Florida Keys

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

A pest that had been eradicated from the U.S. has re-appeared in the Lower Florida Keys.

It's the first local infestation of New World screwworm in the U.S. in more than 30 years.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Saeed Adyani/Netflix

"Bloodline," the Netflix TV series set in the Florida Keys, is set to return for a third season.

That's according to social media posts on Twitter and Facebook, as well as a story in the Hollywood Reporter.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  The old Seven Mile Bridge hasn't carried car traffic since 1982.

But the span from Knight's Key to Pigeon Key has become a kind of linear park for the Middle Keys, offering spectacular sunset views.

  "We're fortunate to be able to have the bridge that we can walk out on," said Leslie Christensen of Marathon. "It think it attracts a lot of tourists and a lot of people like to come and take pictures. It's a real iconic part of Marathon."

FWC

  Hogfish, an orange fish in the wrasse family, may be ugly but they're increasingly popular in the Florida Keys.

That's especially true for people who spearfish, like Lea Moeller of Key West.

"It's one of the only fish that's slow enough for me to shoot," Moeller said. "But it's also delicious."

The number of hogfish caught in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean last year increased so sharply that the recreational season was closed in August for the first time ever.

Seychelle Hattingh

A Key Largo native is making a name for herself in stand up paddling, and is now among the top 10 fastest female paddlers in the world.

Twenty-eight-year-old Seychelle Hattingh started using a stand up paddle board two years ago. Already, she has become a world class competitor. Hattingh just came home to the Keys after a series of wildly successful competitions in France, Spain and Germany.

Facebook

  Attorneys for Harlem Suarez, the 24-year-old Key West man arrested last year on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, are seeking to delay his trial after the shootings at an Orlando nightclub.

  Suarez was arrested last year after federal agents said he made a recruitment video for the Islamic State. Suarez bought materials and worked with an undercover agent to make a bomb that was planned to go off on a beach or under a police car, according to the arrest affidavit.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  A survey of households in Key Haven, the neighborhood proposed for the first U.S. trial of genetically modified mosquitoes, found a majority of respondents opposed to the test.

Researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore sent surveys to every household in the neighborhood.

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