Principal changes by the School Board

Due to state mandates, the School Board is changing principals at several schools for 2019-20. And those changes have had a domino effect leading to nine schools getting new leaders. This pales in comparison to the 23 changes the Superintendent made in 2017 and the 14 made in 2018. Ashley Kemp, will become Evergreen Elementary’s new principal, transferring from the same post at Belleview-Santos Elementary. Replacing Kemp will be Kim White, who moves from assistant principal to principal at Belleview-Santos. Cathy Balius, was named Oakcrest principal. And, Jennifer Beasley replaces January Trapp at Marion Technical Institute. The other changes affected schools outside Ocala.

The Ocala Police Department says we need to keep an eye out for some “funny money” that has been circulating here since the end of May. Two things to look for on the 100 dollar bills . . the Serial Number . . LB45440078L, and on the back left side, just below the “100,” there are four Chinese symbols. If you encounter the fake money, call the Police right away, at 369-7000, or Crime Stoppers at 368-STOP.

Five men were arrested after Marion County deputies say they broke up a cockfighting ring at a Summerfield farm recently. Deputies said they arrested the men as “numerous people” were fleeing a barn, which contained an active cockfighting ring. Approximately 60 roosters were found at the farm, that had been involved in fighting, Investigators served a warrant at the property and found 451 grams of marijuana, 4 grams of cocaine, about $5,800 in cash, and a firearm and high-capacity clips, according to a news release. Marion County Animal Services took possession of the roosters. The men are being held at the Marion County jail on $2,000 bail.

A couple in Marion County said that someone stole their beloved goats. Elinor and Alex O’Neal said the 8-year-old goats named Fabio and Conrad were gone.  The agricultural deputy at the Sheriff’s Office told them that they weren’t the only ones to have missing goats.  The family made it clear, the goats were pets, and they were treated as members of the family. The couple warns other goat owners to be on the lookout and are hoping whoever is responsible, will be found.

A man pushing a Jeep that had run out of gas was hit by another vehicle and killed on West State Road 40 late last night. Guillermo Teniente, 20, of Ocala, was killed, according to a FHP trooper on scene. Two others who had been in the Jeep, 20-year-old Esgar Jurado-Nunez, had minor injuries and Samuel Lopez, 21, of Ocala, was not injured. The Jeep Grand Cherokee they were in had run out of gas, officials said, and the men were pushing it toward a gas station at 60th Avenue. A 2016 Chevy Malibu driven by Marcus Tyree Bell, 33, of Ocala, struck the Jeep from behind, according to FHP. Bell did not appear to be injured.

Chewy, the online seller of pet food and squeaky toys, is continuing its post-IPO sales streak. Chewy, which has a distribution center in Ocala, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in June. Posting fiscal first-quarter results, Chewy reported a 45.2% increase in sales to $1.1 billion. The company expects the second quarter to show 39% to 42% growth over the same period a year ago.  It expects full-year net sales of $4.68 billion to $4.75 billion, that would be a 32% to 34 % growth rate.

Detective Lori Fiorino works in the shadows of the Internet Crimes Against Children unit in Orlando. She spends her days and nights messaging and chatting with mostly men who believe she is a child.  Recently, a man from Marion County contacted her believing he was messaging a 14-year-old girl.  Fiorino said any unsuspecting child can fall prey to a predator over the internet if not monitored. To parents worried about invading your child’s privacy, Fiorino said: Don’t be. They know way more about the internet than the parents do,  “Your 10-year-old doesn’t need privacy, they need protection from the internet that you’re giving them access to every day.”

An armed-robbery defendant walked out of his trial just moments before a Florida jury found him guilty.  The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 29-year-old Antonio Gearing had been released on $75,000 bail so he was free to move about the Daytona Beach courtroom Tuesday. But he wasn’t supposed to leave the trial.  Police are searching for Gearing after the jury found him guilty of a Dollar General store robbery in 2018.

A jury has awarded $700 million to the parents of a Florida man who died after being beaten unconscious and then set on fire while still alive.  The jury reached its verdict this week in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Aaron Doty, who was killed in June 2012 in Highlands County.  Collecting the award might be difficult. The suspects are both are serving two life sentences each

The heat index, or, the feels like temperature, is going up . . and, it looks like the trend will continue. Looking at averages nationwide, according to a senior climate scientist . .  Florida as a whole will have the highest number of days with heat indexes above 105 by late century if we do nothing.  There’s more . . it appears our overnight temperatures are going up also.

Silver Springs resident Tod Gay will be headed to trial on July 29th for the murder of a woman back in 2018.   The 31 year old is accused of killing 61 year old Laura Russell during a robbery attempt reportedly over drugs.  Attorney’s Wednesday were unable to reach a plea agreement.  The defense wanted 30 years, the state wants life in prison.

A man from Gilchrist County is in jail on 1 ¼ million dollars bail after a violent assault on his wife’s lover.  49 year old Alex Bonilla caught his wife and her love in bed in May.  On Sunday, the pent up anger broke loose.  Bonilla went to the neighbor’s home armed with a gun, tied up the man and cut off his penis with a pair of scissors.  The 49 year old then flex with the appendage so it couldn’t be reattached.   He was later arrested at his workplace on a long list of felony charges.

Netflix’s video streaming service suffered a dramatic 20% slowdown in growth during its traditionally sluggish spring season, a drop-off coming as the company boosts its prices and gets ready for even stiffer competition.  The service picked up 2.7 million worldwide subscribers for the April-June period. That’s far below Netflix’s forecast of 5 million subscribers. Netflix blamed the slow growth on price increases.

Prosecutors dropped a case Wednesday accusing Kevin Spacey of groping a young man at a resort island bar in 2016, more than a week after the accuser refused to testify about a missing cellphone the defense says contains information that supports the actor’s claims of innocence.  The prosecution said the unavailability of the accusing witness made the case impossible to move forward.

Scientists say they nearly eliminated disease-carrying mosquitoes on two islands in China using a new technique. The downside: It may not be practical for larger areas and may cost a lot of money.  The method involved infecting some mosquitos and zapping them with radiation so they cannot reproduce.  No other technique for getting rid of the pesky critters has had so much success.

From Yesterday Afternoon:

The Florida Department of Education has ordered public schools to begin teaching students about mental health beginning in the 6th grade.  Students will receive a minimum of five hours of mental health instruction.  The aim of the courses are to help students identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to find resources for help, and how to help peers who may be having a mental health issues.

New statistics suggest that U.S. overdose deaths last year likely fell for the first time in nearly three decades.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday posted the provisional numbers showing nearly 68,000 drug overdose deaths were reported last year.   Overdose deaths had been climbing each year since 1990, topping 70,000 in 2017.  Any leveling off or decline in overdose deaths is good news, but the overdose death rate is still about seven times higher than it was a generation ago.

The Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been sentenced to life behind bars in a U.S. prison, a humbling end for a drug lord notorious for his ability to kill, bribe or tunnel his way out of trouble.  A federal judge in Brooklyn handed down the sentence Wednesday, five months after Guzman’s conviction in an epic drug-trafficking case.

Florida’s two day sport lobster season starts next week.  Participants must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to recreationally harvest unless they are exempt from recreational license requirements. The regular commercial and recreational lobster season starts August 6 and runs through March 31st of next year.

U.S. home construction slipped last month as an uptick in the building of single-family homes was offset by a big drop in apartment construction.  Applications for building permits, an indication of future construction, fell 6.1% last month the lowest since May 2017.

If you travel on I-75 watch your speed this week.  We mean seriously watch your speed, even one mile over the limit.  The Florida Highway Patrol is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in cracking down on speeders on main Florida highways including I-75, I-10 and I-95.  Its called Operation Southern Shield and runs through Sunday.  Says the FHP, 70 is the limit, not a suggestion.

Believe it or not, school will be back in session in about a month.  And certain immunizations are required of all students.  You have to have a really good reason to be exempt.  Now the Marion County Health Department is offering multiple clinics to make sure kids are eligible for classes.   For a schedule of clinics and the immunizations required, just go to our website and click on today’s news.  School officials say the biggest offenders are students entering the 7th grade where they are required to have a tetanus, diptheria, and whooping cough booster.

The department will be providing immunizations:

-Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County (1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala)

Saturday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sparr Baptist Church (1303 E. Highway 329, Citra)

Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the E.D. Croskey Center (1510 NW 4th St., Ocala)

Saturday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County (1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala)

-Saturday, Aug. 10, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County (1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala)

– Saturday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Horizon Academy (365 Marion Oaks Drive, Ocala)

Students entering kindergarten or attending or transferring to a Florida public school need the following vaccines:

Four or five doses of DTaP (diptheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis)

Four or five doses of IPV (inactivated polio vaccine)

Two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella)

Three doses of hepatitis B

Two doses of varicella (unless a history of varicella is documented by a healthcare provider)

All students entering seventh grade must have a Tdap booster (tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis). College immunization requirements can vary; entering students should contact their schools to see what is required