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Tag: Community News

#SOSCUBA: KEYS CUBANS TELL OF THE STRUGGLE 90 MILES AWAY

By Sara Matthis, Jim McCarthy and Mandy Miles On July 11, thousands of protestors in Cuba took to the streets in at least five cities, and were joined by thousands more in South Florida on July 12. This is the largest protest in memory since 1956. The hashtag “#SOSCuba” is trending on Twitter and everyone from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to entertainers Gloria Estefan and Pitbull is voicing support for Cuban people.  “Up with liberty. This is the closest we’ve come to liberty in 62 years of dictatorship,” said Robert La Fe, from his cigar shop in Marathon. He said he urges the United States to...

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NASA dive specialist to speak at upcoming lecture

The History of Diving Museum is set to host a NASA dive specialist at an upcoming virtual lecture.  Join the History of Diving Museum on Wednesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. EST July’s virtual Immerse Yourself presentation: Dive Safety in Space Training. The museum will be hosting Lauren Maples, a Dive Operations Specialist III, with the Training Department at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. Maples will discuss the similarities and differences between underwater training and space training. The Neutral Buoyancy Lab, located at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, is an underwater astronaut...

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4 YEARS LATER & FISHERMEN’S COMMUNITY HOSPITAL IS OFFICIALLY OPEN

The ribbon-cutting on July 1, 2021 celebrated the culmination of Baptist Health South Florida’s commitment to the Florida Keys community’s health and well-being since its purchase of Fishermen’s Hospital four years ago. The celebration was hosted by Drew Grossman, chief executive officer of Fishermen’s Community Hospital, alongside Baptist Health executives and community leaders. “Baptist Health is heavily investing in communities throughout South Florida to ensure access to high-quality care for all who need it,” said Grossman. “This new facility is an extension of our commitment to...

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‘I JUST CELEBRATED 32 MONTHS CLEAN’: COUNTY JAIL REHAB CHANGING ONE LIFE AT A TIME

John (his name has been changed to protect his identity) is a fifth-generation Conch from Key West who just couldn’t stay clean. Since he was 19, he tried countless times to stay sober. But drug addiction had him in its grip, with three rehab stays and multiple scrapes with the law on his record. “I used to be able to justify things by saying I was a functioning user,” John told Keys Weekly. “I used to get up and go to work. And that’s where I got the highest — at work. And as the years progressed, my addiction got worse and worse and worse. I made it okay with myself by saying, ‘Well, I’m...

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LEADERSHIP MONROE OPENS APPLICATIONS FOR CLASS XXIX

Have you ever wondered why a single pipeline provides our water from Florida City on the mainland? Are you curious about our economic drivers, our county and municipal government, or the role of the U.S. military in the Keys?  Leadership Monroe County (LMC) provides a series of in-depth, immersive one- and multi-day sessions, over an eight-month period, into the issues and policies that affect the present and help to determine the future. “This is a unique program for residents who have active leadership roles in the private, public or nonprofit sectors in the community and who aspire...

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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...

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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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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 Nasser,...

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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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