https://www.riverlandnews.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en READY TO HITCH https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/ready-hitch <img src="https://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/14-farm_days_engagement_3613.jpg" alt="During the mid-day antique tractor parade all around the venue, Josh Hilger rode around with his girlfriend, Ashley Williams in a John Deere tractor. After the parade, Hilger pulled his tractor up in front of where the Still House Shakers were playing, and proceeded to dance with Williams for a few minutes before getting down on one knee and proposing to her in front of all their friends and family. She said yes!" title="During the mid-day antique tractor parade all around the venue, Josh Hilger rode around with his girlfriend, Ashley Williams in a John Deere tractor. After the parade, Hilger pulled his tractor up in front of where the Still House Shakers were playing, and proceeded to dance with Williams for a few minutes before getting down on one knee and proposing to her in front of all their friends and family. She said yes!" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> For 30 minutes Saturday, everything was a blur for Josh Hilger, his nerves churning a million miles a second.</p> <p> His memory cannot recall every detail, except the most important one. She said, &ldquo;Yes!&rdquo;</p> <p> During the past month, Hilger had plotted out his plan of action. He was going to ask Ashley Williams, his girlfriend of almost three years, for her hand in marriage at the second annual Dunnellon Farm Days Antique Tractor Show on Saturday at the Withlacoochee Bluegrass festival grounds.</p> Clean cut decision https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/clean-cut-decision <img src="https://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/7-barber_5444.jpg" alt="Norm Gazelle trims Rick Marino’s hair last Friday at Norm’s Clean Cuts on Bostick Street prior to Gazelle’s retirement Saturday after a carer of 60 years as a barber. Back problems led to an early retirement. “I’m going to miss him,” Marino said. “I’m going to make him come in here.” But it won’t be the last time Marino sees Gazelle. “I have to bring him back 100 clams,” explained Marino, noting when he makes the trek to Cedar Key, Gazelle asks for the seafood delicacy. “It was great coming in here, because Norm knows what the heck is going on around the city; he knows every part of it.”" title="Norm Gazelle trims Rick Marino’s hair last Friday at Norm’s Clean Cuts on Bostick Street prior to Gazelle’s retirement Saturday after a carer of 60 years as a barber. Back problems led to an early retirement. “I’m going to miss him,” Marino said. “I’m going to make him come in here.” But it won’t be the last time Marino sees Gazelle. “I have to bring him back 100 clams,” explained Marino, noting when he makes the trek to Cedar Key, Gazelle asks for the seafood delicacy. “It was great coming in here, because Norm knows what the heck is going on around the city; he knows every part of it.”" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> In a career, which has spanned 60 years, Norm Gazelle has had his share of moments throughout his career cutting hair.</p> <p> And most, if not all, don&rsquo;t even involve cutting his customer&rsquo;s locks.</p> <p> Calling it a career is &ldquo;bittersweet.&rdquo;</p> Dunnellon Sears store ‘not going anywhere’ https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/dunnellon-sears-store-%E2%80%98not-going-anywhere%E2%80%99 <img src="https://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/7-sears_hometown_store_5463.jpg" alt="Jason Linaje, the owner and operator of the Dunnellon Hometown Sears Store, takes an order over the phone. In town for 13 years, Linaje said sales have increased since Sears Holding Corp. filed for bankruptcy." title="Jason Linaje, the owner and operator of the Dunnellon Hometown Sears Store, takes an order over the phone. In town for 13 years, Linaje said sales have increased since Sears Holding Corp. filed for bankruptcy." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Jason Linaje isn&rsquo;t going anywhere, anytime soon.</p> <p> Despite the October news that Sears Holding Company filed for bankruptcy, the owner and operator of the Dunnellon Sears Hometown Store said it isn&rsquo;t going to affect his store of future in the city.</p> FOLLOW THAT DREAM https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/follow-dream <img src="https://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/24-mlk_celebration_9193.jpg" alt="Participants in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. March make their way toward Ernie Mills Park on Bostick Street. More than 80 civic leaders, citizens and public officials participated in the annual event, which included other ceremonies, speeches, entertainment and games." title="Participants in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. March make their way toward Ernie Mills Park on Bostick Street. More than 80 civic leaders, citizens and public officials participated in the annual event, which included other ceremonies, speeches, entertainment and games." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Six days ago, Martin Luther King Jr. would have celebrated his 90th birthday; however, it&rsquo;s been almost 51 years ago in which one of the most prominent Civil Rights activists was slain in April 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.</p> <p> History is paramount, according to the Rev. Warren Hardaway as scores of citizens, civic leaders and local officials gathered Monday after making the annual trek from McDonald&rsquo;s to Ernie Mills Park where festivities continued with inspirational speeches, youth recognitions as well as a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at the base of the American flag.</p> Council delays utility project https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/council-delays-utility-project-0 <p> A project to make improvements to the antiquated sewer within areas of the Historic District will undergo a review as officials plan to work with two respective companies due to an almost quarter million-dollar shortfall.</p> Dawn of a new era https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/dawn-new-era <img src="https://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/17-rs_country_club_1252.jpg" alt="Rainbow Springs resident Dayanara Valdes, background, waits for Laura Valdes to return a volley while playing pickle ball on the resurfaced tennis courts at Rainbow Springs Country Club." title="Rainbow Springs resident Dayanara Valdes, background, waits for Laura Valdes to return a volley while playing pickle ball on the resurfaced tennis courts at Rainbow Springs Country Club." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Conversation and laughter filled the air, old and new friends socialized over coffee, doughnuts and other treats inside the Grill Room at the once-defunct Rainbow Springs Golf &amp; Country Club.</p> <p> Once considered a long shot the facility would ever re-open became a reality Jan. 4 when Gissy-Goetz Properties opened the doors to a portion of the facilities it is leasing to the Rainbow Springs Property Owners Association, whose 3,000-plus members will begin paying an additional $108 per year in assessments this month for access to the facility.</p> LIGHTING THE WAY https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/lighting-way <img src="https://www.riverlandnews.com/sites/www.riverlandnews.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/10-santa_over_the_rainbow_1138.jpg" alt="Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) member Tom Santora works Monday to gather lumaniries that were placed throughout Rainbow Springs State Park for Santa Over the Rainbow. The 70-year-old worked 14 weeks, six hours a day, six days a week stringing lights throughout the park to prepare for the annual Christmastime event. He did 90 percent of the light work." title="Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) member Tom Santora works Monday to gather lumaniries that were placed throughout Rainbow Springs State Park for Santa Over the Rainbow. The 70-year-old worked 14 weeks, six hours a day, six days a week stringing lights throughout the park to prepare for the annual Christmastime event. He did 90 percent of the light work." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Christmas is a time for magic, and even Tom Santora knows there is always enough magic to go around.</p> <p> The 70-year-old Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) State Park member knew he would need to rise to the occasion if the annual Santa Over the Rainbow event would be a go, or face the possibility of a cancellation for the second time in three years.</p> County OKs diver fee increase https://www.riverlandnews.com/content/county-oks-diver-fee-increase <p> Divers will have to dig deeper if they wish to enjoy the serene waters of the Rainbow River or plan to access the spring-fed wonder at KP Hole.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s because a year after doubling fees for tubers, the County Commission in December approved tripling the fees for divers, from $5 to $15. Devil&rsquo;s Den and the Blue Gratto, both in Williston charges divers a $38 and $44 fee, respectively, if they have their own personal equipment.</p>