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Florida briefs: Hurricane center revises storms tally

Miami

Hurricane center boosts storms tally

The National Hurricane Center has added one subtropical storm to last year's tally of tropical weather. Forecasters said this week that as part of a routine review of data from the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, a short-lived low that developed south of the Azores in early December was determined to be a subtropical storm. The December storm was not given a name. That brings the tally for last year's six-month hurricane season to 14 tropical and subtropical storms. Two of those storms, Humberto and Ingrid, became hurricanes. Just one storm — Tropical Storm Andrea — made landfall in the United States. Forecasters had predicted a busy year, but 2013 saw the fewest hurricanes in a single year since 1982. June 1 marks the beginning of the next Atlantic hurricane season.

Orlando

Thousands gather to mourn deputy

Thousands of mourners have gathered in Orlando for the funeral of a sheriff's deputy fatally shot while responding to a car burglary call. Law enforcement agencies from across Florida came to the First Baptist Church of Orlando on Saturday for the funeral of Orange County Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine. Gov. Rick Scott has ordered all American and state flags be flown at half-staff for Pine. Authorities say Pine was responding to reports of car break-ins late Monday when he encountered Benjamin Holtermann. According to officials, Pine chased Holtermann through nearby back yards, but Holtermann opened fire, shooting and killing Pine. Holtermann was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby neighborhood. Pine will be buried at a cemetery in Gotha.

Naples

Man found guilty of killing his wife

A southwest Florida jury has found a man guilty of second-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of his estranged wife at a hospital. Jeffrey Moretz was convicted Friday in Collier County. His wife died at the scene at a Naples hospital where she was visiting a co-worker in July 2011. Court records showed the couple were divorcing and in foreclosure. Moretz turned the gun on himself after shooting his wife, but he survived. The Naples Daily News reports that Moretz's attorneys asked jurors to find him guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter. They argued that the killing was committed in the heat of passion. Prosecutors said Moretz was angry and controlling, and driven to violence by his wife's new-found independence. Moretz will be sentenced March 21.

Dunnellon

Standoff ends with suspect's death

Authorities say a New Hampshire man wanted in a shooting death in North Carolina killed himself in Florida. Investigators say 43-year-old Eric Paul Engel of Durham, N.H., was wanted in the slaying Friday of 74-year-old Aleksander Wysocki of Cary, N.C. Cary police and Florida authorities say they tracked Engel to Dunnellon, where he shot himself during a standoff with police at a motel. Officials with the sheriff's office in Marion County say they surrounded a room and encouraged Engel to come out, but he stayed inside and committed suicide a short time later. Authorities responded to a 911 about gunshots and found the wounded Wysocki in his yard Friday morning. Engel was a lecturer in the communication department at the University of New Hampshire.

Times wires

Florida briefs: Hurricane center revises storms tally 02/15/14 [Last modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014 9:51pm]
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