Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Hope for miracle dims but search goes on for missing boys
Families hoped for a miracle even as science nagged that one was improbable and rescue crews went into a seventh day of searches Thursday for two teens missing at sea. Though it seemed unlikely a medley of agencies would continue their hunts much longer, the Coast Guard, which is leading the effort, insisted it remained an “active and open” case now focused off the South Carolina coastline. Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss on Wednesday evening called the decision on how long to continue looking for the 14-year-old fishermen, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, a mix of “art and science,” that juggles knowledge of how long people can survive adrift with unknowns on whether the boys had flotation devices and drinking water — and even the extent of their physical stamina.
Missing southwest Florida dog turns up in Atlanta
A southwest Florida family has been reunited with their dog after she turned up several weeks later in Atlanta, more than 500 miles away. Michael Epstein says his family’s 3-year-old miniature Australian shepherd, Abby, was lost on July 3. She ran away from the family’s yard when fireworks frightened her. Epstein says the family finally got a call this past Saturday from Fulton Animal Services in Atlanta. Workers there said Abby had been found several days earlier, and they used an implanted microchip to trace her back to her family.
How to find healthy eats at Florida theme parks, zoos
Don’t stress if you’re trying to eat healthy while on summer vacation. Florida health officials are highlighting some guilt-free options for you at theme parks and zoos. The Healthiest Weight Florida initiative highlights healthy choices in theme parks and zoos throughout the state on its website and provides a downloadable brochure. The project includes meal options at dozens of attractions around the state, including Legoland, Gatorland, Palm Beach Zoo, Dinosaur World and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark.
UCF student: Stranger petted arm while she was sleeping
Four female University of Central Florida students say an unknown man broke into their off-campus apartment and touched one of them as she slept. Multiple media outlets report that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office released a photo Wednesday of the man they are investigating for burglary and battery in connection with the early Monday morning incident at their Plaza on University apartment. According to the sheriff’s office report, a 19-year-old woman says she did not know that the man was in her bedroom until he started petting her arm, causing her to scream.
Wildlife officials: Florida panther struck, killed by vehicle
Wildlife officials say a Florida panther was struck and killed by a vehicle in southwest Florida. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials collected the remains of the 4-to-5-month-old female panther on Golden Gate Boulevard East in Collier County on Thursday morning. The carcass was taken to a field office in Naples and will be transported to the agency’s lab in Gainesville for necropsy. Officials say 24 Florida panthers have died in 2015. Seventeen of those were hit by vehicles.