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Category: Community News

KEY WEST STUDENT CHOSEN AS 1 OF 50 ‘FREEDOM WRITERS’ WORLDWIDE

When their struggles became stories, young writers became warriors. Remember the 2007 movie, “Freedom Writers,” with Hilary Swank as California teacher Erin Gruwell, who transformed a class of students that others had deemed “unteachable?”  The movie’s true story about Gruwell’s high school initiative that turned at-risk students into authors has grown exponentially into a global curriculum that trains teachers to transform students by introducing them to relevant reading material and the emotional release of writing. Claire Schoonover, a Key West High School sophomore, was recently chosen...

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SAVED FROM FUR FARM, ‘REEF’ FINDS NEW HOME

Saved from a fur farm and finding a new island home: a 6-week old fox with blemishes is safe in the Keys.  In early May, Key Largo resident and founder of Pawsitive Beginnings Inc., Nicole Navarro, received word that several baby foxes were rescued from a Minnesota fur farm. Navarro couldn’t say “no” to taking one of them, having given four older foxes sanctuary at her home last year.  She flew with a friend to Save A Fox sanctuary in Minnesota, which safeguards foxes with injuries and fur flaws. The nonprofit saves the furry animals, which are deemed “no good” by fur farmers and left...

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MCSD DISCUSSES AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND BUDGET AT LATEST MEETING

At the May 11 Monroe County School District meeting, board members decided to continue gathering information from for-profit developer Gorman & Co. about its proposed affordable housing project at Sugarloaf School, provided that the firm can arrange rents much lower than previously discussed. Also on the docket on May 11: a presentation about the “good news” 2021-2022 budget and welcoming the new safety and security director. MCSD lawyer Gaelan Jones reported back to the board members about his meetings with Gorman & Co. At issue: a $600,000 access road. Jones said Gorman & Co. is...

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COLLEGE OF THE FLORIDA KEYS HONORS GRADUATES

The College of the Florida Keys held an outdoor ceremony on May 7 to celebrate the spring graduating Class of 2021 on the Key West. The event, which featured a Jumbotron to display videos and close-ups, was streamed live on the College’s Facebook page to reach family, friends and even students who were not in attendance.   Approximately 70 students received diplomas on stage, but the College expects to award more than 150 bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificates to the spring class of 2021. The ceremony featured a student address by nursing graduate Madison...

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George Lines, 1949-2021

(Carl) George Lines, 72, of Fishtown, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully on April 10, 2021 in Miami, Florida with his wife, Kathleen, at his side.  He was born Feb. 21, 1949 and his parents predeceased him. George lied about his age to join the Merchant Marines at the age of 17.  He broke his neck in Manila, and upon returning home six months later, was drafted into the Army, where he served three more years in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in 1971.  He completed schooling through the Department of the Navy for air conditioning and refrigeration service and then completed...

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BIG PINE KEY RESIDENT’S LOVE LIFE GIVES HOPE TO MEMBERS OF THE LONELY HEARTS’ CLUB

In February, while researching a story for our Valentine’s Day issue, Keys Weekly posted a question on a community Facebook page: What is it like to be in the dating scene here in our island chain? We were expecting some crazy stories, and boy, did the commenters deliver. They shared about fake dating profiles, face-palmingly embarrassing first-date stories and NSFW anecdotes about body-part selfies. But one comment made us sit up and take notice: “I have been married 5 times….not bragging, not holding down my head in shame…just stating the facts…..weddings 4 and 5 were both...

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KEYS CREDIT UNION, WHICH STARTED OUT OF A CIGAR BOX 80 YEARS AGO, NOW HAS SIX OFFICES

Truly, Keys Federal Credit Union’s origin story could only have happened in the Florida Keys. The financial institution was created over 80 years ago in Key West by a group of civil service employees pooling together $110 in a cigar box. Its mission — and also its tagline “locals helping locals” — has been so successful that Keys FCU is now opening its sixth branch, in Tavernier. The location has been open since April 15 at the Tavernier Towne Center next to Winn Dixie. “We love the relationships we’re able to build with our customers,” said Desiree Perez, member services director. “They’re...

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KEYS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION GIVES FINANCIAL LITERACY SCHOLARSHIPS TO STUDENTS

Keys Federal Credit Union recently announced the winners of its fourth-annual Financial Fitness Tournament. All three were seniors from Coral Shores.  Keys FCU’s high-school-level, personal financial education program, known as Financial Fitness, involves teams of students from across the Keys. While learning how to manage money and make smart financial decisions, students compete against each other for $1,000 in cash. Financial Fitness is an online game, and students answer multiple choice financial literacy questions to earn points. Topics include budgeting, identity theft, debt, credit,...

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KIDS SUMMER CAMPS IN THE KEYS

The school year is drawing to a close, and summer camps are gearing up for another season of education and excitement. From art and siling to watersports, there are plenty of activities for children in the Upper Keys this year.  VILLAGE SUMMER RECREATION CAMPS  Summer camp at Islamorada’s Founders Park. June 7-30, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Camp is for children ages 6-10. $95 per week. $75 sibling discount. Activities include games, arts and crafts, sports and contests, movies, swimming at the beach and pool and more. Bring masks, snacks, lunch, water bottle, sneakers, swim suit, towel and sunscreen....

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BREAKING NEWS: LOCAL TEEN ARRESTED FOR HAVING GUN ON SCHOOL BUS

Key West Police Department reported the following about an incident that occurred Wednesday morning: On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, Key West Police received information about a teen who had a gun in his waistband when he boarded the school bus on Cudjoe Key Wednesday morning. When the bus arrived at Key West High School, the student got off the bus and walked off campus. The teen attends Somerset Island Prep, a charter high school less than a block from Key West High School. (The same school bus is used by students attending both schools.) The teen skipped school on Wednesday and was found by police...

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