CORRECTION: The original headline for this article stated, “Immigrant Bicyclist Hit by Car and Handed Over to ICE on the Spot”. That was incorrect. The immigrant was arrested by Border Patrol, a division of Customs and Border Patrol. Click here to see the incident report.
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…]
Key West Police have obtained an arrest warrant for the arrest of Lacy Marie Morris, 32, on charges of DUI manslaughter following the April 8th crash that killed off-duty Delray Beach Police Officer Christine Braswell and critically injured Delray Beach Police Officer Bernenda Marcs. She also faces additional charges of DUI serious bodily injury, DUI property damage and possession of marijuana.
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. By the time tragedy struck last year Depoo Hospital’s mental health staff had sent many distress signals. The Blue Paper has collected reports about staff being attacked by patients, disagreements with the police about carrying guns, understaffing, a security guard having a heart attack trying to protect staff. Finally, a patient committed suicide on camera.
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.
March 31, 2017 by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. [Story summary below, please see video above] For over a month we’ve been following the stories of military families who claim that living on base on Sigsbee Island is making them sick. They say something in those houses is causing an alarming number of health issues and their children are the main victims.
This story was first published on March 28, 2017… At 4:20 p.m. today, 26 year old Heather Evans was charged with second degree murder and commission of a first degree felony offense with a weapon. Evans is accused of stabbing her fiancé, 33 year old Clifford Cease, at their home on Key Deer Boulevard, Big Pine Key on Sunday night. Cease died of his injuries on Monday at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. If you’re like us, you probably think, what in the world is a Sanctuary City or County? Some sort of governmental civil disobedience? This week we followed the case of an immigration “hold” detainee at the county jail where we learned of the Monroe County Sheriff’s position on the subject. In the following order: Monroe County is not a sanctuary county, then it is, and then it is not.
by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… Westport, Connecticut. My husband’s Democratic brother-in-law was the press secretary to New York City Republican Mayor John Lindsay (1966-1973). When he, a White US citizen, moved his family to Westport, Connecticut, the first thing he did was to join the city’s “no-population growth” movement. Illegal Immigrants: A February 2017 Fox News [i] headline read: “WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. – A southern Illinois community that solidly backed President Donald Trump has rallied behind a Mexican restaurant manager who doesn’t have legal permission to [continue reading…]
‘THE HOOD?!!’ One evening an individual asked me “What hood you from?” I replied HOOD?!!!!! I am not from no ‘HOOD’ my friend, and I will never be. I then told him where I was from and where I will always be from. I am from The Slums I am from The Ghetto I am from from an experimental project started by our government called, ‘THE PROJECTS’ Where families with little and next to nothing, Not only raised their own families, they instinctively raised The [continue reading…]
The Key West Art & Historical Society invites artists, builders and assemblers to put their creative and engineering genius to play and on display for the Second Annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, set for May 5-7. Small and simple or elegantly engineered, teams of any number and age are welcome to enter this pedaled or pushed sculpture parade. Registration is $25 for kinetic sculpture floats and $15 for art bikes, with registration fees waived for Society members. Cash prizes will be awarded [continue reading…]
by Naja Girard……. Did a county planning manager, developer Pritam Singh, and a Hawk’s Cay HOA manager lie under oath to the Monroe County Planning Commissioners in 2014? They all swore that county records showed there were 12 unbuilt “leftover” hotel units at the Hawks Cay resort on Duck Key. “They are vested rights,” claimed Mr. Singh, who convinced the board to approve a transfer of those 12 hotel units to his new project at Oceanside marina. However, when The Blue Paper discovered that there were over 60 [continue reading…]
Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…… I was deeply moved and angered by the violence against two gay men in Key West in the early hours of Wednesday, February 23, 2017. Biking home after dinner, an unknown man on a moped verbally threatened Key West’s Kevin Seymour and Kevin Paul Taylor and then physically assaulted Mr. Seymour by using his motor scooter as a lethal weapon. The incident report taken at the scene by KWPD officer, Brett T. Dehanas, at 12:58 am states that the offense perpetrated against [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. A Blue Paper report about the rough arrest of Kristopher Knight in front of Key West’s Publix grocery store last month created quite a stir among our readers. The initial bystander video showed Mr. Knight screaming in pain while Key West police officers were handling him. His hands were already cuffed and his legs had been tied with some sort of leash [a hobble strap]. It was not clear what kind of resistance the short 25-year-old would still have been able to [continue reading…]
A message from Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation. “We congratulate Ryan Zinke on his Senate confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Interior. As an outdoorsman with a commitment to protecting America’s treasured public lands and improving park infrastructure, we are confident that his leadership will be critical to protecting the iconic national parks and refuges in the Everglades ecosystem. We are looking forward to working closely to restore America’s Everglades.” For more information on The Foundation, please visit EvergladesFoundation.org, like FB.com/EvergladesFoundation and [continue reading…]
by Rick Boettger……. I went to the County Commission meeting when it came to my neighborhood on Feb 15th in order to object to George Neugent, as the Commission’s honorary Mayor, giving ceremonial recognition to a local nonprofit that teaches leadership. My objection was threefold: First, they voted George in as Mayor within a month of his getting public censure and reprimand by the Florida Commission on Ethics. Second, the Commission sued the innocent members of a nonprofit board for two years, until it was [continue reading…]
Feb 10, 2017 Commentary by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Contrary to popular belief, adding one or two “lock-outs” to your home and renting them to tourists without getting any separate building allocations was legal after all! Developer, Pritam Singh, bless his soul, has shown us the way: He took 79 “permanent residential” building rights [called ROGOs] and transferred them to Oceanside Marina and, after adding 79 “lock-outs” and 17 hotel rooms, he’s now renting all 175 “units” to tourists. It could appear unlawful and it has upset a [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s detectives are looking for help to identify a man they want to talk to in connection with a vehicle theft at the Key West airport. The vehicle, a blue 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, was parked at the airport the morning of January 27th. The owner / driver of the vehicle parked in the one hour parking lot and left the keys inside. The driver arranged for the jeep to be picked up later in the morning. When two men showed up at 9:15 a.m. [continue reading…]
UPDATE Feb 13, 2017 A 16 year old Marathon youth was arrested last Wednesday charged in connection with multiple vehicle burglaries which took place in the Marathon area at the beginning of the month. The 16 year old faces three counts of felony burglary and one count of theft. An expensive pair of Costa sunglasses, stolen from one of the vehicles, was recovered from the suspect and will be returned to the owner. More charges are pending against him and more arrests of additional suspects are [continue reading…]
A man wearing a court-ordered GPS tracking device and his brother were arrested yesterday and charged with home invasion robbery. Deputies Matt Dowling, Freddy Rodriguez and Lazaro Valdes responded to a trailer at 6500 Maloney Avenue, #28 at 11:30 a.m. and met with the 23 year old victim who was bleeding from injuries to his head. He told them two men had just robbed him and pistol whipped him with a black semi-automatic handgun. He was able to identify his attackers as 32 year old [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s deputies say they need help locating a suspect in a drug related incident that took place on Stock Island Saturday morning. Deputies Joshua Gordon, Jon Riggs and Sgt. Linda Mixon responded to 2nd Street and Maloney Avenue at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to reports of an unconscious man behind the wheel of a running vehicle. When they arrived, they found 40 year old William Stokes of Big Coppitt Key, passed out behind the wheel of a silver colored Toyota. The car was in gear and [continue reading…]
LOCALS TALK ABOUT NEW PRESIDENT FEATURING ED RUSSO, AUTHOR OF “DONALD J. TRUMP: AN ENVIRONMENTAL HERO” by Arnaud Girard……. Donald Trump is now our President. What might be the effect, good or bad, of the new presidency on our lives, the local environment, businesses, our local school system, our relations with Cuba and more? Where local economy and new immigration policy collide Key West’s is booming. Old fish houses and RV parks with handfuls of employees have been replaced by sprawling restaurants and high class hotels. [continue reading…]
Lower Florida Keys Hospital District Board Chairman, James Padget, has shared the response to his December 15th letter to Community Health Systems Chief Executive Officer Wayne Smith. In his letter, Padget asked whether CHS would consider amending its agreement to allow the District more control over operations or possibly breaking its 30-year lease early. Extending the contract period was also mentioned in the Chairman’s letter.
Just as we were wondering whether Pritam Singh’s soon to open “175-room Hotel” on Stock Island was legal, The Blue Paper received an interesting tip. Pritam Singh is suing 7 of his neighbors for alleged unlawful vacation rental use of their condos at Oceanside Marina. He wants them to rent long-term. The $100 million question is whether there is in fact any difference between those old condos (2003) and the new ones recently built by Mr. Singh at that very same marina. They look like [continue reading…]
The second major head-on collision in two days at the 16 mile mark on Highway U.S. One involved a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy who, after crawling out of his overturned patrol car, without missing a beat, ran over to assist passengers in the two other vehicles involved. Deputy Daniel Hill reported that he was northbound at 12:30 a.m., returning to his Marathon duty post after transporting a prisoner from Marathon to the Stock Island Detention Center. He said he saw an oncoming vehicle pull into his [continue reading…]
by Naja Girard……. Circuit Judge Bonnie Helms disqualified herself last Friday, without explanation, from a case she had ordered dismissed just 2 days earlier. The case, a petition for declaratory judgment, was brought by Louise Delaney and Gail Kulikowsky, two Big Pine Key area property owners who are challenging Monroe County and FKAA over the agencies’ insistence that they sign over an easement for a portion of their yards and provide an expensive high-powered electrical connection so an onsite grinder sewage pump system can be installed [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. You know things are bad when an attorney says to you, “I hate lawyers!” “I do! I truly do!” repeats Michael Halpern who is pacing in his law office above The Lazy Gecko Bar on Key West’s famous Duval Street. What is one of the most feared attorneys in Key West losing sleep over? Being hunted by a billion-dollar corporation that he believes wants his hotel: the iconic Southernmost House. The “corporation” is Remington Lodging & Hospitality. What we wanted to know [continue reading…]
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating residential break-ins which have taken place in the areas of Sugarloaf Key and Bay Point recently. Two attempted burglaries and four actual burglaries have taken place in that area since November 30th. On the 30th, in the early morning hours, residents of a home on Starfish Lane on Lower Sugarloaf Key called to report an attempted break in. They said they were sleeping when they heard a bang and their alarm went off. Investigations showed pry marks on several doors and [continue reading…]
The controversy over Key West’s charter schools rocked the school board during last week’s meeting. “How do we know this is not going to be another white-flight school?” asked longtime school board member Andy Griffiths about a new charter middle school. Some fear an exodus of white students toward charter schools will leave the district run public schools with insufficient resources and failing grades. For others, the specter of re-segregation is simply intolerable. The numbers are telling: Key West’s Horace O’Bryant [HOB], the district run public [continue reading…]
By Arnaud Girard……. If you are like us you’ve probably always wanted to take a tour of the iconic Southernmost House. Well yesterday we were called on a tip to go there and report on a mysterious “big story.” Police cars were already parked at the gate but surprisingly we were allowed inside. Ah! Amazing sculptures and paintings, trompe l’oeil ceilings painted like the sky, infinity swimming pool suspended over the turquoise ocean view. Priceless. But what was going on?
Thursday, December 1, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Jane Gardner of Jane Gardner Interiors at 328 Simonton Street invites the public to a Season Opening Cocktail Party to celebrate a plentitude of events: the holidays; the debut of her latest design project – a Key West inspired, whimsical new fabric called ‘Paradise’; a name change for her retail showroom from Jane Gardner Interiors to ‘jane’ and a new fundraising campaign that she has launched for the benefit of the KWPD Mounted Police unit horses. Guests attending the [continue reading…]