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Florida Keys Free Press

AHEC offers free healthcare for kids

MARATHON — Florida Keys Area Health Education Center, a nonprofit based in Marathon, is offering full-service medical care for students and current patients. Clinic locations include the following schools: Key Largo, Coral Shores High, Marathon Middle/High, Sugarloaf, Gerald Adams Elementary, Horace O’Bryant and Key West High, for two to three[…]

EMS member files for fire board seat

KEY LARGO — Local resident Ken Edge has filed for Seat 5 on the Key Largo Fire Rescue & Emergency Medical Services District commission. Edge has been a member of the Key Largo Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the contracted services provider with the district, for more than 28 years and has[…]

Some residents protest county’s tourism response

KEY LARGO — A local community initiative, Save Our Green Space, protested tourists entering the Florida Keys last Friday morning, urging them to return home ahead of the Monroe County imposed tourism shutdown at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22. The county’s decision to suspend lodging at the end of the[…]

Islamorada closes beaches, marina ramp; some park facilities still open

ISLAMORADA — A wave of public-facility closings linked to the coronavirus menace caught up to Islamorada last Thursday. Beaches and the Founders Park aquatic center, dog park and marina boat ramp were closed beginning Friday, March 20, until further notice, Islamorada officials said in a statement. The closing also applies[…]

Big bucks for restoration budgeted

FLORIDA KEYS — A landmark allocation in Florida’s newly adopted budget commits $300 million toward Everglades and Florida Bay restoration, but the ongoing coronavirus threat could force revisions in several programs. The overall $93.2 billion state budget passed March 19 on unanimous votes of the Florida House and Senate. “Sustained[…]

Benching of sports puts offers into question

UPPER KEYS — A diamond season cut down at the plate by the coronavirus threat cost Coral Shores High School’s baseball and softball squads a shot at league titles. “Both these teams certainly were in a position to compete for championships, the boys in District [16-3A] baseball and the girls[…]

Virus sparks ‘social distancing’ efforts

FLORIDA KEYS — The effect of the COVID-19 threat bears all the hallmarks of a Florida Keys hurricane alert, although skies and weather radar are clear. Many events throughout Monroe County have been canceled because of the coronavirus, including the iconic Seven Mile Bridge Run. More are likely to be[…]

Group seeks to rebuild Islamorada reefs

ISLAMORADA — A new underwater restoration group aims to recruit recreational divers to help return Islamorada reefs to their former glory, with help of a hammer and nail. “We’re looking at 11 reef sites, including Alligator Reef, Victory Reef and others,” said Kylie Smith, a Ph.D. coral scientist and co-founder[…]

Felon gets 12 years in prison for owning guns

BIG PINE KEY — A local man who was barred from owning firearms but collected 18 guns was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison March 3. Shane A. Stevens, 33, pled guilty on two counts after an October 2019 raid by FBI and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office[…]

Artificial reef effort needs support

ISLAMORADA — Before efforts to create a new shipwreck artificial reef begin, dive-community supporters need support from the Islamorada Village Council. Unless the council agrees to serve as a permit holder for the proposed project, said Kurt Tidd of the newly formed Islamorada Artificial Reef Association, “We’re kind of at[…]