LEESBURG, FLA.

Gator attacks woman, 84

An alligator ripped off an elderly woman’s arm, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Carol Hough, 84. A neighbor said he saw Hough flailing in a 4-foot-deep canal that runs behind their mobile homes. It wasn’t clear how Hough ended up in the water. She was hospitalized in critical condition.

ELMWOOD, OKLA.

7 die in highway crash

An SUV veered across a highway median in the Oklahoma Panhandle early Wednesday and slammed head-on into an oncoming van full of men headed to work at a Texas meatpacking plant, killing both drivers and five of the six van passengers, authorities said. The van passenger who survived was flown to a hospital in Amarillo, Texas. His condition was not immediately known.

STILLWATER, OKLA.

Shooting at junior high

A gunshot rang out at an Oklahoma junior high school before classes began Wednesday, terrifying teenagers who feared a gunman was on the loose. Soon, though, students learned no one else was in danger. One of their eighth-grade classmates had taken his own life, shooting himself in the head with a handgun in the hall, authorities said. Some students bolted outside Stillwater Junior High. Staffers quickly locked down the building and evacuated the rest of the school’s 700 eighth- and ninth-graders, along with students from an adjacent elementary school.

PHOENIX

Cancer hoax sentencing

A woman who pretended to have cancer to raise money for breast implants was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail and three years of probation. Jami Lynn Toler, 27, was ordered to pay restitution as well. She pleaded guilty in August to a theft charge in a plea agreement. Authorities said Toler helped organize fundraisers and collected more than $8,000 beginning last September. Medical records obtained by Mesa police show she didn’t have cancer and paid a plastic surgeon with the cash.

Compiled from wire reports.