Blue Paper Editor

Naja Girard

Dec 022016
 
Detective Asks for Help Identifying Suspect [Surveillance video]

Sheriff’s Detective Leon Bourcier is asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect who stole a Honda motorcycle from a Marathon residence. The 2013 Honda 250 CRF was taken from a home on Sombrero Boulevard just after midnight on November 28th. The owner told Deputy Matthew Cory he went to bed on the 27th, there were two matching motorcycles parked next to each other in the driveway. When he woke the next morning, one was gone. A neighbor was able to produce surveillance video of [continue reading…]

 December 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am Issue #195, News No Responses »
Nov 252016
 
World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1: Leadership, Commitment, Impact

On World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, at 4:30 PM please join the Friends of the AIDS Memorial, city and county officials and Key West residents and friends in front of the New City Hall (formerly the Glynn Archer School) on White Street.  There will be a short candlelight march to the only official AIDS Memorial in the United States at the Edward B. Knight Pier. The World AIDS Day theme this year is: “Leadership, Commitment, Impact.”  Backed by the United Nations the campaign runs [continue reading…]

 November 25, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #194, Special Events No Responses »
Nov 112016
 
Take Stock in the Rock: Stock Island Organizing Largest Cleanup Effort Since Wilma

On Saturday, November 19 from 7 am to 1 pm, volunteers will organize to help clean and spruce the streets and shorelines of Stock Island. This is a joint effort between I Love Stock Island, Inc, a new non-profit initiative, and the County, City, Waste Management and local businesses, neighborhoods and area civic and church groups. Volunteers will meet at 7 am for check-in and instructions at either the Key West Botanical Gardens for land based or Hurricane Hole Marina for shoreline. Volunteers will be [continue reading…]

 November 11, 2016  Posted by at 12:35 am Public Notice No Responses »
Nov 042016
 
Detectives Need Help Identifying Attempted Robbery Suspect

Sheriff’s detectives say they need help from the public identifying the suspect in an attempted robbery at the Dion’s convenience store on Big Coppitt Key this afternoon. At about 5 p.m. today the young man entered Dion’s and demanded the clerk give him money from the store register. She said he reached toward the waistband of his shorts as if he had a weapon. The clerk was assisting a customer at the time and told the young man to wait while she finished giving the [continue reading…]

 November 4, 2016  Posted by at 1:12 am News 1 Response »
Oct 212016
 
Keys Firm Working with FKCC Acquires National Diving Program Certification

  SWC, a local engineering, planning and environmental science firm, has created an official dive program that has received certification by the American Association of Underwater Scientists (AAUS). “This has been a long-term commitment of SWC, to develop a program that addresses diver safety during work activities that meets federal OSHA standards and addresses requirements of many federal and State agencies,” said Sandy Walters, SWC president. “We worked together with Florida Keys Community College to certify our Dive Safety Officer Shawn Martin as an AAUS [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:37 am Issue #189, News, Public Notice, Water World No Responses »
Oct 142016
 
Infant/Child CPR Classes Offered in Key West and Key Largo

FLORIDA KEYS – If your child was choking, would you know what to do?  If your baby stopped breathing, do you know how to respond?  The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition invites all parents and caregivers to attend a CPR class in Key Largo or Key West to learn invaluable life-saving skills. The class will cover infant/child CPR, choking prevention, poison control, shaken baby prevention, and basic first aid.  Participants will Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Ready Reference to take home.  To keep costs affordable, it is [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #188, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 142016
 
Key West Association of Realtors Volunteer Day with Habitat for Humanity

A stellar group of Realtors® pitched in to help paint the parsonage of Bethel AME Church for the Annual Key West Association of Realtors® Volunteer Day with Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Florida Keys last week. Leigh Ann Roach with Preferred Properties even brought husband Tom along to help out. Leigh Ann said “Working with Habitat for Humanity just makes a person feel good about the community we all share. It’s definitely time well spent.” In addition to building affordable homes, Habitat assists [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:08 am Issue #188, News No Responses »
Oct 052016
 
MONROE COUNTY CLOSURES FOR THURSDAY DUE TO FORECAST OF TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS IN UPPER KEYS

MONROE COUNTY – The Florida Keys National Weather Service forecasts the Upper Keys likely will have tropical storm force winds (sustained winds of 39 mph or greater) on Thursday. The highest winds are expected between noon and 6 p.m. There also could be some coastal and local flooding, as well as heavy rainfall. To ensure the safety and well-being of our employees and the public, Monroe County is taking these protective actions for Thursday:

 October 5, 2016  Posted by at 4:54 pm News No Responses »
Sep 162016
 
On Conformity

by Kirby Congdon……. My lover and partner of forty-three  years was different than any of my other friends. I was asked, “How did you handle it between yourselves? What kind of discussions did you have to resolve this distinction that was so public?” My partner and I replied with words to the effect that if your lover had been born with an excess of psoriasis that gave his face a visible proof of acne, was that something we had to resolve to make ourselves, as [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Art, Issue #184, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 092016
 
Detective Needs Help Identifying Suspects

A Sheriff’s detective is asking for the public’s help identifying two young burglary suspects from an incident in August. The suspects stole two cases of beer and a pack of cigarettes from a home on Kingbird Lane, Big Coppitt Key. The homeowner contacted the Sheriff’s Office on the afternoon of August 15th. He told Deputy Shawn Steele he had captured the burglary on video. He said he reviewed his surveillance video after discovering an 18 pack of bottled Budweiser Select 55 beer, a 24 pack [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #183, News No Responses »
Sep 042016
 
Man Dies While Diving / Dry Tortugas

  A Louisiana man died while diving in the Dry Tortugas Saturday. 67 year old Paul Wimberly of Natchitoches, Louisiana was in the Dry Tortugas snorkeling from the commercial vessel Playmate, operated by Sea-Clusive Charters.  Wimberly’s dive partner said it appeared Wimberly panicked while underwater. She said he grabbed her and pulled her to the bottom with him. She was able to shed her dive equipment and do an emergency ascension to the surface.

 September 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:11 pm News No Responses »
Aug 302016
 
Florida Keys Refuges Complex Ready for Prescribed Fires on Big Pine Key This Week

  With the recent rainfall on Big Pine Key, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is prepared to apply prescribed fire in three locations within the National Key Deer Refuge at the end of this week or this weekend (September 1-3, 2016).  When weather conditions are within the fire plan know as a “prescription”, crews are able to safely and effectively apply prescribed fire in the Refuge.  The interagency team is closely monitoring weather conditions at this time, preparing for the appropriate window for fire [continue reading…]

 August 30, 2016  Posted by at 6:33 pm Issue #181, News 1 Response »
Aug 192016
 
United Airlines to Offer Nonstop Service Between Chicago, New York/Newark and Key West / New Job Opportunities for Locals

  United Airlines will begin seasonal service at Key West International Airport, with flights to and from the airline’s gateway hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Beginning Dec. 16, 2016 and running through May 4, 2017, United will be the only carrier to offer daily nonstop service between the New York area and Key West. United’s Newark (EWR) is its largest hub operation in the New York City area and offers customers convenient connections throughout the Northeast and Midwest. From [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:51 am News No Responses »
Aug 122016
 
Annual Tot Swap Consignment Sale

Are your closets overflowing with unused children’s clothes and other items?  Now is the time to clean out your closets and make some extra cash, or donate your items to support a local non-profit! The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition is holding their annual Tot Swap Consignment Sale, to be held in Key West September 13-18.  The sale will be held next to the Key West K-mart and is open to the public.  Everyone is welcome to shop. Accepted consignment sale items include new or [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:13 am Issue #179, Special Event No Responses »
Jul 152016
 
Blue/Green Algae

Dear Editor: This is in regards to the toxic sludge that’s heading our way. Many on the west coast are determined to send it south but that’s not the answer. The Everglades is choked out due to development and can’t handle it and the way they rerouted the flow of water doesn’t allow it like it did in the past. So what to do? After contacting the Corps of Engineers at each lock thru the water ways that come from Lake O to Ft Myers I learned [continue reading…]

 July 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #175, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Jul 152016
 
ART IN PUBLIC PLACES INSTALLS COLORFUL BENCHES MADE FROM PROPANE TANKS AT MARATHON COURTHOUSE

  The Monroe County Marathon Courthouse is a little more colorful with the recent installation of an eye-catching turquoise bench and sky blue loveseat created by California artist Colin Selig. He makes them from an unlikely source: salvage propane tanks once used to heat homes. His functional sculptures are part of the County’s 1% Art in Public Places program. “These benches create a lovely, quiet space for people who visit and work at the Courthouse,” said Elizabeth Young, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Council [continue reading…]

 July 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Art, Issue #175 No Responses »
Jul 082016
 
Help Family and Detectives Find Missing Man

Sheriff’s detectives are hoping to help locate a Marathon man whose family and friends say they have not seen nor heard from him since June 16th. 48 year old Paul Thomas Murray, who lives on a boat in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon, told family members he was going to help a friend move a sailboat from Robbie’s Marina on Stock Island to Boot Key Harbor on June 16th. A short time after that, the sailboat he was supposed to help move, called the “Hornet” [continue reading…]

 July 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am News No Responses »
Jun 172016
 
Relay For Life Team on Their Way! Track Their Progress...

#1 Relay for Life Team Castaways Against Cancer Set Off on 17th Annual Kayaking Trip with the Support of U.S. Century The Castaways Against Cancer, a Relay for Life team ranked 1st in Florida, launched on their 17h Annual kayaking journey, dubbed the “Proof of Life” tour from Virginia Key in Miami, FL on Saturday, June 11. Paddling the equivalent of a marathon a day, the Castaways will paddle a total of 160 miles as a fundraiser supporting the American Cancer Society (ASC) and are [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #171, Special Event No Responses »
Jun 142016
 
Sheriff’s Office Begins Using Body Worn Cameras

The Sheriff’s Office began using body worn cameras on Monday. Most uniformed deputies will be required to wear the cameras as a routine part of their uniform. All members who will be using the cameras completed their training last week. The Sheriff’s policy requires they be worn by road patrol deputies and sergeants, school resource deputies, civil deputies, traffic deputies, airport deputies and sergeants and detectives when they are in uniform. Detectives may also wear them when in plain clothes.

 June 14, 2016  Posted by at 3:37 pm News No Responses »
Jun 122016
 
Key Largo Man Charged with Aggravated Battery, Burglary

  A fight between neighbors this morning [Sunday, June 12] led to the arrest of a Key Largo man for aggravated battery and burglary. The victims, two men aged 52 and 20, told Deputy Gil Gonzalez they were hanging out at the home on Oakwood Avenue at 5 a.m. when a woman who lives nearby knocked on the door. They invited her inside. The 20 year old victim told Deputy Gonzalez they knew the woman. He said she had come to the house before when [continue reading…]

 June 12, 2016  Posted by at 2:51 pm News No Responses »
Jun 102016
 
Help Detectives Identify Man Wanted for Questioning in Alleged Sunglasses Theft

  The video and photos show a man detectives want to talk to about the theft of a pair of Pelagic brand sunglasses from Bud and Mary’s Outfitters Store in Islamorada on the afternoon of May 31st.  The sunglasses are valued at $296. Anyone who recognizes him and can help detectives to identify him should contact Deputy Caridad Bellon at 305-664-6480 or Detective Sgt. Mark Coleman at 305-853-3211.

 June 10, 2016  Posted by at 8:00 am Issue #170 No Responses »
Jun 032016
 
Detectives Investigating Hidden Cameras Found in Women’s Restrooms

Detectives in the Upper Keys are investigating three reports involving hidden cameras found in women’s restrooms. In all three incidents, miniature cameras hidden in coat hooks were found mounted on the walls in the women’s restrooms. They were found at Anne’s Beach on May 26th, the Circle K Store at the 99.8 mile marker of Highway U.S. One on May 28th and in the women’s bathroom at Harry Harris Park in Tavernier today [May 31st].

 June 3, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am News No Responses »
May 272016
 
Hialeah Man Charged with Multiple Counts Credit Card Fraud

CRIME REPORT: An alert merchant in Key Largo quickly called the Sheriff’s Office after a Hialeah man attempted to use multiple fraudulent credit cards in his store to purchase high end merchandise. That call led to the arrest of the man who is now in jail on 60 felony counts related to the fraud. The manager of West Marine in Key Largo said 41 year old Rogelio Rodriguez walked into the store at about noon and asked to see one of the most expensive models [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am News No Responses »
May 272016
 
ROWELL’S WATERFRONT PARK IN KEY LARGO OPENS SATURDAY

KEY LARGO – Rowell’s Waterfront Park – at mile marker 104.5 on the Overseas Highway in Key Largo – opens Saturday morning, becoming the County’s 20th park. The 8-acre, kid- and dog-friendly park along Florida Bay has picnic tables, benches, a place to swim (at your own risk) and a launch for kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards. It will be open seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to sunset. Admission is free. The property was purchased in December 2013 for $5 million. Since then, [continue reading…]

 May 27, 2016  Posted by at 12:47 am Issue #168, Public Notice, Special Event 1 Response »
May 232016
 
"Job Fix" at the School District?

After having personally signed off on Monique Acevedo’s purchasing card expenditures [which led to the $413,000 School District embezzlement case in 2009] Mike Henriquez was again at the center of a “where has the money gone” scandal last year for setting up an accounting system for the HOB day care program that was so loose that nearly $22,000 couldn’t be accounted for. SEE RELATED: HOB DAY CARE SCANDAL:  The Making of a Thief? A first year employee was fired. But Mike Henriquez was merely reprimanded. His [continue reading…]

 May 23, 2016  Posted by at 10:01 pm News 5 Responses »
May 062016
 
Two More Scams Reported

The Sheriff’s Office had two more different types of scams reported Tuesday and would like to make everyone aware so they do not fall victim to these fraudsters. An Islamorada woman called the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday night to report being scammed by someone she believed worked for a legitimate loan company. The 60 year old victim said she was trying to obtain a loan from a company called “Easy Loans”. She said a representative called and agreed to give her a $3,000 loan. He told [continue reading…]

 May 6, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #165, News No Responses »
May 042016
 
*DEVELOPING STORY* Commercial Vessel Discharging Gunfire at Another Vessel West of Key West

Wednesday May 4, 2016: Commercial vessel allegedly discharging gunfire at another vessel 40 miles west of Key West, Florida. Reporting vessel is running for safety at top speed. Coast Guard orders all unnecessary personnel on reporting vessel below deck… The incident reportedly began when a recreational dive boat drove through a commercial fisherman’s chum slick while southwest of the Marquesas Keys. Update [from U.S. Coast Guard Miami]: The Coast Guard responded to a report of the discharge of a firearm southwest of Marquesas Key, Florida, on [continue reading…]

 May 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:09 pm ** BREAKING NEWS **, Water World No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
Warning! Kidnapping Scam

A Key Largo man was scammed out of $2,500 because he believed his wife was kidnapped. The 30 year old man told Deputy Gil Gonzalez he received a call Friday at 10 a.m. from a man – “Mike” –  who claimed to have his wife; Mike said the victim’s wife was involved in a car crash and had killed Mike’s son in the crash. Mike said after the crash he kidnapped her. He claimed to be a drug dealer and said he did not want [continue reading…]

 April 29, 2016  Posted by at 1:30 am Issue #164, News No Responses »
Apr 292016
 
“The Voice From the Other Side of the Band Room Controversy”   

Dear Editor: On January 20, 2016, the six (6) members of the City Commissioners voted to approve funding for the “White Boxing” of the Douglass School Band Room & Shop Building and held their vote on whether the building should house the Roosevelt Sands Health Clinic.  The members of the Frederick Douglass School Black Educators Memorial Project (FDSBEMP) had asked for consideration to be given to the fact that Commissioner Clayton Lopez had met with and promised their group over a 5 year period that [continue reading…]

Apr 152016
 
A Little Hope for the Young and the Lost

by Ray Jason…….      Perhaps you awaken in the midnight stillness and find yourself lost in the labyrinth of an elusive but disturbing dream. As consciousness returns, you realize that it is not a dream that is troubling you – it is the reality of your life.   You suddenly realize that the modern world is not providing you with joyous possibilities. Instead, it is ensnaring you in a digital desert. You recognize that your 1,243 Facebook friends are actually 1,243 Falsebook strangers. And you [continue reading…]

 April 15, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices No Responses »
Apr 102016
 

KEY WEST – American Airlines flight 4680 returned safely to Key West International Airport on Sunday afternoon after a bird strike led to a problem with the left engine. The Embraer 175 jet, which was operated by Republic Airways and destined for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, was carrying 67 people. All were uninjured. “The flight crew did a great job of flying the aircraft safely back to the airport,” said Donald DeGraw, Director of Key West International Airport. “The airport’s fire department and mutual [continue reading…]

 April 10, 2016  Posted by at 5:29 pm News No Responses »
Apr 082016
 
BLOOD ON DUVAL: Update on Duval Street Shooting

On Wednesday Judge Wayne Miller opted to allow alleged Duval Street shooter, Derek Michael David, 34, to return to freedom back in his home state of Louisiana. Miller did however increase his bail by $100,000 to $582,500 and set specific conditions on David’s right to remain free pending trial. The shooting happened on March 21st at about 1:25 a.m. in the area of Rick’s Bar.  Surveillance video from the bar [see below] shows David dragging his visibly intoxicated wife, Jodie Marie David, down Charles Street and apparently knocking her to the ground. [continue reading…]

 April 8, 2016  Posted by at 8:22 am * Featured Story *, News 2 Responses »