Around the Region

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 6:23 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 12:00 a.m.

Man killed when car crashes with trailer

  • CROSS CITY - An Old Town man died Tuesday morning after his car crashed with a tractor-trailer near Cross City.
    Millard Barrett Weeks Jr., 39, was driving west on Veteran Road when he approached a stop sign at U.S. 19 at 7:36 a.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Weeks ran the stop sign and was hit on the left side by a tractor-trailer, FHP said.
    The driver of the tractor-trailer, Richard Mays, 78, of Cross City, was not injured.
    - Kathy Ciotola

    Authorities: Woman hit, stabbed ex-boyfriend

  • A Gainesville woman was arrested Tuesday after authorities said she attacked her former boyfriend with a knife and a baseball bat while their baby was nearby.
    The woman's former boyfriend went to her apartment at 6815 W. University Ave. on Tuesday and took their 8-month-old son after an disagreement, Alachua County Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Faulk said.
    The woman hit the man in the knees with a baseball bat and then got a knife. He and another man at the apartment took the knife from her, but she got another knife and stabbed her ex-boyfriend in the back, Faulk said. It penetrated about an inch or so into his shoulder.
    She then reportedly went outside and punctured one of his tires and threatened to puncture the other three unless he gave her the baby.
    The man gave her the baby and went to the emergency room.
    Princess Simmons, 19, was charged with child abuse, aggravated domestic battery and criminal mischief.
    - Kathy Ciotola

    14-year-old is charged with Archer carjacking

  • An Archer teenager has been charged with carjacking after a woman was threatened with a knife Sunday evening.
    The 14-year-old is accused of using a knife to steal an Archer woman's 1998 Chevrolet Suburban from a Hitchcock's Foodway parking lot, Alachua County Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Faulk said Tuesday.
    Shortly after the carjacking, the stolen vehicle was involved in an automobile accident in Chiefland in which three people were injured, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. The youth, who was driving the stolen Chevrolet, ran a stop sign and hit a van carrying a Lake City couple and a Chiefland woman, investigators said. He ran from the accident but was arrested late Monday.
    Deputies are still investigating whether a second 14-year-old who was riding in the vehicle when it crashed will be charged in connection with the carjacking.
    - Lise Fisher

    Grand jury indicts man linked to fatal shooting

  • A Lake City man faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with a Columbia County shooting death last year.
    A Columbia County grand jury indicted James Edward Register, 32, last week in connection with the death of George Martin "Marty" Sceals, 38, of Lake City.
    Sceals' body was found in a small creek in the northern half of Columbia County on Sept. 16. Investigators believe the body had been in water for at least a week before it was discovered by a man who was riding through the area, near U.S. 441 and Interstate 10. Sceals had been shot once in the head.
    The two men were acquaintances, Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Jim Wells said Tuesday, but investigators have not offered further details about events leading to Sceals' death.
    Register is being held without bond. - Lise Fisher

    Man facing charges of molesting boys caught

  • A manhunt that lasted more than a year ended Monday in Georgia with the arrest of a man accused of molesting three children in the Keystone Heights area.
    Edward Ray Flournoy, 47, of Keystone Heights is charged with two counts of capital sexual battery and four counts of lewd and lascivious battery, said Mary Justino, spokeswoman for the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
    A search by a multi-agency task force located Flournoy in a cabin in a wooded area near Lyons, Ga. Warrants for his arrest were issued in 2001.
    Flournoy, whom investigators describe as a delivery driver, is accused of molesting three boys between the ages of 4 and 6, Justino said. The incidents occurred in the Keystone Heights area in 2000 and 2001. To protect their identities, investigators did not release many details about the children but said Flournoy was acquainted with them.
    - Lise Fisher

    Stolen computers linked to man, his girlfriend

  • An Alachua County schools maintenance man and his girlfriend were arrested Tuesday after police said he stole two computers from a Gainesville elementary school and then gave them to her to pawn.
    Officials at Talbot Elementary, 5701 NW 43rd St., reported $2,600 worth of computers and three television sets stolen in September, Gainesville Police Cpl. Keith Kameg said.
    There were no fingerprints or signs of forced entry and everyone with keys denied knowing anything about the crime.
    Earlier this week, Detective Alan Gray saw a pawn slip that had the same serial numbers as the stolen computers from Talbot. He contacted the woman who sold the computers, and she told authorities she received the computers from her boyfriend.
    Authorities charged Beverly Bonds, 37, with dealing in stolen property and violating the pawnbrokering act because she sold equipment she knew wasn't hers, Kameg said.
    Marvin McReynolds, 44, was charged with grand theft.
    "Hopefully, the criminal justice and the school system will deal with an employee who likes to steal from children," Kameg said.
    - Kathy Ciotola

    Authorities allege pair broke into apartments

  • A groundskeeper for a Gainesville apartment complex is one of two men accused of a series of break-ins at the complex over the Christmas holidays.
    Thirlun Jackson, 27, an employee at The Exchange Apartments at 3527 SW 20th Ave., and James Martin, 20, a Santa Fe Community College student, are both charged with burglary and grand theft, court records show.
    The two lived together at the complex, Alachua County Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Faulk said. It's alleged Jackson used his job to look over the apartments. Then the pair broke in when residents left for the holidays, according to reports. The two have been linked to at least six burglaries, authorities said.
    Jackson, who has other pending cases, including driving with a suspended license, is being held at the Alachua County jail on a $20,000 bond, court and jail records show. Martin was released on a $5,000 bond.
    - Lise Fisher HIGHER EDUCATION

    Ex-UF faculty member is FSU dean of medicine

  • Dr. J. Ocie Harris was named dean of the Florida State University College of Medicine on Tuesday.
    Harris succeeds Dr. Joseph E. Scherger, who will join the medical school's faculty.
    Harris was a longtime faculty member in the University of Florida's College of Medicine before taking the position of associate dean for clinical affairs at FSU in 2000.
    While at UF, he was a professor of medicine, associate dean for community-based programs and director of the North Florida Area Health Education Centers.
    Alma Little, a family physician from Quincy, will take the post of associate dean for clinical affairs at FSU.
    - Diane Chun

    Ceremony is today for proton beam facility

  • University of Florida officials will break ground this morning on a $92 million proton beam treatment facility on the campus of the UF Health Science Center in Jacksonville.
    With construction scheduled to begin April 1, the facility is expected to become a centerpiece of the UF Shands Cancer Center.
    Proton beam therapy involves the delivery of tightly focused doses of electrically charged particles called protons to destroy tumors with little or no damage to healthy tissue. It is an effective way to target tumors in children as well as cancers of the prostate, brain, eyes, head and neck.
    UF President Charles Young, former president Marshall Criser, now a member of the UF board of trustees, and Dr. Craig Tisher, dean of the College of Medicine, are among those slated to speak at today's groundbreaking ceremonies.
    - Diane Chun COMMUNITY

    Newberry man wins top prize in Fantasy 5

  • A stop at the grocery store proved lucrative for a Newberry man Monday.
    John S. Short III bought a winning ticket for Monday's Fantasy 5 drawing at the Publix Super Market at 9200 NW 39th Ave. Short, 38, is a liquor salesman with National Distributing and a father of three. He will receive a cash prize of $218,167.
    Of course, his mother said that while that's a nice sum, it's hardly enough that he'll consider quitting his job.
    "He loves his work, anyway," Frances Short said. "But he was very happy this morning, I can tell you that."
    Efforts to reach the winner Tuesday were unsuccessful.
    The Fantasy 5 numbers for Monday were 5-17-19-20-26.
    - Douglas Jordan

    Medical students raise money for Haiti trip

  • University of Florida medical students will host a banquet Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn University Center, 1240 W. University Ave., to raise funds for their annual medical mission to Haiti over Spring Break.
    Each year since 1996, 15 to 20 medical students, attending physicians and residents have made the trip to treat Haitian patients.
    The banquet will feature a silent auction of Haitian paintings and sculpture. Funds raised through the sale of this original artwork will be used to buy medications and medical equipment for the trip.
    Tickets are $23 and may be reserved by calling 336-9573 before 5 p.m. Friday.
    - Diane Chun
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