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Local News

  • Sagging floors and a surprise at City Hall

    Like every other historic building in Cedar Key's downtown, City Hall needs a little TLC. A combination of additions and renovations, termites, hurricanes and flooding has made the floors sag in the tidy little building.

    Local Planning Agency (LPA) director and local builder Greg Lang had crawled under the building to make an informal report on damage to the building at this week's meeting of Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). What he found was neither unexpected, nor particularly alarming - at least not for the future of the building.

  • 'One piece of paper' drives student art exhibit

    Recently Cedar Key School art teacher Debby Manansala saw some digital photos of a competition, purportedly held at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

    The name of the show was "One Sheet of Paper," and the competition rules were simple - artists could have one blank sheet of paper to say anything they wanted.

  • Teach them to fish ethically and they'll have fun (and food) for a lifetime

    Although it seems like Cedar Key's middle name is Fishing," (and first and last names, as well), there's a first time on the water for everyone. With a huge increase in the popularity of recreational fishing and water-based activities, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has an interest in making sure that people who fish Florida waters have a good time, but do it safely, and with the least possible impact on the state's fisheries.

    That's where Missy Jackson comes in.

  • Restoring mother's murals is her labor of love

    It's 1948. Bessie Gibbs and her husband "Gibb," new owners of the historic Island Hotel on Second Street, are stumbling around a large storage closet on the first floor. Bessie would like to turn the dark, dank space into a cozy bar.

    In walks a lively blond in her early forties, 18-year-old daughter in tow. They have driven up from Clearwater in a late-thirties International panel truck, colorfully painted with marine scenes from a previous business. Helen Tooker, an artist, and Bessie, both strong and outspoken, immediately hit it off.

  • More trash talk: City garbage rates to go up again

    Just a few months ago, the city of Cedar Key raised its rates for residential refuse collection from $15/month to $16/month, the first residential rate increase in nearly a decade. Commissioner Gene Hodges gripped his wallet in mock outrage as he asked the other commissioners, "Another dollar?"

    Over the last few years, the city had absorbed several minor rate increases from its own portion of the fee, and commissioners felt that the city's own increase was both minor and timely.

  • Music. Rhythm. Tile?

    When you sit down to a meal, chances are, you look down at your plate and see a shiny pattern of leaves and flowers, grapevines in relief, a repeating motif in French blue. Before there's anything on the plate, there's something on the plate.

  • Beacon publisher reaffirms commitment to serve community

    To our readers and advertisers:

    The recent announcement by Landmark Communications Inc., the parent company of our newspaper, to consider strategic alternatives that might include the sale of this newspaper and others was made last week.

  • Once in a blue moon, a purple pearl

    Once in a blue moon, in between lightning strikes, as reliably as a lottery, you find a purple pearl in a plate of clams.

    Cedar Key clams, to be specific.

    Everyone's probably heard the beginning of the story. On Dec. 28, a Royal Palm Beach couple, George and Leslie Brock, were vacationing in Lake Worth. They went to Dave's Last Resort and Raw Bar and, on a whim, ordered a plate of clams.

  • Mandatory water use restrictions start April 7

    The Suwannee River Water Management District governing board today issued the agency's first-ever Phase II Water Shortage Order which includes mandatory water-use restrictions that will become effective Districtwide on April 7.

    The order includes restrictions, and some exemptions, for all water-use categories including residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural.

  • Saving the centerpiece: Endangered Lutterloh Building is a treasury of local history

    Dr. John Andrews, vice president of the Cedar Key Historical Society, has been actively pursuing public engagements to talk about saving the Lutterloh Building for at least a year.

    Last March he addressed the Cedar Key City Commission to ask about a joint effort with the historical society, and since that time he has pursued state grants and interrogated engineers. At that meeting, commissioners asked Andrews how soon the building might fall down if no action was taken.

    "Not for at least 12 months," he told them, barring catastrophic storms. Ten months have gone by.