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Ocala Gazette

Ocala Rec and Parks announces debut of new department mascot

July is National Parks and Recreation Month—a time to highlight the impact of parks and recreation within the community. And to commemorate this, the Ocala Recreation and Parks Department announced a new mascot, Rex the Squirrel, on Friday, July 1, as part of the month-long celebration. “We are thrilled...
OCALA, FL
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Who is in the box?

A visibly depressed high school student, hunched over in a hoodie, gets mercilessly teased by peers for his unfashionable attire. One day, he has had enough and fatally shoots one of the offending students point blank. Convicted as an adult, the young felon soon realizes the consequences of his crime;...
OCALA, FL

Appleton Museum of Art brings back programs

The Appleton Museum of Art is back to offering summer activities and programs at full capacity after two years of limited operations due to the pandemic. “This summer we are actually opening up our art camps again, so we are able to allow the community in,” said James Dickins, coordinator of finance services.
OCALA, FL

A new template for cultural empathy

According to Dr. Sheni Meghani, enjoyment of the arts is a three-dimensional experience that immerses the participant in culture and different sensual experiences — sights, sounds, textures, flavors and aromas– by way of the imagination. But most, importantly, art also celebrates how similar we are. Meghani inspires and...
OCALA, FL

Spy Science exhibit opens at Discovery Center July 2

The Discovery Center’s latest exhibit, Spy Science, is scheduled to open to the public on Saturday, July 2, according to a June 29 press release. It will remain on display through to Sept. 17. The exhibit, which is sponsored by Marion Rotary Duck Derby, Ocala Electric Utilities, Fun4Ocala Kids...
OCALA, FL

County Commission, School Board races are now set for 2022 elections

The official qualifying period for County Commission and School Board candidates in the upcoming Marion County 2022 election cycle ended on Friday, June 17. The salary for a county commissioner is on average $144,488 a year and the salary for a school board member is $39,732 a year. To see who made the final list of candidates for each respective race, read below:
MARION COUNTY, FL

Poet’s Corner-July 1, 2022

Every Friday, James Blevins, this newspaper’s in-house reporter and poet—who has seen his work previously published in “Salt Hill Journal,” “Pretty Owl Poetry,” “Stoneboat Journal,” “Mud Season Review” and “AZURE,” as well as numerous other outlets both online and in print—chooses one poem for publication.
BOOKS & LITERATURE

Women’s Expo fosters empowerment, inspires passion

Those seated in a classroom listening to Ocala Police Department Major Angy Scroble were rapt as she talked about personal safety and offered tips about awareness of your environment and paying attention to details, such as tag numbers, when using a ride service. Scroble shared incidents from her life that,...
MARION COUNTY, FL

CEO and Florida museum part ways following Basquiat raid

The Orlando Museum of Art has parted ways with its CEO in the days after the FBI raided the Florida museum and seized more than two dozen paintings attributed to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat that are the subjects of an investigation into possible wire fraud and conspiracy. The museum’s board of...
FLORIDA STATE

Christman, Walker receive service awards during June 21 city council meeting

During last week’s Ocala City Council regular meeting, held on June 21, two service awards were handed out to two incredibly dedicated employees to the City of Ocala. Sergeant William Christman received an award for 25 years of service to the Ocala Police Department (OPD) and Virginia Walker received an award for 20 years of service to the city’s Public Works Department.
OCALA, FL

Fourth appeal filed in the fire fee case

A fourth appeal of the court ruling involving $80 million in refunds to Ocala Utility customers has been filed, this time by a resident in a unique situation. He is both a class member of the group that sued Ocala over fire fees and was a lawyer with the firm that defended the city during the long-running dispute.
OCALA, FL

Justices back DeSantis request for statewide grand jury

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday approved Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate immigration-related issues such as the smuggling of undocumented children into the state. Justices, in a four-page unanimous order, said the statewide grand jury will be impaneled for a year in...
FLORIDA STATE

Judge denies requests to block controversial law

A federal judge Monday rejected arguments by attorneys for teachers, a student and a diversity consultant that he should block a controversial new state law that restricts the way race-related concepts can be taught in classrooms and workplace training. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a 23-page order that...
CONGRESS & COURTS

DeSantis vetoes bill on business lawsuits

A controversial measure that would have given businesses power to sue cities and counties to recoup lost profits was among five bills that Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed Friday. While the veto of the business measure (SB 620) drew praise from local-government and environmental groups, DeSantis left open the door for lawmakers to consider similar, but more targeted, legislation in the future.
FLORIDA STATE