Nancy Klingener

Reporter

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares 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. 

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

When Monroe County put up a checkpoint to limit entry to the island chain, they thought they had an easy way to identify people who live in the Keys.

The Florida Channel

Florida has added capacity in staff and technology for its beleaguered unemployment website, which had problems even before an unprecedented surge of applicants thrown out of work by the coronavirus.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

At the Roman Catholic basilica in Key West there's a grotto, where the faithful pray when hurricanes are approaching the island. And islanders are turning to it now, as they face a different threat.

Courtesy Celine Peccatte and Lizzy Hoke

By putting an end to travel and gatherings of people, the coronavirus has stopped not only businesses and conferences but also important personal events. Like weddings.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

When Monroe County put up its check points at the county line on Friday, sheriff's deputies were joined by state troopers who were stationed in the Keys. But not for long, according to Monroe Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

The Florida Keys checkpoints at the county lines on U.S. 1 and Card Sound Road will remain up, Monroe County officials said Sunday.

So far, Monroe County has only seen a few cases of COVID-19 — three cases by the 6 p.m. Tuesday update. But the 100-mile-long island chain only has three hospitals — and one of them is a temporary facility while a new one is built to replace the building destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

Monroe County is setting up a roadblock to make sure only Keys residents can drive onto the island chain.

Mark Hedden / markhedden.com

In a move to prevent the spread of coronavirus, on Thursday evening Monroe County ordered hotels and other tourist lodging — like vacation rentals and RV parks — to close at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The county cited "the increasing cases [of coronavirus] in the counties north of Monroe County." As of 5 p.m. Thursday, there had been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Keys.

Hotels were directed to stop taking reservations immediately. The order is for two weeks, to be re-evaluated every day.

Original Marathon Seafood Festival

Posted at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12

One of the industries hit hardest by the coronavirus is travel. And the Florida Keys — while having no confirmed cases as of Thursday afternoon — are already feeling the effects.

Courtney Benson

Marine debris — or trash in the water — is a problem everywhere including the Florida Keys. And it got a lot worse when Hurricane Irma crashed across the Keys in September of 2017 as a Category 4 storm.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West is a small town with about 25,000 residents — but it receives many times its population in visitors from all over the world. So the city is getting ready for possible cases of the illness caused by the coronavirus.

William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection / Library of Congress

Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics to songs like "Moon River" and "Accentuate the Positive" — music that is part of the Great American Songbook. 

Some Mercer songs — then new and recorded on a demo reel in the 1960s for a show that was never produced — were recently performed for the first time, in Key West.


Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Monroe County voters will have more than just presidential primary candidates to consider on their March 17 ballots—all voters, regardless of party, will be asked to weigh in on an ongoing tax earmarked for teachers.

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