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Regional News: Woman in Trash Compactor; Birds vs. Fishing Gear; Parasitic Worms; Jellyfish Season; Hazing Case

By: ap
By: ap
Oil mars Ala. swamp months after crude train crash... Ala woman in trash compactor...  Fishing gear hurting birds at Sunshine Skyway pier... Parasitic worms found in Asian swamp eels in Fla... Hazing charges dropped for one defendant in FAMU Hazing case... Canadian Female Olympian plays in men

Federal scientists are warning consumers about parasitic worms found in an invasive Asian eel species that's made a home in Florida. The parasites could be transmitted to people who eat raw or undercooked eels. Severe cases of the infection can lead to blindness, paralysis or death. The eels have few known predators in the U.S, can breathe air and move across land.

ALICEVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Dark oil still pollutes an Alabama swamp four months after a tanker train derailed there, and industry critics say it's an example of the danger of transporting huge amounts of crude by rail.
The isolated wetland near Aliceville, Ala., smelled like a garage when a reporter from The Associated Press visited last week.
A representative of the environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance says the railroad and government regulators failed to remove all the oil before rebuilding damaged track and reopening it to trains.
The Environmental Protection Agency says officials are still working on containing spilled oil and cleaning it up.
Questions about the Alabama cleanup come as the National Transportation Safety Board considers tighter rules for the rail transportation of Bakken oil from booming shale oilfields in North Dakota and Montana.

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (AP) -- Police in a Birmingham suburb are investigating after a woman was found in a trash compactor. Vestavia Hills police Lt. Brian Gillum says the woman was found in the device around 9 p.m. yesterday. Her husband had reported her missing earlier in the day.

FISHING GEAR-BIRDS
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Gulf coast bird rescuers are warning about a type of fishing gear they say is killing and maiming seabirds, particularly at a fishing pier at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Fishing gear called a Sabiki rig is causing injury and death to sea birds, such as pelicans, cormorants, herons, terns and egrets.
The Bradenton Herald reports that the rig is meant to catch bait fish, but it has multiple hooks and such a lightweight line that if a bird swoops down to eat bait fish and flies away, the line breaks and the hooks become caught in its flesh.
Bird rescuers recommend that if someone accidentally hooks a bird, they try to reel the animal in, safely remove any hooks or line and release the animal.

Federal scientists warn consumers about parasitic worms found in Asian swamp eels
MIAMI (AP) -- Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey say the parasitic worms found in Asian swamp eels were collected between 2010 and 2012. The eels were collected from Florida waters and in ethnic food markets in Orlando, Atlanta and New York City.
The parasites could be transmitted to people who eat raw or undercooked eels. Severe cases of the infection can lead to blindness, paralysis or death.
Swamp eels transported live from Southeast Asia are sold in ethnic food markets nationwide. They also have made their way into waters in Florida, Georgia and New Jersey. The eels have few known predators in the U.S. They also can breathe air and move across land.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Prosecutors have decided not to pursue charges against one of the remaining defendants in the hazing death of a FAMU drum major.
Zachary White, the attorney for ex-band member Henry Nesbitt, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the prosecutor is dismissing manslaughter and felony hazing charges against Nesbitt in Robert Champion's November 2011 death following a hazing ritual outside an Orlando hotel.
Nesbitt called 911 after Champion collapsed.
A message left with the state attorney's office was not immediately returned. A "Nolle Prosequi" was filed Friday. The Latin phrase means the charges are not being pursued.
Fifteen former band members were charged with manslaughter and hazing in Champion's death. Seven have been sentenced to probation and community service. Two have both pleaded no contest to manslaughter and await sentencing.

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- A Canadian Olympian is expected to become the first woman to play in a game in the Southern Professional Hockey League when she takes the ice during a Georgia game.
The Columbus Cottonmouths announced Friday that Shannon Szabados will be the goalie for Saturday night's game against the Knoxville Ice Bears at the Columbus Civic Center.
The Columbus Ledger Enquirer reports that Szabados arrived in Columbus on Wednesday night and took part in a short practice Thursday morning before a press conference introducing her to the media.
Cottonmouths Assistant Head Coach Brad Prefontaine said has looked "phenomenal" during practice in her short time with the team. He said the team would love to see a full arena to support Szabados as she makes her professional debut.

Fire marshal: South Georgia church blaze was arson
METTER, Ga. (AP) -- The state fire marshal's office says a fire at a south Georgia church was arson.
Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said the fire happened around 5 p.m. Friday at the Metter Presbyterian Church in Candler County.
Hudgens said the church sustained heavy smoke and water damage.
Authorities are asking that anyone with information about the fire call the state's arson hotline at 1-800-282-5804. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of a suspect.
Metter is about 60 miles northwest of Savannah.

JELLYFISH SEASON
ATLANTA (AP) -- The commercial jellyfish season starts next week in Georgia's waters.
State officials say trawlers can begin working off Georgia starting March 20. The season ends on May 31.
Fishermen collect tons of the stingless jellyfish, mostly for export to Asia. The Savannah Morning News reports that many of the boats that catch jellyfish are staffed by shrimpers hoping to supplement their income.
State marine biologist Julie Califf said commercial jellyfishing is the third-largest fishery by weight in Georgia.


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