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    Around the state

    95 manatees were killed by boats in 2002, a record

    By Times wire and staff reports
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 9, 2003

    ST. PETERSBURG -- More manatees were killed by boats in 2002 than in any previous year, scientists at the Florida Marine Research Institute announced Wednesday.

    Of 305 manatees that died, 95 were killed by being hit by speeding boats. That surpasses the previous record of 82, set in 1999.

    Every time a manatee carcass is found in Florida, scientists at the state laboratory dissect it to determine what killed it. Other than boats, manatees are killed by the cold, by Red Tide and by being crushed by the locks of dams and canals. Some do not survive birth.

    The deadliest county was Lee County, where 58 manatees died last year. Lee was second to Brevard in the number killed by boats. Brevard had 17 and Lee 14.

    Hillsborough County lost five manatees to boats and four to other causes, while Pinellas lost two to boats and six to other causes.

    The highest-ever count of the manatee population, in January 2001, found 3,276 of the marine mammals. That year about 10 percent of that number, 325, died from all causes.

    Police say man lied about immigration case threats

    ORLANDO -- Police have charged a man with lying when he said he was threatened by a nephew of a Palestinian-American tourist shop magnate charged in a federal immigration case.

    Police on Wednesday arrested John Robert Reedy III, who had said Maali Fuad Maali threatened him with a gun Dec. 23 and who on Sunday reported that three acid bombs were detonated outside his apartment. Police said both reports proved false.

    Police are seeking Reedy's friend, Christian Colburn, 22, who is an informer in the case against businessman Jesse Maali, who owns several restaurants and T-shirt and gift shops.

    Reedy was charged with making false police reports, building and detonating bombs, conspiracy and other charges. Police said Colburn will face similar charges.

    Reedy was being held on $1,000 bail. Maali Fuad Maali was freed Tuesday after spending four days in jail without bail.

    Jesse Maali and five others were arrested in November on charges they hired illegal immigrants for Maali's businesses, then established shell companies to hide the money paid them.

    Prosecutors have said that Jesse Maali has given financial support to terrorist groups, but he denies that and he faces no terrorism-related charges.

    One of Maali's co-defendants, a store manager, has pleaded guilty. Another, a driver, told a court Monday he intends to plead guilty and help the government's case.

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