Category: xoesf

Estimating migratory connectivity of gray catbirds (Dumetella Carolinensis) using geolocator and mark-recapture data

first_imgUnderstanding the connectivity between breeding and nonbreeding populations of migratory birds is fundamental to our knowledge of biological phenomena such as population dynamics and dispersal. Moreover, our ability to quantify migratory connectivity has inevitable consequences for both conservation and management of species that utilize distinct geographic locations. Technology is rapidly advancing our ability to track birds throughout the annual cycle and to collect data on the degree of connectivity among breeding and nonbreeding populations. We combined two direct methods, mark recapture (n = 17) and geolocation (n = 6), to estimate the migratory connectivity of breeding and nonbreeding populations of Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). Data from geolocators show that birds breeding in the Mid-Atlantic overwinter in both Cuba and southern Florida. Mark recapture data supported our geolocator results but also provided a broader spatial perspective by documenting that Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern populations occupy distinct geographic localities during the nonbreeding period. This research underscores the importance of geolocators, as well as other tools, to advance our understanding of migratory connectivity. Finally, our results highlight the potential value of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bird Banding Laboratory mark recapture data, which are often underutilized in ornithological research.last_img read more

Prep Sports Roundup: 1/10

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailGirls Basketball JUNCTION, Utah-Vanessa Delgado scored a game-high 19 points and the Piute Thunderbirds beat Valley 52-43 in Region 20 girls basketball Thursday. Paige Harris scored 10 points to lead the Buffaloes. TROPIC, Utah-Kapri Orton led the way with 23 points as Panguitch pummeled Bryce Valley 47-28 Thursday in Region 20 girls basketball action. Oakley Johnson led the Mustangs with 12 points in defeat. CASTLE DALE, Utah-Megan Jensen posted 18 points and 7 rebounds while the Emery Spartans routed North Sanpete 57-26 Thursday in Region 15 girls basketball action. DELTA, Utah-Haylee Christensen and Quincee Allred each scored 9 points to lead the Delta Rabbits to a 42-24 win over Maeser Prep in Region 14 girls basketball action Thursday. Sydney Ellis scored a game-high 10 points to lead the Lions in the loss. Region 15 Region 14 Written by January 10, 2019 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 1/10 HERRIMAN, Utah-Bayli Heap netted 12 points and 7 steals as the Juab Wasps hammered Providence Hall 45-20 in Region 14 girls basketball action Thursday. SALINA, Utah-Sydnee Gillins netted 13 points and the Beaver Beavers gashed North Sevier 48-34 in Region 18 girls basketball action Thursday. Kamree Brunson had 13 points for the Wolves in defeat. KANAB, Utah-Sidney McDonald stepped up with 14 points as Kanab routed Millard 62-44 Thursday in Region 18 girls basketball action. Eliza Swallow netted 12 points for the Eagles in the loss. GUNNISON, Utah-Jaida King’s 13 points led the Gunnison Bulldogs in a 43-29 rout of Parowan in Region 18 girls basketball action Thursday. Danika Jones had 16 points in defeat for the Rams. Region 17 EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah-Nataly Dunka amassed 21 points and the Wasatch Academy Tigers blasted Rockwell 65-36 in Region 17 girls basketball action Thursday. Abbi McCandless had 22 points in the loss for the Marshals. Tags: Bayli Heap/Haylee Christensen/Jaida King/Kapri Orton/Megan Jensen/Nataly Dunka/Oakley Johnson/Quincee Allred/Sidney McDonald/Sydnee Gillins/Vanessa Delgado Region 18 Region 20 Brad Jameslast_img read more

NCAA Preparing For Six-Week Training Camp Ramping Up To 2020 College Football Season

first_imgJune 8, 2020 /Sports News – Local NCAA Preparing For Six-Week Training Camp Ramping Up To 2020 College Football Season Tags: Football/NCAA Brad James Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailINDIANAPOLIS-Per news released Monday, the NCAA is preparing for a six-week training camp leading up to the 2020 college football season.A Sports Illustrated report confirms college athletics leaders are set to take a giant leap with the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee is expected to approve a plan including a six-week preseason period.Once this plan is approved by the committee, it will go to the Division I council for a vote. The council is expected to meet June 17.Under this six-week plan, normal summer workouts, including coach interaction, would commence July 6.In required workouts, student-athletes can spend up to six hours weekly with the strength staff on weight training and conditioning and spend two hours with coaches for film study.These workouts would lead into an enhanced summer training which is a two-week stretch comprising the first portion of the proposed six-week preseason plan.During the enhanced summer practices/workouts, athletes would be allowed 20 hours of activities weekly.These would consist of eight hours of strength training and film review.It would also add an hour walk-through practice daily as well as an additional hour of team meetings.The starting date for each of the activity segments along with required workouts, enhanced training and preseason camp will be determined by the team’s first game.Teams that start the season Labor Day weekend could begin required workouts by July 13. Enhanced training would then occur July 24 and preseason camp would commence on August 7.Per Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, officials have begun to study specifics concerning camp and in-season practices.Berry believes that coaches could be wearing masks during games and the team sideline area, which is between the 30-yard-lines, would be expanded to promote social distancing.last_img read more

Mrs. Claus’ Workshop Offers Unique O.C.-Themed Gifts, Intro to Museum

first_imgMrs. Santa Claus, as portrayed by Babs Stefano, is greeted by 11-month-old Max Pesce, mom Amber Mitzel and dad Tyler Pesce.  By Tim KellyIf you missed Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, fret not. Mrs. Claus has you covered.The Ocean City Historical Museum’s popular Mrs. Claus’ Workshop kicked off Friday with an Open House and craft/vendor fair to mark the opening of its unique holiday shopping experience. From the looks of things, the event was a big success, as confirmed by none other than Mrs. Claus herself. “It’s been good. It’s been steady all day,” said Santa’s other half, as portrayed by Ocean City resident and museum volunteer Babs Stefano. “Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves while they (browse) the gifts and the museum. Today has been an event with lots of fun and good people.”The holiday gift opportunity and exhibits opened Friday and run through Ocean City’s First Night, Jan. 1. The Museum is located inside the Community Center at 1735 Simpson Ave. Admission is free, with donations large, small and in-between gratefully accepted.Unlike Black Friday and other bustling shopping events, Mrs. Claus’ Workshop moves at a decidedly more leisurely pace.Shoppers won’t have to battle crowds or fight for parking, or remember coupon codes or computer passwords. Instead, they will find low-tech tables filled with unique Ocean City-themed gifts and other unique presents for the history lover, or the lover of all things Ocean City.A Victorian Ocean City Parlor, sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank, is a highlight of the annual Christmas exhibit at the Historical Museum.Mrs. Claus’ Workshop has the added benefit of offering one-stop shopping, friendly service from Museum staffers and volunteers, and the knowledge that shoppers are helping to support the Museum. “This is a trial balloon today, but it is going pretty well,” said Jeff McGranahan, the Museum’s executive director. “We’re hoping to have an even larger turnout later as people return home from work.”Mrs. Claus workshop also includes the Museum’s popular gift offerings such as T-shirts, hats, books and more. “We have what we call our ‘Attic Treasures,’ authentic antique gifts and antiques offered by Mary Ann Gring,” McGranahan said. Many of these are unique items and one-of-a-kind, he added.The Museum is also selling wooden ornaments created by the Asbury Avenue shop We Make it Personal. Selling for less than $9, they depict the Ocean City Diamond Jubilee logo created in 1954.  They’re a low-cost, unique Ocean City gift.Museum Executive Director Jeff McGranahan points to some of the antique paper decorations of the Victorian age on display.Besides the shopping part of Mrs. Claus’ Market, the event serves as an introduction to the Museum for those unaware of it, or as a reminder for those who have not stopped by in a while. The exhibits are always changing and offer a fascinating glimpse into Ocean City’s rich history. On Sunday, Dec. 2, there will be a “Crafts for Kids” event in which young visitors will learn how to make their own holiday decorations. The projects are geared toward children from 8 to 10, but they are open to kids of all ages, including grown-up kids, Stefano said. “An Ocean City Victorian Christmas” is the theme of this year’s holiday exhibit. One of the highlights is a life-sized depiction of a Victorian-era sitting room or “parlor” featuring period furniture, mannequins in period dress and decorations typical of the Victorian age. The display is sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank.There is an impressive display of Christmas “kugels,” hand-blown glass ornaments originally made in Germany around 1840 and through the Victorian era. The forerunner to today’s tree ornaments, kugels can be balls (the word “kugel” is German for sphere) or depictions of fruit, Santa, or other festive holiday designs. Museum volunteer Carol Dotts marvels over a display of “feather trees.”Museum volunteer Carol Dotts pointed out a display of “feather trees,” some of the first artificial Christmas trees made of goose down, wire and wood, handcrafted to resemble live trees.“When Teddy Roosevelt was president, our forests were threatened for the first time, and artificial trees were encouraged,” said Dotts, who added that many people today choose faux trees for the same reason. Dotts explained that the holiday exhibit is not only a look into Ocean City’s past but also at the origins of many holiday traditions handed down through the generations and still enjoyed today.last_img read more

Greensky Bluegrass Welcomes Billy Strings, Tears Up NYC [Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images Friday night saw the Greensky Bluegrass and Billy Strings’ tour land in New York City after a week that also saw “casual Weggendsday” stop in Albany and a gig in Boston. Already this year, the traveling circus of progressive bluegrass maestros has managed gigs in Colorado, Tennessee, and Indiana, and they don’t seem to be showing any signs of stopping. As GSBG has really broken through into being able to sell out larger venues in recent years, it seems they’re taking a lesson from the band that they all met following, Phish, and are committed to squeezing as many shows into a tour as is humanly possible, and hopscotching around the country to make it happen.Fans arriving early got the treat of watching Billy Strings picking on some originals. While the Billy Strings show is necessarily hamstrung by his dearth of overall material to work with, the brief early set gave fans a sense of just how hot his licks can get, and the potential that that band really has, with a mandolin player who can rip the same 128th notes right in tune with Billy. With Playstation Theater’s back seats closed off, the more intimate space really gave fans a sense of being close to the action, more reminiscent of a mountain town bar than Times Square’s lavish basement venue.At around 9:20, Greensky Bluegrass hit the stage and came out of the gates roaring with ‘Burn Them,’ a real party-starter of a number that heated up the crowd. After showing off their barn-burning chops, the group settled in and put some of their more composed songwriting chops on display with ‘Worried Man.’Next up was ‘Living Over,’ featuring what was probably the first proper jam of the night, as Paul Hoffman stretched out a mandolin solo before nodding over to Anders Beck on dobro to take over the lead. Beck’s yearning, exploratory tone at the outset played itself out with gusto, developing into quicker and quicker loops with his licks seeming to chase themselves around the rabbit hole, before finally returning to the song’s chorus, the same lyrics they were singing as they rang in 2018 just a little less than a month ago now. A slowdown was in order after the revelation that was ‘Living Over,’ and the more conventionally bluegrass number ‘Room Without A Roof’ fit the bill. With barely a pause following the ballad, the defining banjo riff of ‘Just To Lie’ rang out from Michael Arlen Bont and the group launched into the set’s real meat.The song’s early solo ended and bled into its more improvisational section as it came back to the lyrics, “I told you that I loved you, just so I could lie beside you,” before repeating the lyric “I told you,” with an echoing reverb. This section almost seemed like trance-fusion, as the group played with the pulsating rhythm of the open space in the song instead of letting the intergalactic jam drift—though, Greensky snapped the fans back into their surroundings with the first verse of ‘Hold On,’ whose “shouted, written down, and quoted” lyric resonates enough that the group named a whole album after it. With a smoking banjo solo there, the band pressed their segue further into The Louvin Brothers’ ‘Great Atomic Power,’ whose lyrics they changed from “for your soul will fly to safety and eternal peace and rest” to “enjoy life’s pleasures like drugs and sex.” That more rock ‘n’ roll lyric got a great reaction from the crowd, as the band finally found their way to the end of a wild ride.After a minute of conferring, the band simmered the crowd down from that rolling boil with the heartwarming singalong ‘Tied Down,’ and then inviting Billy Strings to join them onstage for a pair of tunes. The first was ‘I’d Probably Kill You,’ whose lyrics the group fudged to “I’d probably Bill you,” and “I’d burn your house down, if I somehow knew Billy Strings was in it,” giving the younger Billy a bit of good-natured ribbing from some older souls who are rightfully impressed with (and maybe a little envious of) the remarkable speed and dexterity that Billy brings to the stage. Next up of ‘Miss Maggie,’ which each band member got to take for a ride, and then a well-deserved setbreak.After the jump, the band returned with the same inspired lyricism that the crowd knows them for, coming out with ‘Just Listening’. Next up was ‘Train Junkie,’ whose far out and meandering mandolin intro spent a bit of time heating up by riffing on The Grateful Dead’s ‘The Other One’. ‘Wheel Hoss’ followed the high energy ‘Train Junkie’ as the band continued to demonstrate their ability to mix in traditional bluegrass standards with their own, less conventional bluegrass originals.As the band worked its way into the heart of the set, they brought the emotion in the room to a soaring peak with ‘Dustbowl Overtures’ and ‘Handle Me With Care,’ two songs that really demonstrate the band’s ability to summon the better angels of their audience’s nature and well up real feeling from every open ear in the house. After the band’s classic ‘200 Miles From Montana,’ they returned to the world of traditionals with ‘Hit Parade Of Love,’ first made famous by Jimmy Martin. Finally, the set closed with two of Greensky’s best-known originals, ‘Forget Everything’ and ‘Leap Year’.Watching them play songs like those, that they so obviously adore, it becomes clear to even the most casual fan that if this band wasn’t performing on a stage in New York City, they might just as well be picking on their own numbers in their Crazy Creeks at a Phish festival somewhere. There’s just such a radiant joy in every person on-stage, they really look like there’s nothing else in the world they’d rather be doing. Before sending their fans out into the cold, they gave them one last treat: Rayland Baxter’s ‘Yellow Eyes,’ a rarer cover whose use as an encore gave folks something to hum as they bundled up and headed for the subway, looking forward to another night of the same great music on Saturday.You can check out a gallery of photos below, courtesy of Andrew Scott Blackstein.Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | PlayStation Theater | New York, NY | 1/26/2018Set One: Burn Them (1), Worried Man, Living Over, Room without a Roof, Just to Lie > Hold On > Great Atomic Power, Tied Down, I’d Probably Kill You (2), Little Maggie (2)Set Two: Just Listening, Train Junkie (3), Wheel Hoss (4), Dustbowl Overtures, Handle with Care, 200 Miles from Montana, Hit Parade of Love, Forget Everything, Leap Year Encore: Yellow Eyes(1) w/ Guido Batista & Luke Milanese (tambourine)(2) – w/ Billy Strings(3) – Other One tease(4) – Macarena dance by PaulGreensky Bluegrass | PlayStation Theater | New York, NY | 1/26/2018 | Photo: Andrew Scott Blacksteinlast_img read more

Body of double murder suspect found at Tennessee lake

first_imgTIPTONVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The body of a double murder suspect was found at the same Tennessee lake where two duck hunters were fatally shot. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says the body of David Vowell was recovered Saturday in Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. The TBI says an autopsy is planned. The agency says Vowell was wanted on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Zachery Grooms and Chance Black. The Weakley County residents were shot at the lake Monday. The Jackson Sun reports a third man who was with Grooms and Black told investigators that Vowell shot the men before driving away.last_img

Man Back Behind Bars After Escaping From The Cattaraugus County Jail

first_imgWNY News Now Stock Image.LITTLE VALLEY – A City of Salamanca man is back in behind bars after escaping from the Cattaraugus County Jail this month.The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office says 36-year-old Matthew Krysick allegedly escaped custody while in a sally port at the jail in Little Valley on December 21.After a foot chase, deputies say Krysick was located hiding in a storage closet at the nearby HomeCare and Hospice.Krysick is charged with first-degree escape and third-degree criminal trespass. Deputies say he was arraigned in Cattaraugus County Court and remanded to the jail on $10,000 bail for his original charge. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img

Peru Petitions for Equidistant Border with Chile

first_imgBy Dialogo December 05, 2012 As always, there is no willingness to find solutions, through organizations like OAS and the diplomacy among the Nations themselves grows when solutions are needed, through the diplomatic relations, the questions concerning each of their Countries. We shall not forget that Latin America is a fraternity. Yes, we are all brothers and sisters. Big hugs to all my brothers and sisters in Latin America the ones I know, and who I do not know. In 1954 and in 1969 Peru signed some agreements with Chile, granting CHILE the right to FISH, ONLY TO FISH in the area of the 200 PERUVIAN NAUTICAL MILES. Chile claims that those agreements also grant territoriality, AND IT AIMS TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT BELONG TO IT, that’s why the HAGUE RULING WILL BE FAVORABLE TO PERU for supporting its right of property with reliable documents. CAPISH!!! On December 3, Peru petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a “fair solution” regarding the maritime border demarcation in the Pacific with Chile, by means of an equidistant line of both coasts. “The Peruvian cause claims that the demarcation was never set, so the border must be determined by the Court,” the Peruvian representative and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Allan Wagner, stated in The Hague while requesting an even-handed solution for both nations. In a session where some judges were wearing wigs and others ermine, Allen presented arguments on behalf of Peru, which continued on December 4 in the same room adjacent to the Peace Palace, closed temporarily for renovation. On December 6 and 7, Chilean representatives will appear before court, prior to an argument session for each country that will start on December 10. The ICJ will then proceed to set the borders between both countries on a date that has not been determined. Peru submitted a 302-page document with maps and annexes detailing its position, and explaining that “the starting point of the analysis is the axiomatic principle that Peru is entitled to have an area of 200 nautical miles.” The trial attracted further attention after the same court passed a ruling over a maritime border between Nicaragua and Colombia. As a result, Bogotá walked away from the ICJ jurisdiction after considering the ruling unfair. Chile believes that the limits were determined by two agreements signed in 1952 and 1954, which demarcated the current border, respected by both countries, especially for fishing purposes. Perú is debating that the projection line towards the Pacific is demarcated based on a parallel, and not an equidistant line, a median, more perpendicular to the coast, as indicated by the 1982 U.N. Convention of the Sea. For some historians, the dispute is the last pending remnant of the Pacific War, in which Chile, Peru and Bolivia were involved, and after which the Chileans extended their northern coastal line up to 400 km and their continental territory by 8,000 km2, annexing provinces that used to be Peruvian and Bolivian. last_img read more

Destroyer Missile Launchers Used in the War against Drug Trafficking

first_img General John Kelly, Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, explained that in 2012, just the naval operations that intercepted 200 tons of cocaine cost the U.S. $600 million, a fraction of the money spent during the fiscal year’s exercises in the regional fight against drug trafficking. At almost 20 knots per hour, the guided-missile frigate USS Thach sails through the equatorial Pacific, a calm sea which is almost a cobalt color at dawn. Eight days ago, the Thach left Balboa, Panama, with a 240-member crew and an AFP journalists’ team on a new mission of Operation Martillo, the counter drug multinational maneuver launched in January 2012 by the United States, European, Caribbean and Central American countries. Time may go by slowly for Sailors at sea; long navigation journeys with nothing to do but patrol. To pass the time the crew performs rescue exercises, tests weapons or follows the old military recipe of painting the boat, which is bashed by saltwater, over and over again. “We board these ships and try to determine if they are carrying smuggled cargo. We search every corner and we try to confirm that there are no secret compartments, since drugs are generally hidden there,” Watkins said. The fight against drug trafficking is considered a “crucial element for the 21st century” by Washington’s Joint Staff, while generals advocate for their budgets in Congress. Men under Eric Watkins’ orders, the Coast Guard chief onboard the warship are tense. From the command position, an officer gives brief orders through loudspeakers. The team reviews their radio equipment and their 9-mm pistols on their waists. Then we feel “less anxious about being away from home, because we know we are doing something positive to protect our families,” James Holm, who has just signed his second four-year contract in the (war) Navy, states. Among other military assistance programs in Central America – where 90% of the cocaine consumed in the United States comes from -, Operation Martillo is one of the most ambitious efforts ever put forward by Washington in the fight against cartels. Suddenly the general alarm goes off: gunners take their positions and a Coast Guard special team prepares a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) to intercept a boat suspected of carrying cocaine. The suspicious vessel was detected a few hours earlier by patrol aircraft. As the Thach approached, the smugglers threw the drugs overboard and escaped into international waters. The Navy had the consolation of intercepting another 70 kilos of cocaine. center_img “It makes sense to have such a strong presence south [of the Pacific]”, states Commander Hans Lynch, officer in charge aboard the Thach. He explains that the goal is to intercept the drugs from its departure before it is lost in regional routes. By Dialogo April 04, 2013 However, when the “phase 1 alert” signal goes off, the ship goes into war alert in less than half an hour. “They use fishing speedboats or ultra fast vessels with one or two engines, capable of transporting up to a ton of cargo. They come from Ecuador or Colombia and make routine stops on the littoral on their way north,” Coast Guard Officer Watkins said. Only the Coast Guard can search intercepted boats: sometimes freighters, sometimes pleasure cruises, fishing boats, or even home-made submersibles made by cartels. Since 2006, Mexican cartels changed their modus operandi: they are now using Central America as a stopover, where the weather and some corrupt authorities, allow them to keep several safe havens. With the budget cuts, “all those drugs will reach U.S. shores,” said Kelly. The Pacific and the Caribbean are under the surveillance of four U.S. ships and six aircraft, as well as units from other countries, especially from Europe (France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands) in Caribbean waters. Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), thinks that operations like Martillo are a “good tactic: the closer to the sources the drugs are intercepted, the higher the seized amounts,” he concluded.last_img read more

Is the law of the body a body of law?

first_img Is the law of the body a body of law? June 1, 2004 Regular News James W. Martin I remember studying Florida Jur for answers to mundane questions that budding probate lawyers ask. Questions such as who owns a deceased person’s body? I recall Florida Jur saying nobody owns a dead body, but the next of kin have a right to decide how to dispose of it. It cited a case or two, but no statute. There was not much of a body of law for the law of the body back then.Today, as aging baby boomers watch the Schiavo case on national news and ponder their own end-of-life decisions, the question of who owns a deceased person’s body begs for the black-letter law of statute. The 2004 Florida Legislature has answered their pleas by enacting SB 528, effective October 1, 2005, to amend F.S. Ch. 470 and 497 governing the funeral and cemetery industries. Under the new law, a “legally authorized person” will be empowered to instruct funeral directors on disposition of dead bodies.SB 528 adds a definition of “legally authorized person” to F.S. §497.005 by listing a series of persons of various priorities. The first person in the list of priorities is the deceased person himself or herself. Probate lawyers call this person the decedent. Since no longer living, the new law empowers the decedent by recognizing “written inter vivos authorizations and directions provided by the decedent.” This makes sense: If someone goes to the trouble of visiting a funeral home and writing out instructions for disposition of his or her body after death, their instructions ought to be followed.Unfortunately, the new law does not say whether a direction in a will is allowed for this purpose. Many people, lawyers and judges included, would expect the will to be a logical place for someone to state their post-death body disposition wishes. However, a will is testamentary in nature and is not effective until death, so it is arguable that it is not inter vivos. Since the new law requires an inter vivos direction, a direction in the decedent’s will concerning disposition of his or her body after death might not be valid under this new law. This would, perhaps, be contrary to legislative intent. It would certainly be contrary to existing case law which at least implies that a decedent has a testamentary right to decide on disposition of the body. (See below.)The second “legally authorized person” in priority is the surviving spouse, and the third in priority is a son or daughter who is at least 18 years old. This is interesting because the Florida Probate Code provides that the heirs of a deceased person who dies intestate (without a valid will) are generally the surviving spouse as to half the estate and the lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) as to the other half. Thus, the surviving spouse shares the decedent’s property equally with the children under the Florida Probate Code. The new law treats disposition of the decedent’s body differently by clearly stating that the surviving spouse alone is the “legally authorized person” to decide on disposition of the body if the decedent left no written inter vivos authorization or direction.However, there is a twist that favors the children and will surely give their lawyers room for argument. The new law adds a subsection to F.S. §406.50 (unclaimed bodies) that says, “In the event more than one legally authorized person claims a body for interment, the requests shall be prioritized in accordance with [Florida Statutes] §732.103.” You might think this is the statute that says the spouse gets half and the children get the other half. That is probably what the legislature thought. But it’s not. F.S. §732.103 says: “The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under §732.102… descends…[t]o the lineal descendants of the decedent.” Thus, the new law has the effect of saying that if more than one legally authorized person claims a body, the spouse is not counted in determining priority, and the children are the ones who get to decide, which is directly in conflict with the new law’s definition of “legally authorized person.”Was all of this really necessary? Was it important for the Florida Legislature to try to codify the law of the dead body? Was it attempting to change case law?Well, I went back to the old cases and here is what I found. It was way back in 1950 that the Florida Supreme Court cited Am.Jur., Dead Bodies, and said: “It is well settled that, in the absence of testamentary disposition to the contrary, a surviving spouse or next of kin has the right to the possession of the body of a deceased person for the purpose of burial, sepulcher or other lawful disposition which they may see fit.. . . And the invasion of such right by unlawfully withholding the body from the relative entitled thereto is an actionable wrong, for which substantial damages may be recovered.” Kirksey v. Jernigan, 45 So. 2d 188 (Fla. 1950).As everyone knows, possession is nine-tenths of the law, so recognition of a right to possession might be a form of property right. It is at least such a strong right that the Florida Supreme Court held its invasion to entitle the relatives to substantial damages. But is it a property right in the same way that owning a car or a house is a property right?The Florida Supreme Court examined this question at length in 2001 and concluded that it was kind of like a property right. The court said, “Based upon these statutory rights of the next of kin in their dead relatives’ bodies, along with the case law on this issue, we conclude that in Florida there is a legitimate claim of entitlement by the next of kin to possession of the remains of a decedent for burial or other lawful disposition. We also find that referring to the interest as a ‘legitimate claim of entitlement’ most accurately describes the nature of the interest.” Crocker v. Pleasant, 778 So. 2d 978 (Fla. 2001). The court earlier in the opinion noted that, “This conclusion is consistent with the approach of other courts that have found that this right constitutes a legitimate claim of entitlement or a quasi-property interest.”The Crocker court explained a quasi-property interest by quoting Lawyer v. Kernodle, 721 F.2d 632 (8th Cir. 1983): “In the sense in which the word ‘property’ ordinarily is used, one whose duty it becomes to bury a deceased person has no right of ownership over the corpse; but, in the broader meaning of the term, he has what has been called a ‘quasi property right’ which entitles him to the possession and control of the body for the single purpose of decent burial. If the deceased person leave [sic] a widow, such right belongs to her….”Of course, the Crocker court noted in footnote 10: “Unlike other traditional property interests, however, there is no recognized right to possess the remains of a deceased relative for commercial purposes.”Well, perhaps the cases are a bit confusing and do take some time to read. They do not set out in black and white in one place a list of persons who have the actual quasi-property right to decide the disposition of a deceased person’s body. It would probably be helpful to funeral directors if the cases or statutes had such a list that was clear and not ambiguous. While the new law is a step in that direction, it appears to have some glitches that a future legislature will need to address. James W. Martin is a corporate, real estate, and probate lawyer in St. Petersburg, who has written for Florida Bar Journal and News , ALI-ABA Practical Lawyer, and West Publishing, and has more information on his Web site, www.jamesmartinpa.com.center_img Is the law of the body a body of law?last_img read more