Mile Markers

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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KEY LARGO
FIRM meeting set today

FIRM meeting set for today

The grassroots insurance watchdog group FIRM (Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe) will give an overview on Wednesday of recently passed federal insurance legislation designed to curb large rate increases.

FIRM Executive Director Chic Wagner and FIRM Administrative Aide Joyce Chilton will talk about the Homeowner's Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which Congress passed last month to counteract rate hikes that went into effect in October from the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The legislation calls for far less increases than in Biggert-Waters.

The event is being sponsored by the Upper Keys Business and Professional Women and will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Key Largo Holiday Inn, mile marker 100 on U.S. 1. Lunch will be served and the event is $20 for members and $25 for guests.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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KEY WEST
Gator poacher gets 5 months

A Michigan man who worked in a South Florida wildlife trafficking ring in 2011 was sentenced Tuesday to five months in prison.

Joseph Franko, 35, pleaded guilty to illegal harvesting wildlife, including a baby alligator and illegally acquired sea fans.

U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez ordered Franko to serve his time as close to Detroit as possible. After prison, Franko has to serve five months of house arrest and two years of probation.

Richard Perrin, 80, was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $15,000 for his role in the ring.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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KEY WEST
Fishing vessel grounded

A commercial fishing vessel pulling another ship grounded Monday night near Western Dry Rocks reef.

The fishing vessel, called the Alana, was able to break free and apparently did not damage any coral or seagrass. The vessel was resting on the sandy bottom, authorities said.

On Monday night, the 77-foot Alana was transiting the Florida Keys waters, towing its sister ship the Aolani, Coast Guard spokesman Peter Bermont said. The ships were en route to Hawaii, but were stopping in Key West for maintenance when it struck the bottom, Bermont said.

The ships eventually made their way to Robbie's Marina on Stock Island, Bermont said. There was no structural damage to the ships.