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January 10, 2003

Florida Manatee Festival
[Times photo: Ron Thompson]
Snorklers caress a young manatee in Kings Bay. There has been some debate over whether such contact might be harmful to the animals.

Festival celebrates gentle creatures
With food, art and entertainment as side attractions, the Manatee Festival focuses on informing folks about the gentle giant vegetarians who winter with us.
Nature's business
Protecting the sea cows has been profitable for Citrus County because of the tourists who come to see the gentle mammals.
Polishing jewel of a park
The state park will build boardwalks, expand animal habitats and allow more looks behind the scenes.
Mender of manatees
In his 13 years at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, veterinarian Mark Lowe has built a close relationship with the manatees there.
Watching the Blue Waters
HOMOSASSA -- Janet Luchese peered beyond the buoys and spotted six gray snouts poking up from the murky depths.
Guest Column: Stay the course to preserve a living part of Old Florida
My first encounter with a manatee was a little more than 40 years ago when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My father and I were fishing on Crystal River, catching few fish but enjoying the mist rising in spirals through the cold morning air. As we dangled our lines, a giant gray beast drifted silently and slowly underneath our boat.
Crystal River lauds its favorite marine mammal
With food, art and entertainment as side attractions, the Manatee Festival focuses on informing folks about the gentle giant vegetarians who winter with us.

Jan Glidewell: At long last, a city in need takes the plunge
It is satisfying, as the end of my career approaches, to see coming to resolution causes that have held grave personal import to me.

Family suffers in fire's wake
The Lewises were lucky to have found a place to stay, but the home needs repairs, and most of their belongings were claimed in the fire Saturday.

Toddler's death ruled a homicide
Tests show that the 22-month-old Beverly Hills girl died Nov. 25 because of blunt trauma and asphyxiation. Three relatives are now under investigation.

Water managers lowering lake levels
Swiftmud moves to prevent flooding in the Tsala Apopka lake chain. But some residents say it will add to their woes.

Security door malfunctions injure courthouse visitors
Two lawyers are injured when a metal detector's sliding glass doors snap shut unexpectedly and wallop them.

Let the parrot in your head fly free
Now you can put those embarrassing moments of karaoke to good use: Check out the Jimmy Buffett sound-alike contest, one of the highlights of this weekend's Florida Manatee Festival in Crystal River.

This week: Citrus
PLAYHOUSE 19 MUSIC: All Night Strut, a concert featuring the hit songs of the 1930s and '40s, continues this weekend at Playhouse 19, 865 U.S. 19 S, Crystal River. The concert runs Thursday through Sunday through Feb. 2. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15. Call the box office at 563-1333.

Lloyd Webber's tale of Joseph's magic coat coming to Ocala
Ocala Civic Theatre also will present the comedy Flaming Idiots, a cautionary tale of a couple of dimwits who try to scam their way to success.

New district alignment removes some obstacles

County teams may have an easier path to the playoffs next fall.
'Canes passing tough tests
Coach Jimmy Thomas was thinking long-term when he made this season's Citrus schedule.

Letters: Need outweighs opposition on Sugarmill Woods center
Editor: As many Sugarmill Woods homeowners know, there is a great deal of support in the combined communities of Sugarmill Woods for a community center. A center would give the community a focal point to conduct business and social activities. Game, conference and meeting rooms, an auditorium for entertainment, dining, and intellectual and political gatherings and a fitness center are all planned.


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