More tests due on area with cancer cluster
Florida officials will conduct more extensive tests in a Palm Beach town stricken by a cluster of childhood cancer. Families in the Acreage, a town about 20 miles from West Palm Beach, had been trying for months to persuade the state to take more action. Health officials have confirmed the area has higher than normal rates of brain tumors and cancer among children. The state Health Department said Friday it would test water and soil in the area. Gov. Charlie Crist has also pledged to seek federal help investigating the area. Florida's surgeon general says the state Health Department has already done all it can.
Man gets prison in storm aid fraud
The former head of a nonprofit that provided housing relief after Hurricane Wilma in 2005 was sentenced to 27 months in prison for stealing federal funds. George Kinsler was director of residential housing for Noah Development Corp., which received federal and state funds to provide low-income housing in the Belle Glade area. The organization landed a $1.2 million contract after Hurricane Wilma to pay rent for people displaced by the hurricane. Kinsler pleaded guilty to arranging for a family member and an associate unaffected by the storm to enter the program, misappropriating $16,000. Kinsler also pleaded guilty to falsely receiving $25,000 in government payments for the home he lived in.
PORT ST. LUCIE
Helicopter pilot survives crash
A pilot escaped with only minor injuries after a helicopter crashed during or just after takeoff at the St. Lucie airport. The helicopter, an Enstrom F-28 C built in 1976, crashed about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. It ended up on its side with at least one rotor mangled. The fire department says 25 of the aircraft's 45 gallons of fuel spilled out. The Federal Aviation Administration said a strong gust of wind hit just before the helicopter crashed. The pilot's name was not immediately released. No one else was on board.
2 street preachers gunned down
Two men ministering on the streets of Boynton Beach were gunned down by an 18-year-old man, authorities said. Police say 24-year-old Tite Sufra and 23-year-old Stephen Ocean were preaching to Jeriah Woody for about 15 minutes, until he got a phone call. Woody left, but then started walking toward the two. When Sufra approached, Woody shot him in the head, police said. Ocean ran, and Woody shot him in the back, then walked up and shot him again — this time in the head at point-blank range, police said. Woody surrendered Wednesday on two counts of first-degree murder.
Dogs getting sick from dead iguanas
There's a new danger for dogs in South Florida: iguanas killed by the recent cold snap. The carcasses litter some neighborhoods, and have been deadly for some dogs. They seem to be contracting botulism, an infection that causes paralysis. Veterinarians at first couldn't figure out what was wrong; the disease is typically so rare they could go decades without seeing it. Though botulism seems to be the problem, vets say it's nearly impossible to say for sure. Tissue samples have been sent to the state lab for analysis.