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Necropsies planned for 2 sperm whales

MARCO ISLAND — Necropsies will be performed on a pair of pygmy sperm whales found stranded off Florida’s southwest coast.

The mother and calf were found Friday struggling in the mangrove stands off Kice Island, to the south of Marco Island. They were later euthanized at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

Officials say the mother whale was at least 10 feet long and weighed up to 1,500 pounds. The calf was about 6 feet long and weighed 150 pounds.

The necropsies will be performed at a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission laboratory in St. Petersburg.

2 dead in small plane crash near St. Johns River

JACKSONVILLE — Authorities say two people died when their small plane crashed into a densely wooded area near the St. Johns River in northeastern Florida.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says the men were aboard a two-seat Glasair airplane that was last seen flying with an aviation club Saturday.

Club members and a helicopter pilot with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found the plane’s wreckage Sunday morning.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Man charged with stealing police officer’s car

HIALEAH — Police say they’ve arrested the man who stole a police officer’s car filled with weapons and riot gear from the parking lot of a Hialeah restaurant.

Luis Leonel Vilar is charged with armed robbery to a vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police say Vilar stole the car early Friday while the officer worked an assigned security job inside the restaurant. The vehicle contained two weapons, riot gear, a bulletproof vest and police identification.

All the weapons and gear were recovered when police found the abandoned car Friday night. Vilar was arrested about three hours later.

Jury: Race organizers not responsible for death

PANAMA CITY — A jury has determined that the organizers of the 2006 Florida Ironman were not responsible for the death of a 35-year-old Montana man who collapsed during the race.

Barney Rice died three days after collapsing during the 1.2-mile swimming portion of the triathlon at Panama City Beach.

His family sued North American Sports Inc. and USA Triathlon for wrongful death, saying organizers didn’t follow their own safety protocols. They sought $5.5 million in compensation.

Boyfriend accused of stabbing girlfriend’s father

LAKELAND — Florida authorities are awaiting the extradition of a man who fled to Kentucky after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend’s father to death.

Nicky Tolzmann was arrested late Friday near Dawson Springs, Ky. Authorities say Tolzmann led officers on a brief chase in a car stolen from Gene Hockey of Lakeland.

Tolzmann was being held without bond on an arrest warrant from Polk County for first degree murder.

— Herald wire services

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