MONROE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT WORKING ON SECURING TEMPORARY HOUSING FOR RESIDENTS WHOSE HOMES WERE DESTROYED OR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY HURRICANE IRMA Monroe County Emergency Management has been working with federal, state and the Keys municipalities since Hurricane Irma struck to secure temporary housing for residents whose homes were either destroyed or damaged to the point they are uninhabitable and do not have insurance.
Man shot by coworker in Key Largo Two Alabama men were in an altercation Thursday night. One man shot the other twice. The victim was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center where he is reported to be in stable condition. According to the suspect and his co-workers, the 48 year old victim, Michael Sproul, and the 53 year old suspect, Jerome Gant got into a confrontation earlier in the day during which Sproul pulled a knife and threatened Gant. He also reportedly hit Gant in the [continue reading…]
Growing public health and environmental dangers, such as those in Texas resulting from Harvey, are exactly what EPA deals with daily and what the agency is in the midst of dealing with right now. But these critical EPA programs that address public health threats are under unprecedented assault. The Trump administration proposes a massive 30% cut to the agency, a budget reduction greater than any other department or agency, and one that would return its real budget to mid-1970s levels. Political leaders in Washington and [continue reading…]
Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM) is moving on several fronts in its efforts to protect the citizens of Monroe County from further windstorm rate increases proposed by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens). On August 23 several FIRM Board members, business leaders, and Monroe County residents testified at the annual rate hearing conducted by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). All opposed the latest Citizens proposed rate increase for Monroe County. OIR will render a decision by late September. To view the hearing you [continue reading…]
Hometown! — Key West’s and Monroe County’s voting community’s signature resource for candidate and election information is sponsoring a Workshop for those running, or considering a run for elected office in 2018. The Workshop is set for September 16, starting at 8:30 am at the Marriott Beachside. Hometown especially urges all first time candidates to attend. The Workshop offers a full schedule of campaign topics, including deciding to run, campaign plans, budget and fundraising, messaging, speeches & debates, marketing and election rules and paperwork. Speakers [continue reading…]
Findings of Illegality and Waste Fail to Spark Bureau of Reclamation Reform Washington, DC — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation misappropriated millions to improperly subsidize irrigators to the detriment of the environment, according to findings of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) transmitted to President Trump this month. The action validates charges leveled by Reclamation whistleblowers represented by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The two Reclamation whistleblowers, Todd Pederson and Keith Schultz, documented that their agency illegally gave $32 million to irrigators in [continue reading…]
Woman arrested for leaving baby in car A Key Largo woman was arrested Sunday evening for leaving a baby in a vehicle while she went grocery shopping. The one year old child was left sleeping in the running vehicle for 36 minutes while 30 year old Yanese Tejada went into Publix in Key Largo. She told Deputy Ignacio Molina she left the motor running and the air conditioning on. She said she didn’t want to wake the child, who was sleeping in a car seat. She said [continue reading…]
NORTH KEY LARGO – Ken “Cowboy” Murray got a lot of hugs, handshakes, well-wishes and gifts Thursday morning as he collected tolls for the last time at Monroe County’s Card Sound Bridge Tollbooth. At midnight, the manned tollbooth will close for good. Construction will soon begin on an All Electronic Tolling System. The new system will not accept cash – only SunPass® or drivers will get a bill in the mail through TOLL-BY-PLATE. The new system is scheduled to begin operation March 9, 2018. During the expected 189 [continue reading…]
Passco Companies, a privately-held California based real estate company that specializes in the investment, acquisition, development and management of commercial properties throughout the U.S., has acquired Ocean Walk Apartments, a 297-unit multifamily community in the Monroe County of Key West, Florida for $101.5 million, the largest single-asset transaction in the firm’s history.
Key West City Commissioner Sam Kaufman, District 2, will host a community meeting on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 5:30 P.M. at the Poinciana Elementary School cafeteria to discuss the need for more field space in Key West for youth sports. The status and proposals concerning Little Hamaca Park/Hawks Missile Site will be a topic for community members to address as well. Members of the City of Key West staff and leaders of various youth sports organizations are expected to attend. A Facebook event has been created.
Trump rolling back safeguards affecting water, air and pesticides EPA’s Scott Pruitt is rolling back a rule that limits how much toxic waste power plants can release into water, threatening drinking water supplies with chromium, lead, and mercury contamination. New documents show that Scott Pruitt’s EPA obeyed industry requests to reverse a proposed ban on a pesticide linked to autism and ADHD. Citing “unnecessary regulatory burdens,” the Trump EPA is delaying action on lead contamination in drinking water like that which threatened Chicago in 2015. The Trump Administration is planning rolling back greenhouse gas [continue reading…]
State of Risk: Florida, a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), catalogues far-reaching and grave threats to air, water and land, and to the people and economy of Florida if President Trump’s proposed 30 percent cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget is enacted this fall. Such cuts would move the agency funding radically backward to its lowest level since the mid-1970s. The report provides an extensive overview of the EPA’s footprint in Florida and examines how the proposed cutback plans threaten public health as well as [continue reading…]
MONROE COUNTY TO SURVEY LOWER KEYS NEIGHBORHOODS THAT REPEATEDLY FLOOD TO EXPLORE MITIGATION SOLUTIONS AND EARN FLOOD INSURANCE DISCOUNTS Beginning this week, Monroe County staff and their contractors will survey Lower Keys neighborhoods where properties have experienced repetitive flood damage. The County has completed surveying Upper Keys neighborhoods. This “Repetitive Loss Area Analysis” is part of an ongoing effort to obtain greater discounts for most of the 15,000 flood insurance policy holders in unincorporated Monroe County through the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System [continue reading…]
Want to avoid the hassle of traffic and parking? Why not park your car and leave it, then hop on the free Duval Loop! Key West Transit will launch the much-awaited free bus service to the downtown corridor on Thursday, August 31st for the Labor Day weekend. This free hop-on hop-off bus service runs from the City’s Park and Ride on Grinnell Street, along Caroline Street, up the length of Whitehead, then returns down the length of Simonton to Fleming. Funded by last year’s one-dollar increase [continue reading…]
The Autism Society of the Keys (ASK) invites you to join us for free workshops in Key West, Tavernier and Marathon. The upcoming Key West meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 5 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Grace Lutheran Church located at 2713 Flagler Avenue. The next Tavernier meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at 156 Pueblo Street near mile marker 90. Workshops are designed to inform participants of resources available to your child and family and [continue reading…]
Never miss your waste collection day again! Key West has launched its new “My schedule” tool and “What goes where” search tool. Visit Key West’s website KeyWestRecycles.com to stay connected about waste and recycling collection programs. In the web app, you’ll find the garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection schedule specific to your house address. You can sign up to receive notifications to remind you of your collection day, so you’ll never forget again! Visit our website KeyWestRecycles.com and search your home address in our “My Schedule” tool. You [continue reading…]
Our beloved Martha Anne Caroline Verge du Pont (Muffin) passed away peacefully in Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, surrounded by her children. She was born in Long Beach California to Martha Anne Caroline Verge (Bready) and William Earnest Verge. Her father was a graduate of the US Naval Academy, veteran of WWII and had along career in the Navy, reaching the rank of Rear Admiral. Consequently, Muffin was a self-described “Navy Brat” who moved frequently, as military families do. She spent some of [continue reading…]
Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM), will testify at the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) rate hearing before the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) on August 23, 2017, vigorously opposing any further increases in windstorm insurance rates by Citizens for Monroe County. This is the eighth consecutive year that FIRM appeared and testified against further rate increases. In past years, no consumer organizations other than FIRM testified. The rate hearing will be held at 4:00 pm at Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus and can [continue reading…]
If you live in the Lower Keys on the Torch Keys, Ramrod Key, Summerland Key, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf, or the Saddle Bunch Keys here’s some very good news for you: THE LOWER KEYS ALLIANCE, INC The Lower Keys Alliance, Inc., has been formed to give additional voice to the wishes and concerns of residents of the Torch Keys, Ramrod Key, Summerland Key, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, and the Saddle Bunch Keys. The goal of the Lower Keys Alliance is to focus on issues affecting the [continue reading…]
The Sheriff’s Office purchased five body worn cameras for the Key Colony Beach Police Department. The Sheriff’s Office Information Systems Division also assisted with hands on training for the devices. “We are happy to help our law enforcement partners with this important piece of equipment,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “Key Colony PD works closely with the Sheriff’s Office and our partnership is a benefit to both our agencies and to the public we all serve.”
NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for 13 seats on its advisory council. The council ensures public participation in sanctuary management and provides advice to the sanctuary superintendent. The sanctuary is accepting applications for members and alternates representing the following seats: citizen-at-large/Middle Keys, citizen-at-large/Upper Keys, conservation and environment, diving/Lower Keys, fishing/charter flats fishing guide (member only), fishing/commercial marine-tropical, and South Florida ecosystem restoration. Candidates are selected based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, [continue reading…]
It was a busy couple of hours last night for Monroe County Fire Rescue in the Lower Keys. At 9:02 p.m. Wednesday, MCFR was dispatched to a boat fire at Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Marina. When firefighters arrived, the approximately 35-foot catamaran was fully engulfed. MCFR firefighters from the Stock Island, Big Coppitt Key and Sugarloaf stations and Battalion Chief 1 assisted the NAS Key West Boca Chica fire department to extinguish the fire. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted with the putting out small [continue reading…]
REPAIR PROJECT FOR GARRISON BIGHT BRIDGE BEGINS SUNDAY NIGHT IN KEY WEST; EXPECT LANE CLOSURES Monroe County’s repair project for the 177-foot Garrison Bight Bridge in Key West will begin Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at 9 p.m. The work to replace the joints on the bridge deck and repave a portion of Palm Avenue will take place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., until the project is complete. The road work is expected to take about three weeks, but the contractor has until Sept. 30. During the first phase, beginning Aug. 20, [continue reading…]
NORTH KEY LARGO, FL – Construction of a new All-Electronic Tolling System on Card Sound Road in North Key Largo will begin Sept. 1, 2017. The collection of tolls by tollbooth attendants will end at midnight, Aug. 31, 2017. Once the toll closes, unused discounted toll tickets can be returned to the point of purchase for a refund. Or unused tickets can be mailed to the Clerk of Court for a refund. The address: Clerk of the Court, P.O. Box 1980, Attn: Charlie Bradford, Key West, FL 33041. Please mail [continue reading…]
Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children ages 1–4. In an effort to help reduce drowning among Florida’s children, the Florida Keys Health StartCoalition, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, would like to encourage everyone with a pool to participate in our new drowning prevention efforts. Drowning can be a silent catastrophe, one that can happen in the few minutes it takes for a parent to assist another child or search for a forgotten item. Do you have all [continue reading…]
Two Miami men were arrested Saturday for having 44 speared lobster out of season, some of which were very small. Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on patrol when he spotted the two men just offshore of the 60 mile marker. They were in the water diving with no dive flag. As he watched, he saw them swim back to shore several times, holding spear guns, and place something in the rocks on the shore. He confronted the men, asking if they had caught anything. They said no. Deputy [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s Office prepared for the beginning of School The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be out in force next week guarding the safety of children returning to school. “We take school related safety very seriously,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “We have a no tolerance policy for people who choose to speed in school zones, and for those who illegally pass school buses. We will be out in force beginning next week in both marked and unmarked cars watching for violators.” School Resource Officers and School [continue reading…]
Monroe County Veterans Affairs is hosting a town hall meeting Monday, Aug. 28, to provide up-to-date information about health care for veterans both now and in the future. The public meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Avenue, 2nd Floor, in Key West, FL. Paul M. Russo, director of the Miami VA Healthcare System, and members of his staff will provide the health care updates and answer questions.
A woman was airlifted to a Miami hospital and her boyfriend went to jail for aggravated battery after a violent domestic dispute on Cudjoe Key Saturday night. Deputies responded to a home on John Avery Lane at 6:40 p.m. to reports of an argument between 36 year old Anthony Velez and 32 year old Anelle Hernandez. The two are boyfriend and girlfriend and live with Hernandez’ parents. Hernandez’ mother called to report the two were arguing and pushing each other. She said she tried to break them up but [continue reading…]
More than 3,000 students will be returning to schools in the Key West area next Wednesday. Amid the adjustments of the community’s schedule, it is important to always remember the number one back-to-school priority: keeping kids safe. As we start a new school year, patience is the most important thing that every motorist can bring to the table. It’s worth allowing a little more time to get around to be sure that all Key West kids are safe on their way to and from school. Here [continue reading…]
Key West National Organization for Women will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, in the back dining room of Shanna Key Irish Pub, 1900 Flagler Ave., Key West. This meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting gender equality issues. A social hour follows the meeting. For more information or to join, email: email@example.com.
WHO: Harvard Jolly Architect Team, Ajax Building Corporation, Executive Director of Operations and Planning Patrick Lefere, Public WHAT: Monroe County School District officials would like to meet with the public to begin to receive feedback on design plans for Stanley Switlik Elementary School. WHEN: August 17th, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. WHERE: Stanley Switlik Elementary School 3400 Overseas Highway Marathon, FL 33050 Media Center WHY: Officials plan to give the public an overview of the process, costs, and will take questions and feedback, to ensure the community has [continue reading…]
The Monroe County School Board (MCSB) and the United Teachers of Monroe (UTM) are pleased to announce a tentative agreement regarding the negotiations reopener topics of compensation, benefits and evaluation for the 2017-2018 school year for Teachers and School Related Personnel (SRP). After nine interest-based bargaining sessions, representatives for MCSB and UTM reached agreement on the issues of compensation, benefits and evaluation for teachers and school related personnel for the 2017-2018 school year. For teachers compensation adjustments are the same as those received for 2016-2017 [continue reading…]