Plane collision in Fla. kills two

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - A small airplane that may have had trouble landing struck another aircraft that was taxiing at an airfield and both burst into flames Saturday, killing two people, authorities said.

Two other people were critically injured.

Both planes were single-engine craft known as 'experimental' or amateur-built, officials said. The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 866 was hosting a pancake breakfast at the airport, the Arthur Dunn Airpark.

One airplane was apparently flying low or had just landed when it crashed into the other plane around 8:30 a.m., said Scott Gaenicke, public information officer for Titusville Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

High schoolers arrested after 3 bodies found in burning home

EMORY, Texas - A mother and two young sons were found dead in a burning home in rural East Texas on Saturday after a predawn shooting, and three high school students and a juvenile will be charged with murder, authorities said.

The father was in critical condition with a gunshot wound, Rains County Sheriff David Traylor said at a news conference.

Four suspects were arrested and booked into the Rains County jail, where they were held without bond. The two males and two females will be charged with capital murder, Traylor said.

Deputies: Man had friend shoot him to skip work

PASCO, Wash. - What happened to faking a cough?

Sheriff's detectives in Franklin County, Wash., say a man had his friend shoot him in the shoulder so he wouldn't have to go to work.

When he first spoke with deputies, Daniel Kuch told them he'd been the victim of a drive-by shooting while he was jogging Thursday. But detectives told KONA radio that Kuch later acknowledged that he asked his friend to shoot him so he could get some time off work and avoid a drug test.

The friend has been arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment. Kuch is expected to be charged with false reporting.

Pygmy sperm whale stranded off Fla. Keys died of heart failure

MIAMI - Preliminary results of a necropsy show that a pygmy sperm whale found stranded off the Florida Keys died of heart failure, marine mammal experts said.

The 101/2-foot, 985-pound male was discovered by a fisherman Feb. 23, stranded in shallow water off the upper Keys. It was taken hours later to the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo for treatment, but died unexpectedly on Wednesday.

N.J. drivers can face fines for using cell phones

TRENTON, N.J. - For New Jersey drivers, the message is clear: Keep your thumbs on the wheel and off the keypad.

Beginning Saturday, police can slap drivers with a $100 fine for talking or sending a text message on handheld devices.

New Jersey joins four other states, including neighboring New York, where talking on a handheld cell phone is reason enough to get pulled over. The Garden State is the first where text messaging on the road is a primary offense, meaning police need no other reason to pull a driver over, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Childhood pals linked by 'lifeline' after transplant

NEW YORK - Two grade-school friends from New York City who are now connected by more than shared memories are recovering after one gave the other a kidney.

Recipient Ricardo Manier called donor Karl Celestin's gift 'a lifeline' at a news conference Friday. It came less than two weeks after the surgery at a Manhattan hospital.

The 21-year-old Manier has been hospitalized repeatedly with a kidney-scarring disease since he was 5. The illness forced him to put his premedical studies on hold last June.

Celestin is studying for a medical degree in the Dominican Republic. Manier hopes to join him.

The two were classmates at Holy Family School in Queens. They reconnected last year through the social networking Web site Facebook.

Tributes to activist Johnnie Carr given at funeral

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A message from President Bush was among tributes to Montgomery civil rights activist Johnnie Carr delivered Saturday at her funeral.

Elaine Steele with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development said Bush sent his sympathies to the Carr family and read a statement from the White House.

The statement read, in part, 'America has lost a true patriot and a staunch advocate for civil rights.'

- From wire reports