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Features

  • Back in mid-winter, when the FFA Aquaculture team was beginning to practice for the state contest, the team asked me, “If we win the state, will you take us charter fishing?”

  • Chunky Pond, Levyville, Bronson–no matter what it was called, it was always the center-piece of Levy County. That was but one of the hundreds of historical snippets shared Saturday as Levy County celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Atlantic to the Gulf Railroad that connected Fernadina Beach to Cedar Key.

    The brainchild of David Levy Yulee, Florida senator and the first Jewish member of Congress, the railroad began in 1856 and after several starts-stops, at last reached Cedar Key in 1861. 

  • You may have walked or driven by a house on Fourth Street numerous times and barely noticed it was there - half hidden behind low limerock walls that terrace the sloping yard and overgrown cabbage palms.  Or, perhaps, you stopped to take a photo of the pair of adirondack chairs, swaths of ferns and pile of bleached out shells on each side of the stairs.

    It is one of those houses that could go either way - photo op or you might pass right by and not look up. 750 Fourth Street - home of Luz Beckham Kraujalis and her husband, Walter. 

  • A new book, "Dark Origins of Valentine’s Day" by Arnie Spiel details the not-so-romantic history of Feb. 14, that includes Roman executions in the 3rd Century.

    Luckily, that was not the case in Cedar Key on Monday, when 150 people met to celebrate at the Community Center and enjoyed a dinner catered by the Island Room and music by the Dock Street Band.

    Among the sold-out crowd at the event, sponsored by the Lion’s Club, were three couples who revealed a thing or two about their relationships and a little bit more. 

  • Cedar Key’s Police Department has a well known leader, Chief Virgil Sandlin. But, the men who make up his force may be less known. I sat down with Cpl. David Perry this week to find out more.

    The Basics: He is 33 years old and in April will have been on the force for six years — his first job out of the police academy. He has been married for “around” eight years and has a four year-old son, also known as “My World”.

  • A small army of children from Cedar Key and Rosewood descended upon the Community Center Monday night, once they realized that Santa had slipped into town early on a firetruck. The only hint were the Christmas lights that decorated his ride.

    Somehow, he managed to not only get into Cedar Key virtually undetected but he also set up his headquarters - complete with an elf named Teresa.

  • Cedar Key School FAA met 40 of the top FFA teams in the state in the food science competition at the University of Florida on December 4 and came home winners. Cedar Key's Future Farmers of America students included Laia Gore, Brooke Allen, Mikayla Pope, Caitlin Goss, Ariel Alexander, Taryn Epperson, Abby Osteen and Samantha Sapp.

  • This past Saturday at Kona Joe’s Island
    Cafe hosted a book signing for author Terri
    DuLong.
    Her latest book, "Casting About " is the
    second in the Cedar Key series. The first,
    "Spinning Forward," came out last year.
    Additionally, DuLong has a story, "A Cedar
    Key Christmas," that has been included in
    the Christmas Novella "Holiday Magic."
    The collection of four short stories by
    four different authors, has made the New
    York Times best seller list for three weeks
    and was at No. 12 last week. This is the first
    time that a Cedar Key author has made the
    prestigious list.

  •  Now is the perfect time to enjoy Florida's famous oysters. Florida oysters are available year round, but harvest really gears up in fall as water temperatures begin to drop. The cool months are when oysters taste the best.

    Florida's oyster industry is based on the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica), which is found from the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Lawrence River in Canada.

  • The Cedar Key Garden Club Garden of
    the Month for November belongs to Bill and
    Alyce Phillips of the Cedar Key Bed &
    Breakfast. Their gardens include water features,
    as well as one of the island's grandest
    live oaks. Their staghorn fern also rivals the
    best. Please join us in congratulating them
    for such a picture-perfect garden.

  • Literally under our noses in Cedar Key, for the past six years,
    mosaic artist Valerie Bretl has been going about her work - meticulously
    creating fine art that will endure forever.
    Working for eight to 10 hours a day on her
    screened porch, she even received inspiration for
    her current piece from one of the massive oak
    trees in her yard. The dappled light, gravel
    paths and beautiful landscaping are a
    soothing backdrop to her work table covered
    in marble pieces and tiles. Heavy

  • The light pouring in from the dome’s rectangular opening made silhouettes out of John Novak and the large telescope he built some years back.
    “It gathers a huge amount of photons at an accelerated speed,” he explained, staring at his complex assemblage of mirrors, wires and metal parts painted gold and red. “It’s similar to the imager used on the Hubble (Space Telescope).”

  • Flashing their incredible colors and swishing their flowing tails, approximately 68 koi, 47 goldfish and their 7 owners
    dazzled roughly 300 visitors recently at the 10th Annual Koi and Goldfish Show, hosted by the Nature’s Coast Koi Club.
    The event was held Oct. 9-10 at the home of Johnny and Martha Foster of Old Town. 

  • Pam Oakley, Parade Marshall & Eileen Senecal Co-Parade Marshal
    Jim Wilcox, judge the Floats and Decorated Boats,
    1st Place Crab Crew… They won $50.00 and have donated the money
    to Cedar Key cheerleaders
    2nd Place Cedar Key cheerleaders
    3rd Place Coconuts
    Cindy Leiner, judge Vehicles and Undecorated Boats,
    1st Place Nancy Bell’s Tricycle… They won $50.00 and have donated to
    the recyclables
    2nd Place WWII Vets
    3rd Place David Feign
    Peggy and Bill Delanie, judges Groups

  • Cedar Key City Hall 352-543-5132

    Cedar Key Public Library 352-543-5777
    Hours: Mon., Wed, Thur., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tues., 4-8 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

    Cedar Key Water & Sewerage District 352-543-5285
      Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

      • Cedar Key Area Chamber of Commerce 352-543-5600

  •  By Toni C. Collins

  • Although there was no official count,
    the cars that lined the streets up to
    Whiddon Avenue, the pedestrians carrying
    their purchases and the half dozen tour
    buses parked at the school were a testament
    to the crowd of thousands that
    swarmed Cedar Key this past weekend.
    Saturday’s parade included everything
    from pirate wenches and a marching
    band to politicians and pageant queens.
    The vehicles were as diverse — from fire
    trucks and clam boats to horse trailers and

  • Remember this summer's mosquito infestation?  How about the hatching after the heavy rains and flooding in September?
    Learn how to battle the blodsucking invasion at two presentations on creating havens for bats.
    Ranger Pam Darty of the U.S. Fish Service at Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge will give a  presentation on Florida Bats and Bat Houses at the Ellie Schiller Education Center in the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve (WGP) at 1001 Old Rock Road, Yankeetown, Friday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m..  Admission is free.

  • John Myers is a Master Gardener, class of 2008. He spoke about hummingbirds, native plants, and the importance of soil testing before planting.