25 Cubans returned to island
The Coast Guard cutter Knight Island returned 25 Cubans to the island nation at Bahia de Cabañas on Wednesday.
They were stopped in two separate cases last week.
A good Samaritan called the Key West Coast Guard on Dec. 28 after finding 14 Cubans aboard a rustic boat south of Matecumbe Key. The Islamorada station dispatched a smallboat crew that picked them up.
The day before, another good Samaritan reported finding 11 aboard a makeshift vessel south of Marathon.
Another smallboat was launched, this time from the Coast Guard station in Marathon.
Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
Preservation awards open
The Historic Florida Keys Foundation will accept applications for its annual Preservation Awards through Jan. 21.
A panel experienced in evaluating historic properties at least 50 years old will start judging in February.
Awards are given in March for the categories of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and new construction that maintains the integrity of the historic neighborhood. Properties throughout Monroe County are eligible, but those who have previously entered may not participate again unless significant new work has been accomplished. For more information or an application, visit www.historicfloridakeys.org or call 305-292-6718.
Saturday's count for the birds
The Florida Keys Audubon Society's annual Key West Christmas Bird Count will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, with participants meeting at the base of White Street Pier, at the intersection of White Street and Atlantic Boulevard.
Organizers hope for the group to see more than 100 species during the day. Counters may participate in the morning or for the whole day.
The CBC is a 113-year-old tradition -- there are thousands of counts held across the country every year -- in which participants try to survey all the birds in their region and create a snapshot of the health of various species.
No experience is required. A $5 donation to the National Audubon Society is requested. Call 305-587-6059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.