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EX-SPEAKER LIKELY HEIR TO SEN. KING

JACKSONVILLE

Preliminary results show that former Florida House Speaker John Thrasher will likely take over the seat left by the late Sen. Jim King.

A race spanning five northeast Florida counties concluded Tuesday with a special Republican primary for the Florida Senate seat. Though no Democrats are seeking the seat, only Republicans were able to vote because a little-known write-in candidate filed for the Oct. 6 general election.

With most of the votes counted, unofficial tallies put Thrasher at 39 percent. His next closest opponent was St. Augustine businessman and anti-tax activist Dan Quiggle with 26 percent.

MELROSE

Air Force ordnance technician killed

Air Force Staff Sgt. Bryan Berky of Melrose died Saturday of injuries suffered in combat, one of three U.S. troops killed in an ambush in western Afghanistan.

He was an explosives ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron. Berky, 25, and his wife, Erin, had an infant son, Harrison, according to the Berky family's pages on Classmates.com, Facebook.com and MySpace.com. He was a 2002 graduate of Bradford High School in Starke.

THE ACREAGE

Young man is latest victim of brain cancer

The parents of a 20-year-old man in a Palm Beach County community with a high number of brain cancer cases say their son has become the latest victim.

Joey Baratta's family says he died from a malignant brain tumor Saturday. Bill Featherston said his stepson was first diagnosed with a benign brain tumor at 16 while living in Davie. Later his family moved to The Acreage, and in December, he said doctors found a malignant tumor.

Associated Press

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