Washington, D.C.U.N. returns Everglades to list of imperiled sites

Everglades National Park is endangered again — and according to the Obama administration, that's a good thing. Three years ago the United Nations' World Heritage Committee removed the park from its global list of imperiled sites, citing the progress made toward Everglades restoration. The change, made at the behest of a Bush administration official, went against the National Park Service's own recommendation and the U.N. committee's science advisers. Now a new administration has persuaded the U.N. group to put the Everglades back on its list. The restoration work remains years behind schedule.

FORT LAUDERDALE

Feds say Rothstein owes $188M to Ponzi victims

Federal prosecutors say more than $188 million in restitution is owed to victims of the Ponzi scheme operated by former Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein.

Prosecutors said in a court filing last week that they have identified 218 people with legitimate claims. They also said more people may be added if they can provide proper documentation of losses.

Assets including cash, real estate, houses, boats and jewelry have been seized from Rothstein. But officials say the value is far less than $188 million, so victims will likely only get a portion of their money back.

Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges of running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

LAKELAND

Man bit off girlfriend's fingertip, authorities say

A Polk County man is in jail for allegedly biting off the tip of his girlfriend's finger during an argument at a party.

Authorities said Monday that Apolinar Guerro was arrested and charged with felony battery on Sunday. The 31-year-old is being held without bail in the Polk County Jail because of an immigration detainer.

Authorities say Guerro's girlfriend, Cesilia Tello, was taken to a local hospital to have her finger reattached.

GULF BREEZE

Man charged with killing dog 'possessed by devil'

A Panhandle man has been charged with killing and skinning his family dog because he believed it was possessed by the devil.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office reports that deputies responded Sunday to a Gulf Breeze home, where 25-year-old Matthew O. Foote had reportedly killed the dog.

Investigators say Foote said the 7-year-old dachshund-chihuahua mix was possessed by Satan. He reportedly showed no emotion while he described how he stabbed the dog several times, skinned it in the back yard, burned the body in a shallow grave and threw the skin and entrails in a nearby wooded area.

PALM BEACH

Officials: Eating lionfish can slow damage to reefs

Conservationists are urging seafood aficionados to dine on lionfish, the voracious invasive species attacking Florida's offshore reefs.

The fish have been appearing in increasing numbers this summer, eating small fish on coral reefs. They can produce 30,000 eggs every four days and have no natural enemies.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has launched an "Eat Lionfish" campaign.

Conservationists hope building an appetite for the fish's light, white flesh can help decrease numbers and prevent further damage to the reefs.

Associated Press

Washington, D.C.U.N. returns Everglades to list of imperiled sites 08/03/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 12:14am]

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