Disney Laying Off 28,000

Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000  layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers.  Disney’s parks closed last spring as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened this summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden paid nearly $288,000 in federal income taxes last year, according to returns he released just hours before his Tuesday night debate with President Donald Trump. The move came following a report from The New York Times that Trump paid just $750 in income taxes in 2016, the year he ran for president, and in 2017, his first year in the White House.  Biden released his 2019 federal and state returns as the president contends with the political fallout from a series of Times reports about Trump’s long-hidden tax returns

The first Friday Art Walks in downtown Ocala are returning this Friday October 2nd.  The annual monthly celebration will run from 6 to 9 pm.  This Friday’s event will feature 18 artists scattered throughout the downtown area with Art organization booths around the downtown square.   The city says sanitation protocols will be in place at each art station, and each activity provided will be health and safety conscious.  There will be no music stages to avoid crowds of people in one place. 

In Republican circles — with the notable exception of the man who leads the party — the debate about masks is over: It’s time to put one on.  As a surge of infections hammers the South and West, GOP officials are pushing back against the notion that masks are about politics, as President Donald Trump suggests, and telling Americans they can help save lives.  Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, on Tuesday bluntly called on Trump to start wearing a mask to set a good example.

The number of Covid cases in Florida spiked upward Tuesday, the largest single day increase reported since September 19th.  3266 new cases were recorded Tuesday brining the total to more than 704,500.  Here in Marion County, a total of 9,670 cases have been reported by the health department with 289 people dead since the pandemic began.  Meanwhile, The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has eclipsed 1 million, nine months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy.

The Tampa International Airport announced Tuesday that it will be the first in the nation to test passengers for the coronavirus in the terminal.  The Florida airport and BayCare Health System will offer voluntary testing for any passenger departing from or arriving at the airport. The tests are open to anyone who has flown, or is flying, within three days, and can show proof of travel.  The program is a trial throughout the month of October.

A Duvall County officer and veteran member of a SWAT team was shot multiple times while serving a warrant Monday, but his bullet-resistant vest saved his life. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a news conference that the officer was already home and recovering by Monday evening and the vest definitely saved his life.  Police detained a man and woman.

There is a new technology out there.  It’s palm recognition and it’s being developed by Amazon.  Amazon has introduced new palm recognition technology in a pair of Seattle stores and sees a broader potential audience in stadiums, offices and elsewhere.  The company chose palm recognition because it’s more private than other biometric technology, and a person would be required to purposefully flash a palm at the Amazon One device to engage.

Want to be in a Covid-19 vaccine test study?  Governments and companies are setting up websites where people can sign up.  Enthusiasm is high: More than 400,000 people have signed a registry of possible volunteers that’s part of a vaccine network set up by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  The Initial studies include only a few dozen young, healthy volunteers, since this is the first chance to see if a shot causes a risky reaction in people. Older adults, anyone with a serious underlying illness, and pregnant women are typically excluded from this testing stage. 

President Donald Trump announced Monday that the federal government will begin distributing millions of rapid coronavirus tests to states this week and urged governors to use them to reopen schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.  The move to vastly expand U.S. testing comes as confirmed new COVID-19 cases remain elevated at more than 40,000 per day and experts warn of a likely surge in infections during the colder months ahead

A couple of new laws going into effect in Florida this week.  One would make it a crime to represent ones self as a veteran in order to get a job or political office.  It’s a third degree felony.  The other would expand the number of specialty license plates to 150.   But if you want one for your group or organization you’ll need 1000 takers signed up.

False alarm.  A sign along SW 46th Avenue advertising that Cosco is hiring at $15 per hour caused a buzz, at least for a while with many thinking the wholesale chain was bringing a store to Ocala. Not so.   The hiring is for a Cosco Distribution Center operating out of the old Kmart Distribution Center.  Sam’s Club still has a monopoly as far as Ocala is concerned.

Amazon is aiming to kick start the holiday shopping season early this year.  The company is holding its annual Prime Day over two days in October this year, after the pandemic forced it to postpone the sales event from July.  It’s the first time Prime Day is being held in the fall, and Amazon is positioning it as a way to get people to start their holiday shopping.  Even before Amazon’s announcement Monday, major retailers have said they plan to push shoppers to start their holiday shopping in October and offer deals earlier, hoping to avoid crowds in their stores in November and December.

The Florida Gators moved up the rankings to number 3 following a stellar performance Saturday against Ole Miss.  Clemson remained at number 1 followed by Alabama.  Florida moved into the number 3 spot from number 6.  The Gators thrashed Mississippi 51-35 in a game where the odds makers had picked Ole Miss.

Gas prices in the Ocala area are up about 2 cents a gallon from a week ago….the average now at $2-19 a gallon.  But classic hits listeners won’t pay that much.  We’ve found fuel for you today for as low as $1-94.   There are several stations that have prices in the mid dollar nineties mostly on State Road 200.   A more likely price you’ll find around town is about $2-05.  For those prices and prices in your neighborhood just log on to our website classichitsocala.com.  the link is right there on the front page.