BRANDON — When Ben Gullett saw a businessman carrying a sign in Tampa that said he was looking for work, he got an idea to help his own father’s job prospects.
The son of a Tampa Bay Lightning marketing director knew his father was in danger of being laid off. So he set to work on a video that boasted his dad’s qualities just in case.
On Thursday, Mark Gullett lost his job and the video was posted on YouTube.com. Within 24 hours, they’ve already gotten a couple hundred e-mails and a couple of job leads, the father said. By Friday evening, the video had been viewed more than 800 times.
Ben Gullett, 14, said he made the video “just to show him that I love him and stuff.”
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“I thought it was very touching,” Mark Gullett said.
Father and son worked on the script together, and Mark helped with the editing after Ben wrote down what he wanted to include.
“We both had some ideas that we wanted to include in it,” Ben Gullett said. “But I came up with the idea that my dad is a good marketing guy and that I love him and I’m going to be here for him.”
“Mark works a lot,” another sign reads. “Well ... he used to. ‘Restructuring.”’
A spokesman for the team confirmed Gullett’s title and the reason he was let go.
Standing outside in front of a tree, Ben Gullett holds up signs that read, “Now he needs me and YOU! To help find a job. OK?” He also describes his father as smart, creative and hardworking,
FAU gets federal money
DANIA BEACH — Florida Atlantic University will receive nearly $1.2 million from the federal government to continue research into harnessing energy from the powerful Gulf Stream off Florida’s coast.
Democratic Congressman Ron Klein joined scientists on Friday at the school’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology in Dania Beach to announce the funding.
Klein says the money will help researchers in their quest to harness the powerful Gulf Stream as a new potential commercial energy source.
Researchers at the school are studying the possibility of using the current to drive thousands of underwater turbines. They say the project could one day produce as much energy as perhaps 10 nuclear power plants, and supply one-third of Florida’s electricity.
Unloaded gun brought to school
FORT LAUDERDALE — A third-grader has been suspended from a Fort Lauderdale elementary school after he showed off an unloaded automatic handgun in class.
Broward County School District spokesman Keith Bromery says it’s not clear where the 9-year-old got the .380-caliber gun. He’d shown it to classmates on Tuesday and someone told school administrators. Police were notified.
The boy could be expelled and sent to an alternative school.
Man used pig to meet women
KEY WEST — Authorities say a man facing animal cruelty charges for dragging a potbellied pig down Key West’s popular Duval Street was using the pig to meet women.
Authorities arrested 25-year-old Robert Anthony Adisano after an officer reportedly saw him dragging a squealing pig on its back over broken glass. The pig eventually died.
Authorities also removed another pig found living in squalor at his home.
Adisano faces a felony third-degree animal cruelty charge stemming from the alleged pig-dragging early Wednesday. Authorities on Thursday filed an additional animal cruelty charge for the second pig.
Adisano remains in Monroe County jail on $50,000 bond. His first court appearance has not been scheduled.
Hurricane Center has new leader
MIAMI — The National Hurricane Center in Miami has a new team leader.
Veteran meteorologist James Franklin was promoted Thursday to the newly created position as branch chief of the Hurricane Specialists Unit. He’ll oversee the center’s ten hurricane specialists.
The 51-year-old said one of his primary duties will be to assist forecasters as they decipher the atmospheric conditions around storms. He’ll also shoulder some of the forecasters’ normal duties: coordinating watches and warnings.
The new position was created as part of a staff reorganization that stemmed from Bill Proenza’s ouster as the hurricane center director in 2007.
Franklin joined the hurricane center in 1999. Before that, he worked for 17 years as a research meteorologist.
Tourist with Alzheimer’s dead
RUSKIN — Authorities believe they have found the remains of a 75-year-old tourist from England who disappeared from a relative’s Florida home.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says they found the body of an elderly woman believed to be Enid Grace Hendricks in Ruskin on Friday morning.
A sheriff spokeswoman says foul play is not suspected.
Hendricks was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and had just arrived in Florida with her husband Tuesday evening. The next morning, she apparently wandered away from the home.
The family made a teaful plea for her return on Thursday.
Investigators are awaiting confirmation from the medical examiner’s office on her identity.
Girl’s dad doesn’t want focus
SATSUMA — The father of a missing north Florida girl says he doesn’t want the media to focus on his personal life.
Ronald Cummings, 25, and his new bride, 17-year-old Misty Croslin, appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” Friday morning. They got married Thursday in Putnam County, Fla. then flew to New York.
Cummings said he didn’t know what his personal life had to do with national television, and stressed that the media needs to get his daughter’s face out there.
Haleigh vanished Feb. 9 from her father’s mobile home, just outside the community of Satsuma. The 5-year-old was being watched by Misty Croslin.
When asked if she thought police considered her a possible suspect, Croslin said no. Cummings immediately agreed, saying a detective told him she wasn’t.
— Herald wire reports