Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Denver airport parking lots under siege — by rabbits

Security at Denver International Airport aims to protect cars from vandalism and theft, but there's a new threat at its expansive parking lot.

Ravenous rabbits.

Officials say the animals are causing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in damage to cars by devouring the wires under the hood.

Officials with the U.S. Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services in the Denver area are removing at least 100 rabbits every month, but the problem persists. The airport is surrounded by prairie, and the rabbits are seeking warmth and food in the parked vehicles.

"They come to the recently driven cars for warmth, and once they're there, they find that many of the materials used for coating ignition cables are soy-based, and the rabbits find that quite tasty," Wiley Faris, a spokesman for the nearby Arapahoe Autotek repair center told the Los Angeles Times.

Faris said it's not just a problem at the airport but at nearby apartment buildings. "A lot of people have called us," he said. "They return to their cars and either they won't start or they don't run well because the wires are all chewed up."

He said the perpetrators are easily identified by the fur and pellets left behind.

Repair costs, which can run into the thousands of dollars, are often not covered by insurance. Airport officials say parking permits clearly state they are not responsible for any damages, which means the repairs are the responsibility of the driver.

In the morning, the landscape is awash in rabbits.

"I see at least dozens every morning. They go hide under the cars, and the cars are warm," airport shuttle driver Michelle Anderson told KCNC-TV.

Laura Coale, a spokeswoman for the airport, said officials have only received a handful of claims.

"We have 53 square miles of land," she said. "We had 4.3 million parking transactions in 2012, and we only received three claims. People are not coming to us. They go to the newspaper and say their damage happened here. Why here, versus any other place in Colorado?"

Still, officials are scrambling for solutions, which include more fencing, perches for hawks and eagles and something a little more out of the ordinary.

Coyote urine. They're coating car wires with the substance.

"Predator urine is a good deterrent," Faris said.

Comments
Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Sometimes, people in authority need a reality check before they can recognize a problem that should have been obvious.In this case, it took a meticulously reported story last Sunday by education writer Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times to alert Hi...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

TAMPA — The bearded man with shackled hands sat slumped and weeping as he listened to witness after witness — his mom, aunt and sister among them — recount his childhood of poverty, abuse, and depression.Kyle Moran leaned forward occasionally, stretc...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

The deep freeze that shut down much of the South began to relent Thursday as crews salted and cleared roads after a slow-moving storm left ice and snow in places that usually enjoy mild winters. At least 15 people were killed in accidents and frigid ...
Updated: 28 minutes ago

Oldsmar rejects plan to host cycling event

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 3-2 against hosting a 2018 BMX World Cup qualifying event that would have brought 200 elite riders to the city and been broadcast in 42 counties. The decision came in December after two lengthy discussions about Oldsm...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Deal clears way for Oldsmar townhomes

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 4-1 last month in favor of approving a development agreement for a 50-unit townhome community on a nearly 4-acre parcel on St. Petersburg Drive. According to the terms of the agreement, Oldsmar Towns LLC will build a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Safety Harbor centennial banners on sale for $50

SAFETY HARBOR — Safety Harbor commemorative centennial banners are on sale for $50, with proceeds to benefit the city’s Partners in Progress Youth Scholarship fund. To purchase a banner, fill out the order form at safetyharbor.com and return with pay...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

SAFETY HARBOR — The Safety Harbor Public Library and the Friends of the Safety Harbor Library are seeking design submissions for bike racks with an artistic flair as two traditional library bike racks at the facility will be replaced with ones design...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

Tampa Bay doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

Amazon on Thursday released its list of location finalists for its second headquarters — and neither Tampa nor St. Petersburg is on it.Miami, however, made the short list of cities left vying for the new build. Pinellas and Hillsborough counties had ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hurricane Hermine damage to Largo’s road base still being worked on

Hurricane Hermine damage to Largo’s road base still being worked on

LARGO — Almost 16 months after Hurricane Hermine drenched Largo, city leaders are still working on cleaning up the mess it left behind, awarding a contract for the repair of several roads damaged by the storm.City commissioners voted 7-0 during a mee...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Record-breaking cold sends arctic blast through Tampa Bay

Record-breaking cold sends arctic blast through Tampa Bay

It was record-breaking cold this morning as a deep freeze cast over Tampa Bay.Wind-chill advisories are out as feels-like temperatures sit between a bitter 20 and 30 degrees.Tampa tied its recorded for the lowest temperature of 29 degrees on Jan. 18,...
Updated: 2 hours ago