The SMART Ride raises largest one-year total in 15 years for HIV/AIDS research

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The SMART Ride, the only HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country of its size to donate 100 percent of funds raised to HIV/AIDS research, revealed Nov. 17 that it had raised a record $1,171,849 in its 15th year – the largest one-year total in the not for profit’s history.

Hundreds of riders from Jacksonville, Key West, Orlando, Palm Beach, Tampa Bay and across the nation completed the two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West Nov. 16-17. Each rider was tasked with raising at least $1,250.

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14th Annual SMART Ride hits pause in Hurricane Irma’s wake

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY | The SMART Ride (Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride), the second largest HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country and the only one of its size to donate 100% of funds raised to AIDS/HIV research, will ride again this year—albeit later than normal.

The not-for-profit organization, which in its 13 years has distributed over $8.5 million to local HIV/AIDS charities like the Metro Wellness & Community Centers in Tampa Bay, was forced to postpone its 14th annual trek following the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma.

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Florida stripper arrested in Key West after murdering boyfriend suspected of being cannibal

By : Staff Report
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Justin Calhoun

Key West, Fla. | A Tampa stripper was arrested in Key West Aug. 14 after a bizarre altercation with a 67-year-old man, believed to be the stripper’s boyfriend, that left one of them in jail and the other dead.

Justin Calhoun, 24, listed in jail records as female and homeless, was arrested for attempted second-degree murder Aug. 15 after attacking Mark Brann, 67, in his Key West home, according to the Miami Herald.

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Arrest made in Key West hate crime, gay-bashing attack

By : Jeremy Williams
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Police arrested a North Carolina man accused of committing a hate crime against a gay couple in Key West.

The Miami Herald reports that Brandon Ray Davis, 30, was taken into custody by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in Richlands, N.C., Davis’ hometown, March 1.

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Drunken man hurls slurs at gay couple in Key West

By : Wire Report
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KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) – Police in Florida say a drunken man on a scooter hurled slurs and taunts at a gay couple in Key West.

A Key West police report says it happened early last Thursday morning as 38-year-old Kevin Seymour and 49-year-old Kevin Paul Taylor rode their bicycles down a street.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: SMART Ride, the Pink Triangle and Ybor shows the love

By : Anonymous
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RIDE FOR A CAUSE

After a two day track full of blood, sweat and tears, across a 165-mile stretch from Miami to Key West, the 2016 SMART Ride is done. At the end of the ride, which was held Nov. 17-18, organizers raised $1,037,140, about $45,000 of which came from right here from Tampa Bay area cyclists.

SMART Ride got started in 2003 with less than 100 riders and raised $169,000, all of which went to HIV/AIDS organizations in Florida. Fast forward 13 years, and with SMART Ride now raising more than $8 million in total, all going back to HIV/AIDS groups in the state, they are the second-largest AIDS bicycle ride in the country.

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Attitudes toward LGBT community at odds across Florida

By : Wire Report
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Tallahassee, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s Key West is one of the most gay-friendly places in the country. The Florida Panhandle – many locals call it the Redneck Riviera – is a different story.

The massacre of 49 people in a gay nightclub happened between these extremes, forcing many Floridians to reconsider their assumptions about the state’s evolving culture.

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Key West installs 4 rainbow crosswalks for LGBT support

By : Wire Report
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KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) – Pedestrians, bicycles and cars are traversing a colorful new section of Key West’s Duval Street following the installation of four permanent rainbow crosswalks.

Completed May 28 at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets, the crosswalks feature all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized gay and lesbian icon.

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Guest Column: A ‘Smart’ Ride for good

By : Chris Rudisill
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Chris Rudisill-2010

Chris Rudisill

In 2010, I was still relatively new to Florida. My first year in St. Petersburg was spent getting immersed in the LGBT community, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and beginning to find joy in the immense cycling opportunities throughout our area.

In doing so, I heard other riders and new friends talk about this SMART Ride event—a two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West. Having never been to Key West before, my partner and I started to train for the 7th Annual SMART Ride, or Southern-Most AIDS Ride Twenty-ten.

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Keys marriage forms changed to accommodate same-sex couples

By : Wire Report
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KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) – Marriage-license forms in the Florida Keys have been changed to accommodate same-sex couples, even though a judge’s ruling that gays can marry in Monroe County has been stayed pending a state appeal.

Since Judge Luis M. Garcia ruled July 17, siding with same-sex couples in the Keys who challenged Florida’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage as discriminatory, the county clerk’s office has been inundated with calls from people making plans to fly to Key West for their weddings, said Ron Saunders, the attorney for the clerk’s office.

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Key West couple sues for marriage equality

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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KEY WEST – A gay couple in Key West is following suit, literally.

Aaron Huntsman and his partner William Lee Jones sued Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin on April 1, after the couple was refused a marriage license. Huntsman and Jones want to wed on June 10, which will be the 11-year anniversary of their relationship and the 10-year anniversary of their commitment ceremony in Las Vegas.

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