Nancy Klingener

Reporter

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.

She is a Spring 2014 graduate of the Transom Story Workshop. She is on the board of the Key West Literary Seminar and reviews books for the Miami Herald. 

wlrn.org

President Donald Trump's news conference Tuesday was supposed to be about his executive order on infrastructure.

Most of the attention has gone to his controversial statements blaming "both sides" for violence in Charlottesville during a rally by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

But the executive order is also receiving some pushback from a South Florida Republican.

The order is supposed to speed up improvements to the nation's roads, bridges and railways.

South Florida Holds Peace Vigils In Response To Violence In Charlottesville

Aug 14, 2017
Peter Haden / WLRN News

In communities across South Florida, people gathered on Sunday evening to pray for peace and honor those killed in the violence during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Sharkwater.com

Rob Stewart, the underwater filmmaker who was shooting a documentary off the Florida Keys in January, drowned, according to the autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

The report was obtained by The Reporter, a weekly newspaper in the Upper Keys.

Stewart was in the Keys making a film for his "Sharkwater" series. He and a dive partner were in very deep water, 220 feet.

The last year has been a divisive one for our national political scene. But one uniting factor has been to turn a lot more of us into political junkies - talking, texting and tweeting about the latest moves in Congress or the White House as if they were episodes of "Game of Thrones."

Sometimes, though, it's nice to take a break from the fire hose of breaking updates and Twitter feeds and read an entire book. We asked some journalists who closely follow politics for their recommendations.

Monroe County Tourist Development Council

Every year in the late summer, the dive and tourism industries in the Florida Keys encourage people to come to the island chain and watch the reproductive act first-hand — on the reef.

Mark Hedden

Key West's Navy presence is more in the air than on the sea. But the Navy still has a pier on the island's waterfront and Navy ships sometimes pull in there.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

A weekend vote in Venezuela to choose a "constituent assembly" that will rewrite the country's constitution - but which critics say will create a Cuba-style dictatorship - led to widespread violence and international rejection of the outcome.

On Monday, President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Venezuela's socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, branding him a "dictator." Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called the so-called constituyente election "a sham."

Simon Cocks / Flickr

Florida takes its hits, from late-night TV jokes to, now, even a ranking as the worst state in the nation for a “staggeringly impressive” “awfulness resume,” according to the website Thrillist.

But for all the Flori-duh jokes (that we make, too, but we live here so it’s OK), this is an astonishingly large, diverse, beautiful, interesting and yeah, sometimes staggeringly awful place — and it has produced some remarkable works of literature.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

About 20 people gathered on the steps of Key West City Hall Thursday afternoon to protest President Donald Trump's declaration that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military.

Mark Ebenhoch organized the protest. He spent 23 years in the Marines and he said local elected officials should take a public stand.

"You need to speak out and say, 'It's wrong.' Whether or not you voted for Trump makes no difference," Ebenhoch said. "It is wrong, period, and you need to say so. Because silence basically is condonement."

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

While mainland South Florida ramps up its battle against the mosquito that can carry Zika, the Florida Keys has already begun the region's most intensive mosquito control operation.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Marine thefts are a chronic problem in the Keys. Fishing gear, dive equipment, engines — sometimes even entire boats - are stolen from marinas, canals and backyards in the area.

Those thefts happen year-round, but there's a noticeable uptick in summer, especially during the annual two-day recreational lobster mini-season, when thousands of boaters come to the Keys. This year's mini-season is Wednesday-Thursday, July 26-27.

Key West Art & Historical Society

Twenty-five years before the Spanish-American War,  the two countries bristled at each other across the Florida Straits, with a show of American Naval force assembled in Key West.

The Virginius Affair centered around the 1873 capture of an American ship that was helping Cuban rebels during the Ten Years War, an unsuccessful attempt to throw off Spanish rule from the island.

The Virginius was originally a Confederate blockade runner during the American Civil War. In the 1870s, it was carrying weapons to Cuban rebels. It was crewed by American and British citizens.

Bob Care / Florida Keys News Bureau

The annual Poker Run that sees an estimated 10,000 motorcycles travel down the Keys is officially off.

"There will be NO Poker Game or official stops," according to an announcement on the event's web page, hosted by organizer Peterson's Harley-Davidson. "Sorry for all the confusion, we have not been able to get the support of local Charities and Volunteers this year."

But it appears that the event is not permanently gone.

We've had mangoes on our mind all month. (Stay tuned for an upcoming story about mango chutney!)

Then we remembered Miami Spice month starts Aug. 1. So, to prepare for deals on delicious meals in South Florida, we asked two writers and a chef about their favorite food books. 

Monroe County

A new program in the Keys aims to help boaters dispose of "end-of-life" boats — those that are in poor condition but still floating — before they are abandoned and become an expensive problem for the county.

The Vessel Turn-In Program would be the first in Florida, though not the first in the country. The Keys were chosen "because we have so many of them and they cost so much to remove," said Richard Jones, the county's senior resources administrator.

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