24-year-old accused of arson
Police charged a 24-year-old man with first-degree felony arson early Friday after a fire at 400 White Street, according to jail records and Key West Fire Marshal Danny Blanco. There were no injuries.
Firefighters and police responded at 10 p.m. Thursday to Ela Padilla's home at 400 White St., Blanco said.
They quickly quelled a small pile of clothes that was on fire. The building was not damaged.
Padilla denied starting the fire, saying he came home to find the blaze, Blanco said, adding that he couldn't comment further as he was not involved with the police investigation.
Padilla was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island, where he remained Friday in lieu of $25,000 bail.
63 Cubans returned to island nation
The Coast Guard cutter Margaret Norvell returned 63 Cubans to their island nation Wednesday at Bahia de Cabañas.
They were stopped in five different cases between Sept. 25 and 29.
Aircrews with the U.S. Customs Border and Protection and Coast Guard Air Station Miami agencies spotted several overloaded, unseaworthy boats in the Florida Straits and directed Coast Guard cutters to stop them.
The migrants were later transferred to the cutter Margaret Norvell to be taken back to Cuba.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter all migrants receive food, water, shelter, and basic medical attention.
"Our main concern is the safety of life at sea," said Capt. Mark Fedor of the 7th Coast Guard District. "When migrants put their lives in the hands of smugglers, or take to the sea aboard unseaworthy vessels, they put their lives at grave risk."
Homeowners federation meets
The Island of Key Largo Federation of Homeowner Associations will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Key Largo library, in the Tradewinds Shopping Plaza, Mile Marker 101.4.
Guest speakers will be County Administrator Roman Gastesi and Kevin Madok, senior director of strategic planning.
Their presentation is titled "Parity of Funding for Key Largo Wastewater" and will cover taxes: how they are collected, how they're split up among districts, what they can be used for and more, including "Mayfield" tax money.
Free fresh-baked cookies and beverages offered; the public is encouraged to attend.
For more information, call Kay Thacker at 305-451-3929.