Dateline Florida

Published May 9, 2007


A $1-million endowment is giving the Florida Orchestra reason to play a happy tune. The gift, courtesy of the Bailey Family Foundation of Tampa, will be used to help pay for the 130 performances the orchestra does each year, including the free Pops in the Park. "A gift of this magnitude will help us continue to deliver a great product to our community, " Bill F. Faucett, the orchestra's director of development, said in a statement released Tuesday.

Seal dies; mystery of how it got here lives on

An arctic seal far from home died Tuesday, thin and dehydrated, a day after it was rescued in Fort Lauderdale. It's unclear why it died or how it wound up so far from the North Pole. It's the first time a bearded seal was found in Florida, said a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "It may continue to live on in a land of speculation as to why this happened, " said Christopher Dold, a vet at SeaWorld, where the seal was being examined. "It's such an isolated event." The seal was first spotted Thursday south of Stuart and was said to appear sickly.

Airport worker fired for 'prank'

Fort Lauderdale airport officials have fired a luggage attendant who admitted playing a Bible verse over a public speaker system, offending a gay couple. Jethro Monestime, 23, acknowledged playing a recording on his cell phone from Leviticus 20:13 twice early May 1: "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, they should be put to death." He said it was a prank and apologized. "I didn't think it was going to hurt anybody, " he said Monday. Anthony Niedwiecki, who was with his partner Waymon Hudson when he heard the message, didn't consider it a prank. "It was a death threat."