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Exams lost in transit; students may have to retake tests

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - About 200 Florida high school students may have to retake tests after learning that the United Parcel Service lost a box containing college credit exams they took last spring.

The Palm Beach Post reports Santaluces High School Principal Tameka Robinson broke the news to students and their parents on Tuesday.

The exams were taken by students enrolled in courses designed by the University of Cambridge in England. The newspaper reports the exams in question include International History and some General Paper courses commonly taken by students in ninth and tenth grades.

Cambridge spokesman Thomas Rodgers said in a statement that UPS is investigating the incident and trying to recover the package.

Miami Beach offering 6 lifeguard towers in online auction

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The city of Miami Beach is offering six iconic and colorful lifeguard towers in an online auction.

The auction began Tuesday and officials say the towers have sold brought in between $100 and $3,500 in previous sales.

The Sun Sentinel reports the city is replacing the towers with newer ones that are more resistant to hurricanes.

City spokeswoman Melissa Berthier says the vintage towers can be transformed into a treehouse, tiki bar or a big dog house. They are being sold in an "as is" condition. One has a patriotic theme and is listed in "cosmetically very good" condition. Another is accented with yellow, turquoise and purple hues. And a tower splashed with shades of lavender, was damaged during Hurricane Irma,

The auction ends August 28.

Odor diverts Philadelphia-bound flight to North Carolina

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Frontier Airlines jetliner has arrived in Philadelphia nine hours after an odor forced it to land in North Carolina.

Flight 1674 landed around 5 a.m. Thursday. Its 230 passengers and seven crew members were scheduled to arrive at 8 p.m. Wednesday from Orlando, Florida, but an odor in the cabin caused the flight to divert to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Frontier says eight people complained of feeling sick from the smell. Three asked to be taken to a hospital as a precaution.

There is no word what caused the odor.

Missing child alert for three Florida children including a one-year-old boy

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has issued a missing child alert for three missing children from Dade City.

FDLE said Jeremy Simonds, 6, Justin Simonds, 6, and Christopher Christy, 1, were last seen Tuesday. Investigators said six-year-olds Jeremy and Justin have long hair that they wear in a ponytail.

WATCH LIVE: Eyewitness News This Morning

Investigators believe the children are with 29-year-old Christopher Christy, Sr., and 24-year-old Shannon Adams.

Christopher Christy Sr., has multiple tattoos, including the letter “C” on both arms, the words “Turn ‘Em Out” on his left hand, and a star on his right arm. He was last seen wearing a light-colored t-shirt and camouflage pants, investigators said.

Investigators believe they may be traveling in a 2005 cream-colored Chrysler PT Cruiser with Florida tag number 663HB.

"If located, DO NOT APPROACH, call law enforcement immediately," said FDLE on social media Thursday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact FDLE or the Dade City Police Department at 352-521-1493.


PLEASE SHARE! FL MISSING CHILD Alert for 1yo Christopher Christy, 6yo Justin Simonds & 6yo Jeremy Simonds. Last seen 35000 block Cook Avenue, Dade City. May be w Christopher Christy Sr. & Shannon Adams. 2005 cream PT Cruiser, FL tag 663HB. Call Dade City PD 352-521-1493 or 911. — FDLE (@fdlepio) August 16, 2018

Column: Suspend Urena for rest of season for plunking Acuna

ATLANTA (AP) - Ronald Acuna Jr. is good for baseball.

Jose Urena and his defenders are not.

Jose, take the rest of the season off.

And while you're at it, take Keith Hernandez with you.

In a nod to the bad ol' days when it was apparently acceptable to plunk a guy who was playing too well, Urena unleashed a 97 mph fastball to Acuna's left forearm with his very first pitch of Wednesday night's game in Atlanta .

Fortunately, it appears Acuna escaped serious injury. The Braves said X-rays on his elbow were negative and results of further tests would be announced on Thursday.

Nevertheless, Major League Baseball should act swiftly to show that this sort of barbarism will not be tolerated in the national pastime.

Urena deserves to be suspended for the rest of the season.

Nothing less.

Urena apparently thought it was perfectly acceptable to assault - hey, let's call it what it was - one of the game's shining young stars, a 20-year-old who plays the game with pure joy and great skill for the first-place Braves.

Acuna's crime?

Going deep four times in the previous three games against the woeful Miami Marlins (and homering in five straight games overall), a remarkable run that included one of baseball's rarest feats - a pair of leadoff homers in Monday's doubleheader sweep by Atlanta.

Acuna started Tuesday's game with his third straight leadoff homer.

Urena made sure the streak didn't reach four before the Marlins left town.

"This young man is just playing the game, doing what he loves to do," said Brian Snitker, the Braves' manager. "It's a damn shame."

Urena was ejected. So was Snitker for leading his team onto the field to confront the Miami pitcher.

After the game, won by the Braves 5-2 to complete a four-game sweep, the manager was still fuming.

"It's beyond ... I don't know," Snitker said, struggling to find words in the non-profanity category. "I've had three hours to calm down and all of a sudden I'm not real good right now."

Snitker's counterpart, Miami manager Don Mattingly, hardly came to his pitcher's defense .

"This kid's swinging the bat good. We've got to figure out how to get him out," Mattingly said. "That's what we said to Jose. I don't want to see this kid get hit. He's a great player. He's going to be great for a long time. He's beat us up. But this is not the way we want to handle that situation."

He wasn't the least bit surprised that Snitker and his players came storming out of the dugout.

"I understand," Mattingly said. "If we were on the other side and our guy was hitting homers all over the place and that happens, you're going to be fired up."

Laughably, and with a completely straight face, Urena tried to make himself out as the real victim in all this .

"It seems like people get upset and things like that," he said. "But I get upset, too. I've got to wait five days to just go out there, make one pitch and get kicked out of the game? That don't make sense."

Actually, it makes perfect sense.

Now, baseball must take it to the next level.

Instead of a typical suspension that might cost Urena a start or two, the lords of discipline at MLB need to really bring the hammer down. Send a message, once and for all, that this sort of Neanderthal-like behavior will no longer be tolerated.

Even if the players' union appeals, even if it succeeds in overturning a rest-of-the-season ban, baseball would be sending a much-needed message and, hopefully, sparking a long-overdue dialogue to stamp out this sort of brutality.

It won't be easy.

Hernandez, a former All-Star first baseman and NL MVP who now works as a New York Mets broadcaster, quickly threw his support to Urena based on that ridiculous code of ethics passed down through the ages , the one that supposedly allows a pitcher to take the law into his own hands when a guy keeps hitting the ball into the seats.

"You've lost three games. He's hit three homers. You've got to hit him," Hernandez said during the Mets-Orioles game, sounding like someone who needs to be led gently into a pasture and left there. "I'm sorry. People are not going to like that, but you've got to hit him. Knock him down (at least). I mean, seriously knock him down if you don't hit him."

Then, stressing there's a proper way to carry out this painful but necessary justice, Hernandez offered a caveat.

"Never throw at anybody's head," he said, delivering a spot-on impression of that crazy uncle going on some nonsensical rant around the Thanksgiving table while everyone else stares at their food in uncomfortable silence. "Never throw at anybody's head or neck. Hit him in the back. Hit him in the fanny."

Here's the thing:

Maybe that's what Urena was trying to do - hit Acuna in the back or fanny, as was so eloquently stated in The World According To Keith. But sometimes, a guy throwing a baseball almost 100 mph doesn't put it exactly where he wants. Or maybe the batter reacts in a way that the pitcher wasn't expecting, ducking into a pitch instead of leaping away. All of which points to the ludicrousness of anyone, even someone such as Hernandez who spent 17 years in the big leagues, trying to brush this off as just part of the game.

Urena claimed he was merely trying to work inside against Acuna, apparently relying on the fact that he's hit 11 batters overall this season, tied for the most in the National League.

"I try to get something inside and move his feet," the right-hander insisted. "Then we can go back outside, because he's been hot."

Once MLB dismisses that ludicrous defense - Urena's defiant reaction on the mound hardly indicated that the pitch got away and he was really, really sorry about it - there's another issue to consider.

Baseball isn't exactly flourishing at the moment, especially with young people.

A thrilling player such as Acuna could help to reverse that trend, but not if he has to step to the plate after every homer wondering if he's going to get plunked again. Not if he's laid up with a broken arm. Not if he's driven from the game by a fractured skull.

Acuna is the future of baseball.

Urena and Hernandez are best left in the past.


Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at or at . His work can be found at


For more AP baseball coverage: and

Florida's red tide problem: Not much we can do, at least in the short-term

Red tide has been affecting Florida for many years, this year has been especially harmful, and there is not much we can do about it.

We have been reading and hearing about the red tide for years, especially in Florida. But, this time the red tide has killed thousands of fish, among many other animals such as sting rays, manatees, dolphins and turtles.


What’s killing the animals?

A toxin found in the red tide waters called dynoflagellate, attacks the animals’ nervous system, killing them.  

How about the human impact?

Then there is also the human factor to this story; either because waterfront residents have more respiratory issues, due to the toxins released by the harmful algae blooms or because businesses continue to lose thousands, if not millions, of dollars. The fact is, many tourists have heard about the toxic algae blooms and decided to shorten or cancel their summer trip to Florida, especially in southwestern Florida.


The algae blooms, also known as Karenia Breve, start building at microscopic scales well offshore. Warm waters and nutrients feed these microorganisms and it often grows to high concentrations in the spring and summer months. More nutrients and runoff can make these harmful algae blooms grow faster and bigger. The winds and currents drive the microorganisms to the coast and when they grow to big blooms, winds and current can drive them for miles along the coast.


Download: Free WFTV weather app receive weather and lightning alerts


This summer the browning/red waters go for miles from southwestern Florida (Collier County) and are spreading northward towards Pinellas County, just south of the Tampa area.



Hmmmmm. Is this the new normal? RT @KMillerWeather: Bags and bags of dead fish are brought in on barges and tossed in dumpsters after workers clean canals on Sanibel. #RedTide @pbpost — Brian Shields (@BShieldsWFTV) August 6, 2018


Freshwater fish, saltwater fish, Morray Eels, #stingrays ... 1000s dead along the shore of #PalmaSola in #Bradenton. #WFTV #Florida #FLwx #FLEnvironment #RedTide — George Waldenberger (@GWaldenWFTV) August 14, 2018



What has caused this bloom to be worse? There are several factors that have made this round of red tide last longer, be even more toxic and lethal.

First, the warm waters. We know that warm waters aid the growth of algae in waters. This is what sustains the red tide during any year. But nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, more specifically nutrient pollution from human activities worsen blooms, often causing the blooms to be more extensive, intense and longer lasting. The land fertilizer we use in our lands, eventually runs off to the oceans, if not treated.



Central Florida:  Check the hour-by-hour forecast 


There have been signs that the red tide significantly worsened after the dumping of the waters from Lake Okeechobee.


After Hurricane Irma and the heavy spring rains that affected South Florida plenty of water has been retained in Lake Okeechobee, but it must be released somewhere. It was released in early summer to the west and east coast of South Florida. Shortly the dumping of the contaminated Lake Okeechobee waters was stopped from being dumped to the Atlantic, but not so fast to the western coast.



It's horrendous, Brian. My friend lives in Cape Coral and the canals are full of green sludge. The beaches are covered with dead sealife. It's way more than red tide! Hope govt steps in b4 it's too late to clean up. Beaches are being destroyed! — Lil Hobson (@hobscotch59) August 3, 2018


In the past, high amounts of polluted water in Lake Okeechobee would be treated by releasing it in the Everglades, which would naturally clean the water. But when this contaminated water is not treated properly and dumped in already commonly contaminated areas, the extra pollution just makes things much worse. During the last decade cuts in water quality monitoring network budget have not helped the issue.


This year the red tide has lasted for over 10 months and the weather could be holding these toxic conditions through the late fall until water cools, starts mixing more and eventually clears the blooms.


Contaminants suppress the oxygen in the waters, making it a fatal habitat for its in-water and waterfront residents and visitors.



"Red Tide season" has extended over 10 months and it will like go into 2019. The toxic algae bloom crisis continues to affect Florida. #Redtide #flwx #algae #SWFL — Irene Sans (@IreneSans) August 6, 2018



Videos show workers on Florida bridge before collapse

MIAMI (AP) - New videos show construction workers laboring on a pedestrian bridge in Florida shortly before it collapses, killing six people.

The time-lapse video released Wednesday by Florida International University shows the four construction workers using a crane hoist to perform work on the bridge.

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board suggests investigators are focused on cracks in the south and north ends of the bridge near a Miami-area university campus.

The cracks were discovered in the days before the March 15 collapse, which killed a bridge worker and five people in vehicles crushed by the falling structure.

The bridge was to have spanned a busy highway and canal and connected Florida International University's campus to the neighboring community of Sweetwater.

Winning numbers drawn in 'Fantasy 5' game

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's "Fantasy 5" game were:


(two, four, five, seven, twenty)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Lotto' game

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's "Lotto" game were:


(two, seventeen, twenty-seven, thirty-two, thirty-three, fifty-two)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Lotto XTRA' game

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's "Lotto XTRA" game were:



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