Hurricane Michael’s winds bring dead fish, odors back to Pinellas beaches; rare okapi calf born at ZooTampa has died; and more
Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
HURRICANE MICHAEL’S WINDS BRING DEAD FISH, ODORS BACK TO PINELLAS BEACHES
The Red Tide algae bloom that was floating offshore in recent weeks, giving Pinellas County’s beaches a bit of relief from the waves of dead fish and irritating odors in the air, has returned. Gusts of wind spun off from Hurricane Michael apparently pushed it back close to Florida’s Gulf coast shore. John’s Pass, Madeira Beach, Redington Beach, Redington Shores and Indian Rocks Shores all had high concentrations of the algae when tested Wednesday, said Kelli Hammer Levy, director of Pinellas’ environmental management division. “Pretty much every beach has been impacted by dead fish this morning,” Levy said Thursday. “We’ve got a lot of cleanup to do today.”
HE WAS LOST. A CHUCK E. CHEESE ROBOT HELPED HIM FIND HIS WAY
Jared Sanchez’s master bedroom has the vibe of a novelty pizza restaurant for children, with an electric bill to match. It’s close to $400 a month. Lights spell out “The King” in every direction. There are 50-inch monitors, arcade machines, mint condition He-Mans. The floor is a black and white checkerboard. Then there’s the live wire that is Sanchez himself. Seated at his control center, his frosted tips perfectly gelled, he taps his foot in a sparkly Air Jordan. His shirt says “The King is back.” This is a 37-year-old man living his dream. The dream of finding an obscure Chuck E. Cheese robot from his childhood and bringing it back to life.
THE OPTIONS KEEP GROWING. SO, WHO DOES GROCERY DELIVERY BEST?
After spraining her ankle, Times staff writer Sara DiNatale decided hobbling around grocery store aisles rather than icing her foot last weekend seemed like a bad idea. So, she spent the time comparing each service and dissecting the pros and cons so you don’t have to. Ultimately, she went with Amazon’s Prime Now — but she doesn’t think that’s the right choice for everyone. It depends on your needs and budget. Walmart, Instacart and Shipt all have merits, too. Here is what she learned.
RARE OKAPI CALF BORN AT ZOOTAMPA HAS DIED
A rare baby okapi calf, an endangered distant relative of the giraffe, has died less than two months after she was born at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. The zoo broke the sad news on Facebook Thursday, saying laboratory tests suggest the female okapi (pronounced oh-COP-ee) had a condition similar to diabetes The zoo announced the birth of the shy endangered animal, with legs that looked like they were sporting knee socks, with much pride on Aug. 28. Parents Betty and Zach arrived at the Tampa zoo in 2006 and are part of the Species Survival Plan of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums. Veterinarians at the zoo tended to Betty’s prenatal care with regular ultrasounds and a unique milk-testing method found helpful in horses and rhinoceros.
BUCS’ JASON PIERRE-PAUL IS FEELING LIMITLESS AGAIN
After notching four sacks in as many games, a dizzying pace that would nearly match his career-high of 16.5 in 2011, Jason Pierre-Paul was asked if he had a number of quarterback take downs in his mind for this season. “Unlimited,” Pierre-Paul said. A scrum of reporters waited for a smile. A hint of hyperbole. Evidence of exaggeration. Pierre-Paul let that word lay naked before simply repeating it more forcefully. “UN-limited,” he said. The truth is there’s probably not a defensive end in the NFL who plays with more physical limitations than Pierre-Paul.