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Category: Marathon News


On May 11, there was a surprise on the Marathon City Council agenda. All of the department reports — such as the building and wastewater — were marked with an asterisk, which indicates consent, or no discussion. This is an abrupt turnaround from the council’s most recent decision to hear from every department, every month. (Prior to that, departments only prepared reports every other month on a rotating basis.) When the Building Department’s Noe Martinez was called to the podium, he opened with the standard statement about the report and then started speaking spontaneously about the city’s new...

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A cute, swingy red and blue patterned skirt paired with a blue halter top tank. A tea length dress in a modern batik print. Those are just two of the options at the newly opened Curvy Conch boutique next to Publix in Marathon on 53rd Street.  Open one month, owner Melissa Reed said the store is doing better than her wildest expectations.  The shop carries a selection of casual wear — dresses, coverups, shorts, T-shirts, skirts as well as accessories like bags and jewelry and sunglasses. (She’s currently unpacking a line of cosmetology products called The Naked Bee.) “I’ve had people...

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An anchor for the heart of the Keys

On Monday, June 7, the brand new Fishermen’s Community Hospital will open to the public. The 37,000-square-foot, $43.7 million facility is nearing completion and the Keys Weekly recently received an exclusive, first look. “I am unbelievably grateful to the Marathon community for supporting the hospital and raising the funds needed to get this hospital built,” said Jay Hershoff. Hershoff is chairman of the Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital boards and vice chairman of Baptist Health South Florida, the parent company.  Drew Grossman, who was hired in February to replace outgoing...

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Marathon man catches 488-pound swordfish on May 2

Okay, it was a swordfish, but “Holy Mackerel!” is the edited version of what angler Rob Helzer and his crew were screaming when the 488-pound swordfish jumped for the first time. He and friends Rob Warburton, Jim and Kathy Carter and John Rooks landed the fish on May 2. “We were straight out of Marathon, about 42 miles, fishing in 1,800 feet of water,” Helzer said. It was their third swordfishing trip and while they had hooked some big ones before, this was the first one they got all the way to the boat. “We had hooked into a few others, but what a dandy this was!” he said. “It was a team effort.”  The...

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City of Marathon hosts housing forum

It all started with a Facebook post by local Marathon business owner Larry Smorgala. He wrote, “Just this month alone, two hard working, great families, are moving out of the Keys because they can’t afford to live here and get ahead in life. How does our elected government sit back and watch this happen? … I would love for just ONE elected official to explain the plan that they are working on to help this situation.” Not long after, Marathon Councilman John Bartus called for a roundtable discussion that took place on May 3 with about 30 people in the main chambers of City Hall. Also in...

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A study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) nears completion as various governments confront coastal storm and flood vulnerability in the Florida Keys. With recommendations for shoreline stabilization along U.S. 1, voluntary home raising and  structure floodproofing, fortifying the Keys from future storms and flooding is estimated to cost $2.6 billion.  Monroe County Board of County Commissioners recently gave the go-ahead to sign a letter of support to accept the $3 million, federally-funded feasibility study, which started in 2018. A final version of the study was presented...

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Despite the heat, it was a “fast” race on April 17 for the 40th annual 7 Mile Bridge Run. Collin Wainwright of Pennsylvania, 25, finished first with a time of 37:46. Marathon’s Jonathan and Owen Pitchford, 18-year-old twin brothers, were right behind finishing in 38:03 and 40:17. Jonathan won the race in 2019 with a time of 39 minutes even. To see the complete results, visit www.athlinks.com. To see more photos of the race, or purchase copies, visit shadypalmphotography.com. BARRY GAUKEL/Keys Weekly #tdi_1 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item1 { background: url(https://keysweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/bridge6-80×60.jpg)...

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What do you enjoy about being on the weightlifting team? I really like that I know I am getting better everyday, we are always doing something new in practice to help us improve. I’ve also made a lot of new friends.  How long have you been playing on the team? This is my first year at MHS and on the weightlifting team. I joined because I wanted to get better and stronger for football. I am very happy I joined because I have felt that with the help and examples from my coach, I am better everyday.  Describe one of your best moments in athletics. I’ve enjoyed every moment of being on the team...

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Marathon High School’s Mathias Trujillo will play soccer next year at Keystone College in Pennsylvania. The senior signed an offer April 20, surrounded by his coaches Jim Murphy, left, Kelly Cruz, and MHS’s athletic director, Lance Martin, and principal, Wendy McPherson. Trujillo, who moved to the Keys about five years ago from Peru, said he believes he’ll take up a defensive midfield position. “His ‘glow up’ has been great to see,” said coach Kelly Cruz. “He puts in a lot of effort and you can see that dedication when he’s playing.” CLARE MERRYMAN/Keys Weekly The post MARATHON’S MATHIAS...

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Marathon Council focuses on dollars and cents

Executives from Baptist Health South Florida showed up in force at the Marathon Council meeting on April 13. The new CEO of Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital, Drew Grossman; Baptist Health South Florida board chairman Jay Hershoff; and a handful of others were there to encourage the council to renew the special taxing district.  “I got you your numbers to the city manager, I hope you realize, within 24 hours,” said Hershoff. He was referring to the March 9 meeting of Marathon City Council when council members reiterated a desire to see detailed information about Fishermen’s...

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