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Restaurants announce COVID-related closings

FLORIDA KEYS — Since Monroe County removed it’s two checkpoints entering the Keys, COVID-19 cases have dramatically climbed to 380 as of Monday with an additional 271 cases since June 1. To stymy the spread of the illness, a few restaurants, already hit hard by having their dining rooms shut[…]

Key West resort inspired by pirate’s life

Ahoy, matey, it’s not every day you have the opportunity to jump into a time machine of sorts, listen to the mystical tales of pirates and sunken ships and become part of the mysteries of Key West, but that’s exactly what the island’s newest gem, the Barbary Beach House, is[…]

Managing the fatigue

We are exhausted. Emotionally exhausted from the surge of new COVID-19 cases in Florida; mentally exhausted from divisive politics and the news; financially exhausted from trying to keep our businesses and households afloat. Some of us are at the end of our ropes. As I write this column, I got[…]

American fare with tropical flavors, Mexican influences

ISLAMORADA — As a romantic gesture, Mexican-American chef Primitivo “Primi” Diaz opened his new restaurant, Keys Grill, on Valentine’s Day. He wasn’t planning on closing his doors weeks later for nearly three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet with support from wife Alba, daughter Eva Leonor and a small[…]

Coconut Retriever is not just a pet project

It’s been a dog’s life for Susan Schaal, literally. When asked where her love of dogs comes from, Schaal, who’s originally from Washington state, responds with a tone of seriousness: “Probably from infancy. [A dog] was my parent’s first child. When I was born, I was the second child.” Schaal[…]

Marlin Bay Resort and Marina in Marathon reopens

MARATHON — Marlin Bay Resort and Marina, like many local guest accommodations, resumed operations June 1 after Monroe County lifted its coronavirus-related tourism ban and lodging lockdown. Thirteen vacation homes, as well as 74 wet slips that can accommodate vessels up to 70 feet and 24 boat lifts, give visitors[…]

Managing conflicts about safe behaviors in workplace

As we emerge from COVID-19, there is conflict brewing in businesses that goes way beyond political party lines. Business in the Keys is starting to pick up. Webcams of Duval Street last Saturday night looked like the height of season. The Upper Keys are flooded with boaters and Miami weekend[…]

Region’s national parks create $352M impact

SOUTH FLORIDA — Four National Park Service properties in South Florida drew 2.9 million visitors who collectively spent $242.5 million in 2019, according to a peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis. That spending resulted in 3,251 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the South Florida economy of $352.2 million, the analysis[…]

First Horizon, IberiaBank receive regulatory approvals for merger

First Horizon National Corp. and IberiaBank Corp. recently announced receipt of regulatory approval from the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System to complete their previously announced all-stock merger of equals. Upon completion of the merger, the combined company will be one of the largest financial services companies headquartered[…]

Hospital raises final beam almost three years after Irma

MARATHON — Fishermen’s Community Hospital raised the final beam on its new hospital Wednesday nearly three years after the Hurricane Irma destroyed the original building. This milestone, often referred to as “topping off,” finalized the completion of the structure of the building. “Seeing the final beam of the new hospital[…]