In 2005, we ran a story about a vigilante Mayor who dashed from his business’ office to thwart the attempted robbery of an employee’s bicycle.
A crackhead had emerged from the mangroves and nonchalantly sauntered up to the Marooned in Marathon gift shop, climbed on top of a mountain bike and took off.
That spry Mayor was Weekly Newspapers founder and former partner John Bartus and the employee was your humble editor.
Since then, we have covered a number of news stories in the Florida Keys like the tragic death of a woman who was killed when a stingray struck her in the head, local politics, hurricanes, and entertainment from the stretch all the way to mile marker zilch.
But the personal stories of our friends and neighbors, like the Key Largo family who launched Autism Society of the Keys (ASK), or any Neighbor of the Week feature are the ones that really stick out for us.
Those human-interest pieces have allowed our papers to grow and become successful. As children of the information age, we understand the Internet is the best source for national and breaking news, so we focus on the important stuff – our faithful readers.
Because the Weekly Newspapers are a locally owned business, we take great pride in bragging about other local operations and highlighting colorful characters that inhabit our islands.
The Weekly Newspapers made its auspicious debut in Marathon driveways on Sunday, September 14, 2003 and this week, we celebrate six years of publishing greatness.
Perhaps Bartus is the one who stated it best. “Color. Just one simple color.”
Launched by Bartus and Ed & Loretta Frost as a way to finally get the color right for Exit Realty’s signature teal, the Weekly family has grown to include editions in Key West, the Upper Keys and Homestead with additional glossy publications like Tropical Living, the Boot Key Harbor Cruiser’s Guide and the Official Hurricane Preparation manual.
And we are still growing.
The paper was born in an apartment next to that gift shop, moved to our present location in the Maytag building, which now seems to represent a daycare facility as much as it is a newspaper office. We anticipate another move in the coming month because staff additions have forced us to bigger quarters. (See article below on the front page to meet the Weekly staff.)
With the addition of our Key West Bureau Chief/Baby Sister earlier this year, we are also poised to take America’s southernmost city – and we know the recipe.
Our Mission Statement:
The Weekly Newspapers are a locally owned newspaper group focusing of the public we serve. The publishing company prides itself on community service and activism and seeks to provide news and stories that inform, enlighten, inspire and entertain.