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Features

  • The Friends and staff of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges held an Open House last Saturday at the Suwannee Community Center in the town of Suwannee.

    Normally held at the Cedar Key NWR, this was the first time the annual event took place in Dixie County.

    “We wanted to give people over here an opportunity to get to know the Refuge,” said Refuge Manager John Kasbohm. “Based on the turnout we’ll probably rotate years – one year in Cedar Key, one here in Suwannee.”

  • Call it a working man’s respect for earning a living, call it a blue collar vacation, Jim Jackson of International Falls, Minnesota likes to spend vacations meeting new people and experiencing their professions. Jim spent the first six days of vacation hauling three poplar logs 1800 miles from the Canadian border to Cedar Key for a friend he made last year - local furniture maker Herman Wells.

    “I can‘t sit on the beach or anything like that,” Jim said of his taste in vacations.

  • The Cedar Key Historical Museum, housed in the Lutterloh Building located on the corner of 2nd and D street in Downtown Cedar Key, re-opened its doors last week after months of renovations that stripped the original structure down to little more than its front façade.

    The Cedar Key Historical Society’s museum will operate as a working museum for the next several weeks as volunteers continue to complete some of the exhibits, according to volunteer Elizabeth Ehrbar.

  • As the sun dries the final traces of moisture left from a damp night, 10 prescribed fire specialists make their way into the meeting room at the Cedar Key and Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge headquarters for the morning briefing.

  • Alvin F. Oickle’s new book, The Cedar Keys Hurricane of 1896:Disaster at Dawn, gives a concise view of the late 19th century storm that changed lives and lifestyles on the islands. “(T)he disaster that befell the Cedar Keys helped it become a place apart from the mainland, both geographically and metaphysically,” Oickle contends.

  • Resident Willie Brown is making his own recycling initiative happen. He’s been visiting many Cedar Key businesses up to four times a week to pick up cardboard and transport it to the recycling trailer on 3rd Street.

    “My wife and I have always recycled our stuff when the trailer was out at the laundry mat,” he said. “We just sort of fell into this.”

    “Sometimes she helps me out, too,” Willie added.

  • Approximately 35 people gathered at the Library for the Garden Club's presentation of Ann Kamzelski's lecture, "Photographing Butterflies and Other Insects." Kamzelski's love of photography and nature was clearly evident in her presentation. This passion first began when she read a book on macro photography, after being inspired by her mother's photography of wildflowers. As an award-winning photographer, Kamzelski often does presentations pertaining to photography, some of which take place in Pennsylvania where she spends her summers.

  • The Cedar Key Woman’s Club will host a fashion show luncheon and shopping event Wednesday March 18 at 11:30 at the Community Center.

    “It’s turned out to be serious fashion with a comical side. Partly serious, partly fun,” said Ways and Means Chair Jane Moore who coordinates fundraising. “It isn’t just for women.” Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the fun for a good cause, she said.

  • David Beach was presented with a National Volunteer of the Year award at the annual convention of the American Water Works Association in San Diego last week for his work with Water for People.

    At the awards luncheon, Beach was lauded as "the most experienced volunteer, and best team leader" of the World Water Corps division of Water for People.

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) kicked off Nature Coast Fishing for Youth, its first class of the summer, last week in Cedar Key.

    After an hour and a half bus ride, Taylor County kids scrambled off of the bus and under the open breezeway beneath the research facility’s offices and classroom.

    The class started off with a 10 minute fish matching game and a welcome from instructor and FWC Environmental Specialist Missy Jackson and her assistant Thomas Zimmerman.

  • Scott, Phil and Doug Little were in town for a double celebration this week, Scott’s 60th birthday, and most importantly, the 6th Biennial Little Fishing Competition.

    “We do this special thing,” said Doug, who hosts the competition at his home where the Old Ice-house used to be located. “This is our sixth time. We do it every other year.”

  • Lillian Kathleen Bishop Baker, known simply as “Great” by her many descendents, celebrated her 85th birthday last weekend, surrounded by generations of family at the Cedar Key City Park.

    Kathleen greeted well-wishers sporting a name tag that read, “Great.”

    “All the grandchildren call her that,” said her daughter Rita Bishop. “Great” seems an appropriate word to describe the octogenarian: great grandmother Kathleen is the matriarch of a great big family that traces its ties to Cedar Key for a great many generations.

  • Pierce Kelley, an attorney in Cedar Key, recently announced the release of his sixth novel, Asleep at the Wheel.

    Like many of his other novels, Asleep at the Wheel is a legal thriller and is set in North Florida. The Protagonist falls asleep while driving back to his home in Fernandina Beach after a weekend of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. His best friend dies in the resulting car crash.

  • “You get out of education what you put into it,” said native Beth Davis who was recently sworn in for a third term as school board member of Levy County representing district 2 Cedar Key. “If you’re there to get an education, you’re going to get it.”

    And Beth should know.

  • “There is beauty at all stages of hair,” says Tina Williams who opened Tina’s Hair Design Friday to a busy schedule.

    Located at 511 2nd Street, the salon offers male and female cuts, color, pedicure, full-body waxing, tanning and condition treatments. The salon is decorated in an androgynous classic red and black motif welcoming to men and women, the young and elderly alike. Iconic images of beauty such as Marilyn Monroe decorate the walls.

  • Island local Linda Cook Flynn is the feature artist this month at the Cedar Key Arts Center Members’ Gallery.

    “This is joy,” said the multimedia artist regarding the opportunity to show at the Center.

    Flynn, a native Floridian, found her calling with acrylic paints just two years ago, after studying watercolor for two years. She often uses mediums, a glue-like substance, to add texture and shape to her creations. Other texturizers she is fond of include burlap and linen cloth.

  • Donna Tanck once took a stained glass art class that changed her life and that of her husband, Dave. Donna recalled that while she and Dave were restoring an old house in Minnesota where they lived for 17 years, she wanted to learn how to create a stained glass window to complement the design of the house.

    They sold the house and moved before the window was made but Donna fell in love with glass and never looked back.

  • In 2002 a Mission Committee of the Cedar Key United Methodist Church invited representatives from other churches as well as community members to identify a need for assistance. Everyone agreed that the need was local and the Food Pantry was born.

    Housed in the new Faith Center Building of the Cedar Key UMC on 2nd St., the Food Pantry is supported by a cross section of the community: part time and full time residents, area churches, local businesses, civic organizations, Cedar Key School, public agencies, and the proceeds of festival bake sales.

  • A good day for the birder is usually NOT a good day for the bird; so explained Dr. Doug Levey, ornithologist from the University of Florida, a Keynote Speaker for the Nature Coast Bird & Wildlife Experience.

  • Funky bar, gifted jazz keyboardist, quiet night, regulars nodding approval. No crowd, no loudmouths, just music. It doesn't get any better.

    Since 2003 Joel Benefiel has held court at the Island Hotel's King Neptune Lounge on Friday evenings. He has brought jazz greats from around the world, organizing Jazz & Blues concerts for local jazz aficionados.

    Joel - solo, duet or trio - sharing a lifetime of musical experience.