Key West

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West's Historic Architectural Review Commission oversees all construction in the city's historic district — and the board can be notoriously finicky with applicants.

But NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. had no problem getting a green light from the board. He and his wife, Amy, won unanimous approval for their plans to restore a two-story house that was originally built around 1885.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West has long prided itself on its all-welcome ethos and has an official city motto of "One Human Family."

Tuesday, the City Commission approved a resolution affirming those values and vowing that all city services would remain accessible to all residents "regardless of immigration status." The resolution also stated that the city would not investigate or help investigate immigration status unless it was required to by state or federal law.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN


Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Sports commentator Frank Deford passed away yesterday, May 28 2017. He talked to WLRN's reporter Nancy Klingener a little over a month ago, when he filed his last piece for NPR. Here's what they talked about. 

Frank Deford recorded his final commentary for NPR this week — in Key West, where he spends winters. After that recording, he and WLRN Keys reporter Nancy Klingener talked about why he's chosen the southernmost city as his home.

Mark Hedden / WLRN

Constellation is an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, but she spends most of her time in the Pacific. She's part of the Navy's Marine Mammal program, based in San Diego.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The island at the end of the road has been the subject of a lot of different works of art in its time — paintings, poems, songs and novels. Now different forms of art are coming together in a site-specific performance piece called Key West Reverie.

Trice Denny / U.S. Navy

The image of the liveaboard life in the Keys is free and easy — toss down an anchor and you're home. But there's one location off Key West where the U.S. Navy wants the boats at anchor to move on. Now.

Fleming Key is a small island off Key West with facilities that the public rarely sees, like the city of Key West's sewage treatment plant. And bunkers where the Navy stores weapons and ammunition.

Those bunkers have "explosive safety arcs," or areas that could be blast zones in the case of an accident. Sailing and especially anchoring within those areas is prohibited.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The Key West Cemetery dates back to the mid-19th century — and some of the gravestones there have fallen into disrepair.

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A federal jury deliberated for just over an hour Tuesday before convicting a 25-year-old Key West man on two terror-related charges.

Harlem Suarez, 25, was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

The case started in April 2015 when the FBI received a report about a Facebook user who was attempting to recruit people to join ISIS, the terrorist group. That Facebook user was Suarez, then 23 and living with his parents in their apartment on Stock Island.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Swimmer Diana Nyad calls Key West her "home away from home."

She trained here before each of her attempts to swim across the Florida Straits from Cuba — and it was Key West she reached in September 2013, on her fifth attempt.

Thousands of people greeted her on the beach that day. It was a smaller crowd that greeted her Friday on the steps of the Custom House Museum — but it was enthusiastic.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Three years ago, arts groups in Key West and Cuba started an exchange with visual artists displaying their works on both islands. Now that exchange has moved onto the stage.

"Eclipse" was written by Jazz Vilá, a Cuban actor and director known for his work in movies like "Juan of the Dead." He also appears in one episode of the new Netflix series "Four Seasons in Havana."

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A Key West man charged with attempting to use a backpack bomb and trying to help ISIS went on trial in U.S. District Court Monday.

"This is a case of a man who believed in the ideals of ISIS, or ISIL," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton in opening arguments, calling Harlem Suarez, 25, "an individual who was obsessed with ISIS and set on violence."

Suarez's attorney said his client's Facebook posts were "just talk and no action" and that he only took any steps toward action after "persistent pressure and intimidation" from undercover federal operatives.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN


  Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary media artist. Sometimes he’s called a photographer and sometimes a privacy artist. Privacy is the subject of a lot of his art — he's best known for his project called Tracking Transience, where he posts images of his locations online. The project started after he began reporting his own whereabouts to the FBI.

 

The Key West City Commission plans to vote on a proposal to make conversion therapy a crime.


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."

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