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Visiting their sister city
Visiting their sister city

Russian surgeons Victor Kutovoy, center, and Leonid Shevtsov visit the lead trauma room at Shands at the University of Florida on Friday during a tour of the hospital. The two, who are from Novorossiisk, Russia, which is Gainesville's sister city, are in town to learn about the U.S. health care system. From left are Shands charge nurse Coleen Booker and Patti Ashley, an advanced registered nurse practitioner at Shands.

DOUG FINGER/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 12:44 a.m.

Police arrest two after multicounty car chase

A multicounty police chase ended in Williston when police caught the suspects late Thursday night.

The chase started on Interstate 75 in Sumter County with the Florida Highway Patrol, according to the Williston Police Department.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office took it over in Marion County until the car was lost in Ocala.

Williston police saw the car about an hour later and chased it. The car fled through a restaurant parking lot before rolling down a ditch.

Police arrested one of the subjects at the scene. A second person jumped from the car and ran before being tackled several blocks away.

Authorities say they found more than 2 ounces of crack cocaine in the car.

Police aren't releasing the names of the suspects pending further investigation, but said both have long records for violent offenses.

- Kathy Ciotola

Car crashes through Hawthorne post office

The Hawthorne post office got a delivery it wasn't expecting Friday afternoon in the form of a car crashing through its front doors.

Felicisima Alcantara, 64, of Gainesville, pulled her 2001 Toyota into the post office at about 3 p.m. But instead of putting on the brake, Alcantara accidentally hit the gas, Alachua County Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Faulk said.

The Toyota went through the glass doors. Some of the debris and a table hit Joan Dannenhoffer, a customer. Dannenhoffer, 69, of Hawthorne, was brought to the hospital with relatively minor injuries, Faulk said.

Alcantara wasn't injured. She was cited for careless driving.

The building sustained $10,000 in damage and Alcantara's car sustained $5,000 in damage.

- Kathy Ciotola

2 boys arrested in burglary of facility

Two boys didn't choose the best place to burglarize Thursday afternoon.

When Alachua County Sheriff's Sgt. Darrell Bessinger responded to an alarm at the Sheriff's Office's secure compound Thursday afternoon in the 2600 block of Hawthorne Road he saw a boy inside, Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Faulk said.

When the boy saw Bessinger, he climbed up the fence and ran.

Bessinger caught the 12-year-old boy at a house a few blocks away and saw a chain saw with the Sheriff's Office's property number on it. Two weed eaters also were found.

A second 12-year-old boy at the scene admitted to helping in the burglary.

Both were charged with burglary and were brought to the Juvenile Detention Center.

- Kathy Ciotola

FHP gives motorists 227 tickets on I-75

More than 200 motorists in Alachua and Columbia counties drove away with a ticket Friday after the Florida Highway Patrol conducted a "Stop Aggressive Driving Detail" on Interstate 75.

The detail lasted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and troopers used radar, laser radar, unmarked patrol cars and aircraft to find drivers driving aggressively or otherwise violating the law.

Troopers gave a total of 227 tickets with 131 of those for speeding and 17 for aggressive driving. The others were issued for violations such as having a suspended license, having no proof of insurance, having unsafe equipment and other violations.

-Kathy Ciotola

City plans to have tournament annually

A benefit golf tournament held last week was so successful that the city plans to make it an annual event, according to the Gainesville Recreation and Parks department.

Jennifer Evans, a department staff assistant, said the Feb. 22 tournament was a "test run" to see if the community would support an annual tournament.

More than 70 golfers participated in the benefit at the Ironwood Golf Course. The tournament, co-sponsored by the city and the Babe Ruth Baseball Booster Board, raised more than $4,000 for the city's baseball league.

The money will be used for baseball facility and program improvements.

- Ashley Rowland

Palestinian professor is taken to hospital

TAMPA - A Palestinian professor indicted on charges of having terrorist ties was taken to a hospital for treatment Friday after jailers found him looking sick, officials said.

Sami Al-Arian was returned to the Hillsborough County Jail after about two hours in the emergency room at Tampa General Hospital, David Gee, chief deputy of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, told television station WTVT.

Neither Gee nor Sgt. James Miller, duty officer at the jail late Friday, could say whether Al-Arian's condition was related to a hunger strike he has said he would be on until he's released.

Gee said jailers decided to have Al-Arian checked out when they noticed him looking pale and sickly.

Once back in jail, Al-Arian was placed in a cell where he will be under direct observation 24 hours a day, Miller said.

Al-Arian was fired by the University of South Florida this week, after his arrest on federal charges.

- The Associated Press

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