Category Archives: * Featured Story *

Featured story, sometimes News, sometimes Opinion, sometimes something else….but always interesting

Eimers Case: Accusations of Perjury and Destruction of Evidence Could Land Default Judgment For Eimers Family

Eimers Case: Accusations of Perjury and Destruction of Evidence Could Land Default Judgment In Favor of Eimers Family

by Naja and Arnaud Girard [SEE VIDEO DEPOSITIONS BELOW] Attorneys in the federal wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against KWPD officers and the City of Key West were heard for the first time before Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman on Plaintiffs’ Motion For Sanctions. In their motion the family accuses Defendants of perjury and destruction of evidence. The City filed a 24-page response to try to curb the damage done by an unexpected video that appears to contradict sworn statements made…

Issue 58 Mr and Mrs Smith for web

Mortgage Fraud Investigation of FDLE Agent Kathy Smith Ongoing

by Naja and Aranud Girard The home that landed FDLE Agent Kathy Smith in the center of a mortgage fraud investigation is now being foreclosed on. We learned this week that on December 15, 2014, Capital One N.A. filed a foreclosure action against the home on 1 Emerald Drive in Big Coppitt. According to a local financial analyst [who asked to remain anonymous] any potential charges that may be filed against Agent Smith could become more serious if the lender ends up suffering…

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KEY WEST: CAPITAL OF BIKE CRASHES, Locals Talk About What To Do

by Naja and Arnaud Girard The worst picture you could ever imagine of your car would probably be the one where it’s stopped in the middle of the highway, at night, with the handlebars of a bicycle sticking out from beneath your tires. “I didn’t see him. A guy on a scooter just started yelling at me….So I looked over there.” the driver told us. He said he just heard the kid bump the car and out of the darkness a…

Wisteria Island

Last Minute Moratorium Saves Offshore Islands From Deregulation

by Naja and Arnaud Girard The elephant was back in the room during last Wednesday’s County Commission meeting. Its name is Wisteria Island, but everyone pretended they were innocently debating the issue of restrictive development on offshore islands without ever mentioning the $100 Million + aspirations that Roger Bernstein has for the famous desert island in Key West harbor. What had occurred was a remarkable exercise in special interest maneuvering followed closely by counter measures made by opponents. Let us explain….

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What The Fest?

by JD Adler Fantasy Fest Since 1979, Key West has hosted an annual bacchanal called Fantasy Fest.  Initiated as an attempt to draw tourists, it has by that measure been wildly successful. Tourists and locals alike revel in the opportunity for open celebration every year. Vendors and the marketers rake in significant stacks of cash.  It also has its detractors, and every few years the calls for reform rise to a crescendo. Another tide of reform appears to be rising…

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Medical Examiner Admits He May Have Been Misled by FDLE’s Agent Kathy Smith / Key West Marches For Police Accountability

by Naja and Arnaud Girard By the final days of 2014, the in-custody death of Charles Eimers had left many Key Westers with an uneasy feeling. “It’s as though every agency we rely on,” said community advocate Christine Russel, “failed, one after the other, to shed any light on what happened. Instead, the cloud over that man’s death has only gotten bigger and darker.”

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A Look Back: Top Stories in 2014

by Naja and Arnaud Girard Old Man Chapman What became of Old Man Chapman – the one man lighted parade – who goes up and down Duval Street on his musical tricycle? Thousands of people read our story of how Mr. Chapman was seemingly conned out of his family home [the home his father had built with his own hands] and was about to become homeless. Locals organized fundraisers, Key Westers and tourists from as far as Japan sent in…

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CUBA’S SECRET SANTA

Man is not free to watch impassively the enslavement and dishonor of men, nor their struggles for liberty and honor. Jose Marti, Cuban Independence Revolutionary and Key West Poet by JD Adler The Pope, Obama and Castro are on the phone… In a surprise announcement Wednesday, December 17, 2014, President Barack Obama informed the world that at the urging of Pope Francis who “pursues the world as it should be, not as it is…” the US and Cuba have been negotiating directly for…

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CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD SHOWS ITS TEETH!

by Naja Girard… UNANIMOUS!  REQUEST FOR DOJ TO STEP IN ON EIMERS CASE / BOARD WILL PROBE DEEPER INTO TASING OF MATTHEW SHAUN MURPHY “Garbage in. Garbage out.” That’s how Tom Milone, Vice-Chairman of the Citizen Review Board [CRB], described the concept of the Board relying on  investigative reports furnished by KWPD, FDLE, and SAO [State Attorney’s Office] when it comes to local police brutality cases. The CRB voted unanimously on Wednesday night to make a formal request to the US Department of Justice to…

Issue 92 KWPD Whitewash for web

Internal Affairs: Officer Gets 5 Day Suspension For “Lying” About Killing Charles Eimers

by Naja and Arnaud Girard KWPD Chief Donie Lee published the department’s Internal Affairs review of Charles Eimers’ in-custody death on Monday. Officers were found to have acted professionally while using techniques that are proper for “actively resisting subjects.” “I thought denial was a river in Egypt. Now we learn it is an island at the end of U.S. 1.” [Citizen’s Voice, Key West Citizen, 12/10/2014] An unarmed man kneeling on the sand with his hands up, lays on his stomach…

Issue 48 investigation for web

Eimers Grand Jury Investigation: FBI Helped State Attorney Booby Trap Her Own Case

VIDEO: KEY WEST’S LACK OF EMPATHY  IN STARK CONTRAST WITH NY AND FERGUSON by Naja and Arnaud Girard FBI HELPED STATE ATTORNEY BOOBY TRAP HER OWN CASE “It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” said New York City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio last Wednesday following the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict a police officer accused of choking to death an un-armed black man, Eric Garner. A similar decision recently caused violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri over…

DEATH IN PARADIS:  Candlelight Memorial for Charles Eimers, a Year Later

DEATH IN PARADISE: Charles Eimers Memorial, A Year Later

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON SOUTH BEACH FOR CHARLES EIMERS A hundred or so Key Westers gathered on Thanksgiving night on South Beach for the anniversary of Charles Eimers’ death. Tourist for a day, Mr. Eimers met with a controversial death on November 28th of last year within 24 hours of his arrival in Key West. “I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend,” wrote Joshua Eimers, Charles’ youngest son.   Instead, the family sent a wooden cross and a heartfelt message which…

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NOWHERE TO RUN: New Video Devastating to KWPD Credibility

by Naja and Arnaud Girard A wrecking ball crashed through the City’s defense to the Eimers police brutality case on Friday.  At a scheduled deposition Chief Lee was expected to provide bureaucratic information about the City’s procedures and policies in the wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against the City of Key West and 13 police officers. But instead he spent over two hours freefalling into a seemingly endless pit opened by allegations of  “perjury” committed by his…

Old City Hall, Key West

An End To Fantasy Fest?

    by JD Adler The Bethel Commission Gathered in the Commissioners’ Chamber of the Old City Hall, on November 17, 2014, former City Commissioner Harry Bethel brought together State Attorney Catherine Vogel, Police Chief Donie Lee, and approximately 50 concerned citizens of Key West to discuss the future of Fantasy Fest at a meeting labeled “Key West, Our Island Life”. Sitting behind the polished wood banister alongside S.A. Vogel, beneath a neon 3 minute speaker’s timer that was occasionally…

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Kathy Smith, FDLE’s Lead Investigator in the Eimers Investigation Put on Administrative Leave

FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith was escorted out of her Marathon office on Wednesday.  She has reportedly been put on paid administrative leave pending investigation of mortgage fraud. The Blue Paper reported last week that Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband Scott Smith [at the time a Police Captain employed by KWPD] appear to have signed a false affidavit associated with an advantageous mortgage.  They borrowed $ 461,500 on a house they had purchased in 2004 for $ 132,500.  The…

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

CHARLES EIMERS UPDATE: Police, Death, and Missing Videotape

No trial yet, but the weeklong depositions of Key West police officers involved in the in-custody death of Charles Eimers were filled with eye-popping revelations and admissions about possible excessive force and cover-up.  Officers had to admit that only one of the long-awaited 9 [or so] police cruiser dashcam external microphone recordings is available, multiple dashcam videos have gone missing, and crucial footage captured by Officer Gary Lee Lovette’s Taser has been erased.  Finally, allegations surfaced that a witness saw…

Trauma Star

Emergency Helo to Miami: $66,000 or free…

“First I said I didn’t want to take the helo,” says Ellen Engleson, who had arrived at Lower Keys Medical Center with a broken femur, “I was concerned about the cost.”   She was right.  After being heliported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Ellen received a bill for $ 59,000 from LifeNet, a for-profit medical emergency helicopter service. She has since learned that the hospital in Key West could have made the choice to send her for free, in the…

Issue 86 Ebola Rats web

Ebola: Are We Ready?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard “What do you think? Of course we are preparing for the possibility of the Ebola virus.” That was Randy Detrick last Tuesday. Detrick is the PR Director for Lower Keys Medical Center.  What The Blue Paper wanted to know was whether our local hospital has the necessary isolation units and whether it is stocked with the full protective gear which could have saved Dallas hospital nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson from contracting the Ebola…

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Monroe County’s Secret Roadmap To Resegregation

by Naja and Arnaud Girard It’s 7:30 am at the bus stop on Truman and Emma.  Eleven-year old Dimitri is about to climb into the morning school bus.  Like him, most of the kids sitting on the bus are African American.  Like them, he has a mere 40% probability of graduating from high school with his classmates; a stark difference from his white brothers, who have an 83% graduation rate [2013 data]. When we interviewed parents in Bahama Village about…

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Grand Jury Clears All Officers in Death of Charles Eimers / Vogel Brings in Expert Police Officer Defense Witness

“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…

Issue 76 Comic hood kkk for web

Could Key West Reach The Ferguson Flashpoint?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard “Cartwright began yelling as loud as he could, and almost immediately a large crowd began forming around us […] Within minutes a crowd of at least 50 bystanders surrounded us and Det. Wormington called for additional Officers while I held down Cartwright.” Police officers were arresting bad boy Ricky Cartwright who had ridden his bicycle through a stop sign while texting, allegedly with a beer in his hand.  They tased him in the back.  He…

Kaeden Murphy, 3 yrs old; Photo by Richard Watherwax

The Case of Matthew Murphy: Another Cover-up?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard 8:30 on a Saturday morning.  It’s already hot and with no AC in the car it’s going to get a whole lot hotter by the time we get into Miami. At her mother’s tiny apartment on Olivia Street, Mary Annuylsse is getting 3-year old Kaeden Murphy ready to go see his dad, Matthew, at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  As we reported in previous articles, Matthew Murphy has been stuck in a hospital bed ever since he…

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The Keys’ Dirty Little Secret

by Naja and Arnaud Girard According to some irritated homeowners, two lower Florida Keys sewage treatment plant operators are playing dirty tricks in their permit applications to inject over a million gallons a day of sewage into shallow injection wells on Cudjoe Key and Stock Island. They claim that FKAA is using unrealistic old data projections from 2008, advertised it’s legal notices to Monroe County residents in Lee and Broward Counties and would have you believe that “we drink water…

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Last Day at Chapman’s House

by Naja and Arnaud Girard Whether ‘Old Man Chapman’ will finally be swindled out of his house is no longer up for debate.  Last Monday a red 8” X 6” legal notice was taped to his door at 221 Petronia Street.  It read:  “Final Notice of Eviction” and directed the Monroe County Sheriff to remove any person from the premises on Tuesday. “It’s tomorrow. Tuesday is tomorrow,” said Chapman on the phone,  “Where am I going to put my things? …

Goombay Festival 2010, click for video

Goombay: Another Betrayal?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard Conspiracy theories are running wild over the City Commission’s decision to give control of the African-Caribbean Goombay Festival to a group dominated by white businessmen.  “This decision was a slap in the face,” says Glenwood Lopez. He is Chairman of a group supported by eleven Bahama Village non-profit organizations that came together to reclaim the event. “They took away the 6.6 acres and now it’s Goombay,” says David, a resident of Bahama Village. One belief…