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Local News

  • Three die in crash of small plane

    CEDAR KEY - An impromptu, short, late night sightseeing air tour of the Cedar Keys turned out to be a disastrous affair for three people early Saturday morning, as they perished when the single engine Cessna 206 they were riding in plunged into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Pilot Frank Gonzalez, 48, of Plant City; plane owner John Borchard, 43, of Dover; and tourist Julia Kelly, 49, of Solon, Iowa; died in the accident. There were no survivors.

  • 'We serve proudly'

    Jimmy and Patty Lawrence of Cedar Key received this letter from their son, Sgt. Jamie Lawrence, an MP in the U.S. Army serving in Iraq.

    Hey Pop.

    Sounds like you guys are having a real nice weekend. Unfortunately, we did not realize it was even Memorial Day until after we returned from a mission and we went to eat dinner at the chow hall after being out all day.

  • Cedar Key remembers the fallen

    Cedar Key remembered the soldiers lost in its defense in a stirring Memorial Day ceremony Sunday at the cemetery.

    Hosts Ivan Chubb, of the Tri-County Marine Corps League Post 1018, and Cedar Key's Patty Steve, mother of the late U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, killed in Iraq in 2003, addressed the 50-some attendees, asking them to always remember the cost of America's freedom.

    Afterward, Steve said misunderstanding the cost of freedom has grown worse over generations.

  • LARC gets donations, just in time for cuts

    Just as they always do this time of year, Levy Association for Retarded Citizens (LARC) clients, staff and board members assembled in the dining room of the old Otter Creek School to receive the donation check from the host of the annual Wild Hog Canoe Race fund-raiser.

    For the last three years, that group has been AMVETS Post 88 of Bronson, and this year they brought a check for $6,800.

    The total was just a little over last year's contribution of $6,725, and post commander Clyde McGarva felt it keenly.

    "We wanted to do better by them," he said.

  • Castell out, city scrambles to replace chief

    Cedar Key City Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday against continuing its contract with police chief Bubba Castell.

    Island and area residents filled the City Hall commission room, overflowed the porch and packed the lawn on two sides of the building, trying to hear the proceedings in the first commission meeting since the May 6 election.

  • Cops, residents grow more estranged

    In the wake of the April 28 Taser incident on Dock Street, police admit that residents are talking amongst themselves. They for their part, are waiting to see if complaints roll in.

    Since the night two weeks ago when area fisherman Danny Beckham was subdued with a Taser in an altercation about a friend's traffic stop, police chief Bubba Castell says he has waited for phone calls and complaints about his officers, but so far has received none.

    No formal ones, anyway.

  • District thanks McCain for 30 years of service

    Cedar Key Water and Sewer District Superintendent James McCain recently celebrated 30 years of service for that organization. In honor of his distinguished service, past and current Water District board members and employees gathered at the district office to fête McCain with punch and doughnuts and a collection of anecdotes detailing his dedicated work and excellent character.

  • Stun incident appalls locals

    Cedar Key residents say police are out of control. Police say the most recent polarizing incident started over a misunderstanding. But the outcome leaves police and citizens on either side of a widening divide.

    On April 28, Cedar Key fisherman Danny Beckham, who resides in Archer, was drive-stunned repeatedly with a Taser following a vociferous dispute with police over his double-parked vehicle. Beckham was charged with resisting arrest without violence and obstruction, and also with resisting arrest with violence.

  • Skarupski withdraws, endorses Davis

    On Tuesday, City Commission candidates Heath Davis and Bryan Skarupski called a press conference to announce their positions in the upcoming election. Davis is the former commissioner who did not seek reelection last spring when his term expired. Skarupski, opposing him for the vacant seat left by Commissioner Vanessa Edmunds, who also decided not to seek reelection, has never held a commission seat before.

  • Election Day looms: Two city commission seats and one water district seat at stake

    Cedar Key will go to the polls Tuesday, May 6 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. City Hall, located at Second and C Streets, will be the polling location. The Cedar Key Beacon asked candidates to respond to the questions below so that voters and citizens may gain a more complete view of the commission.