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Florida briefly

Published August 13, 2006

Police investigating boot camp cadet's death

NORTH MIAMI - A child died while camping at Oleta State Park early Saturday, police said.

Authorities responding to the scene at 3 a.m. rushed the child to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a brief statement from North Miami police.

The child was a 13-year-old cadet at the Back to Basics Military Academy in Lauderhill, WSVN-Channel 7 in Miami reported. The school was holding an orientation camping trip at the park, according to televised news reports.

The cause of death was undetermined, pending a medical examiner's report, police said. No additional information about the investigation was released.

Lynda Brown, the academy's principal, told WSVN the cadets were hydrated, fed and well cared for during the excursion.

"This has been verified with our children," she said. "They said none of them really understand what went on."

Brown did not immediately return phone messages or an e-mail to the Associated Press. The school's recorded message describes it as a juvenile military boot camp.

Messages left for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials were not immediately returned.

In January, a 14-year-old died after a confrontation with guards at a Panama City boot camp for juvenile offenders. His death remains under investigation.

UCF grad student missing in ocean

SEBASTIAN - Authorities searched Saturday for the body of a University of Central Florida graduate student who never emerged from a dive into the Atlantic Ocean after a 300-pound sea turtle.

Boyd Lyon, 37, of Melbourne Beach, dove after the turtle into murky waters 400 yards offshore Thursday afternoon about three miles north of the Sebastian Inlet, authorities said. He was wearing a wet suit, weight belt, flippers and mask, but no snorkel or air tank.

The Coast Guard suspended its search Friday night. Broward County divers joined the Brevard Sheriff's Office in its search Saturday, said Brevard sheriff's Lt. Andrew Walters.

"We're waiting for the discovery of his body," Walters said.

Llewelyn Ehrhart, a UCF professor who was also aboard the 19-foot research vessel, called 911 after Lyon was missing for four minutes.

Lyon was supposed to jump onto the turtle, grab onto its shell and bring it to the surface where other researchers could tag it.

"It did appear he grasped the front and back (of the turtle). He went under the water and something went terribly wrong," Ehrhart said.

Lyon was described as an experienced diver who had hand-captured dozens of sea turtles for tagging in the Galapagos Islands, Australia, California and the Florida Keys. He was researching adult male green sea turtles for a master's degree; unlike adult females of the species, the males never come to land.

Hurley Rudd, 78, ex-state legislator, mayor dies

TALLAHASSEE - Hurley Rudd, a four-term state legislator and former mayor of Tallahassee, has died, friends said. He was 78.

Rudd died at Big Bend Hospice of heart failure late Thursday, a week after suffering a heart attack after a morning walk.

"Hurley will be remembered as a tremendous leader in local and state government," said state Sen. Al Lawson, who served with Rudd in the Florida House 20 years ago. "He cared very deeply about state workers and fought very hard for them and the universities, all of his community."

Rudd joined the Legislature in 1986, and over four terms he became known as a champion of state employee salaries, working conditions and benefits, as well as Leon County economic development and education. He was a native of Tallahassee.


[Last modified August 13, 2006, 01:08:07]

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