Key West honors Queen Elizabeth at Southernmost Point marker
The Southernmost Point marker in Key West, Florida, a landmark delineating the continental United States’ southernmost spot of land, became a memorial to Queen Elizabeth II when city workers installed a British flag and royal purple banner at the much-photographed site beside the Atlantic Ocean.
Relatives anxious to find out whether loved ones survived after boat capsizes off Florida Coast
As the search continues for 10 more missing people after a boat that sailed out of Cuba capsized Wednesday night, relatives say they are just hopeful that their loved ones were among the eight people who were rescued Thursday by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Body of missing Texas woman found off Florida coast
KEY WEST, Fla. – The body of a Texas woman who went missing while scuba diving in the Florida Keys was found Wednesday near the wreck she was exploring, officials said. Divers found Jordan Jay Fisher of Rockport, Texas, on the bottom of the sea floor near the Vandenberg wreckage off of Key West around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. She had gone missing on Tuesday as she was diving with her husband and several other people, Monroe County Sheriff's officials said. Sheriff's officials say foul play is not suspected. The dive master told investigators he made several searches around the wreck until he was short on air.
Tourist dies during Florida snorkeling trip
KEY WEST, Fla. – A tourist from North Carolina died following a snorkeling trip off the Florida Keys, sheriff’s officials said. Erica Michelle Brown, 42, had been snorkeling with family and friends on a Fury Watersports boat on Sunday afternoon when she began signaling for help, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Someone on the boat began CPR and it was continued when she was transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard boat, which took Brown to shore. Paramedics then took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the sheriff's office said. The sheriff's office did not list a city in North Carolina where Brown lived.
Key West wants to ban people from feeding roaming chickens
This Sept. 13, 2017 photo shows chickens in Key West, Fla. Key West is considering a law that would make it illegal to feed the chickens that freely roam the Southernmost City. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)Feral chickens run free in Key West, just one of those things that keep the Southernmost City charmingly weird. It’s a heated thing on both sides.”The city's wild chickens don’t need help finding food, Tom Sweets, executive director of the Key West Wildlife Center, told the newspaper. “I’ve never seen a skinny chicken in Key West unless it’s sick or injured. They’re quite capable of taking care of themselves.”The wildlife center says it doesn't remove healthy Key West Chickens, but it did take in about 1,500 injured, sick, and orphaned chickens last year.
Hemingway look-alikes urge mask-wearing in Florida Keys
Past winners of the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike contest in Key West. KEY WEST, Fla. – Ernest Hemingway look-alikes are being used by the Florida Keys tourism council to encourage visitors and residents to wear masks to protect against COVID-19. Play It Safe in the Florida Keys What would Ernest "Papa" Hemingway say? Posted by The Florida Keys & Key West on Monday, January 11, 2021The video is part of the Keys tourism council’s ongoing “Play It Safe” video series promoting personal responsibility and health protective measures to combat the global pandemic. COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 40th annual “Papa” Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe’s last July.
75 pounds of cocaine found floating off Florida Keys
In this drone aerial photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, traffic flows on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway in Islamorada, Fla., towards Key West Monday, June 1, 2020. After being closed to visitors since March 22, 2020, to help curtail the spread of COVID-19, the Florida Keys reopened to tourists Monday. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)KEY WEST, Fla. – Almost 75 pounds of cocaine were found this week floating off the Florida Keys. Drugs floating off the Florida Keys are nothing new, according to the Miami Herald. In October, more than 30 pounds of marijuana washed up in the Keys.
12-year-old Florida girl missing for weeks found safe
KEY WEST, Fla. – UPDATE: A missing 12-year-old Florida girl has been found safe, authorities announced Friday. ORIGINAL STORY: A Florida missing child alert was issued Wednesday for a 12-year-old girl who was been missing for weeks, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Jaselle Diaz has been missing since Nov. 16, when she was last seen in the area of the 2900 block of Seidenberg Avenue in Key West. She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 130 pounds and has red hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information concerning her whereabouts is asked to call the Key West Police Department at 305-809-1000 or 911.
Port Orange woman, 63, dies on snorkeling trip in Florida Keys
KEY WEST, Fla. – A Florida woman died after snorkeling in the Keys over the weekend, officials said. Kim Ellen Schwinge, 63, of Port Orange, was on a snorkeling trip Sunday morning near Key West, according to a Monroe County Sheriff's Office news release. A family member noticed that Schwinge was having difficulties breathing in the water, officials said. She was taken to a commercial catamaran, where crew members began CPR. She was taken to a nearby U.S. Coast Guard station and then to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Fantasy Fest in Florida Keys canceled because of coronavirus
KEY WEST, Fla. The risk of coronavirus transmission has prompted organizers in the Florida Keys to cancel this year's Fantasy Fest. It grew to generate some $30 million in annual revenues for the Florida Keys island chain. Since there will not be a Fantasy Fest 2020, we are concerned about how the islands workers will be affected, Grossman Orr said. About half of the Florida Keys workforce is employed in tourism-related jobs, Keys tourism officials said. Grossman Orr said that festival officials will work with other community-based organizations to raise donations and disperse them to those most in need in Key West.
Florida takes step to protect coast from rising sea levels
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Further acknowledging that climate change is a growing concern in his state, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure requiring public coastal construction projects to first be reviewed for impacts on the state's fragile seashore because of rising sea levels. But environmentalists have been pushing the governor to act more aggressively in the arena of climate change by supporting alternative energy and reducing the state's reliance on carbon fuels that contribute to climate change. The bipartisan bill DeSantis signed on coastal construction is limited to public projects that rely on state money. Rodriguez has said the measure is another baby step in a political climate that has made it challenging to take quick action on climate change.
Rainbow crosswalks return to Key West permanently
KEY WEST, Fla. Key West workers have installed permanent rainbow crosswalks on the Florida island citys main thoroughfare. The rainbow crosswalks mean that everybody is welcome, everybody is equal, everybody is recognized and that we do really abide by the One Human Family spirit, Key West Mayor Teri Johnston said. The crosswalks installation was the final step in a project to repave most of Key Wests historic Duval Street. Rainbow crosswalks were originally installed in 2015, quickly becoming a city landmark and popular photo stop. Their replacement, necessitated by the repaving project, also allowed for a redesign that makes the rainbow colors stand out more vividly against the asphalt.
Irma recovery: Florida Keys will open to visitors Oct. 1
KEY WEST, Fla. – Florida Keys officials say the island chain hit hard by Hurricane Irma will reopen to tourists Oct. 1. Officials made their announcement Monday, more than two weeks after the Category 4 storm made landfall in the Florida Keys. Florida Keys officials asked visitors to postpone their trips after the storm damaged power and water supplies. Florida Keys spokesman Andy Newman said power and water service is now restored to customers that can receive them and a boil water notice has been lifted. The Key West and Marathon airports have reopened, but debris removal continues and some hotels and tourist facilities are still recovering.
Getting immediate cash for Irma victims possible, but challenging
CENTRAL FLORIDA – Today is Eric Wright's eighth day as an evacuee from the Florida Keys. So he stopped by the America Red Cross (407 894-4141) at 5 N. Bumby Ave. in Orlando looking for a little financial help. You may also want to turn to Catholic Charities of Central Florida (407-658-1818) at North Semoran Boulevard in Orlando. Starting Monday, it's working to help Irma victims with bills, including rent. Hurricane victims can request that and other services, including the location of a local food pantry or a place offering hot meals, just by dialing 211.