en Sheriff assigns deputy to agriculture <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Since entering the office of Sheriff, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods has been evaluating the many needs of Marion County&rsquo;s vast agricultural community. According to the Florida Agriculture Crime Intelligence Unit, Marion County produces approximately $188 million in agricultural exports annually, the highest in North Central Florida and many surrounding counties.</p> Burn ban voluntary in Marion <p> Marion County Fire Rescue (MCFR), with the recommendation of the Marion County Multi-Agency Wildland Task Force, decided to implement a voluntary burn ban for Marion County, effective immediately.</p> <p> Governor Rick Scott has issued Executive Order 17-120, declaring a state of emergency following the recent wildfires and extreme fire danger faced by our state.</p> <p> Until further notice, firefighters are asking citizens to voluntarily delay any outside burning until Marion County receives significant rainfall over an extended period of time.</p> Schools plan Holocaust events <p> Marion County Public Schools and Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn join efforts to present three events designed to remember the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust and Nazi persecution.</p> <p> These &ldquo;Days of Remembrance&rdquo; events coincide with the country&rsquo;s annual commemoration established by Congress and held in Washington, DC.</p> <p> This year&rsquo;s local events include:</p> <p> Sunday, April 23 &ndash; Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony, West Port High School, 5 to 7 p.m.</p> Quail Meadow 04-05-2017 <img src="" alt="Out for lunch." title="Out for lunch." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> <strong>By Carolyn Slocumb<br /> </strong></p> <p> The Red Hot Fillies of the Meadow enjoyed a great lunch at McAlister&rsquo;s last week. If you have never eaten there, be prepared for huge servings! You have never seen such humongous baked potatoes! There were only 12 ladies able to attend the luncheon. It&rsquo;s hard to find a day and time when everyone can attend.</p> <p> You know, once you retire, you are busier than you ever were when you were working.</p> Fairfield Village 04-05-2017 <img src="" alt="Good friends Larry and Donna VanBeek with Marv and Mickey Theile posed for a photo to send to families in Wisconsin and Michigan respectively. " title="Good friends Larry and Donna VanBeek with Marv and Mickey Theile posed for a photo to send to families in Wisconsin and Michigan respectively. " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> <strong>By Priscilla Barnett<br /> </strong></p> <p> Many of us take issue with the use of the word &ldquo;fool&rdquo; because we were taught as children that the use of the word was not only very demeaning but also very wrong by Biblical standards. However, if it does not bother one, the act of pulling jokes on others on April 1 is just a comical tradition capped off by playing a fairly obvious trick and then announcing &ldquo;April Fool&rdquo;!</p> Stone Creek 04-05-2017 <img src="" alt="Mary Platt" title="Mary Platt" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> <strong>By Patricia Gizzi<br /> </strong></p> First Friday Art Walk this week <p> The First Friday Art Walk returns to downtown Ocala Friday, April 7 and will include the following special performances and activities: &nbsp;<br /> &bull;6 to 9 p.m. &ndash; Live music by Nino Castaneda<br /> &bull;6 to 9 p.m. &ndash; Interactive demonstrations with Bliss Yoga<br /> &bull;7 p.m. &ndash; Live performance by XRT Dance Crew<br /> &bull;8 p.m. &ndash; Live Medieval fighting demonstration by Canton of Armurgorod<br /> Learn about blood pressure <p> Did you know one in four American adults has high blood pressure?</p> <p> This silent killer increases in probability with age and affects nearly 60 percent of those with diabetes.</p> <p> Marion County UF/IFAS Extension Service and Marion Senior Services partner to bring a free, four-week educational series on the &ldquo;ups and downs&rdquo; of blood pressure to the Marion Caf&eacute;, 1101 SW 20th Court, Ocala.</p> <p> Learn ways your lifestyle affects preventing, developing and monitoring high blood pressure from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays on April 12, 19, 26 and May 3.</p>