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Local News

  • 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.

  • Low-key revelry rings in Cedar Key's 2008

    No rain pelted the heads of revelers. Except at Coconuts, no heavy amps battered their ears. Unlike on the eve of 2007, Cedar Key welcomed in 2008 with a quieter revelry.

    Some things stayed the same. As it had last year, Joel Benefiel's group reined at the Island Hotel. Local Traffic rocked the swamp at Coconuts.

    Local rockers Dock Street brought their Bob Seger-style stomp to the Seabreeze downstairs, and the up-and-coming duo of T.J. Brown and Josh Calvert were joined at the Raw Bar by Gulf Hammock songbird Naomi Cahours.

  • Landmark explores possibility of sale

    Landmark Communications Inc., parent of Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc. (LCNI), owner of the Williston Pioneer Sun News, has hired national investment firms to explore selling the Norfolk, Va.-based company.

    "I can confirm that Landmark Communications has retained investment banks JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers to assist in exploring strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of the company's businesses," said Richard F. Barry III, vice chairman of the company.

  • Tax reform could save money for some

    Using an average of 18 mills as a typical amount for Levy County taxpayers in the current tax year, Property Appraiser Francis Akins said property tax legislation on the Jan. 29, 2008 ballot could save some individual taxpayers $188.50 each.

    About 40 percent of the people in Levy County who are qualified for Homestead Exemption will see no change in their tax bill from this legislation, Akins added.

    The proposed legislation will mean zero additional savings for people who are qualified for Homestead Exemption, but who have an appraised property value of less than $50,000.

  • Merry Christmas Cedar Key

    In Cedar Key School's production of "The Littlest Christmas Tree," the littlest tree, played by Chloe Brown, sings of her hope to be chosen by Santa Claus to be this year's special Christmas tree.

  • Security fears prompt sad misunderstanding at base

    A British visitor who has visited Cedar Key several times a year for the past nine years recently told The Beacon of a bizarre incident, which may result in him being unable to visit here again.

    Peter White, a widower from England, loves to fish from the Big Dock when he visits Cedar Key. However, he says his attempt to show hospitality to U.S. troops stationed overseas may postpone his next fishing trip, perhaps indefinitely.

  • Schools to face more funding cuts

    This past summer, the Florida Department of Education warned school districts across the state that a general revenue shortfall could lead to a 4 percent cut in funding.

    Deterioration of the housing market was fingered as the main culprit.

    Lo and behold, they were right, as each district had their take shaved by 4 percent.

    In Levy County, that added up to slightly more than $634,000.

    Now just three months later, more storm clouds are on the horizon.

  • When Sharks ruled the gridiron

    Editor's Note: This week, in celebration of the Heisman Award and high school state championships, the Beacon is looking back to the days when Cedar Key School still played football.

    Did Cedar Key ever have a football team?

    Now, during the exciting postseason playoff games for state high school titles, college conference title games, bowl season announcements, Heisman Trophy presentations and National Championship aspirations, the answer reminds me of the response to a young girl's question regarding the existence of jolly old St. Nick.