• Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    Good Ol’ St. Nick is looking for a little help this year to make sure many kids will have presents to open at the 25th annual Marion, Citrus and Levy counties Needy Children’s Christmas Party scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17.
    Lt. Troy Slattery, interim fire chief with Dunnellon Fire Rescue, will host the event with the help of former Dunnellon Fire Chief Joe Campfield.
    Campfield resigned his position of Fire Chief at the end of November, but will return to assist at the special party.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    A “merry little band of artists” are gathering together to present their very first official art show and they decided to hold it in Dunnellon.
    The Rainbow Springs Fine Art Association (RSFAA) has scheduled its inaugural art exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Dunnellon Plaza on U.S. 41 featuring local artists. Admission and parking are both free.
    There will be about 40 artists displaying a variety of mediums, according to Susan Jones, president of the RSFAA.

  • If you knew Barbara Kelly Spitznogle, you knew how infectious her laughter was to those around her.
    But there was more to the former insurance agent, councilwoman and oncology nurse friends and family remembered best about the longtime resident, who Nov. 3 at the age of 71 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
    The mother of two made sure her children never went without, said her daughter, Dawn Raines. In addition, she was a very inspirational person.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    One lady in town is dedicated, supportive and loving to her own family and to her military family.
    Nicole Carattini is a wife, mother of two and has recently been selected to be an officer candidate in the District of Columbia (DC) Air National Guard (ANG). She has already served for more than 14 years in the ANG and is currently a tech sergeant.

  • A year ago, a long-standing tradition was revived at Dunnellon High School: the annual Homecoming Parade.
    This year, another step toward breathing new life into the tradition will take place as the Dunnellon High School Homecoming Parade will return to downtown Dunnellon. Due to costs a year ago, the school couldn’t afford to host the parade in the city. However, because of the efforts of first-term Councilman Walter Green, the city agreed to waive fees for nonprofit groups such as the high school, Dunnellon Little League and the Friends of Dunnellon.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    Penny Lofton, executive director of the Dunnellon Area Chamber of Commerce, is responsible for the U.S. Army checking out the Rainbow Springs State Park (RSSP) recently and she’s proud of it.
    She has managed to secure Sunday, Oct. 25 for “The Volunteers” of the U.S. Army Field Band to put on a free concert for everyone at RSSP.
    “I had this band here many years ago and they were great,” Lofton said. “I knew we had to get them back here again.”

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    For the Riverland News

    One spunky, little lady is delighted to attend all the parties given in her honor to celebrate her 100th birthday.
    Olive Heinauer turned 100-years-old Oct. 13 and has been the center of attention as the “birthday girl” at a party given by the Single’s Club of Dunnellon, then one at the Women’s Club of Dunnellon and another celebration by her family.

  • Cathy Balius and the Romeo Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization were sold on partnering with Blue Ribbon Farms and The Great Western Reserve Corp. last spring.
    That was after a visit from Mike Beverly, the president/
    CEO of Blue Ribbon Farms, made his pitch to the administration and PTO about partnering for a schoolwide fundraising initiative.
    “Mike was telling us that we could raise $6,000-plus from this fundraiser,” said Danielle Stevens who arranged the meeting last April. “But none of us were really sure if we could raise that much. But we were hopeful.”

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

  • Story by Augie Salzer

    A professional event planner from Chicago is scheduled to demonstrate a table show for all the ladies in the area.
    Thia Williams will host the second “Season of Opulence,” an extravagant, festive tablescape show, Thursday, Oct. 8. The event is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus No. 8510 Ladies Auxiliary.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

  • With his 18th birthday rapidly approaching, Vance Fort had a burning desire to complete his coveted Eagle Scout project in time to qualify for the highest honor bestowed by the Boy Scouts of America.
    “I rushed it,” said Fort, who finished the project Aug. 12, six days before his Aug. 18 birthday two days ago. “It only took a month from planning to fundraising to finishing.”
    Fort admitted to pushing the deadline.
    “I’m very proud I got this done, I seem to be a pro at procrastination,” he said, joking there’s no merit badge available in procrastination.

  • Elvis Presley once crooned, “That’s All Right Mama.” Perhaps if Cote Deonath could tweak the lyrics, he might croon, “That’s All Right Grandma.”
    After all, it was the 18-year-old Dunnellon native’s grandmother, Joellyn Cote, who hooked her grandson on the King’s classic songs and movies at the tender age of 3.
    The recent Dunnellon High graduate made his mark, once again, at the Mecca of all things Elvis — Elvis Week, and in of all places, the home of Presley, Memphis, Tenn. The weeklong festival coincided with honoring Presley and remembering his tragic, and untimely, death in 1977.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    One Dunnellon teacher, Annie Johnson, helped a few hungry people 39 years ago by feeding them in her home. Now her legacy has continued to blossom into the oldest and largest service center in Dunnellon to continue helping fill the needs of the community.

  • Tanner Bergeron will be the first to admit he received a late start in the Boys Scouts of America program, but the soon-to-be senior at Dunnellon High School hopes within the coming months to earn the organization’s highest honor, Eagle Scout.
    But before the 17-year-old can begin his project, he must first raise the money necessary to see his plans come to fruition. His goal is to place gravestone markers at the gravesites of every veteran buried at Dunnellon Memorial Gardens.

  • Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    A dog is considered “man’s best friend” and the special attachment they have for each other makes for a very unique relationship. One local man and his dog have this strong bond between them, making them almost inseparable.
    Larry “Hyway” Heward and his dog, Kylee, can be seen riding throughout Dunnellon. Hyway on his 2004 black Yamaha Royal Star Venture motorcycle pulling a wooden wagon with Kylee sitting so proudly in it.

  • Dane Hobbs cannot remember exactly when he cast his first line, but the 17-year-old lifelong Dunnellon resident can remember exactly when he snagged his first big bass.
    “I do remember my first bass, I was about 4,” he said, noting the fish was about 14 inches long.
    Ever since, Hobbs has been hooked and can be often found throughout the central Florida area casting his line wherever the fish might be biting.