Local News

  • Relay dedicated to Heather Spitznogle

    A shadow was cast over what was to have been an enthusiastic rally for Dunnellon’s 2009 Relay For Life.

    Last Saturday’s Re-Lai for Life Luau was an upbeat opportunity for participants and the public to meet and stir up excitement for the April event.

    But instead it closed on a note of sadness, as those gathered learned that Heather Spitznogle had lost her battle with cancer, just the night before.

    Heather and her husband Paul Spitznogle were well known among those involved in the American Cancer Society’s local effort.


    Dunnellon Police Officer Carolina Rolfes was recognized as the department’s 2008 Officer of the Year at the Order of Elks awards ceremony. In nominating her, Police Chief Roger Free wrote: Officer Rolfes has worked at the department for 1-1/2 years and during that time she has worked diligently when handling calls for service. Over the past year, Officer Rolfes investigated a sexual battery case on a minor, one death investigation and numerous calls for service. He also cited her willingness to work extra when needed.

  • Waiting list at program to feed kids

    The Dunnellon Food-4-Kids program is in the business of feeding hungry children.

    The nonprofit organization collects and distributes food weekly to students from Romeo and Dunnellon Elementary Schools. Their goal is to ensure that no child goes hungry, said Charles Anderson, president of the group.

    Each week, the volunteer teams of the organization fill backpacks to feed 171 children. Inside the bags on wheels, the underprivileged school aged children, are given enough food for the weekend to feed them and their siblings.

  • Marion  Sheriff/

    Dunnellon Police

    Driving seen swerving,

    speeding up, braking

    On Jan. 30, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a driver swerving. A deputy caught up to the 1988 black vehicle on County Road 40 and the driver was seen speeding up and then would hit the brakes.

    Once the vehicle was stopped, the deputy had to knock on the window several times to get the driver’s attention, according to a sheriff’s report.

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  • School tied to space shuttle

    When the shuttle Discovery blasts into space, it will have a special meaning for Dunnellon Middle School.

    One of the astronauts who will be on board used to work there and remains connected to the students and staff.

    Joe Acaba, mission specialist-1 on Space Shuttle Discovery Mission STS-119, was a science teacher at Dunnellon and is still part of the middle school family.

    He is scheduled to liftoff on Thursday, Feb. 12, at approximately 7:28 a.m. NASA selected Acaba for the space flight after choosing him to become an educator astronaut back in May 2004.

  • Re-Lei for Life Luau Saturday

    As walkers gear up to trek around the clock in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, you can find out more about this special event and the teams that participate.

    This “celebration of life” brings together numerous groups and individuals concerned about cancer for a unified effort to fight back.

    “Surf for a Cure to Wipeout Cancer” will be the theme as teams of residents gather at Dunnellon High School on the track for the overnight relay against cancer from 6 p.m. on April 17 until 9 a.m. on April 18.

  • Last year was busy for code enforcement

    The city has released its 2008-year-end report on code enforcement, just as that duty is being taken over by the Dunnellon Police Department.


    The report covers a wide range of violations and related actions ranging from dog problems to dock permits.

  • Chamber of Commerce fetes stars of 2008

    The 2008 Dunnellon Area Chamber of Commerce Awards recipients, directors and officers were recognized at the chamber’s 72nd annual awards banquet last Saturday at the Rainbow River Club.

    Community Service — Christine Avina, the Annie Johnson Center

    Business Beautification — Williams Family — Badcock and More

    Community Youth Service — Young Marines

     Making a Difference — Charlene Williams, Mgr., Superior Bank

    Heritage — Doris Magursky — Dunnellon Historical Society

  • March, festivities remember King

    The fog lifted, the temperature climbed and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day march set off at a brisk pace.

    More than 100 marchers of all ages, chanted, cheered and sang down the sidewalk on Highway 41.

    Passing cars honked and small knots of spectators applauded. Police cars blocked the intersections and a bicycle patrolman paced the route.

    Many of marchers carried signs or wore commemorative T-shirts. Participating church groups carried banners. There were pictures of King and Barrack Obama.