Around the region

Published: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 1:51 a.m.

8 parents arrested in child support sweep

Parents who owe child support were targeted by Alachua County Sheriff's authorities Wednesday night and eight were arrested, including one man who owed more than $11,000, Sgt. Keith Faulk said.

If the men had enough money to pay the amount they owed - which ranged from $260 to $11,217 - they were released. If not, they had to see a judge to set up a payment plan.

Future sweeps of other parents who owe child support are possible, Faulk said.

- Kathy Ciotola

Fire in Interlachen leaves family homeless

NTERLACHEN - An early morning fire left a Putnam County family homeless Thursday.

Dan Swift, his wife and two children were not at home when the fire started at 103 London Ave. before 9 a.m., Putnam County Fire Marshal Joe Guidry said. When firefighters arrived, the mobile home was engulfed in flames.

A light on the porch apparently started the fire, Guidry said.

It's estimated the fire caused $100,000 in damage. The American Red Cross is assisting the family, whose home was not insured.

Two other mobile homes, also in Interlachen, were destroyed Wednesday afternoon after a neighbor set off a bottle rocket. It ignited dry grass, setting off a fire that spread to the buildings in the Lake Estates area.

Both homes were vacant with their owners out of state, Guidry said.

- Lise Fisher

Teens may be linked to rash of burglaries

Police arrested two teenagers for burglary Thursday and are looking into the possibility that they may be involved in a rash of recent burglaries in northeast Gainesville.

A resident called police at 11 a.m. after she saw three teenagers running from a back yard, Gainesville Police Cpl. Keith Kameg said.

When police arrived, they found that a home in the 3000 block of NE 12th Street had been broken into through a sliding glass door. Nothing had been taken and police believe a loud burglar alarm scared the culprits off.

Gainesville Police Officer Nicole Snyder caught a 15-year-old boy in the area and when police were investigating the scene, Tammy Eddy, a police service technician, saw a second youth who fit the description the resident gave, Kameg said.

Officers arrested the 14-year-old and learned he was coming back to get his burglary tools, Kameg said.

The two teens implicated a third suspect and police are looking for him, as well as investigating whether the youths were involved with any other burglaries.

"These kids are giving information on different cases," Kameg said.

- Kathy Ciotola

Governor to honor teacher in Waldo

Gov. Jeb Bush will visit Waldo Community School this morning to honor a teacher who is the first in the state to receive a Reading Endorsement.

The Reading Endorsement became effective July 30 and indicates a teacher's special level of expertise.

Currently, endorsements are offered in gifted and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Bush will make the presentation at 9 a.m.

- Cathi Carr

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