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Rebecah James
Rebecah James
3:00pm - 7:00pm
Afternoon Show

Local News

March 20, 2023 Morning News

GOP Looking To Micro-Manage Schools


Looks like Republicans are determined to micro-manage schools in Florida.  Now a proposal has been set forth that would prohibit any talk about female menstrual periods at the elementary school level, even if girls that age are beginning that stage of their lives. And the legislation is being sponsored by local representative Stan McLean of Belleview, who tried explaining away the reasoning by saying he wanted to bring uniformity to sex education. Meanwhile, a similar micro-management bill was also filed in the Senate.


It’s not just Florida. 


GOP-controlled legislatures in Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma are enacting bills that would hike filing fees, raise the number of signatures required to get on the ballot, restrict who can collect signatures, and raise the threshold to pass a constitutional amendment. While the bills have different wording, they have the same goal: limiting voters’ power to override abortion restrictions that Republicans have imposed on the public. The moves come after voters passed pro-abortion initiatives in 2022 in Kentucky and Kansas. 


The Military Lied – Again


A Pentagon study has found high rates of cancer among military pilots and for the first time has shown that ground crews who fuel, maintain, and launch those aircraft are also getting sick. The data had long been sought by retired military aviators who have raised alarms for years about the number of air and ground crew members they knew who had cancer. They were told that earlier military studies had found they were not at greater risk than the general U.S. population. Overall, the aircrews had a 24% higher rate of cancer of all types.


Gas Prices Up Again In Ocala


Gas prices jumped by about 10 cents a gallon over the past week.  The cheapest price we can find today is $3.09 a gallon and that’s at several stations, all along State Route 200. A more likely price you’ll pay closer to downtown is about $3.20 a gallon. 


Guns At Spring Break?  Why?


Gunfire erupted in an area of Miami Beach crowded with people on spring break, killing one person, wounding another, and sending dozens scrambling for safety. Two males were shot Friday night, and one person was detained at the scene, the Miami Beach Police Department tweeted. It wasn’t clear if the person being held was the shooter. Police also said three guns were recovered. Miami Beach has now imposed a midnight curfew. 


Mexican Pharmacies – Avoid Them


The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning about dangerous counterfeit pills being sold at pharmacies in Mexico that often contain fentanyl. The travel alert posted Friday says Americans should “exercise caution when purchasing medication in Mexico.” Small pharmacies in tourist areas and border regions sometimes sell medications advertised as OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax, and others.


Big Drug Smuggling Operation Broken


A huge drug smuggling operation supplying dope to central Florida has been broken up according to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.  35 people have been arrested and some $8 million dollars’ worth of dope taken off the street during raids by several law enforcement agencies.  The drugs were funneled from Puerto Rico. State officials and the US Attorney in Puerto Rico will prosecute all 35 defendants. 

March 17, 2023 Evening News

Fire Destroys Motorhome


One of those big Class A motorhomes was destroyed by fire Thursday afternoon in Ocala. The motorhome was parked at Cummins Sales and Service, 321 SW 52nd Ave. On arrival, firemen found the battery compartment ablaze. No injuries were reported but the interior of the motorhome was trashed. Large Class A motorhomes can range in value up to a half million dollars.


More Our Way or The Highway Legislation On the Way


Our way or the highway legislation is moving through the Florida legislature that would weaken public employee unions. The Republican-led legislature has been chipping away at employee rights now for ten years. Now the government wants a 60% threshold for a union to even be viable at a business and a law passed that would forbid union dues to be deducted automatically from paychecks. The GOP typically endorses the wishes of their big business, big-money friends.


Appeals Court Issues Stop Woke Act a Blow


A federal court here in Florida has stopped the DeSantis administration from implementing part of his so-called Stop Woke Act. On Thursday a US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request from the DeSantis administration to overturn a previous ruling which blocks his so-called Stop Woke Act from being used in higher education institutions. The Stop Woke Act prohibits the teaching of lessons or business practices such as diversity training, which could make people feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of distress because of wrongdoings due to their race, sex, or national origin. But the ruling did not include the merits of the case which now goes to a higher court.


Division Among The States


Doctors in California who mail abortion pills to people in other states would be protected from prosecution under a new bill to be unveiled Friday in the state Legislature. The bill would not let California extradite doctors who are facing charges in another state for providing abortion medication. It would also shield doctors from having to pay fines. And it would let California doctors sue anyone who tries to stop them from providing abortions.


Putin Under Indictment For War Crimes


The International Criminal Court said on Friday it issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes because of his alleged involvement in the abductions of children from Ukraine. The court said in a statement that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of (children) and that of unlawful transfer of (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”  The warrants, while symbolic, don’t mean anything as long as Putin remains in Russia or other friendly counties.


Biden Calls For Tougher Bank Scrutiny


President Joe Biden on Friday called on Congress to allow regulators to impose tougher penalties on the executives of failed banks, including clawing back compensation and making it easier to bar them from working in the industry. Biden wants the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to be able to force the return of compensation paid to executives at a broader range of banks should they fail, and lower the threshold for the regulator to impose fines and bar executives from working at another bank.


Wow What Science Can Do


Scientists have created baby mice with two fathers for the first time by turning male mouse stem cells into female cells in a lab. This raises the distant possibility of doing the same for people – although experts caution that very few mouse embryos were born alive and no one knows whether the same technique would work in human stem cells. Scientists described their work in a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. About 1% of the embryos – 7 out of 630 – grew into live mice.


Changes To Your Computer Software


Microsoft is infusing artificial intelligence tools into its suite of office software, including Word, Excel, and Outlook emails. The company said Thursday the new feature, named Copilot, is a processing engine that will allow users to do things like summarize long emails, draft stories in Word, and animate slides in PowerPoint.

March 17, 2023 Morning News

Public School Advocates Worried


Public school advocates are worried as they should be, about a set of bills that are on fast-forward in the Florida legislature. Those bills will greatly expand charter schools in Florida, essentially allowing any student to use state money to attend private schools. The bills are part of a greater plan by the GOP to essentially end the public school system as we know it, a major user of taxpayer money. The bill passed along party lines with Democrats fearing that the program is totally underfunded.


Ford Recall


Ford is recalling more than 1.2 million Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans from the 2013 through 2018 model years because their front brake hoses could rupture and leak brake fluid, which could increase the risk of a crash. The problem is due to a design flaw. Owners should be getting a letter from the company or you can contact your local dealer.


Legislature Ignores Wishes Of Voters


The GOP led Florida legislature, totally ignoring the wishes of a majority of voters, Thursday advanced a bill that would outlaw any abortion in the state after 6 weeks. The measure could give DeSantis, who is widely expected to run for president, additional fodder to woo conservative voters. The governor has indicated he will back the proposed ban, despite poll after poll indicating that at least 57% of Florida voters believing that safe, legal abortions should be available in the state.  Only 39% believe that abortion should be illegal. That poll conducted by Pew research.


Another Airline Close Call – This Time In Florida


Federal investigators say an air traffic controller cleared a plane to take off from Sarasota, Florida, while an American Airlines jet was making its final approach to the same runway last month, leading the American pilots to abandon their landing. The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that the American and Air Canada Rouge planes were separated by six-tenths of a mile — about 3,000 feet — at their closest point.


Covid Pill Paxlovid Up For Final Approval


Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill Paxlovid won another vote of confidence from U.S. health advisers Thursday, clearing the way for its full regulatory approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The medication has already been used by millions of Americans since the FDA granted it emergency use authorization in late 2021. The agency has the final say on giving Pfizer’s drug full approval and is expected to decide by May.


TikTok Under Fire In US and Elsewhere


TikTok is once again fending off claims that its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, would share user data from its popular video-sharing app with the Chinese government, or push propaganda and misinformation on its behalf. China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday accused the United States itself of spreading disinformation about TikTok’s potential security risks. A law implemented by China in 2017 requires companies to give the government any personal data relevant to the country’s national security or what it deems relevant. 


March 16, 2023 Evening News

OPD Looking For Credit Card Thieves 


Ocala Police would like to have a little chat with three people, two men and a woman, who they say used stolen credit cards on multiple occasions. Detectives didn’t provide details about where the stolen cards were used or how much was stolen. A reward is being offered for information in the case. 


Mortgage Rates Drop After Five-Week Rise 


The average long-term U.S. mortgage inched back down this week after five straight weeks of increases, good news for homebuyers as the housing market’s all-important spring buying season gets underway. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate slid back to 6.60% from 6.73% last week. The average rate a year ago was 4.16%. The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with those refinancing their homes, also edged back down this week to 5.9%. 


MCSO Arrests Man For Lifting A Wallet 


Marion County Detectives arrested a Summerfield man Wednesday on charges that he stole a wallet from a man who accidentally left his wallet on the counter. The victim told police that the incident occurred in late February at a Circle K in the 5200 block of South Pine. The man lost $1,400 in the process. Police used surveillance video from the Circle K to identify 24-year-old Sean Mathis as the person who picked up the wallet. Mathis was arrested by deputies on Wednesday on charges of grand theft but was released on a $2,000 bond. 


The Warning Signs Were All There


Silicon Valley Bank was expanding at a breakneck pace and pursuing wildly risky investments in the bond market. The vast majority of its deposits were uninsured by the federal government, leaving its customers exposed to a crisis. None of this was a secret. Yet bank supervisors at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the state of California did nothing as the bank rolled over the cliff. Much of the blame belongs to the Trump administration because of the 2018 demise of strict regulations. Critics like Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a leading critic of the banking industry, denounced the bill at the time, saying it would encourage banks to take more risk, and that they did. 


The Latest On TikTok 


TikTok was dismissive Wednesday of reports that the Biden administration was calling for its Chinese owners to sell their stakes in the popular video-sharing app, saying such a move wouldn’t help protect national security. The company was responding to a report in The Wall Street Journal that said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., part of the Treasury Department, was threatening a U.S. ban on the app unless its owners, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., divested. 


West Recovering From Drought 


Parts of California are underwater, the Rocky Mountains are bracing for more snow, flood warnings are in place in Nevada, and water is being released from some Arizona reservoirs to make room for an expected bountiful spring runoff. 


All the moisture has helped alleviate dry conditions in many parts of the western U.S. Even major reservoirs on the Colorado River are trending in the right direction. But climate experts caution that the favorable drought maps represent only a blip on the radar as the long-term effects of a stubborn drought persist. 

March 16, 2023 Morning News

Reward For Thief


The Marion County Sheriff’s office would like the public’s help in locating a man they say fraudulently used the identity of another to obtain nearly $50,000 in loans. Detectives would like to have a little chat with Carlos Guerra-Gonzalez. Investigators say Guerra-Gonzalez purchased a tractor, loader, and a post-hole auger with the money and had them shipped to the Miami area. When found he will be charged with multiple crimes including grand theft. There is a reward being offered for information in the case.


New College Students Offered An Out – But Not In Florida


A small liberal arts college in Massachusetts is rolling out the red carpet for students at Florida’s New College in Florida after Governor Ron DeSantis dismantled the free-thinking school promising to make it more like a conservative Christian college. Hampshire College in Amherst says New College students in good standing can transfer, and with the help of student aid, pay no more in tuition than they were in Florida. Hampshire College has already had multiple inquiries from New College students.


Recall At Honda 


Honda is recalling a half-million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada because the front seat belts may not latch properly. The recall covers some of the automaker’s top-selling models including the 2017 through 2020 CR-V, the 2018 and 2019 Accord, the 2018 through 2020 Odyssey, and the 2019 Insight. Also included is the Acura RDX from the 2019 and 2020 model years. U.S. safety regulators say that the surface coating on the channel for the buckle can deteriorate over time.  If the buckle doesn’t latch properly, a driver or passenger may not be restrained in a crash


Sugar Substitute Deemed Dangerous


A new study is showing that a substance called erythritol, a sugar replacement used to sweeten and add bulk to products like stevia and monk fruit, is contributing to several serious conditions including blood clotting, stroke, heart attack, and death. Dr. Stanley Hazen from the Cleveland Clinic says the risk is not moderate either. Until more studies are done, researchers are cautioning people with conditions like diabetes should be more aware and reduce or quit their use of erythritol.


Another drug pusher is off the streets.  


The 38-year-old man from Silver Springs is headed to federal prison for five years for his role in a fentanyl and cocaine distribution ring. The sentence was handed to James Howell in US District Court in Ocala Wednesday. Howell had pleaded guilty to the charges in December. 


We Have a New Top Dog


For the first time in three decades, the U.S. has a new favorite dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. Adorable in some eyes, deplorable in others, the sturdy, push-faced, perky-eared French bulldog became the nation’s most prevalent purebred dog last year, the club announced Wednesday. Frenchies ousted Labrador retrievers from the top spot after a record 31 years.


Trump Allies File Lawsuit Against DeSantis


Allies of former President Donald Trump have filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis, a leading potential 2024 primary rival, of violating campaign finance and ethics rules with a “shadow” run for the White House. The complaint asks the nine-member commission — five of whose members were appointed by DeSantis — to punish the governor by having him suspended from office, publicly censured, or fined.

March 15, 2023 Evening News

Government Ringing Up Ocala General Dollar


OSHA, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is about to ring up Dollar General in the Ocala area to the tune of more than $710,000. OSHA says it cataloged many of the same violations that Dollar General has refused to correct at its stores nationwide. Inspectors cited the stores on 58th Avenue and Marion Oaks Manor in late August and September of 2022 for blocking aisles, fire exits, and fire extinguishers. The government has fined Dollar General $15 million in more than 180 inspections nationwide. Often, big corporations just pay repeat fines as a cost of doing business. One Dollar General employee told Classic Hits that the company ships in so much merchandise there is nowhere else to put it but the aisles.


Home Ownership Is Just a Dream For Many


Homeownership will likely remain a pipe dream for many Americans this spring homebuying season. The nation’s worst housing slump in nearly a decade stoked hope among prospective buyers that homes could be scooped up more easily. But while prices appear to have peaked last summer, they still ended 2022 higher than at the end of 2021. And the median U.S. home price has increased by 42% since 2019. In the fall, the average long-term rate on a 30-year mortgage reached a two-decade high of 7.08%. Rates eased in December and January but have been climbing since early February. The average rate hit 6.73% last week, the highest since early November.


Federal Judge Hearing Abortion Case In Texas


A federal judge is hearing arguments today in a high-stakes court case that could threaten access to medication abortion and blunt the authority of U.S. drug regulators. The judge in Texas is weighing a lawsuit from Christian conservatives aimed at overturning the Food and Drug Administration’s more than two-decade-old approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. The drug, when used with a second pill, has become the most common method of abortion in the U.S. There is essentially no precedent for a lone judge overruling the scientific decisions of the FDA. And legal experts have warned of far-reaching consequences if judges begin second-guessing FDA decisions on drug safety and effectiveness.


Moving Society Backwards


A Republican Florida State Senator, Jay Collins from Tampa, has filed a measure with the legislature to restrict the flags governmental agencies, local government, and other local government units can display. Among those flags permitted would be the Confederate Flag, a source of controversy. But under the restrictions, any LGBTQ or pride rainbow flags would be illegal.


Marion Woman Arrested for Election Fraud


Elections officials here in Florida have arrested a Marion County woman on voter fraud charges. Officials say 66-year-old Donna Brady voted in person in the 2020 election cycle in Marion County as a Republican but also voted in her home state of New Jersey as a Democrat. Brady was taken into custody Monday and released on a $2,000 bond. Voter fraud is a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison.


Who’s That Doggie In The Window


If you’ve wanted a new family pet, head to the Marion County Animal Shelter on Baseline Road. The shelter says it is at capacity and therefore has eliminated adoption fees for the time being. Dogs are the most significant number according to the shelter, but cats are also available. The shelter is located at 5701 SE 66th Street, adjacent to the Baseline Landfill. 


March 15, 2023 Morning News

The Judge In Abortion Pill Fight Wants Less Publicity


A federal judge overseeing a high-stakes case that could threaten access to medication abortion across the nation asked lawyers for the “courtesy” of not publicizing upcoming arguments, according to a court record released Tuesday that reveals new details of a move experts say is outside the norm for the U.S. judicial system. The judge said the reason is the case has prompted death threats and protests. The judge hearing the case is a Trump appointee who is known for conservative views.


DeSantis Agenda Advances


Florida Republicans on Monday advanced two key initiatives of Gov. Ron DeSantis as he prepares for an expected presidential run — banning gender-affirming care for minors and eliminating diversity programs in colleges. The proposals have cleared separate committees but must still win approval from the full House and Senate chambers. DeSantis is pursuing an aggressive conservative agenda on race, gender, and education ahead of his expected candidacy, continuing a stance that has made him one of the most popular Republicans in the country.


Consumer Price Increases Drop


U.S. consumer price increases eased slightly from January to February but still pointed to an elevated inflation rate that is posing a challenge for the Federal Reserve at a delicate moment for the financial system. Even though prices are rising much faster than the Fed wants, some economists expect the central bank to suspend its year-long streak of interest rate hikes when it meets next week.


Outboard Motor Theft Scheme Ends


Four South Florida residents have pleaded guilty to stealing about 600 outboard motors worth millions of dollars and shipping them illegally to Mexico. The boat motors were stolen from primarily Southwest Florida and then sent through a Miami freight forwarder between 2015 and 2018.  The retail loss was estimated at between 15 and 25 million dollars. The four defendants could go to federal prison for a maximum of only 5 years.


Bank Failures Partially Attributed To Trump Era Laws


The Federal Reserve is facing stinging criticism for missing what observers say were clear signs that Silicon Valley Bank was at high risk of collapsing into the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. Critics point to many red flags surrounding the bank, including its rapid growth since the pandemic, its unusually high level of uninsured deposits, and its many investments in long-term government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, which tumbled in value as interest rates rose.  Others have pointed to fewer regulations for small banks that were trashed during the Trump Administration. 


Biden To Deliver Eulogy At Carter Funeral


President Joe Biden says he plans to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of former President Jimmy Carter, who remains under hospice care at his home in south Georgia.’  Biden told donors at a California fundraiser Monday evening about his “recent” visit to see the 39th president, whom he has known since he was a young Delaware senator supporting Carter’s 1976 presidential campaign.

March 14, 2023 Evening News

Floridians Becoming Disillusioned With Political Parties


People in Florida are increasingly becoming disillusioned with both political parties, with Democrats seeing the most defections.  The result is that No Party Affiliation or Independents have seen a dramatic gain with more than 18,000 new NPAs last month. Currently, the GOP has 36.6% of voters, Democrats with 33.6%, and Independents now at 29.8%. At the current rate of defections, Independents could overtake Democrats by the 2024 election cycle. 


Legislature Has Forgotten The Marjorie Stoneman School Shooting


Some members of the GOP Florida legislature and the National Rifle Association are determined to make the Sunshine State an armed camp. Now a bill would change the law again to make teenagers as young as 18 eligible to buy rifles. The bill changing the law to 21 was passed in defiance of the NRA following the massacre of 17 people at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in order to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of teenagers. Representative Bobby Payne of Palatka has forgotten that day saying he felt the restrictive law infringed on the rights of 18-year-olds. 


Governor Wants to Allow Hiding of Some Public Records


Florida has long been known for sunshine -- not only the warm rays that brighten its beaches but also the light of public scrutiny afforded by some of the nation’s strongest meetings and records laws. But now, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is pursuing a home-state agenda that could make it harder for people to learn what public officials are doing or to speak out against them. DeSantis claimed an executive right to keep key government records secret. He’s also seeking to weaken a nearly 60-year-old national legal precedent protecting journalists and others who publish critical comments about public figures.


EPA Proposes Strict Limits on Forever Chemicals


The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed the first federal limits on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water, a long-awaited protection the agency said will save thousands of lives and prevent serious illnesses, including cancer. The plan would limit toxic PFAS chemicals to the lowest level that tests can detect. PFAS, or per and polyfluorinated substances, are a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous, and expensive to remove from water. They don’t degrade in the environment and are linked to a broad range of health issues, including low birth weight and kidney cancer.


Another Insulin Company Drops Prices


From the medical pages. Some good news for those of you who take insulin.  Novo Nordisk will start slashing some U.S. insulin prices up to 75% next year, following a path set earlier this month by rival Eli Lilly. The Danish drugmaker said Tuesday that pre-filled pens and vials of long- and short-acting insulins will see list price reductions. They include Levemir, Novolin, NovoLog and NovoLog Mix70/30. Novo also will drop the list price of unbranded products like Insulin Aspart to match the lower price of the branded insulins.


 I-75 Closed Again


The Florida Department of Transportation didn’t get enough work done on that damaged I-75 bridge at SW 66th Monday night and will close down the northbound lanes again this evening at 10 PM until Wednesday morning at 6 AM. Once again that traffic will be re-routed over to US 301 up through Ocala to Silver Springs Blvd. The DOT says the construction may require that the nighttime closures may continue for several nights until the bridge is repaired.

March 14, 2023 Morning News

Governor Signs Death Warrant


Governor Ron DeSantis signed another death warrant Monday for a man convicted in a 1989 double slaying. Louis Gaskin was convicted of killing a Flagler County couple. He was also convicted of armed robbery, burglary, and the attempted murder of another couple that same night nearby. He was dubbed the “ninja killer” because he wore all-black ninja clothing during the crimes. Barring any appeals, the execution is set for next month.


Government Moves To Hold Off Bank Run


Depositors withdrew savings and investors broadly sold off bank shares Monday as the federal government raced to reassure Americans that the banking system was secure after two bank failures fed fears that more financial institutions could fall.

President Joe Biden insisted that the system was safe after the second-and third-largest bank failures in the nation’s history happened in the span of 48 hours. In response to the crisis, regulators guaranteed all deposits at the two banks and created a program that effectively threw a lifeline to other banks to shield them from a run on deposits.


Ocala Man Arrested For Stabbing At Wedding


Authorities in Escambia County say an Ocala man has been charged with aggravated battery after reportedly stabbing someone during an argument during a wedding reception over the weekend. 53-year-old Alfonso Ramos-Feliz is being held on a $15,000 bond. The sheriff’s office has not indicated what started the argument.


McConnell Out Of Hospital


Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been released from a hospital following a nasty fall resulting in a concussion last week at a Washington DC hotel. McConnell was attending a private dinner when the accident occurred. The 81-year-old will continue to recover at a rehab facility this week and will not return to the senate at this time.


Pet Supplement Recall


A Pasco County company is now recalling 61 brands of Omega -3 supplements for dogs and cats for possible elevated levels of Vitamin A. Vitamin A can be toxic for cats and dogs if too much is consumed.  Vitamin A toxicity may include several symptoms including tremors, convulsions, paralysis, and even death.  The product was distributed by Stratford Care in 60-count bottles and distributed through Chewy, Amazon, vets, and other online retailers. 


Abortion Pill Hearing This Week


A judge is set to hear arguments this week in a lawsuit that poses a threat to the nationwide availability of medication abortion. The upcoming hearing became public Monday after reporting raised concerns that the case with major implications could unfold with little public oversight. The intensely watched lawsuit challenges the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug in 2000 and was filed by a group that helped challenge Roe v. Wade. It’s been assigned to a Texas judge who was appointed by former President Donald Trump and is known for conservative views.

March 13, 2023 Evening News

Gas Prices Are Somewhat Stable


Gas prices remained fairly stable over the past week, with a couple of stations in the area dropping below that $3 a gallon mark.  They are Sam’s Club where you do need to be a member. Also, a Circle K in the 3800 block of SW College Road is $2.99. Otherwise, you can expect to pay around $3.10 a gallon or more anywhere else around town. 


Repair Work Begins On I-75 Bridge


The Florida Department of Transportation has closed the northbound lanes of I-75 at County Road 484 while repairs are made to the SW 66th Street bridge over the busy highway. A semi struck and damaged that bridge a couple of weeks ago. Traffic returning to I-75 northbound will be traveling through Ocala and turning back to the interstate at Silver Springs Blvd. Those detour routes will be in effect until Tuesday, even though repairs on the bridge will take 30 days. 


Pence Critical Of Trump In Rare Statement


Former Vice President Mike Pence has harshly criticized former President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, widening the rift between the two men as they prepare to battle over the Republican nomination in next year’s election.  “President Trump was wrong,” Pence said during remarks Saturday. “I had no right to overturn the election. And his reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”  Pence’s remarks were the sharpest condemnation yet from the once-loyal lieutenant who has often shied away from confronting his former boss. 


New Hope For Prostate Cancer Victims


From the medical pages, researchers have found long-term evidence that just actively monitoring localized prostate cancer is a safe alternative to immediate surgery or radiation. The results, released Saturday, are encouraging for men who want to avoid treatment-related sexual and incontinence problems.  The study directly compared the three approaches — surgery, radiation treatment, and monitoring. Most prostate cancer grows slowly, so it takes many years to look at the disease’s outcomes.  But as always, check with your doctor first. 


No Bailout For California Bank


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that the federal government would not bail out Silicon Valley Bank, but is working to help depositors who are concerned about their money.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures deposits up to $250,000, but many of the companies and wealthy people who used the bank — known for its relationships with technology startups and venture capital — had more than that amount in their accounts. 

March 13, 2023 Morning News

Unlike Florida Lawmakers, Michigan’s Listens To Their Voters


Unlike Florida legislators who often ignore the wishes of voters, Michigan lawmakers are listening to their constituents and are poised to pass common sense gun bills this month following a bloody mass shooting at Michigan State University and a high school. The package aims to establish safe storage laws, universal background checks, and extreme risk protection orders, also known as red flag laws. Here in Florida, the NRA is in firm control of the GOP legislature, where lawmakers are poised to make dangerous weapons more accessible, despite mass killings and pleas from victims’ families.


Florida Surgeon General A Political Pawn? 


US Health Agencies have sent a letter to Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the Florida Surgeon General debunking his statements about young men and children receiving the Covid vaccine. Ladapo said studies showed an increase in heart and stroke problems in men between 18 and 39 when in actuality, the opposite is true, the vaccine actually reduces the risk. The Centers for Disease Control and FDA essentially telling Ladapo that his theories are nuts.  Ladapo was named Surgeon General because he was one of the few doctors who would go along with Governor DeSantis’s anti-vaccine, anti-masking programs during the pandemic. Even his fellow professors at the University of Florida have disavowed his so-called theories citing flawed research.


Rain Rain Rain And We Need It


While parts of Northern Florida got severe weather Sunday evening, we’re only expecting periods of showers and possible thunderstorms on Monday.  And we need the rain.  That rain should move on through during the day and we’ll clear off to much cooler temperatures by Tuesday with a high only in the upper 60s as old man winter hangs on for a last hurrah. 


Busy Weekend For Forest Fires


Forestry officials spent a good part of the weekend battling wildfires in the area. A brush fire broke out in the Marshall Swamp area in Southeast Marion County. Helicopters dropped water to help slow the blaze. Smaller blazes also broke out near Williston and Dunnellon on Sunday. Authorities say motorists should be aware as smoke from the fires could linger for some time.


Repair Work Begins On I-75 Bridge


A traffic reminder for you this Monday.  The Florida Department of Transportation has closed the northbound lanes of I-75 at County Road 484 while repairs are made to the SW 66th Street bridge over the busy highway. A semi struck and damaged that bridge a couple of weeks ago. Traffic returning to I-75 northbound will be traveling through Ocala and turning back to the interstate at Silver Springs Blvd. Those detour routes will be in effect until Tuesday, even though repairs on the bridge will take 30 days.  

March 10, 2023 Evening News

Cook And Customer Burned In Restaurant Fire


A cook and a customer were burned Thursday evening in an accident at Edo’s Japanese Restaurant on SW College Road. Investigators say the tableside cook was preparing some food using an open flame when the flames tracked to the bottle of liquid he was using and it exploded in his hand, catching the cook’s shirt on fire and also burning a customer. They were taken to Shand’s Burn Center in Gainesville for treatment.  The cook may have suffered some third-degree burns.


Time To Spring Ahead


This is the weekend you will need to set your clocks ahead by one hour as we switch to daylight savings time. The actual time shift comes at 2 AM Sunday morning so just set your clocks ahead one hour when you go to bed Saturday night.


He Knew Better – Now He’ll Pay


A Marion County man will likely be headed to jail for a long time after being convicted of participating in a cock fighting ring on Thursday. 8 people were arrested in the bust back in August of 2022.  Police found 28 dead roosters at the scene. But in addition to the cockfighting charges, Cameron Taylor was a convicted felon and was in possession of a weapon. Taylor will remain in the county lockup until his sentencing hearing.



Another Prosecutor Says DeSantis Wants To Suspend Her


Another Democratic State Attorney says Governor DeSantis is attempting to build a case against her to suspend her from office. Orange-Osceola prosecutor Monique Worrell says the governor’s office has requested information on past cases which they believe is the building of a case for suspension. Worrell said she is an elected Democrat who does not align herself with the governor’s politics. We’ll watch this one.


Many Ignoring Inflation and Higher Prices


Americans may not like it but they just keep on buying. As a result, America’s employers added a substantial 311,000 jobs in February, fewer than January’s huge gain but enough to keep pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates aggressively to fight inflation. The unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, from a 53-year low of 3.4%, as more Americans began searching for work but not all of them found jobs.


Could Abortion Issue Hurt DeSantis in POTUS Bid?


Less than a year after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, an expected GOP presidential contender, signed a ban on abortions after the 15-week mark of pregnancy, he’s showing support for an even stricter ban introduced this week by state lawmakers. His position could have implications on the availability of abortion not only in Florida but across the South – and also figure into the 2024 presidential race. But with a majority of Americans in support of legal abortion, it’s not known if the DeSantis opposition will be enough to beat him at the polls.


Baretta Actor Dies


Robert Blake, the Emmy award-winning performer who went from acclaim for his acting to notoriety when he was tried and acquitted in the killing of his wife, died Thursday at age 89. A statement released said Blake died from heart disease, surrounded by family at home in Los Angeles. Blake was probably best known for his role as a plain clothes cop in the TV show Baretta. 

March 10, 2023 Morning News

Time To Turn Those Clocks Ahead


It’s that time of year. Saturday night, before you go to bed, move your clocks ahead one hour as we switch to daylight savings time. Florida representatives in congress have been working for years to have the country stay on daylight savings time permanently. We’ll let you know.


Legislature Has Great Track Record Of Ignoring Voters


If they’re good about anything, the GOP-led Florida legislature has proved time and again that they have an exemplary record of ignoring the wishes of the people. The legislature ignored the wishes of voters who wanted convicted criminals who have served their time to have their voting rights restored by putting up further roadblocks. Now, even though polls show that a full 75% of voters disapprove, legislators are poised to pass new laws that will allow essentially anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Yet 75% of voters re-elect those same individuals into office.


Appellate Court To Fast Track State Attorney Case


A federal appellate judge ruled Thursday that the squabble between Governor Ron DeSantis and ousted Hillsborough County Prosecutor Andrew Warren will be heard on an expedited basis. DeSantis removed Warren from office last year over perceived vows by Warren not to prosecute certain cases. But Warren never actually refused to prosecute any of those cases. A federal judge ruled that DeSantis violated the constitution and Warren’s first amendment rights, but said he did not have the power to reinstate him to office. Warren has appealed and the higher court will hear the case in Montgomery, Alabama probably by May. 


Got Junk Tires?


If you have some old tires laying around that you need to get rid of, the City of Ocala will be holding a tire amnesty day Saturday from 8 AM to 1 PM.  The disposal site will be at the Hampton Aquatic Fun Center on NW Martin Luther King Blvd. There is a limit of 10 tires and the event is for residential households only, no business disposal.  In addition, keep in mind you may have to show an ID showing you live in the city. 


Road Repairs To I-75


Remember that oversized semi that crashed into a overpass a week ago?  The Department of Transportation says repairs of the damage will begin next week and that could cause some traffic delays on I-75.  The DOT says all northbound lanes will be closed starting at 9 PM Monday   at County Road 484 through 6:30 AM on Tuesday the 14th.  The detour will route motorists over to US 301 up to Ocala.


Another Bout Of Storms Come In From The Pacific


The first in a new series of atmospheric rivers flowed into California on Thursday and forecasters warned that widespread heavy rain would raise the threat of flooding in a state still digging out from earlier storms. Rain spread across the north by early afternoon but forecasters said the heart of the atmospheric river wouldn’t arrive until late in the day. And stay tuned. Those storms will be moving across the nation next week.


New Boss At The IRS


The IRS has a new boss. He is Daniel Werfel. Werfel’s appointment was confirmed by the US Senate Thursday. In his confirmation hearing, Werfel promised not to increase audits on households and businesses making less than $400,000 a year. Werfel’s term is five years.

March 9, 2023 Evening News

Mortgage Rates Rise Again


The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate rose for the fifth straight week to its highest level since breaching 7% in November, just as the spring buying season gets ready to kick off.  Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate climbed to 6.73%. The average rate a year ago was 3.85%. The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with those refinancing their homes, rose this week to 5.95%


Right To Work Laws Don’t Help The Common Man


Right-to-work laws, like the one here in Florida, are designed to aid big businesses, breaking unions, and allowing companies to fire workers without cause. In Michigan however, lawmakers are poised to repeal right-to-work laws that were enacted a decade ago by the GOP. Democratic leaders in Michigan said the repeal is about restoring the rights of workers. The GOP, in Michigan and here in Florida, typically votes to protect big business and not the common worker.  



Finland and Sweden Want Into NATO


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is spearheading a new drive this week to see Finland and Sweden become members of the world’s biggest military organization by the time U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterparts meet for their next summit in July. Fearing that they might be targeted next after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, the Nordic neighbors abandoned their traditional positions of military nonalignment to seek protection under NATO’s security umbrella.


Yeti Cooler Recall


U.S. product regulators said Thursday that Yeti has recalled 1.9 million coolers and gear cases because magnets can come detached from them, posing a risk of serious injury or death. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said consumers should immediately stop using the four recalled products and contact Yeti for refund information. The products being recalled are the Sidekick dry gear case, M20 soft backpack cooler, and M30 soft cooler, versions 1.0 and 2.0.


About Those Higher Gas Prices


While you were paying higher and higher gas prices, guess where a bunch of the profits went?  If you guessed big wages and bonus money for the top execs, you were right.  For example, the pay package for Shell’s CEO jumped by half last year to nearly $12 million, all on the backs of average workers like you. Those record profits have also driven the cost of living crisis. President Biden had requested big oil to return those profits to Americans, but Shell, BP, Exxon Mobile, and others were more interested in padding their own pockets. 


GM Offering Big Buyout of Salaried Workers


General Motors is offering buyouts to most of its U.S. salaried workforce and some global executives in an effort to trim costs as it makes the transition to electric vehicles. The Detroit automaker wouldn’t say how many workers it is targeting but confirmed that the move is aimed at accelerating attrition to meet a previously announced goal of $2 billion in cost cuts by the end of next year. GM has about 58,000 salaried workers in the U.S.


March 9, 2023 Morning News

Do You Know This Guy? 


Ocala police would like some help in identifying a man in connection with an armed robbery.  Police have not said when or where the armed robbery occurred but somehow have a photo of the individual. Police say anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers as a reward is involved.


MCSO Settles Lawsuit Over Illegal Detention


The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has settled a federal lawsuit for the illegal detention and referral of Neville Brooks to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Brooks, originally from Jamaica, was detained for 12 hours and referred to ICE in August of 2020, even though he had posted bond and should have been released. During that time, he was also infected with Covid. The sheriff’s office was ordered to pay $150,000 in damages as well and change its policies towards the detention of a foreign or perceived foreign individual.


Remember This Jerk? 


Remember the idiot conspiracy theorist Alex Jones?  Now Jones’ media company has proposed a plan in its bankruptcy case to pay the conspiracy theorist $520,000 a year while leaving $7 million to $10 million annually to pay off creditors, including relatives of Sandy Hook shooting victims. Where is he getting the money?  At the time of his bankruptcy, Jones said he had barely 2 million.  The Sandy Hook families won nearly $1.5 billion in lawsuits last year against the Infowars host, for his calling the 2012 shooting that killed 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, a hoax perpetrated by crisis actors. The families also said they were harassed and threatened by Jones’ followers. 


Drug Pulled From Market


The maker of an unproven drug intended to prevent premature births says it will voluntarily remove the product from the U.S. after regulators signaled plans to follow through on a long-delayed effort to force it from the market. The drug, Makena, is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, which is needed to maintain a pregnancy. It’s the only drug with FDA approval to reduce the risk of premature birth.  The FDA action comes roughly four years after Makena failed to show a benefit in helping mothers carry pregnancies to term.


MCSO Looking For Construction Site Thief


Marion County detectives would like to have a little chat with a man who they say was stealing lumber from a construction site 15 Dogwood Trail Course, in Ocala. The man was photographed taking material from a construction site dumpster which is illegal. 


Fox News Credibility Coming Into Clear Focus


A defamation lawsuit is revealing scornful behind-the-scenes opinions by Fox News figures about Donald Trump, including a Tucker Carlson text message declaring, “I hate him passionately.”  Carlson’s private text comments were revealed in court papers at virtually the same time the former president was hailing the Fox News host on social media. Voting machine manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, claiming the network broadcast false claims that the company was responsible for fraud in the 2020 presidential election. A common theme emerging from the internal documents and depositions is that Fox executives and hosts doubted the election claims being peddled by Trump and his allies but aired and emphasized them anyway.

March 8, 2023 Evening News

Write In Candidate Says He Was Duped


Robert Fox, the Marion County businessman who is a write-in candidate for the District 24 House seat, says he was duped into becoming a write-in candidate.  Fox is a Republican, but by being a write-in candidate, the primary election Tuesday was closed to all but registered Republicans. He told Channel 20 news that he was advised that being a write-in would help the party. The stunt, however, is a typical political move by parties to keep members of the opposite party from voting in an open election. 


Another Vehicle Death in Marion


A 61-year-old man was killed Tuesday when the pickup he was driving slammed into the rear of another vehicle. The accident occurred at County Road 316 in Ft. McCoy.  The Florida Highway Patrol did not say if the victim was wearing a seatbelt or provide other details of the crash. 


DeSantis Plan To Thwart Democratic Voters Working


The Ron DeSantis plan to impede Democratic voters from casting ballots is apparently working. Since going into effect, thousands of potential voters have had their requests for mail-in ballots denied. The change is part of a suite of new restrictions on voting by mail – including new identification requirements and ballot drop box limits. The change has meant a huge drop in the number of people who are signed up to automatically receive a mail-in ballot, and those voters are largely Democrats.


How’s This For a Change In Society?


Wow, a huge shift in society. More Americans now favor legal marijuana over legal tobacco, a huge societal shift from an era when cigarette smoking was pretty much legal anywhere, and pot smoking was legal nowhere. The poll shows that 57% of Americans now favor a policy prohibiting the sale of all tobacco products. A slight majority, 59% would favor the legalization of pot. The information was released in a brief from the Centers for Disease Control.


DeSantis Won’t Back the Registration of Bloggers


Governor Ron DeSantis has recognized the backlash he could receive should a bill requiring bloggers to register with the state is passed. A Lake Mary Republican filed the legislation this week requiring any blogger who makes money would have to register with the state, a major violation of free speech rights. DeSantis has now said he will not support the legislation if it passes, meaning the only way it could be made into law is an override, which isn’t likely.


Four Die In Polk County Mid-Air collision


The Polk County Sheriff’s office says the bodies of four people were pulled from the wreckage of two airplanes Tuesday evening after they collided in mid-air. One of the planes was a seaplane the other a fixed-wing aircraft. Both planes were likely flying by visual flight rules or VFR, meaning pilots have to visually watch out for each other. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.  

March 8, 2023 Morning News

Chamberlain Takes GOP District 24 Primary


Ryan Chamberlin is the apparent winner in the GOP primary election for Florida House District 24.  Chamberlin took nearly 36% of the more than 11,000 ballots cast to face Robert Fox in a May 16th special general election. The closest anyone came to Chamberlin was Jose Juarez with 26% of the vote. The special election was called after Representative Joe Harding resigned after being indicted on multiple charges relating to Covid 19 funding. 


A New Kind of Reese’s Cup?


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are getting the vegan treatment.  The Hershey Co. said Tuesday that Reese’s Plant-Based Peanut Butter Cups, which go on sale this month, will be its first vegan chocolates sold nationally. A second plant-based offering, Hershey’s Plant-Based Extra Creamy with Almonds and Sea Salt, will follow in April.  The chocolates are made with oats instead of milk. The new products will be the first sold throughout the U.S. under the “Plant Based” label.


Two More Eye Drops Recalled


Two more eye drops are being recalled.  Pharmedica on Friday said it is recalling two lots of Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops due to problems “that could result in blindness. Last week, the FDA posted a separate recall announcement from Apotex recalling six lots of prescription eye drops used to treat a form of glaucoma. If you have any of the products, return them or toss them, but don’t use them.


City Looks To Expand Golf Cart Routes


The City of Ocala is looking to expand the downtown golf cart routes. But it’s not all a done deal. The city will be holding a pair of public meetings on the subject on March 30th at the Florida Institute For Human and Machine Cognition on Osceola Avenue. The first meeting will be held at noon, and the second at 5:30 pm. The meeting will expose proposed expansion routes, and public input will be accepted. 


Fed May Raise Interest Rates More Aggressively


The Federal Reserve could increase the size of its interest rate hikes and raise borrowing costs to higher levels than previously projected if evidence continues to point to a robust economy and persistently high inflation, Chair Jerome Powell told a Senate panel Tuesday. Despite higher interest rates, the American public seems to be ignoring the higher prices and continues to buy.


POTUS Proposes Higher Taxes On The Wealthy To Fund Medicare


President Joe Biden on Tuesday proposed new taxes on the rich to help fund Medicare, saying the plan would help to extend the insurance program’s solvency by 25 years and provide a degree of middle-class stability to millions of older adults. In his plan, Biden declared that the wealthy ought to shoulder a heavier tax burden. His budget would draw a direct line between those new taxes and the popular health insurance program for people older than 65, essentially asking those who’ve fared best in the economy to subsidize the rest of the population.

March 7, 2023 Evening News

Abortion Goes To Top Of Legislative List


Florida Republican lawmakers filed bills Tuesday seeking to ban abortion after six weeks, drawing the battle lines around reproductive health care on the first day of the annual lawmaking session. The proposals include exceptions for cases in which the mother is facing severe injury or death, the fetus has a fatal abnormality, or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. Florida law currently bans the procedure after 15 weeks.


Biden Admin Seeks To Block Jet Blue-Spirit Merger


The Biden administration sued to block JetBlue Airways’ $3.8 billion purchase of Spirit Airlines, saying Tuesday that the deal would reduce competition and drive up airfares for consumers. The Justice Department said the tie-up would especially hurt cost-conscious travelers who depend on Spirit to find cheaper options than they can find on JetBlue and other airlines.


Weight Watchers Getting Into Prescription Biz


WeightWatchers shares soared Tuesday after the company said it was getting into the prescription drug weight loss business with the acquisition of Sequence. A telehealth operator, Sequence says its specialists can prescribe medications under brand names. WeightWatchers offers subscribers meal plans with the goal of losing excess weight. With the acquisition of Sequence, the company is tapping into a red-hot market for prescription drugs that address obesity, and broadening what it offers to customers.


More Eye Drop Recalls


U.S. health officials are alerting consumers about two more recalls of eye drops due to contamination risks that could lead to vision problems and serious injury. The Food and Drug Administration posted separate recall notices for certain eye drops distributed by Pharmedica and Apotex.  Pharmedica on Friday said it is recalling two lots of Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops due to problems “that could result in blindness.” Last week, the FDA posted a separate recall announcement from Apotex recalling six lots of prescription eye drops used to treat a form of glaucoma. The company said it launched the recall after finding cracks in a handful of bottle caps.


DeSantis Offers Same Message During State of The State


Governor Ron DeSantis is back in Florida following a nationwide tour testing the waters for a Presidential run. Today the Governor delivered his annual state of the state address to the Florida legislature just prior to the 60-day legislative session.  DeSantis is calling himself the champion of conservative causes saying that the entire nation should be more like Florida in the wake of the pandemic. The legislature, with a Republican supermajority, is likely to approve all of the Governor’s agenda, which is more in tune with a national candidate rather than one working for Florida.  


Primary Election Day In Marion


Today is election day in Marion County as voters choose a new representative for Florida House District 24. The seat became open after Republican Joe Harding resigned in December after being indicted on charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements relating to Covid funding.  But not everyone can vote today.  It’s only for registered Republicans who live in District 24. The winner of the primary will face write-in candidate Robert Fox in the May general election. Polls close at 7 this evening.  

March 7, 2023 Morning News

81-Year-old Woman Killed In Traffic Crash Monday 


A 37-year-old man from Fruitland Park could be facing serious charges after the vehicle he was driving at a high rate of speed ran a stoplight and slammed broadside into another car, killing its 81-year-old driver. The crash occurred at Baseline Road and SE 92nd Loop, or the Belleview bypass. The 81-year-old woman from Summerfield was not identified. 


New Day and A New Scam 


The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says the scammers are at it again, calling Marion County residents, telling them one of their relatives has been kidnapped, hoping to extort ransom money from the victims. The sheriff’s office advises that if you get one of these calls, hang up. It’s fraud.


FAA Says Florida Radar Problem Fixed


The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it fixed a radar issue that caused it to halt flights to and from parts of South Florida for about an hour. The FAA did not describe the radar problem in detail, but a spokesman said it affected air-route traffic control centers in Miami and Jacksonville. By late afternoon, more than 200 flights were delayed at Orlando International, about 150 in Fort Lauderdale, and about 130 in Miami, according to tracking service FlightAware.


Florida Drops Out Of Voter Accuracy Group


Three Republican-led states, including Florida, on Monday, pulled out of a bipartisan effort among states to ensure accurate voter lists, undermining a system with a demonstrated record of combating voter fraud. Florida and it's 14.4 million registered voters pose a considerable loss for the data-sharing group, which relies heavily on member states to produce reports on voters who may have died or those who have moved to another state. Its reports also help states identify and, ultimately, prosecute people who vote in multiple states.


Heat Building Over Proposal To Register Government Opponents 


A Republican lawmaker in Florida wants bloggers who write about elected officials to register with the state, a proposal that’s raised First Amendment concerns and the ire of GOP firebrand Newt Gingrich. The bill, filed by Sen. Jason Brodeur of Lake Mary, would require bloggers to file periodic reports with the state if they are paid for posts about the state’s governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet members, or legislative officials. Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the proposal insane. First Amendment groups argue the proposal violates press freedoms.


Last Original Member of Lynyrd Skynyrd Gone 


Gary Rossington, a co-founder and last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd who helped write the classic answer song “Sweet Home Alabama” and played unforgettable slide guitar on the rock anthem “Free Bird,” died Sunday at age 71. No cause of death was given. Rossington was born on December 4, 1951, in Jacksonville, Florida, and was raised by his mother after his father died.

March 6, 2023 Evening News

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Atheists Lawsuit


The US Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in a dispute between atheists who claimed that the city’s involvement in a prayer vigil violated the 1st Amendment of the constitutional. City officials in Ocala had encouraged residents to attend prayer vigils after a series of drive by shootings. Then Police Chief Greg Graham posted a letter on the department’s website encouraging residents to attend the session. The Supreme Court’s inaction sends the issue back to lower courts.


Do You Follow Twitter – Careful


Over the past 11 months, someone created thousands of fake, automated Twitter accounts — perhaps hundreds of thousands of them — to offer a stream of praise for Donald Trump. Besides posting adoring words about the former president, the fake accounts ridiculed Trump’s critics from both parties. When it came to Ron DeSantis, the bots aggressively suggested that the Florida governor couldn’t beat Trump, but would be a great running mate.  While the identity of those behind the network of fake accounts is unknown, analysts determined that it was likely created within the U.S.  Word of warning, if you read something on Twitter, you can pretty much assume it’s fake. 


Last Original Member of Lynyrd Skynyrd Gone


Gary Rossington, a co-founder and last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd who helped write the classic answer song “Sweet Home Alabama” and played unforgettable slide guitar on the rock anthem “Free Bird,” died Sunday at age 71. No cause of death was given. Rossington was born Dec. 4, 1951, in Jacksonville, Florida, and raised by his mother after his father died.


Fox News In A Pickle


Fox News is on an unlikely collision course with two leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination over the rights of journalists. In defending itself against a massive defamation lawsuit over how it covered false claims surrounding the 2020 presidential election, the network is relying on a nearly 60-year-old Supreme Court ruling that makes it difficult to successfully sue media organizations for libel. But now ironically, Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, two favorites of many Fox News viewers, have advocated for the court to revisit the standard, which is considered the foundational case in American defamation law.


Transportation Department Rolling Out Airline Dashboard


The Transportation Department is rolling out a “dashboard” to let travelers see at a glance which airlines help families with young children sit together at no extra cost.  The announcement Monday comes as the department works on regulations to prevent families from being separated on planes. The dashboard rewards airlines with a green check if they guarantee that an adult family member can sit next to their young children if seats are available. On Monday, only three of the 10 U.S. airlines listed on the website received a green check: Alaska, American and Frontier.


Buy Meat ?  This Will Interest You


Shoppers could soon find it easier to tell if those grocery store steaks or pork chops were really “Made in the USA.”  Federal agriculture officials on Monday released new requirements that would allow labels on meat, poultry or eggs to use that phrase -- or “Product of USA” -- only if they come from animals “born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.” That’s a sharp change from current policy, which allows voluntary use of such labels on products from animals that have been imported from a foreign country and slaughtered in the U.S., but also on meat that’s been imported and repackaged or further processed.

March 6, 2023 Morning News

Flesh Eating Amoeba Kills Charlotte County Man


A Florida man has died from a flesh-eating amoeba according to health officials in Charlotte County. The man contracted the amoeba after rinsing his sinuses with tap water. Eric Millbrandt the director of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, said the organism can only enter the body through the nose. The number of cases are rare but according to officials, it can be found in hot water tanks, warm water lakes, and in rare cases tap water.


New Poll on Trump/DeSantis vs Biden


A new poll shows that former President Donald Trump would lose in a hypothetical 2024 rematch against President Joe Biden. The new Echelon Insights poll shows Biden beating Trump 47 to 44 %. But the poll also shows that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis would beat Biden in a head to head contest.


Is This Our Last Switch From Standard Time? 


It’s been years ago, but Florida lawmakers have approved bills that would keep the Sunshine State on Daylight Savings Time year round. But there is one problem.  The measure has to be approved by Congress and they haven’t been able to get their act together on the issue. So for now, this coming Sunday, March 12th, we will move the clocks ahead one hour to Daylight Savings Time but we’ll have to wait and see if Congress keeps it there.


Gas Prices Dip Below $3 Again


Gas prices in the Ocala area slipped below the $3 a gallon mark once again last week, the lowest price being $2.95 at a Murphy Express on State Road 200. Several stations around town are posting prices less than $3 so you should be to fill up just a little cheaper than you could last week .


And In the Conch Republic


You don’t hear about this too much in this part of Florida, but in the Conch Republic, also known as Key West, the annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest is a big deal. A Canadian woman and a pediatric cardiologist from Georgia won the men’s and women’s contests at Key West’s annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest, using different techniques to impress Saturday’s judges. The conch shell, an enduring symbol of the Florida Keys, has been used as a maritime signaling device in the region for more than two centuries.


More Than 10,000 Pack Strawberry Festival


More than 10,000 people showed up over the weekend at the 9th annual Habitat For Humanity Strawberry Festival at the McPherson Center in Ocala. Festival goers were treated to a variety of music acts, food vendors, and a chance to win a free staycation from Classic Hits 104.7. Congratulation to our winner…Dante Delaporta of Ocala who won a weekend getaway at the Lake Ocklawaha Resort.

March 3, 2023 Evening News

Know These Creeps?


Ocala Police detectives are looking for three creeps who made multiple purchases at the Walmart store on Easy Street recently using stolen credit cards. Keep in mind, if you can identify these scumbags, there is a reward. 


GOP Files Direct Attack On Free Speech In Florida 


In a direct attack on free speech, Bloggers who write about Governor Ron DeSantis would have to register with the state if they receive any compensation for their works under a new bill filed in Tallahassee. The bill, which sounds better suited to the Soviet Union than the land of the free, includes a dizzying list of requirements. If the blogger writes more than one blog post, they would have to submit a monthly report to the state. The bill, filed by Senator Jason Brodeur, is one more step that certain GOP legislators have taken towards total censorship of those who are critical of the Governor or government. 


DeSantis Is Described As A Dictator 


The new head of the Democratic Party in Florida, former Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, said Governor Ron DeSantis is acting like a dictator. In a speech, Fried said the move by a state senator filing a bill to do away with the Democratic party, is a DeSantis political stunt. Fried said the GOP-controlled legislature and Governor DeSantis are acting as if Florida is a banana republic and not a state of free people. Under the proposed law, Democrats in the state would be automatically re-registered as no-party affiliation voters. 


Florida House Hiding Something 


Attorneys for 14 Florida House members went to a federal appeals court this week after a judge ordered the legislators to turn over some of their documents related to the controversial law restricting the way race-related concepts can be taught in universities. Plaintiffs of a constitutional challenge to the law subpoenaed documents from the House members as part of an effort to determine if the measure was passed with a racially discriminatory purpose according to court documents. What are the House members hiding can’t be determined yet, as they are claiming legislative privilege. 


Assisted Suicide Bill Filed in Florida 


Death with dignity is the name of proposed legislation by Senator Lauren Book that would allow terminally ill people to end their lives legally in Florida. The bill was filed after a 76-year-old woman from Daytona shot and killed her terminally ill husband of 53 years when he asked her to end his suffering. The measure would allow adult, terminally ill Floridians to request and receive medical aid in dying from a physician. But with a GOP supermajority in the Florida legislature, it is unsure if the bill will ever come to a vote. 


Life for Murdaugh 


In the culmination of the once-prominent lawyer’s fall from grace, Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday after being convicted of murdering his wife and son. Judge Clifton Newman asked Murdaugh if he had anything he wanted to say before sentencing him to two consecutive life terms, and the South Carolina attorney maintained his innocence. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning a verdict Thursday. 


March 3, 2023 Morning News

Man Accused Of Beating Child Repeatedly


A man who is accused of repeatedly beating a child over a period of two years has been ordered held without bond in the Marion County jail. A pastor reported the suspected abuse to sheriff’s deputies who went to Orange Springs where they interviewed Joshua Maynard. Maynard denied abusing the child and said the victim boxed which caused the cauliflower ear. Nonetheless the 33-year-old was arrested and was ordered held following a Thursday morning court appearance.


Long-Term Mortgage Rates Rise


The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate hit a three-month high this week, reflecting higher Treasury yields and expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise its benchmark rate and keep it there until inflation recedes. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate rose to 6.65% from 6.5% last week. The average rate a year ago was 3.76%. The rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with those refinancing their homes, rose this week to 5.89%


More Trouble For Donald Trump


Former President Donald Trump can be sued by injured Capitol Police officers and Democratic lawmakers over the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said Thursday in a federal court case testing Trump’s legal vulnerability for his speech before the riot. In court papers, the Justice Department urged a federal appeals court in Washington to allow the lawsuits to move forward,


Air Turbulence Injures Seven On Lufthansa Flight


A Lufthansa flight that experienced “significant turbulence” was diverted to Washington Dulles International Airport and seven people on board were taken to area hospitals Wednesday night. The Airbus 330 reported severe turbulence at 37,000 feet while flying over Tennessee on its way to Frankfurt, Germany.  One passenger told investigators that the plane suddenly dropped over 1000 feet sending anything loose, including people flying to the ceiling. Turbulence continues to be a major cause of accidents and injuries during flight, according to a 2021 National Transportation Safety Board report. Best bet, when you’re flying, always keep your seatbelt on.


House Ethics Committee Look Hard At Santos


The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday it is launching an investigation into embattled Republican Rep. George Santos, the New York congressman whose lies and embellishments about his resume and personal life have drawn deep scrutiny. The committee could take an array of actions, from a letter of reprimand to recommending censure and a fine. Santos is also being investigated by state officials in New York and could face criminal charges.


Warning About Sterilizing Infant Products


Federal health officials are warning parents of newborns to sterilize equipment used for both bottles and breast feeding after a baby died last year from a rare infection tied to a contaminated breast pump. The infant, a premature boy, was infected with the same germ that sparked a recall and nationwide shortage of powdered infant formula last year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday. But in this case it wasn’t the formula but germs on the breast pump.  For infants sterilize everything. 

March 2, 2023 Morning News

Space X Successful Launch This Morning


SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Thursday, including the first person from the Arab world going up for an extended months-long stay. The Falcon rocket bolted from Kennedy Space Center shortly after midnight, illuminating the night sky as it headed up the East Coast.



DeSantis Set For Iowa Political Trip


Governor Ron DeSantis will make a long-anticipated stop in Iowa next week, as still not an announced candidate for president.  DeSantis will make stops in Des Moines and Davenport with Governor Kim Reynolds on March 10th.  The stops were confirmed through the Des Moines Register. 


West Gets Once In A Generation Snowfall


Portland, Oregon received nearly a foot of snow in a single day in what proved to be its second-snowiest day in history. Mountainous areas of California experienced nearly unprecedented snowfall accumulations - more than 40 feet since the start of the season. At the airport in Flagstaff, Arizona, 11.6 feet have fallen this season, second only to the winter of 1948-49. Even Phoenix suburbs woke up on Thursday to a dusting of snow that covered cactuses and lush golf courses.  Weathermen call it once-in-a-generation snowfall. Of course, climate change is playing a role according to scientists, but there are other circumstances as well. 


Warning For Parents Of Newborns – Sterilize


Federal health officials are warning parents of newborns to sterilize equipment used for both bottles and breast feeding after a baby died last year from a rare infection tied to a contaminated breast pump. The infant, a premature boy, was infected with the same germ that sparked a recall and nationwide shortage of powdered infant formula last year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Thursday. But in this case, it wasn’t the formula but germs on the breast pump. For infants sterilize everything. 


State Legislatures Target Drag Shows


Across the country, conservative activists and politicians complain that drag shows contribute to the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children. No other state has acted as fast as Tennessee to ensure that drag shows cannot take place in public or in front of children. And organizers of LGBTQ Pride events say such bans could effectively cancel their popular parades. Milton Berle, “Mr. Television” himself, was appearing in drag on the public airwaves as early as the 1950s on “Texaco Star Theater. That such spectacles are now being portrayed as a danger to children boggles the minds of people who study, perform, and appreciate the performances as Republicans run amok in statehouses across the country. 


Fl Lawmakers Want Death Penalty For Child Rape Cases


Florida lawmakers are proposing the death penalty for criminals who rape children under the age of 12. Governor DeSantis is already pushing legislation that would lower the threshold of jury votes in capital punishment cases. This latest legislation would likely not stand in the courts as it already clashes with current Supreme Court rulings.  

March 2, 2023 Morning News

Nurses Who Got Bogus Degrees Being Fired


Medical licensing officials in multiple states are scrambling to stop nurses with fraudulent academic credentials from caring for patients, after three Florida schools were accused of selling thousands of bogus diplomas. New York regulators told 903 nurses in recent weeks to either surrender their licenses or prove they were properly educated. Delaware and Washington state officials have yanked dozens of nursing licenses. Texas filed administrative charges against 23 nurses. More actions in additional states are expected.  States are acting in the wake of Operation Nightingale, a federal investigation into what officials say were a wire fraud scheme in which several now-closed Florida nursing schools sold phony nursing diplomas and transcripts from 2016 to 2022. 25 people have been charged in the case.


Man Arrested For Trying To Take Bomb in Checked Baggage


A man was arrested after an explosive was found in a bag checked onto a Florida-bound flight at an eastern Pennsylvania airport. Prosecutors say that the material was found in a suitcase. 40-year-old Marc Muffley had checked in Monday at Lehigh Valley International Airport to Allegiant Air Flight 201, which was bound for Orlando Sanford International Airport in Florida.  After checking in, Muffley was paged but had left the airport. He was later arrested without incident.


Dog Who Inspired A Law Dies


Molly, the boxer mix breed dog who was the inspiration for a new law in Marion County has died.  Molly was 15 and had cancer. When found years ago, Molly had been severely abused by her owner but was nursed back to health. She became the inspiration for a law in Marion County that requires convicted animal abusers to register their names so they can be tracked.


Man Paralyzed By Police Bullet Sues


A Florida man left paralyzed when a police officer shot him after mistaking his handgun for his stun gun filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the city. Michael Ortiz is seeking unspecified millions of dollars from the city of Hollywood, Florida, and Officer Henry Andrews who is also facing a misdemeanor charge for the 2021 shooting. The shooting is one of many where officers, thinking they had grabbed their tasers, had instead grabbed their guns and fired. Ortiz, speaking at a press conference, said not only has his own life been destroyed, but so has his mother’s as she has to change his diapers and provide other care.


Train Derails Near Bradenton – Propane Tank Among Them


Officials in Bradenton are keeping a watchful eye on a train car carrying 30,000 gallons of propane that tipped over in a derailment along the Gulf Coast. The freight train operated by Seminole Gulf Railway derailed Tuesday in an industrial area near Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Of the six cars that tipped over, five contained sheetrock. Hazmat and fire crews responded to the scene and officials said no one was injured.


Eli Lilly Dropping Insulin Prices


Eli Lilly will cut prices for some older insulins later this year and immediately give more patients access to a cap on the costs they pay to fill prescriptions. The moves announced Wednesday promise critical relief to some people with diabetes who can face thousands of dollars in annual costs for insulin they need in order to live. Lilly’s changes also come as lawmakers and patient advocates pressure drug makers to do something about soaring prices. Lilly said it will cut prices for its most commonly prescribed insulin, Humalog and Humulin, by 70% or more in the fourth quarter, which starts in October.


Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole Again


A California panel on Wednesday denied parole for Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan, saying the 78-year-old prisoner still lacks insight into what caused him to shoot the senator and presidential candidate in 1968. He has been denied parole 15 times until 2021 when the board recommended his release, which was rejected by the Governor. 


2023-03 | 2023-02 | 2023-01 | 2022-12




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