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…]
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…]
Wisteria, the last desert island in Key West harbor, will not be developed any time soon. A three judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a 1951 letter from the U.S. Navy to the State of Florida was more than enough to meet the requirements to establish the U.S. claim of ownership and to start the twelve-year statute of limitation running under the Quiet Title Act. F.E.B. Corporation’s owner, Roger Bernstein, has recently spent considerable time and money lobbying the County [continue reading…]
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…]
Key West, FL, March 11, 2016: Today, the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) published in the Federal Register a preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI) on Oxitec’s OX513A Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is in agreement with the conclusions of Oxitec’s draft Environmental Assessment (EA). The draft EA and preliminary FONSI will be available for public review and comment beginning Monday, March 14, 2016. After a 30-day public comment period, the FDA will review the comments as part of their evaluation [continue reading…]
A small plane crashed upon trying to land at Tavenero Airport, a small private airport in Tavernier. One person – the pilot – was on board and was not injured. Florida Highway Patrol will be investigating the case. The Federal Aviation Administration has also been notified. When the plane crashed, it hit some phone lines in the area of Plantation Avenue. People who live in that area may experience problems with their service. The phone company has been notified.
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…]
BANKING INDUSTRY: ‘THANKS, BUT NO THANKS…’ In preparation for the March 15th referendum on the purchase of Peary Court, the City sent out requests for bids to various banks. The City retained PFM, Inc [Public Financial Management] to help collect those proposals that would provide information on how the City would finance the 55 Million dollar purchase. However, only one bank was interested. But even that bank, Centennial Bank, has rejected one of the fundamental conditions for the deal: The City wants the loan to be secured only [continue reading…]
MARATHON – The Land Authority Governing Board selected Charles Pattison as executive director of the Land Authority during a special meeting Tuesday at the Marathon Government Center.
Randolph “Randy” Becker, minister to ONE ISLAND FAMILY and involved community activist, has filed as a candidate for Mayor of Key West. Randy Becker, a resident in Bahama Village for the past nine years, has served Key West as one of the original appointees on the Bahama Village Redevelopment Advisory Committee and now is a member of the Truman Waterfront Advisory Board. “I am running at this time,” Becker said, “because if we want to have the future we desire as a city we need [continue reading…]
UPDATE 8:57 am: No sign of any suspicious person or activity so far at Coral Shores High School as deputies continue to clear the building. All students and teachers are on lock-down status for security reasons. If you are a parent, or other concerned individual, please be patient as we make sure everyone at the school is safe. At 7:48 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a single unconfirmed report of a white male possibly carrying something resembling a gun entering Coral Shores High School. [continue reading…]
“Public Embarrassment II,” that’s how William (Bill) Anderson, Chairman of the Monroe County School District’s Audit and Finance Committee, referred to the latest School District financial scandal in his letter of resignation. The AFC grew out of the Acevedo scandal to serve as an independent watchdog committee. Anderson has been on the Committee since its inception. Apparently the Committee was not asked for advice on how to deal with the unaccounted for nearly $21,000 in HOB Daycare program funds.
Key West Police Detectives arrested an employee of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department today. 21 year old Deonte Stemage was arrested while working as a Records Assistant at the Monroe County Detention Center. He was booked into that same Detention Center on felony charges. Stemage was arrested for lewd and lascivious battery on a minor. Stemage allegedly sexually battered a 15 year old high school student, and sent sexually explicit texts and photos to her cell phone.
Commentary by Dr. Larry Murray……. I have read what is purportedly the Finance Department’s review of the HOB Daycare Program. I say “purportedly” because the document is untitled, undated and incomplete. As best I can tell, the document was drafted sometime after February 25, 2015, although the date August, 2015 does appear in the document. There is no indication as to who authored the document or to whom it was submitted. In short, the document is confusing and most unprofessional. As a legal statement, it [continue reading…]
Video by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Commentary by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Suppose that you are inclined to tell people that you own the Cow Key Channel Bridge and, furthermore, that you are willing to sell it for a reasonable price. And suppose that you hear that there are three Key West residents who might be gullible enough to actually believe that you do own the bridge and who might be willing to make an offer. Who do you think those three people might be? How [continue reading…]
Supervisor of Elections, Joyce Griffin, confirms that FKAA Board Chairman Bob Dean voted in the City election during the early voting period that ended Saturday. Dean was given a “provisional ballot” in light of the “Voter Challenge” filed by State Attorney Catherine Vogel last month. This means that his vote will not be counted unless the City of Key West Canvassing Board decides to accept Dean’s proof of residency in Key West. A State Attorney investigation concluded last month that Mr. Dean resided in Key Haven [continue reading…]
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Board member Cara Higgins challenges Chairman Dean’s eligibility to represent District 3 (Key West) on FKAA board… Watch The Blue Paper exclusive video… Special thanks to Colby Fisher for all his great work in un-covering this story! DID YOU LIKE THIS STORY? SUPPORT THE BLUE PAPER Help us continue to bring you local investigative journalism… Click on the image to make a donation [NOT tax deductible].
The two property owners associations challenging the use of shallow wells at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System treatment facility today submitted an offer to settle their litigation. The settlement offer by Cudjoe Gardens and Sugarloaf Shores property owners associations would allow for limited use of the shallow wells during construction of the required deep injection well and as a backup to that system so long as the use is kept low and additional water quality monitoring is conducted to ensure the safety of groundwater and [continue reading…]
From KWPD spokesperson, Alyson Crean: “Key West Police Detectives on Friday night made the first arrest of an Uber driver since city officials warned the illegal drivers about possible arrest. The City issued a final warning to all unlicensed passenger vehicle-for-hire drivers that, beginning July 1st, illegal drivers would risk arrest if they persisted in driving without the licenses required by a year-old city ordinance. Despite the warning, complaints continued that Uber drivers were picking up fares from the Key West Airport. Detectives were able [continue reading…]
Key West Police Officer Nicholas Galbo, one of the officers involved in the in-custody death of Charles Eimers, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault. Officer Nicholas Galbo, 32, was charged with battery after his live-in girlfriend, Ashlynn Jones, 18, called the police. Police responded to the call at 10:40 p.m. when Jones called and complained that Galbo had thrown her over his shoulder to the ground and held her pinned during an argument. According to the victim, an argument escalated to the point where she [continue reading…]
by Naja and Arnaud Girard… OIG Investigation Report just in… In February we reported on the shocking tasing of an older gentleman by a state trooper on US 1 near the 18-mile stretch. Before a bystander’s cell phone video was made public, the trooper, Eloy Arias, had written in his incident report that he had tased the man because he “attempted to run into the oncoming southbound traffic.” The video footage previously published by The Blue Paper [above], however, clearly shows the man, Mr. Marc [continue reading…]
Just in from Alyson Crean, spokesperson for City of Key West, KWPD: The intersection of Flagler Avenue and South Roosevelt Blvd was closed for two hours around 1 a.m. Saturday after a high speed collision. A white Kia was traveling south on South Roosevelt Blvd and ran a red light. The car was estimated to be traveling between 85 and 100 mph. A red mustang traveling east made the legal turn onto South Roosevelt and was struck by the speeding car. The impact pushed the [continue reading…]
BREAKING NEWS…. The South Florida Conservation Director of The Nature Conservancy and two eminent Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary scientists called on the BOCC to delay using the shallow wells at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater plant. Describing the current system of septic tanks as the devil we know, The Nature Conservancy’s Chris Bergh told the Board of County Commissioners at its meeting on May 20, 2015, “The devil we know is better than the devil that we don’t know…based on these studies the AWT [effluent] [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard… According to KWPD there was no Taser fired during the fatal arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day of last year. But after a few months of forensic clean-up and enhancement by the Eimers family’s legal team, Officer Lovette’s infamous taser recording speaks again and it’s not pretty: Officer Lovette: “Listen. I tased a motherf***er in custody today. I don’t care. I already called my PBA rep.” Unknown person: “For what?” Officer Lovette: [unintelligible] when you kill someone PB is first. I [continue reading…]
The Grand Jury’s Final Report is in. No indictment will be handed out in response to the fatal Thanksgiving Day arrest of Charles Eimers. The report – no matter how beneficial it is for the officers who could have faced criminal charges – throws more fuel than water on that fire. Indeed a summary contained in the FDLE Investigative Report, made public yesterday afternoon, of an audio recording captured during and immediately after the arrest is simply stupefying. Apparently Officer Gary Lee Lovette inadvertently left the [continue reading…]
Commentary by Naja Girard……. “This allows the prosecutor to say I didn’t take the decision. The Grand Jury did it. The people did it. But of course, how vigorously the prosecutor presents the case is everything. It’s just the prosecutor presenting a case to these Grand Jurors. If the DA doesn’t want an indictment or has questions it could be a very different thing.” – Dan Abrams, “Nightline” anchor and Chief Legal Affairs anchor for ABC News, when speaking about the Grand Jury proceedings in [continue reading…]