Nancy Klingener

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami HeraldSolares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.

She is a Spring 2014 graduate of the Transom Story Workshop. She is on the board of the Key West Literary Seminar and reviews books for the Miami Herald

For decades, one of the most popular exhibits at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West was "lift a gold bar." Until eight years ago — when two men lifted it. As in stole it.

Monroe County has an offer for those who want to return home right away after a hurricane: Take a 32-hour training course and get a special pass that will get you back in the first days after a storm, before the general public.

There are three hospitals in the Florida Keys — and one of them was critically wounded by Hurricane Irma. Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon has been operating as a field hospital since the storm. Now the hospital’s nonprofit owner is seeking some help from Middle Keys taxpayers to keep it going.

Eight years after it was stolen from a Key West treasure museum — and almost 400 years after it sank to the bottom of the ocean — a gold bar is at the center of a federal trial that began Tuesday in Key West.

There’s been a lot of interest and attention on national politics since the 2016 presidential election. But in the Florida Keys, politics has always served as a form of entertainment.

As the rainy season returns — along with the disease-carrying mosquitoes that reproduce in standing water — the public is getting another chance to comment on one proposed method for fighting mosquitoes.

The Florida Keys have had a crisis in affordable housing for decades — and it got worse after Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott now has a new proposal to add rental units for workers and get around the island chain's strict growth limits.

The public library in Key West just threw a farewell party — for a guy who left town more than 150 years ago.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, a couple dozen people gathered in a place you’d normally want to spend as little time as possible.

Locals call it the Triangle — a piece of median where U.S. 1 connects with Key West.

They were celebrating the return of the iconic “Welcome” sign that was dislodged by Hurricane Irma — then stolen in the days after the storm.

The forecasters got Hurricane Irma mostly right. At least compared to the predictions of past storms. That’s one of the conclusions from a National Hurricane Center report on the big storm that hit Florida last September.

A brushfire has burned about 100 acres and destroyed one home on Big Pine Key — an island that saw some of the worst devastation from Hurricane Irma.

Sofas, refrigerators, pipes and lobster traps all wound up littering the Keys reef and backcountry flats after Hurricane Irma blew through in September.

Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary wants to deploy volunteer divers to remove the debris.

Divers from a Key Largo environmental group and a Miami science museum removed an orangespine unicornfish from a reef off the Upper Keys this week.

The underwater rapid response team was put together to prevent another exotic species like lionfish from getting a finhold in South Florida waters. Unicornfish are popular in the saltwater aquarium trade, and are native to the tropical Pacific.

Working to protect a rare, endangered butterfly usually involves work in the field or the lab, or sometimes meetings and conference calls.

Now helping out the Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak butterfly can mean drinking a beer — or at least buying one.

More than six months after Hurricane Irma, life in the Florida Keys is back to normal for a lot of people. Most of the hotels are back in business. Spring Break is on.

But a closer look finds that recovery can be slow and frustrating — and in some ways is just getting started.

Bill Tubbs and his family are basically camping out in their house on Big Pine Key. Most of the walls are still down to studs. There’s an air mattress in the living room.

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