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. 

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended Tuesday at 9:49 pm the search for a group of Cuban migrants reported missing Monday. 

Since Saturday, five bodies have been found in the waters or on the islands of the Florida Keys. They are believed to be from a group of 23 people who left Cuba on September twentieth aboard of what the Coast Guard describes as a “rustic boat.” 

 

Jeremy Dixon / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 Burmese pythons have established themselves in the Everglades — and now they appear to be breeding in the Florida Keys, according to state and federal wildlife agencies.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

  The Keys have changed a lot in the last four decades — ask anyone who's visited or lived there during that time.

But one thing has remained the same: the toll collected at the booth on Card Sound Road, the only connection between the islands and the mainland other than U.S. 1. It's 50 cents an axle, the same price it has been since 1969.

"What's the same price as it was in 1969?" Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi said Wednesday. "Nothing. Only that toll."

Scott Fraser / City of Key West

When it comes to sea level rise, Key West is pretty much as vulnerable as it gets. The island's average elevation is less than five feet above sea level. A tide gauge at Key West Harbor tracks the steady rise of the sea over the last century.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Over the weekend, many people in South Florida and throughout the nation took part in ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

One group of South Florida military veterans observed the anniversary by providing more service. The Miami platoon of The Mission Continues nonprofit traveled to Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park.

  The group has been working with the Suncoast chapter of the National Parks Conservation Association to help out the parks. The National Park Service is marking its centennial this year.

Monroe County Public Library

  Eighty years ago, hurricanes weren't given human names. So the storm that devastated the Upper Keys in 1935 is known simply by the day it swept across Islamorada: the Labor Day Hurricane.

Islamorada in 1935 was a small village of a few hundred people, scraping through the Depression growing Key limes and pineapples. The village was also the site of a camp for hundreds more: relief workers building a highway. Most of those workers were World War I veterans.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  The lack of new film incentives in Florida hasn't stopped one movie production from shooting some of its scenes in the state.

"The Leisure Seeker," starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, is set to shoot for several days in the keys later this month.

On Thursday, a casting call for extras drew Key Westers needed to play medical personnel, a wedding party and tourists.

There was no call for a parrot, but Mango was there anyway with her owners, Thane and Tami Gilliam.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  While Florida Keys residents debate the use of genetically modified mosquitoes ahead of a November referendum, a new survey finds that a majority of Floridians supports the concept.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Key West has a great restaurant scene — but people who live on the island know that to get true local delicacies you have to get inside someone's kitchen. Preferably someone who was born in the Keys, or a Conch in local parlance.

Someone like Martin Liz. He was born and raised on the island and he knows how to handle a conch filet.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  When Cuban migrants cross the Florida Straits and arrive on U.S. shores in homemade vessels, it's news for a day or two. Now, for a museum in Key West, it is also history.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum has created a permanent exhibit featuring the Mariana. The boat came ashore on Smathers Beach in Key West in August of last year.

Diveheart

  Gabriel Spataro was instrumental in placing an Italian statue, cast from the same mold as Genoa's Christ of the Abyss, in the waters off Key Largo.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Billy Causey has been in the Florida Keys since the early 1970s. And in that time, he's figured out a few things.

"There's some things you learn not to talk about. You know — religion, politics ... and mini-season," Causey said. "You don't go to a party in the Keys and talk about any one of those three."

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  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."

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Three groups of Cuban migrants, totaling 29 men, arrived in the Keys  Sunday and Monday. 

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, 13 men came ashore on Key Largo near mile marker 99 at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Savannah Koval / Monroe County Public Information

Propane tanks once used for home heating have found new life in the Florida Keys, as art and resting places.

California artist Colin Selig made a bench and loveseat from the old tanks. The new pieces were recently installed at the Monroe County Courthouse in Marathon.

  The county sets aside 1 percent of the budget for art from all major new construction and renovation projects (except for sewage treatment plants). The budget for the new benches was $14,200.

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