3 To Know: Estero all-star, lobster rules, more

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A lobster rears its claws after being caught off Spruce Head, Maine, Aug. 31, 2021.  A federal judge has delayed new lobster fishing rules for two years in a rare win for the industry in its fight against whale protections.

1. Lobster rules to protect whale will wait

A federal judge has ruled that new lobster fishing restrictions designed to conserve rare whales will be delayed until 2024 to give the government time to design them.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg came on the heels of his July ruling that new, stronger rules are needed to protect the North Atlantic right whale from extinction. The whales are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear.

Boasberg previously ruled that fishing restrictions issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service didn’t go far enough to protect the whales. The agency must issue new rules by December 2024, he ruled this week.

Environmentalists and fishing industry members have long argued about the rules. Fishermen argue that stricter rules could cripple the industry, which harvests one of the most popular and lucrative seafood items in the country.

Conservation groups have cited entanglement in gear as an existential threat to the whales, which number 340 and are in decline. – Patrick Whittle/AP

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2. Urgent care told him he had the flu. It was really meningitis – and a jury awarded him $27M

A Des Moines man has been awarded $27 million in damages after a local urgent care clinic failed to diagnose him with a serious meningitis infection that ultimately resulted in permanent brain damage.

The now-53-year-old Joseph Dudley still wrestles with the physical and mental limitations following his 2017 illness, which his wife says affects his ability to have an active role in his young children's lives.

But when he first arrived at a UnityPoint Point urgent care clinic with symptoms in February 2017, he was diagnosed with influenza and sent home.

The Polk County jury found the physician assistant supervising the clinic at the time, Melanie Choos, to be negligent in that decision, which directly caused damage to Dudley.

"This is a fair and just verdict for a man who has severe, permanent brain damage and who is one of tens of thousands of medical malpractice victims that have cases pending in this country," said Nick Rowley, an attorney representing Dudley and his wife, Sarah. – Michaela Ramm/Des Moines Register

3. Estero 3-star recruit Duclona picks UCF

Estero High defensive back Jason Duclona committed to Rutgers in June and de-committed in September. During his senior season, he made 30 total tackles, had six pass breakups and two interceptions while also catching 23 passes for 520 yards and seven touchdowns on offense.

Jason Duclona of Estero High School announces his commitment to play football for the University of Central Florida.

With his high school career over and a month before the early signing period begins Dec. 21, the 6-foot-1, three-star recruit is ready to commit again. Here is which school Duclona chose, why, and his expectations for his college future.

“I have decided to take my talents to the University of Central Florida.

“I think it was hard at first because I was unsure if I’ll have a spot somewhere. I was committed and if I de-commit will I have a spot, and I just happened to make a connection with (UCF defensive coordinator Travis) Williams. I went there for a visit and after that it just felt like home, the atmosphere. The players treated me like family. And I talked to Coach (Gus) Malzhan, and me and him kept talking a lot. It was good to talk to a head coach and just to be like family.”

Duclona noted the Knight’s move to the Big 12 from the American Athletic Conference next season as a factor in his decision. – Ed Reed/Staff

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