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Florida Keys Free Press

Dolphin-assisted therapy nonprofit plans fundraiser

KEY LARGO — Island Dolphin Care, a dolphin-assisted therapy facility that has worked with children with a range of developmental disabilities since 1997, and more recently veterans, is holding a fundraiser Saturday, Nov. 18. The nonprofit therapy facility hosts children with autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities, along with their families. The stay either lasts[…]

Record rainfall adds to water management hurdles

SOUTH FLORIDA — A wet rainy season, along with Hurricane Irma in September and Tropical Storm Phillippe, which followed a month later, led to a record amount of rainfall that has helped swell Lake Okeechobee and has burdened the intricate South Florida water system. The South Florida Water Management District met last Thursday, and SFWMD[…]

Accused killer rejects courtroom offer

PLANTATION KEY — Prosecutors offered a plea deal in court to accused murderer Jeremy Macauley, 34, last Thursday afternoon after three days of building a case that he shot a Tavernier couple in their heads in October 2015 during a drug-related extortion scheme. Macauley refused the deal, which meant his first-degree murder trial resumed Monday[…]

Asian fusion eatery strives to be a ‘star’

TAVERNIER — On Friday afternoon, staffers at J-Dao, an Asian fusion restaurant tucked away in the Tavernier Towne Shopping Center, were hustling with last minute details in time for their soft opening. Chairs were arranged, utensils were polished and the tables set. The menu boasts Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean dishes. Dishes range from pho[…]

Local woman, brewer, charity provide relief

FLORIDA KEYS — Lisa Miletti started with a simple enough idea: Cook as much food as she could and then deliver it to those in the Florida Keys left without basic necessities after a historic storm that left so many in life-altering circumstances. The Tavernier woman, who evacuated and returned when local authorities allowed residents[…]

Wastewater board names top candidate

KEY LARGO — The Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District board last week appeared to favor Charlotte County’s director of utilities as the new general manager of the district if salary and benefit terms can be worked out. Peter Rosasco has been acting as interim manager since February when the board did not renew its contract[…]

Housing again likely an issue at council meeting

ISLAMORADA —Pete Bacheler of Islamorada’s Local Planning Agency, a seven-member panel established by the Village Council to foster “resident input on planning issues,” says the group’s monthly meeting will focus on innovations with respect to affordable housing for the local workforce. Bacheler is scheduled to provide the Village Council with an update on the LPA[…]

Ayala helped lead Lady Canes’ rebuild

ISLAMORADA — In what had to be considered a rebuilding year for the Coral Shores High School volleyball team, during which the Lady Canes had only four upperclassmen on the roster, senior libero Tatiana Ayala stepped into the leadership role and set a foundation for the future of the program en route to becoming The[…]

Islamorada mayor reflects on 20 years of incorporation

ISLAMORADA — While keeping the “eyesore” of box stores out of Islamorada has largely failed, Mayor Jim Mooney says incorporation, which was approved by voters two decades ago this month, has been a winning idea. “We incorporated to keep box stores out of here,” said Mooney, who was a key figure in the push in 1997 to[…]

Sunday event to aid Humane Society shelter

KEY LARGO — The Meow-sic Festival, set for Nov. 12 and featuring the Taylor King Band as headliners, will benefit the Upper Keys Humane Society, the small historic no-kill animal shelter. It’s been an expensive year for the non-profit shelter at mile marker 101.6, just north of Tradewinds Plaza. Fresh pea rock has been spread around the[…]