Posted: 3:40 am Friday, August 24th, 2018
By Ann Kelly
This might make your weekend plans. A new report from Florida Fish and Wildlife says the presence of red tide is getting stronger in Pinellas County. That report is online now. As a result of the red tide Tampa Bay Watch has canceled their annual Great Bay Scallop Search Saturday due to issues with the red tide and they’re not sure if they will reschedule. Bay Watch President Peter Clark says he doesn’t want to expose any scallopers to the toxic algae. No swim advisories are also in effect for a number of beaches in Sarasota County, including Siesta Key due to poor water quality. The same issue is plaguing a couple of areas in Pinellas County.
Red tide is also being blamed for more dead and sick sea turtles being found on Florida beaches along with a record number of dolphin and manatee deaths. If you do spot a turtle in distress you can report disoriented or stranded sea turtles to 978-728-3663(978-SAVE-ONE)FL. We have the latest map from the FWC here.
It took a full day and the combined efforts of the Coast Guard, FWC and Pasco County Sheriff’s officials to find one missing diver. The first diver, Michael Pavlich, was found first after a four-hour search but it took much longer to find Terry Hayes. The two divers were some twelve miles apart from each other Both men should be fine.
Early voting is underway but it ends this weekend. We have the list of voting locations and times here. Make sure you bring along a valid form of identification when you vote, The Florida Primary is scheduled for August 28th.
The three-county rapid transit system proposed as part of the Howard Frankland bridge is not included in the latest proposals. The Florida Department of Transportation says there’s room for change. There’s more on the story from the Tampa Bay Times. Traffic is bad enough on the bridge and all across Tampa Bay, but when it comes to having the worst drivers in the US Florida is no longer number one. The Sunshine State gives up the top spot in a survey spot our by SmartAsset that now has Mississippi as number one with Florida falling to eighth. Florida had been ranked the worst for two years in a row.
The Florida Department of Transportation says the backlog of unprocessed toll transactions is now up to date as they continue the transition to the new SunPass Combined Service System. But if you have incurred overdraft fees as the result of the problems with SunPass the state of Florida is going to reimburse you. Here’s how to apply for funds, and if you’d like to talk with a SunPass rep if you have questions at 1-888-TOLL-FLA or 1-888-865-5352.