20 years since Navy ship sunk for artificial reef in Keys
The 20th anniversary of the storied intentional sinking of a former Naval ship to become an artificial reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is being celebrated Tuesday in Key Largo. The 510-foot-long (155-meter-long) Spiegel Grove earned international notoriety when it sank prematurely May 17, 2002, and landed with its upside-down bow protruding above the ocean’s surface about 6 miles (10 kilometers) off Key Largo. “Ultimately, the Spiegel Grove is a story that Hollywood would never have been able to script in a million years,” said Rob Bleser, a Key Largo dive operator and the vessel's sinking project manager.news.yahoo.com
Davie medical clinic owner sentenced to 10 years in prison for healthcare fraud
Bradley Jason Kantor, who owned and operated Mobile Diagnostic Imaging, Inc. (MDI) in Davie, was sentenced in Miami Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for submitting about $42 million in fraudulent health care claims to United Healthcare.
Miami mayoral candidate arrested for allegedly impersonating a police officer in the Florida Keys
Frank Pichel was arrested early Friday on a felony charge of impersonating a police officer after the 59-year-old mayoral candidate allegedly flashed a badge and claimed to be an active deputy in Key Largo, Fla., according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.washingtonpost.com
Deputies arrest boater for DUI after he allegedly sprayed them with saltwater in Key Largo
Deputies arrested a 43-year-old Cutler Bay man for boating while under the influence of alcohol on Sunday night after he sprayed deputies with saltwater from the twin-engine center console’s outboard engines, deputies said on Monday.
Playa Largo welcomes guests with Summer Pineapple Series
AdvertisementLush tropical oasis, Playa Largo Resort & Spa in Key Largo is honoring its roots with its Summer Pineapple Series — a specially curated food and cocktail menu. The pineapple menu also includes three new cocktails including the Pineapple Jalapeño Shandy, Island Paradise and Pineapple Martin. The shandy, a guest favorite, Sandbar Sunday Ale from the Islamorada Brewery & Distillery, brewed just 20 minutes from Playa Largo. Playa Largo is the most optimal Key Largo resort for indulging in a seaside escape, watching magnificent sunsets, enjoying outstanding dining and partaking in an overall magical experience. Connect with Playa Largo on social media by liking them on Facebook, www.facebook.com/playalargoresort, or following on Instagram (@PlayaLargo) and Twitter (@PlayaLargo).communitynewspapers.com
Usan mosquitos transgénicos contra enfermedades en Florida
El Distrito de Control de Mosquitos de los Cayos de Florida y la compañía biotecnológica Oxitec anunciaron el jueves que esta semana se están colocando cajas de liberación, cajas de no liberación y cajas de control de calidad con malla en seis sitios: dos en Cudjoe Key, uno en Ramrod Key y tres en Vaca Key.
Florida Gov. DeSantis faces growing charges of vaccine favoritism
Bruce Rauner, last week gave the Florida governor's campaign committee $250,000. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried joined Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist in calling for federal officials to probe the DeSantis administration’s vaccine distribution programs. AdDuring a Thursday news conference, DeSantis expressed no misgivings about the early vaccinations at the exclusive Key Largo community. In recent weeks, other reports have surfaced of wealthy retirement communities getting exclusive access to vaccine doses through pop-up vaccine sites. Bruce Rauner to the Florida governor's campaign committee.
DeSantis speaks about funding for Monroe County; state’s vaccination efforts
KEY LARGO, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Friday afternoon at the Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo to announce that Monroe County will be receiving $16.7 million through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida program for various projects. During Friday’s news conference, the governor also touted the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, saying close to 20% of seniors ages 65 and older in Florida have been vaccinated. DeSantis also praised the state’s economic growth, saying Florida has added 20,000 private sector jobs in the last month, while many states have reported higher job losses. The governor credited the falling unemployment rate in the state with keeping Florida “open” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Keys man punches woman with pacemaker, she has heart attack, deputies report
KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Key Largo man was arrested Friday night after a fight in which deputies said he punched a 60-year-old woman in the chest. The victim told Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies that she believed the punch damaged her pacemaker. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Captain Jax Mobile Home park in the 103000 block of the Overseas Highway at 6:43 p.m. Friday after reports of a fight. While speaking with Deputy Richard Rodriguez, the report said the woman started having a medical emergency and the deputy began performing CPR on her. Costa was taken to jail, according to sheriff’s deputies.
Key Largo neighbors rescue injured man, dog after Tropical Storm Eta sends tree crashing into home
KEY LARGO, Fla. – Dillon Deese was on his couch watching a movie when the tempestuous wind ripped a massive Bayan tree out of the ground and crushed his home with it. Tropical Storm Eta’s torrential rain didn’t stop Alex Lubja and Deese’s other Key Largo neighbors from running outside of their homes to investigate the loud noise. An advertising billboard lies on the ground after falling from high winds and rain from Tropical Storm Eta, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, in Key Largo, Fla. In other parts of Key Largo, there were streets underwater and more property damage. Tree limbs block a road after they broke and fell due to high winds and rain from Tropical Storm Eta, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, in Key Largo, Fla.
Tropical Storm Eta floods already drenched Florida cities
A strengthening Tropical Storm Eta cut across Cuba on Sunday, and forecasters say it's likely to be a hurricane before hitting the Florida Keys Sunday night or Monday. Eta made landfall in the Florida Keys and posed a serious threat across South Florida, which was already drenched from more than 14 inches (35 centimeters) of rain last month. “Never seen this, never, not this deep,” said Anthony Lyas, who has lived in his now-waterlogged Fort Lauderdale neighborhood since 1996. Eta was not done yet with Cuba, just 90 miles (140 kilometers) south of Florida, where the storm continued to swell rivers and flood coastal zones. ___Associated Press writers Cody Jackson in Fort Lauderdale, Tamara Lush in St. Petersburg, and Haleluya Hadero in Atlanta contributed to this report.
One of the largest Great White sharks ever tagged pings off Key Largo
KEY LARGO, Fla. – One of the largest Great White sharks ever tagged is lurking out in the Atlantic and pinged Thursday morning off the coast of Key Largo. According to OCEARCH, the shark named Unama’ki pinged Sunday off Vero Beach and then pinged at 5:46 a.m. Thursday off Key Largo. Unama’ki is more than 15 feet long and weighs more than 2,000 pounds. Just two months ago, the shark pinged off Nova Scotia, Canada. The name Unama’ki comes from the indigenous Mi’kmaq people in Nova Scotia and means “Land of the Fog.”
Wild Florida: Volunteers help endangered deer in Florida Keys
MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – It was a group of Key Largo residents visiting Big Pine Key who noticed the female Key deer on Sunday. Valerie Preziosi, the founder of the nonprofit organization Save Our Key Deer, said her phone rang. Preziosi said a group of seven volunteers arrived and took turns by bicycle, car, and on foot and saturated the area to find the injured deer. An officer snared the deer and veterinarian Douglas Mader deftly removed the hook with his bare hands, before the stunned deer was released and pranced away. “This successful Key deer rescue is the first in many years achieved through a novel cooperation between federal, state and local resident entities for our native animals,” Preziosi wrote in an email.
Monroe County Election Results: 2020 General Election
Voters in the Florida Keys decided on Monroe County’s state attorney, and three commission seats were also in play in the November general election. That’s in addition to some other municipal election decisions in Key West, Islamorada, Key Colony and Key Largo, depending on where you live. See the results below, including how Monroe County residents voted in the presidential race.
Nurse shark grabs onto man’s foot in the Keys, won’t let go
KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Homestead man ended up with 16 stitches after a nurse shark clamped onto his foot while he was working on a dock. Andres Garcia was in the water on Sept. 29 in Key Largo when he said the shark bit down and grabbed on. His coworkers tried to pry the shark from the man’s foot, but it held on tighter, Garcia said. The shark held on to his foot for at least 15 minutes, he said. According to oceana.org, nurse sharks are one of the most commonly seen sharks on coral and rocky reefs in the Atlantic Ocean.
11-year-old boy helps save grandparents after boating accident off Florida Keys
KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Hollywood boy, drifting alone onboard the family boat off Key Largo, helped save his grandparents in the ocean. “They were just floating away,” recalls 11-year-old Avani Perez. Jim Harris, Perez' grandfather, went into the water to free the line and ended up cutting it. 11-year-old Avani Perez and his grandfather, Jim Harris. “But we are even more thankful for them for what they did to help us.”11-year-old Avani Perez with two members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers.
Temporary water-filled barriers keep some streets from flooding in Key Largo
KEY LARGO, Fla. – A new flood control measure was keeping some Key Largo streets dry while tides were higher than usual on WednesdayCheryl Whitmer, of U.S. Flood Control, had workers install temporary water-filled barriers in two low-lying neighborhoods: Twin Lakes and Stillwright Point. “The Tiger Dam System is comprised of 50-foot sections of flood barrier that interlock together to create a seamless flood protection dam,” Whitmer said about the reusable dam workers placed along South Blackwater Lane. Kristen Livengood, a spokeswoman for Monroe County, said Key Largo is testing the 24-inch temporary barriers. Monroe County officials are working to release a new plan with more permanent solutions to the flooding problem by August 2021.
Florida Keys welcome students back to classrooms
After starting the school year virtually, Monroe County welcomed back kindergarten through fifth-grade students full-time Monday. With signage, sanitization and smaller classrooms with separated desks, Lietaert says students will spend all day with their classmates in what they call a cohort. The older students have an easier time navigating the computer platforms, plus parents feel more comfortable leaving them at home alone. Those students in grades 6-12 are in an “A/B” schedule, returning to the classroom part-time and attending school online on other days. Lietaert said parents get two weeks to decide if want to keep their students at school full time or want to stay virtual.
4 new Dengue fever cases in Florida Keys, officials say
KEY LARGO, Fla. Four cases of Dengue fever have recently been confirmed in the Florida Keys, bringing the total number of cases reported this year to 26, health officials said. Most of the Dengue fever cases are in a two-mile (3,218-meter) area of Key Largo, the Miami Herald reported. In 2010, 66 cases of locally acquired Dengue fever in Florida were associated with Key West, health officials said. Dengue fever often presents flu-like symptoms with severe muscle aches and pain, fever and a rash. Health officials said this is the same mosquito that carries the Zika virus, which has symptoms similar to Dengue.
Concern in Florida Keys about coronavirus as lobster mini season nears
KEY LARGO, Fla. – There are major COVID-19 concerns from a lot of people who live in the Florida Keys, and as the numbers continue to rise, Monroe County is trying to figure out what the next move should be. Just one day after the checkpoints came down, the entire county only had 109 cases of COVID-19. And now lobster mini season is approaching quickly, bringing with it the promise of a massive influx of visitors. So far, the FWC says they are moving forward with the mini season as planned. Monroe County has asked residents not to call 911 to ask about the status of lobster mini season, urging them to check monroecountyem.com/covid19 and the county’s Facebook page for updates.
Florida Keys now requires masks, bar owners reeling over shutdown
KEY LARGO, Fla. – Bars in Monroe County had re-opened recently after a shutdown on March 17 because of COVID-19. Key Largo’s historic and family-run Caribbean Club owners were stunned by the short tweet from FDBPA issued Friday. We want to do what is right for our community, but it would have been nice to have heads up. In Monroe County, COVID-19 cases have nearly doubled since opening to visitors on June 1. Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers explained that they do not have the same hospital capacity as bigger counties like Miami-Dade and Broward.
Hammer attack on neighbor lands man in jail
TAVERNIER, Fla. – A man in Key Largo was arrested Saturday night after sheriff’s deputies said he hit his neighbor in the face with a hammer. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office charged Timothy Lee Burton, 33, of Tavernier with aggravated battery. The 26-year-old victim and other people on the road waved for the driver to slow down. That’s when, according to witnesses, Burton got out of his vehicle and began arguing with the victim, eventually striking him in the face with a hammer. The victim was airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center with severe injuries to his face.
Man arrested after girlfriend falls off hood of pickup truck
KEY LARGO, Fla. A Key Largo man was arrested Thursday night after a domestic dispute led to his girlfriend falling from the hood of his moving GMC pickup truck, authorities announced on Friday. According to Monroe County Sheriffs Office spokesman Adam Linhardt, witnesses called 911 after seeing the 29-year-old victim falling from the hood of the truck and Luna fleeing the scene. Linhardt said Luna drove with his girlfriend on the hood of his truck until the 900 block of Lobster Lane, when she fell off, landing on the ground unconscious, but breathing. Witnesses told deputies that Luna initially got out of the truck after his girlfriend fell, but then got back inside and drove away. Linhardt said Luna confessed to drinking alcohol before the incident and told deputies that he had a medical marijuana card and THC cartridges in his pocket.
Florida Keys re-opening to locals only
Still, Mayor Heather Carruthers is keeping the Florida Keys closed to customers. The checkpoints at mile marker 112.5 on U.S. 1 and State Road 905 will remain in place and screenings will continue at Key West International and Marathon Florida Keys airports. In Monroe County, some re-opening of restaurants and non-essential businesses are for locals only, and that includes the city of Key West. As of April 30, Monroe County had 79 coronavirus cases and 3 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health. Florida coronavirus map lists cases by zip codeHow full are the hospital beds in South Florida?
Drivers face 2 checkpoints limiting access to Florida Keys during coronavirus pandemic
MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Drivers heading from South Florida to the Florida Keys face two Monroe County Sheriff’s Office checkpoints during the coronavirus pandemic. Monroe County issued an emergency declaration closing the area to all tourists on March 20, but the lack of compliance prompted Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers to tighten measures. “And we are going to still say, ‘Come as you are!' Deputies started to screen drivers heading southbound on Friday morning at Manatee Bay Marina on U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 112.5 and at Card Sound Road, also known as State Road 905. Deputies are only allowing drivers who can prove they have essential business in Monroe County or live there permanently.
Monroe County reports first presumptive COVID-19 case
MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Monroe County reported its first presumptive positive COVID-19 case on Thursday night. The Florida Department of Health confirmed the case of the patient in the Florida Keys is related to travel. According to a source familiar with the case, the patient is 72 years old and traveled to the United Kingdom. On Thursday night, the Florida Department of Health reported the CDC confirmed 101 cases in Miami-Dade County and 96 cases in Broward County. Officials announced a COVID-19 patient died in Duval County raising the number of deaths in Florida to nine.
Jacksonville man wanted in woman’s shooting death arrested in Keys
KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Jacksonville man suspected of killing a woman was arrested Thursday afternoon in the Florida Keys. McPherson is a person of interest in the shooting death of Stacey McPherson-Dillon. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Linhardt said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office notified deputies that McPherson might be in the area. According to WJXT in Jacksonville, McPherson is the victim’s son. McPherson also had a warrant for his arrest by Key West police on a charge of battery on a person 65 or older.
Murder suspect wanted in Mexico arrested in Florida Keys
KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Homestead man wanted for murder in Mexico was arrested Thursday morning in the Florida Keys. Edgar Delgado Munoz was stopped at the entrance gate to the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, where he was trying to enter the property without a pass so he could work, Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Adam Linhardt said. Delgado Munoz, 42, had been wanted by Interpol since 2004 on a murder charge in Mexico. He was detained by deputies and turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.