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Student pilot crashes during joy ride

A 19-year-old student pilot took a single-engine plane from an airport for a joyride and crashed it into a coastal lagoon, police said Monday. Donald Chobot Alley, who was unlicensed, was hospitalized in fair condition in Jacksonville. He faces burglary and grand theft charges. "He wanted to go for a joyride, is what we are thinking," said Police Sgt. James Thompson. "He's a fortunate individual to still be breathing." After the crash, Alley apparently floated or swam to the Nassau Sound Bridge on the Duval County-Nassau County border. He managed to climb up the side of the bridge and flag down a motorist, who took him to a hospital about 5 a.m. Saturday. Jim Aukes, maintenance director for Island Aviation Services, which owns the airplane, said Alley's flying experience had been limited to high-winged craft, unlike the low-winged plane he took. Island Aviation still has the keys to the plane and investigators haven't determined how Alley started it late Friday or early Saturday.

Sites for 10th university narrowed

FORT MYERS _ The Board of Regents eliminated a possible site for the state's 10th university Monday, leaving two finalists for the regents to choose from at a meeting next week in Tallahassee. Regents have narrowed the final choice between a site offered by Alico Inc. in south Lee County and Fort Myers' Westinghouse Gateway site near Southwest Regional Airport, State University System spokesman Patrick Riordan said. A third site, Omni Interstate Park, was eliminated Monday.

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