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Category: Upper Keys News


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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History of Diving Museum celebrates military

This May, the History of Diving Museum celebrates past and active military service members through special programming and visiting opportunities. Since opening in 2005, the History of Diving Museum’s founders, Joe and Sally Bauer, instituted a program to extend free admission to active duty military service members. The museum’s military outreach expanded when they joined the Blue Star Museums program at its inception in 2010. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Blue Star Families and the Defense Department, over 2,000 museums participate annually with a goal to help service...

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The Upper Keys Weekly is proud to partner with the Coral Shores Athletic Department to highlight this week’s “Canes Sports Standout.” Recipients are chosen on qualifications of academic excellence, academic standing and community involvement. We thank our future leaders and the CSHS Athletic Department for allowing us to share a little “Hurricane Pride.” MARIO MENENDEZ  The four-year basketball and baseball player says his athletic experiences have taught him life lessons and the notion that “not everything is going to go your way.” Menendez is a two-time recipient of the coach’s award in basketball...

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Chart Room at Tavernier harbor returning in June

By: John Christopher Fine Most people would have thrown their hands in the air and given up following Hurricane Irma’s wrath in September 2017. But not George and Angel Cabrera, owners of Old Conch Marina & Giftshop in Tavernier.  Ocean water poured through the gift shop on the lower level — as much as 4 feet high — destroying inventory, fixtures and electrical conduits. Sand and noxious waste remained and had to be cleaned up. Old Conch Harbor docks and marina areas were devastated. Old Conch Harbor is one of the area’s landmarks with a souvenir and gift shop, as well as a fresh seafood...

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Property purchases for workforce housing in Islamorada and a rezoning for employee housing at the Florida Sea Base were among items receiving unanimous approval during the village council’s April 29 meeting.  Council members said “yes” to purchase property owned by Overseas Center LLC, located at MM 88.6 and zoned as residential single-family, for $850,000. The dais followed that up by approving the purchase of three single-family lots located near MM 88.6 on Overseas Highway for a price of $951,000. Pursuing the vacant Overseas Center lot began in early April when village council directed...

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On May 7, 2020, the Upper Keys community was rocked by the tragic death of Pascal Weisberger, a 14-year-old student, scout and all-around “good human.” Weisberger grew up in the Keys and was beloved by all who knew him. One year later, the pain of his loss remains, but those closest to him continue to cope and to honor his legacy. “Every day is a new challenge and really hard,” said Weisberger’s father, Ari Poholek. “I’m doing the best I can, but a lot of the time I feel like I’m dying inside.” Poholek was injured in the same event that led to Weisberger’s death. Since that day, the former has...

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Freebee Tesla Model X in service in Islamorada

A new Tesla Model X Freebee vehicle is providing residents and visitors with transportation service from upper Plantation Key to Lower Matecumbe Key.  The Freebee Electric Vehicle Ridesharing Service began providing transportation on Upper Matecumbe Key in November 2018. The village was able to expand the popular Freebee program to serve all of Islamorada in March 2020 with two new larger electric vehicles that can drive on the highway and cross bridges. The latest addition to the Freebee fleet in Islamorada brings the total vehicles to three, and they all travel the full distance of the village...

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Health officer to brief village on pandemic, large-scale events

Will large-scale events in the village of Islamorada return? Council members will hear from Monroe County’s health officer regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic at a Thursday, April 29 meeting.  Bob Eadie, health officer of Monroe County. CONTRIBUTED Bob Eadie, the top health official, appeared via Zoom during the council’s March 4 meeting. During his presentation, he relayed concerns with the spring break that was approaching then, and the flow of visitors it would bring to the Keys. As a result, the dais was unanimous in extending a halt on the issuance of temporary use permits for events...

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The Upper Keys Weekly is proud to partner with the Coral Shores Athletic Department to highlight this week’s “Canes Sports Standout.” Recipients are chosen on qualifications of academic excellence, academic standing and community involvement. We thank our future leaders and the CSHS Athletic Department for allowing us to share a little “Hurricane Pride.” LUCIA RODRIGUEZ A three-sport athlete in varsity basketball, cross country and track, Rodriguez said her experiences have taught her to work hard and never settle. A captain of the basketball and cross country teams, Rodriguez’s accomplishments...

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Community cleanup targets area shoreline

A group of community residents teamed up with Shoreline Restoration Services, I.CARE and founders Mike Goldberg and Kylie Smith, as well as Coastal Waters Revitalization Inc. for a shoreline cleanup on the oceanside, off the Old Highway in Islamorada, on April 18. A debris pickup to celebrate Earth Day, the group collected a ton of debris during the morning at the village preserve at MM 86. Buckets for the cleanup were provided by Islamorada Pool Company. From left, Kylie Smith, of I.CARE; Audrina Ennis, Shoreline Restoration Services Inc. founder; and Mike Goldberg, of I.CARE and Key Dives....

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