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Wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve kills 4 panther kittens

NAPLES

Fire claims 4 panther kittens

Four Florida panther kittens have died in wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve. Officials at the park found the kittens' remains Tuesday. The 5-week-old kittens were marked by the Big Cypress staff on April 15. Park officials say the mother was with the kittens until the fire reached the den about 2:30 p.m. Monday. That brings reported panther deaths this year to 16. Scientists believe about 100 of the endangered panthers are left in Florida.

JACKSONVILLE

Child drives after dad passes out

A 5-year-old girl took the steering wheel and did her best to drive the car off the road after her father passed out. The 2010 Camaro jumped a curb, ran over landscaping and crashed into a parking sign before it came to a stop Monday evening. A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report indicates the child had a bloody nose and bloody lower lip. Officers found 40-year-old Mark Endicot Jackson unresponsive and staring at the ceiling. He later told officials he had taken Xanax and oxycodone earlier in the day. Jackson was charged with driving under the influence while accompanied by a minor.

LAKELAND

School missing $50K in laptops

Police are searching for three people who stole nearly $50,000 in laptops from Lakeland High School. Lakeland detectives say three people entered the school early Saturday and stole 55 Dell laptop computers along with four computer carts. Anyone with information can call the Lakeland police at (863) 834-6900.

ORLANDO

Bomb squad called to hotel

A bomb squad responded to a suspicious package outside a central Florida hotel that turned out to be a box of promotional basketballs. The Orange County Sheriff's Office reports that the box was received Tuesday morning at the loading dock of the Orlando World Center Marriott near Lake Buena Vista. No one claimed the package, so hotel protocol dictated that workers call law enforcement. The sheriff's bomb squad responded that afternoon, and the hotel was partially evacuated. The box was deemed harmless several hours later.

Associated Press

Wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve kills 4 panther kittens 05/04/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 11:22pm]

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