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Florida Keys Free Press

Request to continue booking weddings denied again

KEY LARGO — For the second time since December, a commercial wedding venue operating in a residential neighborhood has had a judge deny its request to continue booking weddings beyond its court-ordered shutdown date later this year. Thurmond Street Partners, owners of Key Largo Lighthouse Beach Weddings, sought relief during the appeal process from a[…]

Bracelets raise funds for Ugandan orphans

A colorful bracelet can buy a new bed for a child in a Ugandan orphanage. “It’s a kind of purposeful jewelry,” said Patty Cook, an Islamorada artisan and chef. “It raises money for the orphanage, which is in great need.” At the recent Art Under the Oaks show at San Pedro Catholic Church, the beads[…]

Old restaurant makes way for new park

ISLAMORADA — A closed Upper Matecumbe Key restaurant bit the dust last week to make way for a new community park. The deteriorating structure that once housed the Atlantic Grill and the Iguana Club, along with two residences, was leveled at the 1.39-acre property acquired by The Islamorada Foundation, a nonprofit organization. “This marks the[…]

Federal workers thank Keys for support

FLORIDA KEYS — Federal workers here commended the island community for its support during the 35-day partial shutdown — and hope to avoid a rerun Feb. 15. “We would like to take a moment to express our most sincere appreciation for the overwhelming support,” says a post from the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Islamorada.[…]

Board reviewing department policies

KEY LARGO — As part of the Key Largo Fire Rescue & Emergency Medical Services District’s contract terms with its fire service provider, commissioners have begun reviewing fire department policies. Commissioner George Mirabella asked for Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department policies during last month’s meeting, citing contract compliancy and the need for the special taxing[…]

Decision time for ‘Wheel Ditch’

ISLAMORADA — Boats speeding through the narrow ‘Wheel Ditch’ channel off Whale Harbor could be slowed to idle speed if the Islamorada Village Council agrees Thursday, Jan. 31. Council members will consider the final reading of a local ordinance that would make traveling on plane there a violation of boating laws. Long considered hazardous, the[…]

Charter captains hopeful as season picks up

ISLAMORADA — Nearly all the big offshore boats have returned to restore the waterfront scene at Islamorada’s Whale Harbor Channel, flanked by two iconic marinas. “I’m hanging on and trying to stay on my feet,” Capt. Butch Green of the “Sassy Lady” charter boat said Jan. 25 at the recently reopened Postcard Inn and Marina.[…]

Touring musician has much to offer

KEY LARGO — Summoned by the warmth of the Florida Keys, musician Zoe Vox has set out on a three-month mini-tour spanning the chain of islands. When Vox arrived from Missouri, she immediately began lining up gigs in the Upper and Middle Keys. “I arrived on Jan. 6 by van,” she said. “So far, everyone[…]

Wastewater district pursues tech upgrades

KEY LARGO — The Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District has taken the initiative to enhance its database and overhaul its website. The district is also taking steps to maintain its decade-old treatment plant by investing nearly $300,000 in refurbishment. During the district’s meeting earlier this month, commissioners authorized general manager Peter Rosasco to negotiate a[…]

City to stem tide with flood planning

MARATHON — The city of Marathon is taking advantage of a grant to plan for rising seas and more frequent flooding. The effort will ultimately result in updates to the city’s comprehensive land-use plan. The city has deemed a coastal resiliency study is crucial for protecting the health and safety of its residents and businesses[…]