News Cast 10/21

News Cast for October 21st:

Human remains found 

FBI agents said they found a notebook and backpack believed to belong to missing fugitive Brian Laundrie. 

A forensics team is investigating human remains found at the Carlton Reserve. 

A family attorney said the remains are believed to be Laundrie. 

FBI special agent in charge Michael McPherson said there is still a lot of work to do with this investigation. 

“We don’t have all the answers yet.  We are working diligently to get those answers for you.” 

The remains were found in an area of the reserve that had been underwater. 

Laundrie was missing for more than a month.  He is a suspect in the murder of his girlfriend Gabby Petito, whose body was found in Wyoming last month. 

Manatee die off gets state attention 

The death toll of Florida manatee now approaching 1,000 this year.  

The previous record was 830 set in 2013. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Melissa Tucker said part of the problem was too many manatees in one location last winter. 

“The data that comes from manatees that have recovered noted this is a starvation issue.  There is not enough seagrass available to the manatee.  It is complicated by the manatee behavior to congregate during the winter at warm water sites.” 

The state invested $1.3 million to replant seagrass and bring in clams to try and help the nutrient problem. 

Ranchers see little proceeds from livestock 

Congress learned 80 percent of the livestock in this country has to be sold at only four processing plants. 

That means little return for Florida ranchers. 

The House Agriculture Committee said ranchers are also dealing with cost increases in doing business. 

One official said farmers and ranchers only get 14 percent of the proceeds from the sale of livestock and crops in the United States. 

Congresswoman Kat Cammack said the solution is not more government interference. 

“The markets work and they work best with as little government intervention as possible.  Cow-calf operators in Florida shared concerns that any attempt to intervene in their ability to make their own transaction choices will be harmful to their long-term success.” 

Pahokee ends search for city manager 

Pahokee City Commissioners scrapped their search for a new city manager and appointed interim manager Greg Thompson to the permanent position. 

It was in a 3-2 vote, typical for votes of the divided commission in recent months. 

Attorney Gary Brandenburg, noting the tense political climate there, advocated for Thompson to receive 20 weeks of severance should he be fired. 

“The turmoil that has been exhibited in this city for the past five years means that no one in the right mind who you would want to come work for you would work here without this provision.” 

Thompson would earn $120,000 per year. 

Mayor Keith Babb and Councilwoman Clara Murvin voted against the appointment.   They said Thompson lacks the qualifications to be city manager.