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Category: Lower Keys News

Rain and winds from Tropical Storm Fred approach Keys this weekend

Expect heavy rains and some possible tropical storm-force winds in the Keys this weekend.  Tropical Storm Fred approached the Dominican Republic on Wednesday morning, as Keys officials gathered for a storm call via Zoom. Fred is expected to weaken to a tropical depression later today as the core passes through Hispaniola, said Jon Rizzo, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of Key West. There’s uncertainty, however, over the storm’s organization after it emerges to the northwest of Haiti.  Rizzo expressed confidence that the storm will likely approach Florida...

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Keys officials, business owners dealing with rising COVID cases

Increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Keys have some stores and municipalities bringing back mask requirements. Some are issuing messages strongly encouraging their use, while others continue to operate normally since a local mask mandate was lifted in Monroe County.  Masks must be worn by staff and visitors frequenting city of Key West facilities. The decision was announced on Monday morning in an abundance of caution over the current COVID-19 surge in Florida and the Keys.  “We want to be sure that our staff and our citizens stay healthy,” City Manager Patti McLauchlin said in a statement....

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LEARNING LAWS DURING LOBSTER SEASON

Marine patrols from various law enforcement agencies conducted resource checks and safety inspections during a busy two-day lobster mini-season in the Florida Keys. With citations came education for those unfamiliar with the rules and regulations.  Monroe County Sheriff’s marine deputies in the Upper Keys, Nelson Sanchez and Marty Digrus, departed from the Plantation Yacht Harbor dock in Islamorada for patrol on Thursday morning for day two of lobster mini-season. Sanchez has spent 20 of his 26 years with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office working on the water. Digrus has spent the past eight...

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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....

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TRAFFIC LIGHT GETS GREEN LIGHT ON KEYS MAIN HIGHWAY

Remember the “temporary” traffic light at U.S. 1 and College Road North that was installed during the Cow Key Bridge construction? It’s coming back — permanently. Sheriff Rick Ramsay and officials from the Florida Department of Transportation confirmed for the Keys Weekly that a traffic study was completed, and the light will be reinstalled. The temporary signal actually belonged to the contractors who were heading up the bridge reconstruction project that required several months-long lane shifts.  Now FDOT will install its own signal. No timeline had been established as of last week,...

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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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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...

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BREAKING NEWS: SCHOOL DISTRICT INVESTIGATING RACISM ALLEGATIONS

School district officials acted quickly on Friday to investigate allegations of racism at Sugarloaf School.  “We have zero tolerance for bullying and harassment in our schools,” Superintendent Theresa Axford told the Keys Weekly at 6 p.m. Friday after confirming that an investigation is underway. She added that the school district “will cooperate with law enforcement to solve this.”  Jwanna Powell, the mother of two Black students at the school — one in middle school and one in elementary — told school officials and the Keys Weekly about the two incidents after she had spoken with her...

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NAVY FIGHTER JETS TO CONDUCT NIGHT FLIGHTS

The U.S. Navy will conduct a field carrier landing practice (FCLP) operation at Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Field with Super Hornet fighter jets that come from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia to train. The landings will take place Friday to Sunday, April 9 to 11, from 7 to 10 p.m.  “Residents in the neighborhoods around Boca Chica Field will notice an increase in jet noise during the training periods,” states a press release from the Navy. “We try to get this information out to everyone as early as possible so residents can plan accordingly,” Sohaney said.  The Boca...

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