Men and women swimmers from Northern Michigan cruised to victory in the Orange Bowl Swimming Classic at Key Largo’s Jacobs Aquatic Center on Jan. 3. Based in Marquette, Michigan, the Wildcats had a combined total of 536 points. Second-place Valparaiso University in Indiana had 155 points, while third-place finishers Colby-Sawyer College, located in New London, New Hampshire had 63 points. Every year, Jacobs Aquatic Center invites swim programs to participate in the training and swim classic. Visit for a full gallery. DAVID GROSS/ Keys Weekly

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Jim McCarthy is a northerner who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since his graduation from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3 years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. Behind every community is resiliency and resolve in difficult times. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim serves as President of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. “It’s a group that lives by the motto ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “We’ve done service projects at the Tavernier nursing home, sitting down and socializing with residents. “We’ve also supplied cameras to young students exploring the Keys ecosystem.” Jim loves sports, family and time exploring underneath the water depths.