Blue Paper Editor

Naja Girard

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 3 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 »
Apr 062016

ALL 11 ABOARD SEAPLANE WERE UNINJURED Key West International Airport reopened at 7:33 p.m. Wednesday after temporarily being closed for about 90 minutes due to a seaplane that became disabled on runway 9 after its right float broke apart during landing. All 11 people on board (a pilot and 10 passengers) walked away, all declining medical treatment. “It’s the best thing we could hope for, no injuries,” said T.J. Henderson, Assistant Director of Airports.

 April 6, 2016  Posted by at 7:37 pm News 3 Responses »
Apr 062016
Suspect Caught After Toy Gun Stick-Up

Key West Police recovered nearly $4,800 in stolen prescription drugs Tuesday night after a Key West man allegedly robbed a local pharmacy at “gunpoint”. At 7:35 p.m. police responded to a call at the CVS at Overseas Market. When officers arrived, the victim told them a man had pointed a gun at her as she worked behind the pharmacy counter, demanding she hand over the schedule II narcotics. The suspect filled a backpack with the drugs and fled the store, running through a nearby Chinese [continue reading…]

 April 6, 2016  Posted by at 3:38 pm News 2 Responses »
Apr 012016
Detective Seeks Identity of Burglary Suspects

  Sheriff’s Detective David Brummer needs help identifying two suspects captured on video committing a business burglary on Big Pine Key Tuesday evening. Surveillance cameras at M & M Automotive on Avenue A, Big Pine Key shows the two men just after 7 p.m. walking around outside the business near vending machines and near some tires stored outside. They removed a key from a scooter stored at the business. They appear to be looking at tires perhaps to find a specific size. The business reported [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 pm News 1 Response »
Apr 012016
BLOOD ON DUVAL: Update on Duval Street Shooting

New charges have been filed in the Duval Street shooting case and prosecutors want to put him back behind bars now — this time without bail. Derek Michael David, 34, was released on bail following a March 21st shooting that wounded three people. The shooting happened at about 1:25 a.m. in the area of Rick’s Bar.  Surveillance video from the bar reportedly shows David at one point dragging a woman [his wife] down Charles Street and knocking her to the ground. Two men are seen running over [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am * Featured Story *, Issue #160, News 2 Responses »
Apr 012016
CRIME: Detectives Nab Two on Theft Related Charges

  Information in the following crime reports was provided by Becky Herrin of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department: A Key West man was charged with a robbery at a Tavernier convenience store earlier this month. Detective Jaques Rozek is the lead investigator of a robbery March 7th at the Circle K convenience store at the 92.7 mm of Highway U.S. One. The clerk at the store called the Sheriff’s Office after a man wearing a mask over his face entered the store and demanded money. The suspect [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am News No Responses »
Apr 012016
Key West Man Sentenced to 30 Years in 2009 DUI Manslaughter Case

Pierson Villalobos was sentenced to 30 years in Florida State Prison at the Marathon Courthouse on Tuesday. The Honorable Ruth Becker presided over the sentencing hearing and adjudicated Villalobos guilty of two counts of DUI Manslaughter for the deaths of Deborah Mangrum and Christopher Jennings on November 28, 2009. Judge Becker also sentenced the defendant to a lifetime driver’s license revocation, payment of restitution, cost of prosecution and cost of investigation.

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am News 1 Response »
Apr 012016
Arrests Made in Tavernier Double Murder

  On the morning of October 16th 2015, Tara Rosado’s three small children awoke in their home on Cuba Road in Tavernier and found the bodies of their mother and her boyfriend shot to death in their bedroom. Investigations by the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit reveal that the murder of the Tavernier couple was drug related. Detective Vince Weiner, working closely with Chief Assistant State Attorney Manny Madruga, arrested two Upper Keys men, 33 year old Jeremy Macauley of Tavernier and 34 year old Adrian Demblans of [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ** BREAKING NEWS **, News 2 Responses »
Apr 012016
The Voting Delusion

  by Ray Jason……. This November, I heartily encourage all Americans to exercise their civic duty by going to the polls and voting for one of the dignified Presidential candidates that have amazed us this election cycle with their wisdom and compassion. Got ya! APRIL FOOLS DAY!!! Unfortunately, this is not a laughing matter. A large segment of the U.S. population is now very aware of the fact that our political and economic systems have become totally corrupt. And yet these knowledgeable people still cling [continue reading…]

 April 1, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #160 No Responses »
Mar 252016
TWO FULL SURVEILLANCE VIDEOS, 911 Calls: Gunfire on Duval Street, Three Bystanders Injured

A Sugarloaf Key man, Derek Michael David, 34, is in custody following a shooting that wounded three people early Monday on Duval Street in Key West. The shooting happened at about 1:25 a.m. in the area of Rick’s Bar.  Surveillance video from the bar reportedly shows David at one point dragging the woman down Charles Street and knocking her to the ground. Two men are seen running over to help before the suspect fires into the air and then reportedly opens fire on the men who were trying to [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:12 am * Featured Story *, News 9 Responses »
Mar 252016
Road Rage With Gun: 75-year Old Sugarloaf Key Man Arrested

A Sugarloaf man was arrested Wednesday evening after he pointed a gun at a Big Pine couple on a motorcycle. The incident began at about 6:15 p.m. when 75 year old Matthew Ferro, in his cream colored Cadillac pickup truck, reportedly passed Christy and Robert Velasquez who were traveling southbound on a motorcycle on the Seven Mile Bridge. When the two vehicles reached the Bahia Honda Bridge, the motorcycle reportedly passed the truck followed by the truck passing the motorcycle. Rude gestures were exchanged. The [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am News 1 Response »
Mar 252016
Photographer Blackburn to Show Works, April 1st

Local photographer Larry Blackburn will again show his photographic works on Friday, April 1st in conjunction with the First Friday Upper Duval Art Stroll.  The showing, entitled “Scene in Key West”, will feature recent additions to his photographs of many familiar sights around Key West that Larry feels fortunate to experience on a daily basis.  The photographs will be printed on several media types including canvas, metal and metallic paper along with new acrylic additions.  The show will take place inside Duval Square at 1075 Duval Street in Key [continue reading…]

 March 25, 2016  Posted by at 12:29 am ~ Artists ~ No Responses »
Mar 222016
Scooter Crash on Flagler / 36 Year Old Key West Man Found Dead

A Key West man died this morning in a single scooter crash on Flagler Avenue. Nestor J. Solórzano, 36, was found dead at about 7:30 this morning reports KWPD spokesperson, Alyson Crean. He had apparently been traveling inbound on Flagler when he struck the back of a parked vehicle at the side of the road. Police believe the crash occurred some time before dawn. Inbound lanes of Flagler Avenue, between 11th and 12th Ave were closed for over two hours while police investigated the crash. The [continue reading…]

 March 22, 2016  Posted by at 1:24 pm ** BREAKING NEWS **, News No Responses »
Mar 202016
Deputy Asks for Help Identifying Shoplifter

  A Sheriff’s deputy investigating a shoplifting complaint wants the public’s assistance identifying her from a surveillance photo. The woman took a large amount of meat – $200 worth – from the Publix grocery store in Marathon on March 8th  at 1:15 p.m. The store manager spotted her taking the items and called the Sheriff’s Office. When he confronted her in the parking lot, she gave back the stolen items and left the scene. Anyone who knows who recognizes her from the photo is asked [continue reading…]

 March 20, 2016  Posted by at 7:51 pm News No Responses »
Mar 182016
Polynesian Sailing Ship Hōkūleʻa Will Dock in Key West!

Globe Trekking Canoe To Land in Key West on Wednesday Renowned artist and conservationist Wyland has been added as a guest crew member aboard the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s globe-trekking voyaging canoe, the Hōkūle`a (Ho ku lay a), as it continues on the next leg of its journey from Cuba to Key West Bight Marina. Depending on ocean conditions, the vessel is expected to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday morning. The canoe, along with its sister vessel, the Hikianalia, is traveling over 60,000 nautical miles around [continue reading…]

 March 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am Issue #158, News, Water World No Responses »
Mar 182016
Sixteen Year Old Arrested in Petronia Street Home Invasion Case

Key West Police Detectives last night arrest one suspect for the home invasion robbery that occurred early Wednesday morning. Alijah Aliiku Helmar, 16, was charged with three felony counts for robbery and home invasion with a firearm, battery and grand theft. A second suspect is still at large. The incident occurred about 3:20 Wednesday morning at 1101 Petronia St. One of the victims says he was awakened in his bed by a man choking him. He was able to call out to his roommate. During [continue reading…]

 March 18, 2016  Posted by at 12:37 am Issue #158, News No Responses »
Mar 112016
PEARY COURT: It's Just Another Development

by Harry Powell, It’s just another development for Pete’s sake, so nothing special or what we really need. It’s not a “good deal. ” Commissioner Romero is correct. The resolution earmarking “profits to an affordable housing trust fund” is clearly a marketing ploy to convince the voters that “this is a good deal.” Some City officials are asking us to worship this sacred cow of Peary Court “in the name of affordable housing.” It’s not what we need to buy. There is likely going to [continue reading…]

Mar 042016
Homeless Log Date: 3 March 2016, Key West Asteroid

by Sloan Bashinsky……. During this past Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, City Attorney Shawn Smith advised the mayor and city commissioners that the U.S. Department of Justice had determined there was no prosecutable offense in the Charles Eimers death in police custody case, which the blue paper broke and continued vigorously investigating and reporting through and past the city settling, on advice of defense counsel, with Eimer’s estate for $900,000, which was $100,000 under the city’s insurance policy limits. Arnaud Girard’s first of many “cartoons” [continue reading…]

 March 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices, Issue #156 1 Response »
Feb 292016

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance in locating a WANTED PERSON. David Deine Sr. is wanted on the following FELONY offenses: Sexual Battery w/Physical Force Battery/Strangulation Sexual Battery (victim over 12) Deine was last seen in the afternoon hours on February 25, 2016 in the area of Spring Hill, Hernando County.

 February 29, 2016  Posted by at 4:42 pm News No Responses »
Feb 262016

The video above shows footage from the 2014 summer youth sailing program at the Key West Community Sailing Center. The Key West Community Sailing Center and The Blue Paper are coordinating a special 7-week after-school “Learn to Sail” program, beginning March 3rd, for 11 students from low-income families who live at the Key West Housing Authority’s “Porter Place” on Palm Avenue. The kids, ages 8-13, are signed up and ready to go. Update: Thanks to the two Blue Paper readers that have already pledged to sponsor one child each!! [continue reading…]

 February 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #154 2 Responses »
Feb 232016
Mysterious Truck Found in Bottom of Canal on Summerland Key

Dive team recovers truck from canal The Sheriff’s Office Dive team and Marine deputy recovered a truck submerged in a canal on Summerland Key. Deputy Richard Wang responded to East Shore Drive on Summerland Key Friday to reports of a truck in a canal. Two people paddle boarding spotted the truck in about 15 feet of water and called to report it.

 February 23, 2016  Posted by at 5:28 pm News No Responses »
Feb 222016
'Sorry officer, I didn't really mean to point a gun atcha...'

Sheriff’s deputies took a Marathon man into custody peacefully Friday after he reportedly pulled a gun on them as they tried to serve an active warrant. Deputies Danielle Malone, William Daniels and Key Colony Beach Officer John Smith went to a home on 4th Avenue Ocean in Marathon just before 10 p.m. Friday. They were there to serve an arrest warrant on 43 year old David Williams.

 February 22, 2016  Posted by at 11:10 pm News 1 Response »
Feb 162016

UPDATE: 2/16/2016 1:42 pm  “Officers searching Marathon High School have declared the school “all clear” and it is safe for students and faculty to return. There were no devices found at the school. We take these cases very seriously and we will be investigating who may have made this false bomb threat at the school.” UPDATE: 2/16/2016 12:59 pm  Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman, Becky Herrin, reports “Multiple officers from several different agencies on Marathon High School campus searching room by room to make sure [continue reading…]

 February 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 pm ** BREAKING NEWS **, News No Responses »
Feb 162016
Backhoe Driver Goes Berserk on Seven Mile Bridge

  A man was arrested after taking a backhoe for a dangerous joyride on the Seven Mile Bridge. Monroe County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Becky Herrin reports the Seven Mile Bridge was closed to traffic for over three hours early today (Tuesday February 16, 2016) after a man dumped boulders on the roadway with a backhoe at the north end of the bridge. He then took the backhoe for a ride, traveling back and forth on the bridge for an hour and a half.

 February 16, 2016  Posted by at 10:15 am News 1 Response »
Feb 122016
Last Stand Fundraiser TONIGHT [Friday 2/12] at BottleCap Blue Room

Join Last Stand board members Friday February 12th from 5:00 to 8:00pm at the BottleCap Blue Room, 1128 Simonton Street in Key West for a happy hour fundraiser and take this opportunity to give your opinions on current issues of the day. There will be raffles and prizes, plus all tips will benefit Last Stand operating costs. There is never an off-season for quality of life issues in the Florida Keys. The board is working to define policy positions on a variety of topics, including [continue reading…]

 February 12, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am Uncategorized No Responses »
Feb 052016
County to Vote on Controversial Big Coppitt Rezoning on Wednesday

by Blue Paper staff……. For the second time (in three months), land developers, led by Frank Toppino and Rockland Operations, LLC, will be asking the Monroe County Commissioners on Wednesday to alter the zoning of 14 acres of vacant land on Big Coppitt Key so that they can build 213 affordable housing units. The developer’s previous attempt at the vote was abruptly withdrawn one day prior to the November 17, 2015 BOCC agenda. The reason for the November 17 cancellation, as explained by the developer’s [continue reading…]

 February 5, 2016  Posted by at 1:24 am Issue #152, News 1 Response »