• Kristy Jackson remembers when the call was placed upon her to become a veterinarian.
    She was 12 years old at the time, weighing the choices of what “she wanted to be when she grew up.” Her family was at a Labor Day barbeque, when she spotted a dog that was shy and skittish.
    “I remember praying to God, ‘If you want me to be a veterinarian, if this is what You’re telling me, I’ll take this as a sign if this dog wants me to help,’” she recalled.
    By the end of the night, that little pup let her be at his side.

  • The Friends of the Dunnellon Public Library are proud to announce that our own hometown author, columnist, storyteller and short-story writer,
    Duke Stoetzer will describe the “Legendary Days of Boomtown Dunnellon” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, in the Dunnellon Public Library Meeting Room as part of the “Meet the Author” program sponsored by the Friends of the Dunnellon Public Library.

  • “Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted — one moment would you capture it? Or just let it slip?” — Eminem

  • For as long as Sidney Pitchford can remember, art has always been a part of her life.
    Whether it’s been as an artist, musician or entertainer, Pitchford has always felt at ease, able to pick up a brush and escape reality, write or sing songs or perform on stage.

  • Don’t worry about this guest of honor slithering away with the birthday cake.
    Rainbow Springs State Park will host a birthday bash for Indi, its resident Eastern Indigo Snake at 10 a.m. Friday at the park as part of its Summer of Interpretation, where visitors can also meet and talk with a park ranger.

  • * Story by Syden Cohen *

  • There’s a new station in town; however, to be more precise it’s not a gas station, but you could consider it a refueling station those hunger pains.
    Penn Station Deli & Grill recently opened its doors at 20583 W. Pennsylvania Ave., the site which has recently housed Halligan’s Bar & Grill and the Levee.

  • For Tony Aveni and Carolyn Chinners, it had always been a family dream of opening a restaurant.
    Finally, the dream of their grandfather and father has become a reality as the siblings foray into business begins with the opening of Gaetano’s Subs at 11943 Williams St., which formerly housed McKinney’s Restaurant.
    “We’ve finally done it,” said Chinners, who previous worked for the U.S. Post Office at the Ocala branch. “It’s definitely different than delivering mail.”

  • OCALA — Shara Ponder was always there when you needed her, because she cared.
    That’s how family and friends recalled her Saturday afternoon at the House of God as family, friends and colleagues gathered to pay their last respects to the vibrant 29-year-old who died Sunday, July 10, during her Celebration of Life for the Dunnellon Middle School teacher.
    And indeed it was a celebration, as the mood was upbeat despite a chorus of sobs throughout the packed house.

  • Attracting Honey Bees to one’s garden is important for many reasons. Although concerns are raised about the African Honey Bee, we need to help promote the regular domestic European honey Bee.
    African Honey Bees are smaller than the domestic bee. Although the sting from one is no more venomous than a single European bee sting, the big difference is the behavior.

  • For youths making the trek to the Dunnellon Public Library this summer, their journey has taken them farther than most could imagine,
    They’ve been to Europe, Australia, Africa, throughout the United States and, most recently, to Japan.
    It’s all been a part of the Marion County Library System’s “One World, Many Stories,” summer program. It’s part of an effort to not only entertain the children, but keep them coming to the library throughout the summer break.

  • Using and managing water in your garden and on your allotment is essential to grow healthy plants that better withstand the attacks of pest, disease and periods of drought.
    The soil can be thought of like a sponge, containing numerous pore spaces that can hold water. This acts as a reservoir of water that is exploited by the plant roots. The ability of plants to exploit this reservoir differs greatly between plant types: some plants have much deeper rooting systems than others so can use water from greater depths.

  • Two days before his 85th birthday, Sam Fowler got to take a trip he says that he “can’t brag about enough.”
    Fowler was one of 104 veterans flown to the nation’s capitol last week as part of the Honor Flight.
    The trip was the third Honor Flight leaving from the Ocala International Airport in the past two years taking veterans of World War II to see the memorial built in their honor.
    “I was so thrilled, everything was well done, so carefully conceived,” he said about the day-long trip.

  • Country Club Estates resident Jim Van Gilder knows how to talk to owls.
    It’s a talent he mastered when he found their nest on the ground near his home in April.
    Wanting the best outcome for the young birds still in the nest, he contacted an owl rescue group and they suggested he build a platform and move the nest to the platform.
    So Van Gilder went to work and quickly built a 12-foot-high platform to accommodate the nest.
    The theory was that the mother of the young great horned owls would find her offspring and resume caring for them.

  • Dunnellon has a little flavor.
    To be more precise, it’s getting 16 as Flavors Ice Cream Parlor is now in the business of serving up ice cream at 20600 W. Pennsylvania Ave.
    And for 18-year-old Ashley Popp, it means she’ll be getting an education in real-world business before she starts her collegiate studies in the fall at the College of Central Florida.

  • Herbs make the perfect partners to vegetables, whether they’re eaten raw, roasted, boiled, mashed or fried.
    Mint is delicious cooked or raw, with root vegetables, in salads or dressings and marinades.
    Chives, with their mild onion flavor, are very versatile and can be chopped and added to all types of salads. Chive flowers have a similar taste and are delightful scattered over baked potatoes.
    Chopped celery leaf adds flavor and texture to salads and goes well with root vegetables.

  • OCALA — The name continued to roll off the judges tongues.
    And so it went at the 10th annual Marion County Student Media Festival on Friday night at West Port High School, as Dunnellon Middle School students added a hefty load of awards to its already impressive haul garnered in the past five years.

  • Instead of bringing history to her students at Dunnellon High School, Dianne Sellner brought her students to the history.
    Several months ago, the Dunnellon High history teacher put the wheels in motion, arranging a field trip for her students to a location she said “they probably pass every day and don’t realize what’s in here.”
    And the Dunnellon Historical Society was more than happy to make the necessary accommodations.

  • Mulching is one of the most important gardening tasks, whether you’re an old hand or a complete gardening novice. A mulch is simply a covering of material over the soil between plants that will reduce the need for watering and prevent weeds from gaining a foothold. There are basically two types: loose mulches which can be organic, such as bark chippings or inorganic, such as gravel; and sheet mulches such as mulch matting, polythene or a piece of old carpet.
    Why mulch?
    Apart from looking good, organic mulch offers six main benefits: