It's not yet known how a man wound up clenched in an alligator's jaws in a lake in the predawn hours Wednesday, a state investigator said Thursday.
Five Polk County sheriff's deputies rescued Adrian J. Apgar, 45, in a tug of war in chest-high waters in Lake Parker. Apgar remained in critical condition Thursday at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said investigators haven't been able to talk with him yet.
Apgar, who suffered the near-loss of his left arm, a broken right arm and deeply torn flesh elsewhere, was naked when rescued. He told deputies he had been smoking crack cocaine but gave no other information. The nearly 12-foot gator thought to have attacked him was later caught and killed.
Morse said his agency is interviewing witnesses, but he would not elaborate.
Meanwhile, officials were exasperated by a report that someone was seen illegally feeding another alligator Thursday in the same lake. No one was apprehended.
Onetime Guinness heaviest woman dies
Rosalie Bradford, who once held the Guinness record as the world's heaviest woman, has died from complications of obesity. She was 63.
Mrs. Bradford, who moved from Pennsylvania to Auburndale with her husband and son in 1999, weighed 1,050 pounds in January 1987, according to the 1994 edition of Guinness Book of World Records. She also was listed by Guinness as having lost more weight than any other woman - 736 pounds, weighing in at 314 pounds in September 1992.
She alternately lost and regained pounds over the years, and recently weighed over 400. She died Wednesday at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
"We're going to miss her," said Sandy Nice of Auburndale, Mrs. Bradford's half sister who assisted in a ministry that counseled obese women.
On her Web site, www.-RosalieBradford.com, Mrs. Bradford blamed her lifelong weight battle on being abandoned at 6 months by her mother, which she said bred a food addiction. She gave credit for a drastic weight loss after a 1989 suicide attempt to Richard Simmons, the fitness guru and television personality who began corresponding with her after hearing of her struggle.
Her husband, Robert, and son, Robbie, now of Sarasota, survive.
Open records expert to be key Crist aide
Gov.-elect Charlie Crist has talked of bringing a commitment to open government to the governor's office, and he is making good on that pledge with one of his planned hires.
Pat Gleason, general counsel in the Attorney General's Office and an expert and advocate for public access to government records, will work on Cabinet affairs in the Governor's Office, Crist said Thursday.
"I covet most from what I would term nothing less than a tremendous public servant is her wonderful background as it relates to open records," Crist said of Gleason. "She is, I think, universally recognized as the expert in the field and probably one of the experts across the country, so being able to keep her was very, very important to me."
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE
Air Force calls off Eglin wing transfer
A plan to move 3,400 jobs from here to California's Edwards Air Force Base is off the table for now.
Air Force chief of staff T. Michael Moseley said Wednesday a decision to transfer the 46th Test Wing has been reversed, pending more study.
The Air Force also restored about $343-million to its testing and evaluation budget.
Abandoned but safe
Capt. Tammy Longo of Broward County Fire Rescue holds a newborn boy who was left at the fire station Thursday morning. A Florida law passed in 2000 allows babies less than 3 days old to be left anonymously at a firehouse or hospital emergency room.