BY JILL FELTON CHATHAM - Barbara Chatham left this world on March 21, 2012. We all lost a treasure. She was laid to rest today beside her beloved husband, Pete, and son, Grady, neither of whom I had the pleasure of meeting.
Oh, but the stories she told me of them. That was our favorite thing to do ... tell stories. We spent a lot of time alone together so we would fill the time with story telling. Her stories were always better than mine. And I was glad to hear them.
BY LIZA STROUT - If you have spent any time on the north end of the island recently, you have probably noticed some very full drainage ditches and, occasionally, a lingering scent.
The water from Tropical Storm Debby and before that fills the ditches that line the road has turned stagnant ... and slimey ... and stinky.
BY MARCY SHORTUSE - When Capt. Jimmy Robertson was wheeled into surgery at Peace River Regional Hospital on July 12, he thought he would wake up without a leg. When he did come to, he found out that wasn’t to be the case ... at least so far.
Jimmy was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis earlier this month, after sustaining a simple injury which led to infection in his left foot and leg.
Several meetings of local government organizations will take place next week, which is a bit of an oddity this time of year.
On Monday, July 23 the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority are going to have three meetings in one day.
The Boca Grande Fire Department is hard at work preparing for their first Hammerhead Adventure Run on Saturday, July 28.
The 3.5 mile run will travel along the beach and through downtown, with obstacles, ice, mud and water along the way.
The race will begin at 8 a.m., with a new wave every 10 minutes.
There will be prizes for division and overall winners. Everyone who participates will receive a race t-shirt and a goody bag.
So far, more than 65 people have signed up. Anyone can form a team, or you can register as an individual. Registration is at active.com. Search for “Hammerhead Adventure Run,” and it will take you to the page. The entry fee for the run is $65.
The run is being held as a fundraiser for the Boca Grande Firefighters Association, which was created to support firefighters and their families in times of need and hardship.
After the race, there will be a party at the Boca Grande Community Cente with food, games and a bounce house for the kids.
BY NIKKI HEIMANN -
At about eight o’clock Tuesday morning I decided it was a good time to go on a rainy beach walk. I’d been out of town the past few days and was missing the ocean. I walked down to 5th street beach to check out the seawall as usual, but noticed something in the water I had never seen before. From a distance, I convinced myself that such a massive shadow of darkness definitely had to be a huge clump of seaweed washing ashore. I ran down the seawall past the soccer field, and the closer I got the more evident it became that some huge gray fins were flapping in and out of the water.
I stared in amazement at anywhere between fourteen to seventeen manatees tightly squeezed together in a pack. I could not figure out what they were doing exactly. My first thought was that it must be mating season, but the longer I stared the more it looked as though there was one manatee that was trying to beach herself. The pack was doing everything they could to stop her from completely washing ashore. She would just lie still for a long time, and then have these convulsions, flailing her head and fins wildly and start gasping for air. There were eleven to fifteen manatees that would surround the central manatee, but they would swim off and come back again. Only four manatees stayed with her the whole time I observed. Many of them would use their heads and fins to flip over the motionless manatee, and they would rest their heads all along her body. It seemed as though the entire pack was concerned about the death of this one particular manatee.
Three Boca Grande teens were the victims of theft while they swam in the Gulf on the afternoon of Thursday, July 12. The teens left their cell phones on their beach blanket while they were in the water and when they returned 30 minutes later, the phones were gone.
The three phones ranged in value from $200 to $300.
According to Lee County Sheriff Office reports, the teens remembered seeing a man in his mid-40s on the beach during the time that the theft took place, though they did not actually see the phones taken. He is described as medium build white male, around 5’10”, with tattoos on his left arm and upper back.
The teens were advised to report the theft to their cell phone providers and given a case number for insurance purposes.
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