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Features

  • 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.

  • Corrine Ryan, Cedar Keyhole's Artist of the Month, was 15 when she bought her Dad a leather drink holder at an art show. He loved it but more importantly looked at his daughter and said, "You can do this."

    Corrine's Leather Madness began. She spent her allowance on leather tools, leather and art books. She didn't just stamp art; she carved or tooled it from original designs.

  • An angel of mercy has quietly been providing a great service to the community of Cedar Key for the past 25 years. She does house calls, meets appointments at her Rosewood office, keeps us fit and limber, offers herbal oils, and wraps us in wellness. She is Mary Inskeep, Licensed Massage Therapist.

  • Wondering what the new mandatory motorcycle safety courses are like, but not yet ready enough to leap in?

    As your guinea pig, I recently went to class at Gainesville Motorcycle Safety Training and received my motorcycle endorsement. Here's how it works:

  • Cedar Key native Jeremy Philabaum has been commended by his superiors for his excellent performance on duty.

    Aviation Structural Mechanic (Safety Equipment) Third Class Petty Officer (AME3) Jeremy Philabaum, grandson of Cheryl Philabaum, of Cedar Key, has been awarded the "Maintenance Professional of the Month" Award for the exceptional efforts and performance of his duties.

    AME3 Philabaum is currently in the middle of a six month, multi-site, deployment with Patrol Squadron (VP) Four-Six and Maintenance Detachment Team Alpha (MDT-A) in the Persian Gulf region.

  • Alabama, Johnny Nash, Bertie Higgins, Dennis Yost, Starbuck, Artimus Pyle and Bo Diddley are just a few of a diverse group of stars that Irwin has worked with in his long and storied career.

    Seeing the music industry eat up a lot of his friends, Irwin chose to take the low road some 20 years ago, moving to rural Levy County to chill out, spend time with the family, collect some royalty money and play a little music.

    It's worked out well in some respects.

  • Are the crystal clear Gulf waters and the wonders beneath calling your name?

    Break out your mask and fins! Scallop season began July 1 and runs through Sept. 10.

    Anyone who has scalloped before knows the technique of snorkeling along picking scallops off the bottom of Florida's coastal bay areas.

    This is typically done in 2.5 to 4 feet of water - an excellent activity for the whole family to enjoy. Other techniques involve wading and scooping up scallops with a dip net.

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announces a series of summer inshore fishing clinics for children at the Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab in Cedar Key. This program is open to youths between the ages of 6 and 16.

    The one day clinics will take place in June and July. Participants will learn about fish identification, knot tying, casting, bait types, habitat types, gear care and more. The clinic will end with catch-and-release pier fishing.

  • There were tears during the slide show and tears at the presentation of flowers, but sunny smiles otherwise reigned Saturday morning as Cedar Key seniors walked into the gymnasium as students and skipped and danced out as alumni.

    The class of 2008 sent 16 seniors into the world this week, led by salutatorian Jaclyn Stefani. Eight scholarship recipients took home more than $6,000 in special awards, plus Florida Bright Futures scholarships which pay up to 75 percent to 100 percent of students' in-state tuition.

  • Jaclyn Stefani doesn't know where she'll be in 10 years. She's not sure where in the world she'd really like to live. But with a career track of Army nursing and her EMT and CNA certificates already under her belt, she's put herself in a great position to find out - one place at a time, if necessary.

    Stefani is the daughter of Peter and Gina Stefani, and Pete's big sister. She has the highest GPA in her graduating class - 3.666, and she'll be Cedar Key School's 2008 salutatorian.

  • With its thrilling juxtaposition of Miami Vice and the Irish Troubles, Pierce Kelley's latest legal thriller, A Tinker's Damn! may be his best work yet.

    Kevin Coffee, Kelley's latest protagonist, is an Irish immigrant growing up in New York City when the story begins. Poverty and prejudice lead him into the criminal world for the benefit of his family. With no father and no outside help, he learns to steal food so his family can eat. As an adult, he develops a morally ambiguous worldview, moving to Mariel boatlift-era Miami to become an opportunistic drug smuggler.

  • Nysie Watson was born to be an herbalist, it seems.

    "All my life I've been aware of an alternate way of healing," she says. "We used to pick mushrooms - shiitake, chantarelles - my mother could name the names of almost all the plants we'd find in the Pacific Northwest."

    She got her degree in Ag. Horticulture from the University of Oregon, but that's not what made her an herbalist.

    No, it took two devastating back injuries and a bout with lymphoma to make Watson an herbalist. The lessons she learned fighting back injuries and cancer made a lifelong impression on her.

  • Saturday morning, Tara Mace got an unwelcome phone call. Her partner for the Wild Hog Canoe Race, the 31st Annual adventure to benefit Levy Association for Retarded Citizens (LARC) couldn't make it.

    Tara was stuck - where to find a partner at 6 a.m. on race day? She called her mom.

    Theresa McFarland answered her daughter's call and agreed to give it a whirl.

    "I hung up the phone and thought, 'I don't have any idea what I'm doing,'" she said.

    "I kind of twisted her arm," Mace admitted.

  • She wears the pink and black Jennie Finch Mizuno batting gloves, rocks the pink and black Mizuno mitt, even checked out the pink and black cleats at Hibbett, "but they didn't fit."

    Her favorite color isn't pink, though.

    Cedar Key's starting first baseman Shawna Fenton wears pink gloves because "I like to aggravate the guys - you know, let 'em know you can wear pink and play good baseball."

  • Susan Livingston is taking the bones of the past and making them into art.

    The sculptor from Lutz has a Master of Fine Arts in painting from Florida State University, but put down her paints more than 30 years ago and never looked back.

    She began to produce clay sculptures, starting with some projects that took her back to childhood summers, when a much deeper past intervened.

  • Beneath the bright and cheerful colors is an urgent feeling - a need to preserve wild Florida before it's gone.

    Harriet Huss started her art career as a potter. Graduating from Eckerd College's storied art program in 1973, "It was a great time to be an artist."

    She was a professional potter for 15 years, but at one point, found herself starting to do more and more two-dimensional work - platters, tiles - mostly to have a surface on which to paint pictures.

    "I realized I really wanted to start painting," she says.

  • "I realized I had a chance to do what I really wanted."

    Atlanta-area water-colorist Jim Wilshire, one of the artists coming to this year's Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, double-majored in archaeology and anthropology at Georgia State University, but after graduation he took a corporate job in sales.

    "I had a family to support, so although those were my interests, I really wasn't able to pursue a career," he said.