Wednesday, November 22, 2017
5 Things Going On Today In Florida: Confederate Statue, Sinkholes, Florida Mall

5 Things Going On Today In Florida: Confederate Statue, Sinkholes, Florida Mall

Photo: ALESSANDRA DA PRA | Times

Hillsborough County Considering Removing Confederate Statue

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Hillsborough County officials might have a location to move a Confederate monument.

County Commissioner Victor Crist told the Tampa Bay Times that a private cemetery has tentatively agreed to take the 106-year-old marble monument, called Memoria en Aeterna, which is located outside the old county courthouse in Tampa.

Commissioners voted 4-3 last month to keep the monument at its current location. Another vote will be held on Wednesday.

If commissioners change course on the monument, Tampa will join New Orleans and Orlando as cities that have removed Confederate statues. Earlier this month, city commissioners in Hollywood, Florida, agreed to begin the process of changing the names of streets named after Confederate generals in the heart of an African-American neighborhood.

Water To Be Tested In Area Where Sinkhole Swallowed Homes

LAND O’LAKES, Fla. (AP) — Emergency management officials will collect water samples to test for E.coli on Monday in the immediate neighborhood where a sinkhole swallowed two homes in Florida.

Additional residents in the area — where many people use wells — can have their water tested for a fee.

Debris is strewn about from a partially collapsed home in Land O’ Lakes, Fla. on Friday, July 14, 2017.A sinkhole that started out the size of a small swimming pool and continued to grow has swallowed a home in Florida and severely damaged another. Photo: Alessandra da Pra/Tampa Bay Times via AP.

Pasco County officials said in a news release that families from four of the homes that were initially evacuated were allowed to return Saturday evening. Five other homes are still deemed unsafe for occupancy.

The sinkhole opened up Friday morning and grew to 225 feet (68 meters) in diameter and 50 feet (15 meters) deep, taking with it the two homes and a boat. No one was injured.

The scene is being considered a hazardous materials incident because of possible septic tank issues and building debris.

Officials: 1 Person Injured In Shooting At Florida Mall

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a weapon that accidentally discharged outside a Florida mall has injured one person.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the shooting happened outside the Mall at Millenia on Saturday. Orlando police Lt. Robert Terrell says a handgun in a woman’s purse accidentally fired a bullet through her bag and hit the victim in the lower leg.

Terrell says the victim was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Further details have not been released.

Astronauts Help Corals Grow On The Ocean Floor Off Florida

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts are helping coral grow on the ocean floor off Florida.

Marine scientists at Florida International University are studying corals growing in deep waters. The Miami-area school reported recruiting NASA astronauts to plant a coral nursery 90 feet (27 meters) below the ocean’s surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

NASA trains astronauts at FIU’s Aquarius Reef Base, an underwater laboratory in the sanctuary. FIU researcher Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty said dives from the surface would be too short and risky to accomplish much in the nursery. But divers living in the pressurized lab for days or weeks at a time can work longer in deeper waters.

Astronauts planted the endangered corals on tree-like structures made from plastic pipes in 2015. They’ve continued working in the nursery during NASA training missions over the last two years.

Bassist For Metal Band Adrenaline Mob Dies In Florida Wreck

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The bassist for the metal band Adrenaline Mob was killed in a three-car accident on a Florida highway that injured seven others.

The Florida Highway Patrol says David Zablidowsky died when a tractor-trailer veered off the highway on Friday into the band’s RV, which had pulled over to repair a flat tire.

The 36-year old Zablidowsky also had stints with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and ZO2. Authorities say one person is listed in critical condition and six others are reported as serious.

The Gainesville Sun reported that the band was traveling from Biloxi, Mississippi, to St. Petersburg, Florida, where they were scheduled to perform on Friday.

The driver of the tractor-trailer did not suffer any injuries. Authorities say charges are pending the results of an investigation.

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News Talk Florida Staff