• Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    The Wall-Rives American Legion Post No. 58 in Dunnellon will change their long history of having a male serve in the highest office of the post, when they install their first female to hold the prestigious office of commander.
    Gladys M. Murphy left her position as the first vice commander July 1 and began her new role as commander. John Taylor has served as the commander for the past seven years and will now fill the office of first vice commander.

  • It hasn’t yet been a month since Florida ended Auburn’s history-making season, but that certainly didn’t take away from the Lady Tigers success this past year. It certainly eased the pain of the 2014 campaign for Haley Fagan as she watched from the bench after her transfer from South Alabama required her to redshirt her sophomore season.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    Young and old flocked to the Dunnellon Historical Society’s train depot recently to get an up-close view of the large, red Florida Northern Railroad (FNR) locomotive.
    The 16-foot tall diesel-electric locomotive was stopped at the train depot for a few hours in an effort to promote Florida Train Safety Awareness Week.
    “We are very pleased to open our doors to the railroad,” Jon Sharkey, president of the Dunnellon Historical Society, said about the educational visit.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News
    A young man believed it was his destiny to spend 10 years in a Georgia prison after being charged and now he is determined to help young offenders still in jail.
    Randy Dorsey, 34, was 17-years-old when he started his mandatory sentence, without parole, as an adult for the crime of burglary and kidnapping with no ransom or injury.
    “God has perfect timing for everything,” Dorsey said with a smile. “There was a purpose to make sure I was spiritually ready for this evil world.”

  • Kayla Reed was barely awake Monday morning when she returned Ken McAteer’s phone call; so her reaction to his news was rather mute.

    “I just said, ‘oh,’” she said, when the third-year principal at Dunnellon High School informed her she had earned top honors for the Class of 2015. “I didn’t know what to say.”

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    Two Dunnellon residents were awarded many of the top honors at the recent 2015 Levy County Fair.
    Susie Mogdans entered her knitted items in last year’s fair and won first- and second-place ribbons for her entries. She entered two more of her hand-knitted creations in this year’s fair and persuaded her neighbor and longtime friend, Scott Hodlmair, into submitting his photography.

  • Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    The beautiful Rainbow River has lured yet another boating enthusiast to its sunny, tree-lined shores.
    After working 600-plus hours building and perfecting an Adirondack guide boat, Joe Gunning finally launched the vessel recently at the Rainbow Springs resident’s beach.
    “That looks like a gondola,” one onlooker said.
    “It looks like a gondola, but there isn’t any place to stand,” another said when they saw the Adirondack guide boat start its maiden voyage.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    The “Spirit of Summer” is the theme of the fourth annual fashion show sponsored by the Dunnellon Kiwanis Club.
    “We are excited to have our fashion show again this year,” Kiwanis President Ellie Pollock said. “This is a fundraiser to further our other projects.”
    The local Kiwanis Club was chartered in 1980 with a service-focused mission to help the Dunnellon children and it is still going strong with 15 men and women in the organization.

  • Tom Golden typically looks to heaven when he prays.
    Last Thursday, Golden came as close as he could to pray for city and state leaders as well as school administrators, staff and students as he took to the skies for the eight annual National Prayer Flight.
    National Prayer Flight coincides with National Day of Prayer. It originated in Allen County, Ohio, where Golden was born and reared. It was there he got his start in ministry.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    The good news is the April penny war has ended and the kids were the winners. Almost 80 years ago, there was a song called, “Pennies from Heaven,” but today the popular phrase around a local school is “Pennies for Pizza.”
    The Romeo Elementary school and the Dunnellon Pizza Hut teamed up to raise a lot of pennies to support the Children’s Home Society of Florida.

  • Most people might “fear the reaper,” but don’t R-Style among them.
    The Dunnellon-based rock band relishes the chance of a lifetime when it opens for Blue Oyster Cult, an iconic 1970s rock band, Saturday at the Brick City Beer and Wine Festival in downtown Ocala. R-Style will perform from 2 to 6 p.m., then Blue Oyster Cult will take the stage at 7.
    “This is major, this is big time,” said John Viola, the founding member of R-Style. “It’s pretty cool.”

  • Brittany Hytovick wasn’t doing back flips Saturday afternoon.
    The Dunnellon High cheerleader was too stunned when her name was announced as the winner of the annual Queen of the Rainbow pageant.
    The 17-year-old junior simply didn’t expect to outlast the five other contestants in the tradition-rich pageant, which has long been a part of the Boomtown Days Dunnellon festival.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    Love is the glue that has kept one local couple and their shared hobby of woodworking together and happy.
    Michael and Gretchen Caprio proudly display in their home some of the wooden items they have created together throughout the years. Many different kinds of wood has been used to make a variety of bowls, bells, plates, clocks, furniture, bird houses and even a child’s rocking horse.
    “Gretchen made me buy a turning wood lathe to get me started,” he said with a smile. “I’m self-taught and I just learned to do this by hit and miss.”

  • Henrietta Terrell might not have a medical degree, but 68-year-old Dunnellon native can explain more about dialysis, kidney failure and transplants than most doctors.
    That’s because for the better part of the past four decades, the mother of two has undergone dialysis treatments after her kidneys failed in 1973.
    “I think I’ve experienced every form of dialysis they’ve ever had,” she jokingly said. “I’ve seen it all. I just stuck it out.”

  • They twisted and turned.
    They veered and rolled.
    They climbed and plummeted.
    It wasn’t a ballet, but for those competing in the inaugural Snowbird Classic, an International Aerobatic Club (IAC) sanctioned event, their maneuvers required a deft touch and precision timing.
    More than half the field expected to compete in the two-day event were unable to do so because bad weather at their home airports across the nation kept them grounded, according to Mark Stewart, the event organizer.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

    The Lake Tropicana Volunteer Fire Department, which consists of only seven volunteers, has accumulated more than 170 years of experience between them.
    Marion County Fire Rescue has 31 stations located throughout the county to serve and protect the residents. They have paid personnel manning the departments around the clock, except for five volunteer locations.
    Of all the volunteer fire departments, Lake Tropicana Station No. 25 is considered to be the busiest, according to Chief Andy Perrone.

  • Those who knew Marie Collins described her as a woman who placed an emphasis on education among family members, a nurturer, her love for Jesus Christ and her church. Collins, who had celebrated her 100th birthday April 10, 2013, died Feb. 27, less than two months shy of her 102nd birthday.

  • Story by Hannah Warren -- For the Riverland News

    Visiting Florida universities, taking advanced classes and participating in a mentorship are only a few of the academic advantages that are offered in Dunnellon High School’s Advanced Studies Program.
    The Advanced Studies Program, also known as ASP, was started two years ago by Ken McAteer, principal at Dunnellon High. Designed to give students an academic focus and pride in their path toward college, this program has been successful for the students attending DHS.

  • Sydney Hanchar knows full well the ripple effect cancer can cause in a household. She witnessed it first-hand five years ago when family friend, “Aunt” Michelle Blauser Standridge, died after a long battle with breast cancer.
    Now, the 14-year-old Dunnellon Middle School student is hopeful she can play a role in assisting the Michelle-O-Gram so other women who cannot otherwise afford a mammogram will have the chance to go through the much-needed screening process.