News in Brief – November 6-12, 2020

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Posted November 6, 2020 |

Veterans Day ceremonies set for Wednesday

Marion County government and Marion County Public Schools join forces to honor local veterans with two Veterans Day Ceremonies set for Wednesday, November 11, starting at 11 a.m.

Held at the Marion County Veterans Park on Southeast Fort King Street and Southeast 25 Avenue, this ceremony serves as Marion County’s official Veterans Day ceremony. This is the 14th consecutive year the school district has participated in this event.

This year’s event features a Color Guard presentation by West Port High School’s JROTC, music from the Belleview High School jazz band, student essays, a family wreath presentation and 21-gun salute by the Ocala Police Department, and more.

Those attending in person should bring their own seating and follow COVID-19 safety precautions that may include safe social distancing and face coverings.

Those who don’t want to attend in person may watch a virtual ceremony featuring students from around Marion County on the district’s YouTube channel (MCPSmedia) and the Marion Education Channel, available on Cox 12 and Comcast 99 along with a handful of local cable systems.

This virtual ceremony also starts at 11 a.m. and includes a West Port High School JROTC Color Guard presentation, Hillcrest students sharing the Pledge of Allegiance, music from the Belleview High School band and Forest High School chorus, a Missing Man table presentation by Belleview High’s JROTC team, essays from students at Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary, and much more.

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Ocala changes trash collection schedules for Veterans Day

City of Ocala business offices will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day. There will be no residential collection for sanitation, yard waste or recycling routes that day.

Residential sanitation collection regularly scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 11 will occur instead on Thursday, Nov. 12. Thursday’s regular collection day will occur Friday, Nov. 13.

Waste Pro recycling collection for City of Ocala residents regularly scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 11 will take place Thursday, Nov. 12. Thursday’s regular collection day will occur Friday, Nov. 13.

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Residential Sanitation Department at 352-351-6697.

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COVID testing center in Reddick Saturday

The state Division of Emergency Management will host a one-day, free drive-through COVID-19 testing event in Reddick on Saturday, Nov. 7. Testing will be held at the Reddick Community Center, 4345 N.W. 152nd St., Reddick, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To be tested, individuals should bring a valid photo ID. Minors under age 18 will only be tested if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. People should be prepared to stay in their vehicles while waiting for testing; restroom facilities will not be available. Only people who are being tested should be in the vehicle, with the exception of parents, guardians or caregivers. No pets are permitted in the vehicle during tests.

Testing will run until 4 p.m. or until all available samples are used, whichever comes first.

For more information, call the Marion County COVID-19 Hotline Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 352-644-2590.

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Marion Fire Rescue reduces response times via partnership

Marion and Lake counties have adopted a mutual aid agreement to reduce response times along the Marion/Lake county line.

The agreement between the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and Lake County allows the closest unit to respond to a call regardless of jurisdictional boundaries to provide the most appropriate help in the quickest amount of time, according to a release from Marion County Fire Rescue.

As an added benefit, property owners may now be eligible for insurance premium reductions. MCFR encourages citizens to contact their insurance company for potential insurance savings due to this new automatic aid agreement.

If insurers require a verification letter, one may be obtained online at

Marion County Fire Rescue is pursuing similar agreements with surrounding jurisdictions.

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