Blue Paper Editor

Naja Girard

Sep 092017
Man Dies in Crash During Storm

A Marathon man died in a crash this afternoon in Marathon. The man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was found in his truck by some first responders who were patrolling during lulls in the storm. His truck was wrapped around a tree near 98th Street and U.S. One. He was dead inside.

 September 9, 2017  Posted by at 5:59 pm News No Responses »
Sep 092017

MONROE COUNTY, FL — Monroe County has relocated its Emergency Operations Center to the Upper Keys. Operations continue around the clock. ROAD CONDITIONS: The only location on the Overseas Highway with reports of problems so far is at Sea Oates Beach in Islamorada. Water already has begun to sweep across portions of the road, with one lane blocked in sections.

 September 9, 2017  Posted by at 5:41 pm News No Responses »
Sep 072017

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi has a message for anyone left in the Keys: “Get out.” “Hurricane Irma is a very strong, very dangerous storm that has life-threatening winds and even scarier storm surge potential,” he said. “Even the Coast Guard is evacuating all of its personnel. Please evacuate.” And, Gastesi added, “Once a dangerous storm starts, don’t dial 911 during it because nobody is going to answer.”

 September 7, 2017  Posted by at 9:24 pm ** BREAKING NEWS ** No Responses »
Sep 052017

MONROE COUNTY, FL – Monroe County has declared a State of Local Emergency Tuesday afternoon due to a “threat of danger to the populace inhabiting Monroe County” and that the County “may require expedient action in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.”

 September 5, 2017  Posted by at 4:01 pm ** BREAKING NEWS ** 3 Responses »
Sep 052017

MONROE COUNTY, FL — With the storm track of Category 5 Hurricane Irma still headed for the Florida Keys, Monroe County will be issuing a mandatory visitor evacuation expected to begin at sunrise on Wednesday. An evacuation for residents also will be issued. The time has yet to be determined. However, tourists and residents are encouraged to start evacuation plans now and the earlier people leave the Keys the less traffic they are likely to encounter.

 September 5, 2017  Posted by at 12:11 pm ** BREAKING NEWS ** No Responses »
Sep 042017

MONROE COUNTY, FL –With the entire Florida Keys in the National Weather Service’s five-day forecast error cone, the Monroe County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) will activate at noon Tuesday. In a 6:30 p.m. briefing Monday night, meteorologist Jon Rizzo with the National Weather Service Key West told emergency managers in the Keys there is a high confidence for a major hurricane nearing south Florida, the Keys, Florida Straits and/or Cuba by Saturday. The earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm-force winds in the Keys is midday Friday.

 September 4, 2017  Posted by at 9:51 pm ** BREAKING NEWS ** No Responses »
Sep 012017
Small Dog Park at Higgs Beach to Be Moved Outside the Area of Nationally Recognized Historic African Cemetery

by Naja Girard……. The “small dog park” at Monroe County’s Higgs Beach is being relocated into a fenced-off section of the “big dog” park after The Blue Paper published a documentary last Friday entitled, “Do All Graves Matter?“ In 2010, during the master planning process to redevelop Higgs Beach, the County had ground-penetrating radar mapping conducted to search for the graves of Cuba-bound African captives that had been rescued from three slave ships by the US Navy. Records show that in 1860, 1432 African refugees [continue reading…]

 September 1, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am * Featured Story *, News 6 Responses »
Aug 192017
Duck Key Landlord Tenant Dispute Turns Deadly

A Winter Springs, Florida man is under arrest charged with shooting and killing another man in connection with a landlord/tenant dispute on Duck Key. The incident took place at 162 North Indies Drive on Duck Key at 6:20 p.m Friday. According to reports, the suspect, 32 year old Ryan Wilder of Winter Springs, Florida, and his girlfriend, 30 year old Amber Gray of Sugarloaf Key went to a home owned by his parents to illegally evict the tenant living on the premises. The tenants, 47 year old [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2017  Posted by at 3:51 pm crime, News 9 Responses »
Aug 042017
Police Explorer Sabrina Islam Awarded Scholarship

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee congratulates Explorer Sabina Islam, who has been recognized by the Florida Police Chiefs Education and Research Foundation with a $1000 college scholarship. In a letter announcing the awarding of the scholarship the foundation’s Executive Director Amy Mercer said that the selection process including an in-depth assessment of Islam’s overall commitment to the community, the Key West Police Department and her Explorer post. Key West Police Explorer Post #2011 is a Key West Police Department sponsored youth organization affiliated with [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:27 am News No Responses »
Jul 032017
KEY DEER RESCUE: 3 Key Deer Found Hog Tied/Bleeding During Traffic Stop

A routine traffic stop for a broken tail light turned into an unusual Key Deer rescue operation early Sunday morning. The stop occurred in the southbound lane on US 1 and Barry Ave on Little Torch Key. When Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Hopp approached the Black Hyundai Sonata at about 1:20 a.m. he noticed two Key Deer bound in the back seat.  The two deer were reportedly “hog tied” with twine. Each had wounds all over its body and head and was struggling to [continue reading…]

 July 3, 2017  Posted by at 2:34 pm * Featured Story *, crime, News 1 Response »
Jun 162017
Key West Police Capture Man with AR-style rifle ... Again

A 35-year old Key West man previously convicted for shooting an AR-style rifle on Truman Avenue in 2011 was arrested Monday morning. A tip from a concerned citizen led Key West police to the man, who was riding a scooter with an assault rifle, a pistol and two hundred rounds of ammo hidden in a guitar case and a military styled backpack.

 June 16, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #223 No Responses »
Jun 162017
Families and Detectives Seek Help in Search for Missing Persons

Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes detectives are looking for several people who went missing over the past year in the Florida Keys. Families continue to hope and pray for information about Paul Murray, Albert Bosco, Robin Ford and Mike Wegrzyn. If you have any information regarding Paul Murray, Albert Bosco, or Robin Ford please contact Major Crimes Detective Bob Dosh at 305-289-2351 or 2410.  If you have information regarding Mike Wegrzyn please call Marathon Detective Barios at 305-289-2430. Detectives Still Trying To Find Missing Man One Year [continue reading…]

 June 16, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #223, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 162017
Affordable Housing: Navy Announces Movement Towards Reopening of Sigsbee Park Townhomes

On the affordable housing front: Some news came from the US Navy this week regarding the 166 units of vacant housing located on Sigsbee Island. A Request for Interest (RFI) was issued this week by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast to seek information on “how developers could open the 166 vacant townhomes located on the Sigsbee Park Annex at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West.”

 June 16, 2017  Posted by at 12:51 am Issue #223, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 092017
June 15th Proclaimed 'Gilbert Baker Day'!

Key West City Commission Chambers were filled Tuesday as the community kicked off Pride Fest. And part of the celebration of this city’s solidarity against intolerance, Mayor Craig Cates proclaimed June 15th Gilbert Baker Day in honor of the creator of the rainbow flag. Baker created the flag in 1978 in honor of his friend Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. Milk, who was serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was assassinated in 1978. [continue reading…]

 June 9, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #222 No Responses »
Jun 052017
Fire in Marathon Engulfs Home, Boats, Lobster Traps

Traffic on US 1 was stopped for several hours in both directions early Monday as fire raged, engulfing a home, several boats and a large collection of lobster traps in a Marathon marina located between Porky’s Restaurant and the Seven Mile Grill, bayside near the Seven Mile Bridge. Sheriff’s deputies on patrol were the first to notice and respond to a fire.

 June 5, 2017  Posted by at 11:52 am News No Responses »
May 192017
Tattoo and a T-Shirt Lead Detectives to Suspect in Video Voyeurism [Coat Hook] Case

Warrant Issued For Video Voyeur Who Put Coat Hook Cameras In Women’s Bathrooms UPDATE: On May 18th, the man wanted on multiple counts of video voyeurism for putting coat hook cameras in women’s restrooms in the Florida Keys was arrested. Charles Michael Schmidt was arrested in Washington State on a traffic stop. He was booked into the Stevens County Jail and is being held on our charges of video voyeurism. He will be returned to Monroe County to face the charges. Original report: In a [continue reading…]

 May 19, 2017  Posted by at 12:58 am News 1 Response »
Apr 142017
Navy: Leases Require Balfour Beatty and Military Families to Work Together to Minimize Mold Growth in Sigsbee Housing

  Two weeks ago we featured a story, Is Key West Military Housing Making People Sick? [March 31, 2017] This week we share information provided by Trice Denny, Public Affairs Officer, Naval Air Station Key West, in response to our questions about whether Sigsbee housing is causing health issues for local military families.

Apr 142017
KWPD: Driver in Crash that Killed Delray Beach Officer Possibly DUI

Sadly, automobile accidents are a common occurrence these days in the Southernmost City. Last Saturday’s car/scooter accident on Truman and White was tragic, leaving a Delray Beach police officer dead and a second officer seriously injured, and according to the initial police report, released on Thursday, the driver of the car may have been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

 April 14, 2017  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #214, News 2 Responses »