Media Moves

The Reuters reporter, the Elvis impersonator and the coleslaw wrestling match

December 30, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Jane Sutton, the Miami correspondent for Reuters, announced Monday that she is leaving the news organization at the end of the year.

Here is her farewell email to her colleagues:

After more than 19 years at Reuters, I’m joining the exodus out the door tomorrow.

Since it was announced that our jobs were being eliminated down here in the fever swamp, I’ve had plenty of time to reminisce with colleagues about the camaraderie we enjoyed and the big stories we covered – the hurricanes and coups, earthquakes and volcano eruptions, the space launches, landings and tragedies, the convoluted elections, celebrity shenanigans, trials of all sorts and Guantanamo, Guantanamo, Guantanamo.

So I’ll say goodbye with a reminder of some the smaller stories that epitomize what I’ve loved about this job in Miami:

  • The Elvis impersonator who parachuted into a coleslaw wrestling match, missed his mark and landed on a beer vendor, casting a pall on the annual Daytona Beach Bikerfest.
  • The Florida man who was testing a high-speed jet ski and ran head-long into a low-flying duck, killing them both.
  • The Florida wildlife officers who tried to prevent endangered crocodiles from returning to human habitats by taping magnets to the reptiles’ heads to scramble their bio-magnetic navigational systems.
  • The Florida man who walked into a convenience store with a live 4-foot alligator, fully expecting the clerk to accept it as payment for a 12-pack of beer. He got a three-pack of citations instead.
  • The fake doctor who anesthetized his cosmetic surgery patients with the animal tranquilizer known as ‘Special K,’ used a kitchen spatula as a surgical instrument and left a male bodybuilder with female breast implants rather than the pectoral enhancements he expected.
  • The Cuban migrants who sneaked ashore at a Miami nude beach while hundreds of law enforcement agents were across town, heading off an imaginary migrant influx during a multi-agency training exercise.
  • The elderly couple who booked a tour on the Key West “Mile High” flight that catered to people in pursuit of airborne sex, then tried to hijack the plane to Cuba at knifepoint. The plane crashed into the sea, the pilot swam out with a few scrapes and bruises but the couple were trapped inside and died.

And perhaps my all-time favorite, the Florida bachelor party guest who filed a personal injury lawsuit blaming a whiplash injury on a topless dancer who swung her purportedly cement-hard breasts at him. The case was tried in the People’s Court, a reality television venue where former New York City Mayor Ed Koch presided as judge. He ruled in favor of the dancer, Tawny Peaks, after a female bailiff examined her breasts and deemed them to be soft. Miss Peaks later retired, had her 69 HH implants removed and sold them on eBay, setting the standard for career transitions.

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