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Area woman reportedly livestreams suicide

A Cudjoe Key woman reportedly live streamed her own suicide on Facebook Wednesday night, according to initial reports. The 53-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released pending notification of her next of kin, was pronounced dead on scene. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 21000 block of Old State Road 4A on[…]

Resort manager arrested after heated altercation

A simmering dock dispute at a closed Islamorada motel and marina boiled over into a felony arrest March 13, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported. Smugglers Cove Resort manager and caretaker Richard Van Der Dijs, 53, was arrested after two dock tenants told deputies that Van Der Dijs drove his 2012 GMC sport utility vehicle[…]

Hope spawns in Florida Keys’ battle with coral disease

Scientists caring for corals rescued from the Florida Keys reef have reported a baby boom of sorts. The encouraging news comes from The Florida Aquarium’s Apollo Beach Conservation Campus, where nearly a dozen species of corals are being housed temporarily in “coral arks” to protect them from a Stony Coral Tissue Loss disease that is[…]

History docks at Mallory Square

Three ships permanently connected two worlds more than 500 years ago, when, in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Instead of falling off the edge of the horizon, the explorer found a new world and forever changed the rest of it. Every American student grows up knowing the rhyme that helps them pass a history[…]

County to address housing, hurricane recovery

The Monroe County Commission will soon meet to discuss and vote on several issues tied to promoting worker housing and continuing its efforts to recover from Hurricane Irma. Commissioners will vote on an ordinance Thursday changing land-use regulations so when the county calculates overall density on a property, affordable housing density and hotel/motel density shall[…]

Arrests in spiny lobster probe

A two-year investigation, led by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, has resulted in the arrest of three suspects for conducting a criminal conspiracy to exploit the spiny lobster commercial fishery industry, with the prime suspect being charged with a total of 61 felonies. Dubbed “Operation Thimblerig,” the investigation started in August of 2016[…]

Key West home burglar sentenced to 4 years in prison

A Key West man was sentenced to four years in state prison after he pleaded no contest to charges, including burglary of an occupied dwelling. Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones sentenced 27-year-old Cha Jones on March 7, after Jones pleaded no contest to the aforementioned charge, as well as charges of battery, giving[…]

Trump’s budget drains swamp funds

SOUTH FLORIDA — Everglades restoration that affects Florida Bay could be shortchanged by $136 million in the 2020 federal budget submitted by President Donald Trump. “The seriousness of the problem is not yet being felt in Washington,” Eric Eikenberg, chief executive of The Everglades Foundation, wrote March 14. “We have work to do.” President Trump’s[…]

Taylor Swift’s stalker wanted in Upper Keys

PLANTATION KEY — Pop and country superstar Taylor Swift’s alleged stalker faces new charges in the Florida Keys after missing a scheduled court date here. Monroe County Judge Sharon Hamilton last week issued an arrest warrant for Roger Cesar Alvarado Cisneros, 23, of Homestead, who was arrested the previous Thursday on unrelated charges for allegedly[…]

Social services center gets boot from neighborhood

ISLAMORADA — A Monroe County social services center found no sanctuary at a former church on Plantation Key. Islamorada Village Council members told county officials March 14 that a Pearl Avenue building surrounded by residences was not a suitable location for a temporary Upper Keys Community Support Office. “None of us are opposed to what[…]