Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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Ocala

Marion County opens shelters as Hurricane Dorian devastates the Bahamas

Central Florida braced for Hurricane Dorian’s impending arrival as the storm stalled over the Bahamas on Monday.

The hurricane, a Category 4, was causing terror, destruction and mass flooding on the islands with 145 mph winds. The prime minister reported that at least five people had died.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, Dorian was located about 105 miles west of West Palm Beach. The storm was expected to start a slow west to westward motion sometime overnight and into early Tuesday morning as the eye and high winds finally pull away from the Bahamas.

This map shows the latest projected path for Hurricane Dorian.

The latest update has Dorian moving slightly further to the east, but residents are being urged to stay vigilant, as the storm is forecast to be east of Central Florida sometime Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the speed it gains in the open Atlantic waters. By that time, it is projected to be a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds, which means some areas of Central Florida may feel tropical storm-force winds.

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Floridians to guard against “storm fatigue” and pay attention to updated forecasts, alerts, warnings and possible evacuation orders.

“This has been frustrating, I know, for a lot of people because it seems like we’ve been talking about this a long time,” the governor said. “But we are in a situation where the storm is stalling very close to our coast. It is going to make a move, and the movement that it makes is going to have a lot of impacts on Floridians.”

Hurricane Dorian stalled over the Bahamas on Monday and was devastating the islands with heavy winds and flooding.

Meanwhile, in Marion County, a shelter for special needs residents opened Monday at 2 p.m. at West Port High School. Three other shelters at Fort McCoy School, North Marion Middle School and Lake Weir High School were slated to be opened on Tuesday at noon.
Registered sex offenders were told they aren’t allowed at any of the shelters and instead are being instructed to go to the Marion County Jail Visitation Center.

Marion County government offices, as well as those in Ocala, Belleview and Dunnellon, will be open Tuesday and reassessed for Wednesday. Marion County Sheriff’s district offices in Salt Springs, Forest Corners, Ocklawaha and Silver Springs Shores will be closed Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Floridians to guard against ‘storm fatigue’ and pay attention to updated forecasts, alerts, warnings and possible evacuation orders connected to Hurricane Dorian.

Photos in Ocala, Florida

Crime

Ocala Police scramble to Paddock Mall after shooting outside facility

Ocala Police officers are investigating a shooting that happened outside the Paddock Mall on Monday afternoon.

Ocala man charged with attack that landed woman in hospital

An Ocala man is accused of brutally beating a woman and injuring her juvenile daughter while preventing her from calling 911 during a recent wild incident.

Ocala woman arrested after saying she was the victim

An Ocala woman was arrested on a domestic battery charge despite her claim that the victim was the aggressor in the incident.

23-year-old Ocala man stopped for tag light violation ends up behind bars

An Ocala man was jailed early Friday morning after he was stopped by a Marion County sheriff’s deputy for a license tag light violation.

Business

Former Brothers’ Keeper building demolished to make way for new Mellow Mushroom

The former home to Brothers’ Keeper Thrift Store has been demolished to make way for a new pizza restaurant.

Ocala Golden Corral reopening doors after extended pandemic closure

The Ocala Golden Corral will reopen its doors latter this month after an extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students encourage to apply to ‘Shark Tank’ style business plan competition

Students across the county are being encouraged to apply to be a part of a local “Shark Tank” style competition hosted by the chamber.

New hotel reserving parking spaces in Ocala downtown parking garage

The free parking spaces available in Ocala’s Downtown Parking Garage were reduced this past week when the new hotel's parking lease with the city began.

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Headlines

3 Ocala residents in Citrus County crash that critically injures 5-year-old girl

Three Ocala residents were involved in a four-vehicle crash in Citrus County on Monday that left a 5-year-old girl critically injured.

Ocala Police scramble to Paddock Mall after shooting outside facility

Ocala Police officers are investigating a shooting that happened outside the Paddock Mall on Monday afternoon.

Ocala man charged with attack that landed woman in hospital

An Ocala man is accused of brutally beating a woman and injuring her juvenile daughter while preventing her from calling 911 during a recent wild incident.

Massive spike in cases of deadly COVID-19 virus reported in Ocala

The COVID-19 virus exploded across Ocala on Monday as the city reported an additional 514 cases of the deadly virus – the largest single-day jump in months.

More headlines