interested in learning about homicide investigations, is invited to enroll, said Dr. Robert J. Sullivan, assistant professor of criminal justice. “We are the only university in the United States that offers this undergraduate course wherein an actual cold case homicide is studied,” Sullivan said. “It is not a case study from a book, but an actual, and typically really old, homicide.”

This will be the second time that Saint Leo has offered the Cold Case Homicide course at one of its education centers rather at the main campus in St. Leo, Fla., north of Tampa. The first was at the Lakeland Education Center, and Saint Leo partnered with the Winter Haven Police Department. Chief Charlie Bird is an adjunct faculty member as well as an alumnus, having earned three degrees from the university.

At the Ocala Education Center, Saint Leo offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice: https://www.saintleo.edu/criminal-justice-bachelor-degree. In addition, an associate degree is offered at the Ocala site.

The university also offers online master’s degrees in several criminal justice specializations as well as a new Doctor of Criminal Justice (DCJ) degree. The Doctor of Criminal Justice degree offers two areas of concentration: homeland security and education.

Saint Leo is now enrolling for the Fall 1 Semester. Those interested in more information about the Cold Case Homicide Course as well as other degree programs, may email ocala@saintleo.edu or call (352) 671-3391.

AT&T is Hiring for 40 Jobs in Ocala

Posted on: July 10, 2018

AT&T* is hiring 40 workers for jobs in Ocala. Most positions will be at the Ocala Call Center. 

“More and more people in Florida and turning to AT&T, and we want them to have the best experience, said Joe York, president, AT&T Florida.  “We’re investing in our networks and people as part of that commitment. We’re glad to welcome more than 40 Florida residents to the AT&T family.”

For details on the openings, go to att.com/jobs. 

Tips To Stay Protected From Utility Payment Scams

Posted on: July 03, 2018

Ocala Electric Utility is reminding its customers to stay alert for potential utility payment scams.

Ocala Electric Utility will never call its customers demanding payment using any prepaid cards or debit cards. OEU also does not cut power to businesses after hours. If customers believe there is a problem with their account, they are encouraged to call 352-629-2489.

It is important to increase awareness about payment scams in general so customers understand the red flags and know what to do.

• Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
• Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who calls or emails you.
• Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers to someone you don’t know, or meet with a stranger in-person to make a payment.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala at 352-629-2489.

City of Ocala Holiday Schedule: Independence Day- Wednesday, July 4

Posted on: June 20, 2018

City of Ocala business offices will be closed Wednesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. There will be no residential collection for sanitation, yard waste or recycling routes Wednesday, July 4.

Residential sanitation collection regularly scheduled for Wednesday, July 4 will be collected Thursday, July 5; collection regularly scheduled for Thursday, July 5 will be collected Friday, July 6. 

Waste Pro recycling collection for City of Ocala residents regularly scheduled for Wednesday July 4 will be collected Thursday, July 5; collection regularly scheduled for Thursday, July 5 will be collected Friday, July 6.

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

The Centers Appoints Two New Board Members

Posted on: June 13, 2018

This month, The Centers appointed two new members onto The Centers’ Board of Directors, the Honorable Marion County Judge Tommy Thompson and local businessman and recovery advocate Don Scott. As part of continued efforts to better serve the community and meet the needs of those struggling with mental health and substance abuse, The Centers is excited to welcome both Judge Thompson and Mr. Scott to the Board. The Board of Directors are a group of volunteers responsible for directing and protecting The Centers and its mission, for the well-being of the community.

Judge Thompson’s experience as the presiding Judge of the Marion County Mental Health Court will bring a unique outlook to the Board and expert knowledge of the mental health needs of the Ocala community and the everyday hurdles those struggling with mental health face. Judge Thompson’s compassion for all members of the community demonstrates the characteristics of The Centers’ Board of Directors.

Mr. Scott of Don Scott Motors is a local business owner and resident of Ocala for more than 50 years. Since the 1980s, Mr. Scott has been an advocate for recovery not only in Florida, but also across the country and even outside of the United States. He has sat on several boards for organizations serving a mission to help those struggling with addiction. A friend of The Centers for many years, Mr. Scott will bring a deep-seated passion for recovery to the Board.

The Centers would once again like to welcome and thank Judge Thompson and Mr. Scott for serving on the Board of Directors.
 

Partial Lane Closures: Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue

Posted on: June 12, 2018

– Due to necessary potable water infrastructure replacement, repair and maintenance, NW Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, from Highway 27 to W Silver Springs Boulevard, and SW 16th Avenue, from W Silver Springs Boulevard to State Road 200, will experience partial lane closures beginning Monday, June 18. This project is expected to be completed by mid-August 2018.

All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During construction times, travelers may experience delays, noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

Resurfacing Ocala Roads

Posted on: June 06, 2018

City of Ocala Town Hall Meeting- Monday, June 25

Posted on: June 05, 2018

The City of Ocala will host a Town Hall meeting Monday, June 25 at 6 p.m. at the Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE Ninth St.

At this meeting, residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and engage with Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn and City Council President Matt Wardell in an open forum setting. Topics covered during this meeting will be limited to those within the jurisdiction of the City of Ocala. Residents are encouraged to attend and participate in the conversation. This meeting is free and open to the public. 

For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 352-401-3977.

SECO Energy Debuts Interactive StormCenter Map with Email, Text, and Voice Notifications

Posted on: June 04, 2018

Just in time for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, SECO Energy debuts allnew StormCenter platforms. StormCenter offers members enhanced outage reporting capability, real-time restoration estimates and a brand-new communications suite giving
members the power to manage outage notifications.

Over the last year, SECO researched a number of outage map and communications vendors before contracting with Kubra – a customer experience solutions provider with a proven reputation in the utility industry. The new StormCenter consists of four user-friendly platforms
for two-way outage communication. A new, interactive map displays current outages, estimated restoration times, cause of the outage and more. The map also includes a weather overlay to view the current weather radar and a zoom feature to pinpoint specific outage parameters.

Reporting an outage and checking the status of an existing outage is easy. On the Report/Status StormCenter page, input the last name on the account along with the house number or the account number and telephone number on file. Indicate if the outage is a complete loss of power, partial loss of power or flickering lights and submit. Once the outage is submitted, members can view the estimated restoration time, start time, number of members affected and crew status on the confirmation page.

StormCenter allows members to choose how they want to receive outage updates and notifications. Members with active email addresses on file with SECO are automatically enrolled in email notifications. Members with verified cell phone numbers are subscribed to receive text messages. Phone numbers that appear to be land lines will be enrolled in voice notifications. Members can easily change or add communications channels and opt out of unwanted notifications.

To manage notifications, log in with your account number or phone number on file for the location. Choose email, text and/or voice notifications and program “do not disturb” settings for
each active communication channel.

SECO’s new StormCenter includes LightFinder, a separate interactive map to easily report an area light outage or needed repair. Report the light using a street address or SECO pole number. Members will receive an email confirming the reported light issue and an email confirmation once the light is repaired – usually within two business days.

Working lights are labeled with green icons. Reported lights are identified with a red icon with a wrench. Lights that were repaired in the last 24 hours are represented with an orange icon. Inactive lights not associated with an account are gray icons and lights owned by members are
noted by blue icons.

For a full overview of SECO’s new StormCenter capabilities, view the instructional video on SECO’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

CEO Jim Duncan is proud to introduce SECO’s brand-new StormCenter platforms to members. Duncan stated, “SECO invests heavily in outage prevention technology and facility maintenance. As a result, our reliability statistics are among the best in the nation – despite the fact that we are a Florida utility subject to a storm season that spans from June through November. Our electric system is stringently maintained, but occasional outages occur for a variety of reasons such as lightning, wildlife, vehicle accidents, unexpected equipment failures and more. We realized it was time to invest in new technology to improve outage communications with members when outages occur.”

Duncan added, “Outage reporting is now high-tech. Surveys show that 70 percent of our members use an internet-enabled smartphone and more than 50 percent of our members own a tablet. Our new StormCenter platforms are mobile-friendly and function on a wide variety of browsers. It’s easy to report an outage, check the status of an existing outage or manage outage notifications.”

SECO members should visit SECOEnergy.com>StormCenter and bookmark the page on their mobile devices. The cooperative encourages members to begin storm preparedness today and to program their communication preferences as the 2018 hurricane season begins.

Social media users will continue to find up-to-date outage information on Facebook and Twitter – enhanced by the new StormCenter tools. “Like” SECO’s Facebook page and “follow” @SECOEnergy on Twitter for news releases and cooperative updates.

Marion Named 'Innovative District' by Model Schools Organization

Posted on: June 04, 2018

Marion County Public Schools has been named an “Innovative District” by the prestigious International Center for Leadership in Education.  As a result, the district will present at this year’s innovative Model Schools Conference in Orlando June 24-27.
          Marion is the only public school district in Florida invited to present, and one of only 10 districts nationwide recognized this year. District leaders will present on “Implementing a Career Pathway Model” to conference attendees. This invitation gives the district national recognition and exposure and showcases the many ways it links the worlds of education and business.
          The International Center for Leadership in Education challenges, inspires and equips today’s educators to prepare students for lifelong success. The Model Schools Conference is the nation’s premier event for rapidly improving K-12 schools and districts.
          “We are proud to honor and showcase this future-focused district for implementing a rigorous and relevant curriculum that engages and challenges students to think beyond the classroom to solve real-world problems,” said Dr. Willard R. Daggett, founder and chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education. 
            “We are honored to be recognized as an Innovative District and embrace the opportunity to share on a national level how our Career and Technical Education programs are connecting with business and industry,” said Mark Vianello, executive director of Career and Technical Education with the district. 
“Our focus on student choice and relevancy enables us to help meet the community’s workforce demands and economic development needs by creating a strong talent pipeline.  Such partnerships are worthy of attention and replication,” Vianello added.
Partnering with workforce organizations also results in career awareness and the development of training that’s targeted to industry and specific skills.
            “Their development of career path programs exemplifies their commitment and dedication to responding to, and supporting, the skill needs of Marion County’s business community,” said Rusty Skinner, chief executive officer of CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.
            “We congratulate them on their selection,” Skinner said.
Innovative Districts are selected annually based on criteria including substantive, data-validated growth year over year; evidence of a strong culture putting students at the center of learning; and dedication to transforming instruction to meet the needs and demands of the future.
“Talent development is one of our signature missions,” said Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership. 
“We have partnered with Marion County Public Schools to help them relaunch innovative and meaningful Career and Technical Education programs.  These pathways allow us to retain our best talent right here at home. The district’s hands-on approach is certainly worthy of this recognition,” Sheilley added.
“This year, we celebrate 26 years of empowering educators to implement effective best practices rooted in rigor, relevance, and relationships,” said Dr. Daggett. “At the Model School Conference, Marion County Public Schools will have the unique opportunity to share inspiring ideas for innovating and transforming teaching and learning to better prepare students for the world in which they will work and live.”
Over the past 26 years, the Model Schools Conference has attracted thousands of educators who come to learn about exemplary elementary, middle, high schools, and districts.
For more information, contact Mark Vianello, executive director of Career and Technical Education, at 352.671.6868.

Marion County: 2018 State of the County address to be held June 11

Posted on: June 01, 2018

Marion County is excited to announce that the 2018 State of the County address will be delivered by Commission Chairman Kathy Bryant at 6:30 p.m. on June 11 at the Reilly Arts Center in Ocala.

"There are so many exciting things that have happened lately in Marion County and there's so much more ahead," said Kathy Bryant, Chairman of the Marion County Commission. "This event is all about sharing that exciting momentum with our citizens and celebrating the amazing place we get to live, work and play."

Doors will open at the Reilly Arts Center at 6 p.m. and the program will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. Anyone unable to make the live program can watch it in real time on Facebook.com/MarionCountyFlorida or Twitter.com/MarionCountyGov.

While public comment will not be taken during the State of the County address, comment cards will be available and questions will receive a follow-up response from county staff. The event is free and open to the public.

Come out to celebrate our county and learn about the amazing things that lie ahead.

For more information, call Marion County Public Relations at 352-438-2300.
 

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Friday, June 1

Posted on: May 31, 2018

The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins Friday, June 1 and ends Friday, Nov. 30. While Ocala/Marion County does not have a coastline, our community can still experience freshwater flooding when tropical storms and hurricanes move across the Atlantic Ocean. The City of Ocala strongly encourages its residents to be alert, aware and prepared this hurricane season.

“Floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States,” said Payal Pandya, City of Ocala Stormwater Engineer and FEMA Community Rating System Coordinator. “Even if a storm does not make landfall in Florida, it can still bring severe hazards to the state and your property. The City of Ocala strives to be prepared for severe weather events and works hard to keep our citizens safe and informed during such times.”

For storm preparation information, safety tips and more, visit http://bit.ly/2JZMV52.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Public Works Department at 352-351-6733.

Free Downtown Valet

Posted on: May 24, 2018

Ocala Main Street, City of Ocala, and many of the downtown businesses have joined together to provide a free valet parking service for downtown.
A complaint that is often repeated is that there is nowhere to park.  This initiative, along with the Free Downtown Parking Garage (located on SE Fort King Street and SE Osceola Avenue) are efforts to change this perception and provide additional parking options.  Angie Lewis, Ocala Main Street President of the Board said, “We want everyone to be able to enjoy our downtown and everything it has to offer as a great place to dine, shop, and play.  Making it easier for our citizens and visitors to park is a great way to do this.”

Businesses participating in the Free Valet Service are: Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar, Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille, Ivy on The Square, Hello Gorgeous Salon, Brick City Boutique, Crave LA Studio, Ivy Boutique, The Corkscrew, Shannon Roth Collection Olivia & Co. Kids, Agapanthus, Stella's Modern Pantry, and Brick City Center for the Arts with more businesses joining soon.

It is very easy to use, just pull into one of the four designated parking spots on the southwest corner of the Square (directly across from Mark’s Prime Steakhouse. The valet service will give you a ticket and they will park your car in the garage. Get your ticket validated when you patron one of the participating businesses and your parking will be free. 
The hours off operation are Tuesday – Friday 11:00am – 3:00pm and 5:00pm – 10:00pm and Saturday 5:00 - 10:00pm. (Client’s ticket must be validated by participating business and thus it will be a free service to client.)
If ticket is not validated there will be a $10.00 charge.

“We love it.”, said Shannon Roth, owner of Shannon Roth Collection Olivia & Co. Kids, “This is such a great service that we can offer our valued customers. It’s easy for them to come downtown, enjoy lunch, a little shopping, and just relax, without the worry of finding parking and then messing with the meters.”  
Ocala Main Street, City of Ocala, and these downtown businesses encourage you to use the Free Valet and enjoy our downtown.

Public Meetings for Downtown Construction and Road Closures

Posted on: May 22, 2018

The City of Ocala will host two public meetings to discuss downtown construction and traffic pattern changes Tuesday, May 29 at 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave., 2nd floor.

City staff will present information regarding infrastructure replacement, repair and maintenance, traffic pattern changes, and duration of road closures.  Work is scheduled to begin June 4 and is expected to be complete in early July.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

 

Road Closure: First Avenue

Posted on: May 22, 2018

Due to necessary potable water infrastructure replacement, repair and maintenance, First Avenue will be closed from SE Broadway Street to NE First Street beginning Monday, June 4 and is expected to re-open in early July. This closure will not impact traffic on Silver Springs Boulevard, however, normal traffic patterns adjacent to the project area will be disrupted.

According to City staff, this project will provide necessary improvements to the drinking water distribution system, and will involve the removal and replacement of an outdated water main.

This project will also mark the realignment and removal of the dedicated northbound through lane on SE First Avenue between SE Broadway Street and Silver Springs Boulevard. The realignment is necessary for the downtown hotel project so that the new hotel will have a guest drop-off lane on SE First Avenue.

All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic.  Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During construction times, travelers may experience delays, noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.  Parking will be unavailable on the north side of SE Broadway Avenue and on the circulation drive on the north side of the square.

Public meetings regarding downtown construction and traffic pattern changes will be held Tuesday, May 29 at 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, in City Council Chambers, located at 110 SE Watula Ave., 2nd floor.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

CEP Partner Jose "BarbaCuban" Juarez to appear on LIVE with Kelly & Ryan

Posted on: May 21, 2018

Jose Juarez, also known as the “BarbaCuban” and famous for his 455 Sauce made in Ocala, will again be on the show LIVE with Kelly & Ryan on May 25th between 9am and 10am — Jose will be on during the last 15 minutes.

Join us at the Power Plant Business Incubator (405 SE Osceola Ave. Ocala; 2nd Floor) for a FREE community viewing party. We’ll be watching the show together on the big screen, cheering Jose on, and enjoying some BarbaCuban-inspired snacks. No need to RSVP, but seating is limited to 45 people.

5th Annual Youth Job Fair set for May 16

Posted on: April 26, 2018

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is set to host its fifth annual Youth Job Fair on Wednesday, May 16 at the College of Central Florida’s Klein Conference Center in Ocala.

Held in partnership with Marion County Public Schools, the free event is exclusively for 16-to-24-year olds seeking full- or part-time employment for permanent, summer or temporary positions.  The job fair takes place in two sessions:
• High school seniors from 2-3:30 p.m.
• All other youth/young adults, ages 16 to 24, from 3:30-6 p.m.

To date, the following businesses are scheduled to attend: Lockheed Martin, R & L Global Logistics, Cardinal LG, ITonDemand, eResources, United Plastic Fabricating, Genesis Healthcare – Oakhurst Center, Marion County Public Schools Extended Day Program, ClosetMaid, Marion County Board of County Commissioners, Rogers Engineering, Southern Loving Care, SITEL, Silver Springs Bottled Water and the Florida Department of Corrections.

Representatives from Marion Technical College will also be on hand to showcase their postsecondary programs. 

Brenda Chrisman, career center and business services officer for CareerSource CLM, said the job fair has traditionally been held in June, but was bumped up a month so that high school seniors could take advantage of the opportunity before graduating. Many seniors have completed, or are working on, soft skills curriculum to help prepare them for the workplace.

Additionally, Chrisman said that the variety and number of businesses planning to participate is “phenomenal.”

“Once again, this is an extraordinary opportunity for older youth and young adults as well as those businesses interested in hiring this age group,” Chrisman said. “If you’re interested in earning a paycheck but don’t know where to start, this job fair is the place to be. You’ll meet with hiring managers in an impressive array of industries, from IT and logistics to healthcare and engineering to manufacturing, corrections and more.”

Attendees should bring printed copies of their resume – high school seniors are required to have resumes approved by teachers in advance – and be prepared for on-the-spot job interviews.

Proper dress will be required, Chrisman said, adding that those planning to attend the job fair should come dressed to impress – no flip-flops or casual sandals, t-shirts with profane or obscene language or images, no shorts or jeans with rips or holes, or anything that is too tight, short or revealing.

Anyone interested in developing or updating their resume, working on interview skills and receiving job fair preparation tips is encouraged to visit one of CareerSource CLM’s career centers located in Ocala, Lecanto and Chiefland.  All job candidate services are available at no charge.

For more information about the Youth Job Fair, call 800-434-JOBS, ext. 1118 or visit careersourceclm.com/pages/job_fairs.
 

Thoroughbred Economy Notably Strong in Florida

Posted on: April 19, 2018

The American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF) commissioned a 2017 Economic Impact Study nationwide and just released economic impact breakdowns for 14 states. With major support from the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association, the Florida study focused on the overall impact of equines to the state, and specifically the impact of thoroughbreds in racing.

“Our job at FTBOA is to promote, advocate for and enhance the economics of our state-wide industry at home as well as outside our state and national borders. This fresh American Horse Council study clearly demonstrates the importance of our mandate on behalf of the entire state industry. Our breeders, farms, tracks, owners, conditioners and equine professionals are top-shelf, which, along with our weather and quality of life, make Florida the greatest place to breed, sell, own and race,” said Lonny Powell, FTBOA CEO.

The key takeaway is that Florida continues to be the third leading state in number of equines, the same ranking as in 2005. The number of acres of land in Florida used for horse-related purposes grew to 717,000 acres. Here are some other notable takeaways from the Florida study specific to thoroughbreds:

• One-in-four horses in Florida is a thoroughbred

• The direct thoroughbred industry impact is $1.5 billion with the total impact exceeding $2.7 billion to the state, an increase from 2005

• The racing sector continues to have the largest economic impact with a $1.16 billion direct impact

• The total thoroughbred employment effect is more than 23,000 jobs

• Thoroughbreds are versatile in the economy: contributing $146 million via the competition sector, $88 million from the recreation sector and the working horse market adds $1.8 million.

• Thoroughbred sales generate $156 million in revenue

“The economic impact of the equine industry in Florida, led by our thoroughbreds, is simply amazing. Only California and Texas have more horses of all breeds with more than one in four of our almost 400,000 horses in Florida being thoroughbreds. Our Horse Capital of the World™ moniker is certainly deserved,” noted Powell.

Also, a county study was commissioned by AHCF with major support from FTBOA. It keys in on Marion County, the heart of the thoroughbred breeding region and equine hub for the state. The study will be released in coming weeks. The last study completed for equines in Marion County was in 2015 commissioned by Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership. The study served as an eye-opener to the business community that knew anecdotally that equine dollars significantly impacted the county. Seeing hard numbers that were compiled by outside experts solidified the substantive economy equines provide in the county.

“Economic impact studies are key to making a case to legislators who can impact the industry. These latest numbers from the state and county studies by AHCF will be shared at all levels of government, including key state, county, and city officials to ensure a full understanding the role the industry plays economically and its impact to the job force. The study also provides guidance to other state industry sectors including hospitality and transportation as they see the sustained and growing impact equines have on them,” said Tammy Gantt, FTBOA Associate Vice President.

The last statewide study focused on the impact of racing breeds was released in 2014 and was presented to the Florida Senate on Gaming. It was commissioned by several stakeholders including FTBOA, Florida HBPA and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company and conducted by Cummings Associates and Civics Economics. At that time, the racing breeds economic impact was reported at approximately $1 billion. The 2017 study shows the direct thoroughbred industry impact at $1.5 billion with the total impact exceeding $2.7 billion. The 2017 AHCF study drills down further showing the impact equines have on travel, dining and lodging and academics.

“The study found that our thoroughbred industry alone in the Sunshine State generates an attention-getting 23,000 jobs and a robust $2.7 billion in total economic impact. We continue to have a notably greater economic impact than our signature baseball spring training. The study clearly supports the train of thought that the Florida thoroughbred business, along with our entire equine industry are not only worth preserving, but supporting and growing as well. Florida is most fortunate to have such an industry and agri-business already well established within its borders just as we Floridians are fortunate to live and work here,” said Powell.

Nationally, Florida ranked second in its total direct effect on employment at 73,935 jobs, compared to the other breakout states. Kentucky, the leading thoroughbred producer worldwide, ranked first with 75,265 jobs. Other states receiving breakouts included California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

“In the process of putting the study together, we reached out to all states that had received breakouts in the 2005 Study, as well as other large equine states to see if they were interested in receiving a breakout,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “We are pleased that the majority of the large equine states elected to receive a breakout of their respective state, further helping us demonstrate how important our industry is.”

Update: Watula Avenue Roadway Improvement Project

Posted on: April 18, 2018

Construction for the first phase of the Watula Avenue Roadway Improvement Project will resume Tuesday, May 1. NE Watula Avenue will be closed from Silver Springs Boulevard to NE Second Street. SE Watula Avenue will be closed from E Silver Springs Boulevard to SE Broadway Street. The first phase of this project is expected to be completed by the end of July 2018.

All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will not take place during any City-recognized holidays. During construction times, travelers may experience noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.

For more information, please contact City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

(The original release distributed Wednesday, Jan. 24 is below for reference.)

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

OCALA, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2018) – Due to construction for the Watula Avenue Roadway Improvement Project, Phase 1, portions of Watula Avenue will be closed beginning Monday, Feb. 5 and are expected to re-open in early April 2018. According to the City Engineer’s Office, this project will reduce flooding in the downtown area.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 5, Watula Avenue will be closed from Silver Springs Boulevard north to NE Second Street. Beginning in mid-February, SE Watula Avenue will be closed from E Silver Springs Boulevard to SE Broadway Street.

All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will not take place during any City-recognized holidays. During construction times, travelers may experience noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.

Detour routes:
• Northbound traffic will go north onto NE First Avenue, east onto NE First Street, ending on NE Watula Avenue.
• Southbound traffic will go west onto NE First Street, south onto NE Magnolia Avenue, east on W Fort King Street, ending on SE Watula Avenue.
For more information, please contact City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

Marion County Public Schools Job Fair- Saturday, May 5

Posted on: April 13, 2018

Vendor Application

CF to Offer Noncredit Supervision Class

Posted on: April 03, 2018

The College of Central Florida will offer a noncredit basic supervision class beginning in April at its Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road with instructor Ulli Munroe.
Basic Supervision will give attendees a sound fundamental foundation to supervision and show them how to achieve productivity through people, build an effective team and conduct essential supervisory tasks. Classes will meet Mondays and Fridays, April 23, 27, 30 and May 4, from 8 a.m.-noon. Class fee is $299.

Munroe is a professional business consultant with clients throughout the U.S. and Canada. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in science education. Her expertise is facilitating interactive learning experiences for her workshop participants. 

For more information or to register for the course, contact Loren Carr at 352-854-2322, ext. 1496, or carrl@cf.edu.
To learn more about CF visit www.CF.edu.

Online Grocery Pickup Headlines Ocala Walmart Supercenter Remodel

Posted on: March 30, 2018

Ocala residents will get their first look at the newly remodeled Walmart Supercenter at 9570 S.W. State Road 200 on Friday, March 30. In addition to the physical changes inside, customers now have access to Walmart’s free Online Grocery Pickup service.

Ocala residents will be able to order Walmart groceries online and pick them up without ever having to unbuckle their seatbelts. Customers select from up to 40,000 online grocery items, diapers, dog food and more, and choose the best time to pick up. A Walmart personal shopper loads the groceries into your car when you arrive – all at no additional cost.

“This remodel represents our continued investment in the area and offers customers a new and improved shopping experience here in Ocala,” said Store Manager Todd Maufroy. “It’s all about convenience. Everything that is being introduced will help our customers shop when, how and where they want.”

Customers will enjoy the following store improvements:

• State-of-the-art electronics department with interactive displays that allow customers to try laptops, tablets, mobile phones and more before purchase 

• Addition of a dedicated Walmart Pickup desk conveniently located at the front of the store for customers who shop Walmart.com
• Addition of a freestanding MoneyCenter
• New Tool World, creating a one-stop shop for any tools or equipment needed
• Enhanced baby department with strollers at floor level and easier access to everyday essentials like diapers and formula 

• Brighter lighting, including in bakery and produce departments to showcase store’s commitment to fresh
• Larger signage throughout for ease of navigation

As Walmart continues to lead in retail innovation, the company is expanding the roll out of cutting-edge technology to select stores across Central Florida. Earlier this month, the company announced the launch of Scan & Go at three Central Florida locations. Last year, the company also introduced the first Pickup Towers in the area and announced Orlando as a test market for grocery delivery.

Job Opportunities
At Walmart, associates have access to competitive wages, affordable benefits, and the chance to build a career. More than 75 percent of store management teams started as hourly associates.

Starting in 2015, Walmart began making a $2.7 billion investment over a two-year period in higher wages, more scheduling choices and further training for its associates. As part of increased wages across the company, the average full-time hourly associate now makes $13.77 an hour in Florida.

Road Closures - NE Eighth Avenue Road Diet Project

Posted on: March 28, 2018

Beginning Monday, April 2, there will be intermittent lane closures on NE Eighth Avenue due to construction for the NE Eighth Avenue Road Diet Project. Lane closures and detours will occur from E Silver Springs Boulevard to 14th Street. This project is expected to be completed by Friday, April 20.

All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During construction times, travelers may experience noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.

"The benefits of this road diet project on NE Eighth Avenue are two-fold. Microsurfacing the road will extend the life of the asphalt by approximately 10 years and is much more cost-effective than letting the road deteriorate and then resurfacing,” said David Boston, Senior Planner, City of Ocala. “Restriping the road will help implement the long-awaited community-driven vision for this road; reducing the number of lanes and reconnecting Tuscawilla Park and the Midtown area with the neighborhoods to the east. This will also make the road safer for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians."

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.
 

City of Ocala Special Waste Amnesty Day- Saturday, April 21

Posted on: March 27, 2018

The City of Ocala will conduct a special waste amnesty day Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of at NE 14th Street and NE Eighth Avenue.

Special waste consists of household hazardous waste and electronics. Neither of these types of waste is permitted to be picked up with regularly scheduled residential waste collection. Special waste from businesses will not be collected.

Examples of hazardous waste items accepted:
• Lawn and garden chemicals                                        
• Paint, paint thinners, gasoline and antifreeze
• Cleaning fluids
• Fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent lamps
• Used oil and filters
• Batteries (auto batteries, rechargeable batteries, etc.)
• Pool chemicals
• Aerosol cans
• Thermometers and thermostats

Examples of electronic items accepted:
• Battery chargers
• Computers, keyboards and monitors
• Small copiers, printers, answering machines and fax machines
• CD, DVD, Blu-ray and MP3 players
• Stereos and televisions
• Cell phones, tablets, PDAs, scanners and cameras

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

The Centers Will Open New Shelter Care Program in Ocala for Youth

Posted on: March 27, 2018

The Centers is excited to announce the newest addition to services to assist youth statewide in difficult placement situations. The organization’s new shelter care program, one of just a few in Florida, will provide a temporary place to live for youth aged 10-17 struggling with social issues. The youths that the program will serve normally have no other place to go.

“We are looking forward to playing our role in turning around the lives of displaced children in Florida,” said The Centers CEO and Medical Director Donald J. Baracskay II.

The Centers is working to ensure these children and teens who are in between permanent placement will have a safe place to stay. As part of the program, The Centers is partnering with the Florida Department of Children and Families, which will place youths looking for foster care or waiting for new foster placement into the program. The organization is also partnering with Kids Central, Inc., to provide a temporary residence for KCI’s displaced children in dependency care, as well as partnering with Lutheran Services Florida.

The program is located on The Centers’ main campus and will house up to 12 youths. Food, shelter, supervision and family visiting hours will be provided. Additionally, The Centers will work to get those in the program into the schooling they need.

The Centers will be hosting a supply drive for the program at the Third Annual Be You! Walk Friday, April 6 at Citizens’ Circle in downtown Ocala. The organization is asking the Ocala community to help the kids staying at the new shelter care program to feel at home by donating art supplies, books, games, movies, playing cards and more.


 

Annual Spring Career Fairs: 2 days, 2 counties, lots of opportunities

Posted on: March 20, 2018

Employment opportunities will be in full bloom next month during a pair of Spring Career Fairs hosted by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.
The annual career fairs will take place in Citrus County on Tuesday, April 3 at the College of Central Florida’s Learning and Conference Center in Lecanto and on Thursday, April 5 at CF’s Klein Conference Center in Ocala. Both will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.

Registration is not required but participants are encouraged to register with EmployFlorida.com. While there is no charge to attend the career fairs, appropriate dress is required.

Brenda Chrisman, CareerSource CLM’s business services officer, said the career fairs provide “fast, efficient and effective” recruiting options for businesses with jobs to fill and for candidates who want to fill them.

“Holding these career fairs on two days and in two locations offers lots of opportunities for the broadest array of area candidates and businesses,” she said. “It also provides those interested the flexibility to attend one or both career fairs.”

Chrisman said that to date businesses planning to participate include E-One, Home Instead Senior Care, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, Citrus County Fire/Rescue, Citrus County Clerk of the Court, Ocala Health and Rehabilitation, R+L Global Logistics, Visiting Angels and the YMCA of Citrus County.

Area businesses interested in taking part should call the Business Services Team at 352-873-7955, ext. 1713.

Free career fair preparation assistance is available for candidates at CareerSource CLM career centers. For more information, visit Career Fairs at careersourceclm.com or call 800-434-JOBS, ext. 1790.

Ocala Electric Utility Receives FMEA “Restoring Communities Award"

Posted on: March 16, 2018

The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) recently recognized Ocala Electric Utility (OEU) with a “Restoring Communities Award” for its efforts to quickly and safely restore power to Florida communities, as well as parts the U.S. Virgin Islands, following Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Recipients were honored for their work to restore power within their communities and for sending aid to their fellow municipal electric utilities. Utilities were awarded based on restoration times, customer communications efforts and the levels of mutual aid provided.
OEU received its award at the 18th Annual Florida Lineman Competition Saturday, March 10 in Kissimmee.

“We’re so incredibly proud of our members who sent their crews to other communities in Florida to help out the areas most affected by Irma, as well as the linemen who left their families and homes during Thanksgiving and Christmas to help our neighbors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “Our members are more than hometown heroes and these awards recognize their dedication to not just their own communities, but to communities everywhere.”

Energy Saving Trees Available now Through Thursday, May 31

Posted on: March 16, 2018

Ocala Electric Utility, in partnership with Energy Saving Trees, an Arbor Day Foundation Program, will provide residents with one free tree now through Thursday, May 31 while supplies last. This program is designed to help residents better understand where to plant trees on their property for maximum energy savings.

According to City staff, by planting the right tree in the right place, residents can reduce energy consumption by approximately 20 percent annually. Trees around homes not only help reduce the amount of energy homes require, but they also increase property value, reduce carbon footprints, improve air quality and more effectively catch stormwater runoff.

To reserve a free tree, please visit www.arborday.org/ocalaelectric. For more information, please contact Ocala Electric Utility at 352-629-2489.

Walk Benefitting Children’s Mental Health Next Month

Posted on: March 15, 2018

The Centers is excited to announce that the Third Annual Be You! Walk is less than a month away. The entire community is invited to participate in the event benefiting children’s mental health. The Centers is asking Ocala to come together on Friday, April 6, 2018 right in downtown to raise support and awareness for youth struggling with mental illness. Half of mental health conditions begin developing before a person is 14 years-old, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.

The goal of the Be You Walk is to support early intervention, prevention and therapeutic care for every child in need in the community. The Centers is a non-profit organization providing these life-saving services for children including crisis stabilization, individual therapy, group and family therapy, family case management, prevention education, foster and relative care and adoption case management. In 2017 alone, The Centers impacted the lives of more than 4,000 children.

Mental health issues affect millions of youth across the country, and at the Centers, compassionate counselors help some of these children to overcome anxiety, depression, self-esteem, trauma and much more.

Those participating in the Be You Walk will be helping support The Centers’ efforts to treat these children in need of mental health services. Each participant in the Walk is encouraged to wear something representative of what makes them unique and to Be You! Each team who raises $500 or more will receive a balloon to release into the sky in honor of someone who has been affected by mental illness.

The Centers and sponsors will be offering a night of music, food and fun for the entire family. Anyone interested in volunteering or registering to walk can visit BeYouWalk.com. For additional information, please contact Kristina Donohue at kdonohue@thecenters.us or by calling (352) 291-5462.

Same day registration begins at 5:30 pm. The Walk will begin at 6:30 pm. Top team, individual male, female and child will be announced and receive prizes at 7:15 pm followed by the balloon release. Enjoy the music at Citizens' Circle and the activities of the First Friday Art Walk until 9:00 pm.
 

Applications Now Being Accepted For the 2018-2019 City of Ocala Community Cash Sponsorship Program

Posted on: March 09, 2018

The City of Ocala Community Cash Sponsorship Policy was set forth by the Ocala City Council to provide funding for non-profit, tax-exempt, government or for-profit community support organizations and/or events.

Funding requests will be separated into three funding categories:
1. Social Service programs
2. Education programs
3. Event sponsorships

The maximum amount available for Social Service and Education programs is $10,000. The maximum amount available for Event Sponsorship is $50,000.  City Council will appropriate a maximum combined allocation for all categories as part of the annual budget process.  Approved sponsorship applications will be determined by Council and announced in October each year.  

• Any organization wishing to apply for funding from the City of Ocala must complete and file an application for funding by Tuesday, May 1. Application forms are available in the Office of Budget and Management (110 SE Watula Ave., third floor) or online at http://www.ocalafl.org/government/city-departments/finance/community-cash-sponsorship-information
• The information provided by the applicant will be reviewed by the Office of Budget and Management for completeness.  If complete, the application will be provided to the Application Review Committee for scoring.
• The City Manager will submit all funding requests as part of the City Budget to City Council for their review and consideration to accept or deny the funding request.
• City Council will have the final determination as to whether the application is approved or denied. 
• Funding by the City to an organization shall not impose or create any future obligation by the City for ongoing support.
• Each approved sponsorship grant requires the applicant or their designee to provide City Council with a written and oral report at a future regular City Council meeting to report the actual achieved outcomes resulting from the use of granted funds.

All applicants are required to submit the application in person or via email to thaslam@ocalafl.org by Tuesday, May 1. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Applicants may submit additional information related to the funding request.

For more information, please call the City of Ocala Office of Budget and Management at 352-401-3914 or visit www.ocalafl.org.

CF 2018 Strategic Planning SWOT Community Survey

Posted on: March 08, 2018

Please share your thoughts through the survey link below.  Let CF know your opinion about their strengths, how they can improve, what opportunities you think they can use to their advantage and what challenges you see ahead that they must overcome.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the survey. Your response will help guide the future of their institution.

The survey will be open until Friday, March 23, 2018.

To access the survey please click here.

City of Ocala to Host a Tire Amnesty Day Saturday, March 17

Posted on: February 27, 2018

The City of Ocala is providing residents with free tire disposal Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Disposal locations will be at the corner of NE 14th Street and NE Eighth Avenue and the Hampton Aquatic Fun Center located at 255 NW Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 

Tires generated by businesses will not be accepted and there is a limit of 10 tires per resident. This service is for residents living within the city limits and a driver’s license listing a city address may be requested.

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

Ocala businessman named a 2018 USF Outstanding Young Alumnus

Posted on: February 27, 2018

Joel Raney, CEO of Raney’s Inc. is one of seven 2018 University of South Florida Outstanding Young Alumni being recognized for their exceptional professional and charitable contributions.

Raney started his business in a small house in 2010, converting the kitchen to a warehouse and bedrooms to offices. Since then, the online retailer of custom accessories for heavy-duty trucks has grown from two employees to more than 60 in a 124,000-square-foot former manufacturing plant in Ocala. The company has twice made the Inc. 5000 and the USF Fast 56, both of which recognize rapidly growing businesses.

Raney, who earned a civil engineering degree in 2011, also recently launched South Florida Strong, a USF apparel company run by Bulls.

As important to him as his businesses’ success are their culture and community involvement. Raney’s Inc. hires employees based on eight core values – kindness, dependability, humility, passion, happiness, honesty, open-mindedness and family spirit, and employees regularly volunteer and fundraise for local charities. In 2017, Raney’s Inc. was named Ocala Magazine’s first Business of the Year.

Joel and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons – Carson and Liam.

The other 2018 Outstanding Young Alumni are:

Hannibal L. Baldwin, Finance ’11, USF St. Petersburg – co-founder and co-CEO of award-winning tech company SiteZeus; co-founder of the popular Yogurtology franchise; and co-founder of B3 Ventures private equity and venture capital fund

R. Grant Baxley, Management Information Systems ’07 – founder and CEO of TeleVoIPs, a telecom company serving businesses across the country; named Emerging Technology Leader of the Year, Technology Connector of the Year, and earned TeleVoIPs three USF Fast 56 awards for fast-growing businesses

Vincent Terrell Jackson, Management ’16 – former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver; co-owner of multiple successful businesses including CTV Capital private equity firm and Cask Social Kitchen; founder-president of Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, a Pro Players Insiders Top 10 NFL Player Foundation 

Maja Lacevic, English and International Studies ’09 – arrived in the United States as a Bosnian war refugee and is now a business transactions and health care attorney with Trenam Law; has been steadfast in her dedication to service through groups including USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy and the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division

Reuben Pressman, Entrepreneurship ’11, USF St. Petersburg – founder and CEO of Presence, an education technology platform used by more than 100 higher educational institutions to increase student engagement, graduation rates, and workforce readiness; also deeply involved in community  nonprofits and economic development in St. Petersburg

Dr. Venessa Walker, Biomedical Sciences ’04 – chiropractic physician, owner of Walker Chiropractic and Wellness Center and an international health and wellness speaker dedicated to numerous charitable causes, from work with USF alumni groups to religious groups to civic groups, including Boys and Girls Clubs and the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the Links, Inc.

About the USF Alumni Association

The USF Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization comprised of former students and friends of the University of South Florida. The association helps USF’s 325,000 alumni stay connected and provides meaningful ways for USF Bulls to support, promote and protect their university. For more information,  visit www.usfalumni.org, like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USFalumni or follow us on Twitter @USFAlumniAssn.

About the USF Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
The USF Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was established in 2004 to annually recognize young alumni who have demonstrated emerging and unique innovation, creativity and success in their careers. An awards ceremony and panel discussion featuring the 2018 recipients is planned for 6 p.m. May 18 at the Gibbons Alumni Center in Tampa. Tickets are $50 and go on sale March 1 at www.usfalumni.org/oyaa.

E- One Hiring Event Wednesday, Feb. 21

Posted on: February 20, 2018

Grant Funding Now Available For Local Community Events

Posted on: February 20, 2018

Whether they’re held on city streets or under a natural canopy of forest trees, Ocala/Marion County is home to a unique slate of vibrant community events that attract both residents and visitors alike. Those events – and new ones currently in the planning phases – may be eligible for financial support through a program offered through the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau. The Community Event Funding Program offers assistance of up to $5,000 to help local organizations promote events that provide community-based recreation for residents and visitors in Marion County. Interested agencies should submit applications for funding by April 15. 

The Community Event Funding Program, approved by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 17, 2017, provides start-up funding for organizations to develop events and become self-sufficient for future promotional funding. The Tourist Development Council created the program to increase the number of events for residents and visitors to enjoy, encourage local and visitor spending and enhance the overall Ocala/Marion County experience.

Applications for 2018 event funding must be submitted by April 15, 2018, and funding is awarded based on a competitive reward system. Community Event Funding Program applications will be accepted annually from Feb. 1 to April 15. For more information and program requirements, visit partners.OcalaMarion.com, or call 352-438-2800 to schedule an appointment with a staff member.

Front Street Wins Third Gator 100 Award and Expands Presence

Posted on: February 20, 2018

Front Street was recognized as the 31st fastest growing Gator-owned or Gator-led business in the world at the University of Florida’s 2018 Gator100 during a ceremony on February 2nd. Sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Gator100 recognizes the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UF alumni.  Ernst & Young calculated each company’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years to generate the ranking.

This win is Front Street’s third Gator100 Award out of the four years this award has been offered. Their 2018 ranking of 31st place beats their 2017 ranking of 32nd place. This recognition also comes on the heels of Front Street’s expansion into their new corporate office in Gainesville, located at 132 NW 76th Drive, Gainesville, FL 32607. This new facility provides a footprint more than twice the size of their previous office which allows all service divisions of brokerage, property management and insurance, to be housed under one roof.

Front Street is a boutique, full service, commercial real estate service firm offering its clients brokerage, leasing, property management, and insurance solutions. Front Street is invested in their clients, the community and in the commercial real estate industry. Through their INVESTED program, they maximize their impact in the communities they serve through action and leadership.

Nick Banks, Front Street’s owner, founder and managing director, is a University of Florida graduate with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, class of 1990. “As a Gator grad it’s a real thrill for me to experience Front Street being recognized like this and it’s such a tremendous award for our team.” Said Nick. He added “Our growth which resulted in receiving the Gator100 award is a testament to the hard work and creativity that our team brings to our clients every single day.”

“The Gator100 honors UF alumni from across the university who are founding and growing amazing companies around the country,” said Kent Fuchs, president of the University of Florida. “It’s an incredible affirmation of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the Gator Nation.”

To qualify for the Gator100, companies must have been in business for five years or more as of Oct. 1, 2017 and have had verifiable annual revenues of $250,000 or more in 2014. Additionally, a UF alumnus or alumna must have met one of the following three leadership criteria:

1. Owned 50 percent or more of the company from Jan. 1, 2014, through Oct. 1, 2017; or  
2. Served as company’s chief executive from Jan. 1, 2014, through Oct. 1, 2017; or 
3. Founded the company and been active as a member of the most senior management team from Jan. 1, 2014, through Oct. 1, 2017.


For more information and to view the full list of Gator100 honorees, visit: www.frontstreet.net/blog, or please contact Nick Banks at nickb@frontstreet.net or 352.505.3884.

ABOUT FRONT STREET:
Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group is a leader in Florida commercial real estate brokerage, property management and insurance. The company’s mission is to impact its community, clients and industry by doing commercial real estate differently.  Front Street is committed to leadership in the commercial real estate business by offering superior brokerage, property management and insurance solutions to its clients. For more information please visit www.FrontStreet.net.

City Announces Changes to Metered Parking Downtown

Posted on: February 20, 2018

The City of Ocala has implemented changes to its metered parking program downtown. These recommended modifications were made in response to feedback from citizens and downtown business owners and are intended to create more available on-street parking adjacent to, or in close proximity of, downtown businesses, according to City staff. 

Adjustments to the parking program include:
• All parking meters are now programmed for an additional hour of parking, for a total of three-hours.
• Passport Parking has implemented three-hour parking for the pay-by-phone app.
• Android Pay and Apple Pay have been installed on all parking meters.
• An additional 11 free parking spaces have been created by removing meters on N Magnolia Avenue (between NE Second Street and NE Third Street) and on SW First Avenue, south of Fort King Street.
• Installation of 39 free on-street parking spaces along sections of NE First Avenue and N Magnolia Avenue.

The parking meters will continue to be in effect Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The meter rates will remain 50 cents per hour. The meters will accept credit cards, quarters, nickels, dimes, and can also be paid via cell phone through the free PassportParking Mobile Pay app. The meters will also accept Android Pay and Apple Pay.

According to staff, the City is also in the process of developing the former Wells Fargo Bank drive through lot, located at the corner of SW Broadway Street and SW Second Street, into a free public parking lot. In addition, downtown business owners are considering an expanded valet service. If approved, it will be located on the west side of the downtown square and could begin operations in early March.

The downtown parking lot, east of the square, will soon be permanently closed due to construction on that site. In addition to street parking downtown, citizens and visitors can also park for free in the 402-space downtown parking garage, which opened in October 2016.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala ParkOcala Office at 352-629-8201.
 

Saint Leo University-Ocala Offering New Logistics Degree

Posted on: February 20, 2018

Saint Leo University’s Ocala Education center has added a new degree offering. Beginning in the Spring 2 Semester, a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration with a specialization in logistics will be offered in Ocala. The semester begins March 5.

In business, logistics focuses on how materials and finished goods are warehoused, packaged, shipped, and delivered to customers in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Skills gained by earning a business administration degree with a specialization in logistics includes the ability to identify and effectively solve problems; proficiency with industry-related computer software programs; ability to obtain and process complex data; and the ability to understand the big picture and small details.

Saint Leo University’s Ocala Education Center is at 1930 S.W. 38th Ave., in the Meadowbrook Office One complex at the intersection of South West 20th Street and South West 38th Avenue. For information about the new degree, call (352) 671-3391.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University (www.saintleo.edu) is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving more than 13,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 90,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Jim Kirk Park Dedication Ceremony Friday, Feb. 16 at 11 A.M.

Posted on: February 14, 2018

A dedication ceremony will be held Friday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. for Jim Kirk Park. The ceremony will take place at the playground located at the 2900 block of NE Ninth Street.    

In the 1960s and 1970s, Jim Kirk served as a City of Ocala councilman and then later as Mayor for three terms. He owned WMOP and WFUZ radio stations where he also hosted a morning show “Country Jim.” Mr. Kirk’s legacy to Ocala’s citizens also includes purchasing what is now the Marion Theater and gifting the building to the City. He was also a driving force behind the Appleton Museum of Art. Mr. Kirk, a 60-year resident of Ocala, passed away in 2015 at the age of 88.

This event is free and open to the public. Members of the media are encouraged to attend.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department

at 352-368-5517.

Budweiser Clydesdales to Appear in Ocala

Posted on: February 13, 2018

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, are scheduled to appear in Ocala on February 17th, on the Downtown Square.

The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon at the Square Downtown on February 17th.  The “Gentle Giants,” will participate in the Parade of Nations – Horse Celebration.  The Parade begins at 4:00PM and will be over by 6:00PM.

The Clydesdales’ appearance in Ocala is one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches.  Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s.  Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.

Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail.  A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.

A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.

Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian.  In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.

The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo.; Merrimack, N.H.; and Ft. Collins, Colo.  They also may be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300-plus acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, Mo.

Career Choice Information Night

Posted on: February 12, 2018

Grants for Historical Markers

Posted on: February 08, 2018

The Division of Historical Resources provides Small Matching grants to assist with the acquisition of State Historical Markers for which texts (monolingual or bilingual) have been approved by the State Historical Marker Council prior to applying for the grant. The historic marker shall not be purchased until the grant is awarded (awards up to $950 for single-sided markers and up to $1,100 for double-sided markers).

The Florida Historical Marker Program is one of the Division of Historical Resources’ most popular and visible public history programs. It is designed to raise public awareness of Florida’s rich cultural history and to enhance the enjoyment of our historic sites by citizens and tourists. These markers allow us to tell the stories of the places and people who created the Florida we all enjoy today, by identifying the churches, schools, archaeological sites, battlefields, and homes that reppresent our past.

- The Florida Historic Marker Council meets regularly throughout the year to review proposed texts for Historical Marker Applications.

- Applications for marker text approval are welcome at any time, but, depending on when they are submitted, it may be a few months before the next Council meeting when they will be reviewed.

- Once the marker text is approved by the Florida Historic Marker Council, a non-profit or a state/local government agency is then eligible to apply for a Small Matching grant during the established application submission cycle.

- The grant will cover $950 or $1,100 depending on if the marker is single-sided or double-sided. The applicant must match the same grant amount (1:1).

- If awarded a Small Matching grant, a marker may not be purchased until July 1. If the marker is purchased before July 1, the Division cannot refund the grantee, and the grant award will be cancelled.

- The process of having the marker text approved could take several months. The Small Matching grant application cycle opens in the spring, and applications for a Historical
Marker Project must be submitted online via dosgrants.com/. The process for being awarded a historic preservation grant takes about a year.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Drew Begley
Historic Preservation Grants
Specialist
850.245.6466
drew.begley@dos.myflorida.com


Michael Hart
State Historical Marker Coordinator
850.245.6371 or 1.800.847.7278
michael.hart@dos.myflorida.com


Yasha Rodríguez
Historic Preservation Grants
Supervisor
850.245.6362
yasha.rodriguez@dos.myflorida.com


DIVISION OF HISTORICAL RESOURCES
R.A Gray Building, 4th Floor
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
850.245.6333

Where to Retire Magazine Releases State-to-State Flows for Retirement Relocation

Posted on: February 08, 2018

The greatest number of relocating retirees move from New York to Florida, according to the latest research from the U.S. Census Bureau and featured in Where to Retire magazine, the only magazine in America geared toward helping people with retirement relocation decisions. In fact, eight of the top 10 state-to-state flows are to the Sunshine State. Rounding out the top 10 are California to Arizona and California to Nevada. The research, detailed in “Retirement Relocation: State-to-State Flows,” is in the March/April 2018 issue, available nationwide on Feb. 13.

 “Florida has dominated both retirement relocation and tourism for decades, and the two are related,” said Annette Fuller, editor of Where to Retire. “A beautiful vacation spot also would be a great place to retire, right? Census data certainly confirms this.”

A popular counter stream has people originally from the Northeast, who went to Florida, eventually leaving that state and coming “halfway back” to one of the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia or Alabama. “They are known as halfbacks,” Fuller said. “They may want to get closer to family, or they may simply miss all four seasons.”
Other interesting highlights include many retirees leaving California to retire to Texas and Oregon. Arizona also receives a lot of retirees from Washington, Minnesota and Illinois.

The study, commissioned by Where to Retire, was done by Don Bradley, a professor at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, who has specialized in retiree migration research since 2003. The story is the second in a series of four analyzing census data. Each story, running in four of the six 2018 issues, will have maps and charts outlining retiree migration trends.

Each year, 700,000 Americans relocate to new towns to retire. Generally, relocating retirees are healthier, better educated and more affluent than those who choose to not relocate. They bring significant economic benefits to their new states and hometowns. Nationally, two dozen states and hundreds of towns seek to attract retirees as a source of economic development.

Where to Retire, now in its 26th year of print, is published six times a year. The magazine covers the best retirement regions, towns and master-planned communities, and recently released its 10th biennial list naming the 50 best master-planned communities in the U.S. A one-year subscription is $18.

Partner Joel Raney, CEO of Raney's Inc. makes USF 2018 Outstanding Young Alumni List

Posted on: February 06, 2018

Seven University of South Florida alumni age 35 and younger will be recognized as Outstanding Young Alumni for their exceptional professional and charitable contributions.  

The award recipients boast an array of accomplishments, from a lawyer committed to philanthropy and public service, to a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player who has excelled in business and charity, to visionary entrepreneurs changing the marketplace through innovation and tenacity. They will receive their awards on May 18, 2018 at a special ceremony followed by a panel discussion during which they’ll share some of their secrets for success. 

USF’s Outstanding Young Alumni for 2018 are:

Hannibal L. Baldwin, Finance ’11, USF St. Petersburg – co-founder and co-CEO of award-winning tech company SiteZeus; co-founder of the popular Yogurtology franchise; and co-founder of B3 Ventures private equity and venture capital fund
 

R. Grant Baxley, Management Information Systems ’07 – founder and CEO of TeleVoIPs, a Tampa-based telecom company serving businesses across the country; named Emerging Technology Leader of the Year, Technology Connector of the Year, and earned TeleVoIPs a USF Fast 56 award for growing businesses
 

Vincent Terrell Jackson, Management ’16 – former San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver; co-owner of multiple successful Tampa Bay businesses including CTV Capital real estate investment firm and Cask Social Kitchen; founder-president of Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, a Pro Players Insiders Top 10 NFL Player Foundation 
 

Maja Lacevic, English and International Studies ’09 – arrived in the United States as a Bosnian war refugee and is now a business transactions and health care attorney with Trenam Law; has been steadfast in her dedication to service through groups including USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy and the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division
 

Reuben Pressman, Entrepreneurship ’11, USF St. Petersburg – founder and CEO of Presence, an education technology platform used by more than 100 higher educational institutions to increase student engagement, graduation rates, and workforce readiness; also deeply involved in community  nonprofits and economic development in St. Petersburg
 

Joel Raney, Civil Engineering ’11 – CEO of Raney’s Inc., an online retailer of custom accessories for trucks that has made repeat appearances on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing companies and is a two-time top 25 USF Fast 56 award recipient; founder of South Florida Strong, a USF apparel company
 

Dr. Venessa Walker, Biomedical Sciences ’04 – chiropractic physician, owner of Walker Chiropractic and Wellness Center and an international health and wellness speaker dedicated to numerous charitable causes, from work with USF alumni groups to religious groups to civic groups, including Boys and Girls Clubs and the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the Links, Inc.

About the USF Alumni Association

The USF Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization comprised of former students and friends of the University of South Florida. The association helps USF’s 325,000 alumni stay connected and provides meaningful ways for USF Bulls to support, promote and protect their university. For more information,  visit www.usfalumni.org, like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USFalumni or follow us on Twitter @USFAlumniAssn.

About the USF Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

The USF Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was established in 2004 to annually recognize young alumni who have demonstrated emerging and unique innovation, creativity and success in their careers. An awards ceremony and panel discussion featuring the 2018 recipients is planned for 6 p.m. May 18 at the Gibbons Alumni Center in Tampa. Tickets are $50 and go on sale March 1 at www.usfalumni.org/oyaa.

Marion County: Grant Funding Now Available For Local Community Events

Posted on: February 02, 2018

Whether they’re held on city streets or under a natural canopy of forest trees, Ocala/Marion County is home to a unique slate of vibrant community events that attract both residents and visitors alike. Those events – and new ones currently in the planning phases – may be eligible for financial support through a program offered through the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau. The Community Event Funding Program offers assistance of up to $5,000 to help local organizations promote events that provide community-based recreation for residents and visitors in Marion County. Interested agencies should submit applications for funding by April 15. 

The Community Event Funding Program, approved by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 17, 2017, provides start-up funding for organizations to develop events and become self-sufficient for future promotional funding. The Tourist Development Council created the program to increase the number of events for residents and visitors to enjoy, encourage local and visitor spending and enhance the overall Ocala/Marion County experience.

Applications for 2018 event funding must be submitted by April 15, 2018, and funding is awarded based on a competitive reward system. Community Event Funding Program applications will be accepted annually from Feb. 1 to April 15. For more information and program requirements, visit partners.OcalaMarion.com, or call 352-438-2800 to schedule an appointment with a staff member.

City of Ocala Improvesd ISO Rating to a Class 2

Posted on: January 31, 2018

Thursday, Jan. 25, the City of Ocala received the results of the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification (PPC™) evaluation. The report indicated the City of Ocala would improve from a Class 3/8B to an improved rating of 2/2Y for fire insurance. With this new rating, the City of Ocala is in the top three percent of all communities nationwide for their fire suppression delivery system.

ISO is a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance risk and currently evaluates 46,042 public fire service providers nationwide. Through the PPC program, ISO evaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. A community's investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. Insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance, which generally offers lower premiums in communities with better protection. Many communities use the PPC as a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of their fire-protection services. The PPC program is also a tool that helps communities plan for, budget and justify improvements.

The classification revision follows a thorough evaluation of three broad areas: Emergency Communications, Water Supply and the Fire Department. ISO rates municipalities on a scale of one to ten. A rating of one indicates the highest level of fire protection, while a ten shows an undeniable need for improvement in all areas of public protection. These ratings are then used by insurance companies to establish fair premiums for commercial and residential insurance.
ISO evaluations occur every five years. City of Ocala Water Resources Department, Marion County Public Safety Communications (PSC) and Ocala Fire Rescue devoted countless hours to identifying and addressing areas of improvement. According to City staff, some of the credits which positively affected the overall ISO included extension of City water lines, increase in the number of dispatchers, engine companies and reserve pumpers.

“This is a proud moment for our team,” said Bradd Clark, City of Ocala Fire Chief. “The City’s Water Resources Department and Marion County Public Safety Communications both embraced the opportunity to support our efforts. Ocala improved in all three categories of the PPC over the 2012 evaluation. Our team can now develop a roadmap to continued efficiencies and improvements in the PPC program."

Road Closures- Watula Avenue Roadway Improvement Project

Posted on: January 24, 2018

Due to construction for the Watula Avenue Roadway Improvement Project, Phase 1, portions of Watula Avenue will be closed beginning Monday, Feb. 5 and are expected to re-open in early April 2018. According to the City Engineer’s Office, this project will reduce flooding in the downtown area.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 5, Watula Avenue will be closed from Silver Springs Boulevard north to NE Second Street. Beginning in mid-February, SE Watula Avenue will be closed from E Silver Springs Boulevard to SE Broadway Street.

All necessary devices will be in place to re-direct traffic. Construction will take place Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and will not take place during any City-recognized holidays. During construction times, travelers may experience noise, dust and heavy equipment within the project area.

Detour routes:
• Northbound traffic will go north onto NE First Avenue, east onto NE First Street, ending on NE Watula Avenue.
• Southbound traffic will go west onto NE First Street, south onto NE Magnolia Avenue, east on W Fort King Street, ending on SE Watula Avenue.

For more information, please contact City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

LifeSouth Remains in Emergency Need- Donate Blood Today

Posted on: January 18, 2018

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers still faces emergency need for all blood types, especially type O, and is asking the community to donate blood today.
            The blood center remains on emergency appeal, although a decline in donations is typical during the winter and holiday months. LifeSouth needs the support of our community more than ever. Donors are urged to give blood during this critical time to ensure hospitals maintain the blood supply needed to save lives. Traumas and accidents can strike at any time, putting our community at risk.

            “If you’ve never donated before, now is the time,” said LifeSouth District Director, Ed Keith,  “Please don’t wait for a trauma to occur, your donation is needed now.”
            
            LifeSouth is at an “emergency” level, which means there is less than a 2-day supply available to replenish hospital inventory. All blood types are needed, especially type O negative, which is the universal donor and can be used by all patients in an emergency. Platelet donations are also critically needed now.
           
            All donors receive a thank you gift, and a mini-physical, including blood pressure, temperature, iron level and cholesterol screen.

Donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is needed. LifeSouth’s donor center in Ocala is located 1607 E. Silver Springs Blvd.  LifeSouth’s bloodmobiles will also be out at many locations in coming days. For additional information call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visit www.lifesouth.org.

New Hours of Operations- City of Ocala Building Department

Posted on: January 17, 2018

 Effective Monday, Feb. 5, the City of Ocala Building Department will implement new hours of operation. The City Building Department, located at 201 SE Third St., second floor, will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The current hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“The change in our operating hours will allow the City’s Permitting and Licensing staff time to hold departmental trainings and meetings, allowing them to keep up with current best practices and better serve our customers,” said Matt Leibfried, Chief Code Official, City of Ocala.

For more information, please contact Matt Leibfried, Chief Code Official, at building@ocalafl.org or 352-629-8421.

Formed - Based Code Community Meetings- Thursday, Jan. 18

Posted on: January 12, 2018

The City of Ocala will host two community meetings Thursday, Jan. 18 at noon and 5:30 p.m. at the Brick City Center for the Arts, 23 SW Broadway St. to solicit community feedback on a proposed form-based code zoning district that will apply to the downtown area.

“The City of Ocala had drafted a form-based code that caters to the needs of downtown Ocala per the Ocala 2035 Vision,” said David Boston, Senior Planner, City of Ocala. “A form-based code is different from conventional zoning districts because it focuses on the form and design of the built environment, rather than the separation of land uses. Input from these community meetings will help City staff ensure that the proposed code supports the community’s vision for our downtown area.”

Both community meetings will have a similar agenda, format and content. These meetings are free and open to the public; light refreshments will be provided.

To RSVP, or for more information, please contact Peggy Cash at 352-629-8287 or pcash@ocalafl.org.

Join Ocala Symphony Orchestra for Open Rehearsals

Posted on: January 11, 2018

‘Community Conversations 2’ Offer Direct Communication Line

Posted on: January 09, 2018

Marion County residents have on-going opportunities to share their concerns about public schools including a second annual series of face-to-face sessions with Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier in coming weeks.

“Community Conversations 2” are geographically planned so parents, taxpayers, residents, students and others can conveniently attend to learn more about the district and what drives the decisions being made. Maier, along with Deputy Superintendents Dr. Craig Ham and Dr. Jonathan Grantham, and key district leaders, will also address questions head-on.

These “Community Conversations” take place based on the following schedule with each session running 6PM-7:30PM:

•         Jan. 22, 6PM – Forest High Auditorium (5000 SE Maricamp Road., Ocala, 34480)
•         Jan. 29, 6PM – Reddick-Collier Elementary Cafeteria (4595 W. County Road 316, Reddick, 32686)
•         Jan. 30, 6PM - Vanguard High Cafeteria (7 NW 28 St., Ocala, 34475)
•         Feb.  5, 6PM – Harbour View Elementary Cafeteria (8445 SE 147 Place, Summerfield, 34491)
•         Feb.  6, 6PM - West Port High Wolf Pack Den (3733 SW 80 Ave., Ocala, 34481)

The public is invited and encouraged to attend these interactive sessions.  For more information, contact my office directly.

Bonkerz Comedy Productions Schedule for January and February 2018

Posted on: January 05, 2018

CTE Showcase Campus Tours Feb. 27 - May 8

Posted on: January 03, 2018

Road Closures for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March

Posted on: January 03, 2018

The following is a list of road closures that will be in effect for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March. The event will start Monday, Jan. 15 at 8 a.m. at the downtown Ocala square and will end at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Complex located at 1510 NW Fourth St.

Road closures effective Monday, Jan. 15 from 7:30 to 10 a.m.:
• SR 40 from NE Eighth Avenue to NW Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
• US 441 from SR 200/SW 10th Street to US 27/NW 10th Street
• S/N Magnolia Avenue from SW Fort King Street to NW First Street
• SW/NW Third Avenue from SW Third Street to NW First Street
• SW/NW Second Avenue from SW Third Street to NW First Street
• SW/NW First Avenue from SW Fort King Street to NW First Street
• SW/SE Broadway Street from US 441 to SE First Avenue
• SW/SE Fort King Street from US 441 to SW First Avenue
• SW Second Street from US 441 to SW First Avenue


Main detour routes:
• SR 40: NE Eighth Avenue to SR 492/NE/NW 14th Street to US 441 back to SR 40
• US 441: SR 200/SW 10th Street to SW/NW Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to US 27/NW 10th Street back to US 441
• S/N Magnolia Avenue (southbound): NE First Street to NE/SE Watula Avenue to SE Fort King Street back to S Magnolia Avenue
• SW/NW First Avenue: SW/SE Fort King Street to NE/SE Watula Avenue to NE/NW First Street back to NW First Avenue

City of Ocala Holiday Closure

Posted on: January 02, 2018

 City of Ocala business offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 15 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There will be no residential collection for sanitation, yard waste or recycling routes Monday, Jan. 15.

 

Residential sanitation collection regularly scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15 through Thursday, Jan. 18 will experience a one-day delay and will be collected Tuesday, Jan. 16 through Friday, Jan. 19.

 

Waste Pro recycling collection for City of Ocala residents regularly scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15 through Thursday, Jan. 18 will take place Tuesday, Jan. 16 through Friday, Jan. 19.

 

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

Marion County Fire Rescue Paid Training Academy Ignites Career Opportunities

Posted on: December 21, 2017

Marion County Fire Rescue and the Marion County Board of County Commissioners are reigniting the Non-Certified Fire Academy, to fill 45 Firefighter, Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician positions.

In collaboration with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, Marion Technical College and the Florida State Fire College, the program includes 22-weeks of paid training and guaranteed employment with MCFR upon certification. It is geared primarily for those with roots in Marion County but is open to candidates from Citrus and Levy counties as well.

A recruiting event will take place Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the College of Central Florida’s Webber Conference Center, 3001 SW College Road, in Ocala. Informational sessions will be held every 30 minutes.

MCFR is a department of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and is the second largest fire rescue department north of Orlando with more than 500 employees and volunteers housed in 31 fire stations. The department's full-time state certified firefighter/paramedics, firefighter/EMTs, EMTs and paramedics serve more than 300,000 citizens, cover 1,600 square miles (which is larger than the state of Rhode Island) and respond to an average of 210 emergencies a day.

MCFR Fire Chief James Banta, who is leading the program, said that by earning a paycheck while completing requirements, the program affords those interested in first-responder careers the opportunity to “follow their dream.”

Banta said the department experienced a high retention rate with its original graduates, adding that the academy results in “well-trained future firefighters who see Marion County and our surrounding communities as their home and want to give back to their fellow citizens.”

In addition to Florida Firefighter 1 and 2 and EMT certifications, training includes the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC) and Paramedic certification. All costs of training are covered.

Eligible trainee candidates must be US citizens at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, speak and read English and have a valid Florida driver’s license. MCFR conducts drug and criminal background checks. Also, applicants must have abstained from tobacco use for at least 12 prior months and may not use tobacco products during employment with the department.

Complete eligibility and program details can be found at http://www.marioncountyfl.org/departments-agencies/departments-a-n/fire-rescue/mcfr-recruiting. For more information about the program, call 352-291-8020.

Information about the January 10 recruiting event can be found on CareerSource CLM’s calendar of events or by calling 800-434-JOBS, ext. 1115.

City of Ocala Holiday Closures- Christmas, Dec. 25 and 26

Posted on: December 13, 2017

City of Ocala business offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday,
Dec. 26 in observance of Christmas. There will be no residential collection for sanitation, yard waste or
recycling routes Monday, Dec. 25.

Residential sanitation collection regularly scheduled for Monday, Dec. 25 through Thursday, Dec. 28 will
experience a one-day delay and will be collected Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 29.

Waste Pro recycling collection for City of Ocala residents regularly scheduled for Monday, Dec. 25
through Thursday, Dec. 28 will take place Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 29.

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

SCORE's Upcoming Business Workshops

Posted on: December 11, 2017

Increase Website Traffic 

Get customers to your business website!

Learn how to drive targeted, organic traffic to your website using simple SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques.
Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, from 12:30pm til 3:30pm, lunch included, in Leesburg. Register at http://conta.cc/2gAH6lL

Digital Marketing Trends 

Digital marketing is changing thanks to widespread ownership of smartphones, ever increasing data and video streaming, combined with a cultural desire for digestible and personalized content. Do you know which trends will impact YOUR organization? How can you jump on some of these trends to get an edge on your competition? You’re about to find out...
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 from 8:30am till 10:30am in Ocala, breakfast included. Register at http://conta.cc/2gCAh30

Simple Steps to a Well-Run Business 

Join your fellow small business owners in this series of three educational sessions.
Important strategies you will learn include how to:
Operate: Learn strategies for business funding and operations,
Navigate: Discover how to take the time for planning strategic thinking,
Communicate: Develop or refine your “Core Value” and learn ways to communicate it to others.
Each Thursday beginning Jan. 25, 2018, at 12:30pm for 3 weeks in Clermont, lunch included. Register at http://conta.cc/2itvVfc

Join our email news/ invite list. Just text MFSCORE to 22828

New Gander Outdoors four-day hiring event set for next week

Posted on: December 07, 2017

The first round of rebranded Gander Mountain stores are getting ready to open, including the new Gander Outdoors in Ocala. And that means jobs.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion has partnered with Gander Outdoors to hold a four-day hiring event, Dec. 11-14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the store – located in the former Gander Mountain – at 3970 SW Third St., Suite 101, in Ocala.

Gander Mountain shuttered last spring and its assets were picked up by Camping World, the nation’s largest retailer of recreational vehicles, parts and outdoor gear. The Ocala store is one of just a handful scheduled to open early in the new year.

Company representatives will be on site recruiting for full- and part-time Customer Service Associates as well as Service Technician Specialists, Products Specialists and Warehouse Specialists.

Starting wage is $12.25 an hour. Benefits include health insurance (medical, dental and vision) as well as paid vacation and holidays.

Interested candidates should register at www.EmployFlorida.com and submit an online application prior to attending. 

For more information, visit CareerSource CLM’s calendar of events or call 352-249-4378, ext. 1270 or 800-434-JOBS, ext. 1270.

Help Available to Those Displaced by Hurricane Maria

Posted on: December 07, 2017

Displaced by Hurricane Maria? CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is here to help

Posted on: December 05, 2017

– CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion can help those displaced by Hurricane Maria connect with employment opportunities and support services.

In addition to fee-free employment services, those here because of Hurricane Maria may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) through the Puerto Rico Department of Labor. 

Brenda Chrisman, career centers and business services officer for CareerSource CLM, said that local employers such as Central Florida Electric of Ocala and On Top of the World have expressed interest in hiring Puerto Rican refugees.

“What we’re really looking for now is help from the community to get the word out to those whose current priority is getting back on their feet while they are here,” Chrisman said.

Puerto Rico, home to 3.4 million US citizens, took a direct hit from the nearly Category 5 cyclone on September 20 – just two weeks after being strafed by Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Maria, described as a “50-to-60-mile wide tornado (that) raged across Puerto Rico like a buzz saw,” caused widespread damage and knocked out power which has not yet been fully restored.

Chrisman said that CareerSource CLM is among the 24 regions in the CareerSource Florida network committed to a strong Puerto Rico response effort.

Services are available in English and Spanish and include employment referrals, resume assistance, training and internship opportunities and access to additional funds and partner programs.

DUA provides financial assistance to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster declared by the President of the United States and who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Those interested in filing a DUA claim may do so online at http://www.trabajo.pr.gov/. An initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim may be filed by clicking on Reclamación Inicial (Initial Services) and a continued UI claim may be filed by clicking on Reclamación Semanas Subsiguientes (Claim Subsequent Weeks).

For assistance with the DUA application and filing process and/or employment services, those in Citrus or Levy counties should call 800-434-JOBS (5627), ext. 1119. Those in Ocala/Marion County should call 352-840-5700, ext. 1119 or visit the Career Center at 2703 NE 14th St., in Ocala.
The center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Ilianette Hernandez at 800-434-5627, ext. 1119 or visit careersourceclm.com/pages/maria.

HITS Announces who will Sponsor the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping of the United States of America 2018

Posted on: December 01, 2017

HITS is very excited to announce that Longines will be sponsoring the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping of the United States of America 2018, as well as the Longines Grand Prix during Week V of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida. Longines has been sponsoring equestrian events since the early 1900s and while their recent show jumping sponsorships include the FEI World Cup™ and the Longines Global Champions Tour, this is the first year they have been the title sponsor of the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping of the United States of America 2018.

The FEI Nations Cup is returning for its fourth year at HITS Post Time Farm and in 2018 will be an FEI CSIO5* event. Featuring the $300,000 Longines Grand Prix and the $450,000 Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping of the United States of America 2018, HITS Ocala Week V will offer over $1 million dollars in prize money.

Being added this year is a Nations Cup for Children and Juniors.  The competition follows a similar format to the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ and gives these young competitors an opportunity to show at a prestigious level of show jumping. "I am very excited for what this event will have to offer young up-and-coming equestrians.  With the finals being in the stadium and all to march in the Parade of Nations, held in Downtown Ocala Square, on Saturday alongside the professionals, it truly is a one of a kind experience for all competitors" says HITS Owner and CEO Tom Struzzieri.  This competition will also be held during Week V of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. For more information on the Children and Juniors Nations Cup, contact the HITS office at 845-246-8833.

Longines was established in 1832 and has dominated the Swiss watchmaking business ever since.  They began their passion for equestrian sports in 1878 and partnered with their first international show jumping competition in 1912.  Today their involvement in equestrian sports continues in show-jumping, endurance, eventing, and flat-racing competitions.

  

The second annual “Jump Downtown” event will be held in Ocala’s Downtown Square on Saturday, February 17, 2018.  Presented by Ocala Main Street, IHMC (The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition), and the CEP (Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership), Jump Downtown will feature a Parade of Nations honoring the countries and the riders participating in the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping event, followed by a Celebration of the Horse presentation of the 30-plus horse breeds showcasing the diversity of the “Horse Capital of the World”.  Additional festivities on the Square will include snacks, music, horse drawn carriage rides, s’mores, and more!  There were over 5,000 spectators for the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ and the goal is to get even more this coming year. “We are excited to have the opportunity to, once again, host this international event with Longines as the title sponsor” says Tom Struzzieri. The Longines Grand Prix will be held on Friday, February 16, 2018 and the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping of the United States of America 2018 will be held Sunday, February 18, 2018, both at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, FL.

Visit www.hitsshows.com for more information regarding the competition.

Home of the Famous Horsey Yard Sale!

Posted on: November 30, 2017

Join Tack Shack of Ocala for their famous horsey yard sale this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 3. 

Selling at the Yard Sale is $15 per car load for a 10x10 space. This money is donated to the Marion County Horse Specialty 4-H Club who are on hand selling breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, coffee, cold drinks and snacks.

Vendor setup on Yard Sale Saturday is between 6:30 and 8:30am. Vendor setup on Yard Sale Sundays is 7:30-9:30am. There are no reservations. It is always first come, first served so get here early to get a spot!

Stores are open for shopping 8am - 6pm on Horsey Yard Sale Saturdays and 9am - 4pm on Horsey Yard Sale Sundays!

In an effort to cut down on traffic jams and setup delays, we will be changing the vendor check in format. Setting up at the Horsey Yard Sale will be $15 per car load. If you plan to share a space with someone, all of your items and people must be in one vehicle.

NEW Horsey Yard Sale Preview Sale: Those of you that cannot make it to the Yard Sale on Saturday are welcome to come to the store Friday Dec 1st starting at 9 am, and we will offer 15% off storewide just like we do during the regular Horsey Yard Sale! So, if you are horse showing or leaving town for the weekend, or don't like crowds come see us Friday and you won't miss out on the savings!!!

The Famous Horsey Yard Sale occurs four times a year in conjunction with a massive store wide sale at Tack Shack of Ocala and Tack Shack Too, our Western store. Make sure you also check out our Clearance Room, in the back of Tack Shack Too, where already discounted merchandise is also on sale!

Our large back parking lot becomes an equine flea market with folks selling used tack, gently used stable equipment, and all kinds of other used horsey things you never knew you needed!

SELLERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SELL OUT OF TRAILERS TRUCKS OR CARS

Due to space constraints and safety issues vendors must provide their own tables, chairs, shade, and change. A space is 10' x 10' and vehicles must be moved away and parked OFF THE PROPERTY after unloading.

Please note all sales of new tack/apparel/items are prohibited.

We do NOT reserve spots or collect fees in advance for the Horsey Yard Sale, you pay as you enter.

We are located at 481 SW 60th Ave Ocala, Fl 34474

Across the street from the Ocala Airport.

If you have any questions please feel free to email Tackshackocala@yahoo.com or call us at 352 873 3599.

Public Invited to Open House at Saint Leo University-Ocala

Posted on: November 28, 2017

The public is invited to an open house at Saint Leo University’s Ocala Education Center from 3 to 7 p.m., Thursday, December 14.

Members of the Saint Leo-Ocala team will introduce themselves and the university’s programs. Some of the most popular programs offered in Ocala are human services, elementary and middle grades education, and criminal justice.

Hallmarks of the Ocala Education Center are access and convenience. Classes are available when students, mainly adult learners, need them, said Rena Thomas, center director.

Saint Leo University is a private, nonprofit university founded by Benedictine monks and sisters. The university honors its Benedictine roots by incorporating its core values in every class. One of the core values is “community,” and the Ocala Education Center works closely with the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership. The university offers CEP members and their employees a 10 percent discount.

The Ocala Education Center also works closely with many human services-related agencies and the Marion County Public Schools, and many students are hired for full-time positions following completion of their field placement.

Saint Leo University’s Ocala Education Center is at 1930 S.W. 38th Ave., Ocala, FL, 34474

For more information or special accommodations, contact the Ocala Education Center at (352) 671-3391, or by email at ocala@saintleo.edu.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University (www.saintleo.edu) is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving more than 13,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 90,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Road Closures: Ocala Christmas Parade- Saturday, Dec. 9

Posted on: November 28, 2017

The following is a list of road closures that will be in effect for the Ocala Christmas Parade, which will take place Saturday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Road closures effective Saturday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. –

 SE 25th Avenue from E Fort King Street to SE 14th Street

Detour routes –
 NE 25th Avenue (southbound) – E Fort King Street to SE 22nd Avenue to SE 14th Street, back to SE 25th Avenue
 SE 24th Avenue (northbound) – SE 14th Street to SE 30th Avenue to E Fort King Street to NE 36th Avenue to State Road 40 to State Road 492, back to NE 25th Avenue

Road closures effective Saturday, Dec. 9 from 3 p.m. to midnight –
 State Road 40 from NE 25th Avenue to N Pine Avenue/US 441
 SE/NE 25th Avenue from SE 14th Street to State Road 492
 E Fort King Street from SE 30th Avenue to SE 22nd Avenue
 NE 8th Avenue from State Road 40 to NE 14th Street/State Road 492

Detour routes –
 State Road 40 (eastbound) – US 441 to NW/NE 14th Street/State Road 492, back to State Road 40
 State Road 40 (westbound) – NE 3rd Street to NE 25th Avenue to State Road 492 to US 441, back to State Road 40
 SE/NE 25th Avenue (northbound) – SE 14th Street to SE 30th Avenue to E Fort King Street to NE 36th Avenue to State Road 40, back to NE 25th Avenue
 NE/SE 25th Avenue (southbound) – State Road 492 to NE 36th Avenue to E Fort King Street to SE 30th Avenue to SE 14th Street, back to SE 25th Avenue
 E Fort King Street (westbound) – SE 30th Avenue to SE 14th Street to SE 22nd Avenue, back to E Fort King Street
 E Fort King Street (eastbound) – SE 22nd Avenue to SE 14th Street to SE 30th Avenue, back to E Fort King Street
 NE 8th Avenue (southbound) – State Road 492 to US 441 to State Road 40 (westbound) or State Road 492 to State Road 40 (eastbound)

Please be aware, there may be other minor road closures as determined by the Ocala Police Department.

 

Please note, any chairs placed along the parade route prior to Wednesday, Dec. 6 will be removed by the City of Ocala Public Works Department. This policy is in place as a precaution to prevent chairs from interfering with vehicular and pedestrian traffic. To retrieve chairs that have been removed by the Public Works Department, please call 352-351-6733 to schedule a time to pick them up.

For more information regarding these road closures, please contact the City of Ocala Public Works Department at 352-351-6733. For more information about the Ocala Christmas Parade, please call 352-624-2022.

Barnes & Noble Bookfair supporting Episcopal Children's Services

Posted on: November 22, 2017

Get Your Paws on a New Career

Posted on: November 22, 2017

City of Ocala Begins Upgrades at Water Reclamation Facility #3

Posted on: November 21, 2017

Monday, Nov. 20 the City of Ocala began construction to upgrade the air system at Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) #3 located at 3100 SW 67th Ave. This project is expected to be completed by early April 2018.

“This project will upgrade the aeration equipment at WRF #3,” said Robyn Preston, Plant Supervisor, WRF #3. “This upgrade will allow for a better waste water treatment and nutrient reduction and will also ensure optimum treatment for current and future flows.”

During construction, residents may experience strong odors, noise, dust and heavy equipment around the project area. Construction will be limited to weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will not occur during any City-recognized holidays.

For more information, please contact the City Engineer’s Office, Capital Projects Division at 352-629-8419.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, NOV. 25

Posted on: November 21, 2017

City of Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn has proclaimed Saturday, November 25, 2017 to be Small Business Saturday.  This is in conjunction with the nationwide yearly tradition founded by American Express known as Shop Small. 

Who: Ocala Main Street

What: Small Business Saturday

Where: Downtown Ocala

When: November 25, 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Why: This is an effort to build the local economy by supporting the smaller businesses in our community. This is a great way to celebrate entrepreneurship.

Shoppers are encouraged to register in advance so they are eligible for giveaways. Prizes include Downtown dollars that can be used the day of the event. Buyers will receive campaign swag like a tote bag and a “Downtown Passport.” Get your passport stamped for a chance to win additional prizes. 

The Ocala Main Street was created to create a thriving, unique, and livable Downtown Ocala through events, culture, and economic revitalization.
For more information, visit: www.OcalaMainStreet

HDG Hotels acquires a Best Western and begins construction on SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Posted on: November 20, 2017

HDG Hotels has added the 137 room Best Western – Ocala (3701 38th Avenue) to its portfolio. The newly acquired property is located just off College Road/SR 200, where HDG will also soon begin construction of a SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

“HDG is headquartered in Ocala, so adding these two properties helps us grow the positive impact we can make in our own backyard and that’s our vision - to positively impact the people and the world around us,” says HDG Hotels CEO and President Navroz Saju. “We are proud to be a part of this community and to be investing in it once again.”

The addition of these two properties represents an additional $21 million invested in the Ocala market by the growing company and will bring the number of hotel rooms in Marion County owned and operated by HDG Hotels to nearly 600.

About HDG Hotels
Founded in 2005, HDG Hotels is a hotel development and management company headquartered in Ocala/Marion County, Florida. In 2018, HDG anticipates growing its portfolio to 15 hotels and 1,387 rooms reaching coast to coast across Central Florida. Hdghotels.com

YMCA 22nd Annual Turkey Trot 5k & 10k

Posted on: November 13, 2017

 Register here!

Business, Engineering, & Logistics Leadership Career Fair

Posted on: November 09, 2017

Cyber Security - What's Your Risk

Posted on: November 09, 2017

MzeroA.com Partner With Funeral Directors to Make Roberts Funeral and Cremations Locally Owned

Posted on: November 09, 2017

Roberts of Ocala is once again family owned and operated.

Ocala businessman Chester Weber of Live Oak International and Jason Schappert of MzeroA.com have partnered with longtime funeral directors Bill Johnson, Terry Roberts, and Josh Leverette to bring Roberts Funerals and Cremations back to being locally owned and family operated.

“Our family serving yours. It’s not only our new motto but a philosophy we live by here at the new Roberts of Ocala.” Says Bill Johnson who’s been serving Central Florida families for the past 20 years as a funeral director.
Roberts of Ocala is operating out of their historic downtown facility located at 606 SW 2nd Ave, Ocala, FL 34471.

“We’ve been investing tens of thousands of dollars towards the renovations to make this facility the premier funeral home in the area. We invite the entire community to come visit and see the changes we’re making first hand. Of course we’re also using local Ocala businesses to make it happen.” says funeral director Josh Leverette.

← Back