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. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A stray dog in Homestead was infested with screwworm, the invasive pest that is hated and feared by the agriculture industry, state officials said Monday.

It's the first case on the mainland. Screwworm was discovered last fall in the Lower Keys, the first U.S. infestation in more than 30 years.

Since then, more than 80 million sterile screwworm flies have been released in the Lower and Middle Keys. That's the proven method for eradicating screwworm.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

There are a lot of endangered species in South Florida — and especially in the Florida Keys. Dozens of volunteers recently gathered recently to help build new homes for one of those species.

Miami Herald

A relatively small Keys-based water utility is objecting to expansion plans by mainland giant Florida Power & Light.

Donald Catala / Monroe County Sheriff's Office

The Overseas Highway  — the only route through the Florida Keys — was closed for hours Friday morning by a fatal accident.

The crash happened at about 9 a.m. at mile marker 16 in the Lower Keys. According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, there were severe injuries and one person was killed. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating.

Just before noon, the Sheriff's Office notified the public that the road was back open, but traffic was stalled approximately 10 miles in both directions. The Overseas Highway has been clogged with traffic all week.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

This story originally aired July 19, 2016. 

When Patty Tiffany leads tours of the Key West Cemetery for the Historic Florida Keys Foundation, there's one gravestone that gets a lot more attention than the elaborate grave sites and mausoleums at the cemetery, which dates back to the middle of the 19th century.

That would be the grave of B.P. "Pearl" Roberts. It's a simple stone with a famous inscription: "I Told You I Was Sick."

Mote Marine Laboratory

A rare species of shark swims past the Florida Keys, Cuba and the Bahamas as it journeys between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, a new study has found.

The study was conducted by American and Cuban scientists working together and provides a rare glimpse at the behavior of the longfin mako shark.

Two sharks were tagged with satellite trackers, one in 2012 and one in 2015.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

As a new federal administration takes over in Washington D.C. — after an election in which immigration issues were prominent — one South Florida city may take a stand on the issue.

Key West City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley said he wants his hometown to become a sanctuary city, adopting an official policy toward undocumented immigrants similar to the military's old "don't ask, don't tell" policy on sexual orientation.

Monroe County Public Library

Key West residents are following William Hackley's every move - even though he has been dead for 150 years. 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

It appears the endangered Key deer are winning the battle against the deadly screwworm fly.

But U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials are taking no chances as the deer head into fawning season, when the does and fawns will be especially vulnerable. Screwworm flies lay their eggs in the open wounds of warm-blooded animals. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the living flesh of the host.

Courtesy Key West PD

A group of random, lucky Key Westers had a bad day turned very good Wednesday when they were pulled over by Key West police officers — but instead of getting a ticket, each received a $100 bill.

The holiday largesse came courtesy of an anonymous donor who gave the Key West Police Department $5,000 for a "community give-back program." Police Chief Donie Lee and Capt. J.R. Torres led officers on their Secret Santa mission, approaching random citizens and giving them cards with the money and a message from the donor.

Diane Borden-Billiot / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

A Key deer was euthanized this week after it was found to be infested with screwworm. That's the bad news.

The good news is that it had been almost a month since the previous death, Nov. 14. That means the loss of the endangered species has slowed way down since the outbreak was confirmed in late September.

A total of 133 Key deer have died from the screwworms. Screwworm flies lay their eggs in the open wounds of warm blooded animals. When the eggs hatch, the larvae consume the living flesh of the host.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West is known for celebrating its history. But until recently, the graves of two of the island's most influential African-American citizens were unmarked.

Now that's been rectified by the efforts of the city — which runs the cemetery — and the Historic Florida Keys Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for restoration from cemetery tours.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Florida Keys Community College established a mariculture program six years ago, after the movie "Finding Nemo" created a craze for clownfish like the title character.

But it wasn't until Mick Walsh arrived three years ago to head up the college's marine environmental technology department that the program took off.

"When I got here, we had eight pairs of parent fish and that was it," Walsh said. "And now we have eight pairs of parent fish and hundreds, hundreds of baby clownfish and many more that have also been adopted out to community members and students."

Monroe County Public Library

While the election of Donald Trump and the death of Fidel Castro have brought new uncertainty to U.S.-Cuba relations, the city that's closest to Cuba is still aiming for closer ties.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the Florida Keys, where ties to Cuba date back more than a century, news of Fidel Castro's death met a more muted response than on the mainland.

There were no spontaneous celebrations on the streets or even at Cuban restaurants. But of course the news was on everyone's minds Saturday morning.

Sonya Leto is a fifth-generation Conch, or Keys native. She was getting her Cuban coffee fix at El Mocho café on Stock Island. She said the news made her think of her late great-grandmother, who came from Cuba after Castro took power.

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