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Two small planes collide over Florida

WILLISTON — A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman says two pilots died when their small planes collided over central Florida.

The single-engine Piper and an experimental aircraft collided Saturday near the Williston Municipal Airport. The chairwoman of the city’s airport committee says neither plane took off from the airport, and it’s not clear if either tried to land there.

Levy County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Evan Sullivan tells The Gainesville Sun that the wreckage was spread over a few hundred yards of pasture and woods.

The experimental aircraft is registered to Lee Sentman of Dewey, Ill. A home telephone listing was disconnected.

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the Piper’s registration number has been difficult to determine because of the state of the wreckage.

Humpback whale, calf spotted in distress off Fla.

JENSEN BEACH — Boaters off Florida’s Atlantic coast are asked to call wildlife officials if they spot a humpback whale tangled in a rope attached to an anchor.

The whale and a calf were spotted Friday morning by a fishing charter boat. Capt. Patrick Price said the rope was wrapped around the whale’s head and a fin. Price said the marine mammals was “in pretty bad shape.”

NOAA whale scientist Jamison Smith says boaters should call (866) 755-6622 if they spot the whale. A team of biologists trained to handle whale entanglements is standing by ready to respond.

2 teens rescued from kayaks adrift in Keys

KEY WEST — Two teenage kayakers are OK after becoming disoriented in the Florida Keys.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew plucked Travis Jackson and Josh Turner from the waters between Summerland Key and Cudjoe Key early Saturday. Both boys are 17 years old and from Coral Springs.

According to the Coast Guard, the boys called for help from a cell phone. They said they had been trying to reach Summerland Key from Sawyer Keys, but they couldn’t make it to land and they drifted farther north.

The boys were found disoriented and mildly hypothermic, huddling under an emergency blanket.

2 suspects sought after party shooting in Florida

CLEARWATER — Police are searching for two men who allegedly shot three guests at a party in Clearwater.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the suspects showed up at the party looking for an acquaintance who wasn’t there. An altercation then began between the suspects and one of the partygoers.

Detectives say that’s when the shooting began, and three people were shot. Twenty-year-old Benjamin Andrew Kubes of Clearwater died at the scene. Twenty-wo-year-old Ibrahim Sorie Kamara of Clearwater was pronounced dead at a hospital. The sheriff’s office says 20-year-old Dennis Alphonse Miyawa of Largo was hospitalized Saturday morning with life-threatening injuries.

High-wire performer strolls between towers in Fla.

FORT MYERS — A world record-holding high-wire performer crossed a 50-foot span between 32-story towers in downtown Fort Myers to promote upcoming performances.

Nik Wallenda is a member of the famous Flying Wallendas circus family. He was nearly 400 feet in the air Friday afternoon when he crossed a wire just five-eighths of an inch thick and strung between the towers of High Point Place. The stunt was a promotion for Circus Sarasota, which is performing in Fort Myers through next Sunday.

The 31-year-old Wallenda set a Guinness world record in October 2008 for the longest distance and greatest height ever traveled by bicycle on a high wire.

Wallenda is a seventh generation high-wire performer.

Man gets 2 life terms for accomplice’s death

LARGO — A Tampa man already serving 40 years in prison for shooting a Tampa police officer has been sentenced to two life terms for robbery and murder.

A Pinellas County judge sentenced 27-year-old Eugene Jermaine Betts on Friday. A jury had found him guilty moments earlier on 14 counts, including second-degree murder, robbery, attempted robbery and aggravated battery.

Authorities say Betts was one of four men who robbed a group of people in Clearwater in July 2005 and then tried to rob a second group in St. Petersburg the same night. One of the intended victims in the second group fatally shot one of Betts’ accomplices.

Man gets 30 years for fatal attack

BARTOW — A man charged with killing a Polk County detention deputy has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his part in a 2007 Highlands County slaying.

A judge sentenced 28-year-old Terrence Barnett on Friday. He pleaded no contest in June to second-degree murder as part of a plea deal.

Prosecutors say Barnett participated in an attack on Bryan Fanning over a drug-related dispute in August 2007.

While in custody for Fanning’s killing, Barnett was charged with first-degree murder for the death of detention Sgt. Ronnie Brown.

Authorities say Barnett broke a fire sprinkler in August, flooding his cell.

When Brown entered the cell, Barnett attacked the sergeant, who hit a concrete wall and fell to the floor.

Man dies after being pulled from fire

BELLE GLADE — A Palm Beach County man died in the hospital a day after being pulled from an apartment fire.

Authorities say 42-year-old Jorel Ledan died Wednesday. He suffered serious burns Tuesday when his family’s Balle Glade apartment caught fire. Rescuers found Ledan, a woman and a young boy collapsed near the front door, overcome by smoke.

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue investigators believe a candle started the fire.

— Herald wire services

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