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Tag: 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: 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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Former NFL player Malcolm Mitchell gives pep talk in the Florida Keys

“Be the coffee beans.” It was an odd but effective message to come from a former New England Patriots wide receiver. But then again, Malcolm Mitchell’s career trajectory has also been odd, but extremely effective. Mitchell spoke Monday at a back-to-school rally for Monroe County School District teachers, staff and members of the high school football teams. He was at Key West High School early Monday morning and at Coral Shores in the afternoon. Retired New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell wore his Super Bowl ring while speaking at Key West and Coral Shores high schools on Aug....

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TENANT PROTECTION = LANDLORD FRUSTRATION

On, off, on again. That’s how the federal moratorium on evictions related to COVID-19 is rolling. On July 31, the moratorium ended. Just three days earlier, the Supreme Court published a decision that indicated Congress would have to pass legislation to extend it, which it did not. But that didn’t stop the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from issuing an order on Aug. 3 that put the moratorium back in place due to concerns about increasing case counts. “Evictions of tenants for failure to make rent or housing payments could be detrimental to public health control measures to slow the...

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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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#SOSCUBA FLOTILLA STOPS IN KEY WEST, THEN HEADS FOR CUBAN COAST

Bearing #SOSCUBA signs and flying Cuban and American flags, a flotilla of seven boats from Miami stopped for fuel in Key West Friday afternoon, then departed for international waters offshore of Havana, Cuba. The effort was said to be planned to “safely show support for the Cuban people.” Boats from Miami bearing #SOSCUBA signs refuel Friday at Key West’s Conch Harbor Marina before departing for international waters offshore of Havana, Cuba to show support for the Cuban people. ‘LOBSTER’ LEE STARLING/Contributed Although the U.S. Coast Guard did not sanction the event, officers were closely...

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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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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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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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