Sick sea turtle gets help, thanks to boater
A green sea turtle is getting life-saving medical treatment thanks to the actions of an alert boater and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Sue Schaf, a researcher with FWC's Marine Turtle Program, received a call Thursday morning from a boater who had spotted the 40-pound turtle and noticed it was unable to dive and bore the wart-like tumors of the fibropapilloma virus, which afflicts turtles worldwide.
The boater, Shawn Mahynske, told Schaf he had an injured leg and couldn't get the turtle into the boat, but he didn't want to leave it, said Schaf, who took the boater's call and headed from Marathon to Islamorada.
While en route, Schaf called dispatchers at FWC and asked if any marine officers were near the turtle's reported location.
Officers Roy Bogue and Chris Mattson found the turtle and the boater who was looking after him. They turned "Pat" over to Schaf, who met the officers at the FWC dock and got the turtle medical treatment.
"I really appreciate their quick response to the turtle and Shawn's willingness to wait with the turtle until help arrived," Schaf said. "It would not have made it much longer in the water due to its condition."
Bridges won't run
Mosquito Control Commissioner Jack Bridges will not seek re-election
"When I ran, I pledged 'to put the taxpayers back in control of Mosquito Control," Bridge said.
Spending has been cut and the budget has been balanced for two years in a row. The agency director is paid a reasonable salary, corruption is not tolerated and the agency is down from about 88 full-time employees to about 65. Commissioners' salaries have been reduced by 20 percent, he said.
Supreme Court will not hear case
The State Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from the Monroe County government regarding a high-profile takings lawsuit.
In December, the 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled that a local judge erred in his ruling in the Galleon Bay lawsuit and ordered the judge to hold a new trial to determine how much money a company called Galleon Bay Corp. is entitled to, which could cost the county between $3.5 to $5 million.
The Schleu family was seeking to build 14 homes on a rural area of No Name Key and call it Galleon Bay. The county denied the request, but did agree to allow the family to build fewer homes or rent the property for lobster and stone crab trap storage.