Nation Briefs

Pennsylvania

Police: 7-year-old boy shot to death at gun store

MERCER, Pa. – A man’s handgun went off while he was holding it as he got into his truck in the parking lot of a western Pennsylvania gun store Saturday, and the shot killed his 7-year-old son, authorities said.

Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, of Sharpsville, was getting into the truck when the 9 mm handgun discharged, wounding Craig Allen Loughrey in the chest, according to state police. The boy died at the scene at Twigs Reloading Den in East Lackawannock Township, 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Investigators said Loughrey told them he didn’t realize there was a bullet still in the chamber.

Loughrey was questioned by state police, who said he was cooperative and distraught. The shooting is being investigated as an accident, although Loughrey could face charges, including manslaughter and negligence, Lt. Eric Hermick said.

Florida

Former GOP Gov. Crist may run again as Democrat

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Now that former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is a Democrat, pretty much everyone in Florida’s political world expects him to seek his old job.

“I will consider it, and I will think about it,” Crist said by phone before a planned dinner Saturday evening with former Democratic governor and Sen. Bob Graham.

The former Republican governor revealed his long-anticipated conversion Friday, after more than two years as an independent. He made the announcement on Twitter and included a photo of his new voter-registration form.

New York

Born wild! Mom gives birth on zoo path in Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – An upstate New York zoo got a surprise visit from the stork.

A woman gave birth on a wildlife path at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse on Friday, delivering her baby girl with the help of zookeepers not far from the bear exhibit.

An ambulance soon arrived to take the newborn to a hospital. Zoo Director Ted Fox says the zoo plans to send a gift to the family.

California

Rotting whale in Malibu likely will be left to nature

MALIBU, Calif. – No government agency is taking action to remove the decaying carcass of a whale on a California beach, making it appear the job will be left to Mother Nature.

The corpse of the huge fin whale created a spectacle Friday as people wandered down the narrow Malibu beach to look at the remains – white bones, rolls of blubber and the tail flukes trailing along the water’s edge.

“From the evidence that we have so far, it appears that it was hit by a ship,” said Jonsie Ross, marine mammal coordinator for the California Wildlife Center.

Florida

Cold sea turtles get reprieve from New England waters

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – More than two dozen sea turtles stressed by cold ocean waters have been airlifted from New England to recover in balmy Florida.

The Coast Guard flew the turtles to Orlando on Friday. Twenty turtles were taken to SeaWorld Orlando. Five loggerhead turtles were taken to the Volusia County Marine Science Center. Three other facilities in Florida also took in turtles.

SeaWorld officials say an unseasonably warm November delayed the turtles’ exit from Cape Cod Bay. When water temperatures suddenly dropped, the turtles developed hypothermia and washed ashore.

Associated Press