Special Olympics paddleboard race
The Monroe County chapter of the Special Olympics will host the first-ever Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Invitational on Oct. 14 at Higgs Beach in Key West.
This Stand Up Paddle event is designed to provide all qualifying Special Olympic athletes in the State of Florida an opportunity to compete with each other according to Florida Special Olympic SUP guidelines.
The event will feature three levels of competition with distances up to three miles for Florida's Special Olympics athletes. All athletes registered in a SUP training program with Florida Special Olympics who can swim 25 meters without assistance or a float are invited to race at no charge.
Interested groups should contact Ruth Holland at MonroeSUP@gmail.com to register their Special Olympics delegation.
An Opening Games ceremony will be conducted before the races and all Florida delegations are encouraged to bring their flags and banners. An awards ceremony with ribbons will take place on the beach after the races for all athletes.
Arrests made in Florida Keys advertising scam
A man and woman from Okeechobee, Fla. are in custody, charged with fraudulently selling advertising to Monroe County businesses.
Timothy Lee Smith, 47, and Melinda Joiner, 48, allegedly sold advertising on pizza boxes through a company they called Melinda Joiner Publications. They would ask businesses to buy the ads, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Smith would then allegedly take a sample box and a contract into each business and have company representatives sign a contract and write a check for the advertising up front. Joiner then cashed the checks that were written to her.
While investigating six Upper Keys cases, Detective Yunier Galvez learned the suspects were in Okeechobee and called the Okeechobee Sheriff's Office for assistance. A detective with that agency interviewed Joiner, who admitted to taking money from the businesses and spending it on hotels, restaurants and other personal expenses; she admitted that she never produced the advertisements the businesses paid for, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Detective Galvez obtained warrants for Joiner and Smith. Joiner was arrested in Texas earlier this month and was returned to the Keys over the weekend to face six grand theft counts. Smith is currently in custody in Sarasota, and will also be returned to the Keys to face six counts of grand theft and six counts of fraud.
Anyone with information about other potential victims should contact the Sheriff's Office or Key West Police.