Wet sand, it turns out, could be hazardous to your health. The latest study from the University of Florida found that beachgoers who spent lots of time in wet sand and water were more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal illnesses than people who stayed farther from the water on dry sand. Veterinary researcher Tonya D. Bonilla studied three South Florida beaches over a two-year period. While fecal levels in the near-shore waters of Florida beaches are routinely monitored, the sand is not tested. Beach sand may become contaminated by gull droppings and other sources of fecal-derived organisms that then diffuse into wet sand and water, said Bonilla, whose research was published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.
Rose bushes stolen from school
Perhaps it's just as well that Lillian Symmes didn't see this day. Over the weekend, six rose bushes were stolen from the front of Symmes Elementary School in Riverview. The pink roses, her favorite flower, had been planted around the marquee in memory of the longtime educator when she died last spring. Anyone with information about the crime can call the school at (813) 740-4182.
- Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair is not part of the Tampa delegation going to the Super Bowl in Arizona on Sunday. Commission Chairman Ken Hagan is part of the group. A news item Wednesday was incorrect on this point.
- Tampa police Officer Ryan Jurjevich's name was misspelled in a story Tuesday about his efforts to rescue a woman.