tampabay.com

After tragic winter, 2 cranes return safely

By TIMES WIRES
Published March 17, 2007


CRYSTAL RIVER

The first two whooping cranes of the year have returned to Wisconsin, officials with Operation Migration reported Friday.

The birds designated 307 and 313 arrived back at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge this week. The refuge is where the birds first bonded with the ultralight aircraft that led them to Central Florida in 2003.

Crane 307 left on migration from Alachua County on March 8; crane 313 wintered in Indiana after losing its mate.

The first arrivals are a hopeful sign to the agencies reintroducing a migratory whooping crane flock to the Eastern United States.

A strong storm in early February killed 18 of the 19 birds in the Class of 2006. A report on the tragedy could be finished by the end of the month, said Liz Condie of Operation Migration.

BROOKSVILLE

Salary dispute changes School Board's choice

One day he said he was fine with the salary range.

But the next day, would-be Hernando County Schools superintendent Harry J. La Cava said he wasn't so fine with it after all.

Speaking to School Board attorney J. Paul Carland, La Cava said Friday he wouldn't accept less than the $155,000 he currently earns as an area-superintendent in Broward County - $30,000 more than what Hernando had advertised as its best offer.

The School Board looked to their No. 2 candidate to replace the retiring superintendent Wendy Tellone.

Waiting in the wings was Wayne Alexander, the director of school operations and human resources for the New London (Conn.) Schools.

He currently earns $112,850 in Connecticut.

Elsewhere

RESERVOIR PLANNED: By May 2008, Pasco can expect to slake more of its demand for reclaimed water.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District and county officials are working together to pay for and build an $18.6-million reservoir on an old 140-acre mine at Overpass and Elam roads. It will store up to 400-million gallons of reclaimed water.

NEW BANK PROPOSED: A group of east Pasco County entrepreneurs plans to set up a new bank with a proposed headquarters in Dade City.

The full group of investors met for the first time Thursday.

The proposed bank does not yet have a name and will take about nine months to get a charter, said investor and Dade City landowner and attorney Charles Waller.

The investors are tapping two top executives from CenterState Bank West Florida to lead the new bank.