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Water ruled out as cause of cancer hot spot Palm Beach County community

A state environmental study shows that the drinking water appears safe in a Palm Beach County community seeing a high number of brain cancer cases.

The findings released by the state Department of Environmental Protection found there are no signs the water in The Acreage is being contaminated with industrial or agricultural pollution.

Fears of environmental hazards driving up cancer rates in The Acreage prompted the tests. State health officials in late August said elevated levels of cancer might exist in The Acreage but noted their analysis was based on possibly outdated statistics from the 2000 U.S. census.

COOPER CITY

Mom passes out in van, kids wander off

A South Florida woman got behind the wheel of her minivan and passed out drunk, leaving her two young children to wander nearly 2 miles away from their home barefoot, authorities say.

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies say the 3-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl were in the minivan with Brenda Lee Duclos Wednesday. Investigators say the children wandered off after a couple of hours.

Deputies say Duclos was going to pick up her eldest child from school when she passed out.

She is charged with driving under the influence and child neglect. She refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test.

Duclos' husband, Joseph, said his wife "did a stupid thing."

PANAMA CITY BEACH

Nail in toddler's head, parents in jail

A toddler is in critical condition after having a nail removed from her fractured skull.

Her parents are in jail on drug and child abuse charges.

Police say the 18-month-old's father was high on methamphetamines Tuesday and broke a chair while jumping on it, sending nails flying, including one that penetrated the side of the child's head.

Authorities say the parents, John Paul and Jessica Huskey, waited until the next day to call for medical help.

They were both in the Bay County Jail charged with possession of methamphetamine, aggravated child abuse and other drug charges.

GAINESVILLE

YMCA is too broke to make the payroll

About 200 employees of a YMCA didn't get paychecks this week and officials blame declining memberships, donations and loss of United Way funding.

Employees of the North Central Florida YMCA were supposed to be paid Wednesday. Chief operating officer Mark Johnson says he hopes to be able to pay them next week.

The United Way cut its annual $100,000 funding, and donations have declined from $250,000 to $150,000 this year.

The North Central Florida YMCA operates in Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, Putnam and Union counties.

GAINESVILLE

UF's zombie defense plan is laid to rest

The University of Florida's response plans for a zombie apocalypse are no longer available for public consumption.

UF spokesman Steve Orlando said Friday the university removed a link to a disaster recovery exercise, which detailed how the school could respond to an outbreak of the undead.

The link was taken down late Thursday afternoon.

Orlando says officials felt the joke "didn't really belong" on the site, which also included plans for dealing with hurricanes and pandemics.

The exercise lays out the university's response to attacks by "flesh-eating, apparently life impaired individuals." Orlando says the employee who wrote the gag wasn't punished.

GAINESVILLE

UF bats get new and improved residence

A bat house that held 200,000 bats before it collapsed at the University of Florida is back and bigger than ever.

University's pest management coordinator Ken Glover says the structure has been repaired and expanded to house as many as 400,000 bats. A sign on the structure Friday read "vacancy" and "newly remodeled" in both English and Spanish.

Plans are to build a second structure nearby to provide space specially designed to accommodate baby bats. The expanded structure eventually could include a bat cam filming the action.

The collapse of the interior of the structure in August was due to the weight of the bats. The structure was built in 1991 to address a problem with bats roosting in campus athletic facilities.

Associated Press

Water ruled out as cause of cancer hot spot Palm Beach County community 10/02/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 2, 2009 10:28pm]

    

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