http://www.riverlandnews.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en ‘FAST’ ACTION http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/%E2%80%98fast%E2%80%99-action <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/11-autocross_airport2.jpg" alt="FAST (Fun Autocross Society of Tampa) is preparing for a series of autocross events at the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport, beginning Saturday, Jan. 27, but unlike most racing-based events, sports cars aren’t a must, according to Loren Williams, the director of the organization. He cited examples of drivers, like above, who’ve taken old Crown Victorias and used them in events. “You don’t need a special car, anything that’s safe and reliable enough to drive every day, and isn’t a top-heavy vehicle like an SUV or minivan can be driven in autocross competition,” Williams explained. “And if it’s not ‘fast,’ who cares?”" title="FAST (Fun Autocross Society of Tampa) is preparing for a series of autocross events at the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport, beginning Saturday, Jan. 27, but unlike most racing-based events, sports cars aren’t a must, according to Loren Williams, the director of the organization. He cited examples of drivers, like above, who’ve taken old Crown Victorias and used them in events. “You don’t need a special car, anything that’s safe and reliable enough to drive every day, and isn’t a top-heavy vehicle like an SUV or minivan can be driven in autocross competition,” Williams explained. “And if it’s not ‘fast,’ who cares?”" align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to start your engines.</p> <p> FAST (Fun Autocross Society of Tampa) is preparing for a series of autocross events at the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport, beginning Saturday, Jan. 27. FAST, an autocross club based in the Tampa area that started in 2007, and has roots with another club dating back to about 1998, according to Loren Williams, the director of the organization, made its debut at the decades-old facility last summer and hosted a second event in the fall.</p> <p> Now, FAST is ready to rev its engines for at least five more events in 2018.</p> Chamber plans awards banquet, seeks nominations http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/chamber-plans-awards-banquet-seeks-nominations <p> NEW LEASE ON LIFE http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/new-lease-life <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/4-doug_obrier.jpg" alt="Doug Obrier, 50, a kidney transplant recipient, is all smiles as he helps his grandson, Brantley, 4, make his way across the monkey bars at Ernie Mills Park. “Before hand, I’d only last 10 to 15 minutes playing with them,” he explained. “Now, I can go outside and play with them all day.”" title="Doug Obrier, 50, a kidney transplant recipient, is all smiles as he helps his grandson, Brantley, 4, make his way across the monkey bars at Ernie Mills Park. “Before hand, I’d only last 10 to 15 minutes playing with them,” he explained. “Now, I can go outside and play with them all day.”" align="left" hspace="6" width="50" height="85" /><p> With a playground in sight, Brantley and Owen moved with purpose.</p> <p> The 4-year-old and his 2-year-old brother shouted for their &ldquo;Pop Pop&rdquo; to join them.</p> <p> In years past, Doug Obrier would have grimaced at the thought of mustering the energy to join his grandsons outside or on a nearby playground.</p> <p> That wasn&rsquo;t the case as the 50-year-old did his best to keep pace with the boys as they made their way toward the swing set.</p> Police: Man had drugs, bogus bills http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/police-man-had-drugs-bogus-bills <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/4-arrestx2.jpg" alt="Ronald H. Rinehart." title="Ronald H. Rinehart." align="left" hspace="6" width="64" height="85" /><p> For one Dunnellon area man, the New Year began on the wrong foot after he was pulled over for speeding along U.S. 41 in the early morning hours of New Year&rsquo;s Day.</p> <p> Ronald H. Rinehart now faces a myriad of charges, according to a Dunnellon Police Department arrest affidavits. The 36-year-old had been sought for questioning in a burglary Dec. 7 at the Dunnellon Car Wash as well as an incident involving the theft of a cell phone and the use of counterfeit money Dec. 29 at Walmart.</p> Police: 2 charged with child neglect http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/police-2-charged-child-neglect <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/28-arrest2.jpg" alt="Courtney Hyche." title="Courtney Hyche." align="left" hspace="6" width="64" height="85" /><p> A couple found unconscious in their vehicle Dec. 19, while parked at the fuel pumps at Circle K face charges of child neglect, according to Dunnellon Police Department arrest affidavits.</p> <p> Courtney R. Hyche, 21, of Inglis, and Brandon C. Pickel, 23, of Williston, were both found unconscious by law enforcement authorities upon their arrival at the convenience store at 11946 N. Williams St., the report stated. After speaking with a store employee, it was determined the pair were unconscious for approximately 30 minutes.</p> HOLIDAY MAGIC http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/holiday-magic <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/21-childrens_christmas_party_4405.jpg" alt="A group of children eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus last Thursday at the Dunnellon Bingo Hall during the 28th annual Needy Children’s Christmas Party. During this year’s event, 475 children were given gifts from Santa. All told, Dunnellon Fire Auxiliary, which has served as the hosts of the event since its inception, spent more than $20,000 on presents and raffle prizes. That didn’t include gifts provided by the Wheels of Man, a Levy County-based motorcycle club. For more photos, see Pages 5 and 6 of today’s edition." title="A group of children eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus last Thursday at the Dunnellon Bingo Hall during the 28th annual Needy Children’s Christmas Party. During this year’s event, 475 children were given gifts from Santa. All told, Dunnellon Fire Auxiliary, which has served as the hosts of the event since its inception, spent more than $20,000 on presents and raffle prizes. That didn’t include gifts provided by the Wheels of Man, a Levy County-based motorcycle club. For more photos, see Pages 5 and 6 of today’s edition." align="left" hspace="6" width="106" height="85" /><div id="cke_pastebin"> Smiles and laughter provided plenty of warmth last Thursday, negating the cool air outside of the Dunnellon Bingo Hall.</div> <div id="cke_pastebin"> More than 400 children, plus their families, filled the Bingo Hall for the 28th annual Needy Children&rsquo;s Christmas Party, hosted by Dunnellon Fire Auxiliary. All told, according to former Fire Chief Troy Slattery, 475 children received presents from Santa Claus. The Jolly Ol&rsquo; Elf made his traditional entrance aboard Engine No. 3, courtesy of Marion County Fire Rescue.</div> <div id="cke_pastebin"> Oldest living resident dies at 110 http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/oldest-living-resident-dies-110 <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/22-james_johnson1.jpg" alt="James Johnson, shown celebrating his 108th birthday, died Dec. 14, 2017, 15 days before his 111th birthday. James had moved to Dunnellon in the 1940s." title="James Johnson, shown celebrating his 108th birthday, died Dec. 14, 2017, 15 days before his 111th birthday. James had moved to Dunnellon in the 1940s." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> James Johnson had seen a lot throughout his lifetime.</p> <p> Born Dec. 29, 1906, in Waynesboro, Ga., Johnson moved to Dunnellon in the 1940s, he spent 23 years working locally for the railroad, but he also spent time working in the area phosphate mines and was a volunteer with Dunnellon Fire Rescue for several decades. While he was not an active volunteer, Johnson was recognized as an honorary volunteer for his years of service.</p> Christmas celebration tonight http://www.riverlandnews.com/content/christmas-celebration-tonight <img src="http://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/14-xmasparty1.jpg" alt="Anthony, then 8, is all smiles as he was one of the first to visit with Santa Claus during last year’s Needy Children’s Christmas Party." title="Anthony, then 8, is all smiles as he was one of the first to visit with Santa Claus during last year’s Needy Children’s Christmas Party." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> As Troy Slattery sees it, this isn&rsquo;t a swan song for the Needy Children&rsquo;s Christmas Party; even knowing Dunnellon Fire Rescue and Dunnellon Fire Auxiliary were disbanded when the council opted to contract with Marion County Fire Rescue for fire services within the city limits.</p> <p> He and others hope another nonprofit organization within the greater Dunnellon area will take the reigns and continue the tradition, which began 27 years ago, of providing Christmas gifts for children.</p>