Dateline Florida

Published February 2, 2007

Arrgh, still more booty to be had after fun ended

Pirates may have pillaged, but Tampa went green on Gasparilla Day, as planned. Volunteers along the parade route rewarded recyclers with free T-shirts and beads. The recycling booty included 18,000 pounds of corrugated cardboard boxes as well as 3,000 pounds of plastic and aluminium bottles and cans.

What the sea took away, it brought back 2 years later

More than two years after Hurricane Ivan destroyed a family's home, a stranger has returned possessions the family thought were lost forever. Trudie Childers spotted a plastic bag while walking with her mother along a beach in the Panhandle, according to the Pensacola News Journal. Inside the bag were savings bonds estimated to be worth about $1,000. Childers hung them on a clothesline to dry. She works for the Holley-Navarre Water System and checked the department's records this week to locate Jan Meade, whose name was on the bonds. Turns out, Meade and her husband, Timothy, lost the bonds when the hurricane struck their home in Navarre in September 2004. The house and most of their possessions, including the bonds, could not be salvaged - or so they thought.

This check bounced back to bite

A Palm Harbor woman is suing a tow truck driver in a case that may have involved a little wishful thinking. Mary J. Murad, 33, says Anthony Bonfiglio, 35, wrote "sex favors" on the memo portion of her $50 check for towing services. That's why she's suing him and his employer Seven X Enterprises for libel and defamation. She says Bonfiglio made sexual advances when he came to tow her car on Oct. 5, 2005, but that she spurned him. He couldn't be reached for comment this week and his employer didn't return a phone call. But Murad's attorney, James M. Thomas of Clearwater, had this to say: "Her religious beliefs are such that this was particularly offensive to her." The lawsuit seeks more than $15,000.