Staffing shortages caused 3 ambulances to shut down Saturday

Staffing shortages caused 3 ambulances to shut down Saturday

Marion County — Persistent staffing shortages have been the cause for Marion County Fire Rescue to shut down ambulances over the last few months. This event, called a “brown out,” has been putting a strain on the ambulance system. The “brown out” has forced MCFR to empty out response zones that are both paid for […]

To the Editor: This is a life and death decision for us

To the Editor: This is a life and death decision for us

I recently read an article about many positive efforts to improve the economy of Marion County. I also read, and am experiencing, the results of one area of negative impact on the economy of Marion County. And that is the continuing exodus of our fire and EMS personnel caused by the embarrassing low salaries — […]

Fire crews had no choice; delayed response time to Monday’s tornado

Fire crews had no choice; delayed response time to Monday’s tornado

Ocala, Florida — Marion County Fire Rescue specialty units had a delayed response to the EF-1 tornado that touched down Monday in the Palm Cay and Oak Run subdivisions, located off SR 200. Approximately 50 homes were damaged and at least a dozen more suffered major damage. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-1 […]

Ocala pawn shop owner: SunTrust Bank closed account because we sell guns

Ocala pawn shop owner: SunTrust Bank closed account because we sell guns

Ocala, Florida — SunTrust Bank is taking heavy fire after they sent out letters to some of its business customers telling them their accounts would be closed. Vinny’s Super Pawn, located at 8810 Southwest Highway 200 Unit 121, Ocala, is just one of thousands of customers affected. Pawn shop owner, Evie Mostacci, told Ocala Post […]

City Council overturns Mayor Guinn’s veto; 401-acres will be destroyed

City Council overturns Mayor Guinn’s veto; 401-acres will be destroyed

[Audio Clip from meeting]   Ocala, Florida — Despite his best efforts, Mayor Kent Guinn’s veto on the Trinity Lane project was overturned by the City Council Tuesday. Councilman Jim Hilty, who has been against the project from the beginning, also held his position on the development. However, greed within the city council prevailed, and […]

County commissioners looking at privatizing part of Fire Rescue

County commissioners looking at privatizing part of Fire Rescue

Ocala, Florida — In an e-mail to county commissioners and Marion County Fire Rescue employees, fire chief and assistant county administrator Stuart McElhaney announced to the agency that the county commissioners have directed staff to hold the line on taxes and look for ways to re-prioritize spending to direct more revenue to the ambulance service. […]

MCSO receives salary adjustment for entry-level deputies

MCSO receives salary adjustment for entry-level deputies

Ocala, Florida — For the first time in 11 years, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) increased the agency’s starting salary for entry-level deputies – from $28,520 to $32,094. The increase went into effect on January 25, 2015. Existing deputies received a 3 percent raise on October 1, 2014. The funding for the salary adjustment […]

Plans to destroy 401-acres of farmland vetoed

Plans to destroy 401-acres of farmland vetoed

Ocala, Florida — Today, Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, vetoed Triniy Lane development plans that would destroy 401-acres of farmland at the corner of Southwest 27th Avenue and Southwest 42nd Street, Ocala. This is the second time Mayor Guinn has “stepped up” and vetoed the development plans presented by developer John J. Brunetti. In March of […]

Bald eagles allegedly poisoned by euthanized animals dumped at Marion County Baseline Landfill

Bald eagles allegedly poisoned by euthanized animals dumped at Marion County Baseline Landfill

  [Last updated February 6, 2015, at 10:46 p.m.] Ocala, Florida —The bald eagle—the symbol of our nation—which is protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, faces a new threat in Marion County today. Michelle Whitfield, head of the wildlife department at the Animis Foundation, said bald eagles and other wildlife are being […]

MCSO: Monumental change within the sheriff’s office

MCSO: Monumental change within the sheriff’s office

Ocala, Florida — In light of recent terrorist attacks, increased chatter, and intelligence about “lone-wolf” terrorists — both foreign and domestic — the Marion County Sheriff’s Office plans to deter any threats against Marion County by being prepared. Ocala Post recently reported that the FBI alerted multiple local law enforcement agencies, advising them to be […]

City Council will discuss destroying farmland and Outside Sales Ordinance

City Council will discuss destroying farmland and Outside Sales Ordinance

Ocala, Florida — Tonight, January 20, 2015, the Ocala City Council will be holding several public meetings. The meetings will cover the Trinity Lane mixed-use development that would destroy the farmland at Red Oak and Ocala Stud farms, for the purpose of development. The farms are located off of Southwest 27th Avenue. Jennifer L. Hoefsmit, […]

911: It is supposed to save lives, not cost you your life

911: It is supposed to save lives, not cost you your life

Ocala, Florida — Since the transfer of 911 dispatch services from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to the county commissioners control that took place in 2012, many local residents have voiced their opinions that MCSO losing control of the service was a detriment to the community. Recently, Misty Lloyd, a tax paying citizen of Marion […]

To the Editor: Open Letter to the Citizens of Marion County

To the Editor: Open Letter to the Citizens of Marion County

Marion county, Florida — Your Marion County Deputy Sheriffs need your help. They are calling 911. There is an urgent emergency! As veterans of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, we live here. We work here and raise our families here. We have proudly dedicated our professional careers to serving Marion County as law enforcement officers. […]

Marion County Fire Rescue & Marion County Sheriff’s Office, railroaded by county leaders

Marion County Fire Rescue & Marion County Sheriff’s Office,  railroaded by county leaders

  Ocala, Florida — The Marion County Board of County Commissioners once again gave Marion County Sheriff, Chris Blair, an ultimatum in reducing his budget during a hearing held on September 11, 2014, while Commissioner Carl Zalak leaned back in his chair and mocked public safety issues. Commissioners Carl Zalak and Stan McClain were heard […]

Marion County official resigns following community outrage

Marion County official resigns following community outrage

  Ocala, Florida — Recently, Ocala Post did an article titled ‘Marion County government official belittles veteran for PTSD.’ The article was about Marcel “Butch” Verrando, who was serving the citizens of Marion County as a member of the Fire Advisory Board (appointed by Commissioner Stan McClain) and a former candidate for Marion County Commissioner, […]

Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Fire Rescue at wits’ end, and bad land deals

Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Fire Rescue at wits’ end, and bad land deals

    Ocala, Florida — Orlando in the making! The Ocala City Council recently voted 4-0 to approve a $1.067 million incentive package that allows McBride Land & Development, LLC to advance its proposed project to retrofit the former Sprint Building off Southeast Broadway Street. One would think the area would be developed as commercial; […]

Marion County government official belittles veteran for PTSD

Marion County government official belittles veteran for PTSD

  Ocala, Florida — Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious condition that can be very debilitating and even result in the death of the individual afflicted. This condition not only disproportionally affects soldiers, but also firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, and law enforcement officers. Marcel “Butch” Verrando, who currently serves the citizens of Marion County as a […]

MCSO: The rest of the story

MCSO: The rest of the story

  Ocala, Florida — Recently, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Ocala Star-Banner reporter, Bill Thompson, with a series of questions, to which they responded with alacrity. The Sheriff’s Office said they bent over backwards and provided very detailed answers, all of which are available through public record. Professional Compliance Bureau Chief, Major […]