• A year ago, a shy, hesitant Hannah Warren opted to enter the Queen of the Rainbow pageant.

    She can still recall the urge to walk away from the competition because the now 17-year-old believed her shy, timid personality wouldn’t fit in a pageantry competition where contestants are required to develop a platform, address a panel of judges in a private setting, then do it all again for a large crowd.

    Consider 2015 a learning experience, with 2016 Warren’s crowning achievement.

  • By Joseph Dolloff -- For the Riverland News

    The Student Support Foundation (SSF) from Dunnellon High School was recently recognized by the Dunnellon City Council. The Student Support Foundation, is in essence, a philanthropy club.

    Every year, in addition to having to raise $250, the club is given $3,000 to give away to worthy causes and students in need. The money is provided by the Morgridge Family Foundation.

  • Story by Augie Salzer

    The public library is a warm, inviting place to learn and share activities, which has replaced the cold atmosphere of years past when librarians shushed you if you turned pages of a book too loudly.
    The Dunnellon Public Library is now the place for children, adults and families to read or borrow a book and for a variety of other reasons.
    “Libraries have transformed into a technical, informational and a community resource center,” said Nancy Pettus, Dunnellon Library Branch Supervisor. “There are 15 groups that currently use the library for their meeting place.”

  • Story by Julie Mancini

    When you look at the town of Dunnellon, the Historic District in particular, it is easy to see there are many old buildings. Some of these buildings have seen better days. Other buildings have seen efforts to keep their looks authentic, while more have been modernized to some degree.

    The truth is, the buildings are a somewhat permanent reminder of history, but they are not the whole story. In fact, they are not even all that important when you think about it. What’s more important are the people who experienced their lives in and around those buildings.

  • As per usual the 2016 edition of the Old Red Brick School reunion was a hoot. Many old friendships were renewed, one old mystery was solved and several new ones were opened for discussion.

    It was a pleasure to run into Mrs. Susan Williams Haynes. She seemed a little perplexed when I looked at her nametag and asked her if she happened to be any relation to the Mike Williams that was fullback on our football team.

  • Story by Augie Salzer

    The air is filled with the excitement and tension as the auctioneer does his special “chant” before he pounds his gavel and shouts, “sold!”

    The exhilaration of a live auction can be experienced at the Black Tie & Blue Jeans charity auction scheduled for Saturday, April 2. The proceeds will benefit the Helping Hands Food Pantry, which provides food for the needy residents of Marion, Levy and Citrus counties.

  • As part of the city of Dunnellon’s 125th anniversary celebration, the Dunnellon Historical Society will host a birthday party April 21 for the community at the Dunnellon Depot.

    The party is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m and will include cake and ice cream. Sometime during the festivities, residents will gather for a town photo behind City Hall.

    April 21 is a significant date in the city’s history as in marks the day the city was incorporated in 1891.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    According to the calendar, a Rainbow Springs resident will only be 20-years-old at the end of this month, while in reality she is going to be 80.

    Antoinette “Nettie” Miller was born Feb. 29, 1936, in Altoona, Pa. Being born on Leap Day has inspired this special lady to leap into all kinds of adventures, face her problems head on and do it all with a big smile.

    To celebrate her milestone birthday, Nettie has decided to leap out of a plane wearing a parachute and take her sister-in-law, Elena Miller, with her.

  • A rise to prominence on the gridiron this past season paved the way for a bevy of off-the-field success Wednesday, as four players from Dunnellon High School signed their national letters of intent on National Signing Day.

    Leading the way for commitments was dual-threat quarterback Kobie Jones. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound signal caller signed with Alabama State University, an NCAA Division I FCS affiliate based in Montgomery, Ala. However, beginning in 2018, the Hornets will move to the FBS level.

  • THE VILLAGES — Behind a raucous home crowd a year ago, the Dunnellon High School boys basketball team rolled to its first district championship in 14 years, knocking off long-time rival Citrus in the process.

    A new rivalry might be in the making, especially after the Tigers’ performance last Friday against The Villages High School on the Buffaloes’ home court. Dunnellon rallied from an 11-point deficit with less than four minutes remaining for a stunning victory, 63-58, in the District 4A-5 Championship Game.

  • When Superintendent George Tomyn walked into the third-grade classroom at Dunnellon Elementary School, Dillon Bishop stopped in his tracks.

    However, as the progression of folks came in behind Tomyn, some loaded with flowers and balloons, others with cameras, Bishop turned as beat red as the “Golden Apple” award he received as Marion County’s Rookie Teacher of the Year.

    The third-grade teacher joined the district last August after teaching two years in Citrus County. He entered education as a substitute teacher in Marion County.

  • THE VILLAGES — What a difference a year makes.

    One year after capturing its first district championship in 29 years in a down-to-the wire nailbiter against Lecanto, the Dunnellon High School girls basketball team broke open a close game with a third-quarter surge Friday for a runaway victory, 67-49, against Trinity Catholic at The Villages High School.

    With the win, the Lady Tigers (18-8) became the first girls team to win consecutive district championships in 30 years.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    Traveling to Cuba has been a life-long dream for one local resident, and this past Christmas she finally accomplished her goal.

    Sheila and Jerry McMichael can’t stop talking about Cuba and showing everyone the many pictures they took of their adventure.

    The couple grew up in Fort Lauderdale and Jerry visited Cuba a few times while Sheila recentlyl experienced it for the first time.

  • Story by Julie Mancini
    For the Riverland News

    “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.”
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • When David and Robin Taylor pulled into the Citrus Grill this past Friday, their mode of transportation got just as much attention as their passenger, Goosebumps, or Goose, their 11-pound Jack Russell Terrier.
    While the couple were fueling up in preparation in advance of another day on their cross-country journey to San Diego, Calif.
    Dunnellon might seem the unlikeliest of pit stops for a trek to California, but then again, their mode of transportation certainly raised more than eyebrows but plenty of questions, too.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    The Dunnellon Public Library has scheduled two outstanding women for their January Author Program. The authors have, with great effort, turned the lemons in their lives into lemonade.
    Ashley Rhodes-Courter wrote “Three Little Words” about her dealings with foster care and Carole Miele, living with Stage 4 breast cancer, authored the book “Kicking Cancer to the Curb.”
    Librarian Nancy Pettus has put a lot of effort in obtaining Rhodes-Courter and Miele to speak about their books.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    Throughout the years numerous children, families and adults of all ages have enjoyed the Santa Over the Rainbow tradition, but Rainbow Springs Park Services Specialist Amanda Marek will see all the wonderment for the first time.
    She briefly saw the luminaries guiding the visitors around the park a year ago, all the lighted reindeer and the estimated 200,000 thousand lights twinkling in the darkness giving a beautiful glow to the headsprings area of Rainbow Springs State Park.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    After watching the news on television and social media showing thousands of refugees surging into Greece each day compelled a local woman to find some way to help them.