Ocala Gazette | April 26 - May 2, 2024

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processing of fire fee refunds leaves questions

A March 11, 2024 temporary court order approving the parties’ stipulation was entered allowing those who paid the fire fee tax in their utility bills from Feb. 20, 2010 through 2021 time to contact the city. Those eligible for a refund should

July 19–21, 2024


Silver Springs State Park has a new park manager, who brings two-plus decades of experience to the job.

Silver Springs State Park has gone through many transitions over the last several decades, including a theme park with boat rides and live animal attractions, a movie making venue and, more recently, a backto-nature experience with walking trails, kayaking and the iconic glass-bottom boats.

Now, a new park manager has come on board. Longtime Florida Parks Services employee Matthew Bledsoe has filled the vacancy left by Sally Lieb, who retired on Dec. 31, 2023, after 30 years of service.

A graduate of the University of Florida, who majored in recreation, parks and tourism, Bledsoe has served at several Florida Parks Services locations since 2002. He brings with him a host of experiences and accolades, including an award for overseeing the construction of an American Disabilities Act kayak launch at Gamble Rogers State Park, which used donated and natural materials that saved the state $80,000.

Prior to coming to Silver Springs State Park, Bledsoe was manager of Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, where

November 7–24, 2024

he also supervised kayaking, rowing clubs, running teams and other popular recreational activities. As manager of the 4,400-acre Silver Springs State Park and its 5.4-mile river, he will oversee many similar projects.

After being denied an interview with Bledsoe by the Florida Parks Service, the “Gazette” agreed to an email Q & A in which Bledsoe shared the following:

Q. What is your impression of Silver Springs State Park? How

September 5–22, 2024

BOCC votes 4-1 to approve 312unit apartment complex at On Top of the World

March 20 – April 6, 2025

December 4–15, 2024


May 1–18, 2025

does it compare with your past park experiences and what might be the first thing you’d like to do here?

A. My first impression of Silver Springs State Park was the crystal-clear headsprings. I could tell a lot of work had been put in to restore that area of the park, which I was not necessarily expecting since that area had been an attraction for so many years.

I am eager to build on the past

Ocala Fire Rescue brings care to residents through Community Paramedicine Program

Ocala Fire Rescue’s nationally recognized Community Paramedicine (CP) Program provides at-home medical visits for patients like James Brown, who needed wellness to come to him.

Brown, 78 and an Army veteran, said he nearly lost his legs in civilian life due to a delay in treating an ulcerated vein ailment.

“I would have lost both legs if not for (OFR) Capt. Chris Hickman and the program,” Brown said recently.

Brown is among many residents who can credit the OFR-CP program with enhancing their lives. Launched in 2020 and coordinated by OFR Capt. Jesse Blaire, the program is conducted in partnership with AdventHealth and is administered by the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County.

Brown served as an Army combat nurse in the Vietnam War and worked at Walter Reed Army Hospital. A captain when he was discharged, Brown said he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and he had a service dog.

A native of New York where his family remains, Brown moved to Ocala in June 2023. He was homeless for five months, living outside near the Ocala train station.

Brown has congestive heart failure and diabetes. He said law enforcement and Hickman first checked on his well-being while he was still living unsheltered.

By December 2023, local agencies helped placed Brown in a southeast Ocala group home. But Brown said he continued to encounter difficulties navigating available healthcare and lacked a primary care physician.

The OFR-CP program visits continued after he

moved into the group home. Hickman confirmed Brown’s medical history of congestive heart failure and diabetes causes “circulation issues with the lower extremities.”

Currently, Blaire and Hickman are the full-time CP paramedics. Six OFR staff members also handle CP calls. Hickman stated in an email about the program he “oversees all the community visits that are chronic illness/ social barrier in nature while Captain Blaire oversees the Coordinated Opioid Response Program with multiple other providers.” “The combination of both

Apublic hearing on April 22 for rezoning of a parcel near the entrance to On Top of the World had several unusual aspects, starting with a prayer from Marion County Commission Chair Michelle Stone that asked for wisdom, patience and acceptance of the outcome even if “we do not agree.” Stone’s prayer previewed the 4-1 vote by the commission to approve the request to rezone the parcel from B-2 (business) to a planned unit development (PUD) put forth by OTOW and apartment complex developer Continental Properties. Stone was the sole dissenting vote.

The county emailed opponents on Friday, April 19, reiterating that the developer’s vested rights do not allow the commission to deny the request.

The day was also unique in that the county brought in two food trucks in anticipation of extensive attendance and public comment from the affected senior residents from OTOW. Big Rascal BBQ and Chick-fil-A food trucks set up in the parking lot, and the seven-plus-hour meeting had a formal lunch break.

County attorney and staff previewed vote County Attorney Guy Minter gave a 20-minute report focusing on the legal concepts of vested development rights and Vested Development of Regional Impact (VDRI) that were involved with the rezoning request.

“Regular legal standards may not apply,’’ he said. “There are certain legal aspects of what we’re dealing with today

APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2024 Subscribers will receive their paper through USPS on the USPS schedule. Subscription orders must be received by 5 pm on Tuesday in order to be included in the following week’s delivery. Starting at $10/month ocalagazette.com/subscribe READ DAILY NEWS AT OCALAGAZETTE.COM INSIDE: Hospital District A3 Honorable Mentions A4 Baldwin Angus Ranch ................ A5 Calendar B5 Cartoons B7 Ocala’s
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the deadline fast approaching for Ocala Electric Utility customers to receive
cash court-ordered refund checks for illegally assessed fire service fees, attorneys for Ocala and the customers have agreed to pause a provision of the agreement calling for any uncollected refunds to revert to the city. According to a May 2022 court order, refund checks totaling almost $80 million in illegal taxes collected by Ocala need to be cashed by April 30, 2024 or the funds will stay with the city. As previously reported by the “Gazette,’’ city records show as of December 2023, almost 18,000 people had not cashed refund checks totaling more than $7 million.
Matthew Bledsoe, the new park manager of Silver Springs State Park, poses for a photo by the main spring at Silver Springs State Park in Silver Springs on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2024. staff and OTOW seniors.
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New at Silver Springs

Continued from page A1 projects that the previous park manager, Sally Lieb, had accomplished here. We are in the process of improving the entrance road and parking lot of the spring side entrance off State Road 40. I look forward to starting that project to improve the experience when our visitors enter the park.

While I never had the pleasure of working with Sally, I have talked and met with her about the park since becoming park manager here. She has been very helpful and has offered to be of assistance in any way she can.

Q. As you were growing up, what role did visits to state parks play in your choice of a career?

A. I grew up in a neighborhood that had a lake, which provided me with the opportunity to connect with nature by fishing and canoeing during my free time. I distinctly remember going to the fishing dock as a kid one day and finding the garbage can overturned and trash strewn all about the dock and water. I cleaned up all the trash and put it back into the can, but I remember that feeling of frustration that someone would do that to my fishing spot.

As a kid, I used to swim in the water of Wekiwa Springs State Park, which ended up being the first state park that I worked at.

Q. What is your favorite aspect of parks management?

A. The obvious answer is being surrounded by the amazing natural resources that we protect and the role that I have played in restoring and maintaining those treasured resources.

In my role as park manager, I enjoy being able to recognize and acknowledge the great work of staff by nominating them for regional and statewide awards. I love seeing the joy and surprise when I tell them


Continued from page A1

CP programs has responded to over 5,000 incidents since inception,” Hickman wrote. Blaire calls patient education provided by the program “medical literacy.” The National Association of Mobile Integrated Healthcare Providers website indicates CP is part of Mobile Integrated Healthcare, which utilizes “mobile resources to deliver care and services to patients in an out-ofhospital environment.”

The website states CP “enhances (the patient’s) access to community resources” and provides care in a “safe and convenient” location for the patient.

Hickman, 50, a 23-year OFR veteran, received a $2,000 scholarship to a National Association of Mobile Integrated Healthcare Providers summit held in partnership with Quick Health Claims LLC and Atrium Health in March in Nashville, Tennessee. Hickman was awarded the scholarship for a video about the OFR-CP program he submitted in a competition. The video describes the OFR-CP outreach as “part social work” that seeks to also help the “underserved and underinsured” patients and help them navigate the healthcare system and obtain primary care providers.

The video displayed

they have received an award for their hard work.

There is a delicate balance between managing the high visitation our parks receive while protecting Florida’s natural and cultural resources. But our park staff love to educate our visitors on just how important respect for our resources are, and our visitors have been equally receptive.

Q. You made some positive changes at your last two positions at Gamble Rogers and Alfred B. Maclay Gardens. Will you incorporate any of those changes at the Silver Springs State Park?

A. The ADA accessible kayak launch at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area was a great project that furthered the Florida Park Service’s commitment to providing “Access for All.” A project that allows people of all abilities to enjoy the recreational experiences that Florida State Parks can provide is a win to me.

The Friends of Silver Springs State Park, our Citizen Support Organization, is also currently working to implement projects that expand accessibility at the park. One of their current projects is acquiring an ADA accessible tram that will enable all of our visitors to experience a tram ride through the beautiful natural resources of Silver Springs State Park.

Q. What plans do you have for area youth?

A. One of the greatest opportunities at the park for local youths is our partnership with the Silver River Museum. All Marion County Public Schools 4th- and 5th-grade students come to the park to experience the Silver River Museum. The museum director, Scott Mitchell, and his staff do an amazing job of teaching the local students about the history of Florida and specifically the importance of this area.

Hickman’s “passion” for the program, according to the NAMIHP Facebook page. The video also indicates OFR-CP providers look at the patients’ concerns from food to transportation and help with a care plan while helping the patients better understand their own health issues.

Recent and ongoing developments in the OFR-CP program include an ultrasound machine and plans to find the best practices to assist otherwise isolated seniors and persons with cognitive disorders in need of guardianship and protection from fraud.

Hickman’s schedule of CP calls on a recent day included a visit to Brown while accompanied by Gerimar Torres Leon, a human services care manager with Marion Senior Services who also offered resources.

“Three visits is the minimum to develop a true understanding regarding the patient and the barriers limiting outcome success,” Hickman stated in his email.

Hickman and Torres Leon next

The park also has a primitive group camping area for organized groups, such as youth groups and boy/girl scout troops. The area includes picnic tables, a group fire ring and a launch for paddle craft.

Q. What are your plans for involving the general public?

A. There are many ways to experience this fascinating park. You can create lifelong memories on a glass-bottom boat ride or on one of our many hiking trails. The park also offers regularly scheduled programs, including safari tram tours, tours at the Silver River Museum Pioneer Village and plein air painting in the park. Some of these programs are seasonal, so please check the park’s website for upcoming events.

Bledsoe started his job in early March. He came to Ocala with his wife, Emily, and children Parker and Samantha. They will reside in the manager’s park residence.

Mitchell, director of the Silver River Museum & Environmental Education Center, which is located inside Silver Springs State Park, believes Bledsoe was recruited to the Marion County district mainly because of his “excellent track record.”

“I have high hopes,” said Mitchell. “I’ve had multiple interactions with him, and he seems like he’s very easy to work with. He has to balance the needs of the natural communities in the state park—the animals and plants and natural resources—he also answers to a large state organization, has staff responsibilities and responsibility for all the public that comes into the park. All of those responsibilities overlap to some degree, but they can also pull you in different directions. It takes a certain talent to manage those successfully.”

To learn more, go to silversprings.com

visited a woman living in northeast Ocala who has vision concerns and is atrisks for falls. She remains in the home where she and her husband have lived for decades although her husband recently entered a healthcare facility.

After the pair wrapped up the northeast Ocala wellness check, an urgent call came in regarding a woman who sought help at a nearby OFR station. The woman told Hickman and Torres Leon her husband of 30-plus years had an explosive episode over missing his favorite television program. He stormed out of the house the night before and was located later by law enforcement at a local hotel.

“I don’t know him,” the

woman said. Hickman reassured the woman he would meet her at the couple’s home later in the afternoon where her husband had already returned. The woman was comforted after talking with Hickman and Torres Leon, who offered a plan that included checking on her husband, who may have been affected by cognitive impairment and possibly have other health concerns. She said he was “short of breath.”

Hickman calls OFR-CP an “opportunity to have a direct impact” on the patient, including their social needs.

Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion. The OFR-CP programs do just that,” Hickman wrote.

A2 APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2024 | OCALA GAZETTE “The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in New York Times Co. v. United States (1971) News tips tips@ocalagazette.com Distribution Inquiries info@ocalagazette.com Follow us @ocalagazette Our mission is to inform and uplift our readers by reporting on the events, issues and stories that shape Ocala with accuracy, fairness and passion. We also strive to serve as a forum where all voices can be heard and to chronicle our community’s history. ocalagazette.com ©2024 Ocala Gazette, LLC Ocala Gazette (USPS# 25590) (ISSN 2771-1595) is published weekly by Magnolia Media Company, LLC, 1900 SE 18TH AVE STE 200, OCALA, FL 34471-8235. Periodicals postage paid at Ocala, FL. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Ocala Gazette, PO Box 188, Ocala, FL 34478. Bruce Ackerman Photography Editor bruce@ocalagazette.com Caroline Brauchler Reporter caroline@ocalagazette.com Amy Crescenzo Graphic Designer amy@magnoliamediaco.com Chris D’Avonzo Marketing Specialist chris@magnoliamediaco.com Rosemarie Dowell Reporter rosemarie@ocalagazette.com Andy Fillmore Reporter andy@ocalagazette.com Greg Hamilton Editor greg@magnoliamediaco.com Susan Smiley-Height Editor susan@magnoliamediaco.com Belea Keeney Reporter belea@magnoliamediaco.com Jane Lyons Account Executive jane@magnoliamediaco.com Lisa McGinnes Reporter lisa@magnoliamediaco.com Cheryl Specht Client Services Guru cheryl@magnoliamediaco.com Publisher Jennifer Hunt Murty jennifer@ocalagazette.com Share your news The Ocala Gazette invites you to share your important news events with the community. Email your submissions to info@ocalagazette.com. Please include your name and contact information on the submission. Letters to the editor: 200 words or less. Honorable Mentions: 150 words or less about an individual or organization accomplishment in the business, education, community service, athletics or other area of endeavor. Attach a photo of the individual or group being honored, if available. • Upcoming events: Are you holding a charitable or community event that is open to the public? Include the organization hosting the event as well as the time, date and a brief description of the event, along with registration information or other important instructions. News tips: Include whatever information you consider relevant.

Two seats open soon on the Marion County Hospital District

Two opportunities to serve on the Marion County Hospital District’s board of trustees are approaching this summer.

Trustees David Cope and retired physician Ken Marino will both end their third four-year terms on June 30, according to the Marion County Hospital District’s website. Their replacements will be appointed by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners

The trustees meet once a month and are not paid.

Previously, trustees could only serve two terms. Several years ago, however, the MCHD negotiated with the county commission to lift the restrictions on the number of terms trustees can serve.

Marion County spokeswoman Stacie Causey wrote the “Gazette” that the county was expecting the vacancies to be advertised in the legal ads of the “Ocala Star-Banner” on the second Sunday of May with a deadline for applications due before the second Wednesday in June.”

The “Gazette” has expressed concerns about conflicts of interest

and the transparency of some of the long-term board members and MCHD staff. To help the public stay informed, the “Gazette” started video recording monthly meetings in February and publishing them to our YouTube channel.

Marion County citizens can download the application on the county’s advisory board webpage: MarionFL.org/AdvisoryBoards

The MCHD trustees’ mandate is to improve the health of Marion County’s residents, and they have at their disposal nearly $300 million to do so. They have an annual operating budget of $12 million to spend on a host of programs from playgrounds for children to mental health assistance for first responders.

MCHD started investing approximately $213 million in 2014 when the county, with approval from Marion County voters, decided to lease the county hospital, Munroe Regional Medical Center, to a private healthcare company. The hospital lease has changed hands a few times since then and is now held by AdventhHealth.

The money from the lease came to the MCHD trustees to be used to meet the health needs of Marion County residents.

OTOW apartments

Continued from page A1

that do not apply to the average zoning case that comes before the board. This is a master-planned, mixed-use project development that has been in the process of development in Marion County for 50 years.”

Minter was referring to the overall OTOW project, comprising thousands of acres off State Road 200 and SW 80th Avenue and a slated build-out of over 32,000 homes. In addition to residential units, several commercial sections of the overall acreage have been developed.

“Florida statutes… have provisions that once a developer has certain vested rights under a VDRI, the board has no authority to take those vested rights away. In this case, going back to 1973, the developer had B-2 zoning, which allowed multifamily zoning,” Minter said.

The board, he continued, is “constrained on whether they can deny a multifamily use on this particular parcel or the density requested” as those already have been established.

Minter pointed out that a “straight B-2 zoning” would allow the developer to do almost anything with the parcel; in contrast, a PUD application can be revised with board input regarding the site layout, amenities, required buffers and more. The board has discretion to deal with these revisions, he said.

“These kinds of things can lead to all kinds of litigation” if the board ignored statutes, he said, and the county could be sued.

County staff gave a general overview of the application, and then Senior Planner Chris Rison discussed VDRIs, mentioning the 1973 Vested DRI of Circle Square Woods and the town center concept used in various OTOW neighborhoods and sections. Rison made it clear the VDRI was implemented before the county’s current Comprehensive Plan that was put in place in the 1990s.

Marion County has other VDRIs including Oak Run, Spruce Creek, Stonecrest and the Village of Rainbow Springs. There are also other examples of multifamily complexes next to single-family neighborhoods, including the Heath Brook area near the Market at Heath Brook shopping complex with multiple apartments, and the in-progress Spires 27 on U.S. 27, situated between Ocala Preserve and Quail Meadow, both 55-plus communities.

Staff recommended approval of the zoning change with 13 conditions to modify the PUD. These included requirements

for compliance with the Land Development Code and no more than 312 units; a full traffic study; an additional multimodal path to allow for golf carts, bikes and pedestrians; and a “no-touch” buffer of the existing green space and vegetation present on the parcel’s north side.

The applicant’s various representatives gave their presentations for over 90 minutes. One observer commented, as audience members began to leave, “They’re getting fatigued by the process.”

The audience reacted vocally at several points, particularly at a comment that the OTOW single-story villas were “rental property” and that the current tree line is opaque and will block the view in and out of the apartment complex.

Faced with the notion that the commissioners’ hands are tied, Stone asked, “This is a developer that already has the right, that already has everything in place to say it should be approved. Why must this board come into play with anything?”

Jessica Icerman, attorney for the developer, said, “We are vested as to use and we are vested to density; there are other components that are open for discussion. The vested B-2 zoning standards don’t have the restrictions for residential usage. We need your input and approvals for the additional standards” regarding residential usage, buffers and access points, she said. The 1973 B-2 zoning had no details or provisions for housing on the parcel.

Minter spoke to the idea of “grandfathering” and reiterated that the government can’t take away a developer’s vested rights.

Opposition speakers thoughtful and got “The best win we could get” The county reported receipt of 297 opposition letters, and two in support of the project, after 100 nearby neighbors had been notified of the hearing.

Attorney Joseph Shoemaker, representing the OTOW residents opposing the rezoning, focused on residents’ concerns about a potential increase in crime as well as changes to access OTOW property; the differing needs of all ages versus a seniors-only community; the potentially dangerous mix of cars, skateboards, bikes and golf carts on roads and pathways; that nearly 7,000 dwelling units have already been approved in the area; and whether the apartments are needed at all. Shoemaker finished with

several requests for revisions to the PUD to enhance safety and noise issues.

OTOW opposition speakers— toting photos, graphics, Ocala Police Department crime statistics, fire/rescue needs and other materials—followed Shoemaker with detailed presentations to the board.

One speaker’s testimony was comprised of direct quotes from previous BOCC meetings, reading back the commissioners’ own words to them regarding other developments and county needs. Another stated, “We count on you to protect us. Senior lives matter.”

Several speakers mentioned the incompatibility of children living near the 55-plus neighborhood and the danger of being so close to busy SR 200. One speaker was in tears talking about the prospect of a child running into traffic on the highway where the speed limit is 50 mph, but people routinely drive faster despite the traffic congestion in the area. Another asked how school buses would navigate the complex and expressed worry about children waiting for buses near or having to cross SR 200.

Opposition testimony lasted over 90 minutes, and the board started its discussion.

Board votes to approve

All the board members had questions for the applicant, suggestions for ways to change the project and other concerns. The board, staff and the developer’s representatives then hammered out several major changes to the PUD. The major revisions were: a limitation of two-stories and 35 foot height; two access points to the complex, adding one to the east side near the Publix; that the multimodal path would be placed on the north side of the spine road; a buffer on the north side composed of a 2-foot high berm topped with a 6-foot-tall vinyl fence to block out light and noise; and the addition of carded golf-cart gates to protect entrance into OTOW, to be paid for by the developer.

Stone was against the general concept and said vehemently, “If they believe it’s appropriate, that’s on them. I don’t believe it’s appropriate” for OTOW to have a multiage complex so close.

Commissioner Craig Curry discussed the balancing act the BOCC had in the matter.

“They can go straight zoning and out of the PUD, and we (would) have no say in it,’’ he said.

“Look, we’re just getting out of a $20 million lawsuit on another

property. This one is lined up to be another one. Whether I like it or not, they have the vesting rights. If they sue us, they are gonna win. At least a residentialtype environment is better. I’d rather work with them on trying to determine what’s the best way to build this project out” and still protect the seniors. “Yes, we can vote no on it, and if we do, we’re going to court,” Curry summarized.

Commissioner Carl Zalak reminded the audience that the developer can move the dwelling units and the commercial around within the DRI. Referring to the Colen family, developers of OTOW, he said, “Overall, you all live there because he’s done things right. What the board is doing today is we’re making rules over what the buffer looks like and what the transportation and ingress/egress look like. It’s better for us to plan the buffer and access.”

As the afternoon wore on, audience members began to leave the meeting. When the vote came, fewer than 70 people remained in the auditorium at 3:40 p.m.

OTOW resident reaction Nancy Carp, a neighborhood organizer for OTOW residents, reacted to the vote after the meeting. “We were realistic going in

knowing the odds were against us, being the land is vested,” she said. “That being said, we the residents definitely had an impact. The commissioners listened to our concerns through our emails, petitions and testimonies. They asked great questions of the developers, where I can say they empathized with us but were in a legal bind.” Carp was encouraged by the changes the board made.

“It wasn’t a total loss since concessions that we proposed— like turn lanes, buffers and golf cart security—were insisted on by the commissioners at no cost to OTOW residents,’’ she said. “That’s a win in my book in a very difficult situation.”

Stephen Hluchany, a key organizer of the OTOW residents, was less sanguine about the outcome.

“If we didn’t do what we did,” he said, “OTOW residents would have gotten absolutely nothing. The commissioners, the applicant and the developer have turned their back on residents of OTOW. What we asked for in those contingencies was very basic and minimal. It should have been offered right up front.”

Hluchany characterized the meeting as “well-choreographed” and said of the residents near the SR 200 corridor: “They’ve awakened a sleeping giant.”

Members of the Marion County Hospital District, from left, Rusty Branson, Dr. Ken Marino, Rich Bianculli and Harvey Vandeven, listen during a meeting on East Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2024.
46 54



National Volunteer week is April 21-27.

Hospice of Marion County (HMC) paid tribute to the organization’s volunteers on April 18 with a pirate themed luncheon to highlight the “bounty” of services they help deliver.

“Hospice of Marion County volunteers are at the heart of our organization, tirelessly giving of their time to make a difference for our patients and families. We are honored and grateful for their dedication to HMC,” CEO Rick Bourne stated in a news release.

Each year HMC recognizes volunteers

in multiple categories. This year’s awards went to:

• Volunteer of the Year: Fred Massa, who has volunteered with HMC four years and three months and has given more than 2,000 hours. He works as a mail courier, a pharmacy courier and at the Six Gun Thrift Store.

Rookie of the Year: Steve Sarkozy has been volunteering for just nine months and has contributed more than 300 hours by volunteering as a pharmacy courier and performing veteran recognition ceremonies.

• Top Hours: Sharon Rinschler and her dog Dakota, with more than 10,000 hours, have served as a pet visitor and across multiple other areas of the organization.

• Top Years: Ester Folsom, with more than 25 years of dedicated service, has made a tremendous difference in our HMC Thrift Stores. Presidential Service Awards were given to 13 volunteers who devoted 500 hours or more.

“Hospice of Marion County provides a range of opportunities to volunteer, such

as office support, veterans’ programs, patient support, thrift stores, fundraising, community events and pet programs, however, we currently need patient support volunteers the most,” noted Director of Volunteers Beverly Lafferty in the release.

To learn more, go to hospiceofmarion.org or call (352) 873-7441.

on April 18. A large crowd enjoyed the Hospice of Marion County volunteer recognition luncheon on April 18. [Photos courtesy of Hospice of Marion County] HONORABLE MENTIONS Five Marion County Fire Rescue personnel are celebrating their 18-year anniversaries with the department this week. Congratulations to Driver Engineer Timothy Brandon Ecker, Driver Engineer James Cussins, Driver Engineer Drew Ramasco, Driver Engineer Seth Bonchak and Driver Engineer Michael Poole for their 18 years of service. TILLMAN ELECTED TO MAINSTREET COMMUNITY BANK BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mainstreet Community Bank has announced its newest addition, electing David Tillman to its board of directors. Tillman is the president of Tillman & Associates Engineering and the 2023 recipient of the Philanthropist of the year award. He is a graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology. David Tillman [Courtesy of Mainstreet Community Bank] CLERK OF COURT AND COMPTROLLER WINS THREE AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE The Marion County Clerk of Court and Comptroller’s office earned three awards of distinction for the past few years of excellence in finance and budgeting. The Marion County Commission presented the awards on April 2, one certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting for FY 202122 and another for outstanding achievement in popular annual finance reporting for the fiscal year ending in 2022. A third honor was bestowed as the office earned the distinguished budget presentation award for the fiscal year beginning in 2023. The Marion County Commission presented the Clerk and Comptroller’s Office with three awards for finance and budget excellence [Granicus]. KIWANIS CLUB OF OCALA CELEBRATES 100TH ANNIVERSARY The city of Ocala presented Kiwanis Club of Ocala President Travis Bennett with a proclamation in honor of the club’s 100th anniversary this month. The Kiwanis Club was founded on April 7, 1924, to serve the Ocala Marion County community with a special focus on children. “I’m very blessed to have a community that supports our children as much as our community does and is so passionate about serving alongside all of our community members,” Bennett said. FIVE MCFR DRIVER ENGINEERS CELEBRATE 18YEAR WORK ANNIVERSARY
Left to right : Kerry Hoerner, Empath Hospice Division Senior Vice President, and Hospice of Marion County CEO Rick Bourne, took part in the pirate themed volunteer recognition luncheon


Registration is now open for kindergarten students for the 2024-25 school year at every elementary school in Marion County Public Schools.

To be eligible to register for kindergarten, students must be five years old on or before Sept. 1 of 2024. Parents must provide proof of age, proof of residency and immunization records to complete all necessary paperwork for school registration.

The first day of school will be Aug. 12, with the exception of Wyomina Park which will begin on July 22 for the school’s new year wide calendar.

Over the past three school years, kindergarten enrollment has averaged at 3,232 students across all Marion County schools, according to enrollment data provided by MCPS spokesperson Kevin Christian.

Students who are registered for kindergarten by June 14 will also

be eligible to participate in the Kindergarten Kickstart program. First held at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, the program will bring students into the classroom before the school year begins to get acquainted with their teachers, schools and classmates.

This past school year, 264 students participated in the kickstart program.

Students will also get to benefit from the stagger start program, which for the first few days of school from Aug. 12 to 14 will stagger the students’ entry into the classroom, by splitting up the class into thirds for smaller groups and personalized time with teachers.

Last school year, a large percent of kindergarten students participated in the stagger start program, Christian said.

“On day one, we had 2,393 kindergarten students. On day three we had 2,804. For comparison purposes, by day 20, we had 3,090 kindergarten students district wide,” Christian said.


Ocala’s mayor is celebrating his birthday in the best way he knows how—by getting citizens up and active to promote health and wellbeing.

Mayor Ben Marciano is launching a new program called “Workout with the Mayor” with its inaugural event taking place on May 4 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Mary Sue Rich Community Center at Reed Place, 1821 NW 21st Ave.

Citizens are also invited to join staff to celebrate the mayor’s birthday with refreshments at 9:50 a.m.

The event will feature special guest Clint Hart, a former safety for the San Diego Chargers and owner of Healthy Harts Fitness in Ocala. Activities will include youth fitness classes, meet the machines,

smoothie bikes and giveaways, according to the city of Ocala. The event is free and open to all.

The event will recur monthly, with future workout dates planned for June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5.

One of Marciano’s biggest priorities as mayor is to help improve the physical and mental health of the citizens of Ocala, he said in December shortly before being inaugurated.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that now I’m the mayor, having over 20 years of experience in the health club industry,” Marciano said. “Also, I’ve overcome a lot of mental and addiction over my life.”

Marciano’s efforts in prioritizing the health of Ocala’s citizens are in the hopes that Ocala will become “a city known for its health,” he said.

Zoning change approved for Baldwin Angus Ranch to expand Family hopes to continue cattle ranching legacy despite sale to Buc-ee’s and future I-75 interchange

Marion County commissioners approved a rezoning request this week that will allow owners of the Baldwin Angus Ranch to use a plot of farmland for agricultural purposes, which the family says is essential for keeping their longtime cattle business alive as massive development continues to surround them.

Despite county staff’s recommendation to deny the zoning change, commissioners were persuaded by pleas from Baldwin family members to be allowed to use the land for raising cattle.

“We’re trying to expand so we can keep running our cattle, so that’s what we’re going to do,” said Joy Baldwin Papy, daughter of the family’s late patriarch, Leroy Baldwin.

Leroy Baldwin started the ranch in 1947 with just a few Angus heifers and eventually bought 40 acres of land west of Interstate 75 and Northwest 49th Street. At its height, the farm spanned about 640 acres.

Now, 77 years later, an interchange at I-75 is scheduled to be built right through the Baldwin land. That project forced the family

to sell the landlocked portion of their property to the Buc-ee’s convenience superstore and gas station chain.

“Yes, we sold to Buc-ee’s, but (the parcel) was landlocked,” said Papy. “What are you going to do, helicopter cows in? So we sold to Buc-ee’s, and that helped our cattle business in the best way, by making it live. It’s just to get by.”

The I-75 interchange project is expected to start construction in 2025. Once the interchange is built, Buc-ee’s plans to build an 85,000-squarefoot travel center, including 800 parking spaces, 120 gas pumps, indoor and outdoor retail, and food and beverage services.

To make up for their loss of ranchland due not only to the Buc-ee’s and the interchange projects but also the state’s plan to create a retention pond off the interstate with 100 acres of the Baldwin’s land, the family bought a connecting 17-acre parcel of land from a neighbor on the north end of their farm.

The Baldwins bought the parcel, located at 3221 NW 56th St., in 2023. The property is valued at $557,970, according to the Marion County Property Appraiser’s office.

In January, the family filed an application with the county to change the property’s zoning from Multiple Family Dwelling (R-3) to General Agriculture (A-1), so the next generation of Baldwin cattle ranchers can put a trailer on the land so family members can stay on the property and continue to run cattle.

Papy’s niece Amanda Baldwin has a 16-yearold daughter who wants to carry on the family legacy, and she has steers on the land to do show cattle. Without the zoning change, she would have had to continue running back and forth from town every day to feed the cattle, Papy said.

“We’re not trying to make a mobile home park. We’re not trying to make a subdivision. We want to run cattle and have a mobile home right on the edge,” Papy said.

County staff recommended that the Marion County Commission deny the zoning change request, due to its close proximity to the Ocala/ Marion County Commerce Park, which holds distribution centers for Amazon, Chewy, FedEx, AutoZone and more. The parcel is also classified under the Employment Center land use and falls within the Urban Growth Boundary.

“You’d essentially be downzoning and not taking advantage of an opportunity we have to fill some of those gaps in housing that we currently suffer with,” said Kathleen Brugnoli from the county’s Growth Services department.

Brugnoli suggested to the board that this land could instead be used for a development to create housing for the nearby employment hubs if the Baldwins would sell the land to builders.

“If it were to remain R-3, it would give a better opportunity for some multifamily housing,” Brugnoli said.

“It’s our property. We’re not going to sell for housing,” said Papy. “We want to stay ranching. We want to stay in the cattle business.”

A5 APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2024 | OCALA GAZETTE Appleton Museum, Artspace and Store Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. | AppletonMuseum.org FREE FIRST SATURDAY + PRESENTATION Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m. Join Gabi Sullivan from City of Ocala for a presentation in the auditorium titled, “Connecting Y(our) Water.” This event is free as part of Free First Saturday; no reservation needed. Free First Saturdays are sponsored in part by Marion Cultural Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts and CAMPUS USA Credit Union.
File photo: The Baldwin Family has been raising Angus cattle in Marion County Florida for generations. [Alan Youngblood] A map depicts the planned interchange on Interstate 75 and 49th Street in Marion County. In blue, the outline for a potential retention pond east of I-75 and north of the future Buc-ee’s Ocala location is shown [Courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation]

Fire fee

Continued from page A1

During an Ocala City Council meeting in March, City Manager Pete Lee told the council he expected by the end of March to have issued checks on all the remaining claims so that the matter could be concluded.

City Attorney William Sexton said city staff had reviewed all returned mail against national address databases to ensure that the city was directing the checks to the correct account holder.

After Sexton told the “Gazette” the city had no duty to notify the 18,0000 customers about their uncollected refunds, at the end of December the “Gazette’’ published the names of those persons with uncashed checks who were owed more than $100.

Sexton continues to insist the city has no duty to notify account holders of refund checks that were not cashed. He assured the “Gazette,” however, the city would not turn away claimants who came forward after the April 30 deadline.

But the city will not reach out to those customers they believe received a check but did not cash it.

For example, city records indicate Ocala sent the Marion County Sheriff’s Office a check for $143,236.60. As of April 5, the check had not been reissued despite the fact that MCSO put in a claim on Dec. 27 after the “Gazette” alerted the agency to the issue.

That same list indicated Meadowbrook Church was sent a check for $66,222.29 that was not yet cashed. We reached to out Meadowbrook Church and helped them claim their refund. They had no idea they has allegedly not cashed a refund check.

The “Gazette” last week received a revised list of outstanding refunds. It had numerous accounts the newspaper was able to contact and ask if they intended to forfeit their refund. Some said they had submitted claims and were waiting on their check.

However, Sexton told the “Gazette” there was no list of pending claims because they had all been paid.

The “Gazette” has followed up with many accounts on the list, some of which are prominently known, to ask if they were intentionally forfeiting the refund to the city and the answer was universally, “No.”

Transcripts of closed-door meetings involving the Ocala City Council released after the 2022 final judgment reflect that the city attorneys at the time repeatedly assured council that even if they did not prevail, damages would be significantly reduced because not all of the claimants would seek their refunds.

Then-City Attorney Robert Batsel said limiting the customers to a 30- to 60-day window to apply would mean fewer people would meet the deadline. Another attorney told council members the notices to citizens about their refunds would be confusing to some. That intended confusion, combined with a narrow claims period, would mean a lower payout for Ocala.

“We want people to ignore the mailings,” Jason Zimmerman with Gray Robinson told the council in an Oct. 15, 2021 meeting. “We want the mailings to be confusing and, you know, not exactly explain what’s going on.”


Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday approved $200 million to continue a popular home-hardening grant program that could help about 20,000 mostly low- and moderate-income residents cut property-insurance costs.

DeSantis signed two bills related to the My Safe Florida Home grant program and said he also intends to support an additional $30 million in the state budget aimed at expanding the program to include condominiums.

“There’s more help on the way,” DeSantis said during a ceremonial bill-signing event at the Redington Shores Town Hall. “We understand it’s been popular and it’s been effective.”

The program offers inspections and grants up to $10,000 to help residents upgrade homes and qualify for property-insurance discounts for residences valued up to $700,000.

The primary bill (SB 7028) signed by DeSantis provides $200 million for the grant program, with new parameters for how the funding is to be distributed. The other bill (HB 1029) allows condominium associations to be eligible for inspections and grants.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who has been advocating for additional funding to cover a backlog of applications for the program since last fall, estimated nearly 20,000 Floridians could benefit from the latest round of funding.

“Another hurricane season is fast approaching and unfortunately, Mother Nature loves our state and it’s not if but when a major storm will take aim at Florida,” Patronis warned in a press release after DeSantis signed the bills.

The funding bill requires applications from low-income individuals ages 60 and older to be handled first, followed by all other low-income individuals. Applications from moderate-income homeowners ages 60 and older would

be third in line for consideration.

The law, which takes effect July 1, also prohibits Patronis’ Department of Financial Services from creating another waiting list once the funding runs out, “unless the Legislature expressly provides authority to implement such actions.”

Last November, the Legislature in a special session earmarked $176.17 million for the program as more than 17,600 grant applications awaited funding.

The program was created in 2006, following the hurricane-heavy storm seasons in 2004 and 2005 that saw 2.8 million Florida homeowners suffer more than $33 billion in insured property damage. After an initial infusion of $250 million, the next allocation into the program didn’t come until 2022, when lawmakers put forward $215 million during a special legislative session to address the

state’s on-going property-insurance problems.

As the Insurance Information Institute put the average cost of Florida’s home insurance at $6,000 a year in November, the My Safe Florida Home program was credited at the time with average premium discounts of $981.31 among homeowners who disclosed their discounts, according to a legislative staff analysis.

The pilot program would expand the inspections and grants to condominium associations, which would have to provide a $1 match for every $2 provided in the program, with a maximum of $175,000 per association.

DeSantis said he will support money for the pilot program in the budget for the next fiscal year (HB 5001).

DeSantis as of Wednesday had not received the budget, which includes three line items totaling $30 million for the pilot program.

A6 APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2024 | OCALA GAZETTE Have a legal ad you need to publish? ocalagazette.column.us/place IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR MARION COUNTY, FLORIDA IN RE: ESTATE OF SHERRY ANN MACK Deceased. PROBATE DIVISION Case No.: 2023-CP002828 Division: Probate AMENDED NOTICE TO CREDITORS The administration of the estate of Sherry Ann Mack, deceased, whose date of death was September 15, 2023, is pending in the Circuit Court for MARION County, Florida, Probate Division, the address of which is 110 NW 1st Ave #1, Ocala, FL 34471. The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative's attorney are set forth below. All creditors of the decedent and other persons having claims or demands against decedent's estate on whom a copy of this notice is required to be served must file their claims with this court ON OR BEFORE THE LATER OF 3 MONTHS AFTER THE TIME OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE OR 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF SERVICE OF A COPY OF THIS NOTICE ON THEM. All other creditors of the decedent and other persons having claims or demands against decedent's estate must file their claims with this court WITHIN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE. ALL CLAIMS NOT FILED WITHIN THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH IN FLORIDA STATUTES SECTION 733.702 WILL BE FOREVER BARRED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH ABOVE, ANY CLAIM FILED TWO (2) YEARS OR MORE AFTER THE DECEDENT'S DATE OF DEATH IS BARRED. The date of first publication of this notice is APRIL 19, 2024. Attorney for Personal Representative: /s/ Martin P. FitzGerald Martin P. FitzGerald Attorney Florida Bar Number: 1044315 AWS LAW FIRM 2202 N. Westshore Blvd. Personal Representative: Larry Mack Larry Mack 3960 SW 138 Street Ocala, Florida 34473 Ste 200 Tampa, FL 33607 Telephone: (813) 922-5293 E-Mail: Team@AWSLaw.org Secondary E-Mail: Attorney@AWSLaw. org STATE OF WISCONSIN CIRCUIT COURT MILWAUKEE COUNTY F STREET INVESTMENTS, LLC, V. Plaintiff, WYANDOTTE LLC BRYAN S. BRUNO WILFREDO FONSECA Defendants. Case No. 2024CV001674 PUBLICATION SUMMONS TO: WILFREDO FONSECA 11322 SE 55th Avenue Rd., Unit 2002 Belleview, FL 34420 You are hereby notified that the Plaintiff named above has filed a lawsuit or other legal action against you. The Complaint, which is also served upon you, states the nature and basis of the legal action. Within 40 days after April 26, 2024, you must respond with a written answer, as that term is used in Wis. Stat. Ch. 802, to the Complaint. The Court may reject or disregard an Answer that does not follow the requirements of the statutes. The Answer must be sent or delivered to the Court, whose address is 901 North 9th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233, and to Daniel J. Habeck, Plaintiff's attorney, whose address is Cramer Multhauf LLP, 1601 East Racine Avenue, P.O. Box 558, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53187-0558. If you do not provide a proper Answer within 40 days of April 26, 2024, the Court may grant judgment against you for the award of money or other legal action requested in the Complaint, and you may lose your right to object to anything that is or may be incorrect in the Complaint. A judgment may be enforced as provided by law. A judgment awarding money may become a lien against any real estate you own now or in the future, and may also be enforced by garnishment or seizure of property. Dated this 18th day of April, 2024. CRAMER MULTHAUF LLP Attorneys for Plaintiff CRAMER MULTHAUF LLP P.O. Box 558 Waukesha, WI 53187 (262) 542-4278 djh@cmlawgroup.com BY: Electronically signed by Daniel J. Habeck Daniel J. Habeck, SBN 1030959 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, OF THE FIFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MARION COUNTY, FLORIDA, CASE NO.: 24CP000745AX IN RE: ESTATE OF ANITA E. KINES, Deceased. / NOTICE TO CREDITORS The administration of ANITA E. KINES (“Decedent”) deceased, whose date of death was February 24, 2024, and whose Social Security Number is XXX-XX-8277, is pending in the Circuit Court for Marion County, Florida, Probate Division, the address of which is 5335 NE 20th Court, Ocala, Florida, 34479. The names and addresses of the Petitioner and the Petitioner’s attorney are set forth below. All creditors of the Decedent and other persons having claims or demands against Decedent's Estate on whom a copy of this notice is required to be served must file their claims with this court WITHIN THE LATER OF 3 MONTHS AFTER THE TIME OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE OR 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF SERVICE OF A COPY OF THIS NOTICE ON THEM. All other creditors of the Decedent and other persons having claims or demands against Decedent's Estate must file their claims with this court WITHIN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE. ALL CLAIMS NOT SO FILED WILL BE FOREVER BARRED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE TIME PERIOD SET FORTH ABOVE, ANY CLAIM FILED TWO (2) YEARS OR MORE AFTER THE DECEDENT'S DATE OF DEATH IS BARRED. The date of first publication of this notice is April 19, 2024. JENNIFER SABO-VEGA, Petitioner 5335 NE 20th Court, Ocala, Florida, 34479 LAW OFFICES OF AL NICOLETTI /s/ Alfred V. Nicoletti ALFRED V. NICOLETTI, ESQ. Florida Bar No.: 125446 7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd. Suite 50-647 Orlando, Florida 32819 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR MARION COUNTY, FLORIDA. IN RE: THE ESTATE OF SOLANGE FELIX, Deceased. CASE NO: 2024-CP-911 NOTICE TO CREDITORS The name of the decedent, the designation of the court in which the administration of this estate is pending, and the file number are indicated above. The address of the court is 110 N.W. 1st Avenue, Ocala, FL 34475. The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are indicated below. If you have been served with a copy of this notice and you have any claim or demand against the decedent’s estate, even if that claim is unmatured, contingent or unliquidated, you must file your claim with the court ON OR BEFORE THE LATER OF A DATE THAT IS 3 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE OR 30 DAYS AFTER YOU RECEIVE A COPY OF THIS NOTICE. All other creditors of the decedent and other persons who have claims or demands against the decedent’s estate, including unmatured, contingent or unliquidated claims, must file their claims with the court WITHIN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE. ALL CLAIMS NOT SO FILED WILL BE FOREVER BARRED. EVEN IF A CLAIM IS NOT BARRED BY THE LIMITATIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE, ALL CLAIMS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN FILED WILL BE BARRED TWO YEARS AFTER DECEDENT’S DEATH. The date of death of the decedent is: December 27, 2023. The date of first publication of this Notice is April 26, 2024. Attorney for Personal Representative: JOSHUA L. MOSES Richard & Moses, LLC Florida Bar No. 119304 808 E Fort King Street Ocala, FL 34471 (352) 369-1300 Primary Email: Josh@RMProbate.com Personal Representative: JILL KOGER P.O. Box 2 Adamant, VT 05640 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR MARION COUNTY, FLORIDA IN RE: ESTATE OF PROBATE DIVISION EDMUND ESANNASON, SR. (A/K/A EDMUND ESANNASON) File Number: 24CP000129AX Deceased. Division: NOTICE TO CREDITORS The administration of the Estate of EDMUND ESANNASON, SR. (A/K/A EDMUND ESANNASON), Deceased, whose date of death was September 25, 2022, is pending in the Circuit Court for Marion County, Florida, Probate Division, the address of which is P.O. Box 1030 Ocala, FL 34478. The names and addresses of the Personal Representative for said Estate and the Attorney for said Personal Representative are respectively set forth below. All creditors of the Decedent and other persons having claims or demands against the Decedent's Estate upon whom a copy of this Notice is required to be served must file their claims with this Court ON OR BEFORE THE LATER OF 3 MONTHS AFTER THE TIME OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE OR 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF SERVICE OF A COPY OF THIS NOTICE ON THEM. All other creditors of the Decedent and other persons having claims or demands against the Decedent's Estate must file their claims with this Court WITHIN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE. ALL CLAIMS NOT FILED WITHIN THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH IN FLORIDA STATUTES SECTION 733.702 WILL BE FOREVER BARRED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH ABOVE, ANY CLAIM FILED TWO (2) YEARS OR MORE AFTER THE DECEDENT'S DATE OF DEATH IS BARRED. The date of first publication of this Notice is Attorney for Personal Representative: Personal Representative: Leona Esannason BARRY A. DIAMOND, #471770 1713 N.W. 20 th Avenue LAW OFFICES OF BARRY A. DIAMOND, P.A. Ocala, FL 33475 Coral Springs Professional Campus 5541 N. University Drive, Suite 103 Coral Springs, Florida 33067 Telephone: (954) 752-5000 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR MARION COUNTY, FLORIDA IN RE: ESTATE OF GUILLERMO GOMEZ Deceased. PROBATE DIVISION File No. 24CP000440AX Division Probate NOTICE TO CREDITORS The administration of the estate of Guillermo Gomez, deceased, whose date of death was October 10, 2023, is pending in the Circuit Court for Marion County, Florida, Probate Division, the address of which is Post Office Box 1030, Ocala, Florida 34478. The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are set forth below. All creditors of the decedent and other persons having claims or demands against decedent’s estate on whom a copy of this notice is required to be served must file their claims with this court ON OR BEFORE THE LATER OF 3 MONTHS AFTER THE TIME OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE OR 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF SERVICE OF A COPY OF THIS NOTICE ON THEM. All other creditors of the decedent and other persons having claims or demands against decedent’s estate must file their claims with this court WITHIN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE. ALL CLAIMS NOT FILED WITHIN THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH IN FLORIDA STATUTES SECTION 733.702 WILL BE FOREVER BARRED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH ABOVE, ANY CLAIM FILED TWO (2) YEARS OR MORE AFTER THE DECEDENT’S DATE OF DEATH IS BARRED. The date of first publication of this notice is April 26, 2024. Personal Representative: Vivian Anne Gomez Cottrill 5350 Reserve Dr. Dublin, Ohio 43017 Attorney for Personal Representative : Alexis Gonzalez E-mail Addresses: alexis@gonzalezlaw.biz Florida Bar No. 68861 Gonzalez Law, PL 1750 Coral Way Miami, Florida 33145 Telephone: (305) 858-4512 Notice of Rule Making NAME OF AGENCY: The School Board of Marion County, Florida RULE TITLE: Instructional Materials RULE NO.: Board Policy 2521 SUMMARY: Schedule a public hearing to be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 to approve the 2023-2024 Instructional Material Titles for Adoption. Schedule an additional Public Hearing to be held on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 with a Hearing Officer present, if needed. SUMMARY OF RULE: Revisions align policy with current statutes governing instructional materials. SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COST: There are no additional costs required other than that of advertising. SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 1001.41, 1001.42Fla. Stats. (2022). Law(s) Implemented:1003.41, 1006.28, 1006.283, 1006.29, 1006.30, 1006.31, 1006.32, 1006.34, 1006.36, 1006.38, 1006.40, 1006.41, 1006.42, Fla. Stats. (2022). Two (2) public hearings for textbook adoptions will be scheduled at the following School Board meeting: TIME: 5:30 p.m. PLACE: Browne Greaton Cole Auditorium, 1614 E. Ft. King Street, Ocala, Florida 34471 DATE: May 28, 2024 and July 9, 2024 if needed. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE RECOMMENDED TITLES FOR ADOPTION, CONTACT: Kelli Brower, Coordinator, Curriculum & Instruction Marion County Public Schools PO Box 670 Ocala, FL 34478 Public Notice Public Notice Public Notice
claim to firefeerefund@ocalafl.gov or by phone at (352) 629-2489.

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The animal welfare non-profit Sheltering Hands Inc. has announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors, in addition to choosing the next vice president.

Rachel Perez and Kim Cooper are the two new appointees who will join the board of directors for the organization, with Diane Kupchak being elected to serve as the vice president.

Sheltering Hands is dedicated to providing low-cost spay and neuter surgery and cat adoption services for the Marion County area.


The Rotary Club of Ocala-Silver Springs awarded a $1,500 scholarship to five exceptional high school seniors in Marion County.

Between the five students chosen, they documented 2,200 service hours and volunteered at 31 different organizations in Ocala and Marion County.

The winners are: Scarlett Renee Earnest—Belleview High School Crystal Han—Vanguard High School

Steven A. Johnson Jr.—Dunnellon High School

Andrew Joseph Parker—Redeemer Christian School

Eva Lianne Singer—Redeemer Christian School

The College of Central Florida’s Wilton Simpson Citrus Campus associate degree nursing program has been named the 2024 Best RN Program in Florida for the second year in a row.

The top program is chosen by RegisteredNursing.org, a nursing advocacy organization that ranked the 20 best programs out of 150 programs that were evaluated.

CF’s program was chosen as the best based on the percentage of graduates who pass the national licensure exam.

OBS nets $82.7 million in annual spring sale

An exciting week of sales concluded at Ocala Breeders’ Sales on April 19, with an impressive turnout and profit from the sale of hundreds of young horses. OBS netted $82.7 million in its annual Spring Sale last week after the auction and sale of 642 premier thoroughbred horses from April 16 through 19, according to OBS. The sale, for 2-year-old thoroughbreds in training, produced a slightly lower gross

total than the 2023 sale, which brought in $90.4 million in the sale of 699 horses.

The heftiest price tag of this year’s sale was for Hip No. 365, a daughter of Tiz the Law, which sold for $1.9 million. The horse was consigned by Tom McCrocklin and purchased by Donato Lanni, an agent for Michael Lund Peterson, according to OBS.

The median price per horse in the 2024 sale was $70,000, an increase from the previous year’s median price of $65,000.

Out of the 783 horses up for sale over the course of four days, 141 horses were not sold, according to OBS.

The highest day of sales took place on

April 17, with a total of $26.2 million in profit for 181 horses in a single day.

The second-highest ticket horse was Hip No. 371, a son of American Pharoah, which sold for $925 million. The horse was consigned by de Meric Sales and purchased by Donato Lanni, an agent for Frank Fletcher Racing Operations.

To top the sale’s day four finale, Hip No. 915, a daughter of Nyquist, sold for $850,000. The horse was consigned by Wavertree and purchased by Donato


Saddlewood Elementary paraprofessional Edward Lanza has been named as the statewide winner of the School-Related Employee of the Year competition by the Florida Department of Education. Lanza, a U.S. Army veteran, has worked at Saddlewood Elementary School since 2016 and assists in the school’s media center to distribute Chromebooks, troubleshoot technology issues and check books in and out for students.

“Even if I get through to one child and have them succeed, it’s very satisfying,” Lanza said in a recent interview after being chosen as a finalist. He was selected out of thousands as a finalist for the state of Florida after winning Marion County’s School-Related Employee of the Year honor in December 2023. Saddlewood Elementary Principal Heather Lipira nominated Lanza for Marion County’s 2024 School-Related Employee of the Year Award.

“He’s very humble. When he got nominated (for the statewide

award), he didn’t want to accept it,” Lipira said when Lanza was chosen as a finalist. “We were like, ‘No, you’re going to accept this, because you are amazing, and you work hard for us.’”

Before joining the Marion County school district, Lanza served in the Army, was a chief in a New York volunteer fire department and worked as a project manager at a Fortune 500 company.

“I was in the Army from 1970 to 1976. I was honorably discharged, and I was an infantry soldier in the Vietnam War,” Lanza said.

In addition to his duties in the media center, Lanza has also worked in exceptional student education classrooms and helped students with reading and math, according to FDOE.

“I think he’s a jack of all trades and a master of all,” Lipira said.

Lanza was surprised by MCPS officials, including Superintendent Diane Gullett, as they presented him with the award at Saddlewood Elementary on Monday morning.

In addition to the honor of receiving the 2024 Florida SchoolRelated Employee of the Year award, Lanza will also receive a $10,000 cash prize from the DOE

and a custom trophy for the honor.

“I feel very proud and honored to be selected for this, really,” Lanza said.

Excellence in education runs in the Lanza family; his son Christopher Lanza is the media specialist at Ward-Highlands Elementary School. Christopher Lanza was a finalist for Marion County’s Teacher of the Year award in 2021.

“I just knew his son’s work ethic and knew that Mr. Lanza was very similar to his son, and so I got him over here to work in my inclusion classroom with my special-needs students,” Lipira said.

Lanza was selected out of four other state finalists. The other school employees who made the finals were Terry Bagby, an after-school program coordinator from Quest Elementary School in Brevard Public Schools; James Sorrentino, a campus advisor and security officer at Buddy Taylor Elementary School in Flagler Schools; Jennifer Fries, a student data specialist at A.D. Henderson University School & FAU High School; and Doris CabreraJerez, a school administrative assistant at Wellington Elementary School in the School District of Palm Beach County.

Lanni, an agent for Baoma Corp.

“The dark bay or brown filly, whose Under Tack eighth in :9 4/5 was the Saturday session’s co-fastest, is out of Amagansett, by Tapit, a daughter of graded stakes placed stakes winner Twirl (IRE),” according to an OBS press release. The next sale for 2-year-olds in training will take place from June 3 through 8.

ames LaMotte has been elected to serve District 4 on SECO Energy’s Board of Trustees. LaMotte fills the vacancy left by the death of Richard Dennison, a long-standing trustee. SECO Energy’s service area is divided into nine districts, each with a representative on the board. An Ocala resident, LaMotte works as the area coordinator for Marion County Public Schools. He has served as the president of the SECO Energy Foundation Board since its inception. Left to right: SECO Energy CEO Curtis Wynn, newly elected District 4 Board Trustee James LaMotte, SECO District 3 Board Trustee and President Gerald Anderson. [SECO Energy] CF CITRUS NURSING NAMED BEST RN PROGRAM IN FLORIDA
Left to right: Scarlett Renee Earnest, Bellview High School; Crystal Han, Vanguard High School; Steven A. Johnson Jr., Dunnellon High School; Andrew Joseph Parker, Redeemer Christian School; Eva Lianne Singer, Redeemer Christian School [Ocala-Silver Springs Rotary Club]


The Ocala Police Department is investigating at least two recent cases of violence that resulted in injuries.

Two people suffered what OPD Public Information Officer Jeffrey Walczak described as “non-life threatening” injuries during a shooting that occurred in southwest Ocala the evening of April 21.

The victims were shot at an apartment complex in the 1600 block of Southwest 27th Avenue and fled to an area behind a car dealership

in the 2300 block of Southwest College Road, where they were found by police along with an uninjured person.

In a second case, emergency medical personnel responded around 12:35 a.m. April 22 to the 2000 block of Northwest 3rd Street where a male adult victim stated he was robbed and stabbed at a nearby location. The man was hospitalized, and detectives continued the investigation. No information was provided on the extent of the injuries.

Further details, such as victim names or current conditions, were not immediately available for either case.


Two people died and another was seriously injured April 19 when an SUV pulled into the path of a motorcycle in southeast Marion County, the Florida Highway Patrol reports.

According to the FHP press release, a 25-year-old man from Ocklawaha, who was driving the motorcycle, and his passenger, a 22-year-old woman from Anthony, both died in the crash. The driver of the SUV, a 52-year-old woman from Belleview, was seriously injured.

The motorcycle was headed “east on State Road 25 and approaching Southeast 104th Trail” when an “SUV which was traveling north on Southeast 104th Trail failed to check sufficiently for traffic prior to conducting a left turn onto State Road 25 and traveled into the path of the motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was unable to react in time to avoid a collision with the SUV,” the press release stated. The crash occurred at 10 p.m. Both victims were wearing helmets and the SUV driver wore a seat belt. Both victims were pronounced deceased at the scene and the SUV driver was transported to a local hospital, according to the release.


T wo people were found deceased from gunshot wounds early April 21 by deputies responding to a

Clean sweep

shooting in Belleview, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The victims were found around 8 a.m. in the 3000 block of Southeast 132nd Place, according to a post on the MCSO Facebook page.

“All involved parties have been identified and are currently being interviewed. It’s important to note that this appears to be an isolated incident,” the post indicated. The names of the victims were not released in the original post.

Hundreds of volunteers joined forces to help with Mayor’s Spring Cleanup in Ocala.

The 2024 Mayor’s Spring Cleanup event on April 20 saw about 500 volunteers roll up their sleeves and collect debris and trash from roadways across the city of Ocala.

The assemblage of volunteers was possibly the largest turnout ever, according to event organizers. The workers picked up carelessly discarded materials ranging from driftwood to drywall at 44 venues, including roadways, areas near schools and businesses, and other landmarks.

Kalyn Long, 13, was one of nine Fort King Middle School students who cleaned along Northeast 3rd Street from Northeast 8th Avenue to Northeast 25th Avenue. Woodlawn and Greenwood cemeteries and Heritage Nature Conservatory are located on the roadway. The students, accompanied by teachers Kennedy Payne and Natascha Martinez, and Kalyn’s mom, Vicki Reynolds, filled 11 large contractor-size plastics bags with trash and debris, from beer cans to a section of steel cable. Kalyn snagged the trophy item during the group’s cleanup; a couch cushion found along Southeast 3rd Street. The once annual event was skipped for a time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saturday’s cleanup was the first for Ocala Mayor Ben Marciano, who took office last December.

“It was an awesome day. People of all walks of life and ages came together for this important cause,” Marciano said, praising the participants.

Employees and family members from Cummins Sales and Service gathered enough trash to fill 21 large bags along Southwest 44th Avenue from

State Road 40 to Southwest 20th Street. Todd Whetsell hauled the bags by trailer from the work area to the central collection dumpster near the Discovery Science Center in Tuscawilla Park, where a city sponsored EarthFest Arbor Day event was taking place. Whetsell said this was the twelfth year for the Cummins group to join the cleanup, as he tossed the bags and several large items, such as a semi-trailer mudflap, a glass pane, drywall and more, into the dumpster.

Dwayne Drake, the city of Ocala’s Sanitation Division Head, was posted near the site to help the volunteers.

Edwin Farmer, a Vanguard High School teacher and varsity football coach, said about 25 students learned a good lesson and got a workout when they cleaned an area that included near several businesses along Northwest 35th Avenue Road and Northwest 35th Street to North Pine Avenue. Farmer said the group encountered a large pile of trash at one location, which Marciano said they “tackled.” Farmer said the students made the work a fun competition.

Marciano worked around 9 a.m. with a group of about 50 employees and family members from the nonprofit youth mentoring

organization Kut Different. The group cleaned along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue from Northwest 4th Street to Northwest 27th Avenue, including areas around the Madison Street Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and Ocala Fire Rescue Station Number 1. Reginald, 13, thought the cleanup was a good way to give back to the community while Demarcus, 14, was pleased to join and bond with friends, from third grader Nolan to volunteers in their 40s.

Myles McConico, Kut Different’s director of community engagement, and Rory Carter, a mentor, worked with the youth. McConico said the workday helped the young volunteers “feel engaged” while Carter saw the cleanup as a way to build a “better community” and strong brotherhood.

The volunteer cleanup crews also included: ECO Knights, Mary Baum, Delta Sigma Theta, the Williford Family, War Horse HOG Chapter 5115, Boy Scout Troop 172 and Cub Scout Pack 172, Silver River Mentoring and Instruction, HDG Hotels, Alpha Kappa Alpha, The Cornerstone School, Diya Youth Group India Association of Ocala, Angela McCants/Darren Park, Lucky Learners 4-H, the Hayes Family and Cherubz, Inc.

A9 APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2024 | OCALA GAZETTE 3001 SW College Road, Ocala, FL 34474 CF is an Equal Opportunity Employer Join the Team Adjunct – Adult Education – Levy Campus Adjunct – Health Sciences – Nursing Adjunct – Communications Adjunct – Mathematics Adjunct – Biological Sciences Adjunct – Physical Science – Chemistry Adjunct – English Adjunct – Clinical Dentist Instructor – Sonography – Medical Director Adjunct – English College Prep – Ocala Conference and Food Services Public Safety Officer Plant Operations Staff Assistant I – CF Printing and Postal Services PART-TIME POSITIONS FULL-TIME POSITIONS Faculty – Health Sciences – Associate Degree Nursing Faculty – Clinical Coordinator –Cardiovascular Technology Program Faculty – Speech/Forensics Coach Faculty / Band Director Public Safety Coordinator – AMA Programmer III/Project Manager Staff Assistant III – Health Sciences Staff Assistant IV – Student Success HOW TO APPLY Go to www.cf.edu/jobs Select one of the following online portals Administrative/Faculty/ Adjunct Career Opportunities or Professional/Career/Part-time Career Opportunities. Submit an electronic application, a copy of unofficial transcripts and resume online. A copy of transcripts from an accredited institution must be submitted with the application.
Todd Whetsell with the Cummins Sales and Service volunteers group places bags and loose materials into dumpster in Tuscawilla Park during the Mayor’s Spring Cleanup. [Andy Fillmore] Ocala Mayor Ben Marciano speaks with volunteers from the Kut Different nonprofit mentoring group before the Mayor’s Spring Cleanup on April 20. [Andy Fillmore] Fort King Middle School volunteers and sponsors took part in the April 20 Mayor’s Spring Cleanup in Ocala. [Andy Fillmore]

People, Places & Things

A man of many words

Audley McLean’s varied life has included being an author, speaker, lecturer and radio personality.

From rural Jamaica to north America, to international locales, to current day Ocala, Audley McLean, 92, is living an incredible legacy.

The pages of his journey began at an early age and continue today. His extensive professional career began as a boy wrapping packages in a department store and progressed to success in the insurance industry, working as a manager in the research arena, in administration in a financial institution, and serving as an itinerant preacher and soughtafter speaker on the subjects of diversity and change.

McLean’s unique insight and sensitivity to the word “diversity” in light of today’s demographics in the global workplace led him to develop a speaking seminar, which garnered much recognition and success. His multi-faceted talents also led him to being a Christian radio broadcaster and chef and entrepreneur, with his own recipes for delicious sauces labeled Jamaican Gourmet.

McLean was born in 1931 in Jamaica, the second child to a mother who was abandoned by her husband before he was born. Viola, his mother, who needed to work to support her children, left Audley with his loving maternal grandmother for the first five years of his life and moved to Kingston, Jamaica, about 60 miles away. She often visited Audley.

“Life for me began with my ‘Grandma,’ who was the second generation from slavery,” he said. They lived in the countryside in Mandeville, Jamaica, with no running water or electricity. He remembers being cared for, but not having shoes all the time.

McLean’s first memories of his mother were that he loved her and her visits.

“I thought she was beautiful,” he recalled, “and she dressed nice.”

Something spoke to his young mind that she possessed qualities he admired and wanted. When he was 5, his mother returned to take him to live with her in Kingston and his life began to change.

Viola married Kenneth

Weekes, who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and was a famous cricket athlete in Jamaica. McLean has a picture of his stepfather, whom he became close to, shaking the hand of King George VI of England, Queen Elizabeth’s father.

“I was reaching out for a different life,” McLean shared. “I was not aware of the difference … not sure what it was. I was curious.”

At 13, a department store hired McLean as a “wrapper” of customer purchases. His work ethic, determination and foresight earned him promotion and position in his endeavors, which changed the trajectory of his life. The desire to make money was ingrained in his mind. It was post-World War II.

“At 14, I thought I was a man,” he offered.

McLean’s mother didn’t attend church, but “sent” Audley. He had older friends and felt they wouldn’t think it was “cool” for him to attend church. He would get dressed and go to his friends’ houses until church services were over.

“In January of 1947, things changed,” he remembered.

There was a big gospel tent in town, but he had no intention of having any part of it. His mother began attending the meetings and insisted that he attend. When he resisted, she told him he would either attend or leave home. He went to a meeting, afraid his friends would see him going there, but “something happened,” he related. “I was miserable that week. The next Sunday, I was dressed and ready to go to the meeting and Mother was shocked. On Jan. 27, 1947, at the crusade revival, I broke down and, crying like a baby, I accepted Christ. I was 15 years old and was baptized, the youngest of the 84 people baptized then.”

McLean had an eighth-grade education. He knew he needed training for the mission field he felt called to. He applied to Emmaus Bible College in Toronto, Canada, but was denied entrance “because of educational insufficiency.” A high school education is required before entering college, they explained. The college offered him a condition: “Write us a reason to accept you without academic

Timothy was born. Elaine’s youngest brother, Philip, 7 years old at the time, joined the family there.

McLean worked as a missionary, primarily with individuals living in inner city housing projects.

“Life is different for people in inner cities. The attitude was blighted. The reality of racism divided the churches,” he offered. “That driving force … the inner-city … had been deprived of ‘breaking of the bread’ together.” They hadn’t learned to live harmoniously with other cultures, he stated.

On a speaking tour in Buffalo, New York, McLean “discovered a mission work there, with Otis Tillman, and fell in love with it.” He returned there about a year later and remained in that area for 35 years, “where I was stuck in the snow,” he said jokingly. While there, he worked with other volunteers with children in the inner city.

By 1980, McLean left the ministry and was divorced.

credentials.” McLean boldly told them he could do anything their college graduates could do. The college accepted him with the condition that, in addition to the regular curriculum, he would get an American GED (general education diploma) and he agreed. Three years later, in 1955, he graduated from Emmaus Bible College.

His faith has been the undergirding element in his life and career paths ever since.

A strong desire

McLean returned to Kingston and opened a haberdashery, which was successful until the building owner sold the property. He secured a job in insurance, where he made good money, “but underneath was a desire to do the Lord’s work. Everything else became a means to an end,” he explained. He was “commended” (the same as being ordained) into the ministry of the Plymouth Brethren, an independent religious organization and began preaching all over Jamaica, the Bahamas, Belize and elsewhere. He became a sought-after speaker.

In 1957, he married Norma, whom he met at church. Threeand-a-half years later, Norma tragically died in childbirth. Their daughter, Ruth, lived with her maternal grandmother in Jamaica for the first four years of her life. In October of 2023, commemorating the 60th anniversary of Norma’s death, McLean called on his profound writing talent to pen the compelling and gripping story of her death during a cesarean section operation. So candidly and eloquently written, even these many years later, the details draw the reader’s interest. To read the compelling work, titled “Room Number Five,” go to audleywrites.com.

McLean later married Elaine and they brought Ruth to live with them. They moved to America, where their son

gender, disability and ethnicity, which can separate us from one another and the need and ability to join those forces to value the individual for the good of all. His teaching states that “migration continues to bring all the peoples of the world within our borders. Diversity has always been here. It forms the warp and the woof of the fabric of our population.”

He continues, “Diversity is a reality and institutions that gear themselves to deal with this reality in the face of a distinctly global economy will have positioned themselves to succeed. There’s nothing altruistic about valuing diversity. It is not a do-gooder approach to living. Acknowledging, embracing, and managing diversity is really good business.”

“I thought I was done with Christian work,” he said sadly. “I felt like a castaway. I paid a heavy price.”

He remained in the insurance business, “but my heart was in God’s work,” he lamented.

Taking to the airwaves

Eventually, McLean felt the Lord’s calling again into his life and said, “the Holy Spirit used circumstances and people to encourage me to believe it’s not over.”

He recalled being felt led to ministry work via the broadcasting industry.

“I had no training in that. I just started talking,” he said. He bought a half hour of time on a Buffalo radio station.

“It just came to me, and I knew. I just trusted God,” he added. “God opened one door after another with seemingly impossible opportunities. God, in spite of my failures, brought me back into His service. God opened His floodgates.”

While working as a manager of manpower development, he was offered a position as head of diversity and equal employment at a financial institution and later became the administrative vice president. He developed a training program on diversity and change that put him on the path to many more speaking and teaching opportunities.

As part of his seminar, titled “Diversity, A Quality Imperative,” he expounds on demographics in the workforce today, including attention to race,

He expounds further that the efforts of government-enforced equal opportunity initiatives have produced varying degrees of effectiveness, but “valuing diversity is to espouse a culture whose practices recognize and utilize all its valuable human resources. Diversity is at the crossroads. We can embrace diversity and be successful or ignore it to our peril.”

Life in Ocala

In 1993, McLean was married again, to Beverly, who had two children. On the advice of friends, the couple moved to Ocala because of the good weather and inexpensive prices at the time. They were married 24 years when she passed away.

He and Beverly had known Dennis and Millicent Thomas for about 60 years, beginning in Jamaica.

“One night, Millie’s name came to me and startled me awake,” he recalled. “I called her. It seemed that is what God wanted me to do.”

He soon made the drive to Port St. Lucie to see Millie, who was widowed.

He and Millie were married on May 1, 2022. His children, Ruth and Philip, live in New York, with Timothy in Atlanta. Millie’s daughter, Yasmin, lives in Ocala, and her son, Kwesi, lives in Los Angeles. There are seven grandchildren between he and Millie.

Millie, 84, was an elementary school teacher for 40 years, teaching in Jamaica for five years, then in Ontario, Canada, for 35 years. Audley became an American citizen in 1974, and Millie in 2008. They live in the On Top of the World community in Ocala.

“God doesn’t have these neatly

See Audley McLean, page B2

An old family photo of Audley McLean’s wedding to his first wife, Norma, is shown at his On Top of the World home in Ocala on Monday, February 5, 2024. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2024.
Audley McLean and his wife, Millicent, pose for a photo at their On Top of the World home in Ocala on Monday, February 5, 2024. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2024.

Ocala Civic Theatre announces 2024-2025 season

Bookended by blockbuster musicals, with plenty of magic and mystery in between, Ocala Civic Theatre’s (OCT) 2024-2025 season lineup got a rousing reception from around 180 theatergoers at the 74th Season Reveal Party on April 15.

For OCT Executive and Artistic Director Greg Thompson, the best part of the reveal event was “the people in the house.”

“We had a great turnout; I love that,” Thompson said. “People are so excited for

the season reveal and everyone seemed to really, really love the new shows and were excited about what’s coming up.”

A season that includes four musicals “will provide exciting and challenging opportunities” for actors, said OCT Resident Music Director Jason Bartosic, who hopes to see both new and familiar faces at auditions.

“Having live orchestras for our musical productions at OCT augments the production quality of what the audience hears,” Bartosic said. “It makes everyone involved feel that they have been transported to an actual Broadway show. As a civic house, we are not only lucky to be able to hire live orchestras, but we are equally fortunate to have a professional musician pool in our community from which we pull our instrumentalists.”

Thompson agreed that a season with an equal number of musicals and plays is challenging.

“One of the things we want to do is challenge our audiences to see musicals in a different way, to understand there are a lot of just absolutely stunning studio musicals out there,” Thompson said. “I hope it’s challenging for not only our cast but our community—and not in a ‘We’re-trying-to-provoke-you’ way, but

Audley McLean

Continued from page B1 wrapped packages for us,” she shared. “I told God if He wanted me to, I would go into full-time ministry, but I wanted to be a teacher from when I was 6 years old. He has shown me that I could serve Him and impact children’s lives if I allow Him to do this through me. With His help. I brought the Gospel to many in my life.”

At the end of February, McLean retired from actively conducting several broadcasting endeavors. They continue, however, with Elgin Carelock, a local author, business strategist, educator, leadership coach and mentor, at the helm.

“The Shepherd” radio broadcast is on station 720 AM. A daily five-minute broadcast, “Words of Inspiration,” is aired at 2pm. A weekly program, “The Bible Speaks,” is aired Sundays at 9:45am. All of the programs may be heard at harvestinternational. org. The “Brick City Radio Words of Inspiration” podcast is aired at player.fm/ series/brick-citypodcasts and on social media platforms.

To learn more about McLean, go to audleywrites.com

in that, ‘Hey, let’s all really think about all the ways we can do theater and tell theater together and share theater.’”

OCT’s 2024-2025 season will begin with the two productions that cap off the Arts for All summer performing arts intensive for young people: “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet,” which will be performed July 14-16, and “Godspell,” July 19-21.

Opening Sept. 5 will be the updated 2014 version of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” The title character, made famous by Julie Andrews in the original 1957 television version, is now “a little gutsier” and “a little more current feeling,” Thompson revealed.

“I am ecstatic for OCT to present the new Broadway version of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” Bartosic said. “It has been updated with an exquisitely richer vocal and orchestral score, infused with delightfully colorful characters, and magically transformed into the spectacular fairy tale it should be for our modern era.”

The next show, opening Nov. 7, will be Tennessee Williams’ first critically acclaimed play, “The Glass Menagerie,” which debuted in 1944.

“I’m hoping to bring some new life into it,” Thompson said. “We’re bringing

a really amazing guest director, Jeff McKerley, down from Atlanta, and he’s fantastic. He’s one of the best physical comedians I’ve ever met, and when he does drama, it’s magical.”

Bringing levity to the busy holiday season, the Southern small-town satire “A Tuna Christmas” will run Dec. 4-15, putting Thompson on stage alongside seasoned OCT actor Scott Fitzgerald. Between them, the two will play 20 zany characters in the lightning-fast, 1990s favorite, set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas.

In January 2025, the season will continue with “Daddy Long Legs,” which Thompson called “just beautiful,” based on the classic novel that inspired the 1955 film starring Fred Astaire.

In March 2025, OCT will present “Clue On Stage,” a whodunit murder mystery adapted from the 1985 cult classic movie based on the popular board game.

The 2024-2025 season will conclude with the Tony Award-winning “The SpongeBob Musical,” based on the beloved animated series.

For more information and tickets, visit ocalacivictheatre.com.

if?” I thought. “What if Norma never comes back to Room Number Five?” Ever so quickly, I dismissed the frightening thought that anything may have gone wrong or may go wrong. Everything is all right, I tried to tell myself. Norma will soon be back with our little bundle of life. But time was ticking away. The time Norma had estimated for the whole procedure to transpire had come and passed.

I began thinking of Norma’s reassuring words to me that it would take about 20 minutes plus prep and post-op to have been completed. She should know, I thought. She was an operating room nurse and had witnessed and taken part in these types of operations. The frightening thought of her not coming back to Room Number Five began to haunt me. I just could not shake it. I sprang to my feet. I had to know something right then, I thought.”

Audley McLean holds photos of his first wife, Norma, right, who died in childbirth giving birth to his daughter, Ruth McLean, left, at his On Top of the World home in Ocala on Monday, February 5, 2024. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2024. TO SUBMIT YOUR EVENT GO TO OCALAGAZETTE.COM/EVENTS-CALENDAR-SUBMISSIONS WANT YOUR
Excerpt from “Room Number Five” by Audley McLean
sullen, anxious feeling swept over me.
thought came
my mind… “What

Summer fun at the Appleton Museum of Art

Week-long art camps are being offered in three age brackets, from 5 to 17.

There’s no better place to have a creative, artfilled summer than at the Appleton Museum of Art’s Summer Art Camp. Children ages 5-17 are invited to discover the work of renowned artists, experiment with a variety of materials and try out new techniques to create masterpieces.

No experience is necessary to enroll in any of the camps, which are all taught by professional art educators and teaching artists who will lead campers through a variety of projects each week. Divided into three age groups, the camps and projects are inspired by the museum’s vast collection of more than 24,000 objects, spanning centuries and continents.

For young campers ages 5-7, offerings include weeklong explorations of materials that teach about important artists,

works of art and art movements throughout history. Fun themes such as “Meet the Artists,” “Storybook Art” and “Groovy and Glowing” will have everyone entertained through engaging walks through the galleries and plenty of studio time packed with fun, hands-on projects.

For ages 8-12, there are 15 different camps on the schedule, including several that focus on specific exhibitions. “Around the World,” offered June 3-7, explores global artmaking practices, looking to various works from the collection as well as the special exhibition, “Across the Threshold of India: Photographs by Martha Strawn,” for inspiration. “Bird is the Word,” scheduled July 1519, uses Robert W. Smeltzer’s whimsical bird carvings from the exhibition “Outsider Aviary” as reference. This age group can also take advantage of a special offsite camp at the College of Central Florida’s picturesque Vintage Farm from June 24-28. Not just beautiful

to see, it is a working farm and teaching campus. Appleton campers will spend the week looking at plant and animal life as sources of inspiration for their work, with indoor and outdoor studio time. Other subjects explored in camps for ages 8-12 include architecture, clay, jewelry making and more.

Teens ages 13-17 can choose from three different camps: “3D Creations,” “Skulls and Skeletons” and “Plein Air Painting”—all excellent for building their portfolios or learning something new.

Currently, the Appleton Summer Art Camp program is 50% full, so register quickly. With less than two months left in the school year, summer break is right around the corner. Camps are one week in length and meet for three hours each day, unless otherwise noted. Included with the registration fee are daily snacks and an art camp t-shirt. Camps are discounted for Appleton members.

For complete, details go to AppletonMuseum.org/2024SummerArtCamp


National Volunteer week is April 21-27. Hospice of Marion County (HMC) paid tribute to the organization’s volunteers on April 18 with a pirate themed luncheon to highlight the “bounty” of services they help deliver.

“Hospice of Marion County volunteers are at the heart of our organization, tirelessly giving of their time to make a difference for our patients and families. We are honored and grateful for their dedication to HMC,” CEO Rick Bourne stated in a news release.

Each year HMC recognizes volunteers in multiple categories. This year’s awards went to:

• Volunteer of the Year: Fred Massa, who has volunteered with HMC four years and three months and has given more than 2,000 hours. He works as a mail courier, a pharmacy courier and at the Six Gun Thrift Store.

• Rookie of the Year: Steve Sarkozy has been volunteering for just nine months and has contributed more than 300 hours by volunteering as a pharmacy courier and performing veteran recognition ceremonies.

• Top Hours: Sharon Rinschler and her dog Dakota, with more than 10,000 hours, have served as a pet visitor and across multiple other areas of the organization.

• Top Years: Ester Folsom, with more than 25 years of dedicated service, has made a tremendous difference in our HMC Thrift Stores.

• Presidential Service Awards were given to 13 volunteers who devoted 500 hours or more.

“Hospice of Marion County provides a range of opportunities to volunteer, such as office support, veterans’ programs, patient support, thrift stores, fundraising, community events and pet programs, however, we currently need patient support volunteers the most,” noted Director of Volunteers Beverly Lafferty in the release.

To learn more, go to hospiceofmarion.org or call (352) 873-7441.

“Hospice of Marion County volunteers are at the heart of our organization, tirelessly giving of their time to make a difference for our patients and families. We are honored and grateful for their dedication to HMC.”
Rick Bourne
Students in the 2023 Summer Art Camp at the Appleton Museum of Art show off their artworks. [Photo courtesy of the Appleton Museum of Art] Students are shown working on art pieces during the 2023 Summer Art Camp. [Photo courtesy of the Appleton Museum of Art] Kerry Hoerner, Empath Hospice Division Senior Vice President, and Hospice of Marion County CEO Rick Bourne, took part in the pirate themed volunteer recognition luncheon on April 18. [Photo courtesy of Hospice of Marion County] A large crowd enjoyed the Hospice of Marion County volunteer recognition luncheon on April 18. [Photo courtesy of Hospice of Marion County]

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April is National Healthcare Decisions Month

Make your end-of-life decisions known to your family, caregivers and physicians.

It's a gift to your loved ones if you are unable to speak for yourself during a medical emergency.

B4 APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2024 | OCALA GAZETTE Sudoku is played on a grid of 9 x 9 spaces. Within the rows and columns are 9 “squares” (made up of 3 x 3 spaces). Each row, column and square (9 spaces each) needs to be filled out with the numbers 1-9, without repeating any numbers within the same row, column or square. Across 1 “Nope” 5 Pointers 9 City in northwest Missouri, informally 14 Kind 15 Words after count or sleep 16 Sports complex 17 *”Let me enjoy my guilty pleasures!” 19 Shouts 20 Website revenue source 21 Director Craven 23 Chemical in potent drain cleaners 24 Ankle-length skirt 26 PlayStation maker 28 Contributes 32 Ready to go trick-or-treating, say 36 Figure of speech 37 Ginger __ 38 Love who co-hosted “The Real” 39 Pixar film about a jazz pianist 40 Dance club compilation, and what the answers to the starred clues literally are 42 Little cut 43 Idris of “The Wire” 44 “Insecure” star Issa 45 GPS suggestion 46 Elite athletes 48 Moderate gallop 49 Website with tutorials 50 Overly confident 52 JFK successor 54 Chicken __ king 56 “Suppose so” 61 Minestrone and chowder 63 *”Feelin’ fine!” 65 Allow to enter 66 Italian bubbly 67 Apollo project destination 68 Uses a keyboard 69 Sunbeams 70 Humble reply to a compliment Down 1 Organic certifying gp. 2 Parka feature 3 Footed vases 4 URL intro 5 Bird on Froot Loops boxes 6 Handy list in the back of a book 7 Swine 8 Hearty bowlful 9 Gives permission 10 Three, in Italian 11 *Fruity treat often dusted with powdered sugar 12 “This is __ a test” 13 Loosen (up) 18 Foxx who voices the pianist in 39-Across 22 English county on the North Sea 25 11-Down eater’s dismayed cry 27 Country singer Willie 28 Gone fishing, say 29 Dryly humorous 30 *Move that captures two checkers 31 Frolic in the pool 33 “Always Be My Maybe” actress/writer Wong 34 Bring together 35 Peter, the pickled-pepper picker 40 Feature of some Southern accents 41 Pickle container 45 Threw a tantrum 47 Browns lightly 48 Mayfield of R&B 51 A bit foggy 52 Future atty.’s exam 53 __ language 55 Slightly open 57 Sleeveless top, for short 58 Pretzel shape 59 Stench 60 Pt. of a B’way address 62 __ chart 64 Mex. neighbor ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE B7
Bird of the
Michael Warren
he hardwood forests of Marion County are full of colorful creatures, especially during the spring and fall migration. Twice a year the black and flame-colored American redstarts pass through, moving frenetically among the trees. Adult males are black and orange, females and juveniles are dark gray and yellow-orange. This one was spotted on the Swamp Trail at Silver Springs State Park. American redstart [MichaelWarren.com] American redstart
Have the Talk, Give the Gift
Visit HospiceofMarion.org to download your advance directive today.


government arts


Marion County Development Review

Office of County Engineer, 412 SE 25th Ave.,

Building 1, Ocala


The first step for new development projects, the committee reviews and votes on waiver requests to the Land Development Code, major site plans and subdivision plans. The committee meets weekly on Mondays. See marionfl.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx for agenda and minutes.


Marion County Board of County Commissioners

McPherson Governmental Campus

Auditorium, 601 SE 25th Ave., Ocala

9am The commission meets the first and third

Tuesday of the month. Agendas, minutes and video are available at marionfl.legistar.com/calendar.aspx


Ocala City Council Ocala City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave., Ocala 4pm The council meets the first and third Tuesday of the month. Ocala government agendas and minutes are available at ocala.legistar.com/calendar.aspx


Dunnellon City Council Meeting

Dunnellon City Hall, 20750 River, Dunnellon 5:30pm Meets the second Wednesday of the month; Dunnellon agendas, minutes and video available at dunnellon.org/89/ Agendas-Minutes



Historic Ocala Preservation Society Walking Tour

712 E. Fort King Street, Ocala 10am

Walk through time with HOPS on a tour that will take you through six historic homes in Ocala’s Southeast Historic District, starting at the Bryant House. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com/e/a-walk-through-timetickets-803983445127.


Connecting Y(our) Water with Gabi Sullivan

Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 11am to 12pm

Gabi Sullivan, water resource coordinator for the city of Ocala, leads a presentation on the importance of water conservation. This event is free to attend for members and non-members as part of Free First Saturday activities. For more information, visit appletonmuseum.org/events/connectingyour-water.

MAY 11

Freedom from Recovery Festival Celebration Church, 12404 SE 112th Ave Rd, Belleview 10am to 2pm Substance abuse and other forms of

addiction will be addressed and people who lost their lives will be memorialized. In addition to people seeking help, the event will be open to everyone, with music, food, activities for kids and a raffle drawing.

MAY 11

War in Paradise: WWII in Florida with Eliot Kleinberg Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 11am to 12pm Eliot Kleinberg spent more than four decades as a reporter, including more than 33 years at the “Palm Beach Post.” He produced two history columns and more than a dozen books about the state. This Florida Talks program is a partnership between Florida Humanities and the Friends of the Ocala Public Library. For more information, visit floridahumanities.org/event/war-inparadise-world-war-ii-in-florida-6.

MAY 11

DEC Marion County Annual Fundraiser Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala 4 to 7pm Festivities include speakers, silent auction, live music, and dinner and dessert. Entrees will feature meat and vegan options. Individual dinner tickets are $100. Learn more at mariondems.org/fundraiser

things to do


Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to Margaritaville” Block Party Downtown Ocala, intersection of SW Broadway & SW 1st Ave 3pm to 7pm Visit downtown for changes in latitude and attitude as the Ocala Civic Theatre presents this block party. Tickets are now $45 for general admission and $65 for VIP. VIP passes include a include a front row section for the concert, separate bar and restrooms, and access to a special lounging area. Tickets can be purchases over the phone at (352) 236-2274, at the box office or at ocalacivictheatre.com


An Evening with Kenny G Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE 9th St., Ocala 8 to 9:30pm Prolific jazz musician Kenny G comes to Ocala to play a medley of hit songs and tracks from his new album. For tickets, visit reillyartscenter.com/ events/an-evening-with-kenny-g

MAY 2-19

Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to Margaritaville” on stage

Civic Theatre, 4337 E

Springs Blvd., Ocala Showtimes vary

changes in latitude and attitude as the

Civic Theatre presents this stage show. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for ages 18 and younger, and can be purchased online at ocalacivictheatre.com or by calling the box office at (352) 236-2274.


First Friday Art Walk

Downtown Ocala, 1 SE Broadway Street

The last First Friday until September. Check out art displays, local creators, arts and crafts and other family activities, live music and more. This event is free and open to the public. Weather permitting. Visit ocalamarion.com/events/first-friday-art-walk for more information.


Free First Saturday at Appleton Museum

Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 10am to 5pm

Entry to the museum is free for all patrons on the first Saturday of each month.

MAY 7, 21

Museum & Me Class at Appleton Museum

Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 10:30 to 11:30am

Bring your preschoolers and introduce them to the world of art. Appleton Museum presents a special class for toddlers and parents alike, with a short, guided tour of the museum and fun arts-and-crafts activities. To register, visit appletonmuseum.org/education/museum-me-pre-k-program-6.



Senior Learners Summer Term Kick-Off

College of Central Florida, Bld. 20, Room 107, 3001 SW College RD, Ocala 1:30-3:30pm

Learn from the instructors at this free kick-off event. Guests will have the option to attend in-person or on Zoom. The in-person portion will be at the College of Central Florida, Building 20, Room 107. Attendees will be provided with refreshments. For more information and how to register, visit seniorlearners.org or call (352) 239-8780.

MAY 24

End of 2023-24 MCPS School Year

Kids and teachers go on summer break, with the new school year scheduled to begin for most Marion County schools on Monday, August 12.


The Morris Center Summer Brain Camp

3019 SW 27th Ave Suite 202, Ocala Times may vary. This summer program is designed to help children who struggle with learning disabilities, such as slow reading, dyslexia, ADHD/ADD, and more. Pricing begins at $200 per week for half-day sessions and $250 per week for full-day sessions. For more information, visit themorriscenter.com/services/summer-camp/ocala or call (352) 332-2629.


Festivals of Speed-Derby Edition

World Equestrian Center 11am to 3pm

will be displayed in front of the hotel on pavers in the grand plaza. Join the fun and wear your best Derby attire. Get tickets at festivalsofspeed.com/ events/derby-edition-ocala

MAY 12

Symphony Under the Stars

Ocala Golf Club, 3130 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala Gates open at 3pm; Concert begins at 7pm

Celebrate Mother’s Day with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Matthew Wardell will lea the orchestra as they play an array of songs from classics to themes from hit movies and heartwarming melodies. Following the concert is a live firework show. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic supplies as well as beverages, although concessions will be available on site. Visit fafo.org/symphony-1 for more information.


Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series

Webb Field, 1501 W Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 7pm to 9pm

Continuing each Friday through May 17, these are free family-friendly public outdoor concerts. A joint project from the city of Ocala, Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission, Juneteenth Celebration Committee and Marion Cultural Alliance, the concerts celebrate a diverse array of music styles from local and touring artists.

to celebrate the 150th Running of the Kentucky Derby, with 200+ exotic, classic, muscle cars, motorcycles and luxury brands. The WEC hotel features retail space,
craft cocktail bars and more.
Join Festivals of Speed

New Rotary Club program

Ocala has a new opportunity for community involvement, with an international spin.

IMPACT Ocala, by Rotary International, is tailored for those with busy lives. It is a “hands-on, servicefocused membership option where you can contribute to your community on your terms,” according to Herb Silverman, with the Rotary Club of Ocala.

“We are thrilled to introduce IMPACT Ocala, a game-changing initiative by Rotary International dedicated to making a real difference in our community,” Silverman noted in a news release.

“Join IMPACT Ocala to be a driving

force for positive change. Connect with like-minded individuals, professionals and community leaders who share your passion for service while enjoying impactful service projects that enhance our city’s livability,” he added.

An informational meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on May 9 at the Power Plant Incubator at 405 SE Osceola Ave., Ocala.

The news release included a frequently asked questions section, which is included here:

Q: What’s the mission of the IMPACT Club?

A: IMPACT shares Rotary International’s mission of making the world a better place, one community at a time. Unlike traditional meetings, IMPACT focuses solely on practical service

projects. Our members work together, in small groups, or individually to make a real impact.

Q: How are service projects chosen?

A: With IMPACT, you will never have to worry about finding a service project to participate in. As a member, you have the power to choose which projects you want to work on. Whether you are already working on a volunteer/service project and need additional help or see the need for a new project in the community, IMPACT members can help make it happen. Join us today and become part of a like-minded community of volunteers to make a difference in the world.

Q: Why should I join IMPACT?

A: Rotary’s vision statement is: Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and ourselves.

Q: What are the dues for IMPACT?

A: Since IMPACT doesn’t have to have a regular meeting place with meals, the dues are much lower. If we want to meet, members can organize a stand-alone meeting, meet before a service project, or even do an individual service project. We can also just get together and socialize. IMPACT dues are $15/month and can be billed monthly.

Q: Are IMPACT members “real” Rotarians?

A: Without a doubt! For Rotary

Thursday May 30, 2024

Reception: Begins at 5:30 p.m.

Talk: Begins at 6:00 p.m.

Seating is limited RSVP to ihmc-20240530.eventbrite.com or call 352-387-3050

Co-Hosted by: www.ihmc.com

International, IMPACT members are identical to any other engaged Rotary members. If this statement sounds like something you want to be a part of, then IMPACT and Rotary are great organizations for you. With IMPACT, we will focus on service projects that improve our community and ourselves. As an IMPACT member, you have the opportunity to take part in all that Rotary has to offer including:

• Local service projects.

International service projects.

• Rotary Action Groups are international groups focused on specific areas of interest including water and sanitation, peace, refugees, domestic violence prevention, education, literacy, and more. Rotary Action Groups focus on improving the world through improving a specific problem.

• Rotary Fellowships are international groups that share a common passion. Some of the fellowships include 4x4 vehicles, beer, comedy, music, old and rare books, travel and hospitality, and more.

Attending club meetings around the world as you travel. Meeting fellow Rotarians when you travel opens up doors you otherwise wouldn’t even know about. They also provide great recommendations for the areas you visit.

• Attending conferences and other events. While IMPACT is a “no meetings” club, when you attend larger conferences and events, like District Conference and International Conventions, you get to see the power of Rotary. You meet Rotarians from other places, learn about the service projects and fundraisers they have done, and get inspired to do even more.

To learn more, find IMPACT Ocala on social media or email impactocalarc@gmail.com

15 S.E. Osceola Avenue Downtown Ocala IHMC Lecture Series

Mark Lupo

THE TALK: Individualizing Care for Thyroid Nodules and Cancer

Thyroid nodules are quite common – approximately 50% of adults have a nodule or cyst detectable by thyroid ultrasonography. They usually cause no symptoms nor impact thyroid function but 5-10% are malignant. The goal of thyroid nodule evaluation is to accurately identify cancer while avoiding over-treatment. There have been many advances in the last decade in ultrasound risk stratification of nodules for better selection of biopsy. Benign and malignant cytology results are highly accurate, however 15-20% of nodules are indeterminate and may benefit from further risk evaluation with molecular testing to determine if surgery is required.

Benign nodules can usually be monitored with ultrasound but sometimes grow and cause symptoms such as trouble swallowing or choking. In these cases, historically surgery has been offered but recently thermal ablation with radiofrequency or laser has become available in the USA.

Thyroid nodule and cancer management has transformed from a “one size fits all” approach to a “less is more” personalized paradigm resulting in better outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Dr. Lupo is the founder and medical director of the Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida located in Sarasota. He is board certified in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine. He attended Duke University then received his medical degree and internal medicine training at the University of Florida. He completed endocrine fellowship through a combined program at UC San Diego and Scripps Clinic. His endocrine practice is limited to thyroidology with an emphasis on nodules and cancer as well as autoimmune thyroid disease. He is active in teaching other physicians neck sonography, ultrasound-guided biopsy techniques and thyroid nodule/cancer management. He is also an active member of the American Thyroid Association, Endocrine Society, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and Mensa. He has published book chapters and several articles in the field of thyroidology. The Thyroid & Endocrine Center has been involved in clinical trials on thyroid nodule evaluation, autoimmune thyroid disease, and lab testing. He is on the faculty of the Florida State University College of Medicine as Clinical Assistant Professor.

Season Sponsors: Lecture Sponsors: A Friend of IHMC

Members of the Rotary Club of Ocala are shown during a recent monthly meeting. IMPACT Ocala is a new Rotary International program that is being introduced to the community. [Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Ocala]
Brauchler caroline@ocalagazette.com
gathers feedback
its sanitation collection.
annual survey will take place
Sanitation customers of the city of Ocala may receive a random survey call
week as
Public Works department
customers can expect a call any time from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Caller ID will display the survey call as coming from (352)415-3036, (352)415-3068 or (352)554-9696. Customers who participate in the surveys will have their identities protected and their responses will remain private. The survey is being conducted by Baldridge Group, LLC, a Sarasota-based consulting firm.
B7 APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2024 | OCALA GAZETTE Crossword Jumble EVENT APPLY SUMMER STRICT The gorilla spent so much time with his girlfriend because she was his -“PRIME-MATE” ANSWERS FOR PAGE B4 Sudoku Gasoline Alley Broom Hilda Middletons Animal Crackers Fully Custom Cabinets speCializing in HigH Quality • CABINETRY • KITCHENS • VANITIES • CLOSETS • OFFICES • BUILT-IN WALL UNITS • OUTDOOR KITCHENS • PANTRIES • MURPHY BEDS • GARAGES • FIREPLACE UNITS View our portFolio online WE DESIGN & MANUFACTURE THE HIGHEST QUALITY CUSTOM PRODUCTS TO MAKE BEAUTIFUL, FUNCTIONAL STORAGE & LIVING SPACES FREE ESTIMATES 352-591-3337 CCOSTYLE.COM
Forest defeated West Port 13-1 in 7 innings Local Journalism needs your support! Help us to continue to investigate the stories that the community needs to know. Follow the QR code to make a one-time donation to the Ocala Gazette. Your donations will allow us to continue delivering accurate and unbiased news on the stories that matter to our community. OCALAGAZETTE.COM/SUBSCRIBE SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM OUR MISSION IS TO INFORM AND UPLIFT OUR READERS BY REPORTING ON THE EVENTS, ISSUES AND STORIES THAT SHAPE OCALA WITH ACCURACY, FAIRNESS AND PASSION. Left to right: Forest’s Ashlynn Canganelli (6) slides safely into second base as West Port’s Cayden Thorner (33) can’t handle the throw during a softball game at West Port High School in Ocala on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. West Port’s Brynlee Stevens (2) catches a Forest hit in centerfield. Forest’s Rilynn Fountain (22) slides safely into second base as West Port’s Baylee Paparo (65) looks for the out. The Forest dugout empties to celebrate with Rilynn Fountain (22) after her first inning home run on West Port. Forest’s Rilynn Fountain (22) slides safely into second base as West Port’s Baylee Paparo (65) looks for the out. The Forest dugout empties to celebrate with Rilynn Fountain (22) after her first inning home run on West Port.
Photos By Bruce Ackerman Ocala Gazette

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