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Features

  • “Oh mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law,
    Lawman has put an end to my running and I’m so far from my home.”
    — “Renegade,” by Styx.

  • By Penny Loftin -- Special to the Riverland News

  • Books, or more precisely, libraries have been an integral part of Nancy Pettus’ life for as long as she can recall. As a young girl, she and her friend would always make the trek to the local library to check out a book before heading to the pool where they’d both work on their tans while reading the latest as the time passed.
    But even as teens, they knew what they wanted to be. Pettus wanted to be an accountant, or CPA, while her friend wanted to be a librarian. Off to college they went, where Pettus’ dream of becoming a CPA took a turn.

  • Story by Becca Frechette -- Riverland News

    Editor's Note: The Southeastern Youth Fair will be from Feb. 23 to March 2. During the next few weeks, the Riverland News will feature youths participating in the event, which will be at the Marion County Livestock Pavilion at 2232 NE Jacksonville
    Road in Ocala.

  • It’s been slightly more than 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. It’s a little bit more than four years from the 50th anniversary of his tragic assassination in April 1968.
    Still, the memories, the legacy and the movement which Dr. King fought so hard for during the Civil Rights era in the late 1950s and throughout much of the 1960s continue today.

  • Augie Salzer -- For the Riverland News

  • When Pfc. Kris Williams entered the Blue Gator on Saturday night to an introduction, a rousing applause and flags waving, the 20-year-old U.S. Army infantryman was stopped in his tracks.
    It was the first time in nine-plus months the South Dunnellon native had been ambushed, and that’s saying a lot since he had recently returning from a deployment in Afghanistan.
    When he did pause, he waved, smiled and bowed his head in acknowledgment.

  • The Rev. Eddie Fulford stood at the podium Saturday in the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church, microphone in hand and a spread of food within 50 feet.
    The longtime pastor of First United Methodist Church shared with more than 150 members of the congregation how plans to build a new sanctuary with amenities such as a Fellowship Hall and classroom space came about.
    The Rev. Fulford had reached out to several senior members of the church, asking them to come to Kentucky Fried Chicken to have lunch while discussing plans for an ambitious

  • Story by Catherine Jager -- For the Riverland News

    Editor’s Note: The annual Southeastern Youth Fair will be from Feb. 17 to 24 at the Marion County Livestock Pavilion. The Riverland News will feature several high school students who are participating in the annual event in the coming weeks.

  • Nestled into the backside of Rainbow Lake Estates, Coffey Break Farms sits on multiple acres of farmland.
    On the property are several goats, horses, dogs, cats and a large Koi pond.
    There, Debra and Tom Coffey have their daily routine down to a tee.
    Tom heads to the constructed milking barn, a modest structure the couple had built in which they recently finished their own modifications, including a milking room for their goats.

  • A year ago Mackenzie Fosselman-Baughn was at a crossroads in her life, having been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer eight months prior.
    Now a year later, cancer free and having undergone the last of five surgeries, the 2000 Dunnellon High graduate and her husband, Ben, of four-plus years are planning their first big event.
    The couple plan to make their first-ever trek to Las Vegas, Nev., in the spring where they plan on renewing their wedding vows for their fifth anniversary.

  • Yvonne Jones has always been a strong woman with a zest for life.
    The 57-year-old mother of three and grandmother to four boys, Jones always appreciated small-town life, having grown up in the South Georgia area of
    Albany and Leesburg.
    Jones and her husband of 30 years moved to Dunnellon seven years ago when Tom accepted a job in Ocala. Her daughter, Melissa, said they chose Dunnellon because it “offers a small hometown feeling that we come from in Leesburg, Ga.” Jones’ 8-year-old grandson competes in Dunnellon Little League.

  • Amanda Barney - For the Riverland News

  • Story by Amanda Barney -- For the Riverland News

  • The Dunnellon Community Thrift Shop volunteers learned of “Trish” Sammons Bannister’s requirement for at least $5,000 in a bank fund before she could proceed with a kidney transplant operation through an article in May 24 issue of the Riverland News.

  • It might not have been exactly how it’s been written in the fairy tales, but for Jennifer Williams, her Prince Charming arrived.
    He wasn’t fitting her with a glass slipper, nor was he scaling a castle wall, wearing shining armor, fighting off fire-breathing dragons.
    However, he was wearing armor of sorts and doing his best to make sure no four-alarm fires would break out.
    The stallion he rode in upon wasn’t white, instead cherry red with lights and sirens.

  • Learn to know the name Taylor Futch.
    The nation is already aware of the Dunnellon Middle School eighth-grader’s name after she learned she had placed third in the network’s annual, national contest, Student Cam, which encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect our communities and our nation.

  • Story by Shemir Wiles

  • The conversation echoed throughout the main room at River River Club and the dinner was succulent Saturday night as the Dunnellon Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual awards dinner, the “Valentine Stars of Dunnellon.”
    As the 2012 Board of Directors were officially sworn in by Mayor Fred Ward, it marked the end of Matthew Baillargeon’s tenure as president of the Chamber as he passed the gavel onto Valerie Levy, who will serve as president of the Board of Directors.

  • The flowering shrub is great here in the south for helping to mark the seasons, which otherwise would pass almost unnoticed.
    Colors are pink, red, rose, and some variegated, but come in semi-double, double or single flowers.
    Sasanqua camellias have slightly smaller flowers and leaves than the Japonica camellia. Blooms on the Sasanqua appear now or early winter unlike the Japonica, which blooms in winter and spring.