Around the Region

University of Florida students James Stevens and Kelly Palmer try to keep warm before class Friday morning at the Java Lounge. Palmer, originally from Minnesota, said she is still not used to weather this cold.

(DARON DEAN/Special to The Sun)
Published: Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 25, 2003 at 1:26 a.m.

COMMUNITY: Crash leaves many without electricity

About 1,900 homes were without power late Friday night after a vehicle ran into a wooden power pole, said Gainesville Regional Utilities spokeswoman Marsha Anderson.

The two-car accident along the 3800 block of E. University Avenue was reported after 10 p.m., just as the temperatures dipped into the mid-20s. Anderson said the power was expected to be restored by 1 a.m. today.

Three people suffered nonlife-threatening injuries, according to Stuart Schwartz, spokesman for Gainesville Fire Rescue. Names of the victims were not available

- Sandra Nortunen

Veterans committee seeks input from public

The Alachua County Veterans Memorial Committee wants residents to review the names and spellings of veterans killed in past wars to be honored in a permanent memorial in front of the new courthouse.

So far, the committee has identified 324 eligible veterans who died in the Civil War, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.

The names will be engraved on black granite plaques to be placed in the plaza of the Criminal Justice Center under construction on S. Main Street.

The list can be viewed at

Changes and additions to the list can be requested until Feb. 14. Write to Alachua County Veterans Services director Jim Lynch at 218 SE 24th St., Gainesville, FL 32641.

For more information, contact Lynch at 264-6744 or Jim McCawley, chairman of the Alachua County Veterans Memorial Committee, at 372-2028, ext. 307.

- Janine Young Sikes

Stearns opens new office in Gainesville

U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, announced Friday the opening of a congressional office in Gainesville.

Stearns' new office in the Florida Farm Bureau building is in the same location as former Rep. Karen Thurman's office. The address is 5700 SW 34th St., Suite 425, Gainesville, FL, 32608.

Because of redistricting, Stearns' district covers most of Alachua County.

Residents needing help can be sent to 337-0034.

- Janine Young Sikes

STATE: Drug smuggling sends N.Y. woman to prison

FORT LAUDERDALE - A New York City woman who saddled her 9-year-old son with heroin and used him to smuggle the drugs into Florida was sentenced to six years in prison Friday.

U.S. District Judge William Zloch gave Sharrall Vassell, 37, of the Bronx, less than the mandatory minimum 10-year sentence because it was her first offense and she cooperated with the government, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurie Rucoba said.

Vassell and her son had more than 15 pounds of heroin from Panama hidden on their bodies when she was arrested last June, according to the U.S. Customs Service. Agents estimated the value of the drugs at about $12 million.

- The Associated Press

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