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State & Regional

    UCF's Scott Frost, Georgia's Kirby Smart and Clemson's Dabo Swinney are the finalists for The Associated Press Coach of the Year award. The winner will be announced Monday. Frost led the Knights to an unbeaten regular season before taking the Nebraska job. Frost plans to coach No. 10 UCF in the Peach Bowl against Auburn. Smart, in his second season with Georgia, guided the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record and their first Southeastern Conference championship since 2005. No. 3 Georgia will face No. 2 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl. Swinney has the defending national champion Tigers back in the playoff for a third straight year. No. 1 Clemson won the Atlantic Coast Conference, finished 12-1, and will face No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. ___ More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) - Police are searching for a central Florida man who is wanted on a first-degree murder warrant related to a fatal shooting. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said that 32-year-old Johnny Ray Owsley fatally shot Adam Thrower on Monday after finding the victim at his estranged girlfriend's house. The Miami Herald reports that Owsley ordered Thrower out of the house in Winter Haven then shot him several times in the chest and back. Thrower, who was a father to one daughter, died outside the house. Owsley, described by the sheriff's office as six feet and 180 pounds, fled the scene, and has not been seen since. ___ Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com
  • DAVENPORT, Fla. (AP) - The mayor of a small Florida town arrested for using dead peoples' disabled parking permits to park at city hall has resigned. The Bradenton Herald reports that Teresa Bradley resigned and was given six-months of probation as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. Bradley pleaded no contest to unlawful use of a handicap placard, a misdemeanor. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says the 60-year-old former mayor was not registered to use a disabled placard but was parking in the designated spots at Davenport's city hall. She was found to have two of the placards, both of which belonged to people who had died. Sheriff Grady Judd said elected officials are expected to set a good example. ___ Information from: The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald , http://www.bradenton.com
  • JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are opposing ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's request to remain free on bond while she appeals her fraud sentence. Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow filed the motion Sunday in U.S. District Court. Seventy-one-year-old Corrine Brown was sentenced to five years in prison and three years' probation for fraud and lying on her tax returns about a purported charity for poor students she used as a personal slush fund. The once-powerful Democrat was ordered to surrender in January. Brown's attorney argues she has a legitimate issue to appeal - the judge's dismissal of a single juror during the trial. Prosecutors say the juror was dismissed for failing to follow the court's instructions, and does not present a 'substantial question of law or fact' as required for an appeal.
  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A recycled SpaceX capsule is back at the International Space Station, just in time for Christmas. NASA astronauts used the space station's big robot arm to grab the Dragon capsule out of orbit Sunday. It's the second visit for this particular supply ship, which made a delivery for NASA back in 2015 as well, and only the second time a Dragon has had a repeat performance 250 miles up. 'It's a great day to see Dragon back at ISS again,' Mission Control radioed. Replied spaceman Joe Acaba: 'It's a beautiful spacecraft, and we're looking forward to digging into it and getting some science on board.' Acaba assisted Mark Vande Hei in capturing the Dragon as the two spacecraft raced over the Pacific, midway between Australia and New Guinea. Flight controllers in Houston then took over, securing the capsule to its berthing spot just over two hours later. SpaceX launched the Dragon from Cape Canaveral on Friday, using a previously flown Falcon rocket. It was the first time SpaceX had flown a recycled rocket with a recycled capsule on top, at the heart of the company's effort to drive down launch costs. The Dragon holds nearly 5,000 pounds of station goods, including lab mice and barley seeds, the latter a Budweiser experiment. The beer maker - eager to serve the first brews on Mars - wants to see how well the 20 barley seeds sprout in weightlessness. As for Christmas presents, NASA isn't saying, in true Santa style. But NASA does acknowledge it will electronically send up a copy of the newly released 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' movie, as a special holiday treat for the astronauts. The two Americans and one Russian on board will be joined Tuesday by another trio - U.S., Russian and Japanese - who launched earlier Sunday from Kazakhstan. SpaceX plans to keep its Dragon at the orbiting outpost until mid-January. The Dragon is the only supply ship capable of returning experiments to Earth; all the others burn up on re-entry. NASA has been relying on commercial shippers SpaceX and Orbital ATK to keep the space station well-stocked, ever since the shuttles retired in 2011. Russia also has a fleet of cargo carriers. ___ Online: SpaceX: http://www.spacex.com/ NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html
  • GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Two endangered whooping cranes have bird enthusiasts searching all over north Florida for a glimpse of the rare, elusive birds. The Gainesville Sun reports that the Alachua Audubon Society is holding its Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, and that participants are especially looking for the whooping cranes, which are an endangered species nationwide. One adult has been seen in the Paynes Prairie area for a few years. Alachua Audubon says a second, younger crane has been spotted at Kanapaha Prairie. The two are rarer still because they are among the few birds hatched in the wild in Florida that have survived. The large birds, about 14 of which live in Florida, can grow to 5 feet tall. ___ Information from: The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, http://www.gainesvillesun.com
  • PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. (AP) - More than 200 passengers on a cruise ship that docked at Port Everglades fell ill with a stomach virus. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited's ship Independence scheduled to dock Saturday in Florida reported 220 cases of gastro-intestinal illness among the 5,547 guests. The 5-night cruise was interrupted for those passengers, who had symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. Cruise line spokesman Owen Torres told the paper that the ship's doctors treated the passengers with over-the-counter medications. Torres said the ship underwent intensive sanitary procedures to minimize any further risk. ___ Information from: Sun Sentinel , http://www.sun-sentinel.com/
  • FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Volunteers at the Sharing & Caring food pantry can breathe a bit easier. It's Christmas. And, as Sharing & Caring of Fort Walton Beach president Ken Winzeler said, Christmas is the season of giving. 'It's amazing,' Winzeler said, showing off a storage shed stocked with canned goods. 'This is the stuff that has come in the last week or two. People will just buy cans of food that are on sale, or just pick up something at the grocery store.' This year alone, the nonprofit has served over 4,000 individuals. 'You look at the guys and gals sitting in the lobby, and you see all ages,' Winzeler said. 'You have one or two homeless, you have retirees and kids.' Winzeler said although the seasonal overflow is more than appreciated and greatly needed, the Sharing & Caring staff is bracing for the New Year. It's after the gifts have been given, he said, that the needy need help the most. 'Our shelves are much fuller during the holidays,' Winzeler said. 'If you come back in January or February, you may not see any food at all. Also, anytime between late spring and early fall is when we struggle the most.' Candy Nowling, executive director of the Matrix Community Outreach Center in Walton County, agreed. Nowling said it's a relief when holiday donations begin pouring in, because many parents sacrifice food in order for Santa Claus to bring a gift to their children. She said after the first of the year, like at Sharing & Caring, the giving completely stops. 'We try to help these families with both food and gifts during this time,' Nowling said. 'Those who donate forget that people are in need in January, February and March. I would just encourage people to remember that when people struggle, it takes a little while to recuperate.' Over in Santa Rosa County, Navarre United Methodist Church's We Care Ministries Food Pantry is currently in a bind. Jim Weiher, We Care director, said the nonprofit received only one-third of the donations it normally receives through Stamp Out Hunger. 'We receive all of the food donations from the Navarre Post Office,' Weiher said. 'That food drive is 75 to 80 percent of the food we give out. We're in desperate need of food this year.' ___ Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), http://www.nwfdailynews.com
  • First Period_None. Penalties_Hedman, TB, (holding), 2:38; Coburn, TB, (delay of game), 11:28. Second Period_1, Tampa Bay, Kucherov 23 (Hedman, Gourde), 9:11. 2, Tampa Bay, Stralman 3 (T.Johnson, Sergachev), 9:30. 3, Tampa Bay, Hedman 3 (Kucherov, Dotchin), 11:22. 4, Tampa Bay, Gourde 10 (Killorn, Conacher), 13:21. 5, Colorado, Landeskog 11 (Zadorov, Yakupov), 14:16. Penalties_Kunitz, TB, (high sticking), 2:25; Conacher, TB, (roughing), 8:20; Comeau, COL, (roughing), 8:20; E.Johnson, COL, (slashing), 16:57; E.Johnson, COL, served by Yakupov, Major (boarding), 16:57; E.Johnson, COL, Misconduct (misconduct), 16:57; Kucherov, TB, (roughing), 16:57. Third Period_6, Tampa Bay, Stralman 4 (Point, Gourde), 2:29. 7, Colorado, Landeskog 12 (Barrie, MacKinnon), 4:58. 8, Colorado, Landeskog 13 (Rantanen, Barrie), 7:17 (pp). 9, Colorado, MacKinnon 14 (Barrie, Landeskog), 9:22 (pp). 10, Tampa Bay, Sergachev 8 (Palat, Stralman), 11:32. 11, Colorado, MacKinnon 15 (Landeskog, Zadorov), 14:14. Penalties_T.Johnson, TB, (hooking), 6:27; Paquette, TB, (slashing), 8:50; Nemeth, COL, (holding), 10:08; Killorn, TB, (tripping), 10:16. Shots on Goal_Tampa Bay 15-10-6_31. Colorado 11-7-19_37. Power-play opportunities_Tampa Bay 0 of 1; Colorado 2 of 6. Goalies_Tampa Bay, Budaj 3-2-1 (37 shots-32 saves). Colorado, Bernier 5-7-1 (31-25). A_16,956 (18,007). T_2:39. Referees_Jake Brenk, Wes McCauley. Linesmen_Greg Devorski, Libor Suchanek.
  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The winning numbers in Saturday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Fantasy 5' game were: 01-11-16-21-32 (one, eleven, sixteen, twenty-one, thirty-two)