• Story by Julie Mancini -- For the Riverland News

    For Dunnellon High senior Michael Coleman, showing in the FFA for the past five years, summed up his time showing at the Southeastern Youth Fair, as “the greatest experience” of his life.
    This is Coleman’s third year showing an animal. He started off small his first year, showing a rabbit. He wanted to raise a smaller animal because he has been involved in a lot of other extracurricular activities, such as sports.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- Riverland News

    Learning to speak a foreign language, before vacationing in China, quickly turned into a wonderful and romantic love story.
    Dunnellon resident, Jack Spivey, used a language learning website to learn enough Chinese to communicate while on vacation. Instead he fell in love with his teacher, Yanhua Feng.
    “I knew we had chemistry right away,” Spivey said about his future wife. “I had not originally planned to go to Baoding (Feng’s home), but after talking to her for a few weeks I changed my mind.”

  • The inaugural Coates Golf Championship might have made a multi-million dollar impact in the Ocala-area last week when the LPGA hosted its season-opening event at Golden Ocala.
    But the event made more than a monetary impact, at least on one Dunnellon-area girl. As part of the First Tee of Greater Ocala, Alyssa Roberts was one of three Marion County youth golfers chosen to take part in the opening-round festivities.

  • Story by Hannah Warren -- For the Riverland News

    Managing a special diet, riding daily, brushing and ensuring a horse will not develop bad habits prior to the big day is hard work for anybody.
    Dixie-Rose, a paint horse owned by Dunnellon High School sophomore Haley Brannon, goes through this daily routine.
    Following in her mother’s footsteps, Brannon decided to take up FFA once she reached high school. Growing up with at least one horse on the property at all times gave Brannon plenty of time to fall in love with horses.

  • Regas Woods “Road to Rio” has taken a significant leap forward as the 33-year-old Paralympian was named to the 2015 U.S. National team during the weekend.

  • Fish along the nature coast’s spring-fed waters have been in for quite a shock this past year, and 2015 will likely be the same, as a crew from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has been busy tallying their numbers in the Rainbow River and other spots in Citrus and Hernando counties.

  • It might take quite a bit of electricity to light up more than 100,000 lights, but it takes a large jolt of manpower to make it all come together for Rainbow Springs State Park’s annual Santa Over the Rainbow.
    This year is no different than in past years as volunteers dwindle, said Linda Booth, the event coordinator the past nine years, but ’tis the season for folks throughout the community to make sure the spirit of Christmas is alive and well.
    Interest in Santa Over the Rainbow grows on a yearly basis, because the long-running attraction is widely popular for both children and adults.

  • Story by Augie Salzer
    Riverland News

    The unique combination of vocal harmony, the pickin’ of the banjo, the plunkin’ of the fiddle and other instruments all together create the lonesome sounds of Bluegrass. Dave Elliott, owner of the Tin Roof Shack Productions LLC, is bringing this distinct music back to Dunnellon for another Withlacoochee River Bluegrass Festival in November.
    This is the third festival Elliott will produce in this area. He is following the footsteps of Lonnie and Peggy Knight, the originators of the Bluegrass Festivals in Dunnellon.

  • Story by Augie Salzer

    One Dunnellon football enthusiast has been involved in the rough and tumble sport for several decades and still going strong.
    In one way or another, Bob Abbatecola, has managed to keep football a large part of his life since high school including his current position. He has been coaching in different positions on the football team at Dunnellon High School for the past 10 years.

  • Story by Augie Salzer

  • Story by Augie Salzer

    One of Dunnellon’s older family owned and operated businesses is in the midst of celebrating its 60th anniversary, and to kick off the yearlong occasion, Fero & Sons Insurance hosted a communitywide picnic last Thursday, where citizens and customers could help with the festive occasion.
    “It is important to remember our roots and where we started,” said Lanse Fero, vice-president and co-owner of the company. “Back in 1954 my grandfather, Dan Fero, believed it was important to always be involved in the community.”

  • Story by Julie Mancini -- For the Riverland News

    In January 2014, tests revealed that the level of nitrates in the Rainbow River was 2.15 milligrams per liter (mg/l).
    The regulatory limit, which has been raised during the years to accommodate the higher numbers, is .35 mg/l, said Tammy Hinkle, an environmental scientist with the Southwest Florida Water Management District (Swiftmud), at the Springs Awareness for Educators event last Thursday at Rainbow Springs State Park.

  • If Dunnellon has a foreign feeling for the next three weeks, don’t panic. You’re not alone.
    More than 20 families from Dunnellon and the outlying areas welcomed 33 Chinese exchange students, and two translators, last Thursday at First Baptist Church, as those students will immerse themselves in morning classroom work to improve their English language skills, while having the opportunity to learn more American culture through a series of afternoon and weekend adventures throughout the Central Florida region.

  • Story by Augie Salzer -- Riverland News

    There is a 47-year-old woman in Dunnellon on a mission to raise awareness about a devastating disease called scleromyxedema.
    It is a rare and severe skin disorder and only about 30 people worldwide have been diagnosed with it. Mitzi Robinson is one of the unlucky people to receive this diagnosis.

  • One would have to forgive Bailey Vaughn if she’s been in a “New York State of Mind” for the past few months.
    After all, the 17-year-old Dunnellon native certainly had ample reason to be. The soon-to-be-senior at West Port High School earned a scholarship to attend the Joffrey Ballet School and its summer intensive program. The school was founded in 1953 by Robert Joffrey in New York, N.Y.
    “I’m super excited, but I tried to spend the past few months focusing on school and family,” she explained. “I didn’t want to become consumed with worry or doubt.”