http://www.riverlandnews.com/todaysnews/rss.xml/todaysnews/rss.xml en ROAR OF APPROVAL http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/roar-approval <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/25-dhs_graduation_9388.jpg" alt="Newly-minuted Dunnellon High graduate Markus Casiano pumps his fists and lets out a shout of excitement Friday at Richard Kennedy Stadium, as the Marion County Public School District honored the Dunnellon High Class of 2017. " title="Newly-minuted Dunnellon High graduate Markus Casiano pumps his fists and lets out a shout of excitement Friday at Richard Kennedy Stadium, as the Marion County Public School District honored the Dunnellon High Class of 2017. " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> With thunderstorms looming in the horizon, the Dunnellon High School Class of 2017 was also looking to it, not because of the threat of inclement weather, but as the next chapter of their lives are set to unfold: a chapter of newfound freedom, challenges and obstacles.</p> <p> But for the 200-plus members of the Class of 2017, they were reminded of the past four years: the newfound freedom, challenges and obstacles, which awaited them as they entered Dunnellon High School.</p> Valor a family trademark http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/valor-family-trademark <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/25-memorial_day_8014.jpg" alt="While a baby at the onset of World War II, Judy Anderson understands all too well the sacrifices of war. Her unlces, from left, Jack, Lowell, Ronald and Russell, all served during World War II. Jack, Lowell and Russell never returned home." title="While a baby at the onset of World War II, Judy Anderson understands all too well the sacrifices of war. Her unlces, from left, Jack, Lowell, Ronald and Russell, all served during World War II. Jack, Lowell and Russell never returned home." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> As the nation prepares to honor those who sacrificed their lives on Memorial Day, perhaps no one understands just how costly that sacrifice can be other than Judy McCarty Anderson and her family.</p> TOP OF THE CLASS http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/top-class-0 <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/18-dhsvaledictorians.jpg" alt="Dunnellon High seniors Megan Howard, left, and Robert Reed, who pushed, encouraged and supported each other in their academic efforts, will share the spotlight together as Dunnellon High School honors the Class of 2017 at 7 p.m. Friday at Ned Love Field. The soon-to-be University of Florida enrollees were dubbed class co-valedictorians." title="Dunnellon High seniors Megan Howard, left, and Robert Reed, who pushed, encouraged and supported each other in their academic efforts, will share the spotlight together as Dunnellon High School honors the Class of 2017 at 7 p.m. Friday at Ned Love Field. The soon-to-be University of Florida enrollees were dubbed class co-valedictorians." align="left" hspace="6" width="68" height="85" /><p> Megan Howard and Robert Reed often found themselves leaning on each other as they traversed the academic challenges Dunnellon High School had to offer through its Advance Placement Studies and Dual Enrollment programs.</p> <p> Now the pair who pushed, encouraged and supported each other in their academic efforts will share the spotlight together as Dunnellon High School honors the Class of 2017 at 7 p.m. Friday at Ned Love Field.</p> <p> The soon-to-be University of Florida enrollees were dubbed class co-valedictorians.</p> City still mired in debt http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/city-still-mired-debt <p> While the city&rsquo;s latest financial audit shows officials trending in a positive direction in terms of cash flow and reserves, one figure remains hard to ignore. According to the Fiscal Year 2016 Audit, the city&rsquo;s debt service remains at $16 million-plus.</p> <p> The report, prepared by Powell &amp; Jones, showed the city&rsquo;s general fund debt as $3.2 million with its water/sewer enterprise operations debt at $12.85 million.</p> <p> The staggering sum isn&rsquo;t lost on officials, especially Councilman Larry Winkler.</p> Officer involved in fender bender http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/officer-involved-fender-bender <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/18-policewreck.jpg" alt="Tyvan Rollins." title="Tyvan Rollins." align="left" hspace="6" width="52" height="85" /><p> FALL FEVER http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/fall-fever <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/18-dhsspringball_7711.jpg" alt="Dunnellon coach Price Harris watches over quarterbacks Steven McFadden (33) and Javon Lee (1) during footwork drills Monday at Dunnellon High School. The Tigers will host the annual spring jamboree at 6 p.m. today at Ned Love Field at Richard Kennedy Stadium. Dunnellon will look to replace their starting quarterback for the second straight season with Camron Massey the leading candidate to be under center for the Tigers come the fall season." title="Dunnellon coach Price Harris watches over quarterbacks Steven McFadden (33) and Javon Lee (1) during footwork drills Monday at Dunnellon High School. The Tigers will host the annual spring jamboree at 6 p.m. today at Ned Love Field at Richard Kennedy Stadium. Dunnellon will look to replace their starting quarterback for the second straight season with Camron Massey the leading candidate to be under center for the Tigers come the fall season." align="left" hspace="6" width="141" height="85" /><p> Tom Golden</p> <p> Riverland News</p> <p> Welcome to Spring Football in Tiger Town!</p> <p> It&rsquo;s been six months to the day since we last witnessed the varsity Tigers suit up and play a game. It&rsquo;s with great anticipation around DHS and throughout the community that the Tigers will be back on the grid iron in just a few short hours from now.</p> <p> The annual spring jamboree will begin at 6 p.m. today and will be at Richard Kennedy Stadium.</p> Road widening project on target, FDOT says http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/road-widening-project-target-fdot-says <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/11-roadway.jpg" alt="Area residents look over maps provided by the Florida Department of Transportation. The maps showed the state’s plans for widening U.S. 41, or State Road 45, from 111th Place to Southwest 61st Street. The project is expected to begin next year and take 18 to 24 months to complete." title="Area residents look over maps provided by the Florida Department of Transportation. The maps showed the state’s plans for widening U.S. 41, or State Road 45, from 111th Place to Southwest 61st Street. The project is expected to begin next year and take 18 to 24 months to complete." align="left" hspace="6" width="135" height="85" /><p> Augie Salzer</p> <p> Riverland News</p> <p> More than 100 residents attended the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) workshop last Thursday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church to view the recently completed Project Development and Environment (PD&amp;E) study for the widening of U.S. 41.</p> <p> The plan to widen 3.585 miles of U.S. 41 from two to four lanes from 111th Place Lane to Southwest 61st Street has been in the works for about 10 years, according to Kathleen Enot, FDOT project manager.</p> Fleeger, former councilwoman, dies at 75 http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/fleeger-former-councilwoman-dies-75 <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/fleegerpennycolor_5.jpg" alt="Penny Fleeger." title="Penny Fleeger." align="left" hspace="6" width="59" height="85" /><p> Penny Fleeger, a long-time resident who advocated for the city&rsquo;s history to be preserved, died last Thursday at the age of 75 at the Hospice House in Lecanto.</p> <p> Her death came several days after she was diagnosed with cancer, according to her cousin, John Scales. Fleeger was born in Miami and raised in Coral Gables, but moved to Dunnellon more than 30 years ago, he added.</p> <p> Besides her efforts to preserve the city&rsquo;s history and several buildings, Fleeger also served on the city&rsquo;s planning commission as well as nearly two terms on the City Council.</p>