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Regional News: Plane was in a Spin; Wrong Way Fatal Crash; Fla Blueberry Success

By: ap
By: ap
Investigators: Airplane in spin before fatal crash... Man driving wrong way causes fatal Fla highway crash... Space Station supply launch... Blueberry bushes and business blooming in Florida... Georgia girl, 10, killed in apparent gun accident... Heroin-stuffed Teddy Bear is focus of police probe... Car slams into man on park bench, breaks his legs...

Blueberries

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) -- Investigators say the pilot of a small, single-engine airplane that crashed into a southwestern Colorado reservoir, killing all five people aboard, reported to an air traffic controller that his aircraft was "in a spin" and he was trying to recover it.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1jgPxtn ) the detail was released by the National Transportation Safety Board, which will conduct a more thorough investigation now that the aircraft has been retrieved from Ridgway Reservoir south of Montrose.
Killed in the March 22 crash were 48-year-old Jimmy Hill, 40-year-old Katrina Barksdale; Barksdale's sons, 11-year-old Kobe and 8-year-old Xander; and Barksdale's 14-year-old nephew, Seth McDuffie. All were from Gadsden, Ala., where the flight originated.
The group was on a spring break skiing trip.

JESSE JACKSON JR MOVED
Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. moved to Ala. prison
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been moved from the federal prison in North Carolina to a minimum security prison camp in Montgomery.
A longtime friend of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Democratic state Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, said the Jackson family contacted him Friday night about the 49-year-old former congressman being moved to the federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons' website now lists Jackson as a Montgomery inmate.
Jackson is serving a 2 1/2 -year sentence after admitting to illegally using campaign money. The Bureau of Prisons lists his release date as Dec. 31, 2015.
The Montgomery camp has housed several government figures over the years, including former Attorney General John Mitchell and former U.S. District Judge Harry Claiborne of Nevada.

BARRIER ISLANDS-MISSISSIPPI
Army Corps plans to restore Miss. barrier islands
BILOXI, Miss. (AP) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to shore up Mississippi's Barrier Islands by pumping in some 20 million cubic yards of sand.
The corps disclosed plans at a public meeting Thursday in Biloxi.
The corps plans to close the Camille Cut and restore the southern shoreline of East Ship Island. Those two projects will encompass about 1,500 acres. The work will be done in five phases.
The restoration on Ship Island will cost about $363 million. The southwest corner of the island has already been restored.
A project to restore dunes and the beach on eastern Cat Island, which hinges on the federal government buying that part of the island from BP, would cost $20 million.
Officials say the corps should start moving sand late this year.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- An elderly man driving southbound in a northbound highway lane of Interstate 75 crashed into another car, killing himself and the other driver in Hamilton County. The accident just before midnight Friday created a five car pileup involving a Greyhound bus on route to Atlanta from Tampa. Some 13 passengers were treated for minor injuries.
Florida Highway Patrol officials say 91-year-old Ernest Lee Holmes of High Springs, Fla. was driving a 1993 Buick Century when he crashed into 55-year-old Peter J. Linek, of Ormond Beach. Linek was driving his Ford Explore northbound in the correct direction. Both men died.
Two other vehicles were snared in the wreck besides the bus. One carried five children, but there were no other injuries.
Greyhound sent a replacement bus to take the passengers to Atlanta.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A delayed supply run to the International Space Station is now set to launch April 14. The private company SpaceX will be making its fourth trip to the space station from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch was postponed twice last month.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The humble blueberry is enjoying a bonanza in Florida.
In the last decade, the area harvested with blueberries in Florida has tripled, the Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1imc069) Reported Saturday.
This year's crop is expected to reach around 25 million pounds. That's small-time compared to top producer Chile, which exports about 174 million pounds, mostly to the United States.
But it's not that far off U.S. blueberry leader Michigan, which produced about 87 million pounds in 2012.
Farmers say experts at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are behind the growth. Their Plant Innovation Program developed about 98 percent of the southern highbush berries now grown in the state.
Grower Alto Straughn says the UF version of the fruit "are better, bigger, tastier and with a better yield."
There's something else about blueberries that makes growers happy. Machine-picking them is easier than crops like strawberries, a benefit at a time when immigration reform is at a standstill, and farmers complain they can't find enough harvesters in the United States.
Blueberries generated nearly $70 million in cash receipts in 2011 up from $39 million in 2007.
Fresh blueberries can be found in grocery stores year all long these days, but Florida is grabbing the market share from around March to June, coming in at the end of the South American harvest but before things warm up enough along the Atlantic seaboard and Pacific northwest. Farmers say they hope to expand their season even more in the coming years.

Fla. woman accused of dragging biker sentenced
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) -- A Lee County judge has accepted a no contest plea in a DUI manslaughter case from a woman who fatally dragged a motorcyclist for nearly 3 miles.
Donna Brown entered the plea on Friday. Brown was charged with DUI manslaughter, damage to a person and property, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and driving under the influence.
Brown will serve eight years in prison, two years of house arrest, eight years of probation and her driver license will be permanently revoked.
The Naples Daily News reports that Brown hit motorcyclist Carl "Ed" Patrick, and the impact left Patrick trapped under Brown's vehicle. She drove and dragged him for nearly 3 miles him after the May 9 2013 crash.

WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) -- Sheriff's deputies say a 10-year-old south Georgia girl is dead after a shooting involving her brother that appears to be an accident.
Ware County sheriff's officials say a 911 call was made around 1 p.m. Friday to report the shooting at the home on Jana Lane, near Waycross.
Deputies say 10-year-old Taylor Jowers asked her brother to hold a 12-gauge shotgun. They say the brother was in the process of removing the ammunition when the gun fired, killing Taylor.
WTOC-TV reports that deputies attempted to give first aid when they arrived, but were not able to keep Taylor alive.
Sheriff's officials are still investigating, but said all indications are that the shooting was an accident.

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Police are trying to learn who shipped a Teddy Bear -- with heroin hidden inside -- from Mexico to northeast Georgia.
A woman told Athens-Clarke County police that she received the bear on Thursday, in an unexpected package from Mexico.
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the woman opened the package, saw an old Teddy Bear and called police because she suspected something dangerous might be inside.
An officer who examined the toy found something hard within the stuffing, then noticed a slit in the back of its neck. He pulled out a plastic bag with some type of powder. A drug task force member later determined the powder was heroin.
Police are trying to determine where the heroin came from and whether someone else was the intended recipient.

SAVANNAH PARK BENCH CRASH
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- Police say a man was hospitalized with two broken legs after a car careened into a park and collided with him as he sat on a park bench.
Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police say 52-year-old Kenneth Roebuck II was sitting on the bench in Forsyth Park on Friday afternoon after riding his bicycle. They say a Mazda ran over a curb on the north side of the park and struck the bench. Police say the driver of the Mazda had accelerated to avoid an approaching vehicle.
Roebuck was taken to Memorial University Medical Center to be treated for his broken legs.


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