Key West Mayor Craig Cates declares May Youth Leadership Month in the city on May 21. Specifically, he cited students in the new Tree Club at Horace O'Bryant Middle School who want to create a wildlife habitat at their school. Also honored were students who competed in the third annual Key West Botanical Gardens Go Green Science Fair and Key West High students who recently competed in their first state competition with a solar charger they designed. In addition, members of Florida Keys Community College's Environmental Club volunteer regularly to remove tons of trash from mangroves and beaches.
Monroe County Elections Supervisor Joyce Griffin (left) and Jay Bollenbacher, a customer relations manager for Dominion Voting in McKinney, Texas, show off what could be the next generation of voting machines for Monroe County. The county now uses AccuVote machines, but Griffin says they're 20 years old and need to be replaced. The Dominion machines are state of the art, including game-like consoles to help the disabled vote.
While many groups take tours of the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, more than 250 Keys students got free tours of it Easter through June 7, when school let out, as part of outreach program. 'We hope to continue to give a voice to sea turtles through the human future generation,' hospital staff says.
Student Katherine Panskyy from Island Christian School in Islamorada receives the Congressional Gold Award for public service, personal development and achievement. With her are (from left) Paxton Baker, chairman of the Congressional Award program; U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, who represents the Keys; and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who used to represent the Keys. The Congressional Award, established in 1979, is Congress' highest honor for America's youth.
As part of the recent National Nurses Week celebration, Mariners Hospital hosted visitors during Shadow a Nurse Day. They toured the hospital, spending a few hours walking in a nurse's shoes. Here in the Intensive Care Unit, nurses use a simulator to explain typical procedures. Attending are (from left) Judi Bray, Islamorada Village Councilman Mike Forster, state Sen. Dwight Bullard, and registered nurses Rosie Sanchez, Laura Berni and Zaneta Wylazlowska.
Wendy Ney, Haily Zamora, Janet Sneath, Karen Luknis and Jim Elkins have been have been certified as reading tutors through a Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County workshop for the English as a Second Language program. Tutors work on a one-to-one and small-group basis with adult students and families that are reading and writing below grade level 5.5 who might also have limited English proficiency.
Arie Reezy Stewart was named prom king and Yelixa Larios-Lopez prom queen at Marathon High School's recent senior prom at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key. By KAREN McKEON
A Memorial Day ceremony at the Hurricane Monument in Islamorada included the laying of a wreath to honor the military veterans and others who died in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. The Matecumbe Historical Trust organizes the ceremony each year. By PETE BACHELER
Monroe County Circuit Court judges, elected officials and others gather June 7 to unveil a dedication plaque for the newly refurbished courthouse in Marathon. The $1.3 million project began on Aug. 1, 2011, but experienced a pair of major delays. The County Commission deemed it Judge Ruth Becker Day for the long-serving Middle Keys judge (center) and named the courthouse's judge chambers in her honor. By RYAN McCARTHY
The Middle Keys Marine Association, represented by Vice President Eric Myrmel, distributes $500 scholarships to Marathon High School graduates (from left) Kaitlyn Boyden, Christine Rios and Sean Roussin. Another one was awarded to Coral Shoes High School student Dalton Lee Spaniol.
The Key West Police Department Love Fund's second annual orchid auction May 11 at the Square One restaurant raised about $3,000 from the sale of orchids grown at the Monroe Association of ReMARCable Citizens' plant store. The fund is used to help officers and their families in financial distress. Here, Mike Roth, who runs the plant store, and Jean Zeman, a police volunteer, take a break at the event.
On May 18 the Inez Martin Child Development Center in Key West, a branch of Wesley House Family Services, graduated 16 students from its preschool program who are now heading to kindergarten. The center's goal is to prepare children to enter the Monroe County school system with a solid educational foundation.
The Monroe County Fire Academy has graduated 16 new firefighters from the Firefighter II program. They are (top from left) Mary Napoli, Jennifer Shockley, Dylan Ellerbe, Kyle Malone and Todd Jones; (middle) Sergio Tellez, Jesse Fossum, Daniel Morales, Michael Elias, Shawn Cline, Michael Summers, Vincent Vega and Misael Lopez; and (bottom) Scott Thompson, Jerome Montague and Pete Setefano. All graduates are affiliated with volunteer fire departments across the Keys.
Venita Garvin Valdez (left), chief executive officer of the Monroe County Domestic Abuse Shelter, accepts a donation of women's clothing from Blue Boutique manager Betty Sperry. Blue Boutique fashions were recently showcased at the shelter's Peace, Love, and Palm Trees fundraiser in Islamorada. David Symons owns the boutique, which also has a Key West location.
Forty-five students in Richard Russell's commercial fishing course have completed an eight-week boating safety and seamanship course. It was combined effort of Russell and U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Jaret C. Mats from Station Islamorada. Petty officers and Jim Marcotte were the instructors.
One wants you to give blood, the other tries to stop bugs from sucking your blood. This was a blood drive at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District office on 107th Street in Marathon. The nonprofit OneBlood blood bank was created last year when the Community Blood Centers of South Florida, Florida's Blood Centers and Florida Blood Services merged. By MARC ANDERSON