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Ocala
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Ocala lady friends jailed after victim reports attack in vehicle 

Two Ocala gal pals were jailed recently after a nasty battle that also involved two others.

OPD chief stresses need for quicker DNA analyses for homicide investigations

Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken

The Ocala Police chief stressed the need for quicker DNA analyses for cases, including homicide investigations, during a recent meeting of business professionals.

Chief Mike Balken, who made the comments during a morning presentation to the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership, explained the lengthy, involved process in obtaining DNA testing from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

“We get to ship five items of evidence to FDLE at any given time. It takes them about two months to test those five items, develop a profile, if there is one, and get that back to us,” said Balken of the process.

Balken suggested that the sheer amount of items recovered for each case was making it difficult for the department to test as many of those items as possible for DNA evidence.

“For the average homicide, we work to recover about 300 items of evidence. About 150 of those have potential DNA on them,” said Balken.

Balken indicated that without an improvement in resources, the department would continue going to trial in certain cases without first obtaining results from DNA testing.

“We’re trying to get funding from the state to improve our lab resources, that really allow us to do a better job of analyzing and interpreting that DNA for the jurors and the judges to see,” said Balken.

Photos in Ocala, Florida

Crime

Ocala lady friends jailed after victim reports attack in vehicle 

Two Ocala gal pals were jailed recently after a nasty battle that also involved two others.

Ocala woman accused of attacking woman outside her home

An Ocala woman is accused of ambushing a woman and beating her up outside her home.

Ocala man jailed after fleeing deputy twice on motorcycle

An Ocala man who twice sped away from a deputy trying to pull him over was arrested recently after his motorcycling companion identified him.

Marion sheriff seeks help in nabbing bandits who ripped off dirt bikes in Belleview

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is seeking helping in recovering dirt bikes that were stolen last month from a Belleview residence.

Business

Lockheed Martin teams with CareerSource Florida for apprenticeship program

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that Lockheed Martin and CareerSource Florida have partnered to develop and refine a registered apprenticeship program.

Craft Cuisine falls victim to pandemic, forced to close doors

Craft Cuisine was forced to close its doors last month amidst the global pandemic that has forced the closures of a multitude of businesses in Ocala.

Ocala police chief: ‘Marijuana legalization will produce more violent crime in Ocala’

The chief of the Ocala Police Department believes the legalization of marijuana will produce more violent crime in the city of Ocala.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion offering live workshops via Zoom platform

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion will resume live employability workshops beginning Monday, Jan. 11 with Job Specific Resume Development.

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Headlines

Ocala lady friends jailed after victim reports attack in vehicle 

Two Ocala gal pals were jailed recently after a nasty battle that also involved two others.

Ocala woman accused of attacking woman outside her home

An Ocala woman is accused of ambushing a woman and beating her up outside her home.

Ocala man jailed after fleeing deputy twice on motorcycle

An Ocala man who twice sped away from a deputy trying to pull him over was arrested recently after his motorcycling companion identified him.

Tri-county area COVID-19 death toll continues to rise at rapid pace

The local death toll from COVID-19 continues to climb at an alarming rate, with 12 more local residents succumbing to the fast-spreading virus.

More headlines