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Tag: Upper Keys News

National Parks Service gives local nonprofit historic Islamorada lighthouse

Off the Islamorada shores, boats circled Alligator Reef Light Station during a Labor Day weekend, which saw pristine conditions on the water. Activity at the iconic lighthouse continues this weekend, with some 500 swimmers heading out to the 148-foot structure for the annual Swim to Alligator Light on Saturday, Sept. 11.  Event organizers Rob Dixon and Larry “Lighthouse” Herlth couldn’t be happier with the race’s return after it was canceled last year due to COVID-19. More positive developments came their way earlier in the week, however, with an email coming to Dixon’s inbox notifying him that...

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The Matecumbe Historical Trust will hold its annual Labor Day service in memory of the civilians and war veterans who lost their lives in the Hurricane of Sept. 2, 1935. The service will be recorded and shared virtually due to the new outbreak of COVID-19 in the area.  To view the service, visit Matecumbe Historical Trust Facebook, Tony Hammon on Facebook or on islandcommunitychurch.org on the morning of Sept. 6. The service will include a presentation by Hammon, pastor emeritus.  Guest speakers will include Islamorada Councilman Henry Rosenthal, Bob Johnson of the American Legion...

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Man fleeing officers charged with nine undersized lobster

A Miami Lakes man is facing a number of charges after reportedly fleeing from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation investigators and possessing nine undersized wrung lobster tails.   FWC Investigators Billy Thompson and Chris Mattson received a tip of an individual harvesting lobster without a dive flag near MM 95, oceanside. In plain clothes and on an unmarked vessel, investigators noticed the individual, later identified as Yordanky Casares Rosado, 37, snorkeling along the shoreline without a diver-down flag displayed.  Yordanky Casares Rosado Mattson maneuvered the patrol vessel through...

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Judge hands man jail time for undersized fish, spearfishing violations

A Hialeah man arrested in May for spearfishing in a restricted area and possessing an array of undersized fish will spend 60 days in jail, following a sentence handed down by Monroe County Judge Sharon Hamilton on Wednesday, Aug. 25.  Not only will Alejandro Ruiz, 47, serve jail time, but he’ll also be on probation for two years and commit 240 hours of community service. His fishing license is also suspended for two years, and he can’t be on the water for the duration of his probation. Ruiz must also take a Florida Fish & Wildlife course.  Monroe County State Attorney Office’s Jorge Jaile,...

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“We need to take care of each other.” Those were the words echoed by Mike Forster as he sat down with Harriette’s owner Carlos Hernandez and Key Lime Tree owner Violet Wahba in early April 2020 to discuss a plan to provide some 200 meals daily to Upper Keys residents from Harriette’s.  Mike Forster gets a short break during a mass feeding event at Founders Park. WEEKLY FILE PHOTO Forster was several weeks into a hot meal distribution outside his closed Mangrove Mike’s Cafe in Islamorada. A restaurant serving up arguably one of the best breakfasts quickly shifted to a kitchen that served an Upper...

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Another school athletics year is underway in the Florida Keys. Fall athletes are taking to the fields and courts for practice in anticipation for the season’s beginning.  Baseball is still months away, but a new program in the Upper Keys is setting out to develop player skills and team success during the offseason. It’s also aiming to create a baseball experience unlike any other for players and their families in the Keys. Last baseball season saw a young Coral Shores team with new coaches in Joe Molinaro, Doug Mientkiewicz and Paul Vargo. With the season’s end came the realization that...

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Heads up, Florida Keys’ coffee fans: There’s a new java spot that you should know about. Farmers’ market favorites Islamorada Coffee Roasters have set up a permanent shop in a small, ocean-side plaza just south of the Morada Way Arts District in Islamorada, where they continue to serve up rich roasts and local love.  “Danny had been wanting a brick and mortar, but we weren’t looking. It fell into our lap during the pandemic,” said Sharon Sealy of her husband and co-owner, Danny Ganim, and their new shop.  Since 2018, the food-loving pair have been serving the Keys community with their...

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There’s a new “Coral” to go with “Reef” in Key Largo, and they aren’t found in the water.  At Nicole Navarro’s residence, two young foxes are buzzing around as they nip at each other, play ball and run around inside a spacious pen. She admits they can be a handful at times as they zip around and find trouble, but she also finds solace knowing two furry creatures are safe from being turned into fur.  In May, Navarro retrieved a 6-week-old fox, which she later named Reef, from a Minnesota fur farm. Reef’s fur was deemed “no good” to fur farmers with a missing tail tip and toes on his...

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For the 2021-22 school year, the Upper Keys has fresh recruits to teach our public school students. We thought you’d like to meet a few of our new elementary school/middle school teachers. One educator has lived in our island chain for just two weeks; another, 15 years. And most have received their college degrees in Florida. Let’s give a hearty welcome to these new faces. BREE BAGWELL Reading Intervention Teacher, Plantation Key School Where did you get your degree?  University of Florida (Go Gators!). How long have you lived in the Keys? Three months. Why did you decide to become a...

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The Upper Keys League of Women Voters (UKLWV) announces the 2021 Constitution Day Contest for middle and high school students from Marathon north to the county line, including public, private, charter and home schooled students. The theme is how the constitution affects their daily life. In past years, the UKLWV sponsored an essay contest for Constitution Day. This year, UKLWV is giving the students an opportunity to be creative in more ways. There are two sets of prizes and two categories to choose from. For a written entry, you may submit an essay, story or poem. For a visual entry, you may...

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