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How-to guide - Ocala.com

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How-to guide
2
Editor
David Moore
david.moore@starbanner.com
867-4067
Cover photo
Alan Youngblood/Star-Banner
Cover design
Richard Burgos/Star-Banner
Cover family
Chris and Lindsey Hanes of
Ocala enjoy time with their
daughter, Caroline, 11
months, at Hampton Beach on
Lake Weir.
Living Here is an annual
publication of the
Star-Banner and Ocala.com
10 things you need to know about ...
Why it’s great to live here
4
Local events not to miss
24
Talking like the locals
4
The arts scene
30
The weather
5
Restaurants and dining
32
Celebrities with ties to Ocala
6
Shopping
34
The history of Marion County 8
The local economy
38
Getting around town
13
The horse industry
40
Your elected officials
16
The local housing market
41
Public safety and police
19
Outdoors fun
44
Health care in Marion
20
Recreational sports
46
Our schools and education
22
Spectator sports
47
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CT
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O
IT
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HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
LIVING HERE
3
Promise
for the future
Investing in CFCC’s Promise for the Future Fund means
enabling the college to create and expand programs that are
relevant to the needs of our region, for which the college does
not typically receive state funding. With a mission founded on
encouraging positive individual and community development,
shareholders’ returns on their investments in CFCC are
promising for many reasons.
After all, we all benefit when
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educational programs. Shareholders at CFCC truly have
investments that directly grow individuals, our college and the
community in meaningful ways. Become an investor in
CFCC’s Promise for the Future Fund today and be a
shareholder in a very promising future. Contact Lisa
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3001 SW College Road | Ocala, FL 34474-4415 | 352.873.5808 | www.cfccfoundation.org | Lisa E. Lombardo
4
Top 10 reasons to be glad you live here
BY JOE BYRNES
Star-Banner
The annual Star-Banner magazine “Living Here” — which
you are reading — is a keeper.
Its pages are full of helpful
information about this beautiful North Central Florida county. Now for something completely different.
Features editor David Moore
wanted a Top 10 list of reasons
you can be glad you live in
Marion County. The film and
TV writers were on strike, and,
to be perfectly frank, I doubt he
could afford to hire David Letterman’s crew anyway.
I’ll just have to do the best I
can.
Imagine Paul Shaffer and the
CBS Orchestra performing the
intro. Then picture County
Commissioner Jim Payton as
Santa Claus and Ocala Mayor
Randy Ewers as the No. 2 elf as
they take turns reading the Top
10 Reasons to Be Glad We Live
in Marion County:
10. Thanks to Vanguard High
graduate Daunte Culpepper,
Payton
_________
Ewers
_________
you could root for the Vikings,
then the Dolphins and then the
Oakland Raiders. Now THAT’S a
winning combination.
9. The Jorge
G u t m a n
Diorama in
downtown Ocala. This unique,
life-size display
presents the
modern retail
development
project frozen,
as it were, at a
moment in time.
Wouldn’t you
much rather
visit this educational exhibit
than a silly old ice rink?
8. We can wake up any day to
find a Florida black bear in the
back yard. (Hey, hey, Boo-Boo!
Don’t give him any reason to
have a pic-a-nic there.)
7. The roadside poets of Hercules Fence. If they
haven’t insulted handicapped people or
encouraged domestic
violence in the past
couple of months, I’m
sure they’ll get back
in the game soon.
6. Gator fans. The
local fans of FSU,
Miami and other
teams appreciated
the quiet, understated, even humble way in which
UF fans have
responded to their
teams’ recent
success.
5. Tas-T-O Donuts.
No, seriously.
4. The incredible
weather, for goodness
sake. Hurricanes,
droughts, floods,
tornadoes ... it’s why so many
people choose to retire here.
3. Our county commissioners
have PhD’s in road repair, trash
disposal and the preservation of
crystal clear springs. After all,
they’ve studied those issues
ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER/1999 FILE
Drivers love to take a
leisurely drive down
Southwest 17th Street. At
times during the day it’s so
leisurely, traffic is at a
standstill.
long enough. So what if they
haven’t actually done
anything?
2. We have the opportunity
every day to enjoy a leisurely
drive on State Road 200 or 17th
Street or South U.S. 441.
1. It isn’t Orlando . . . yet.
Quiet, humble Gator fans like
to show everyone “It’s Great
to be a Florida Gator!”
THE GAINESVILLE SUN/FILE
First thing’s first: You need to know how to talk the talk
Left: It might be a little hard to pronounce,
but the Ocklawaha River is a popular
place to canoe. Below: You either love �em
or hate �em — boiled peanuts. If you are
from the South, it’s a tradition. If you are
from the North, it’s hard to imagine eating
wet peanuts out of the shell.
BY ANTHONY VIOLANTI
Star-Banner
OCALA — All right class,
today we will learn to talk the
talk in Central Florida.
Lesson No. 1 is how to pronounce “Ocala.”
Some say, “oak-ca-la.”
Others say, “oh-cah-la.”
But the real, down-home
locals say it this way: “oh-cAL(as in CALifornia)-la.”
Why does every
street address seem
to have at least
three names?
So, the next time a State
Trooper stops you on Interstate75 and asks, �Where’ya going
buddy in such a hurry?” You
just smile, look at him and say:
“Officer, I’m heading to oh-cALla.”
He will still give you a ticket,
but at least you said it right.
Now, here are the rest of our
Top 10 Central Florida pronunciation challenges.
Boiled peanuts. The Southern boys and girls say it this
way: “bold-peanuts.” Say it fast,
without pause, especially when
LEE FERINDEN/STAR-BANNER/2007 FILE
ordering in a bar.
Sweetened tea. Are you kidding? Hey, this is Marion County! When you go in a restaurant, you ask for “swee-tee.”
Bealls. Bealls is the name of a
department store, not to be
confused with Jennifer Beals of
“Flashdance” fame. Down here
locals call the store, “bells.”
Chick-fil-A. One time I
wanted some chicken so I told
my fellow Central Florida pals I
was going to chick-ah-fill-ah.
They still kid me about it. Say
it: chick-fill-lay (think filet).
Gecko. Those cute little lizards are geck-ohs, as in Gordon
(”greed is good”) Gekko from
the 1987 film “Wall Street.”
Remember gecko is a lizard,
Geico is an insurance company.
Randy Ewers. The last name
of the mayor of Ocala is
pronounced “you-werez.” Not
“ooh-werez.”
Ocklawaha. The river flows
and it’s said “ock-la-wah-ha.”
Not “ack-lo-waha.”
Withlacoochee. Whether
you’re talking about the river
or the planning council, it’s
pronounced just like it looks —
with-lah-coo-chee.
Kissimmee. You know the
place near Disney, “kah-semme,” not, as Dean Martin might
have sang: “kiss-a-me.”
Pedro. The little town south
NYTRMG/FILE
of Belleview and Summerfield
is pronounced “pee-droh” not
“pay-droh.”
Finally, it has nothing to do
with pronunciation, but why
does every street address seem
to have at least three names?
Consider where I work, at the
Star-Banner on 2121 S.W. 19th
Ave. Road. (Try asking some
guy on the street for directions
using that address. Is it an avenue or is it a road?). It’s also
called “Easy” Street, even
though it’s filled with cars and
congestion.
2007-2008
5
Be prepared for anything when it comes to Florida weather
BY JOE CALLAHAN
Southern Marion
County is part of an
area called
Lightning Alley, a
zone that runs from
Tampa to Cocoa
Beach and
northward into the
south end of the
county.
Star-Banner
Florida’s wacky weather, from
hurricanes, tornadoes and
thunderstorms to heat waves,
droughts and forest fires, leaves
newcomers not knowing what
to expect.
And within the last 10 years,
Marion County has experienced
all of these phenomenons, not
to mention lightning, floods,
freezes and torrential rainfall.
In the fall and winter, Marion
County is usually dry and cool.
It often features at least one day
of freezing temperatures. In the
fall and summer, the area can
be turbulent, often leaving residents scratching their heads.
Spring often features little
rain, subsequent drought and
an occasional forest fire. That
often gives way to heat waves
and summertime thunderstorms that trigger lightning,
torrential rains and sometimes
tornadoes.
Though Marion County,
which is larger than the state of
Rhode Island, is an inland
county, it still gets its fair share
of problems and is not immune
from hurricane threats.
It’s these weather topics that
make living in Florida a challenge, one where many people,
especially newcomers, often feel
blindsided by the freaky trends
of nature that the Sunshine
State produces.
TORNADOES
Americans always connect
Florida with hurricanes but
never think of the state for its
tornadoes, usually believed to
be only a threat in the Midwest.
Historically, Florida is tied for
third for producing twisters.
Along with Kansas, the Sunshine State averages 55 tornadoes a year, which is based on
National Weather Service
records since 1950. Texas leads
the way with more than 100
annually.
FLOODS
The Withlacoochee River
sometimes reaches flood stage
and especially impacts an area
called Arrowhead subdivision,
which is just on the other side
of the river just off State Road
200 in Citrus County.
The last major flood was in
March 1998 after the area experienced record winter rainfall,
20 inches more than normal in
the four months before the
flood. But once it subsided, a
record drought began.
HEAT WAVES
Marion County’s summers
can often be brutal, with
Above: A truck plows through
standing water on Southwest 17th
Street in Ocala. In Central Florida
in the summertime, you can
expect a thunderstorm almost
every afternoon, so bring along
the umbrella. Right: It’s important
to stay hydrated when you’re
outdoors in the hottest months of
the year. Florida’s high humidity
makes it feel warmer than the
temperature on the thermometer.
STAR-BANNER FILE
temperatures hitting near 100
degrees on some days, even
though the average temperature is only 92 degrees during
June, July and August.
But actually what impacts
most people is the humidity.
Often high percentages of
humidity mean that a 90degree day could actually feel
like 105 degrees.
DROUGHT
Marion County has seen its
share of droughts in the last
decade, but none worse than a
three-year period that began in
April 1998.
During those three years,
rainfall deficits ranged from 22
inches to more than three feet.
But in June 2001, regular rain
began falling. In fact, from June
1, 2001 to December 2002, 79
inches of rain fell.
WILDFIRES
After the March 1998 floods,
the rain stopped falling and by
Memorial Day, wildfires were
burning all across the state.
During the next six weeks, Florida had its worst outbreak in
history.
By July 4 that year, when
firefighters from all around the
country finally got a hold on
the blazes, more than 500,000
acres had burned and hundreds
of homes and businesses were
destroyed.
THUNDERSTORMS
Marion County has more
thunderstorms each year than
most any other place in the
United States. In fact, there are
90 thunderstorm days, most
between June and October,
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
70Лљ
73Лљ
78Лљ
83Лљ
88Лљ
91Лљ
92Лљ
92Лљ
90Лљ
84Лљ
77Лљ
72Лљ
annually.
Most of the storms form
along a line near Interstate 75,
a place where the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean breezes
collided, prompting many
thunderstorms to form.
LIGHTNING
The area is also one that gets
more lightning strikes than
most any other place in the
country. Researchers say 37,000
bolts of lightning strike Marion
46Лљ
47Лљ
52Лљ
56Лљ
63Лљ
69Лљ
71Лљ
71Лљ
69Лљ
61Лљ
53Лљ
47Лљ
3.55
3.11
4.02
2.78
3.55
7.20
6.20
5.84
5.60
2.71
2.47
2.65
The highest recorded temperature was 105ЛљF in 1985
The lowest recorded temperature was 11ЛљF in 1981
SOURCE: www.weather.com
STAR-BANNER
County each year.
Southern Marion County is
part of an area called Lightning
Alley, a zone that runs from
Tampa to Cocoa Beach and
northward into the south end
of the county.
RAINFALL
Marion County has averaged
50 inches of rain over the last
century, ranging from the highest monthly average of 7.71
inches in July to lowest
amounts of 2.12 inches in
November.
The record rainfall for any
year on record was 74.71 inches
in 1982. The wettest day on
record was April 8, 1982, where
11.72 inches fell, leading April
1982 to the wettest month ever
with 16.72 inches.
HURRICANES
Historically speaking, Marion
County had dodged these
storms for about a century.
That was until 2004 when two
hurricanes, Frances and Jeanne,
slammed the county just weeks
apart.
Frances, which struck on
Sept. 5, damaged 2,000 homes
and caused about $20 million
in damages. Jeanne, which
came two weeks later, didn’t
damage as many homes or
cause as much damage.
FREEZES
Marion County is also not
immune to freezing temperatures, even though January’s
average low temperature is 46
degrees. The area was slammed
with three major freezes in
1983, 1985 and 1989.
In all three of those freezes,
temperatures dipped into the
mid-teens. In fact, most of the
citrus north of State Road 50
was killed after the first freezes
and completely finished off in
1989.
6
Marion County is home to some famous faces
BY ANTHONY VIOLANTI
last year with Miami, but this
season his career has been resurrected in Oakland. Culpepper
has said that the biggest influence in his life was his adopted,
late mother, Emma, who raised
him in Ocala.
Drayton Florence. Another
National Football League
player with
the San Diego
Chargers. Florence is a
defensive
back who
graduated
f r o m Va n Florence
guard High ___________
School. He
was a 2003 second-round draft
pick by the Chargers out of
Tuskegee University and is still
going strong.
Star-Banner
You might say the entertainment capital of Marion County
is Anthony.
The little town has the area’s
biggest star — John Travolta.
Travolta, who starred in two
of this year’s box office hits —
“Wild Hogs” and “Hairspray” —
heads our Top Ten list of local
celebrities.
This year, Travolta talked to
the Star-Banner in an extensive
personal interview, breaking
nearly a five-year silence with
local media. He also held his
first local charity event, the
March premier of “Wild Hogs.”
Travolta helped raise money
for the Marion Theatre restoration project and also victims of
the tornado that hit the area in
February. He wrote out a
$15,000 personal check to help
the tornado victims.
Marion County and Anthony
gives Travolta balance in his
life. It’s a place where a movie
star can live like a regular guy.
“I love rubbing elbows with
life and real people,” Travolta,
53, told the Star-Banner. “I
don’t like living in ivory towers.
That just doesn’t work for me,
and it never has. I tried it and it
doesn’t make me happy.”
Kellie Preston, his wife and a
famed actress, agreed.
“The reason we live here is
we can have a normal life,” Preston said. She shares a home
with Travolta in Anthony, along
with their two children.
Travolta is at the top, but
here is the rest of the list of
celebrities with Marion County
connections:
Mel Tillis. The longtime
country music star, songwriter
and comedian finally earned
his proper recognition in
2007. Tillis, 75,
was inducted
into
the
C o u n t r y
Music Association Hall of
Fame in October. Earlier,
Tillis
___________ he also was
inducted into
the Grand Ole Opry. Tillis
bought a farm in Ocala about
five years ago. “I really fell in
love with Ocala. It’s where I
live.”
Walter Ray Williams Jr. One
of the best professional bowlers
in the world, Williams is also a
horseshoe champ. In his spare
time he plays professional golf.
Put it all together and you have
ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER/2007 FILE
John Travolta and Kelly Preston wave to fans as they arrive for the premier of his movie
“Wild Hogs” last March in Ocala. The charity event raised money for the Marion Theatre
restoration project and also victims of the tornado that hit the area in February.
one of America’s most
remarkable
athletes. Williams, who has
a degree in
physics, lives
at the Country
Club of Ocala
with his wife, Williams
Pa i g e Pe n - ___________
nington. Williams last year set an all-time
Professional Bowlers Association record with 42 title wins.
He is a hall of famer in both
horseshoe pitching and
bowling.
Brad Copeland. He graduated from Forest High School
and attended Central Florida
Community College. This year
Copeland wrote “Wild Hogs,”
starring John
Tr a v o l t a . I t
debuted at No.
1 at the box
office and has
made nearly a
half billion
dollars worldwide. Copeland, 31,
Copeland
started out ___________
w r i t i n g fo r
David Letterman when he was
20. He moved on to a writing
job on “Grounded For Life.”
From there came “Arrested
Development,” a Fox Network
hit that earned Copeland an
Emmy Award. Two years ago,
Copeland became supervising
producer of NBC’s “My Name Is
Earl.” Copeland now lives in
L.A. but will never forget Ocala.
“That community inspires creativity,” he said. “I felt I really
grew up in Ocala, as a person
and a writer.”
Bobby Goldsboro. The famed
�60s and �70s’ singer had a
string of hits that included: “See
the Funny Little Clown,”
“Watching Scotty Grow,” “Honey” and “Little Things.” Goldsboro, who is based in Ocala and
still tours,
hosted a television show in
the �70s. His
songs have
been recorded
by such artists
as Aretha
Franklin, John
Denver, Paul Goldsboro
Anka, Dolly ___________
Parton and
Bette Midler. In recent years,
Goldsboro has been writing and
producing children’s books,
records and television show. His
work has been presented on
CBS, PBS and the Disney Channel.
commercial actor, U.S. senate
candidate in New York, golf
club owner in Ocala, and real
estate mogul. She is also a wife,
mother of four and grandmother of
nine. Castro
teamed up
with golf
architect Rees
Jones to redesign
the
championship
golf course at
Golden Hills Castro
Golf & Turf ___________
Club in Marion County. Her late father
retired here and founded the
golf club. She is committed to
preserving the memory of her
parents, Bernard and Theresa
Castro, here. “My parents loved
Ocala and the community. I
didn’t want them to be forgotten,” she said.
Two National Football League
players: Daunte Culpepper.
The Vanguard High School grad
set passing records at the University of Central Florida,
before being
drafted by the
Minnesota
Vikings. He
Bernadette Castro. She is a
became an
former New York State CommisNFL star until
sioner of Parks and Recreation
suffering a
with deep family ties to Ocala.
knee injury
Castro was described by the
two seasons
Ocala Business Journal as a
ago. Culpepbusiness executive, television Culpepper
___________ per struggled
“Big Daddy” Don Garlits.
The drag racing legend has
spent more
than a half
century in the
sport. During
the 1980s, he
opened the
Don Garlits
Museum of
Drag Racing
in Ocala, and Garlits
it remains a ___________
top attraction.
He has been described as drag
racing’s “Babe Ruth.”
George Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner is best known as the
owner of the
New York Yankees but “the
Boss” spends a
lot of time in
Florida and
has deep ties
to Ocala. He
owns several
b u s i n e s s e s Steinbrenner
here, includ- ___________
ing hotels and
a thoroughbred racing farm.
Kimberly Leemans. She
made it to the final 13 contestants this year
on the television show
“A m e r i c a ’s
N e x t To p
Model.” Leemans, 20,
graduated
f r o m We s t
P o r t H i g h Leemans
School. She ___________
attended Florida International University in
Miami and has been described
as having “Cover Girl” looks
and a “vibrant persona.”
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
LIVING HERE
7
8
How did we get where we are today?
BY DARRELL G. RILEY
Ocklawaha and Silver rivers to
Silver Springs, the area’s port to
the world dominated transportation during the 1870s and
1880s.
Railroad building would
make Marion the crossroads of
Florida again during the 1880s.
Numerous train lines came into
and out of Marion during this
time making it possible to ship
agricultural products to places
as far away as New York in less
than a week
The county would continue
to be a crossroads of the state
throughout the 20th century
with the development of thoroughfares like state roads 40
and 200, and federally funded
roads like U.S. 41, U.S. 27, U.S.
301, U.S. 441 and Interstate 75.
Special to the Star-Banner
So you hate history? That’s
too bad, because our past helps
us understand how we got to
our present, and aids us in
choosing the direction we
might want to go toward in our
future.
Marion County’s past is rich
and diverse and any newcomer
(or old timer, for that matter)
should have some idea of the
history of his or her home. So
here are 10 things you should
know about Marion County
(with maybe a bonus item or
two):
EARLY INDIANS
Human occupation of what
eventually became Marion
County began at least 15,000
years in the past. The ancient
Indians we know the most
about today are the people the
first Spanish explorers like Hernando de Soto and his men
found here during the 1500s.
Three different groups that
were part of the overall tribe of
natives the Spanish would call
the Timucua lived in this
region — the Acuera, the
Poitano and the Ocali.
TOWNS AND CITIES
Many of the urban locations
of Marion County are tied to
the coming of the railroads and
the burgeoning citrus industry
after the Civil War.
The site chosen for the location of Marion’s new county
seat in 1846 was tied to the
land for the town being along
the old military road. The name
of this new town was debated
at a general county meeting
held in February 1846. Some
supported calling the new
county seat Palos, after the
town in Spain that Columbus
sailed from in 1492 on his voyage of discovery. Others wanted
to name it for the Indians that
Hernando de Soto described in
this region during his 1539
march through the area. The
second name won out, and
Ocala became the agreed-upon
name.
SEMINOLES
The Indians we know today
as the Seminoles were originally Creek town groups that
were moved into Florida after
Queen Anne’s War, 1702-1713,
and the Yamasee War in South
Carolina in 1715.
When the United States took
over Florida as a territory in
1821, new American settlers
demanded the government do
something about the natives. A
reservation for the Seminoles
was created by a treaty signed
in 1823, and the Indian agency
was located near present-day
Ocala. The agency was guarded
by a military installation called
Fort King that was originally
built in 1827.
A major war would break out
between the U.S. and the Seminoles in the 1830s and 1840s.
The first battles of the Second
Seminole War occurred simultaneously in this region on Dec.
28, 1835. On that day, a company of more than 100 soldiers
under Maj. Francis Dade was
attacked and wiped out near
present-day Bushnell by a
group of Seminoles under the
leadership of Micanopy.
Another group of Seminoles
under the leadership of Osceola
attacked and killed the hated
Indian agent, Wiley Thompson,
and a small group of soldiers
AGRICULTURE
FLORIDA ARCHIVES
Steamboat service on the Ocklawaha and Silver rivers to Silver Springs – the area’s port
to the world — dominated transportation during the 1870s and 1880s.
near Fort King.
CROSSROADS OF FLORIDA
Marion County was created
by the territorial legislature in
1844, but even before that this
region was known as the “crossroads” of Florida.
The Spanish found and used
major Indian trails through the
region.
The major military road
connecting Tampa Bay to Jacksonville would go past the Seminole agency and Fort King.
This “wire road” would be the
foundation for what would
become U.S. 301.
Steamboat service on the
Marion County thrived after
the Second Seminole War as a
sugar cane and cotton growing
region. At least 33 plantations
were created here before the
Civil War under the aegis of the
Armed Occupation Act of 1842
that gave land away free to settlers who could defend it.
After the Civil War, Marion
became the center of the growing citrus industry in Florida. In
fact, the whole county was covered by citrus groves by the
time we got to the 1880s. Two
variety of oranges, the Parson
Brown and the Pineapple, that
were the mainstay of the Florida citrus industry were developed in Marion County groves
during the 1870s. The citrus
industry eventually would be
wiped out by a series of three
killer freezes in the 1980s.
2007-2008
but it was men like Bonnie
Heath and Jack Dudley that
began breeding Triple Crown
champions in Marion as early
as the 1940s and 1950s.
Today, Marion proudly calls
itself “The Horse Capital of the
World” because of the hundreds of farms that feature dozens of equine breeds.
CIVIL WAR
Marion County, like most
counties in Florida, sent 90 percent of its white, male population over the age of 16 to fight
in the War Between the States.
More than 1,000 men would
become part of units attached
to the Confederate States of
America army.
Marion County would be
invaded in March of 1865 when
Union forces came up the St.
Johns and Ocklawaha rivers to
destroy sugar making equipment and capture stockpiled
sugar at several plantations
along the Silver River, including
the famous Marshall plantation.
POPULATION EXPLOSION
RACE RELATIONS
Reconstruction was a difficult period throughout the
defeated South, and Marion
County was no exception. Eventually, the hated system of
sharecropping would become a
part of the local economy as
agriculture made a comeback
in the 1870s and 1880s.
Numerous African-American
families would gain their own
land during the period and
become the bedrock of today’s
thriving black community. Several blacks owned businesses in
downtown Ocala and along
West Silver Springs Boulevard
by the time we got to the early
1900s, creating a burgeoning
black middle class.
The rise of greater racism and
the advent of the segregationist
“Jim Crow” laws in the early
20th century led to most of the
black-owned businesses along
the west side of the downtown
Ocala square being closed or
taken over by white owners by
the 1930s.
TOURISM
Marion County’s many natural wonders have been the
heart of its tourism industry
from the very beginning, but
none has been as popular as Silver Springs.
9
FLORIDA ARCHIVES
Aerial view from 1947 shows downtown Ocala with the old Marion County Courthouse.
Even before the Civil War, the
w a t e r s o f S i lv e r S p r i n g s
attracted visitors from the
North to take the “cure.” After
the war, steamboats would
bring thousands of visitors
every winter down the St.
Johns, Ocklawaha and Silver
rivers to the 300-bed hotel at
Silver Springs. It was during the
late 19th century that the
famous “glass-bottom boats”
would be developed. As a
result, Silver Springs has been a
nationally known tourist attraction ever since.
Another tourist attraction in
Marion featured the Wild West
as its theme, Six Gun Territory,
opened across East Silver
Springs Boulevard from Silver
Springs in the 1960s. It would
eventually close its doors in the
early 1980s.
THOROUGHBREDS
Although Maj. Gen. Andrew
Jackson would introduce the
thoroughbred breed of horse to
Florida in 1821, it was not until
the 1930s that the first major
horse farms opened in the state.
Carl Rose, who made his fortune in the lime rock industry,
would open his Rosemere Farm
just east of Ocala in the 1930s,
The first major subdivision
created in Marion County to
attract winter visitors and retirees was Coronado Springs
between Lake Weir and the
Ocklawaha River in 1949.
The first major influx of retirees into Marion came with the
opening of On Top of the World
along State Road 200 in the
1970s. The impact on the
county by these new older residents can be seen well beyond
the retirement and other gated
communities that have sprung
up like mushrooms after a
rainstorm. In the past 40 years,
Marion has developed an economy that relies more on manufacturing and service than on
catering to retirees or waiting
for the “snowbirds” and other
tourists to stop here.
A clear sign of this is the tremendous boom in population,
not just those over 65 years old,
during the last four decades.
The U.S. Census of 1970
showed the Marion County
population at just over 69,000,
the most recent estimate by the
University of Florida put the
county’s population at more
than 325,000 — a 471 percent
increase in 37 years.
LIVING HERE
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11
2007-2008
Get the answers to some everyday questions
Code Enforcement at 671-8902.
In Dunnellon, call 465-8500; in
Belleview, 245-7021 x2103: in
Ocala, 351-6730.
BY TOM MCNIFF
Star-Banner
Marion County is a big place,
and it can seem a lot bigger and
more confusing if you don’t
know where to turn for basic
public services.
Fortunately, many of the
essential public services are
strategically dispersed throughout this 1,600-square-mile
county to ensure that everyone
has access. The county library
system and the Tax Collector’s
Office, for example, feature
branches in every major
community.
Where do I register to vote?
The Marion County Supervisor of Elections handles all voting and election matters for
Marion County and its local
municipal governments. For all
voting information, call the
office at 620-3290, or visit their
W e b
s i t e
a t
http://www.votemarion.com.
NEW YORK TIMES/FILE
If you plan to travel abroad
Where can I go to get licens- and don’t have a passport,
you can apply for one at the
es, or to register a vehicle?
The Marion County Tax Col- Marion County Clerk of
lector’s Office does more than Courts.
just collect your property taxes
each year. These offices, which
are strategically located
throughout Marion County,
issue driver’s licenses, boating
licenses, hunting and fishing
licenses, vehicle registrations
and more. The Tax Collector’s
main office is at 503 S.E. 25th
Ave., but there are also locations in Belleview, Dunnellon,
State Road 200 and north Ocala. Call 368-8200 for more
information, or visit the Tax
Collector’s Web site at http://
www.mariontax.com/
Where do I go for a marriage license?
The Marion County Clerk of
Courts issues marriage licenses
and performs wedding ceremonies. To apply for a license, visit
the Marion County Clerk’s
Office, Room 111 of the county
courthouse, 110 N.W. First Ave.
in Ocala. The courthouse is at
the corner of U.S. 301/441 and
State Road 40. The clerk’s office
also handles dissolutions of
marriage.
I’ll be traveling abroad.
Where can I get a passport?
The Marion County Clerk of
Courts, Passports, Room 111,
110 N.W. First Ave.
I received a speeding ticket.
Where do I pay it?
Mail payments to Marion
County Clerk’s Office, Traffic,
P.O. Box 907 Ocala, Florida
34478, or pay it online at the
c l e r k ’s o f f i c e We b s i t e ,
http://
www.marioncountyclerk.org/
index.cfm
My road has a pothole. Who
do I call?
It depends on where you live.
Marion County government
maintains 2,700 miles of roads,
but the cities of Ocala, Belleview and Dunnellon maintain
the roads for their own residents, so it’s important to know
whether you live in the city
limits or outside, in the county’s jurisdiction. For potholes in
the county, call 671-8686; for
potholes in the city limits of
Ocala, call 351-6730; in the city
of Belleview, 245-7021; and
Dunnellon, 465-8590.
A stray dog is menacing my
neighborhood. What do I do?
If you live in unincorporated
Marion County, outside the city
limits of Belleview, Ocala or
Dunnellon, call Marion County
DOUG ENGLE/STAR-BANNER/2002 FILE
If you are new to the area and want to register to vote,
contact the Marion County Supervisor of Elections.
I love to read. Where are the
local libraries?
The main library is at the corner of Southeast 25th Avenue
and Silver Springs Boulevard in
Ocala. There are also two
branches in Dunnellon, 20804
W. Penn Ave. and 4040 Deepwater Court; Belleview, 6007
S.E. Earp Road; Ocklawaha, 777
S. County Road 314A; the State
Road 200 area, 5870 S.W. 95th
St.; Fort McCoy, 14660 N.E.
Hwy 315; Marion Oaks, 294
Marion Oaks Lane; and Reddick, 15150 N.W. Gainesville
Road. For more information,
visit the Marion County Librari e s We b s i t e a t h t t p : / /
w w w. m a r i o n c o u n t y f l . o r g /
Library/LI_home.htm, or call
671-8551.
Where can I take a load of
trash or yard waste?
County residents can take
yard waste and trash to the
Marion County landfill on
Baseline Road in southeast
Ocala, or to one of the 18 community recycling centers scattered around the county. For
the site nearest you, call 6718473, or visit the county’s recycling
Web
site
at
http://
www.marioncountyfl.org/
sw423/sw_recycle.htm.
12
LIVING HERE
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
13
Trains, planes and automobiles travel the county
RAIL
BY SUSAN LATHAM CARR
CSX and Florida Northern
Railroad currently provide local
bulk freight service, according
to the Ocala/Marion County
Economic Development
Corporation.
Star-Banner
The three principles of real
estate are location, location,
location. And Marion County’s
location in the center of the
state is one of the factors that
makes it so appealing.
It is easy to get here and it is
easy to get to other places from
here thanks to a network of
roads that cross the county and
the number of nearby airports.
BUS SERVICE
ROADS
Interstate 75 and U.S. 301,
441 and 27 run north and
south, and State Road 40 runs
east and west. Those main
arteries give travelers ready
access to the rest of the state
and the interstate system.
AREA AIR SERVICE
Air service is available at five
international airports — OrlanALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER/2004 FILE
do, Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona, and Orlando Sanford — all Riders board SunTran buses at Ocala Union Station. SunTran serves about 1,300
within 100 miles of Ocala. passengers a day with nine buses covering six routes.
Gainesville Regional Airport,
runways has no scheduled air flights, Airport Manager Matwhich is 45 miles from Ocala, is LOCAL AIRPORT
service. It is a general aviation thew Grow said. There are
served by three airlines and
The 1,500-acre Ocala Interna- airport that serves charter, cor- plans for runway extensions
averages 28 daily flights.
tional Airport with its two porate and private aviation and adding a control tower.
Getting around town to the
local business, medical and
retail centers is made easier by
the SunTran bus system with
its nine buses covering six
routes that serve the urban
area of Marion County and its
roughly 1,300 riders per day.
A 10-year transit development plan is near completion
which calls for expanding SunTran’s hours of operation from
5 a.m. to about 8 or 10 p.m.
starting sometime after the first
of the year.
“It’s accommodating workers,” said Greg Slay, Ocala/
Marion County Transportation
Planning Organization director.
The New Year may also bring
State Road continues:
Busiest intersection sees
75,000 vehicles a day. 14
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14
State Road 200 is the heaviest-traveled road
CONTINUED FROM 13
Marion County's busiest roads
and intersections
The shaded areas show the most heavily traveled roadways in
Marion County. Numbers are for vehicle trips in a 24-hour period.
The stars represent the busiest intersections.
e Avenue
Pin
4
gs
S.W. 60
th
Ave.
7
3
S.W.
17th St.
464
S.W. 20th St.
1
6
3rd St.
E. Silver
th Ave.
S.E. 25
N.E.
Ave.
rin
Sp
40
75
MAJOR ROAD PROJECT
.
vd
Bl
N.E. 14th St.
th
S.E. 36
MLK
27
27th Avenue
Jr. Blvd.
N.E. 28th St.
N.E. 24th St.
441
5
200
Heavily traveled
roadways
Busiest intersections
2
Road name
2005
5-year
annual
2006 growth rate
2002
2003
2004
1 SR 200 E of I-75
46,177
41,400
44,400 49,500 51,600
2 SR 200 W of I-75
28,500
29,500 36,000 42,500 44,000 11.78%
3.16%
3 17th St. E of SR 200 35,239
34,900
4 Pine Ave. thru Ocala 36,185
38,000 41,000 39,200 40,000 2.64%
NC 39,700 41,200 5.52%
Intersection
Cars per day
5 17th Street and Pine Ave.
75,000
6 SR 200 & SW 27th Ave.
73,000
7 17th Street and SR 200
72,000
SOURCE: Ocala/Marion County Transportation Planning Organization
a SunTran fare hike from the
current $1 to $1.15-$1.25.
Future plans — about three
years out — call for reducing
the current 70-minute wait
time for a bus to 45 minutes on
selected routes.
STAR-BANNER
In the spring, construction is
expected to begin on the 1,500foot 17th Street overpass, a
four-lane road that will run
from U.S. 441 west to Southwest 12th Avenue over the CSX
railroad tracks. The $24 million
project has been identified by
the state Department of Transportation as part of the commuter rail system starting in
Orlando in three years that
shifts freight traffic to the CSX’s
“S” line coming through Ocala.
OTHER ROAD PROJECTS
Other road projects currently
under way include a new fourlane road just south of Belleview on CR 484 from Southeast
47th Avenue to U.S. 441. The
next portion of that project —
widening Southeast 47th Avenue going west to I-75 from two
to four lanes — should start up
by the end of December.
More information regarding
road projects is available on the
Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n P l a n n i n g
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Motorists negotiate traffic near the busiest intersection in
the county — Southwest 17th Street (CR 464) and Pine
Avenue (U.S. 441).
Organization’s Web site,
www.ocalamariontpo.org.
HEAVIEST-TRAVELED ROAD
The heaviest-traveled road in
Marion County is State Road
200, both east and west of I-75.
In 2006, 51,600 cars traveled on
SR 200 east of the interstate
and 44,000 cars traveled west of
the interstate.
In 2006, 51,600 cars
traveled on SR 200
east of the
interstate and
44,000 cars traveled
west of the
interstate.
BUSIEST INTERSECTION
The busiest intersection in
the county is Southwest 17th
Street at Pine Avenue, with
75,000 cars a day passing
through.
TRAFFIC FATALITIES
With all that traffic, there are
Free
Estimates
Window
Treatments
bound to be crashes. From Jan
1-Oct. 30, there were 59 fatalities in Marion County, according to the Florida Highway
Patrol. In 2006, there were 70
traffic deaths, in 2005 there
were 109 fatalities, 89 deaths in
2004 and 119 fatalities in 2003.
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HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
LIVING HERE
15
OCALA RECREATION AND PARKS
www.ocalafl.org/RecreationandParks
Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368-5550
Adult and Youth Sports
at Ocala Regional Sportsplex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .873-6569
Adult Community Athletic Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .401-3909
Aquatic Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .624-2410 or 401-3920
Banquet Hall Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368-5550
Discovery Science and Outdoor Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .401-3900
Parks and Facilities Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368-5550
Parking and Ranger Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368-5550
Pavilion Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368-5550
Senior Recreation Centers and Programs
Eighth Avenue Senior Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .629-8545
Herbert Coleman Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .629-8351
(352) 368-5550
STARS Transportation for Youth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .401-3920
Tennis Programs
at the Fort King Tennis Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .629-8453
Therapeutic Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .401-3916
Youth Recreation Programs,
Sports and Summer Camps
Tuscawilla Youth Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .629-8379
E.D. Croskey Recreation Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .629-8454
Lillian Bryant Community Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .629-8389
Herbert Coleman Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .629-8351
Youth Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .401-3909
OCALA GOLF DEPARTMENT
www.ocalagolfcourses.com
(352) 401-6969
16
Want to reach your government officials?
Ocala City Council /
Ocala City Hall
P.O. Box 1270
Ocala, FL 34478
352-629-8401
www.ocalafl.org
Registered voters:
29,803
Mayor
Randy Ewers
rewers@ocalafl.org
Mayor is elected to a two-year
term and has veto power over
city council votes (4/5 vote of
council overrides a veto).
District 4
Barbara Fitos
barbara.п¬Ѓtos@
marioncountyfl.org
District 5
Charlie Stone
charlie.stone@
marioncountyfl.org
District 1
Kyle Kay
kkay@ocalafl.org
District 2
Mary Sue Rich
mrich@ocalafl.org
Regular meetings are п¬Ѓrst and
third Tuesday of the month at 9
a.m. in commission auditorium,
601 S.E. 25th Ave.
Major issues: solid waste
disposal, effects of property
tax reform, springs protection,
residential development
Belleview City
Commission
5343 S.E. Abshier Blvd.
Belleview, FL 34420
352-245-7021
www.belleviewfl.org
Registered voters:
2,576
District 3
Charles Ruse Jr.
cruse@ocalafl.org
At-large Mayor/Commissioner
District 4
Kent Guinn
kguinn@ocalafl.org
A п¬Ѓve-member city
commission, with a mayor/
commissioner voted to threeyear term. Mayor votes last in
roll call but has no veto power.
District 5
Daniel Owen
dowen@ocalafl.org
Regular meetings are п¬Ѓrst and
third Tuesday of the month at
4 p.m. at City Hall, 151 S.E.
Osceola Ave.
Major issues: Effects of
property tax reform, economic
development of property at city
airport, downtown business
district, city’s electric utility
Marion County
Commission
601 S.E. 25th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-438-2323
www.marioncountyfl.org
Tammy C. Moore
tmoore@belleviewfl.org
Commisioners
Four commissioners voted to
two-year terms.
Seat 1
Michael Goldman
mgoldman@belleviewfl.org
Seat 2
Kenneth R. Nadeau
knadeau@belleviewfl.org
Seat 3
Wilma Loar
wloar@belleviewfl.org
Seat 4
Christine Dobkowski
cdobkowski@belleviewfl.org
Regular meetings are п¬Ѓrst and
third Tuesday of the month at 6
p.m., 5343 S.E. Abshier Blvd.
Registered voters: 200,387
Five county commissioners
elected to four-year terms.
Dunnellon
City Council
District 1
Andy Kesselring
andy.kesselring@
marioncountyfl.org
20750 River Drive
Dunnellon, FL 34431
352-465-8500
www.dunnellon.org
District 2
Jim Payton
jim.payton@marioncountyfl.org
District 3
Stan McClain
stan.mcclain@
marioncountyfl.org
Seat 1/Mayor
Fred Ward
Five-member city council
elected to staggered twoyear terms with one council
member as mayor.
Seat 2
Nikki Connors
Supervisor of Elections
Seat 4
Frederick C. Stark
Current physical address:
402 S.E. 25th Ave., Ocala
New building will be:
981 N.E. 16th St. Ocala
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 289
Ocala, FL. 34478
352-620-3290
www.votemarion.com
Dee Brown
Seat 5
Louise Kenny
City Council
Five-member city council
elected to four-year terms.
Seat 3
Kenneth H. Chesterfield
Regular meetings are second
and fourth Monday of the
month at 6:30 p.m.
Reddick Town Council
Mayor
Sheriff
Ed Dean
692 N.W. 30th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34475
352-732-8181
352-732-9111
James Stroup
Clerk
Lee Fanelli
Mayor and town clerk elected
to one-year terms.
www.marionso.com
Town Council
Villie Smith
A п¬Ѓve-member town council
elected to staggered two-year
terms.
Location: 501 S.E. 25th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
Mailing address:
Villie M. Smith CFA, ASA
P.O. Box 486
Ocala, FL 34478
352-368-8300
Steven Rogers
William Pulliam
Thomas Joyner
Michael Salter
William Willis
Town council meets the п¬Ѓrst
Thursday of every month
at 7 p.m. at the Reddick
Community Building,
intersection of Northwest
152nd Avenue and County
Road 25A.
Town of McIntosh
P.O. Box 165
McIntosh, FL 32664
352-591-1047
Registered voters:
Mayor
Property Appraiser
Cary McCollum
Town Council
Frank Ciotti
Lee Deaderick
Eva Jo Callahan
Thurman Kingsley
Willie Hamilton
Regular meetings are second
Thursday of each month at 7
p.m. at Town Hall, 5975 Ave. G
Marion County
Constitutional Officers
All current four-year terms
expire in 2008.
Clerk of Courts
David R. Ellspermann
Marion County Clerk’s Office
110 N.W. First St.
Ocala, FL 34475
352-671-5604
www.marioncountyclerk.org
District 14
Steve Oelrich
R-Gainesville
Tallahassee office:
Room 310
Senate Office Building
404 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
850-487-5020
District office:
4131 N.W. 28th Lane, Suite 4
Gainesville, FL 32606
352-375-3555
e-mail: oelrich.steve.web@
flsenate.gov
District 20
Carey Baker
R-Eustis
Tallahassee office:
Room 316,
Senate Office Building
404 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
850-487-5014
e-mail: mcpa@pa.marion.fl.us
www.pa.marion.fl.us
District office:
301 W. Ward Ave.
Eustis, FL 32726-4024
352-742-6490
Tax Collector
e-mail: baker.carey.web@
flsenate.gov
George Albright
503 S.E. 25th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-368-8200
www.mariontax.com
Florida Senate
Senate elected to four-year
terms with a two-term limit.
359
e-mail: lynn.evelyn.web@
flsenate.gov
District 3
Charles S. “Charlie” Dean
R-Inverness
Tallahassee office:
Room 311
Senate Office Building
404 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
850-487-5017
District office:
6911 S.W. State Road 200
Ocala, FL 34476
352-873-6513
e-mail: dean.charles.web@
flsenate.gov
District 7
Evelyn Lynn
R-Ormond Beach
Tallahassee Office:
Room 212
Senate Office Building
404 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
850-487-5033
District office:
151 S.E. Osceola Ave.
3rd Floor City Hall
Ocala, FL 34471-2148
352-694-0160
Florida House of
Representatives
Representives elected to twoyear terms with a four-term
limit.
District 21
Joe Pickens
R-Palatka
Tallahassee office:
214 The Capitol, 402 S.
Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
850-488-0665
District office:
3841 Reid St., Suite 5
Palatka, FL 32177-2509
386-312-2272
District 22
Larry Cretul
R-Ocala
Tallahassee office:
322 The Capitol
402 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
850-488-0887
District office:
6911 S.W. State Road 200
Ocala, FL 34476-9210
352-873-6564
District 23
Charles S. “Chuck” Chestnut
D-Gainesville
Tallahassee office:
1301 The Capitol
402 S. Monroe St.
17
2007-2008
y
Want to reach your government officials?
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
850-488-5794
District office:
3131 N.W. 13th St., Suite 33
Gainesville, FL 32609-2177
352-955-3083
District 24
Kurt Kelly
R-Ocala
Tallahassee office:
1101 The Capitol,
402 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
850-488-0335
District office:
111 S.E. 25th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471-9179
352-732-1313
District 42
Hugh Gibson
R-The Villages
Tallahassee office:
200 The Capitol,
402 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
850-488-5991
District office:
16 Avenida Central
The Villages, FL 32159-5704
352-750-1671
United States
House of
Representatives
Representatives elected to twoyear terms.
Third District
Corrine Brown
D-Jacksonville
U.S. House of
Representatives
2336 Rayburn House Office
Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-0123
District office:
219 Lime Ave.
Orlando, FL 32802
407-872-0656
Fifth District
Ginny Brown-Waite
R-Brooksville
U.S. House of
Representatives
414 Cannon Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-1002
District office:
20 N. Main St., Suite 200
Brooksville, FL 34601
352-799-8354
Sixth District
Cliff Stearns
R-Ocala
U.S. House of
Representatives:
2370 Rayburn House Office
Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-5744
District office:
115 S.E. 25th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-351-8777
United States Senate
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
202-224-5274
E-mail forms: billnelson.senate.
gov/contact/email.cfm
District office:
Landmark Two
225 E. Robinson St., Suite 410
Orlando, FL 32801
407-872-7161
Toll Free in Florida:
1-888-671-4091
Republican
Sen. Mel Martinez
Eighth District
Ric Keller
R-Orlando
U.S. House of
Representatives
419 Cannon House Office
Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0908
202-225-2176
District office:
315 S.E. 25th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-624-9994
United States Senate
356 Russell Senate Office
Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
202-224-3041
Toll free: 866-630-7106
Log on to
to get the
latest
breaking
news and
watch your
weekday
newscast on
District office:
315 E. Robinson St.
Landmark Center 1, Suite 475
Orlando, FL 32801
407-254-2573
Toll Free: 866-630-7106
United States Senate
Senate elected to a six-year term.
Democrat
Sen. Bill Nelson
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LIVING HERE
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
19
Police and fire help protect and serve residents
BY AUSTIN MILLER
Star-Banner
There are five law enforcement agencies and two fire protection agencies that serve Marion County and/or its
incorporated cities and towns.
Here’s a look:
MARION COUNTY
SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Sheriff Ed Dean runs this
agency, which is the largest of
the law enforcement entitites.
Sheriffs are elected and serve
four-year terms.
The main office is at 692
N.W. 30th Ave., Ocala. The
agency has 894 employees
serving 257,348 residents. Of
those employees, 365 are sworn
deputies, 220 are corrections
officers and 309 are civilian
employees.
There are 11 substations
throughout the county, and the
agency has more than a $76
million budget.
Key stats: In 2006, there were
23.4 crimes per 1,000 residents.
Deputies solved 54.3 percent of
the Part 1 crimes (murder, rape,
robbery, aggravated assault,
burglary, larceny, auto theft)
that were reported to them.
Did you know: While deputies do not work traffic accidents, they do issue traffic
tickets.
OCALA POLICE
DEPARTMENT
Chief Sam Williams’ agency
has 245 employees, 160 of
whom are sworn officers. The
department has four substations; a fifth — a joint police
and fire station building — is
coming soon.
The agency serves Ocala,
population 51,853. Officers
patrol 43.74 square miles. The
main office is at 402 S. Pine
Ave., and the budget is a shade
more than $22 million.
Key stats: In 2006, there were
four murders in the city. In
2007, through September, there
have been six murders.
In 2006, there were 68
crimes per 1,000 residents, with
a Part 1 clearance rate of 49
percent.
Did you know: Head of the
agency was an elected position
until 1918, when it became an
appointed position and its title
changed to chief of police. The
mayor is in charge of the police
department.
BELLEVIEW POLICE
DEPARTMENT
With a population close to
4,000, Belleview police officers
cover nearly 2 miles of territory.
There are 15 officers, including
Chief Lee Strickland, and the
agency budget is close to $1.1
million.
The main office is at 5350
S.E. 110th St. The mayor is in
charge of the police
department.
Did you know: Although the
office is closed on the weekends, anyone who needs assistance can call 245-7044.
Outside the police department is a red phone that can be
used in case of emergency.
In fiscal year 2006-07, dispatchers received 32,869 911
calls. During that time frame,
there were three fire deaths.
Excluding Ocala and Dunnellon city limits, firefighters cover
1,600 square miles. There are
20 career fire stations and
seven volunteer fire stations.
Did you know: The busiest
fire station during the 2006-07
fiscal year was Friendship Station 21 with 5,062 calls.
DUNNELLON POLICE
DEPARTMENT
The main office is at 12014 S.
Williams St. There are 10 officers, which includes Chief Robert Jackson, and they cover 6
square miles.
Th e a g e n c y b u d g e t i s
$776,000. Chief Jackson reports
to the city manager.
Anyone needing assistance
on the weekends can call the
Sheriff’s Office dispatcher at
732-9111 and ask for an officer.
Did you know: The city has
not had a murder since 1990.
FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL
Troopers are responsible for
1,641 square miles. The only
areas they don’t work are
within the Ocala, Belleview and
Dunnellon city limits.
The agency has 29 troopers,
which includes a captain. Capt.
Jeff Succi is in charge of the
department.
Key stats: As of Oct. 31, there
were 59 traffic-related deaths
recorded in Ocala/ Marion
County. In 2006, the number
was 70, with the highest death
total being 119 in 2003. The
lowest recorded total was 22 in
both 1964 and �65.
From 2003 to 2007, Ocala/
Marion County has averaged
eight deaths a month.
OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE
Owner: Ted Novinger
OCALA FIRE-RESCUE
Firefighters with this agency
cover 43.62 square miles.
Formed in 1885, it’s one of the
oldest fire departments in the
state.
All firefighters are paid. Chief
Dan Gentry’s department has
five fire stations and 135 firefighters who serve 50,721 residents. The budget is $12.8 million. There are 2.7 firefighters
per 1,000 people.
MARION COUNTY
FIRE RESCUE
Chief M. Stuart McElhaney is
in charge of 336 career firefighters, 125 volunteer firefighters, and a 2007-08 budget
of $49.80 million.
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County trying to assess,
address health care issues
BY NASEEM S. MILLER
Star-Banner
BRUCE ACKERMAN/STAR-BANNER/2003 FILE
Dr. Michael Carmichael, right, and Ron Scott, a surgical
tech assistant, left, perform open-heart by-pass surgery on
a patient in the cardio-vascular intensive care unit at
Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala.
The mixed population growth
of both young and old in Marion County makes health care a
complex matter here.
While more than a quarter of
the county’s population is older
than 65, it’s not just the senior
population that drives the
health care needs of the area.
It’s also the uninsured residents
younger than 65. There were
48,000 of them in the county in
2006.
The county is not only dealing with a shortage of providers
and rising health-care costs, but
is also trying to find a way to
help a population that has little
or no access to basic health
care.
The good news is that the
county is actively trying to
address the issues. It is also
home to two hospitals that are
recognized nationally for their
services.
Here are 10 things to know
about the county’s health
status:
HEALTH-CARE ACCESS
The Public Policy Institute of
Marion County spent nearly
eight months assessing and
discussing the access issues in
the county. Their study, which
was published in the second
half of 2007, highlighted the
major problems in the area,
including shortage of doctors
and nurses, a high number of
uninsured residents, and child
health concerns such as obesity
and a shortage of nurses in
schools.
But things didn’t stop there.
With the help of activelyinvolved community leaders,
PPI has formed several teams
that will continue to focus on
the problem areas. They have
been meeting monthly since
the PPI study was completed
and are moving forward with
solutions to the existing problems. To see the study, visit
http://www.cf.edu/about/ppi.
UNINSURED
In 2006, there were nearly
48,000 non-elderly uninsured
residents in the county. That’s
about 20.3 percent of the county’s population, compared to
19.2 percent for the entire state.
Between 2000 and 2005, the
number of uninsured residents
in Marion County grew by 30
percent compared to 23.4 percent of Florida’s population as a
whole.
For now, there are two main
clinics that care for uninsured
and underinsured.
HEALTH CLINICS
Gainesville Chamber Orchestra
2007 - 2008
Chobaz Conducts Beethoven
Marion
County
Health
Department and Community
Health Services provide care to
residents who are at or below
125 percent of federal poverty
guidelines or on Medicaid. The
Health Department also
reaches out to more rural areas
of the county with mobile
clinics.
County leaders are applying
for a Federally Qualified Health
Center, which would accept all
residents regardless of income
or insurance status.
Meanwhile, the two main
hospitals here have kept up
with national rankings and
have brought in state-of-the-art
technologies.
LOCAL HOSPITALS
Marion County’s two major
hospitals, Munroe Regional and
Ocala Regional medical centers,
sit across the street from each
other.
Munroe Regional is the county’s non-profit community hospital. With 421-beds, the acutecare hospital is the sole
provider of labor and delivery
services. It also has been recognized for its cardiovascular services and is designated as a
Bariatric Center of Excellence
by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery.
Ocala Regional is a private
hospital with 200 beds. Among
its services, the hospital takes
pride in its Joint Care Center,
which is dedicated solely to
patients undergoing joint
HAIR
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November 11, 2007 at 4 p.m.
Continuing our Beethoven cycle, the genius of the master lives on!
25th Anniversary Celebration
January 18, 2008 at 7:30
A special evening celebrating the Orchestra’s 25th year bringing truly great music to our
community. GCO Members will meet the guest artists at a reception.
Pamela Lewin, MD
Wellness & Metabolic Medical Center
Featuring:
Spring Concert
FDA Approved Laser Hair Therapy
Spooky Tales for Spring - Come in costume to enjoy fantastic music like “Night on Bald
Mountain” and the popular Gainesville tradition of a “Walk Through the Orchestra!”
Low level laser hair therapy for hair regrowth.
Do away with all those lotions and potions.
100% safe, painless, cool to the touch and
NO harmful side effects
March 9, 2008 at 4 p.m.
Pops on the Plaza
FREE! April 5th, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.
The Orchestra’s gift to the community is played under the stars on the
Downtown Community Plaza.
For further information
call (352) 336-5448.
GCOmusic.org
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2007-2008
replacement surgery. It is also
the county’s only approved
cancer hospital, and is an affiliate of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer
Center and Research Institute
in Tampa.
HOSPICE
Hospice of Marion County is
a non-profit agency, which provides professional care and volunteer assistance to patients
who reside in Marion County
from all walks of life, regardless
of their ability to pay. Seventy
percent of its patients receive
care at home with family and
friends nearby, but there are
also three residential facilities,
Estelle’s House and Sylvia’s
House between Ocala and
Belleview and The Legacy
House in west Marion County.
Its newest facility with 24 beds,
The Tuscany House, opened in
August 2006, and is located in
southern Marion County adjacent to The Villages.
Hospice made the AARP’s
2007 list for the best companies
for workers older than 50.
HEALTH INFORMATION
The county is actively working on creating a regional
health information-sharing system where doctors can securely
access patients records on a
computer, in the hospital or at
their offices.
Electronic sharing of patient
information could increase efficiency and increase the quality
of care, while lowering its cost
and making the information
portable.
Mortality rates
Age adjusted mortality rates per 100,000 population for whites for top
five leading causes of death, Marion County and Florida, 2001-2005.
300
250
268.9
225.5
228.8
Rate
194.0
200
Marion
Florida
150
100
50
54.7 43.9
49.4 44.0
Respiratory
Stroke
65.8
50.8
0
Heart
Cancer
SOURCE: State of Florida, Department of Health, Office of
Vital Statistics, Public Health Statistics, WellFlorida Council
Unintentional
Injuries
RYAN KNIGHT/STAR-BANNER
HEALTH DISPARITY
The leading causes of death
vary greatly among white,
black and Hispanic county residents.
For instance, diabetes is the
fourth leading cause of death
for black residents, while it is
the sixth for white residents.
For Hispanic residents, unintentional injury was the third
leading cause of death between
2001-2005, compared to it
being the fifth leading cause of
death for white and black
residents.
Top three causes of death for
all races are heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease.
TEEN PREGNANCY
MAJOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
Munroe Regional Medical
Center
1500 S.W. First Ave., Ocala
352-351-7200
www.MunroeRegional.com
Marion County Health
Department
1801 S.E. 32nd Ave., Ocala
352-629-0137
www.doh.state.fl.us/chdMarion
Munroe Regional
Emergency Center —
TimberRidge Campus
9521 S.W. SR 200, Ocala
352-351-7500
www.MunroeRegional.com
Community Health
Services
1025 S.W. First Ave., Ocala
352-732-6599
The Centers
5664 S.W. 60th Ave., Ocala
352-291-5555
www.thecenters.us
Ocala Regional Medical
Center
1431 S.W. First Ave., Ocala
352-401-1000
www.OcalaRegional.com
Ten Broeck Ocala
3130 S.W. 27th Ave., Ocala
352-671-3130
www.tenbroeckocala.com
Birth rates for Marion County
teens have decreased from 46
per 1,000 teens to 35 in the last
decade. However, the rate has
remained higher than that of
Florida.
From 2001-2005, the teen
birth rate in Marion County
was 35 per 1,000 teens, compared to 31 in Florida.
Teen birth rates among Hispanic and black teens remains
higher than white teens.
But, Baker Act initiations are
lower in Marion County than in
Florida for most of 2001 to
2005.
MENTAL HEALTH
JAIL MEDICAL CARE
Suicide rates in Marion
County (18 per 100,000 people)
are higher than the rates for
Florida as a whole (14 per
100,000). Also, rates for domestic violence have been much
higher than the state.
Medical services at the Marion County jail have been
administered by private groups
for the past several years. However, late in 2007, the Sheriff’s
Office created a unique non- Sources: WellFlorida Council,
profit organization to replace Marion County Public Policy
Institute
West Marion Community
Hospital
4600 S.W. 46th Court, Ocala
352-291-3000
www.WestMarion.com
e
uarante
“We g will pay
you
Hospice of Marion County
3231 S.W. 34th Ave., Ocala
352-873-7400
www.hospiceofmarion.com
the private provider.
The new system mirrors a
community-oriented correctional health care model that
has proven effective in providing continuous care to inmates
after they are released from jail.
The change, according to
experts, could improve the
county’s public health outlook.
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22
Student population growing in county’s public schools
Marion County Public Schools
for 34 years, working his way
from teacher to deputy
superintendent.
Fo r m e r G ov. J e b B u s h
appointed Yancey to the post in
2003, about 17 months before
he was elected to the post. As
the executive officer of the
School District, he assists the
School Board.
BY JOE CALLAHAN
Star-Banner
SCHOOL BOARD
SCHOOLS
ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER/2007 FILE
Students in Christine
Attenhofer’s class enjoy the
reading of “Miss Spider’s
Wedding” by volunteer
Ruth Swanson during the
Altrusa Read-In at
Belleview-Santos
Elementary School.
to run for office, even though
all Marion County residents can
vote in all races.
The School Board members,
and district numbers, are: Judi
Zanetti, District 1; Steve Hering,
2; Bobby James, 3; Sue Mosley,
4; and Ron Crawford, 5.
The Marion County School SUPERINTENDENT
Superintendent of Schools Jim
Board consists of five members,
who must live in their district Yancey has been a part of
Marion County, which is
larger than the state of Rhode
Island, has 50 schools and educational centers, including 28
elementary, nine middle and
eight high schools.
In January, Horizon Academy
at Marion Oaks is scheduled to
open to Sunrise Elementary’s
fourth- and fifth-graders. Next
August, the school will be for
children in fourth through
eighth grades.
MTI
The School District also
opened the Marion Technical
Institute in 2005. Programs
offer children 16 years old and
older the opportunity to learn
technical skills.
MTI offers learning opportunities in six areas: automotive
technology; building construction; culinary arts; information
technology, manufacturing and
co- enrollment. A finance
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Shon Murray
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Monday - Friday 9:00am - 4:30pm.
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Bill Broome
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There are many educational
opportunities in Marion County, from public and private elementary schools to colleges and
university opportunities.
Central Florida Community
College’s main campus on State
Road 200 not only offers associate degrees, but also features a
University Center where students can earn bachelor’s and
master’s degrees through online
classes at seven universities.
Webster University, located in
Colours Plaza, 3405 S.W. College Road, holds a variety of
classes in Ocala and online.
Webster is for graduate students only and offers numerous
master’s degrees.
Rasumussen College, formerly known as Webster College, is a career college, offering
training in occupations such as
medical transcription or nursing.
Marion County Public
Schools, however, educates
more people than all other educational institutions in Ocala
combined.
Here are some facts about the
School District.
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academy is also in the works.
ENROLLMENT
Marion County gained 676
students this school year when
compared to the same period in
2006. Marion County climbed
in October to a new all-time
record of 43,123 students.
Experts say that despite a 57
percent decline in home sales,
the school population grew.
That was because record home
sales in the last three years
means more children are entering the school system today.
TRANSPORTATION
Marion County Public
Schools uses 356 buses every
school day to transport 26,470
riders, about 61 percent of the
entire student population, and
use 5,600 gallons of gasoline
each day.
Buses combine to travel 7.3
million miles each year and
stop at more than 12,000 bus
stops. The district buys 20 new
buses each at a cost of $85,000
each.
FOOD SERVICE
Almost two-thirds of all Marion County students qualify for
free or reduced lunch and parents can pay for their child’s
lunch via Paypal, an online
bank of sorts that can move
money to the School District.
There are 35,000 meals
served each day throughout
the district and $425,000 was
spent last school year on vegetables and fruits.
ANNUAL BUDGET
This school year’s budget is
$677 million, more than double
what it was in 2002. The School
Board and administrators have
been worried about the budget
this year in the wake of statewide revenue shortfall.
FOUNDATION
The Public Education Foundation of Marion County was
created in 1987 to raise money
from the private sector to
enhance existing programs.
The foundation is nonprofit.
Since the beginning, the agency
has been able to collect $1 million in grants, awards and
scholarships.
TEACHERS
The School District has more
than 3,000 teachers, about half
the School District’s total of
employees. Marion County
Public Schools is the county’s
largest employer.
To honor the teachers, the
Public Foundation of Marion
County sponsors the Golden
Apple awards, where each
school nominates one teacher
and then the foundation picks
finalists and ultimately the
winner.
23
2007-2008
Below is a comprehensive listing of Marion County Schools for the 2007/2008 school year.
ANTHONY
FESSENDEN
ROMEO
FORT McCOY K-8
BELLEVIEW
BLESSED TRINITY
9501 N.E. Jacksonville Road
Anthony, FL 32617
352-671-6000
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
4200 N.W. 89th Place
Ocala, FL 34482
352-671-4935
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 D
19550 S.W. 36th St.
Dunnellon, FL 34431
352-465-6700
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
16160 N.E. Hwy. 315
Fort McCoy, FL 32134-2100
352-671-6325
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 C
10400 S.E. 36th Ave.
Belleview, FL 34420
352-671-6210
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 D
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 B
5 S.E. 17th St.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-622-5808
Grades: K-8 • Catholic
BELLEVIEW
GREENWAY
SADDLEWOOD
5556 S.E. Agnew Road
Belleview, FL 34420
352-671-6100
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 B
207 Midway Road
Ocala, FL 34472
352-671-4845
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
3700 S.W. 43rd Court
Ocala, FL 34474
352-291-4075
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
BELLEVIEW-SANTOS
HARBOUR VIEW
SHADY HILL
9600 South U.S. 441
Belleview, FL 34420-6200
352-671-6260
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 B
8445 S.E. 147th Place
Summerfield, FL 34491
352-671-6110
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
5959 S. Magnolia Ave.
Ocala, FL 34474
352-291-4085
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
COLLEGE PARK
HAMMETT BOWEN
SOUTH OCALA
330 S.W. 33rd Ave.
Ocala, FL 34474
352-291-4040
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 B
4397 S.W. 95th St.
Ocala, FL
352-291-7900
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 N/A 2004/2005 N/A
2005/2006 N/A 2006/2007 A
DR. N.H. JONES*
MADISON STREET ACADEMY*
2831 S.E. Lake Weir Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471-6744
352-671-4750
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
SPARR
1900 S.W. Fifth St.
Ocala, FL 34474
352-671-7260
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
401 N.W. MLK Jr. Ave.
Ocala, FL 34475
352-671-7250
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
DUNNELLON
MAPLEWOOD
STANTON-WEIRSDALE
10235 S.W. 180th Ave. Road
Dunnellon, FL 34432
352-465-6710
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 A
4751 S.E. 24th St.
Ocala, FL 34471-4751
352-671-6820
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
16700 S.E. 134th Terrace
Weirsdale, FL 32195
352-671-6150
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
EAST MARION
OAKCREST
SUNRISE
14550 N.E. 14th St. Road
Silver Springs, FL 34488
352-671-4810
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 C 2006/2007 A
1112 N.E. 28th St.
Ocala, FL 34470
352-671-6350
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 C 2006/2007 C
375 Marion Oaks Course
Ocala, FL 3447671-6200
352-671-6200
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
EIGHTH STREET
OCALA SPRINGS
WARD-HIGHLANDS
513 S.E. Eighth St.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-671-7125
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
5757 N.E. 40th Ave. Road
Ocala, FL 34479
352-671-6360
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
537 S.E. 36th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471-3000
352-671-6810
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
EMERALD SHORES
REDDICK-COLLIER
WYOMINA PARK
404 Emerald Road
Ocala, FL 34472
352-671-4800
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
4595 W. County Road 316
Reddick, FL 32686
352-671-6070
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 B
2525 Hwy. 329
Sparr, FL 32192
352-671-6060
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 B
511 N.E. 12th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34470-5971
352-671-6370
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 A
EVERGREEN
4000 N.E. W. Anthony Road
Ocala, FL 34475
352-671-4925
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 C 2006/2007 A
SOURCE: Florida Department of Education
*A magnet school is a school
that specializes in something
such as math, science or
technology.
BELLEVIEW
DUNNELLON
10500 S.E. 36th Ave.
Belleview, FL 34420
352-671-6235
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 B
10055 S.W. 180th Ave. Road
Dunnellon, FL 34432
352-465-6745
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 D
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 C
DUNNELLON
21005 Chestnut St.
Dunnellon, FL 34431
352-465-6720
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 B
FORT KING
545 N.E. 17th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34470
352-671-4725
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
HOWARD*
1108 N.W. MLK Jr. Ave.
Ocala, FL 34475
352-671-7225
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
FOREST
5000 S.E. Maricamp Road
Ocala, FL 34480
352-671-4700
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 D
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 C
503 S.E. Broadway St.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-629-2312
Grades: PreK-8
LAKE WEIR
10351 S.E. Maricamp Road
Ocala, FL 34472
352-687-4040
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 D 2004/2005 D
2005/2006 C 2006/2007 C
MARION TECHNICAL INSTITUTE
1614 N.E. Fort King St.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-671-6000
NORTH MARION
10220 S.E. Sunset
Harbor Road
Summerfield, FL 34491
352-671-6120
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 B
151 W. County Road 329
Citra, FL 32113
352-620-7587
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 D 2004/2005 D
2005/2006 D 2006/2007 D
NORTH MARION
VANGUARD
2085 W. Hwy. 329
Citra, FL 32113
352-671-6035
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 C
7 N.W. 28th St.
Ocala, FL 34475
352-671-6010
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 D
2005/2006 B 2006/2007 B
OSCEOLA
WEST PORT
3733 S.W. 80th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34481
352-291-4050
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 B 2004/2005 B
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
WEST PORT
3733 S.W. 80th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34481
352-291-4000
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 C 2006/2007 C
3143 S.E. 17th St.
Ocala, FL 34471-5510
352-671-6800
COMMUNITY TECHNICAL
& ADULT EDUCATION
CENTER
1014 S.W. Seventh Road
Ocala, FL 34474
352-671-7200
GRACE EPISCOPAL SCHOOL
OCALA CHRISTIAN
ACADEMY
1714 S.E. 36th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-694-4178
Grades: K-12
HERITAGE JUNIOR ACADEMY
415 N.E. 41st Ave.
Ocala, FL 34470
352-236-2420
Grades: 1-8
ST. JOHN
LUTHERAN SCHOOL
1915 S.E. Lake Weir Road
Ocala, FL 34471
352-622-7275
Grades: PreK-12
SAINT PAUL'S
CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
800 S.E. 41st Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-694-4219
Grades: 2 yrs/K
SHILOH SDA SCHOOL
500 S.W. 17th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34474
352-629-6857
Grades: PreK-8
TRINITY CATHOLIC
HIGH SCHOOL
2600 S.W. 42nd St.
Ocala, FL 34474
352-622-9025
Grades: 9-12 • Catholic
HALE ACADEMY
MCINTOSH AREA SCHOOL
20400 10th St.
McIntosh, FL 32664
352-591-9797
HILLCREST SCHOOL
DUNNELLON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
20831 Powell Road
Dunnellon, FL 34431
352-489-7716
Grades: K-8
LAKE WEIR
526 S.E. Tuscawilla Ave.
Ocala, FL 34471
352-671-7100
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 A 2004/2005 A
2005/2006 A 2006/2007 A
CORNERSTONE SCHOOL
2313 S.E. Lake Weir Road
Ocala, FL 34471
352-351-8840
Grades: PreK-8
3443 S.W. 20th St.
Ocala, FL 34474
352-854-8835
Grades: K3-12
MARION CHARTER
SCHOOL K-5
REDEEMER CHRISTIAN
SCHOOL
39 Cedar Road
Ocala, FL 34471
352-687-2100
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:
2003/2004 C 2004/2005 C
2005/2006 C 2006/2007 C
155 S.W. 87th Place
Ocala, FL 34476
352-854-2999
Grades: PreK-8
spr24sprNov 25 2007sb#1 -Composite Proof 11/19/07 1:24 0:00
24
Arbor Day Celebration — Celebrating
trees on Saturday, April 26, at the Discovery Science & Outdoor Center, there will
be children’s activities, a tree walk, tree
scavenger hunt, storytelling, demonstrations for adults and more. Admission is
free. For more information, call 401-3900.
WalkAmerica — The annual March of
Dimes walking fundraiser begins with
registration at 7:30 a.m. and the kickoff
at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, at the
Boyd Property near Whataburger in Ocala. The awards party is at 11 a.m. Call
629-7555.
Relay for Life — A relay walk and overnight commemoration of those who have
fought cancer and survivors of the disease. Two relays will be held in April on
the 18 and 19 at Don Garlits Museum of
Drag Racing and on April 25 and 26 at
Dunnellon High School. For more information, call 629-4727.
BoomTown Days — Celebrating Dunnellon’s rich past with arts, crafts, pageants, canoe races and more. For more
information, call 489-2320.
Taste of Ocala — The annual foodlovers event will be at Central Florida
Community College on Sunday, April 13,
and features a large variety of local restaurants offering samples of their finest
fare. Proceeds benefit scholarships
through the CFCC Foundation. For more
information, call 873-5808.
Bark About Art — A day of animal art
on the downtown Ocala square, including local artists. Organized by the Marion
Cultural Alliance and the Humane Society of Marion County. For more information, call 369-1500.
Hogs for Hope — A motorcycle ride
and poker run for ARC Marion ends with
a chance to win a new bike on Saturday,
April 19. Call 387-2210.
Paas Extravaganza Egg Hunt — The
9th annual egg-hunting event includes
clowns, ponies, costumed characters, live
entertainment and food, as well as thousands of eggs for children 12 and
younger to find. The event is at Tuscawilla Park and is sponsored by Signature
Brands LLC. For more information, call
622-3134.
Kids Fishing Derby — A day of fishing
in Tuscawilla Park for young fishermen.
Bait available to purchase and the event
is free. For more information, call 3685550.
APRIL
the HOPS office at 351-1861.
CALENDAR
JANUARY
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and
Celebration — Beginning at the downtown Ocala square in the morning on
Monday, Jan. 21, the parade on MLK Day
marches to the MLK Complex and activities are until 5 p.m. For more information, call Jennifer Blair at 368-5550.
Spelling Bee — The fourth annual
community spelling bee on Friday, Jan.
25, pits community teams against each
other at the Ewers Century Center on the
Central Florida Community College
Campus. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m.
and includes a buffet dinner, silent auction, raffle drawing and the spell-off. Cost
is $50 and proceeds benefit the Marion
County Literacy Council. For more information, call 690-7323.
FEBRUARY
Southeastern Youth Fair — From Sunday, Feb. 24 – Sunday, March 2. Gates
open at 9 a.m. at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala each day as area
youth show their skills with raising and
showing farm animals. Each day features
different presentations complete with a
rodeo. For more information, call 6291255.
Horses for Hospice — One of the largest rides in horse country, the event is a
fundraiser for Hospice of Marion County
and the trail starts at the Florida Horse
Park and goes through the scenic Florida
Greenway. For more information, call
873-7400.
MARCH
St. Patrick’s Day on the Square — An
evening of food and entertainment celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday,
March 15, from 5-9:30 p.m. on the downtown Ocala square. For more information, call Jennifer Blair at 368-5550.
Dozer Day — The annual dozer day for
children on Saturday, March 15, includes
driving big vehicles and digging in the
dirt and is held at the Florida Horse Park
off of Highway 475. Proceeds benefit the
Children’s Home Society. For more information, call 620-3474.
Relay for Life — A relay walk and overnight commemoration of those who have
fought cancer and survivors of the disease. Two relays will be held on March
28 and 29, with one at First Baptist
Church of Ocala and one at North Marion High School. For more information,
call 629-4727.
Historic Homes and Secret Gardens
Tour – Sponsored by the Historic Ocala
Preservation Society, the annual tour of
Ocala’s historic homes and gardens is
held in March. For more information, call
BRUCE ACKERMAN/STAR-BANNER FILE
JULY
Dunnellon’s Boomtown Blast — The
traditional July 4 bash lasts all day at
Dunnellon High School and includes
fireworks at dark. For more information,
call Joe at 465-8595.
God and Country Day in Ocala — The
annual July 4 patriotic day includes arts,
crafts, live entertainment, food and fireworks. Held all day at RL Roberts Business Center on U.S. 27 and Southwest
80th Avenue near Ocala.
SEPTEMBER
The 25th Ocala Shrine Rodeo — The
show and rodeo play out for three days
during Labor Day weekend at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion on Old Jacksonville Road in Ocala. A rodeo is held
Friday and Saturday, and a special rodeo
of Shriners Hospital patients followed by
children’s activities. For more information, go to www.fafo.org.
25
the regular rodeo is Sunday. For rodeo
information, call 402-8808.
Trains at the Holidays — The popular
train exhibit at the Webber Center on
the CFCC campus is held each December. Free admission, but donations are
welcome. For more information, call 8542322, ext. 1664.
Pilot Club of Ocala’s Annual Holiday
Home Tour — The tour is the first weekend in December and features area
homes.
Pioneer Garden Club Holiday Home
Tour — Tours of local homes and the
Club House are held throughout the first
weekend in December. For more information, call 236-4448.
Ocala Christmas Parade — One of
Florida’s few nighttime parades, on Saturday, Dec. 6, more than 125 units will
march from East Silver Springs Boulevard
and Northeast 25th Avenue heading
west to Northeast Eighth Avenue. For
more information, go to
www.ocalachristmasparade.org.
Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast — A longstanding tradition, the all-you-can-eat
breakfast is Saturday, Dec. 6, from early
morning until early afternoon at Eighth
Street Elementary School.
DECEMBER
Celebrate Adoption — Featuring the
celebration of happy families who have
adopted children as well as providing
information on adoption. Held on the
downtown Ocala square and sponsored
by the Children’s Home Society. For
more information, call 620-3474.
Ocali Country Days — Presentations
and displays center around Central Florida at the turn of the century. (Not THIS
century, but last!) This is a great family
event on the second weekend in November with demonstrations and artisans,
and lots of fun for the kids. For more
i n f o r m a t i o n ,
c o n t a c t
deborah.wilson@dep.state.fl.us.
Light Up Ocala — Event kicks off the
holiday season on Nov. 22 with holiday
crafts, foods, children’s activities and
lighting ceremony on the downtown
square. Held on the Saturday before
Thanksgiving. Call 368-5550.
NOVEMBER
Steel Horse Stampede — The annual
motorcycle ride and poker run for Hospice of Marion County draws hundreds
of riders and raises thousands of dollars.
The event is Saturday, Nov. 1, beginning
at Hospice headquarters. For more information, call 873-7400.
Ocala Arts Festival — Held on Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26 on the grounds of
the McPherson Governmental Complex
in Ocala, the juried show features artists
from around the nation as well as
Orange-A-Fair — Held the last Saturday in October, the event is an oldfashioned day of contests, entertainment
and cook-offs featuring citrus all to benefit the Citra Historical Museum. Held in
Citra. For more information, call
595-3377.
McIntosh 1890s Festival — The festival
includes a parade of antique cars and
carriages, as well as a variety of vendors
and arts and crafts. The festival runs
from 8 a..m. until 5 p.m. in McIntosh on
Oct. 18. For more information, call Dodder at 591-2183.
Cultural Festival on the Square — Cultural food, crafts and merchandise, children’s activities and entertainment celebrating cultural diversity on Oct. 11 on
the downtown Ocala square. For more
information, call Jennifer Blair 368-5550.
Light the Night Walk — Sponsored by
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,
the event celebrates and commemorates
lives touched by cancer and raises
money for the nonprofit organization.
For more information, call 800-868-0072.
Marion County Chili Cookoff — The
annual Cornerstone School fundraiser
features local teams vying for chili titles
while offering participants a chance to
savor the flavor of creative chili dishes.
It’s held at the Southeastern Livestock
Pavilion. For more information, go to
www.marionchilicookoff.org or call
867-6929.
OCTOBER
Fort King Festival — The annual festival on Saturday, Sept. 27, celebrating
native Florida is at the Marion County
History Museum at the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala. Re-enactors
demonstrating living history on the
grounds are featured, and a chicken dinner will be available for purchase. Tours
are also available. Proceeds benefit the
museum. For more information, call
Betty at 629-2773 or 694-2529.
Marion County Springs Festival —
The annual Marion County Springs Festival on Sept. 20 promises to be a memorable event with educational displays, lectures and vendors focusing on preserving
and protecting Marion County’s many
springs. For more details visit the Web
site www.springsfest.org or contact
deborah.wilson@dep.state.fl.us
Some of the top events in Marion County that you don’t want to miss
Symphony Under the Stars — Bring a
picnic and blanket and enjoy the sounds
of the Central Florida Symphony at the
Ocala Municipal Golf Course on Mother’s
Day on May 11.
JUNE
Bikes, Blues and Barbecue — Featuring live music, raffles, a silent auction,
barbecue and more on the grounds of
ARC Marion on Friday, June 6. Proceeds
benefit the nonprofit organization. Call
387-2210.
Muscular Dystrophy Association’s
Marion Motorcross Race — Gates open at
6:30 a.m. for the annual races at the Marion Motorcross in Citra, benefiting MDA.
Races start between 9:30-10 a.m. with a
morning-long silent auction and a live
auction around 1 p.m. There also will be
door prizes and a 50/50. For more information, call Carol Blackburn at
591-2377.
You can’t beat Ocala’s downtown square for the holidays. Some 300,000 mini-lights help to transform the area into a holiday wonderland. The annual Light Up
Ocala event, typically held the weekend before Thanksgiving, kicks off the season with the flip of a switch.
National Dance Day — Local groups
will perform different styles and varieties
of dancing on the downtown Ocala
square from 2-8 p.m. For more information, call 368-5550.
MAY
Cool Springs Ranch Balloon Classic —
A variety of activities and entertainment,
including 25 hot air balloons, will take
place at Rainbow River Ranch adjacent to
the Rainbow River in Dunnellon. Proceeds benefit the Marion County Boys &
Girls Club in Dunnellon. For more information, call Carol Lee Shevlin at
352-257-1015.
26
LIVING HERE
Roll of Honor
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
These area business leaders have shown a steadfast commitment by offering their products and services year after year.
They’re proud of this achievement and look forward to serving this community for many years to come.
109 YEARS
42 YEARS
Roberts
KENNETH E. ROBERTS
Director
Walt’s
Brake
“Guardian of Your Safety Since 1965"
3890 N.W. Gainesville Rd. • Ocala, FL 34475
(352) 629-3134 • Fax (352) 867-1911
RV • AUTO • TRUCK • TRAILER
YOUR ONE STOP - FULL SERVICE GARAGE
FUNERAL HOME
19939 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Dunnellon, Florida 34432
(352) 489-2429
(352) 489-2427
President - Walter Krumm, Jr.
Mobile: 843-6215
30 YEARS
36 YEARS
FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED SINCE 1971
P.O. Box Box 520, Belleview, FL 34421
352-347-6310, Fax: 352-245-6072
Here Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow For Your Servicing Needs.
27 YEARS
“Need Staff, Call Wal-Staf”
4140 N.W. 27th Lane
Gainesville, FL 32606
(352) 378-8367
2403 S.E. 17th Street
Ocala, FL
(352) 622-8367
1009 S.W. Main Blvd.
Lake City, FL 32025
(352) 755-1991
24 YEARS
MIKE MOODY INC.
PAINTING &
WATERPROOFING
Mike Moody, Sr.
Licensed & Insured
10832 S.W. 91st Ave.
Ocala, FL 34481
Office: (352) 690-7070
Fax: (352) 690-2274
Mobile: (352) 843-3437
21 YEARS
20 YEARS
Summers Funeral Home
“Personalized with the Upmost Dignity,
Confidence and Understanding.”
2238 N.W. 10th Street
Ocala, Florida 34475
(352) 351-0566
Lillie T. Shelton, L.F.D.
Alvis Summers, L.F.D.
Jessica Hadley-McGlon, L.F.D
Notary Public
19 YEARS
Hilliard’s Air Conditioning
& Heating, Inc.
HAROLD HILLIARD
2331 N.E. 18th PLACE
OCALA, FLORIDA 34470
(352) 622-9390
FAX: (352) 732-7550
We’re Setting the Industry Standards
Creating a competitive advantage for
each of our corporate clients through
the delivery of the most responsive,
efficient and cost-effective service in
the magazine publishing industry.
1515 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Suite 227
Ocala, FL 34470
19 YEARS
#RA0058385
Licensed & Insured
Licensed & Insured
4230 S.E. 61 Street
Interior / Exterior
Ocala, FL 34480
Cell: 352-239-1342
352-629-6215
sprayman09@aol.com
SALES SERVICE
& INSTALLATIONS
24-HOURS
Belleview Printing, Inc.
• Magnetics • Signs •
• Banners •
Full Service Printing
(352) 245-5880
27
Spiritual diversity reflects
growing population of Marion
BY LASHONDA STINSON
Star-Banner
Faith and religion hold a big
presence in Marion County.
Nearly every denomination and
a variety of faiths are a part of
the county’s spiritual landscape.
CHURCH TALLY
The Rev. Jim Bullock, president of the Greater Ocala Ministerial Alliance, estimates there
are 400 to 600 churches in
Marion County. The Marion
Baptist Association lists 62
member churches on its Web
site, including five Spanishspeaking churches and a
Korean church.
MEGA CHURCHES
Meadowbrook Church of
Ocala, a non-denominational
church, is one of the largest
churches in Marion County. On
average, 2,700 people attend
the church on Sundays. First
Baptist Church of Ocala has
approximately 3,600 members
and Church @ the Springs, also
non-denominational, has a
membership of 3,000. Queen of
Peace Catholic Church has
2,600 registered families.
OLDEST CHURCHES
This year Orange Springs
Community Church celebrated
its 155th anniversary. The
church building was built in
1852 and is the oldest one still
standing in Marion County. The
church and its adjacent cemetery are listed on the National
Register of Historic Places. One
of the oldest congregations is
Grace Episcopal Church, which
was organized in 1819 and built
its first church building in
1880. First Baptist Church of
Ocala was founded in 1850. Liberty Chapel Baptist Church was
established in 1853 and is the
oldest black church in Marion
County. Another historic black
church is Mount Zion A.M.E
Church, founded in 1866. Its
church building was constructed in 1891 and is also on
the National Register of Historic
Places.
to break down walls of fear and
prejudice, open opportunities
for understanding and work
together to promote community, compassion and civility. The
group meets the first Tuesday
of each month at 1 p.m. at
Felix’s restaurant. Contact:
671-7817
RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS
Greater Ocala Ministerial
Association, which provides
spiritual leaders of various faith
communities an opportunity to
meet and get to know each other, meets on the third Tuesday
There are approximately 18
religious schools in Marion
County. Of those, eight offer
K-12. They include nondenominational, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran
and Seventh-day Adventist.
THANKSGIVING SERVICE
If you’re looking to enjoy a
diverse gathering of faiths,
check out the annual Interfaith
Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service held the Wednesday before
Thanksgiving at a local church.
The worship service features
participants representing a variety of faiths.
MINISTERS GATHER
Area continues: County
has no Hindu temples. 29
JANNET WALSH/STAR-BANNER
Sana Qamar, age 13, finishes her personal prayers on a
Sunday with her family in the living room. She and her
family are practicing Muslims and are active in their local
and global community in the area of charity.
INTERFAITH ALLIANCE
The Interfaith Alliance of
Marion County operates under
the mantra “One Community,
Many Faiths.” The group, comprised of various churches and
faiths, holds forums in an effort
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St. Timothy Catholic Church in The Villages features a golf
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LIVING HERE
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
Roll of Honor
These area business leaders have shown a steadfast commitment by offering their products and services year after year.
They’re proud of this achievement and look forward to serving this community for many years to come.
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15 YEARS
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Family Serving Marion County Since 1898
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15 YEARS
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Gary Bennett
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Ocala, Florida 34474
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29
Area churches offer services in various languages
CONTINUED FROM 27
of every month at noon in the
Auxiliary building at Munroe
Regional Medical Center. Contact: 694-4121
Sai Florida Center, 4707 Pleasant Grove Road, in Inverness,
352-860-2181 and Hare
Krishna Student Center/
Krishna House, N.W. 214th St,
in Gainesville, 352-336-4183.
DIVERSITY OF FAITHS
Islam is the world’s second
largest religion behind Christianity. In Marion County, Muslims worship at the Islamic
Center of Ocala, 1410 N.E. 14th
St. and Masjid Darul-Islam of
Ocala, 6915 W. SR 40. There are
no Hindu temples in Marion
County. Many locals who practice Hinduism attend the Shirdi
JEWISH LIFE
Jewish Congregation of Central
Florida opened its new Temple
Shalom, the first synagogue in
Sumter County. Temple Shalom
is located at 13563 Country
Road 101 in Oxford, next to
The Villages.
For the Messianic Jews,
there’s the Mishkan Messianic
There are two synagogues in
Ocala. Temple B’nai Darom, 49
Banyan Course, is the second
oldest synagogue in Florida.
Temple Beth Shalom, 1109 N.E.
Eighth Ave., has been established for 31 years and has the
second oldest Jewish cemetery
in Florida. In 2006 the New
Congregation, 6675 S.E. Maricamp Road.
FOREIGN LANGUAGES
Marion County is home to
people from all over the world
who speak many different languages. Local churches step up
to the call, offering services in
mutliple languages. Local Baptist and Presbyterian churches
host services in Korean and
Spanish. Joy Lutheran Church
in Ocala hosts a German language worship service at 3 p.m.
on the second Sunday of each
month.
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(Slightly north of Market of Marion Flea Market Across the street from the VFW on Hwy 441)
(352) 347-9400
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BRUCE ACKERMAN/STAR-BANNER FILE
Rabbi Samuel Dov Berman, of Temple Beth Shalom,
leads one of three Jewish congregations in the area.
OPENING EARLY DECEMBER!
Roll of Honor
These area business leaders have shown a steadfast commitment by offering their products
and services year after year. They’re proud of this achievement and look forward
to serving this community for many years to come.
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30
Area is diverse in arts and entertainment
BY ANTHONY VIOLANTI
Star-Banner
There’s a place in the arts for
just about everyone in Marion
County, including a couple of
cool cats at the Ocala Civic
Theatre.
Pippin and Bullwinkle are
their names, and these felines
can usually be found hanging
around the theater. Now,
thanks to Barkitecture 2007 — a
fundraising partnership
between the Marion Cultural
Alliance, Inc. and the Humane
Society of Marion County — the
cats have their own little home.
“Most of the (miniature)
houses for Barkitecture were
dog houses, we got the only
�cat’ house,” said Mary Britt,
OCT executive director. “The
cats are happy with it.”
ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER/2004 FILE
Heather Gifford was Mabel
in the 2004 Ocala Civic
Theatre production of
“Mack and Mabel.”
The Marion Cultural Alliance
a few years back ran a similar
fundraising event with “Horse
Fever.” That placed 53 decorated fiberglass horses throughout the community and raised
$854,000 for charity with the
auction of the figures.
Support for the arts is common here, and nowhere is it
stronger than at the Ocala Civic
Theatre.
OCT recently announced a
new building project for a
future 650-seat facility, on
nearby land donated by Central
Florida Community College.
Currently, OCT seats 400 and is
expected to draw about 50,000
patrons for the 2007-08 season.
Next year, it will mark its 20th
season at the theater’s current
location, and Britt expects
attendance to pass the 1 million mark in 2008-09.
The arts scene goes far
beyond theater.
“I’ve always been impressed
by the diversity of the arts
here,” Britt said. “We’ve really
got a little bit of everything.”
Here’s a look at the top 10
places to experience the arts in
Marion County:
Ocala Civic Theatre, 4437 E.
Silver Springs Blvd., 236-2851,
www.ocalacivictheatre.com.
Ocala Civic Theatre produces
more than 12 fully staged productions each season, in addition to hosting touring companies. The theater offers a
year-round education program
that reaches more than 1,000
students each year. This
volunteer-based organization is
one of the largest community
theaters in the state and serves
more than 50,000 Marion,
BRUCE ACKERMAN/STAR-BANNER/2007 FILE
Elephant statues sit in a large fountain outside the
Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala. The museum has the
“Diana, Princess of Wales: Dresses for a Cause” exhibit
through the end of 2007.
ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER/2004 FILE
Brick City Center for the Arts displays works from local artists.
Citrus and Lake County residents each season.
The Appleton Museum of
Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd.,
2 9 1 - 4 4 5 5 ,
www.appletonmuseum.org. It’s
the focal point of the Appleton
Cultural Center, a 44-acre complex which also includes the
Ocala Civic Theatre and the
Pioneer Garden Club. The current exhibit, “Diana, Princess of
Wales: Dresses for a Cause,”
has been so popular the
museum had added a separate phone line for tickets.
The exhibit features dresses
owned by the late Princess
Di, and money raised from
the even will be used to fight
breast cancer. It runs through
Dec. 30.
The museum also hosts
After-Hours events the first
Thursday evening of the
month from September
through May, featuring live
entertainment and food catered
by local restaurants.
Marion Theatre, 50 S. Magn o l i a A v e . , 6 2 2 - 1 2 4 7,
www.themariontheatre.org.
Elegantly restored 1940s’
art deco movie theater
reopened to the public
this year. Shows classic movies, independent films,
children’s
One of the big events of
the holiday season is the
Marion Performing
Ballet’s production of
“The Nutcracker.”
31
entertainment along with
music and comedy events.
Brick City Center for the
Arts, 23 S.W. Broadway St., 36915 00, www.mcaocala.com.
Home to the Marion Cultural
Alliance, Inc., it displays local
artists and holds cultural and
entertainment events. Currently the Marion Cultural Alliance and the Humane Society
of Marion County are sponsoring the Barkitecture public arts
project, featuring 29 uniquely
designed dog houses. Proceeds
from the auction of these
homes will benefit the two
agencies.
Central Florida Community
College. Most events are held
in the Fine Arts Auditorium,
3001 S.W. College Road, 8735810, www.GoCFCC.com. Jazz,
poetry, theater, music and art.
CFCC Foundation Performing
Art Series features musicals,
touring shows and music. For
information, call 873-5808 or
74 6 - 6 72 1 , e x t . 1 4 1 6 ;
www.cfccfoundation.org.
CFCC’s Webber Center Gallery features local and traveling
exhibits. Hours are Tuesday to
Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed
Mondays, Sundays and college
holidays. For information, 8542322, ext. 1664.
Central Florida Symphony
Orchestra, concerts at Ocala
Breeders’ Sales Auditorium,
1701 S.W. 60th Ave., 351-1606,
www.cfsymphony.com. Conductor James Plondke leads the
fully professional orchestra,
now in its 31st concert season.
In addition to the regular concert schedule, the orchestra
performs free community concerts in cooperation with the
City of Ocala and the Marion
County Public School System,
hosts and sponsors a Young
Artist Competition to seek out
talented young musicians, and
performs at many special
events such as Fine Arts for
Ocala’s annual “Symphony
Under the Stars” on Mother’s
Day.
Marion Performing Ballet,
1713 S.W. 17th St., 622-1247.
Local ballet company that
present “The Nutcracker” each
year in December at the Ocala
Civic Theatre, 4337 E. Silver
Springs Blvd.
The Kingdom of the Sun
Concert Band, e-mail:
Webmaster@kingdomofthesunband.org. Conductor Leslie N.
Muncaster Jr. leads more than
80 members who perform at
various locations throughout
Marion County. Sponsored in
part by Community Technical
and Adult Education of Marion
ARE DARK ROOMS A PROBLEM?
County, the all-volunteer organization has grown from 30
members in 1990 to the present
85 members, ranging in age
from 16 to 87. Their musical
experience is as varied as their
occupations — from professional
musicians and music educators
to college professors, from high
school students to engineers,
psychologists to orthodontists,
all coming together through a
shared love of music. The
orchestra performs regularly at
the Marion Technical Institute,
1614 S.E. Fort King St. All concerts are free.
Silver Springs, 5656 E. Silver
Springs Blvd., 236-2121,
www.silversprings.com. Silver
Springs is a 350-acre nature
theme park that surrounds the
headwaters of the Silver River,
the largest artesian spring formation in the world. The park
features big- name concert
series and entertainment events
and festivals, like the holiday
Festival of Lights. This year’s
lineup includes Willie Nelson,
Kenny Rogers, Wayne Newton
and Crystal Gayle.
Marion Civic Chorale,
Marionchorale@gmail.com.
694-5074. Grat L. Rosazza conducts the chorale, which last
year celebrated its 20th anniversary. The chorale performs
classical and pops up at locations throughout the county.
ERICA BROUGH/STAR-BANNER
Fort Doggone is one of the 29 dog houses in the
Barkitecture public art project in Ocala.
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32
There are plenty of places to grab a bite
BY RICK ALLEN
new Barbizon’s, which is more
than a sports bar and grill. In
The Villages, the New Orleansthemed Bourbon Street opened
mid-year on the square. A new
Chili’s Grill & Bar on SR 200 in
front of Wal-Mart has been
serving now for several weeks,
while right next door is Five
Guys Burgers and Fries, a
casual burger joint where fries
served in a brown-paper bag
are king; it was scheduled to
open Nov. 17 — with more on
the way.
Star-Banner
The good news for hungry
diners is Marion County boasts
42,138 restaurant seats. The
bad news is on any given Friday
evening it seems every single
one of them is occupied when
you’re looking for a place to eat.
Still, when you have 602
licensed food outlets — 474 of
them combining for the aforementioned 42,000 chairs — it
shouldn’t take too terribly long
before you’re also seated and
perusing the menu.
The really impatient can
always pick up a quick bite at
one of our 65 eateries without
seats or at one of our 11
licensed hot dog carts, except
most of them are not open on
Friday evenings.
Here’s a look at the dining
scene in Marion County:
UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
NEW TO TOWN
Some places open within the
last year: Ipanema, a Brazilian
steakhouse where roasted
meats are served rodizio style,
on Pine Avenue; SKY Asian
Fusion, a blend of various tastes
of the Orient, often in the same
JANNET WALSH/STAR-BANNER/2007 FILE
Tony Trinidad, executive chef at SKY Asian Fusion, puts the finishing touches on a dish.
SKY recently opened at the Holiday Inn at I-75 and College Road.
dish, in the Holiday Inn at I-75
and College Road; Back Yard
Burgers on Easy Street; Fiore’s
Family Owned & Operated
3131 SW COLLEGE ROAD (SR200)
COLLEGE PARK PLAZA
(Across from Paddock Mall)
352-291-9400
Pizza on Pine Avenue and
Leonardo’s Pizzeria on Baseline
Road. Grille 754 opened on
Northeast 25th Avenue that
long housed Hightower’s Steak
and Seafood.
Out northwest U.S. 27 is the
Uptown Grill on Silver
Springs Boulevard at 25th Avenue is now under the operation
of José Moreno of Carmichael’s
CafГ©; Candler Hills Restaurant
at Circle Square is now run by
Dave Bland, once personal chef
to John Travolta and Kelly Preston; Rondo’s is under new
ownership. CafГ© OlГ© in The Villages is now known as the Margarita Republic.
ON THE WAY
Good eats to come: New restaurants confirmed to be part of
the new Market Street at Heath
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2007-2008
Brook Mall on west State Road
200 are Mimi’s Café, a New
Orleans-themed casual family
eatery, and American Pie Pizza,
rock �n’ pepperoni.
Also planned for the Heath
Brook area on SR 200, though
not in the mall itself, is Yamato
Japanese Steak House and Sushi
of St. Augustine and
Gainesville.
A Beef O’Brady’s is nearing
completion in the Publix shopping center on east Silver
Springs Boulevard. And work
has finally begun on Old Town
Village next to the eastside
Lowe’s; eventually it’s expected
house a new Horse and Hounds
Restaurant.
Billy Scheel is considering
bringing high-end steakhouse
Mark’s Prime, similar to the one
in Gainesville, to downtown
Ocala. DeeDee’s Dog House is
expanding to The Villages with
reported “gourmet” hot dogs.
Clubhouse Bar & Grill expects
to open late this month on east
Silver Springs Boulevard near
Silver Springs Attraction.
On the way? A rumor that
Romano’s Macaroni Grill is
coming to the Market Street
Mall remains unconfirmed, but
refuses to go away.
NOT TO MISS
Some top-rated places: At
There are rumors a
Romano’s Macaroni
Grill is coming to
the Market Street
Mall.
some point you ought to give
Felix’s and The Yearling in
Cross Creek a try. Both are the
only eateries hereabouts on the
prestigious Florida Trend 500
Best Places to Dine list.
WOW FOR WINGS
No flap over wings: Anyplace
calling itself WingHouse really
ought to have good chicken
wings; Ocala’s WingHouse on
Silver Springs Boulevard doesn’t
disappoint. Neither does Hooters on College Road. And surprisingly good are the wings at
Manhattan Gyros & Subs at
1420 N.W. 10th St. Same goes
for the wings at Rondo’s, particularly the now-tamed site on
East Silver Springs Boulevard.
UNIQUE TASTE
Diverse dining options: Looking for something different,
exotic? Maybe Indian at Amrit
Palace, 2635 S.W. College Road;
Thai at Ayuttaya, 2437 S.W.
27th Ave., or Thai Ruby, 3131
S.W. College Road; British at
Corbiey’s, 6160 S.W. SR 200;
French estaminet at Edie Gourmet on South Magnolia in
downtown Ocala.
Baker’s & Cooks did open —
briefly. It closed not long ago
for upgrades. “We don’t know
when it will reopen, but it will
be as soon as possible,” says
Baker’s & Cooks proprietor
Marie Harrington. “Everybody
wants it open.” Meanwhile, the
upper-end gourmet kitchen
supply boutique is operating
under full steam. “They’re running me ragged looking for the
weirdest things,” Harrington
adds. “Sometimes I even find
them.”
TASTE OF OCALA
Hot food event: Taste of
Ocala this year changed venues
and times, leaving the Paddock
Mall in favor of the Central
Florida Community College
grounds for a windy April Sunday afternoon. The silveranniversary event remains at
CFCC in 2008 with a repeat
four- hour April afternoon.
Some 5 0 restaurants are
expected to compete for the
coveted Pewter Platters in this
scholarship- fundraising
eat-a-thon.
Latinos Y Mas on South
Pine Avenue serves up
Arroz con Pollo.
EYE OPENERS
Breakfast like a native: Some
of the best top-o-the-morning
meals are served up at Scrambles Cafe, 3233 S.E. Maricamp
Road; Uptown Grill, 2436 E. Silver Springs Blvd.; Wolfy’s, 2159
E. Silver Springs Blvd.; Richard’s
Place, 316 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
healthy and downright delicious. If you have a child in the
public school system, you’re
allowed to join your son or
daughter for lunch — just check
in with the office first. Most
middle and high schools are set
up like food courts with plenty
of variety to choose from.
SCHOOL FARE
School Daze: Believe it or not,
hot lunch at Marion County
schools is not just mystery meat
with a side of sumkinda veggies. The fare is award winning,
COOKING SCHOOL
STAR-BANNER/2003 FILE
The scoop on a cooking
school: When Baker’s & Cooks
on Broadway Street downtown
opened, the plan called for culinary classes. The Culinaria at
JAVA JOLT
Coffee, anyone? In the past
year Starbucks opened three
new full-service stores: on the
downtown square and two out
west SR 200. Added to the ones
in Barnes & Noble, Target, the
Appleton Museum, Paddock
Mall and in The Villages, that’s
now at least eight outlets —
with more likely to come. B.D.
Beaner’s on Easy Street in front
of Wal-Mart is changing its
name to Biggby’s. Dunkin’
Donuts, which is putting a new
emphasis on its coffee nowadays, opened a new unit on
west State Road 40 near I-75;
another one is nearing completion on Maricamp Road by
Skate Mania.
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Stores range from big-box retailers to tiny boutiques
Rock, which sells music, Tshirts, etc. Broadway Street is
home to Marketplace on Broadway, which sells designer women’s clothes. A men and women’s clothing store, Greiner’s, is
located a few blocks from the
square.
BY LASHONDA STINSON
Star-Banner
Not too long ago the mall and
a few shopping plazas were the
only shopping game in town.
But with time and lots of
growth, the retail landscape in
Marion County has taken on a
whole new look, offering everything from big-box retailers to
major department stores to chic
boutiques.
Here’s a look at some of the
county’s top shopping spots:
THE BOULEVARD
PADDOCK MALL
For years this was Ocala’s
main shopping destination.
Located on the bustling College
Road, it’s home to department
stores Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears
and Belk. Other mall staples
include Gap, Victoria Secret and
teen and young adult favorites
like Hollister, Aeropostle and
American Eagle. New stores
include Aldo Shoes and Charlotte Russe.
ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER/2004 FILE
Scudder & Sons Outfitters, a high-end sporting goods store, is on South Magnolia in
downtown Ocala. It’s one of many shops around the square.
MARKET STREET
AT HEATH BROOK
Hard- core shoppers are
eagerly awaiting the February
2008 opening of this 630,000square-feet, open-air retail and
restaurant complex. So far, the
confirmed stores are Dillard’s,
Talbots, Old Navy, Barnes &
Noble, Starbucks, Dick’s Sports this new shopping center also
World and Bass Pro Shop. It’s located on College Road west of
located in the State Road 200 the interstate.
corridor, west of Interstate 75.
DOWNTOWN OCALA
BERKSHIRE OAKS
Downtown shopping mostly
Kohl’s department store, H.H. orbits around the downtown
Gregg, Petco, and Office Max square. Tres Chic and Shannon
have been tagged as tenants for Roth Collection both offer
stylish and unique home dГ©cor
items, but Shannon Roth also
has a moderate selection of
apparel and accessories, including Olivia’s children’s wear in
the rear of the store. On Southeast First Avenue, there’s a boutique women’s clothing store,
Ani’s Shabby Shak and Doc of
Heading east on Silver
Springs Boulevard, Ocala Shopping Center is the first shopping hub you meet. It includes
national chains Beall’s Outlet,
Staples and Rainbow, and local
shops Your Hearts Desire, a gift
shop and cafГ©/bakery, and the
large consignment store The
Carriage Trade, which also has
a cafГ©. In Chelsea Square Plaza,
you can find designer tops,
dresses and jeans at Lisa K.
Boutique. And just past the
Appleton Museum of Art,
there’s Six Gun Plaza, home to
Beall’s, Ashley Furniture, a
small bookstore, art gallery, and
consignment and thrift stores.
GAITWAY PLAZA
Located at the intersection of
College Road and Southwest
27th Avenue, the plaza includes
Bed, Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx,
Ross, Rainbow, Dots, Shoe Carnival, plus-size store Catherine’s, Books-A-Million and
Office Depot.
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2007-2008
35
STAR-BANNER/2002 FILE
Shoppers search for the perfect holiday gifts at Belk’s in the Paddock Mall.
BIG BOX
Wal-Mart has a stronghold in
Marion County with four supercenters (two in Ocala and one
in Dunnellon and Summerfield). Target, which has added
a modest grocery section and
food court in recent years, is in
Ocala on College Road. K-Mart
is in the Shady Oaks Plaza (Best
Buy and Beall’s Outlet) on
Southwest 27th Avenue as well
as the plaza at 36th Street and
Silver Springs Boulevard. Home
improvement chain Home
Depot has one store on College
Road near the interstate. Lowe’s
is across the street and has a
second store on East Silver
Springs Boulevard. Big Lots is
on East Silver Springs Boulevard
and State Road 200.
HOME & CRAFTS
Home furnishings and dГ©cor
won’t be hard to find in Ocala.
Stores include Pier 1 Imports,
Dockside Imports, Tuesday
Morning and Ocala Traditions.
For arts, crafts and silk flowers,
there’s a Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts and
Griffins.
�ONCE LOVED’
If you’re into vintage clothes
or just looking for inexpensive
deals, Ocala has a good selection of stores that sell secondhand, or “once loved,” merchandise. There are too many in the
county to name just one, so
check the yellow pages under
consignment service and thrift
shops to get the full offering.
Goodwill has two locations,
the “superstore” on Southwest
27th Avenue near the mall and
the outlet store on West Silver
Springs Boulevard. Also, local,
non-profit organizations operate thrift stores. The Humane
Society of Marion County Thrift
Store is at 110 N.W. 10th St.
There’s a Salvation Army thrift
store next door and one in
Belleview. Hospice of Marion
County has two stores in Ocala
and one in Belleview.
In downtown Ocala, Brother’s
Keepers, 2 S.W. Fort King St.,
sells used furniture on the first
floor and clothing and household items upstairs. A few doors
down, The White Elephant, also
a thrift store, just relocated
downtown on South Magnolia
Avenue.
I-75 & BEYOND
Many people travel to bigger
nearby cities to satisfy their
shopping fix. In Gainesville,
about 35 minutes north, there’s
the Oaks Mall. If you like outlet
shopping there’s plenty of it in
Orlando in addition to the
huge Florida Mall near the airport. For upscale shopping,
drive an hour of so to Orlando’s The Mall at Millenia
(Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany & Co.,
Chanel) and International Plaza
in Tampa (Neiman Marcus,
Nordstrom). Also in Orlando
you’ll find the newest Ikea
store, which opened Nov. 14.
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36
LIVING HERE
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
LIVING HERE
37
38
Diversity helps keep local economy strong
BY RICK CUNDIFF
Star-Banner
Marion County’s economy
has had its ups and downs over
the past year, but it remains
relatively strong.
Economic diversity helps
insulate the area from the
worst shocks. Between tourism,
manufacturing, equine, construction, health care, retail and
service industries, no one sector dominates the economy.
Technology and a stable
manufacturing base were key
factors in the California-based
Milken Institute’s recent decision to rank Ocala as 2007's top
city in the nation for job
growth.
“(U)nlike many other Florida
metros, Ocala has greater
dependence on the manufacturing industry, where Lockheed Martin’s circuit-board
facility is a technology anchor,”
the institute’s report noted.
Key facts about the Ocala
business community:
RETAIL IS BIG
The retail sector continues to
grow. The new Market Street at
Heath Brook mall is scheduled
to open early next year, bringing new options to shoppers,
including Dillards and Talbots.
Paddock Mall, the county’s
first mall, is slated for a renovation and expansion in 2008,
and new standalone centers are
being developed nearby. A new
shopping center, Berkshire
Oaks, will add big box retailers
Kohl’s and H.H. Gregg to the
mix just west of Interstate 75
east of the Market Street
complex.
EMPLOYMENT
Slowdowns in the housing
and construction industries
have led to higher unemployment in recent months, with
the jobless rate rising to 4.8
percent.
But manufacturing
employment has risen, the
result of more available job
candidates.
TOP EMPLOYER
The county’s single largest
employer is the Marion County
School District, which employs
5,991 people. Education and
government — city, county,
state and federal — employ
more people than the top 10
private sector employers
combined.
BIG HOSPITAL
Of
the
county’s
largest
Munroe Regional Medical Center
2,427
Healthcare
Wal-Mart (combined)
2,385
Retail Sales
Publix Supermarkets (combined)
1,450
Retail Sales
Ocala Regional Medical Center &
West Marion Community Hospital
1,301
Healthcare
Emergency One, Inc.
1,281
Manufacturing
Cingular Wireless
1,000
Support Services
ClosetMaid
890
Manufacturing
712
Finance
Taylor, Bean & Whitaker
Mortgage Corporation
Winn Dixie Supermarkets (combined)
760
Retail Sales
Lockheed Martin
593
Manufacturing
Cheney Brothers, Inc.
575
Distribution
Mark IV Automotive-Dayco Ocala
529
Manufacturing
Kmart Corporation
500
Distribution
On Top of The World Communities, Inc.
486
Real Estate Developer
Merillat Corporation Ocala
450
Manufacturing
Swift Transportation Company
440
Transportation
Hospice of Marion County and Its Affiliated Companies
421
Healthcare
Custom Window Systems, Inc.
290
Manufacturing/Distribution
Southeast Milk, Inc.
250
Distribution
Townley Manufacturing
237
Manufacturing
Marion County School Board
5,991
Education
State of Florida (All Depts.)
2,263
Government
Marion County Board of County Commissioners
1,342
Government
City of Ocala (All Depts.)
1,244
Government
Marion County Sheriff’s Office
883
Government
U.S. Government
696
Government
Central Florida Community College
450
Education
SOURCE: Ocala/Marion County Economic Development Corp.
private-sector employers, two
are in healthcare, three in retail
sales, three in manufacturing,
one in finance and one in support services. Munroe Regional
Medical Center is the largest
single employer, with 2,427
employees, followed closely by
Wal-Mart with 2,385.
LOCAL HEADQUARTERS
Munroe Regional Medical
Center and the Taylor, Bean
and Whitaker mortgage firm
are the only two of the top 10
private sector employers headquartered in Marion County.
The remainder, including Ocala
Regional Medical Center, Emergency One, and ClosetMaid,
report to corporate offices
elsewhere.
MANUFACTURING
Fire truck manufacturer
Emergency One remains the
county’s largest manufacturing
employer with 1,281 jobs,
according to the Ocala/Marion
County Economic Development
Corp. E-One is the county’s
fifth-largest employer overall.
INCENTIVES
The controversial $26.7 million incentive package offered
to E-One earlier this year when
the company considered building a new plant outside the
state marked the county’s first
STAR/BANNER
time participating in business
incentives.
Although the E-One package
collapsed when parent company Federal Signal decided to
keep E-One in its existing Ocala
facilities, it prompted county
commissioners to develop a
program for future incentives.
DRAWING NEW JOBS
The county continues to
attract new manufacturing jobs
from other areas. Since the
start of the year, Sunair Electronics, American Spaceframe
Fabricators International, Scorpion Performance and Duratek
Precast Technologies have
announced plans to relocate to
BRUCE ACKERMAN/STAR-BANNER 2004 FILE
Fire truck manufacturer
Emergency One remains
the county’s largest
manufacturing employer
with 1,281 jobs.
Ocala.
HIGH-TECH INDUSTRIES
Ocala’s high-tech industries
are growing too. Lockheed Martin continues to build missile
control systems in its Ocala
facility, and Intellon is expanding its line of integrated circuits
into new products.
A new company, Nanobio
LLC, is creating nanotechnology
products too small to be seen
without an electron microscope
that might someday make other
products better, stronger or safer. Talks are still under way to
bring a branch of the
Pensacola-based Institute for
Human and Machine Cognition
to Ocala in the former library
building downtown.
MORE TOURISM
Tourism continues to grow.
The Ocala/Marion County Visitor and Convention Bureau
recently authorized a feasibility
study to determine whether the
area can support a convention/
meeting facility.
New hotels recently opened
on both the east and west sides
of Ocala. A new Holiday Inn
Express opened near the Silver
Springs attraction, joined by a
Value Place extended-stay hotel
nearby. West of Interstate 75, a
new high-rise Holiday Inn
caters to both travelers and
local residents with banquet
space, meeting rooms, luxury
suites and an Asian-fusion
restaurant.
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
LIVING HERE
39
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40
They call us the �Horse Capital of the World’
BY FRED HIERS
NICE CLIMATE
Star-Banner
Ocala’s mild climate makes it
ideal to train young horses
year-round. In addition, some
trainers say the calcium in Marion County’s soil helps growing
foals to build strong bones.
Hold your horses if you think
Marion County is just another
quaint, rural area with a smattering of horse farms.
Thousands of foals born here
head to racetracks all over the
world, and thousands more
come here from colder climates
to train and learn the ropes of
horse racing In addition, thousands of people come to Marion
County for dozens of horse
events, spending tens of millions of dollars annually.
Here are some of the basics
about the local horse industry
that will help newcomers learn
about Ocala’s horse history.
THE MOST HORSES
A 1999 U. S,. Department of
Agriculture census reported
that Marion County led all
other U.S. counties in the total
number of horses. Only two
other counties in Kentucky sell
more horses annually than Ocala.
HORSE CAPITAL
HITS
Horse Shows in the Sun, otherwise known as HITS, attracts
about 7,500 riders, trainers and
support staff from around the
world to compete in a series of
jumping events. The springtime, five-week event has an
estimated $50 million impact
on the county. The event is
held off U.S. 27. The StarBanner lets its readers know
well in advance before HITS
begins.
In addition, the county also
boasts dozens of events annually at its 500-acre Florida
Horse Park.
BILL DENVER/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
2007 Preakness Stakes Winner Curlin with exercise rider Carmen Rosas, left, walks on
the track at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., in August, escorted by assistant trainer
Scott Blasi. Curlin was broken at Ocala’s Another Episode Farm and is owned, in part,
by Padua Stables in Summerfield. Below left: A horse rests his head on a fence at
Lonefeather on U.S. 27 near County Road 326 in Blitchton. Below right: Sergio Campos
completes the jumping event during HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.
CROWN CONNECTIONS
All three of this year’s Triple
Crown winners have local
connections.
Kentucky Derby winner
Street Sense was broken and
received his early training at
Ocala Stud. Preakness Stakes
winner Curlin was broken at
Ocala’s Another Episode Farm
and the filly, Rags to Riches,
winner of the Belmont Stakes
was broken by Robert N. Scanlon Training Center in
Williston.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic
winner, Curlin, is also owned, in
part, by Padua Stables in
Summerfield.
THE YOUNG ONES
About 4,000 thoroughbred
foals are born in Marion
County annually. Did you
know about half never see a
racetrack because they’re
unsuitable for racing?
LOTS OF JOBS
The horse industry has a
$500 million annual economic
impact on Marion County. As
many as 30,000 jobs are somehow touched by the industry.
THE OTHER BREEDS
In addition to about 1,000
thoroughbred farms in Marion
County, more than 200 farms
and training centers are
devoted to breeding, training
and showing as many as 50
other breeds such as the Paso
Fino, Missouri Foxtrotter, Arabian, Morgan, miniature horses,
quarter horses, hunter/jumpers
and draft horses.
Although many of Marion
County’s horse farms are more
than 500 acres, most are much
smaller and range from just a
Ocala, and its surrounding
area is also known as “Horse
Capital of the World.” But it
didn’t come by the title easily.
Dick Hancock, vice president
of the Florida Thoroughbred
Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, obtained the trademark on
behalf of Ocala and Marion
County eight years ago. But
Lexington, Kentucky also
claimed the title.
In 2002, the United States
Patent and Trademark Office,
ruled FTBOA had exclusive
rights to “Ocala/Marion County
Horse Capital of the World” and
the design of its promotional
material as a whole. But the
trademark office also ruled
FTBOA did not have exclusive
rights to the phrase because
boastful claims, such as the
best or the most, could not be
trademarked.
FAMOUS OWNERS
LEE FERINDEN/STAR-BANNER
few acres to less than 100 acres.
Some offer tours by appointment. Others offer riding and
riding lessons by appointment.
About 450 thoroughbred farms
are active in that they produce
or train race horses every year.
HEARD OF NEEDLES?
The first Florida bred horse to
win the Kentucky was Needles,
owned by Bonnie Heath II and
Jack Dudley. The two Midwest
oil wildcatters came to Ocala in
the mid-1950s and became
involved in the fledgling racing
industry.
After the horse won the
Derby and Belmont Stakes in
1956, the two men decided to
keep the colt here rather than
send it to Kentucky for stud.
Even though the pair earned
less money by the decision,
ERICA BROUGH/STAR-BANNER
Needles focused additional
attention on the thoroughbred
business in Ocala.
Did you know that Needles
was a sickly foal and was
named Needles because of all
the shots it received?
Other Triple Crown race winners with Ocala connections
include Unbridled from former
Tartan Farm and Silver Charm
from Dudley Farm.
George Steinbrenner, owner
of the New York Yankees, also
owns a 750-acre horse farm in
Ocala. It is called Kinsman
Farm.
Campbell Soup heiress Charlotte Weber also owns a farm
here. She owns the 4,5000-acre
farm Live Oak Stud and until
recently owned Miesque’s
Approval. He won the 2006
Breeders’ Cup Mile race and
was named 2006 Eclipse Award
winner Champion Turf Male.
41
2007-2008
Looking for a home? Now’s the time to buy one
will be healthy over the next 12
to 24 months.”
BY HARRIET DANIELS
Star-Banner
As housing inventory
throughout the county increases, it appears that the local real
estate market is becoming a
buyer’s market.
It’s a shift in the local market
says Greg Lord, president of the
Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors following the
home building explosion of
2005.
He said it will be interesting
to see real estate numbers in a
few years which will better
reflect market activity void of
speculators who entered the
housing market in 2005.
“We are seeing a shift to
more positive consumer confidence than in the past,” Lord
said. “The national media is
lumping Ocala in with the
entire state. While the coastal
areas and southern Florida
have seen declines, Marion
County still has positive values
but consumers are looking at
national and state numbers and
are being a bit cautious.”
Marion County offers homes
in a variety of price ranges
from starter homes to luxurious upper-end abodes.
“Ocala is a unique place for
those looking for a starter
home or those wanting a second or third home,” he said.
“Everyone wants to be in
Ocala.”
PRICES UP
The median price of homes
in Marion County for the second quarter of 2007 was
$170,900, a slight jump from
$169,500 for the same period in
2006.
The National Association of
Realtors reported a U.S. median
home price of $223,800 for the
second quarter of 2007 compared to $227,100 in 2006.
Statewide, the median price for
the period was $221,200, down
from $243,300 in 2006.
BUYER’S MARKET
Key indicators show the local
market is leaning toward the
area being a buyer’s market.
Lord said this is being driven
by the increasing inventory of
both new and existing homes.
NEW CONSTRUCTION
During fiscal year 2006-2007,
which ended on Sept. 30, Marion County reported 2,698 permits for single-family homes,
down from 6,355 in the
GROWTH AREAS
In 2007, the State Road 200
corridor and Marion Oaks generated the largest amount of
residential building permits —
46 percent — according to the
Marion County building
department.
Next in line is the south U.S.
441 corridor and the southeast
section of the county generated
30 percent of the area’s residential building permits.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING
JANNET WALSH/STAR-BANNER 2000 FILE
The Autumn Run model is shown in Summer Glen, a housing development located near
the intersection of County Road 484 and Interstate 75.
2005-2006 fiscal year.
As for multi-family homes, to
include condos, town homes
and apartments, there was a
slight increase in 2007 with 48
permits versus 37 permits in
2006.
HOME SALES
According to the Marion
County Property Appraiser,
6,812 residential units have
been sold in Marion County so
far this year. In comparison,
13,314 sales were processed in
2006.
TYPES OF HOUSING
From traditional neighborhoods, gated subdivisions to
sprawling retirement communiALAN YOUNGBLOOD/STAR-BANNER 2005 FILE
ties, those in search of a home Signs like this one are good for those looking to buy a
can find it all in Marion County.
home as Marion County is currently a buyer’s market.
Areas like Silver Springs Shores
and Marion Oaks, are older,
more established residential On Top of the World, and Oak has stabilized and will return to
a steady increase by the fall of
communities and both are still Run to name a few.
2008.
experiencing growth. Others DRIVING GROWTH
“Most indicators that would
areas like Fore Ranch and
John
O’Connor
from
the
enable
a healthy local new
Heath Brook are newer
county building department home sales market are positive;
subdivisions.
The southern portion of Mar- said housing growth in Marion such as low interest rates, lower
ion County is also home to a County, like most of central and cost of construction products
section of the massive Villages south Florida, is being driven and services, strong commercial
retirement community with by seniors relocating from construction activity, and baby
several other gated retirement harsher northern climates, and boomers reaching retirement
communities nearby. Just west growing employment opportu- age,” O’Connor said. “Overall I
of Ocala the State Road 200 cor- nities. He said it appears that am optimistic that the new
ridor is also a retiree hub with residential construction activity home market in Marion County
Marion County offers several
affordable housing programs
for income eligible households
including the State Housing
Initiative Partnership or SHIP
and the Community Development Block Grant or CDBG for
home purchase or rehabilitation outside of the city limits of
Ocala.
In Ocala, the CDBG Housing
Rehabilitation Program, using
federal funds, along with the
state-funded SHIP program is
offered to income eligible residents within the city limits.
HOUSING EVENTS
Each year several home
events are hosted in Ocala to
expose potential buyers to area
builders. Perhaps two of the
area’s largest events are the
annual spring Parade of Homes
and the Fall Showcase of
Homes. The Marion County
Building Industry Association
sponsors both events.
Homes typically range from
the more affordable end of just
over $100,000 to those considered in the luxury price range
of over $500,000.
HOUSE HUNTING
Greg Lord from the local realtors association suggests a stop
by the local Chamber of Commerce for those new to the area
and looking for a house. He
said a wealth of information is
available to help make the
search easier.
In addition to contacting a
realtor of choice and getting
referrals from peers, he also
suggests getting in the car with
a good map to learn the area.
“We recommend people drive
around the county and spend
two tanks of gas to really get a
sense of what’s here. There are
different areas all over the
county,” Lord said.
42
LIVING HERE
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
LIVING HERE
43
44
The great outdoors are awaiting you
BY LUCY BEEBE THOMAS
developed, primitive and dispersed tent camping. For reservations call 877-444-6777. Visit
www. fs.fed.us/r8/florida.
Special to the Star Banner
The sun is shining. The sky
is blue. Well, what are you
going to do? Get out there in
the fresh air, of course. Staying
inside is unacceptable.
Like birding? We got birds.
Born to swim? We got places to
get wet. Do you yearn to camp
under the stars? Yep, we got
that one covered too. You
bring the marshmallows.
Marion County is blessed
with one national forest, two
state parks and the lion’s share
of the Marjorie Harris Carr
Cross Florida Greenway, a 110mile green corridor across Florida that was once slated to be
the Cross Florida Barge Canal
and is now a world-class
wonder.
Toss in state, county and city
officials, with support from voters, continuing to enhance our
quality of life with more outdoor recreation opportunities.
Easy to understand folks who
say they moved here for the
chance to bike, walk, hike,
camp, bird watch, canoe and
more — all within spitting distance of their backyard.
Let’s get going:
STATE PARKS
Surprise! Marion County has
not one, but two, state parks.
Both are on the Web at
www.floridastateparks.com.
Ten natural communities,
miles of trails and a spectacular
view of the Silver River await
visitors to Silver River State
Park, 1425 N.E. 58th Ave., Ocala, FL 34470, phone 352-2367148. Admission: $4 per vehicle up to eight people. Come
back on weekends to visit Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center,
open to the public from 9 a.m
to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $2 per
person.
Rainbow Springs State Park
in Dunnellon has the state’s
fourth largest spring. The headwaters are a popular starting
point to canoe, swim, snorkel
and kayak on the Rainbow River. Admission is $1 per person,
children under 6 admitted free.
Address: 19158 S.W. 81st Place
Road, Dunnellon, FL 34432,
phone 352-465-8555. Tubers
launch at nearby K.P. Hole
County Park.
CITY PARKS
The Ocala Recreation and
Parks Department has eight
walking trails ranging from
two-fifths of a mile (Heritage
CANOEING
Can you canoe? A popular
canoe trail winds along Juniper
Creek in the Ocala National
Forest. Be prepared to pull the
canoe under and over some
obstacles. Start at Juniper Creek
Recreation Area. To rent canoes
at Juniper call 352-625-2808.
Dragonfly Watersports in
Dunnellon rents canoes at both
Rainbow Springs headwaters
and Rainbow Springs campground. Reach them at headwaters 352-465-2100 or campground 352-465-8992.
COUNTY PARKS
JANNET WALSH/STAR-BANNER 2004 FILE
Hikers are shown in the fog at the start of their bird sighting tour at the Sunnyhill Trail
at the Sunnyhill Restoration Area in Ocklawaha.
peace all at the same time, visit
Sholom Park, 6602 S.W. 80th
Ave., Ocala, FL 34481, phone
352-427-1628. There are only a
handful of peace parks in the
United States and we have one.
Two miles of winding paved
trails meander through grasslands, a forest, past a pond and
a formal garden, even a labyrinth. Bring a picnic lunch. Stay
awhile. No admission charge.
Nature Park) to two miles
(Jervey Gantt Health Trail)
along with seven outdoor recreation centers and two community recreation centers. Find
them all on the Web at:
www.ocalafl.org or call 352368-5550. Their office is at 828
N.E. Eighth Ave., Ocala, FL
34470.
BIRDING SITES
The Great Florida Birding
Trail lists four sites in Marion
County: Sportsmans Cove in
Orange Lake; Salt Springs in
Ocala National Forest; Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area
south of Ocala and Silver River
State Park in Ocala. Free birding
g u i d e s
a t
www.floridabirdingtrail.com or
ask for them at any state park.
BIKE TRAILS
Got bikes? We got trails. For
mountain bikes, Santos Bike
Trail, (trailhead) 3080 S.E. 80th
St., Ocala, on the Cross Florida
Greenway, dips into and around
an old limestone quarry with 30
miles of trails on three levels of
difficulties (color coded). For
maps and more information,
visit the Ocala Mountain Bile
Association Web site at www.
Omba.org or Greenways and
Trails at www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt
For paved road riding try the
STARRY, STARRY NIGHTS
LEE FERINDEN/STAR-BANNER 2007 FILE
Elizabeth Liversuch sneaks
up on her son John, 4, at
Rainbow Springs in
Dunnellon. The family is
from England and said they
visit the area every year.
five miles of paved trail at Baseline to Marshall Swamp Trail,
part of the Cross Florida Greenway. The trailhead is at the
intersection of Baseline Road
and Maricamp Road in Ocala.
S
e
e
www.floridagreenwaysandtrails.org or call 352-236-7143.
SERENITY NOW
To walk, meditate and find
About those starry nights —
first you need to get away from
the bright lights in order to see
the stars. Set up camp at the
full-facility Rainbow Springs
State Campground, 18185 S.W.
94th St., Dunnellon, FL 34432,
phone 352-465-8550. Rate: $19
a night (note: campground
undergoing renovation, not all
sites available). The campground is six miles from the
state park.
Or go for full comfort in a
cabin. Silver River State Park
has 10 luxury cabins along with
a full-service campground. Cabins are $100 a night plus tax,
camping is $21 a night plus tax.
Book campsites through
www.reserveamerica.com. Partner staying at the park with a
visit to Silver Springs attraction
just down the road and maybe
take in a concert.
Ocala National Forest has
Marion County Parks and
Recreation has 45 facilities
ranging from boat ramps to
softball fields, beaches, conservation areas and even a dog
park. Some recreational facilities are free, others require an
entrance fee. Annual passes
a v a i l a b l e .
V i s i t
www.marioncountyfl.org. The
Parks and Recreation office is at
111 S.E. 25th Ave., Ocala
(McPherson Governmental
Complex), phone 352-671-8560.
SWIMMING POOLS
Let’s go swimming. The City
of Ocala has two pools. Hampton Memorial Aquatic Fun Center is at 255 N.W. Martin Luther
King Blvd., Ocala, phone 352622-6803. Cost is $1.50 for children, $2.50 for adults for two
hours.
Jervey Gantt Aquatic Fun
Center, 2390 S.E. 36th Ave.,
Ocala, has the same costs. Their
phone number is 352-624-2410.
Ocala Aquatics is in the Newton A. Perry Aquatic Center,
3001 S.W. College Road, just
west of the tennis courts on
Central Florida Community
College Ocala campus. Masters
swimming available plus activities for all ages and water aerobics. Phone 352-873-5811. Web
site: www.ocalaaquatics.com
DOG PARK
Got dogs? They need to go
outside and play too. Visit Millennium Dog Park, 2513 S.E.
32nd Ave., Ocala, FL 34471,
phone 352-732-8655. Dogs
need to have a current rabies
tag. Area divided for small and
big dogs. Donations accepted.
Winter hours are Wednesday,
Saturday and Sunday from 8
a.m to 5 p.m.
45
2007-2008
CITY PARKS Contact number: 352-368-5550
Avenue
e.
S.W. 60th
Av
6. Fisher Park, 900 S.E. 22nd St.
S.W.
S.W. 20th St.
10
17th St.
35
4
6
14
Ave.
th
Ave.
S.E. 25th
34
16
5
20
5. Clyatt Park, 1500 S.E. 17th St.
11
E. Silver
4. Brick City Park, 1211 S.E. 22nd Road
s
ng
ri
Sp
13
1 N.E. 3rd St.
15
40
75
d.
Blv
N.E. 14th St.
18
17
S.E. 36
2
3. Lillian Bryant Park, 2200 N.W. 17th Place
N.E. 28th St.
N.E. 24th St.
Pine
27
Jr. Blvd.
3
27th Avenue
2. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex,
1510 N.W. Fourth St.
441
MLK
12
1. Tuscawilla Park, 300-899 N.E. Sanchez Ave.
9
36
7
19
200
8
7. Jervey-Gantt Park, 2200 S.E. 36th Ave.
8. Ocala Regional Sportsplex, 3500 S.W. 67th Ave.
9. Recycle Park, 3000 S.E. 32nd Ave.
McIntosh
10. Celebrate 2000 Park at Scott Springs, 2300
S.W. 24th Ave., Ocala
320
31
24
318
City
Citra
11. Heritage Nature Conservancy, 2005 N.E. 3rd St., Ocala
12. Toms Park, 2300 N.W. Magnolia Ave.
County
25A
326
13. Fort King Tennis Center, 3301 S.E. Fort King St.
200A
301
441
Silver
Springs
41
45
25 18
200
Dunnellon
40
32
NATIONAL
19
16. Ocala Golf Club, 3130 N.E. Silver Springs Blvd.
46
484
19
38
40
30
35
41
44
43
OCALA
314A
42
27
40
Salt
Springs
39
314
38
40
17. Pine Oaks Golf Course, 2201 N.W. 21st St.
Lake
Kerr
23
315
47
28
27 39
Anthony
328
15. Cohadjoe Park, 4225 N.E. 35th St.
33
37
75
464
14. Ritterhoff Park, 1400 Block of S.E. 17th St.
Fort
22 McCoy
316
Reddick
Silver
Springs
Shores
28 Moss Bluff
29
Belleview
20
FOREST
21
441
Lake
Weir
Ocklawaha
301
42
26 Weirsdale
COUNTY PARKS Contact: 352-236-7111
19. Baseline Road Trailhead,
4255 S.E. 58th Ave., Ocala
DOG PARKS Contact number: 352-732-8655
20. Belleview Sportsplex, 6547 S.E. 107th St., Belleview
36. Millenium Dog Park, 2513 S.E. 32nd Place,
next to Recycle Park,Ocala, 732-8655
21. Carney Island Park, 13275 S.E. 115th Ave., Ocklawaha
22. Cougar Community Park, 14660 N.E.
Hwy. 315. Fort McCoy
STATE AND FEDERAL RECREATION State: 352-236-7148; Federal: 352-236-0288
37. Silver Glen Springs, State Road 19, north of State Road 40
23. Gore’s Landing, 13750 N.E. 98th St., Fort McCoy
24. Citra Improvement Society Park, 2351 E. Hwy. 318, Citra
38. Juniper Springs Recreation Area, State Road 40, 22 miles
east of Silver Springs
25. Dunnellon Little League, 12214 South Bridges Road, Dunnellon
39. Salt Springs Campground, State Road 19, Salt Springs
26. Weirsdale Park, 16285 S.E. 137th Court, Weirsdale
40. Mill Dam Recreation Area, Forest Road 79, north of
State Road 40
27. Eureka East & West Boat Ramps, County Road 316, Eureka
41. Silver River State Park, 1425 N.E. 58th Ave. (Baseline Road),
Ocala. 236-7148
28. Moss Bluff County Recreation Area, County Road 464C,
Ocklawaha
42. Ocala National Forest Visitor Center, 236-0288
29. Flemington Community Park, 18200 N. Hwy. 329, Flemington
43. Rainbow Springs State Park, 19158 S.W. 81st Place Road,
Dunnellon, 465-8
30. Ocklawaha Visitors Center, 3199 N.E. County Road 315,
Silver Springs
31. Orange Springs Boat Ramp, N.E. 245th St. Road,
Orange Springs
44. Rainbow Springs State Park Campground, 18185
S.W. 94th Street, Dunnellon, 465-8550
32. Rotary Sportsplex, 5220 S.E. Maricamp Road, Ocala
45. Santos Trailhead, mountain bike trails on Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway,
Southeast 80th St. and U.S. 441, Belleview, 236-7143
33. Salt Springs Civic Association Park, 25054 N.E. Hwy.
316, Fort McCoy
46. Cross Florida Greenway Land Bridge, C.R. 475A, 1.5 miles north of County Road 484,
Belleview, 236-7143
34. Shocker Softball Field, 4400 S.E. 24th St., Ocala
There are two Ocala National Forest Visitor Centers: Ocklawaha Visitor Center, 3199 N.E.
Highway 315, Silver Springs, 236-0288 and Salt Springs Visitor Center, 14100 N. State Highway
19, Salt Springs, 685-3070
35. Veteran's Memorial Park, southeast 25th Avenue and southeast
Fort King Street, Ocala
Picnic area
Swimming
Basketball
Playground
Trails, hiking
Restrooms
Tennis
Boat ramp
Grill, cooking
Volleyball
Racquetball
Concession stand
Camping
Soccer, football
Shuffleboard
Water skiing
Canoe, tube rental
Baseball
Fishing
User fee
46
JANNET WALSH/STAR-BANNER 2004 FILE
Whether it’s baseball for youth, above, or soccer for adults, below, there are leagues available for everyone in your family.
Get your game on in local recreation leagues
BY C.J. RISAK
Star-Banner
Run. Hit. Pound. Splash. Grapple. Swing. Race. Kick.
�Tis but a few of the options
offered within Marion County
when it comes to recreational
sports. As the county grows, so
does the interest in sports and the
number of those wanting to participate, at all levels. Bottom line:
If there’s a sport that interests
you, you can find it within a couple hours drive of Ocala.
But this isn’t about watching.
This is about playing, about getting into the action, about trying
something new, something different, or just sticking with a sport
you’ve always loved.
Ocala has it. Here’s a list of
some of the things available
within the county.
FOOTBALL
ERICA BROUGH/STAR-BANNER
It’s still in season, football is,
and interest isn’t waning even if
the Gators have — at least compared to last season. There are
three youth football leagues
within the county:
The Marion County Youth Football League, open to those in
grades 4-8 with three age divisions, plays all its games at Jervey
Gantt Park, 2200 SE 36th Ave.,
Ocala. Phone listing is 694-1400,
Web site is www.mcyfl.org.
The Pop Warner Youth Football
League’s Timucua Conference has
three county teams in five age/
weight divisions. For information,
contact league director Rick Tuten
at ricktuten@cox.net, or check the
league Web sites at
www.timucuaconference.org or
www.popwarner.com.
The Ocala Youth Cheer and
Football League, with play divided
into four divisions, play games
each Saturday from late August
through mid-November at the
OYCFL Stadium. Contact league
owner/president Dr. Michael Rotstein at 867-1155.
SOCCER
There is no real season for
soccer, it seems to go year round.
The Big Sun Soccer Youth Soccer League, located at 2811 SE
36th Ave., Ocala, offers soccer
leagues for all ages and gender,
recreational and competitive. Contact information: 694-4778 or the
league
Web
site
at
www.bsysl.com.
The Belleview Soccer League,
which has matches at the Belleview Recreation Complex, services
southern Marion County with age
group soccer at both the recreational and competitive levels. For
more information, contack John
Sikorsky at 266-3353.
GOLF
In a state in which it’s always
golfing weather, there’s plenty of
places to satisfy that interest.
Here’s a listing of the public
courses within Marion County.
Baseline Golf Course, 9000 SE
58th Ave., Ocala. 19 holes, 3,604
yards (middle tees), par 64.
245-4414.
Golden Ocala Golf and Country
47
2007-2008
Club, 8300 NW 31st Lane Rd,
Ocala. 18 holes, 6,882 yards
(black tees), par 72. 671-3933.
Huntington Golf Course, 799
Mary Oak Manor, Ocala. 18
holes, 6,563 yards (championship tees), par 72. 347-3333.
Marion Oaks Country Club,
430 Marion Oaks Golf Way,
Ocala. 18 holes, 7.031 yards
(championship tees), par 72.
347-1271.
Oak Run Country Club Executive Course, 8900 SW 110th
St., Ocala. 9 holes, 1,909 yards
(white tees), par 31. 854-0122.
Ocala Golf Club, 3130 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. 18
holes, 6,369 yards (black tees),
par 72. 401-6917.
Pine Oaks of Ocala, 2201 NW
21st St., Ocala. 27 holes, 6,533
yards (senior tees), par 72.
401-6940.
Rainbow’s End Golf Club,
20650 SW 80th Place Rd., Dunnellon. 9 holes, 5,768 yards
(black tees, 18
holes), par 72.
489-4566.
368-6074.
Ocala Highlands Little
League, 694-1004.
Ocala Youth Baseball Association, 694-7118.
SOFTBALL
For former athletes, their
playing days in many sports
may come to an end, but
there’s always softball. That’s at
the recreation level. There’s
also some very competitive
leagues, particularly for
females.
Ocala Youth Softball,
694-6464.
Ocala Regional Sportsplex,
adult leagues, 873-6569.
Ocala Shockers Fastpitch,
624-0458.
Belleview Dixie Girls,
694-5869.
SWIMMING
There are a couple of community swimming pools within
the city for those
looking to get
some exercise or
for competitive
BASKETBALL
swimmers.
T h e r e ’ s
Newton A.
plenty of places
Perry Aquatic
to go if you
Center, located
want to get a
on the Central
game.
Florida CommuOcala Recrenity College
ation and Parks,
campus, 3001
with indoor and
SW College Rd.,
outdoor courts
Ocala, features a
offered at many
50-meter pool.
of its facilities,
Also home to the
has leagues for
Central Florida
all ages, male
Marlins Swim
and female. For
Club, an age
details, call the
group team for
Recreation and
those 5-14 years
Parks Departold. For more
m e n t
a t
information, call
368-5550.
873-5811.
The Boys and
Jervey Gantt
Girls Club of
Park, 2200 SE
Marion County,
36th Ave., Ocala,
800 SW 12th
has 25-meter
Ave., Ocala,
pool perched on
offers league BRUCE ACKERMAN/STAR-BANNER 2001 FILE the grounds of
play and shootOcala’s largest
arounds. For
park, approximore informamately 56 acres. For more infortion, call 690-7440.
mation, call 368-5550.
The Marion County Family
YMCA, 3200 SE 17th St., Ocala, WRESTLING
also has league and open play.
The Ocala Wrestling Club is
For information, call 368-9622.
trying to bring the attention a
sport that ranks with the
BASEBALL
world’s oldest deserves. The
There are plenty of areas OWC, under the direction of
where one can find a program Dennis Kane, is open to kids
suited to their children’s needs. from six years-old through high
Here’s a few of them.
school. It goes beyond what is
Ocala Babe Ruth Baseball, taught in high school programs
5220 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala. — which is freestyle wrestling —
694-6673.
to also include both folkstyle
Oak-Griner Youth Baseball, and Greco-Roman styles while
6422 NE Jacksonville Rd., Oca- competing at the AAU level.
la. 629-1605.
The club practices on Tuesdays
Dunnellon Baseball/Softball and Thursdays at Forest High
Little League, 489-7399.
School. For further information,
Scott Carrigan Baseball, call Kane at 572-7721.
DOUG FINGER/THE GAINESVILLE SUN
It’s a short drive to Gainesville to watch the Gators play at home in the Swamp.
Pro or college, there are plenty
of spectator sports to choose from
BY C.J. RISAK
Star-Banner
It is, after all, the age of centralization.
And just what does that mean? It means
simplifying, eliminating the unnecessary,
finding an easier way to do things. Other
than the government, most major business
enterprises follow this basic principal.
If in search of sports entertainment, a good
place to start is right here in Ocala. That’s
because within a couple hours drive of Marion County are the sites of all sorts of major
sports, both college and pro.
Those listed offer steady, year-in-and-yearout events, not once a year or every so often
attractions (example: pro golf tournaments,
tennis tournaments, etc). Those kind of
events are common visitors as well to the
Florida climate.
Here are the pro and college sports within
an afternoon’s driving distance of Ocala.
в—Џ University of Florida: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (otherwise known as The Swamp) and
the O’Connell Center, home of Florida basketball. 352 384-3261 or 877 428-6742.
в—Џ Florida State University: Doak Campbell
Stadium (football) or FSU hoop, call 888 FSUNOLE or 850 64-GOFSU, or check the website
www.seminoles.com.
в—Џ University of South Florida: 4201 S. Maybry Highway, Tampa. 1-800-Go-Bulls.
в—Џ Orlando Magic: 8701 Maitland Summit
Blvd., Orlando. 407 89-Magic or 866
622-6442.
в—Џ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4201 N. Dale
Maybry Hwy., tampa. 813 879-2827.
в—Џ Jacksonville Jaguars: 1 Alltell Stadium
Place, Jacksonville. 877-4-Jags-Tix.
в—Џ Tampa Bay Rays: 1 Tropicana Drive, St.
Petersburg. 888-FAN-RAYS.
GENE J. PUSKAR/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Catch Major League action with the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays at home in St.
Pertersburg.
в—Џ Tampa Bay Lightning: 401 Channelside
Drive, Tampa. 813 301-2500.
в—Џ Ocala Speedway: 9050 NW Gainesville
Road, Ocala. 622-9040.
в—Џ Daytona International Speedway: 1801
W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona
Beach. 386 254-2700.
48
LIVING HERE
HOW-TO-GUIDE 2007-2008
FREE Physician Referral and Health Information
A free community service from Ocala Regional Medical Center
and West Marion Community Hospital is now available to help you
find a doctor who fits your specific needs.
Registered nurses are also at your service providing
consultation and prompt answers to your health-related
questions. Our nurses do not diagnose conditions, but
provide health information in an effort to help you find
answers to your health questions.
24 Hours A Day,
Seven Days A Week
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