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Published: Friday, January 16, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 16, 2004 at 1:41 a.m.

Construction worker injured in 27-foot fall

  • A worker at an industrial construction site fell at least 27 feet early Thursday.

    The member of a construction crew at 5931 NW 1st Place was conscious and speaking with paramedics after falling from a scaffolding, said Beth Hardee with Alachua County Fire Rescue.

    The accident occurred shortly after 9 a.m.

    The man suffered "significant injuries," according to rescuers, and was taken to the North Florida Regional Medical Center for treatment.

    - Lise Fisher

    Event to mark state's Arbor Day set for noon

  • Today is Florida's Arbor Day, and a ceremony at noon will commemorate it as well as marking the 20th year that Gainesville has been designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

    Festivities begin at noon at the new Eastside Recreation Center at Cone Park, 2700 E. University Ave. with the planting of two live oaks.

    Scheduled to speak are Dana Griffin, a botanist who is well-versed in local native plants; former Gainesville City Commissioner Pegeen Hanrahan on land conservation; Alachua County Commission Chairman Mike Byerly; Mayor Tom Bussing, who will read the proclamation; and Anita Spring, who will speak on behalf of the City Beautification Board, which is co-sponsoring the event with the city's Recreation and Parks Department.

    The Santa Fe Jazz Ensemble will perform and a light lunch prepared by the Hungry Ram at Eastside High School will be served.

    - Marina Blomberg

    Corporate scholarship provider dropping out

  • TALLAHASSEE - FloridaChild, the state's largest distributor of corporate-funded private school scholarships, is getting out of the business, citing uncertainty in how much money is available each year.

    The Miami-based organization, which is facing state investigation, collects donations from corporations, which then pay for private school tuition for poor children. The corporations get state tax breaks.

    Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher has threatened an investigation of FloridaChild, saying that it charged families fees to get the scholarships, solicited money from schools that wanted to accept voucher students and had other ''irregularities'' in how it did business.

    Driver, topless woman plow through house

  • PORT ST. JOHN - A pickup truck driver and his topless passenger plowed straight through a home and into a backyard swimming pool Thursday, authorities said.

    Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Robert Todd Jr., 30, had been drinking when he lost control of his pickup. The truck crashed into the small house and went out through the back before landing in a swimming pool, according to the FHP.

    Rescuers said his passenger, April Kleinhenz, 24, wasn't wearing a shirt when she was pulled from the wreckage. Todd and Kleinhenz were taken to a hospital with injuries. Charges were pending against Todd once toxicology reports were completed.

    The homeowner, Berrin Wise, was not hurt. Damage to the home was estimated at $30,000.

    - Compiled from The Associated Press

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