A wayward manatee is getting a lot of attention in the local mainstream media this morning. That and more in the Cooler.
A- Herald: A manatee snowbird.
Ilya the meandering manatee was returned to Miami on Thursday, plucked from the frigid waters of the Northeast after a massive search and rescue coordinated with the precision of a military operation.
Three government agencies, a marine wildlife group, an international energy corporation and the Miami Seaquarium all pitched in to rescue the sea cow, which strayed far from its Florida home and wandered the inhospitably cold waters of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey for months.
The gentle giant concluded its epic odyssey Thursday in a concrete water tank at the Seaquarium, where he will spend a few weeks recovering from mild cold stress and weight loss.
B- Herald: Doing the bank shuffle in SoFla.
The battle for Floridians' wallets is heating up.C- Herald: Morin.
A series of bank takeovers, spurred by the recent financial upheaval, has brought several new banking giants to the state -- already one of the most competitive landscapes in the nation for banking.
[...]The latest round of mergers marks a third wave for Florida -- following consolidations after the savings and loan crisis between 1989 and 1991 and the ``invasion of the North Carolina bankers'' in the mid-1980s and 1990s, said Thomas.
Part of Florida's lure is a wealth of deposits from retirees, wealthy Latin Americans, and others who have liquidated assets to move here. With the recent changes, the strong banks have replaced the weak. And the newcomers are expected to shake up the market as they strive to make their mark.
D- Palm Beach Post: Yeah, don't get that flu shot.
Tonight's football game between district rivals Benjamin and American Heritage has been postponed because all but seven of Benjamin's players are sidelined by the flu.E- CBS4: DeFede.
The game has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at American Heritage.
Benjamin coach Ron Ream said the Buccaneers were healthy for last Friday's loss to Calvary Christian, but by Monday, players began showing signs of sickness.
"We had homecoming weekend, and I think what happened was that somebody or some kids had some sickness and they were in limos together, they were dancing together. There were 300 kids in the gym at the same time and we surmised that it just spread like wildfire," Ream said. "By Monday, we realized we had an epidemic."
About half of the 400 students at the North Palm Beach private school have been out sick the past two days, Ream said. There was talk of shutting down the school, but because the teachers weren't sick, the school remained open.
In the past few weeks, polls have shown Rubio gaining on Crist, cutting the governor's lead in half. Crist had a 30 point lead at the start of the campaign but last week, a new Quinnipiac poll showed Crist with only a 15 point lead. And while 15 points is sizeable, it is not insurmountable and the poll prompted a flurry of news stories about how Charlie Crist no longer seemed invincible.F- WPLG: Video, progress on the new Marlins stadium.
If Rubio is able to overtake Crist next year, it will be Crist's appearance with Obama in Fort Myers back in February that will be played over and over again as the defining moment of the campaign. Which is why Crist is trying to erase that image from people's memories and why you will never see Crist within a hundred miles of the president on any trip Obama makes to Florida.