Key West

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A Key West man was arrested this week on a federal charge after planning to bury a backpack timer bomb on the beach and set it off remotely with a cell phone, according to a charging document unsealed Tuesday. 

According to the affidavit, Harlem Suarez, 23, listed his "likes" on a Facebook account under his real name as "Jihadist," "Extraordinary Prayer for ISIS" and "Prayers for ISIS: Weapons of our Warfare." 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

On Monday, the Key West Police Department will join the growing ranks of South Florida law enforcers wearing body cameras.

The department has been working on training and coming up with a policy for body cameras since February. That's when the Monroe County Sheriff's Office gave the police 100 cameras. The money came from fees that the Sheriff's Office receives to administer grants under the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.

How Well Do You Know Ernest Hemingway?

Jul 20, 2015
Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Key West was home to many famous American writers, but the most well known is Ernest Hemingway.

More than 50 years after his death, hundreds flock to the writer's old hometown near the end of July for the annual Hemingway Days festival. It begins Tuesday, July 21, on the 116th anniversary of his birthday.

Arthur Rothstein / Arthur Rothstein Archive

Arthur Rothstein was a young man in the 1930s. He originally wanted to be a doctor. But it was the Depression and he went to work for the Farm Security Administration, documenting American workers and the conditions they faced.

In 1938, that assignment took him to Key West. The city suffered more than most in the Depression, declaring bankruptcy and essentially handing itself over to the state. The state, in turn, brought in a New Deal administrator who decided the island should remake itself as a tourist mecca.

Graphic by Uber. Color darkened by WLRN for clarity.

Two weeks ago, the city of Key West police department announced that it would start arresting drivers for app-based ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Now it's followed through. On Friday evening, according to the police department, an undercover officer arranged for a ride from the airport to a local hotel.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The land along Key West's western shore was one of the first areas of the island to be developed, when the U.S. Navy established a base there in the 1820s. It eventually became known as Truman Annex, after the president who liked to vacation in Key West. Now it's called the Truman Waterfront, and it's set to become a new park for the city.

Key West Mayor Craig Cates says it's always been an important part of the city.

Rob O'Neal / Florida Keys News Service

While Americans all over the country were celebrating the Fourth of July with pies, and apple pie is considered a national emblem, Key Westers were devoting themselves to the island chain's signature fruit — the Key lime.

Graphic by Uber. Color darkened by WLRN for clarity.

Key West will start arresting drivers for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, the city announced Tuesday.

Starting Wednesday, any driver violating the city's vehicle-for-hire ordinance will be arrested, said Alyson Crean, the city spokeswoman. The city has 56 licenses, all of them issued to taxi companies.

Monroe County Public Library

Update: June 18, 3:39 p.m.: The Key West City Commission this week approved the $250,000 commitment toward repairs for the Schooner Western Union.

That commitment clears the way for the nonprofit that owns the historic schooner to apply for a state grant that would match the city's money 2-to-1.

Airbnb

Airbnb is a hugely popular way to find someplace to stay on vacation. More than 25 million guests have used the service, according to the website.

But in the Florida Keys, renting your home for less than a month requires a special license. The city of Key West's Code Compliance Board agenda for this week included 14 cases against unlicensed vacation rentals.

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