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Pfc. Anthony W. Simmons, 25, of Tallahassee died Thursday in Kunar province in Afghanistan when his unit was attacked, the Defense Department reported on Monday.

He was assigned to the Army's 101st Airborne Division.


Teenager loses hand to alligator in canal

An alligator bit off the left hand of a teenager who was swimming with three friends in a Collier County canal about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

After 18-year-old Timothy Delano and his friends called 911, Delano was taken to a hospital and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured the gator, spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro said. The hand was retrieved from the gator's stomach and flown to the hospital, but the hand couldn't be reattached.


Dad turns in his son as suspect in robbery

A South Florida father has turned in his son as a suspected Boynton Beach bank robber.

Police say 18-year-old Andrew Wright dressed in a black pinstriped jacket and matching fedora when he robbed a bank on Friday. Records show he made off with $1,400.

His face was caught on surveillance camera, which police released to the media. A federal arrest report says Wright's father saw the photos and recognized his son. The father took him to turn himself in at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.


Dr. Mudd kin to lobby for his exoneration

Descendants of a doctor convicted and imprisoned for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth in the 1865 assassination of President Abraham Lincoln are meeting in Key West this week.

Samuel Mudd was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, about 70 miles west of Key West. President Andrew Johnson pardoned him in 1869, after Mudd helped the prison's doctor fight an epidemic of yellow fever.

The Mudd family has long lobbied to have the doctor exonerated in Lincoln's assassination. They say Mudd acted only as a doctor, not a coconspirator, when he set Booth's leg, which the assassin broke while fleeing Ford's Theater.

Nearly 50 members of the Mudd family will tour Fort Jefferson on Tuesday. They'll be wearing T-shirts that read, "Free Dr. Mudd."


Lee County to build new homes for bats

A southwest Florida county is building two houses for thousands of bats that would be homeless after a bridge is demolished.

About 2,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats live under the Matlacha Bridge in Lee County. The bridge is scheduled to be torn down and replaced in the coming months.

State regulations require the county to find someplace else for the bats to live. Experts say the bats contribute to mosquito control because they eat 3,000 insects a day.

The county is building two bat houses near the construction site that will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 bats.


County pit bull ban has federal loophole

Officials in Miami-Dade County say a small but growing group of pit bull owners has found a loophole in the county's ban against the breed.

Miami-Dade Animal Services reports that about a half-dozen pit bulls have been registered as service animals for people with disabilities. Federal rules governing service animals trump the local ban, enacted in 1989 after an 8-year-old girl was mauled by a neighbor's pit bull.

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEEAIRBORNE TROOPER DIES IN AFGHANISTAN 07/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 12, 2010 11:45pm]
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