Brandon, FL – Snapped a quick shot with my camera phone before running back home to grab my camera.This is a brand new Ferrari 458 driven by CEO of I-Pathology with about 500 miles on it and a late model Ford pickup truck have collided, resulting in the destruction of the front end of a beautiful Italian exotic. The accident took place January 28, 2011 on South Parsons Ave in Brandon, Florida. I was going to the tattoo shop when this happened. The traffic was backed up on northbound Parsons . Video by James Worley,Photo’s by Michael springer. AKA Domesticfix.
Here’s a mystery that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “piano bar.”
A grand piano recently appeared on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, about 200 yards from the Quayside condominiums off Northeast 107th Street. Whoever put it there placed it at the highest point of the sandbar so that it’s not underwater during high tide.
How and why the piano got there is a mystery. A grand piano weighs at least 650 pounds and is unwieldly to move, said Bob Shapiro, a salesman at Piano Music Center in Pembroke Park. “You don’t take it out there in a rowboat,” Shapiro said.
This much is clear, however: The piano isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Unless it becomes a danger to wildlife or boaters, authorities have no plans to haul it away.
“We are not responsible for removing such items,” said Jorge Pino, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Even a car can become a habitat for wildlife. Unless the item becomes a navigational hazard, the Coast Guard would not get involved.”
The marine patrols of both the North Miami Police Department and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said the same thing.
From Quayside, the shape of the piano is visible to the naked eye, but with a pair of binoculars or a telephoto lense, seagulls can be seen landing on the instrument and water lapping at its legs.
Throwing away a grand piano may seem like a waste of money, but it may not be. In decent condition, a used grand piano would cost at least $3,000 to $4,000. But many pianos wear out from the literally tons of pressure on the internal parts, and cheaper models aren’t worth the cost of rebuilding.
“It could be worth nothing,” Shapiro said. “Pianos don’t grow old gracefully. They just wear out.”
Police officers salute as a hearse carrying the body of one of two Miami-Dade police officers killed last week arrives for a memorial service at American Airlines Arena on Monday in Miami. Officers Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo were killed Thursday when they were serving an arrest warrant.
A spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.
In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla.
On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.
“It’s not a fluke,” said Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations. “There’s a perception among officers in the field that there’s a war on cops going on.”
With the Florida deaths, the nation is on track in 2011 to match the 162 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2010, said Steve Groeninger, spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tracks police casualties. In January this year there have been 14 deaths, the same number as in January 2010, the fund posted on its web site.
The 2010 toll ended a two-year drop in fatalities and spiked 43 percent over the 117 killed in 2009, Groeninger said.
Law enforcement advocates worry that cuts in police budgets could exacerbate the danger.
“We don’t have any data, but there seems to be a type of criminal out there looking to thwart authority,” he said.
He cited the example of Jared Loughner, accused of killing six and wounding 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, on Jan. 8 in Tucson, Ariz. “People with this mentality feel the need to eliminate those in position of authority,” he said.
Roberts said the recent shootings are reminders that officers must constantly stay on alert.
“The bad guys are not afraid of cops,” Roberts said. “They’re rarely rational. You get that combination, when you ID yourself as a cop, it does not scare them away; it makes it more dangerous for you.”
Noting the Oregon and Indiana shootings occurred during so-called “routine traffic stops,” Roberts said, “The word routine should be eliminated from the job. There’s no such thing. There is only ‘known risk’ and ‘unknown risk’ ” he said.
Roberts, a former North Beach, Md., police officer, and Groeninger both voiced worries over police budget cuts.
Reducing police response times and cutting back on in-service training can endanger not just citizens but cops on patrol, they said.
“It’s not a good situation out there,” Groeninger said.
Here is the status of the police shooting investigations on Monday:
- Indianapolis police say they arrested Thomas Hardy in the shooting of Officer David Moore, who was shot in the face and body and remained in a coma.
- A manhunt continued in the Oregon beach town of Waldport for a gunman who shot officer Steven Dodds, 45, a six-year veteran of the Lincoln City Police Department. Police were looking for the owner of a 1984 Dodge truck that fled the shooting scene.
- In Detroit, four officers shot inside their precinct were recovering, police said. Investigators said Lamar Moore, 38, of Detroit entered the 6th Precinct on the city’s northwest side about 4:30 p.m. Sunday and shot Cmdr. Brian Davis, Officer David Anderson; Sgt. Ray Saati; and Sgt. Carrie Schulz. Officers returned fire and killed Moore, who was scheduled to be sentenced Monday for his role in a double homicide, they said.
- One of two deputies wounded in Port Orchard, Wash., was released from the hospital while another remained in satisfactory condition after being wounded Sunday in a gunfight. A suspect and a female victim who came running to his aid were killed. Police were investigating how the female victim was shot. The gunman was identified as Anthony A. Martinez, 31, of Salt Lake City. The Deseret News said police had issued an endangered persons advisory for a 13-year-old runaway believed to be traveling with Martinez.
- In St. Petersburg, Fla., a suspected gunman was found dead after two police officers were shot to death and a U.S. marshal was injured as they tried to make an arrest. Suncoast Benevolent Association President Mark Marland identified the fallen officers as Tom Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz.
- In Miami, thousands of law enforcement officers gathered at a funeral service in American Airlines Arena to honor Roger Castillo, 41, Amanda Haworth, 44, who were killed on Thursday while serving a warrant on a suspected killer. The suspect, 22-year-old Johnny Simms, was killed by another officer.
Just three days after the U.S. Coast Guard admiral in charge of the BP oil spill cleanup declared little recoverable surface oil remained in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana fishers Friday found miles-long strings of weathered oil floating toward fragile marshes on the Mississippi River delta.
The discovery, which comes as millions of birds begin moving toward the region in the fall migration, gave ammunition to groups that have insisted the government has overstated clean-up progress, and could force reclosure of key fishing areas only recently reopened.
The oil was sighted in West Bay, which covers approximately 35 square miles of open water between Southwest Pass, the main shipping channel of the river, and Tiger Pass near Venice. Boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up. The captains said most of their sightings have occurred during stretches of calm weather, similar to what the area has experienced most of this week.
On Friday reports included accounts of strips of the heavily weathered orange oil that became a signature image of the spill during the summer. One captain said some strips were as much as 400 feet wide and a mile long.
The captains did not want to be named for fear of losing their clean-up jobs with BP.
Coast Guard officials Friday said a boat had been dispatched to investigate the sightings, but that a report would not be available until Saturday morning.
However, Times-Picayune photojournalist Matt Hinton confirmed the sightings in an over-flight of West Bay.
Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said if the sightings are confirmed by his agency, the area will be reclosed to fishing until it is confirmed oil-free again.
Just Tuesday, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, in charge of the federal response, and his top science adviser, Steve Lehmann, said that little of the 210 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf remained on the surface or even on the Gulf’s floor. Lehmann pointed to extensive tests conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that included taking samples of water from various depths, as well as collections of bottom sediments both far offshore and close to the coast.
Those claims, announced on the six-month anniversary of the spill, brought quick rebuttals from a variety of environmental and fishermen’s groups who insist their members have been reporting sightings of surface oil all along.
LSU environmental sciences professor Ed Overton, who has been involved in oil spill response for 30 years, said he believes both claims could be accurate. The Louisiana sweet crude from the Deepwater Horizon is very light and has almost neutral buoyancy, Overton said, which means that when it picks up any particles from the water column, it will sink to the bottom.
“It’s quite possible that when the weather calms and the water temperatures changes, the oil particles that have spread along the bottom will recoagulate, then float to the surface again and form these large mats.
“I say this is a possibility, because I know that the (Coast Guard) has sent boats out to investigate these reports, but by the time they get to the scenes, the weather has changed and they don’t see any oil.”
“I think the reports are credible, but I also think the incident responders are trying to find the oil, too,” Overton said. “This is unusual, but nothing about this bloody spill has been normal since the beginning.”
Overton said it is important for the state to discover the mechanism that is causing the oil to reappear because even this highly weathered oil poses a serious threat to the coastal ecology.
“If this was tar balls floating around, that would be one thing, but these reports are of mats of weathered oil, and that can cause serious problems if it gets into the marsh,” he said
The reports are a great concern to wildlife officials. The Mississippi delta is a primary wintering ground for hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese, some of which already have begun arriving. The West Bay area leads into several shallower interior bays that attract ducks, geese and myriad species of shore and wading birds each winter.
Earlier this month state wildlife officials were expressing optimism the spill would have minimal impact on most waterfowl visitors because little oil had penetrated the sensitive wintering grounds.
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