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Tag: Breaking News

KEY WEST CONDO GETS REPRIEVE — FOR NOW

A Key West condominium building received a temporary reprieve Monday morning. Raj Ramsingh, the city’s chief building official, did not condemn Santa Clara Condominiums, 3312 Northside Dr., during a 10 a.m. hearing at city hall. “I will not condemn the building, but this is still not off the table,” Ramsingh told the condo association board, unit owners and some of their tenants who were present. “I don’t want these necessary repairs to fall by the wayside as has occurred in the past,” Ramsingh said after hearing testimony from two engineers and condo association board president Oliver Kofoid. Key...

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BREAKING NEWS: FORMER PROPERTY MANAGERS SAY CONDO BOARD REPEATEDLY FAILED TO ACT ON REPAIRS

The word “dire” has been used in recent weeks to describe the condition of the Santa Clara Condominium building at 3312 Northside Dr., Key West. As the Keys Weekly reported on Sept. 2, Key West’s chief building official Raj Ramsingh has scheduled a Sept. 13 condemnation hearing for Santa Clara Condominiums. Ramsingh’s petition to declare the building unsafe and unfit for human habitation outlines serious concerns about the roof, an unsafe stairwell, uneven weight loads on floors and ceilings, significant spalling, concrete cracks and a laundry room ceiling upheld by steel...

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BREAKING NEWS: KEY WEST’S ROYAL KING & QUEEN CAMPAIGN CANCELED

There will be no king and queen fundraising campaign for Key West’s Fantasy Fest this year. The Royal Campaign, an annual eight-week fundraising campaign for A.H. Monroe leading up to the island’s Fantasy Fest celebration in October, has been canceled, the nonprofit’s board of directors announced Friday afternoon. “In an abundance of caution and recognizing its health services mission, the board of directors of A.H. of Monroe County, effective immediately, has canceled The Royal Campaign of Fantasy Fest 2021,” states a press release. “Our King and Queen candidates...

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CRUISE SHIP OPPONENT SAYS COSTLY LAWSUIT IS ‘EXTREMELY UNLIKELY’

The committee that spearheaded Key West’s cruise ship reductions is downplaying the potential costs of a lawsuit city officials expect from the owners of Pier B if forced to turn away their cruise ship clients.  City attorney Shawn Smith has repeatedly warned the city commissioners to expect a lawsuit from Pier B involving breach-of-contract and interstate commerce claims.  A cruise ship docks, pre-COVID, at the privately owned Pier B located behind Opal Key Resort & Marina in Key West. DAVID MARKS/Pixabay But Arlo Haskell, treasurer and cofounder of the Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner...

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WILL KEY WEST ACCEPT $5M FOR PORT REVENUE WHILE TURNING AWAY CRUISE SHIPS?

The state is offering $5 million for lost port revenues — revenues from cruise ships that Key West officials no longer want and are turning away. The money is Key West’s share of $250 million that the state is distributing among Florida’s 14 ports, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday, July 29. The money was announced the same day that Carnival Cruise Lines announced it would remove Key West from its itineraries for cruises through September.  “We’ve made some itinerary changes on our cruises scheduled to operate through September. Changes for ships scheduled to call on Key West were...

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OFFICIALS STRIKE TENTATIVE DEAL TO SAVE KEY WEST SENIOR HOUSING CENTER

Key West’s financially strapped assisted-living facility, Poinciana Gardens, got a reprieve this week, when officials from three government agencies agreed to a cost-sharing arrangement. The arrangement must still be approved by the Monroe County commission, the Key West city commission and the Key West Housing Authority board before becoming official.  But Key West city manager Patti McLauchlin on Thursday told the Keys Weekly she was very pleased with the discussion and decision after meeting with county administrator Roman Gastesi and housing authority director Randy Sterling.  “We all agreed...

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BREAKING NEWS: KEY WEST OFFICIALS CALL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‘BULLIES’ DURING BUDGET TALKS ABOUT ASSISTED-LIVING FACILITY

Key West officials had harsh words for their Monroe County counterparts during the city’s budget workshop Thursday, when talk turned to a potential new partnership in Poinciana Gardens assisted-living facility. Monroe County plans to close the 16-bed Bayshore Manor senior living facility on Stock Island and move the 11 current residents to Poinciana Gardens on Duck Avenue in Key West. That closure will save the county $1.2 million per year and will free up the Bayshore property for other county uses. The Key West Housing Authority no longer can afford to operate Poinciana Gardens and has asked...

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Arrests made in Key Largo tarpon killing

Two men have turned themselves into authorities after photos and video surfaced showing their alleged involvement in a tarpon killing in Key Largo in March. Law enforcement officials say they are still seeking another person in the case.  Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission announced late last week the arrests of Arsenio Ravelo, 21, of Homestead, and Sergio Leon, 28, of Hialeah. In March, FWC investigators received photographs and video of a large tarpon being held by three individuals on a dock at Calusa Campground in Key Largo. FWC released an image of the three young males...

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KEY WEST TREASURE DIVERS STRIKE GOLD — AND SILVER — ON FAMOUS SHIPWRECK

Silver tarnishes and darkens, but gold shines on — even after 400 years submerged in saltwater.  That was the case on July 16, when the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, one of the world’s most famous and valuable shipwrecks, gave up some of its golden cargo for the first time in 20 years. Four hundred years on the ocean floor did nothing to dull the glint of a gold coin from the 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha. MANDY MILES/Keys Weekly Mel Fisher’s Treasures diver Zach Moore was working with an underwater metal detector, scouring the current search site with other experienced...

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FORMER DIRECTOR ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING $41K FROM BOYS & GIRLS CLUB

The former director of the Southernmost Boys & Girls Club was arrested Friday, for allegedly stealing at least $41,000 from the nonprofit that provides after-school and summertime care for children of working families. Dan Dombroski, 66, of Big Pine Key, faces 12 felony counts of fraud, forgery and criminal misuse of identification. The criminal investigation into Dombroski’s action started in September 2019, but suspicion of Dombroski began in 2018, when the chairman of the club’s board, William Archer, discovered several alarming financial matters. The Southernmost Boys & Girls Club...

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