People in the news

Man to try flying across Channel

SAINT INGLEVERT, France (AP) — The man who wowed the crowd in Paris on Bastille Day, whirling over France’s leaders on his flyboard, was undertaking final checks Wednesday for his biggest challenge yet: Soaring across the English Channel.

Franky Zapata told reporters that it’s all systems go but conceded it’s “not an easy challenge.”

Zapata, 40, plans to takeoff Thursday, anchored to his flyboard — a small flying platform he invented — from Sangatte, in France’s Pas de Calais region to the Dover area in southeast England.

He said he’s confident but he didn’t want to make projections about his arrival across the 22.4-mile stretch of water.

He expects his average speed to be about 87 mph.

The wind in the Channel, especially gusts, presents a major challenge, he said, adding that he bends into gusts but is destabilized when the wind quickly dies.

What began as a “simple dream” has taken form, with last-minute changes, including only one chance to refuel, from a boat on the British side. French maritime authorities said the refueling operation was dangerous, even though Zapata nixed his initial plan to refuel the power-pack he wears during his flight from a flying platform.

“We’ve created a new way to fly. … You’re like a bird. It’s your body that flies,” he said.

Zapata said he was an aviation fan since his youth and wanted to become a helicopter pilot but was prevented by his colorblindness.

Asked if he was crazy, he said, “No. On the contrary!”

Rapper gets 55 years in prison

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas teenager who rapped under the name Tay-K has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for the 2016 shooting death of a man during a home invasion.

A jury in Fort Worth convicted 19-year-old Taymor McIntyre last week for his role in the death of 21-year-old Ethan Walker. On Tuesday, the jury deliberated for about three hours before sentencing McIntyre to 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The Star-Telegram reports that McIntyre has appealed his conviction and sentence.

The man who shot Walker was sentenced last year to life in prison. Prosecutors have said McIntyre was charged with murder because he recruited the triggerman and organized the robbery. He was 16 when the killing occurred but was tried as an adult.

McIntyre’s 2017 single “The Race” appeared on Billboard’s Hot 100.

By Patricia Older

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