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Published Sep. 14, 2009


A wreck involving a semitrailer truck and two other vehicles closed Interstate 75 northbound, south of Fletcher Avenue, for several hours Sunday morning. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials said a semitrailer truck, a truck towing a vehicle and a small car were involved in the accident at about 11:10 a.m. Four people were taken to Tampa General Hospital, including one in serious condition, officials said.

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400-pound python taken from owner

Wildlife officials are putting the squeeze on giant pythons. On Friday, officials seized Delilah, above, an 18-foot-long, 400-pound python who fed on rabbits in an Apopka-area back yard. Concerns about Delilah's size and whether the chain-link cage she was in was secure enough to contain her prompted the visit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Delilah was removed and brought to a caregiver with a permit to handle large snakes. Officials are trying to determine whether the owner has the proper permit. Earlier last week in Lakeland, officials uncovered two large pythons, an 11-foot-long male and its female companion, a 17-footer weighing more than 150 pounds. The owner did not have a permit and is being charged with two misdemeanors.

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Fugitive may beon run with father

Polk County deputies are searching for a man who they say cut off an electronic ankle monitor and may be on the run with his 73-year-old father. Manuel Lopez, 42, was convicted in 2008 of aggravated stalking of a 14-year-old victim. Lopez, of Mulberry, was on probation and ordered to be on house arrest with an ankle monitor. He was scheduled for a court hearing Thursday, but didn't appear. A probation officer said Lopez cut off the ankle monitor that afternoon. Authorities said Lopez was last seen leaving the home he shares with his father, Raymond Lopez, and they believe the two men are together. The vehicle they left in was found, and authorities think they may be headed to the Nashville area.