November 25, 2011 |
The thieves struck early on a Sunday morning, when it's quiet in the agricultural areas— no joggers from nearby upscale developments; no feed trucks rumbling down the dusty roads. The modern-day rustlers were after Brangus cows, some of them moms with their calves, and adult and young bulls. The cattle were docile, often hand-fed. "They're like my kids. They will come right up to you," said owner Patrick Wilson, a big, weathered man with an easy smile. He started raising cattle a decade ago as a hobby, and "it got way out of hand," he said.
September 30, 2011 |
It's 3 feet long, weighs 8 pounds and looks a bit like a plastic airplane model. But by next year it will be flying into the eye of a hurricane, bucking incredibly violent winds and maneuvering within 100 feet of the ocean's surface. Its primary mission: to help the National Hurricane Center improve intensity predictions, an area where forecasters have lagged for decades. It also will help improve the accuracy of real-time storm predictions. Called GALE, the unmanned aircraft will be launched from the belly of a hurricane hunter turboprop, initially shot out of a tube as a cylinder.
June 21, 2011 |
Nationwide demand for high-potency marijuana has turned Florida into a top producer of hydroponic weed, and hundreds of people are turning their homes into lucrative grow houses, local law enforcement said. The illegal drug nurseries are hidden everywhere from million-dollar homes to run-down apartments, putting unsuspecting neighbors in serious danger, police said. Some grow houses are discovered only after explosions or fires. Last year, more grow houses were seized in Florida than in any other state, despite a drop in overall numbers, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration said.
February 11, 2011 |
Riding the wind and ocean currents, hordes of blue, alien-like creatures have descended upon South Florida's shoreline, entangling beachgoers in poisonous tentacles and delivering painful stings by the hundreds. Each invader, in fact, isn't an "it" but a "they" ? a colony of organisms that combine to create a single entity, the Portuguese man-of-war. The seafaring wanderer with the neon-blue gas bag and tentacles as long as 30 feet seems more suited to a sci-fi horror flick than a sunny tourist beach.
January 15, 2011 |
Lake Okeechobee's declining water level once again threatens to generate water-supply ripple effects throughout south Florida, leaving less water for thirsty crops and lawns as well as an ecosystem trying to rebound from years of abuse. The big lake is south Florida's backup water supply, relied on to replenish drinking water for some communities and tapped for irrigation by sugar cane growers and other farmers. During droughts, the lake also is a barometer for water conditions across the region.
December 30, 2009 |
William Koch didn't mean to turn the wine world upside down. The Palm Beach billionaire developed a taste for wine as a young man and, as he accumulated wealth, built an extensive wine collection. Among that collection: a 1787 Lafite Bordeaux with Thomas Jefferson's initials etched into the bottle. Except, he says, it's a fake. "I thought that I had a piece of history, a piece of America's most important history," Koch said, holding up the bottle in his wine cellar, which contains about 40,000 bottles.