New maps advance for 7 House districts

Florida lawmakers are one step closer to approving a proposal that would make slight changes to seven congressional districts to comply with a court order.

House and Senate committees Friday approved new maps altering the districts, which stretch from the central to northeastern parts of the state.

The full legislature is expected to vote on the maps next week.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled recently that the original maps passed by legislators in 2012 were intended to benefit Republicans, in violation of a measure passed by voters in 2010. Lewis has given lawmakers until Friday to adopt new districts. He will hold a hearing Aug. 20 to decide whether to hold a special election after November’s general election.

Associated Press

Mother who was hit by carjacked car dies

The mother of three children killed when a carjacked sport utility vehicle crashed into a group selling fruit on a street corner for a church fundraiser has died, officials said Friday.

A Temple University Hospital spokeswoman said Keisha Williams, 34, died Thursday night at the hospital, where she had been listed in critical condition since the July 25 crash. The crash also killed Keiearra Williams, 15, Thomas Joseph Reed, 10, and Terrance Moore, 7. A family friend who was nearby and the woman who had been carjacked were injured in the crash.

Prosecutors said two men, Cornelius Crawford and Johnathan Rosa, would face an additional murder charge each, bringing the total to four counts of second-degree murder and conspiracy as well as kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault.

Associated Press

Man who had bombs in truck is sentenced

An Indiana National Guardsman who had homemade explosive devices in his vehicle when he was pulled over in Ohio was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

Andrew Scott Boguslawski, 44, had nine unregistered bombs and four devices that could be converted into bombs when he was stopped for speeding in January. He admitted in his plea agreement that he also had parts to assemble 20 more explosives in his Indiana home.

Boguslawski, of Moores Hill, Ind., had helped train troops departing for war zones at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. Defense attorney Steve Nolder said his client played the role of an enemy fighter when he helped train deploying troops and wanted to make the job as real as possible.

Associated Press

740 homes in danger from racing wildfire

A fast-spreading wildfire threatened 740 dwellings in northern Oregon on Friday after destroying a home and five other buildings overnight in what officials said could be one of the state’s worst blazes for years.

About 600 households have been evacuated from the path of the so-called Rowena Fire, which has almost doubled in size since Thursday and is burning about 3,400 acres in the scenic Columbia River Gorge.

Experts say extreme drought in California and unusually dry conditions across Idaho and the Pacific Northwest have exacerbated the annual West Coast fire season, which runs from mid-May to mid-October.

In Oregon alone, about 4,600 firefighters are battling a dozen blazes across more than 105,000 acres of forests and grasslands.