Saturday, June 23, 2018
News Roundup

News at noon: shark alerts; VA and PTSD, Memorial Day, restoring the Gulf; restaurant review; outrage over gorilla's shooting; whale sharks

From drones and smartphone apps to old-school flags and signs, a growing great white shark population along the East Coast has officials and researchers turning to responses both high- and low-tech to ensure safety for millions of beachgoers this summer. Meanwhile, a 13-year-old boy remains hospitalized after being bitten this weekend by a shark on Neptune Beach.

A SHARK YOU DON'T MIND SEEING

Whale sharks — huge, filter-feeding fish that eat mostly plankton and pose no threat to people — remain one of the rarer finds a boater can stumble upon in the Gulf of Mexico, but the area around Tampa Bay has produced a cluster of sightings in recent weeks.

VA BETTER AT TREATING PTSD

A recent study in a journal produced by the American Psychiatric Association found that the VA is up to 30 percent better at providing medication to veteran patients than the private sector is for its patients. That was largely due to the VA's ability to provide a one-stop shop for timely medication to patients with appropriate follow-up care, like therapy and blood-level checks to ensure proper medication dosages.

HONORING THOSE WHO SACRIFICED ALL

Carolyn Kaster | Associated Press

Christian Jacobs, 5, of Hertford, N.C., dressed as a Marine, pauses at his father's gravestone on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday. Christian's father Marine Sgt. Christopher James Jacobs died in a training accident in 2011.

Today, Memorial Day, we remember and honor all the service men and women who died in service of their country. View our All Eyes photo gallery.

• Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the remains of those military personnel killed at the Pentagon and nearly 7,000 killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the globe have arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Del., to be identified and turned over to their families. John Harper talks about the high toll that work takes on those who serve there.

• Just days before William Branch left for a second combat tour in Vietnam, his wife bought him a black leather Bible. Last year, his daughter found it packed away in a box labeled "memories." • In this piece, Jennifer Denard remembers her fallen father, verse by verse.

• Columnist John Romano writes about the letters exchanged by Thomas Murphy of St. Petersburg and his 19-year-old son, Army Pfc. Mike Murphy, as he was days away from taking part in one of Vietnam's most infamous battles.

CAN DEEP GULF BE RESTORED?

Far offshore and a mile deep in the dark world below the Gulf of Mexico's gleaming surface, the catastrophic BP oil spill of 2010 did untold damage on the ocean floor. But scientists are unsure they can do much to heal places in the deep that were hurt the most as they undertake what's being called the largest ecosystem restoration effort ever.

MORE BOATING ACCIDENTS

Two people were injured when the boat they were riding in crashed into a jetty near Sand Key Park, police said. The weekend got off to a deadly start Friday night when, authorities said, a motorboat cut through St. Petersburg's Bayboro Harbor, hitting another vessel before it rammed into the seawall and spun out of control. The accident killed a 38-year-old man and left two hurt.

LOOKING AT ACHIEVA

A tour of Achieva Credit Union with CEO Gary Regoli highlights the roots of the credit union industry.

TASTY TIPS AND A REVIEW

Recently one of food editor Michelle Stark's colleagues turned to her and asked if she had heard about the new trends involving chickpea water. "You mean, besides letting it seep out the bottom of my mesh strainer when I rinse off canned chickpeas? Clearly, I wasn't in the know," Michelle writes.

• You might also want to try amping up your drinks without amping up the alcohol content this summer with these five ideas for "mocktails."

• Sacred Pepper is Carrollwood's new see-and-be-seen spot, much like its predecessor, Grille One Sixteen, writes food critic Laura Reiley.

OUTRAGE OVER GORILLA'S DEATH

Social media lit up with arguments over whether staff at the Cincinnati Zoo was justified in shooting and killing a 400-pound-plus gorilla that was looming over a 4-year-old boy who had fallen into a shallow moat. Critics and animal rights activists fumed with questions about why the gorilla could not have been tranquilized instead of shot dead, while others took to Twitter to mock the outrage.

News at noon is a weekday feature from tampabay.com. Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

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