Body of missing Colorado woman found after dinghy capsizes near Key West
Body found: The U.S. Coast Guard released this photo of Jewel Hammond, a Colorado woman whose body was found Friday after a dinghy she was on capsized near Key West. (U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West)The body of a Colorado woman who disappeared on a dinghy near Key West was found Friday, the Coast Guard said. Coast Guard officials said a woman’s body was found approximately 200 yards from Mule Key, which is located west of Key West. The body was confirmed by local authorities to be the missing woman. According to the Herald, Hammond was with a man on the dinghy who reported her missing after it overturned near Mule Key.wftv.com
Second sperm whale found dead in Florida Keys
Beached whale: A 47-foot male sperm whale died off Mud Key in the Florida Keys on Tuesday. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)KEY WEST, Fla. — A sperm whale was found dead in the waters just east of Key West on Tuesday, the second to die within a week in the Florida Keys, state and federal officials said. On May 4, a juvenile sperm whale that was separated from its mother died after reaching shore near Key Largo, according to the Key West Citizen. Biologists are working to determine why a 47 ft. male sperm whale died off the Florida Keys. Kelly Richmond, a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said the whale is 47 feet long.wftv.com
Cruise ships at center of dispute in Florida's idyllic Key West
The island-city of Key West off the southern tip of Florida invites visitors to stroll slowly, enjoy turquoise waters and take in the sunset. But according to some residents, that idyllic peace is endangered -- by lumbering, tourist-filled cruise ships.news.yahoo.com
Florida Keys kicks off 40th anniversary celebration of ‘secession’ from US
KEY WEST, Fla. — The 40th anniversary celebration of the Florida Keys’ symbolic secession from the United States, motivated by a 1982 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint established on the only road connecting the Keys with mainland Florida, has begun in Key West. The 10-day Conch Republic Independence Celebration kicked off Friday with a waterfront ceremony at the island city’s Mallory Square. The offbeat republic was born April 23, 1982, shortly after a Border Patrol checkpoint was erected at the top of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, the lower end of U.S. Highway 1. Expand Autoplay Image 1 of 14 Florida Keys - The Conch Republic - 40th AnniversaryAfter appeals to remove the roadblock were denied by federal officials, Key West’s then-mayor Dennis Wardlow led local leaders in staging the tongue-in-cheek secession, proclaiming the independent Conch Republic and raising its royal blue flag. “It’s been 40 years, and the people are still supporting the republic,” Wardlow said after Friday’s ceremony.wftv.com
Boat carrying Russian migrants lands in Key West, officials say
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said the migrants, many carrying luggage, arrived on a 30-foot vessel. He said there remains “some questions” about how many, if any, of the occupants “dissipated into the community” before they could be apprehended.washingtonpost.com
Border officials: 15 Cubans in homemade vessel arrive on island near Key West
Cubans land: Border officials said a homemade boat carrying 15 passengers from Cuba landed near Key West on Saturday. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Miami)A homemade boat containing 15 Cuban migrants landed on an island in the Florida Keys on Saturday, border officials said. Hoffner said border patrol agents and law enforcement officers originally received a tip about a “maritime smuggling event” in Key West, according to the newspaper. #𝐒𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠: 15 migrants from #Cuba were taken into #BorderPatrol custody after making landfall on a homemade vessel in Key West. They were found on land on an uninhabited island east of Key West, WSVN-TV reported.wftv.com
Bartender's tip leads to arrest in Key West buoy burning
Always remember to tip your server, if you know what's good for you. A tourist made a big impression in a Key West bar by ordering drinks three times on New Year's Eve without leaving a tip. The arson caused more than $5,000 in damage to the city's landmark buoy marking the southernmost point in the United States, and sent the island's “coconut telegraph” gossip chain into high alert, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday.news.yahoo.com
Police: Suspects sought after iconic Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West damaged by fire
Police: Suspects sought after iconic Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West damaged by fireKEY WEST, Fla. — Police are searching for two men who damaged the iconic Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West with fire overnight. The Key West Fire Department responded and put out the fire, but the buoy suffered extensive damage. READ: 2 killed in Florida when train hits car going around crossing gateThe marker has been a famous attraction for visitors to Key West for nearly 40 years. It is located near the southernmost point in the continental U.S., and around 90 miles from the island nation of Cuba. READ: 9 things to do this weekend: Vrbo Citrus Bowl, New Year’s Eve celebrations & moreAnyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Key West Police Department at 305-809-1000.wftv.com
Famous Key West buoy burned after 2 set tree on fire
Police are searching for two people who burned a part of Key West's famous Southernmost Point buoy early New Year's Day after setting a fire near the landmark tourism icon. News outlets report two males lit a Christmas tree on fire in front of the buoy around 3:30 a.m. Saturday and the flames charred sections of the colorful, 4-ton cement monument that reads “90 miles to Cuba, Southernmost Point, Continental U.S.A.” The red, yellow, black and white marker resembles a giant marine navigational buoy.news.yahoo.com
Vandals set fire to Key West’s most famous landmark, causing ‘extensive damage’
The hunt is on for two men who defaced one of Key West’s most famous and most photographed landmarks on New Year’s Day: the giant and colorful Southernmost Point buoy. The vandals caused “extensive damage” to the buoy between 3 and 3:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Key West police. And, the incident was caught on video. The most noticeable damage is on the front of the buoy, with charring over ...news.yahoo.com
Keys sheriff says police shouldn’t have arrested 2 deputies after a fight in Key West
Cellphone video that witnesses took of a fight between two off-duty Monroe County sheriff’s deputies and three Navy sailors last weekend shows the cops tried to show restraint until force was unavoidable, the deputies’ boss said Thursday.news.yahoo.com
There was a street fight in Key West, police said. Deputies and sailors now face charges
A Navy sailor was airlifted from Key West to a Miami hospital early Saturday morning after police said he was part of a fight on Duval Street between two off-duty sheriff’s deputies and two other sailors.news.yahoo.com
Investigators seize nearly 69 lbs of cocaine near Florida Keys
More than $1 million in cocaine found off Florida Keys. Investigators seized 69lbs of cocaine found in the water. (US )KEY WEST, Fla. — The U.S. Coast Guard worked with Border Patrol agents in Florida to fish a lot of drugs out of the water. The U.S. Border Patrol tweeted a picture of the drugs, which have an estimated street value of more than $1 million. Over the weekend, a Good Samaritan discovered over 1 million dollars in cocaine floating at sea near the Florida Keys.wftv.com
Hemingway Look-Alike Contest returns to the Florida Keys
Hemingway Days In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, David "Bat" Masterson toots a conch shell during the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Thursday, July 22, 2021, at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Fla. The 2020 competition, part of the subtropical island's Hemingway Days festival, was canceled last year due to COVID-19. Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West throughout most of the 1930s. Some 70 stocky, bearded men resembling the late writer competed in the first of two preliminary rounds at Sloppy Joe’s Bar. While living in Key West, Hemingway penned classics including “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “To Have and Have Not.”Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.wftv.com
Coast Guard: 13 Cubans rescued, others missing off Key West
The U.S. Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued 13 people after their boat capsized off of Key West as Tropical Storm Elsa approached, the agency said. The nine men and four women were taken aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis on Tuesday afternoon, some 26 miles (42 kilometers) southeast of Key West, the agency said in a news release. The crew from the Western Carmen contacted watch standers at the Coast Guard's Sector Key West around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to report they had found four people in the water.news.yahoo.com
Tropical Storm Elsa weakens, spares Florida of major damage
Tropical Weather Atlantic Pedestrians dash across the intersection of Greene and Duval streets as heavy winds and rain associated with Tropical Storm Elsa passes Key West, Fla., on Tuesday, July 6, 2022. Elsa wobbled through the Gulf of Mexico, briefly reaching hurricane strength, but was expected to move ashore as a tropical storm. Heavy rain and gusty winds are expected across northern Florida once the storm makes an expected turn to the northeast. Tropical storm warnings were canceled for Cape Coral and Fort Myers. Tampa was no longer under a hurricane warning, but weather forecasters warned of tropical storm conditions, including strong winds and flash flooding.wftv.com
Elsa weakens to a tropical storm as it takes aim at Florida
Tropical Weather Atlantic Pedestrians dash across the intersection of Greene and Duval streets as heavy winds and rain associated with Tropical Storm Elsa passes Key West, Fla., on Tuesday, July 6, 2022. The weather was getting worse in southern Florida on Tuesday morning as Tropical Storm Elsa began lashing the Florida Keys, complicating the search for survivors in the condo collapse and prompting a hurricane watch for the peninsula's upper Gulf Coast. Forecasters said Elsa would slice across inland north Florida as a tropical storm with strong rains and wind, then move on to Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia before heading out in the Atlantic Ocean by Friday. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, however, predicted hockey’s Stanley Cup finals game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens would be played as scheduled Wednesday night. “We’re trained and prepared, and we want to ensure our customers are safe and prepared for any impacts from the storm,” said Todd Fountain, the utility’s Florida storm director.wftv.com
Hurricane Elsa threatens Florida's northern Gulf coast
Tropical Weather Atlantic Pedestrians dash across the intersection of Greene and Duval streets as heavy winds and rain associated with Tropical Storm Elsa passes Key West, Fla., on Tuesday, July 6, 2022. The weather was getting worse in southern Florida on Tuesday morning as Tropical Storm Elsa began lashing the Florida Keys, complicating the search for survivors in the condo collapse and prompting a hurricane watch for the peninsula's upper Gulf Coast. (Rob O'Neal/The Key West Citizen via AP) (Rob O'Neal)ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — (AP) — Hurricane Elsa threatened Florida's northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday after raking past the Tampa Bay region with gusty winds and heavy rain. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, however, predicted hockey’s Stanley Cup finals game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens would be played as scheduled Wednesday night. Elsa is the earliest fifth-named storm on record, said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.wftv.com
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.