Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida briefs: 12 Cuban migrants survive boat sinking


12 Cuban migrants survive boat sinking

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that air crews rescued 12 Cuban migrants after their vessel sank in the Caribbean Sea.

The Coast Guard received reports Thursday morning of migrants suffering from dehydration, stranded on Lobos Cay Island, Bahamas. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater dispatched an HC-144 Ocean Sentry plane and an MH-60 helicopter to search for the group.

After locating the migrants, the plane's crew dropped emergency supplies, and the helicopter landed and retrieved the migrants. The group was turned over to Bahamian officials in Nassau, Bahamas.

No injuries were reported.


ATV crash kills man, injures another man

Authorities are investigating after an all-terrain vehicle crash in Central Florida left one man dead and another seriously injured.

Florida Highway Patrol officials say the driver was speeding Friday night and struck a pole, ejecting himself and his passenger. It's unclear who was driving the ATV at the time of the crash. Daniel Huffman, 22, of Oviedo, died and Wayne Badertecher, 23, is in critical condition.

Authorities are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.


FHP troopers join I-75 safety campaign

Expect increased patrols in the coming weeks as Florida Highway Patrol troopers step up enforcement along Interstate 75.

A new initiative called "Staying Alive On 75" pairs Florida troopers with law enforcement agencies in a handful of other states with the overall goal of reducing deaths on I-75 by 15 percent in 2014.

Troopers on I-75 are using aircraft to step up their enforcement through this weekend and the coming weekends. FHP Lt. Greg Bueno says this weekend's focus is on distracted driving.

The Naples Daily News reports that future weekends will focus on other issues with motorists, including driving while impaired.


Music fest crashers stomp security guard

Police say a private security guard has been seriously injured after being trampled by a crowd who stormed the fences around Miami's Ultra Music Festival.

The Miami Herald reports the unidentified 28-year-old Contemporary Services Corp. guard was hospitalized Friday night with severe brain hemorrhaging.

Police said those storming the fence did not have tickets and were trying to crash the festival where organizers are expecting more than 165,000 people.

Event security has been a frequent concern. The newspaper reports the area where the guard was trampled did not feature sturdier, portable fencing that cannot be climbed such as that used in other areas of the festival.

Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss said they are looking for witnesses.

Meanwhile, 22 others were arrested on the first night of the electronic music fest.


Dirt biker killed in collision with truck

Authorities say a 14-year-old boy has died after his dirt bike collided with a large truck in Central Florida.

Truck driver Joshua Martinez told Polk County sheriff's officials he saw the dirt bike on the grass shoulder of the road Friday afternoon, and as he drove past the intersection the teen struck the truck's rear wheels.

Cory Flemming Jr. sustained serious injuries and died at the scene. The area is an undivided two-lane roadway.


Two nesting hawks pursue library patrons

Six people have been attacked outside a Central Florida library this week by a pair of hawks nesting in a nearby tree.

County officials are advising library patrons to use umbrellas as shields from the two red-shouldered hawks. County spokesman Dave Byron said three patrons of Port Orange Regional Library were scratched on the head, but no one was hospitalized.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports the hawks were trying to protect what appears to be three babies in the nest.

Byron said the hawks are a federally protected species and the nest can't be removed without a special permit. The library will provide escorts and umbrellas for the next few weeks until the babies are able to fly out of the nest and their parents are less protective.


Sea turtle poacher faces up to 5 years

A South Florida man has pleaded guilty to poaching more than 300 sea turtle eggs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office reports that Kenneth Cornelius Coleman, 52, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of unlawfully transporting endangered sea turtle eggs. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Authorities say Coleman took 316 sea turtle eggs from nests in Juno Beach over two days last July. The poaching was discovered by employees at a sea turtle rescue center, who were able to rebury 219 eggs found in canvas bags on the beach. Another 97 eggs discovered by police the next day were also reburied.

Witnesses identified the poacher as Coleman. He previously spent 30 months in jail for transporting endangered sea turtle eggs in 2010.

Times wires

Florida briefs: 12 Cuban migrants survive boat sinking 03/29/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 29, 2014 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump associate Roger Stone to talk to House panel in Russia probe


    WASHINGTON — The House intelligence panel will interview two of President Donald Trump's associates behind closed doors this week as congressional committees step up their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Roger Stone talks to reporters outside a courtroom in New York this past March. The House intelligence panel will interview Stone behind closed doors Tuesday as congressional committees step up their investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Fformer Trump staffer Boris Epshteyn also will talk to the House panel. [Associated Press]
  2. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.

  3. Romano: Sure, let's trust a board with no professionalism, transparency or ethics

    Local Government

    So, if you've been following the bureaucratic carnage:

  4. St. Petersburg mayor's debate: Rick vs. Rick 2.0 starts tonight


    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker are getting back together.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker (left) is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman in St. Petersburg's mayoral election. These photos were taken during the July 25 televised debate. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Pinellas County embarks on $19-million project to pull muck out of Lake Seminole


    SEMINOLE — Environmental experts, always concerned about the water quality of Lake Seminole, are assessing how much Hurricane Irma may have stirred up the nearly 1 million cubic yards of muck that lay on the bottom.

    Despite the expenditure of more than $30 million over nearly two decades, improved water quality in Lake Seminole remains elusive. The muck that lines the bottom of the 684-acre freshwater lake keeps accumulating while the cost to remove it keeps rising. Having exhausted less drastic methods for restoring the lake, the county is about to embark on a six-year dredging project expected to cost $18.6 million. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times