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Today's Features

  • Nysie Watson was born to be an herbalist, it seems.

    "All my life I've been aware of an alternate way of healing," she says. "We used to pick mushrooms - shiitake, chantarelles - my mother could name the names of almost all the plants we'd find in the Pacific Northwest."

    She got her degree in Ag. Horticulture from the University of Oregon, but that's not what made her an herbalist.

    No, it took two devastating back injuries and a bout with lymphoma to make Watson an herbalist. The lessons she learned fighting back injuries and cancer made a lifelong impression on her.

  • Saturday morning, Tara Mace got an unwelcome phone call. Her partner for the Wild Hog Canoe Race, the 31st Annual adventure to benefit Levy Association for Retarded Citizens (LARC) couldn't make it.

    Tara was stuck - where to find a partner at 6 a.m. on race day? She called her mom.

    Theresa McFarland answered her daughter's call and agreed to give it a whirl.

    "I hung up the phone and thought, 'I don't have any idea what I'm doing,'" she said.

    "I kind of twisted her arm," Mace admitted.

  • She wears the pink and black Jennie Finch Mizuno batting gloves, rocks the pink and black Mizuno mitt, even checked out the pink and black cleats at Hibbett, "but they didn't fit."

    Her favorite color isn't pink, though.

    Cedar Key's starting first baseman Shawna Fenton wears pink gloves because "I like to aggravate the guys - you know, let 'em know you can wear pink and play good baseball."

  • Susan Livingston is taking the bones of the past and making them into art.

    The sculptor from Lutz has a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Florida State University, but put down her paints more than 30 years ago and never looked back.

    She began to produce clay sculptures, starting with some projects that took her back to childhood summers, when a much deeper past intervened.

  • Beneath the bright and cheerful colors is an urgent feeling - a need to preserve wild Florida before it's gone.

    Harriet Huss started her art career as a potter. Graduating from Eckerd College's storied art program in 1973, "It was a great time to be an artist."

    She was a professional potter for 15 years, but at one point, found herself starting to do more and more two-dimensional work - platters, tiles - mostly to have a surface on which to paint pictures.

    "I realized I really wanted to start painting," she says.

  • "I realized I had a chance to do what I really wanted."

    Atlanta-area water-colorist Jim Wilshire, one of the artists coming to this year's Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, double-majored in archaeology and anthropology at Georgia State University, but after graduation he took a corporate job in sales.

    "I had a family to support, so although those were my interests, I really wasn't able to pursue a career," he said.

  • Three nights a week - on winter nights when you can almost see your breath indoors, as well as on summer nights when every breath condenses in a river of sweat - you'll find the girls - and a few boys - in the steel building on U.S. Highway 27 in Williston, twisting and twirling, flipping and flying.

  • "I'm a strawberry fairy!" These were the words from Cedar Key Pre-K student, Annie McCain, as she took her first fresh-picked strawberry and popped it into her mouth. The eighth grade Ag class assisted members of Cedar Key's Pre-K class in picking their freshly grown strawberries. It all started when Mr. Bruce Wilson donated supplies, plants and guidance to Cedar Key School's Ag and FFA program. Thanks to Mr. Wilson's generosity, the middle school students built a hydroponics system to learn about this modern Ag method.

  • Have you ever had a great idea you wanted to share, but didn't know how to start? Have you ever wanted to ask for something, but didn't know how to do it? Do you think you could be a lot more successful if you could just act on some of your plans?

    There's a link between the inside world of the mind and the outside world of other people. That link is communication. Some people are really good at it; others less so. The good news is, with practice, anyone can get better at it.

  • Most people with schoolchildren in the house are familiar with the annual college rankings published by the newsmagazine U.S. News & World Report. Many students study the college rankings for years, planning their school applications on the outcome of the current issue.