Around the Region

Published: Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 1:04 a.m.

Area woman charged in robberies at ATMs

  • A Gainesville woman was arrested after authorities said she robbed two people at different ATMs and then pretended to be a robbery victim herself.
    The first robbery happened after 7 p.m. at the SunTrust ATM in the Haile Plantation Village Center when a woman snatched David Foley's wallet after he used the machine, Alachua County Sheriff's Lt. Jim Troiano said. Foley grabbed his wallet back and the woman fled in a silver van.
    A few minutes later, a woman snatched $40 from Felipe Rodriguez at the ATM at Publix at Tower Center and then fled in a silver van, Troiano said.
    At 10 p.m., deputies responded to a reported robbery. Sharon Krasnow, 31, said she had been robbed at the Kangaroo store in the 7300 block of Archer Road.
    Deputies realized she fit the description of the robber in the earlier incidents, and they saw a silver van with a matching tag in her garage, Troiano said.
    After questioning, Krasnow confessed to the two earlier robberies, Troiano said. She was charged with two counts of robbery by sudden snatching.
    - Kathy Ciotola

    Lake City man charged with sex act in library

  • A Lake City man was arrested Friday after authorities said he performed a sex act in front of two 17-year-old girls in the Alachua County public library downtown.
    The man began masturbating in front of the girls at 3:50 p.m. Friday at the downtown library, 401 E. University Ave., according to the arrest report.
    They told a library employee, who went up to the man and saw him apparently masturbating, the report states.
    The library employee, Gail Moss, called security, who apprehended the man as he was about to leave.
    Ralph Holland, 64, was charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious exhibition. He was booked in to the Alachua County jail.
    - Kathy Ciotola COMMUNITY

    Cawthon files to run again for School Board

  • An incumbent on the Alachua County School Board officially filed this week to run for a second term.
    Jeannine Cawthon, 52, was first elected in 2000 when she defeated an eight-year incumbent for the District 2 seat.
    During her time on the board, Cawthon has been a supporter of Schools Superintendent Mary Chambers. Cawthon also supported the district's efforts to redraw its school attendance zones, favoring a "neighborhood-schools" model.
    A mother of three and a lifelong Gainesville resident, Cawthon has a bachelor's degree from Stetson University and a master's degree from the University of Virginia.
    - Douane D. James

    County gets grant for Mill Creek purchase

  • Alachua County has received a $1.44 million grant to help pay for its 2001 purchase of the Mill Creek Preserve.
    The money, paid from the state's Florida Communities Trust, will partially offset the $2.88 million purchase price of the 1,200-acre property, located at county roads 235 and 241 in northwestern Alachua County.
    This award "will allow the county to acquire more land under the Alachua County Forever program," the county's Environmental Protection Department said in a statement referring to the voter-approved measure that provided up to $29 million for land conservation in 2000.
    - Greg C. Bruno STATE

    Judge orders guardian in Lionel Tate case

  • FORT LAUDERDALE - A judge appointed a guardian Friday to help a teen whose murder conviction in the death of a 6-year-old playmate was thrown out.
    The unusual decision came the same day 16-year-old Lionel Tate was transferred to the Broward County Jail from the Okeechobee Juvenile Offenders Correction Center, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
    Tate is expected to plead guilty to second-degree murder Jan. 29.
    Circuit Judge Joel T. Lazarus decided on his own initiative to appoint attorney Howard Greitzer to "investigate the plea offered to Lionel Tate and to report Lionel Tate's actual decision regarding the plea to this court," the judge wrote in his order.
    In January 2001, Tate was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1999 beating death of 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick in Pembroke Park.
    But Tate's murder conviction and life sentence were overturned last month after state appellate judges ruled that his mental competency should have been tested before trial.
    Tate has signed papers agreeing to plead guilty in the case.
    Under the deal, Tate will be sentenced to three years in prison, one year of house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service, and 10 years of probation.
    - The Associated Press
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