Gary Oliver's photo 'Back to the Island,' taken at Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Keys, won first place in the Friends of Florida State Parks' 2013 photo contest, says the Florida Park Service. Second and third place went to Pricilla McDaniel for photos taken at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. Annual contest winners are selected from 12 monthly photo contest winners. Go to www.floridastateparks.org for more.
The Florida Keys History and Discovery Foundation has reached an agreement with Upper Keys Historian Jerry Wilkinson (second from right) to scan, preserve and display his impressive collection of photographs and other historical artifacts. With Wilkinson at the announcement are (from left) foundation's Executive Director Jill Miranda Baker, Curator Brad Bertelli and President Rich Russell. The History and Discovery Center is in the conference center at the Islander Resort in Islamorada.
Marathon city employees have donated a combined $5,646 to the United Way of the Florida Keys, with the money coming from accumulated leave time of 177.5 hours. At the presentation are (from left) city Public Works Manager Carlos Solis, United Way President Margie Smith, city Planning Director George Garrett and city Personnel Services Coordinator Diana Naylor.
Staff from the Key West Wildlife Center responded to the beach on Naval Air Station Truman Annex Monday to collect the remains of this eight-and-a-half foot sawfish that washed up. U.S. Navy personnel helped responders to transfer the remains of the sawfish to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to record vital information and study.
More than 400 dinners were served Jan. 30 at Kirk of the Keys Presbyterian Church in Marathon at a fundraiser for the staff of Salty's Waterfront Grill and the 7 Mile Marina. The restaurant was destroyed and the marina damaged in a February fire, which investigators deemed not suspicious. The fundraiser included entertainment from numerous Salty's performers, including a Blues Brothers tribute duo from Miami.
Carlos and Allison Estape of Islamorada have been named the Key Largo-based Reef Environmental Education Foundation's volunteers of the year. They received the award for their continued participation in lionfish research and removals, and for collecting data on local fish populations.
Bill Gillette (left) installs new officers of the Marathon Sail & Power Squadron Jan. 25 at the Key Colony Inn in Key Colony Beach. They are (from right of Gillette) Cmdr. Tom Moore, Executive Officer Joe Stringfellow, Administrative Officer Jerry Ellis, Educational Officer Ruthanne Bishop, Treasurer Kathryn McCullough and Secretary Lyn Patterson. The squadron is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer.
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January, the city of Key West hosted a cookout at the Truman Waterfront soccer field followed by a parade through Bahama Village onto Duval Street. It featured a large U.S. Coast Guard contingent, the Police Department's popular Mounted Patrol, numerous elected leaders and an Old Town Trolley filled with young and old who turned out to honor the civil-rights leader.
The guided missile destroyer 'USS Cole' visited Key West in mid-January. NAS Key West managed the Cole's berthing at the Outer Mole Pier. The warship was attacked by al-Qaeda suicide bombers in Yemen in 2000, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39. 'She was rebuilt and continues to proudly serve the U.S. Navy and all of the U.S. today,' NAS Key West spokeswoman Trice Denny says.
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-2 just completed its latest three-week boating skills course in Marathon. Among those now considered safer boaters are (from left standing) Matt Wright, David Ruthenberg, Frank Shaw, Richard Ring, James Woodall, James Dean, Bud Taylor, Matt Sutton, Jim Bies and Norberto Figueredo; and (front) Cyna Wright, Sharon Miller, Jocelyn Meinl, Lynn Ruthenberg, Ericka Sutton, Dawn Christ and Rick Christ
The New York-based Cornell Lab of Ornithology -- one of the world's preeminent bird research centers -- each year conducts a nationwide photo contest seeking images of birds of all colors and sizes. The 2013 photo contest just ended, and two of the winners shot their top images in the Everglades. Fifth-place overall went to Howard Izenwasser for his shot of a double-crested cormorant while fourth place in the behavior category went to Shauna Contrell's image of two tree swallows snuggling.
The Jan. 25 Bougainvillea Ball to benefit Mariners Hospital in Tavernier raised $260,000 for the medical center's Oncology Services Department. The ball, held at Founders Park in Islamorada, was organized by (from left) Laura Milford, Kathy Schrock, Claudia Stober, Jo Ganus, Betty Anne Schilling, Agnes Rishell and Holly Raschein. Robert Hewett of Ocean Reef won a 16-foot Hewes Redfisher boat, 90 horsepower four-stroke Yamaha outboard motor and a Continental aluminum trailer donated by Bill Gilbert.