7 MARINES, 4 SOLDIERS MISSING AFTER HELICOPTER CRASHES
Seven Marines and four soldiers were missing early Wednesday after an Army helicopter crashed during a night training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle. Base officials said the Marines are part of a Camp Lejeune-based special operations group and the soldiers were from a Hammond, Louisiana-based National Guard unit. The helicopter was reported missing around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and search and rescue crews found debris from the crash around 2 a.m. Wednesday, Eglin spokesman Andy Bourland said.
TEEN GETS LIFE SENTENCE FOR FATAL STABBING
A Tampa Bay area teenager has been sentenced to life in prison for randomly stabbing and killing a stranger. A Pinellas County judge sentenced 17-year-old Mychal King on Tuesday. The teen pleaded guilty in January to first-degree murder. Authorities say 22-year-old Jason Paul was riding his bike home from work near Crest Lake Park in January 2013 when a then-15-year-old King stabbed him and left him for dead. King was arrested that August and told detectives he was angry and decided to kill the next person he saw.
USDA ESTIMATES FLORIDA’S CITRUS CROP IS LOWER THAN LAST YEAR
Hammered by citrus greening disease, Florida’s citrus industry will produce an estimated 102 million boxes of oranges during the 2014-15 season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday released estimates of Florida’s citrus crop. The forecast is a decline of 59 percent since the peak of citrus production at 254 million boxes in 1997-98. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam said the industry continues to be threatened by citrus greening.
FPL SUBCONTRACTOR ELECTROCUTED IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
Officials say a subcontractor working for Florida Power and Light was electrocuted in central Florida. Brevard County Fire Rescue reports that a crew was replacing electrical poles Tuesday afternoon on Merritt Island, and the victim was working in a bucket when he was shocked. Officials say the man’s co-workers brought him to the ground and attempted to resuscitate him before rescue crews arrived. Rescuers eventually arrived and pronounced the man dead at the scene.
DOLPHINS WORK TOWARD DEAL WITH SUH WHILE MAKING OTHER MOVES
The Miami Dolphins made a handful of roster moves on the first day of free agency while they worked toward finalizing a contract with the top prize in this year’s class, Ndamukong Suh. An agreement with Suh is widely expected Wednesday, with Miami outbidding all competition for the three-time first-team All-Pro defensive tackle. Suh would replace Jared Odrick, who agreed to terms Tuesday on a deal with Jacksonville. Miami created a little cap space for Suh’s huge contract by releasing guard Shelley Smith, who started three games last season. Smith was due to make $2.75 million this year.