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News & notes

Briefs and news of note.

By TIMES STAFF WRITER
Published August 1, 2006


This Mickey isn't so golden to collectors

Some consider a trip to Disney World to be priceless, but the price tag on a 2-foot-tall, 24-karat, solid-gold sculpture of Mickey Mouse has proved to be too steep. A Boynton Beach holding company with interests in a Utah mint got permission in 2001 to produce Celebration Mickey to mark Walt Disney's 100th birthday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. R&D Muller Ltd. says it's worth at least $2-million, though the gold it's made from is worth half that. "Collectors don't really want that. They want a piece of history," said Kendra Trahan, president of the National Fantasy Fan Club. "If that gold Mickey Mouse sat for six months in the treasure room of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, they'd sell it."

High demand means low supply of blood

An accident victim treated at Tampa General Hospital last week needed 51 pints of blood, exacerbating an already low Tampa Bay blood supply and prompting Florida Blood Services to issue a plea for donations. "Our shelves are bare," said spokeswoman Jackelyn A. Waldron. Unusually busy summer demand has left the agency with less than the three-day supply of O-negative and O-positive blood it needs, she said. While not a record, the 51 pints the TGH patient required was unusual. A typical patient uses two to four pints of blood during surgery, said the blood agency's J.B. Gaskins. See fbsblood.org for more information.

Red Tide back with destination unknown

State biologists have found significant Red Tide concentrations in gulf waters off Manasota Beach in Sarasota County. Heaviest concentra-tions were off Charlotte and Lee counties. "There's really no way to predict where it's going to go or what it's going to do," said Jess Brown of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Louisiana Purchase? No, but it's a biggie

The state on Monday finished the largest land conservation purchase in Florida history, taking ownership of 74,000 acres of Babcock Ranch. Spanning Lee and Charlotte counties, the ranch is home to the Florida panther, Florida black bear and the crested caracara. State and local tax dollars covered the $350-million purchase from Kitson and Partners, which will dev-elop 17,000 remaining acres.