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Florida Keys Free Press

Local tickle sticks snare lobsters, save coral

TAVERNIER — It upset Corey Krohn that people trying to bully net lobsters often destroyed surrounding coral. “My wife worked on a dive boat and I would just see firsthand how bad people were tearing up the reef with their nets,” Krohn said. To thwart further coral destruction, he created[…]

Fire district mulling tax cap increase

KEY LARGO — The local fire and emergency medical services commission has informally decided to make the “big ask” on next year’s election ballot for voters to raise the current cap on property taxes. A possible 100 percent cap increase was discussed during last week’s strategic planning meeting. The district[…]

A much-needed shelter after the storm

FLORIDA KEYS — If Stacey, Ann, Kristy and Diane were standing in a lineup, at least one of them has reported being a victim of sexual or physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. That’s one in four women. For men, it’s one in 10, according to a 2015[…]

Former CFO files suit against Ocean Reef

NORTH KEY LARGO — A former vice president and chief financial officer of Ocean Reef Community Association is suing the company and former manager David Ritz, alleging retaliation for her efforts to end what she describes as a “pervasively misogynistic and hostile work environment” created by Ritz and current public[…]

Tackle shop offers larger selection at oceanside location

ISLAMORADA — The rush hour usually starts before dawn at the Tackle Center of Islamorada. “The fish bite early so the fishermen are here at 5:30 a.m.,” shop staffer April Cummings said. “The local guides are always in early for bait and chum. It’s a busy time.” Now in its[…]

Tight-knit band rocks the B-sides

KEY LARGO — The band Cast Away aims to fill a void in the hearts of those still mourning the loss of music greats Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin and Duane Allman. With a wide catalog, the group also performs cabaret covers of Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, Neil Young and Bob[…]

Council to mull tax hike; housing, resort projects

ISLAMORADA — Overall real-estate property value in Islamorada gained $32.9 million over the past fiscal year, putting the new value at more than $3.714 billion. That new figure from the Monroe County Property Appraiser’s Office comes into play July 18 when the Islamorada Village Council will decide where to set[…]

FWC no longer tasked with environmental investigations

FLORIDA KEYS — Two state agencies tasked with enforcing Florida Keys environmental laws swapped some roles this month. As directed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will again take the point on environmental crimes, which had been assigned to law officers of the Florida Fish and[…]

Passenger exemption request denied

FLORIDA KEYS — With new regulations in Florida Bay waters of Everglades National Park, some boaters have started thinking about making other plans. A rule requiring recreational boaters entering park waters north of the Florida Keys to have a park entry pass took effect Jan. 30. And operators of motor-powered[…]

Moose Lodge is a ‘nice place with friendly people’

ISLAMORADA — Many visitors to Moose Lodge 2151 in Islamorada soon return as members, says lodge administrator Tony Corallo. “Some people may have misconceptions, or a lack of understanding, as to what the Islamorada lodge is really all about,” Corallo said. “Then they discover that it’s a nice place with[…]