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Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 12:39 a.m.

2-year-old trapped in locked car dies

  • WARM MINERAL SPRINGS - A 2-year-old boy died Monday after being trapped in a locked car in the mid-afternoon heat for 60 to 90 minutes while his parents were away at work.

  • The boy and four other young siblings were in the care of a 13-year-old brother at their home, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office reported.

    The older brother lost track of the child at some point in the afternoon. After a frantic search, he and a sister found the toddler about 2 p.m., locked in a Honda Accord parked in the driveway.

    - N.Y. Times Regional Newspaper Group

    Storm damages motel on beach, leaves debris

  • BRADENTON BEACH - About 20 people were evacuated from their beach-front rooms Sunday night after a storm with winds estimated at more than 60 mph blew the roof off the Seaside Motel.

    Nearby residents saw a funnel cloud hovering over the beach shortly before the roof was torn off. No one was hurt, West Manatee Fire Department Capt. Ernie Cave said.

    ''Just before 9 p.m. we got a call that the building had lost its roof,'' Cave said. About two hours after the guests were evacuated, the second-story ceilings caved in, leaving debris on the beds and the floors. The beach was also littered with pieces of roof and debris.

    - N.Y. Times Regional Newspaper Group

    Indian insurance firm told to stop operations

  • TALLAHASSEE - State officials ordered an insurance company that claims to be exempt from federal laws because it serves Seminole Indians to stop doing business because the tribe says the company doesn't have approval to sell insurance to its members.

    The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation ordered the Native Assurance Co. Inc. of Hollywood to stop doing business in the state Friday.

    The company, which is not licensed in the state, has been soliciting business and promoting itself with agents to sell health, life and workers' compensation insurance, according to state regulators.

    - The Associated Press

    Mother of slain toddler feels grief and guilt

  • LAKELAND - The mother of a toddler fatally beaten by his baby sitter's boyfriend last year is still racked with guilt and grief. But Jeanna Swallows says the death of 2-year-old Alfredo Montes has given her strength to kick her drug habit and face life.

    ''If I can come this far, I can keep going,'' Swallows told The Ledger of Lakeland last week in her first public comments since Alfredo's death. ''I used to feel like I had lost it all and I had nothing to live for. But now I know I have a lot to live for. I just get stronger.''

    Alfredo was killed last July 1 by a baby sitter for soiling his pants, police say. The case drew statewide attention when it was discovered the Florida Department of Children & Families caseworker assigned to monitor the boy's safety had falsified reports.

    - The Associated Press

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