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Alaska man faces life in prison for Florida airport shooting

MIAMI (AP) - An Alaska man faces a life prison sentence in the January 2017 Florida airport shooting that left five people dead and six wounded.

Sentencing is set Friday for 28-year-old Esteban Santiago, who pleaded guilty in May to 11 charges in a plea deal in which prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. Santiago, of Anchorage, Alaska, admitted he opened fire with a handgun in a baggage area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The agreement calls for a life prison sentence plus 120 years.

An Iraq war veteran, Santiago is diagnosed as schizophrenic but was found competent to understand legal proceedings.

Santiago initially told the FBI after the shooting he was under government mind control, then switched to unfounded claims he acted in support of the Islamic State extremist group.

2 cited for alleged alligator violations in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Two men have been cited for alleged alligator violations in Louisiana.

Enforcement agents for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries say 59-year-old Barry Pedigo, of Pensacola, Florida, and 28-year-old Logan Madere, of Westwego, Louisiana, were cited for possessing an alligator during a closed season.

Agents received information about an alligator being illegally harvested at Burns Point Park in St. Mary Parish. After investigating, agents learned that Pedigo captured an alligator by hand. Pedigo was bit multiple times and was treated at Lafayette General Hospital.

Madere then killed the alligator, which was 4-feet-8 inches (1.2 meters) long.

Illegally harvesting an alligator brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. The men may also face civil restitution totaling about $375 for the replacement value of the alligator.

Waffle House debuts food truck to cater events

Why go to Waffle House for that big event, when it can come to you?

>> Read more trending news 

The Atlanta-based restaurant chain introduced a new food truck that can cater private events, WSYX reported.

On its website, Waffle House notes that the food truck can set up for parties at the office, schools or even at homes. It also can cater tailgating parties, family reunions, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, and corporate events.

“Our team members are available to serve you 24/7 and offer the same unique experience as in (a) restaurant,” the company said on its website.

“We can pull up and cook your desired menu choices for you and your guests," Waffle House said.

The food truck can be rented nationwide, but an extra fee will be charged for locations outside of Georgia, WSYX reported.

Police: RV lot was torched by employee of owner's brother

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Bill Waits, the owner of a Florida recreational vehicle dealership, was stunned when an arsonist torched eight of his RVs. He then got an even bigger shock when investigators told him their suspect is a serial arsonist employed by a rival dealership owned by his brother.

Local, state and federal law enforcement are looking for 54-year-old Benjamin Harris, who fled after he was questioned about the Aug. 5 fire at Waits RV Center that caused $350,000 damage, the Palm Beach Post reported . Harris was an employee of Palm Beach RV, which is owned by Waits' older brother, Larry, officials said.

"He hasn't called me," Bill Waits told the newspaper. "We're competitors, but he's my brother. I love him."

No one else from Palm Beach RV has been charged. General manager Keith Waits, Larry Waits' son, said they are also shocked and did not know Harris has arson convictions for setting more than 30 fires in New York and Florida dating to the 1990s.

"We do now," Keith Waits said of Harris' criminal history. Harris served 11 years after being convicted in 2007 and was released in January.

Surveillance video from Waits RV Center shows Harris pulling up to the lot at night wearing a "Palm Beach RV" T-shirt, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office said. He carried something in his hands as he approached the RVs. He then drove away as the vehicles erupted in flames, authorities said.

Detectives said they questioned Harris two days later at Palm Beach RV, but he refused to talk and demanded to speak to a lawyer. They didn't have an arrest warrant, so they left. Harris then disappeared and a warrant was issued.

Bill Waits wants to know why his business was targeted.

"Why would you pick us?" Waits said. "Is it a thrill? What's the deal? I would love to know that answer."


Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post,

Fox News apologizes for misidentifying Patti LaBelle as Aretha Franklin

The singer who demanded respect in an iconic 1960s song was temporarily disrespected in the eyes of some of her fans Thursday, hours after her death. 

>> Read more trending news 

Fox News issued an apology for mistakenly using an image of Patti LaBelle in a news package tribute for legendary singer Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday morning, People reported.

“We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends,” Fox News Vice President Jessica Santostefano said in a statement.

>> Aretha Franklin dies at 76

Franklin, 76, known as the “Queen of Soul,” died of pancreatic cancer on Thursday.

Fox News shared a news package containing highlights of Franklin’s career. Fans noticed, however, that while one slide showed a shot of Franklin prominently on the left side, on the right side, above Franklin’s birth and death dates, was a second image of LaBelle singing, The New York Daily News reported.

“The dis-R-E-S-P-E-C-T. That’s really Patti LaBelle in the corner,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

>> Photos: Aretha Franklin through the years

“Our intention was to honor the icon using a secondary image of her performing with Patti LaBelle in the full screen graphic, but the image of Ms. Franklin was obscured in that process, which we deeply regret,” Santostefano told People.

The image Fox used came from LaBelle’s performance at the White House in 2014, the magazine reported.

“I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin,” LaBelle, 74, wrote on Twitter. “Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss.

>> The best Aretha Franklin songs: A timeline

“Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many. My sympathy, love and prayers go out to her family, loved ones and fans around the globe.”

Political Salsa forum provided lively discussion with Puerto Rican voters tuned in

Many of the people on Florida ballots appeared at a forum in Orlando Thursday evening to discuss problems affecting Central Florida.

The third annual Political Salsa event gave voters the opportunity to meet candidates and learn about where they stand on major issues.

Download the free WFTV News & Weather apps

This year’s event held special significance for thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans temporarily calling Central Florida home after Hurricane Maria.

Organizers posted on Facebook Monday that the event was sold out.

The event was hosted by the Puerto Rican Bar Association. The panels were moderated by Channel 9 anchor Nancy Alvarez.

The following candidates participated:

  • State House candidate Anna Eskamani (Democrat)
  • State House candidate Bob Cortes (Republican)
  • U.S. Rep. Darren Soto (Democrat)
  • U.S. House candidate Mike Miller (Republican)
  • U.S. House candidate Wayne Liebnitzky (Republican)
  • Orange County Sheriff candidate Joe Lopez (Democrat)
  • Orange County Commissioner candidate Maribel Gomez-Cordero (Democrat)

Election Checklist: Florida's major races & who's running

"The majority of (those in attendance are) Puerto Ricans who want to know what is going on in the political climate of Central Florida and the state of Florida," said JJ Rodriguez, a Hispanic Republican leader.

Organizers said their goal was to host a non-partisan, festive campaign atmosphere that empowers Puerto Rican voters to learn more about the region and the people on the ballot.

The event was held at the Acacia on North Econlockhatchee Trail near East Colonial Drive in Union Park.

Florida's primary will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Election season in the Sunshine State: Click or tap for political news & analysis

Frontier Airlines to add service from Ohio to Florida

CLEVELAND (AP) - Frontier Airlines has announced that it is adding nonstop service from John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Ohio to West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the airline says the twice-weekly flight to Palm Beach International Airport will operate seasonally, starting in November and ending in the spring. Frontier says the route could become permanent if there is enough demand for it.

The Denver-based airline ended its Columbus to Las Vegas nonstop services and limited routes between Columbus and Denver earlier this year. In April, it added nonstop service to Austin, Texas.

Frontier earlier this week announced new nonstop service from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to West Palm Beach and Sarasota in Florida and to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch,

Winning numbers drawn in 'Fantasy 5' game

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The winning numbers in Thursday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's "Fantasy 5" game were:


(fourteen, sixteen, twenty-four, twenty-eight, thirty-three)

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