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Tag: Upper Keys News


In September 2020, Carlos Gimenez was running for Congress when he visited the flooded Twin Lakes neighborhood in Key Largo with his wife, Lourdes, at the invitation of neighborhood resident and activist Stephanie Russo. Afterward, his staff had to wash the saltwater from their cars. “We saw for ourselves what they are subject to,” Gimenez, who a few weeks later won election to the U.S. House, told Keys Weekly. “I can see where the homeowners are being affected, and we need to take care of it. I’m happy it made this first step. It’s good news.” Monroe County’s $5.4 million community project...

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A Key Largo resort that reopened in January 2019 following damage from Hurricane Irma was recently acquired by a Maryland-based lodging real estate investment trust.  Host Hotels & Resorts announced on July 6 that it purchased the 200-room Baker’s Cay Resort for $200 million in cash from Curio Collection. Combining tropical adventure with relaxation, the eco-friendly resort sits on 13 acres. It was once a pineapple plantation owned by Capt. Ben Baker.  James Risoleo, president and CEO for Host Hotels, said the company’s pleased to acquire its first hotel in the Keys.  “After...

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Yes, you’re reading this right, and no, you don’t have to rub your eyes: construction at Rowell’s Waterfront Park is beginning in the next month, according to Kevin Wilson, assistant administrator for Monroe County. Wilson is the supervisor of planning and execution for all county capital construction. “We’re happy to be getting started and keep adding value to the community,” Wilson told Keys Weekly. He detailed the first phase of the construction that will take place within a few weeks in Key Largo’s eight-acre park at MM104.5, bayside: restrooms at the southwestern corner, a walking...

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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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Three Rotarians in the Upper Keys were recently recognized for their time, energy and services devoted to their respective clubs.  The Upper Keys Rotary Club named Michael Johnson as its Rotarian of the Year during the club’s annual meeting on June 30. Outgoing President Jill Miranda Baker highlighted Johnson’s quiet leadership and focus on member retention and recruitment while also serving on various club committees as well as with Rotary District 6990. Johnson is the general manager of the Boy Scouts of America’s Florida Sea Base with locations in Islamorada; Summerland Key; Marsh Harbour,...

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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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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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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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