tampabay.com

MLK weekend celebrations start today

By TIMES STAFF
Published January 13, 2007


The first two events of the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Celebration in Citrus County will be today. Here is the full schedule:

Minority business summit: 9 a.m. to noon today at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, 4221 W Gulf to Lake Highway (State Road 44). No cost. Call 220-8154 or 601-4101 or check www.cafcc.net.

Teen summit: 9 to 11 a.m. today at Crystal River Middle School, 344 NE Crystal St. To register, call the above listed numbers or check the Web site.

Communitywide fellowship service: 5 p.m. Sunday at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, 4221 W Gulf to Lake Highway (SR 44).

Parade and community celebration: 10 a.m. Monday. Parade begins at Crystal River Middle School and ends near Copeland Park, site of the community celebration.

Crane migration officials rest wings

After enduring the most challenging crane migration to date, officials with Operation Migration on Friday finally got their deserved sigh of relief. The final whooping cranes of the "Class of 2006" were led by ultralight aircraft to the prepared winter pen site at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. Six of the 18 birds in this year's fledgling flock flew from their temporary holding area in Marion County to their Chassahowitzka pen on Thursday after delighting bird watchers gathered in the parking lot of Homosassa Wal-Mart in a flyover. The other 12 birds scattered, forcing Operation Migration to spend all day Thursday gathering the flock onto a private Citrus property and penning them there until Friday morning. The birds cooperated at first light and all 12 followed pilot Joe Duff to Chassahowitzka with another small group gathered to view the spectacle. There the birds will remain until their instinct tells them later this spring to fly back to Wisconsin. This is the sixth successful year of the project to reintroduce a migratory flock of whooping cranes to the East Coast.

Parking lot may be named for MacRae

County staffers and the Tourist Development Council want to name the county's gazebo and boat parking area on Cherokee Way after Homosassa native Duncan MacRae Sr. A businessman, fisherman and patriarch of one of the community's best-known families, MacRae died in September. Recently, the county re-marked the parking area, leading some into thinking the lot belonged to the MacRae family's nearby bait and tackle business. TDC member Gail Oakes suggested that the county should just make the connection official by naming it after MacRae, but still make it clear that the parking area is county property and parking is free.