Around the Region

Published: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 1:49 a.m.

Man charged with raping pregnant girlfriend

  • A 30-year-old Gainesville man was arrested and charged with raping his pregnant live-in girlfriend Thursday evening, according to the Gainesville Police Department.
    The man had several outstanding warrants for fraudulent use of credit cards, according to Alachua County jail records, and apparently thought he would be jailed soon.
    He told his girlfriend, who is six months pregnant with the man's child, that he wanted to have intercourse with her one last time before he went to jail, a police report said.
    The report said she refused, and he raped her.
    The man, whose identity is being withheld to protect the victim's identity, is being held without bond at the jail.
    - Meredith Mandell

    Alachua man critical after truck collision

  • An Alachua man remained in critical condition Thursday after he apparently drove into the path of a laundry truck at U.S. 441 and County Road 237 in Alachua on Wednesday morning.
    The driver of the truck was reported in serious condition.
    Prthu Garret, 19, of Alachua, the driver of a black Nissan, was headed south on CR 237. Investigators believe he had stopped at the intersection before trying to make a left turn onto U.S. 441 about 8:30 a.m. The car drove into the path of the truck, driven by Michael Bond, 27, of Gainesville, as it was heading west on U.S. 441, Alachua Police Detective Carrie Lund said.
    "Based on witness statements, it appears the black car was at fault for failure to yield right of way," Lund said.
    - Lise Fisher

    Police try to ID body found in St. Johns river

  • The Clay County Sheriff's Office is trying to identify the body of a woman found in the St. Johns River on Wednesday.
    Boaters discovered the body floating in the river near the Governor's Creek Boat Ramp off of U.S. 17 in Green Cove Springs, the Sheriff's Office reported.
    The woman is described as white, 21 to 30 years old, 5-foot-4, 100 to 115 pounds, with long brown hair below her shoulders. Her left ear has two piercings and her right ear one.
    The cause of death had not been determined. Investigators are calling the case a suspicious death. Anyone with information about the woman is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (904) 264-6512.
    - Lise Fisher

    Gainesville man charged with stalking

  • Police arrested a Gainesville man Wednesday after a woman reported he had called her repeatedly, followed her and threatened to kill her.
    Qumber Abbas, 31, is charged with aggravated stalking, court records show.
    A 24-year-old woman told police that from August through mid-January, Abbas had followed her to work about 30 times. She also said he would sit outside the store she worked at and stare at her. When she went to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office to report the situation, she said he followed her there and when she came out he told her he would rape and kill her.
    When police spoke to Abbas on Wednesday, he denied phoning her more than once. The woman's phone showed six calls from him. His own phone showed two calls, according to an arrest report.
    Abbas was being held at the Alachua County jail Thursday on a $10,000 bond.
    - Lise Fisher

    Smoldering cigarette causes fire panic

  • A cigarette smoldering in a flowerpot alarmed residents at Gainesville's Legacy at Fort Clarke apartments, who feared their building was on fire Thursday evening, according to Alachua County Fire Rescue.
    At 8:15 p.m., eight fire rescue vehicles arrived at the complex at 1505 Fort Clarke Blvd. and evacuated about eight or nine residents, said Mark Hughes, a spokesman for ACFR.
    Firefighters thought the thick smoke indicated a kitchen fire, Hughes said. To their surprise, it turned out to be a cigarette butt burning a plant, Hughes said.
    - Meredith Mandell

    Rain expected in area ahead of cold front

  • Forecasters are predicting 1 to 2 inches of rain will fall in the Gainesville area today in advance of a cold front.
    A line of showers and thunderstorms began moving through North Florida on Thursday night, bringing with them an 80 percent to 90 percent chance of rain through today. Some storms may be severe, said Andrew Shashy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.
    The rains are expected to last through 4 p.m. today.
    Tonight temperatures likely will drop into the 40s with lows in the 30s starting Monday night.
    Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Mike Burroughs said motorists should adjust their driving due to the rain and to avoid hydroplaning.
    - Lise Fisher

    Marine from Chiefland is wounded in Iraq

  • A Chiefland High School graduate who was seriously injured in Iraq this week is expected to return to the United States within a few weeks to recuperate and undergo rehabilitation.
    Cpl. Chad Holmes, 26, was one of four Marines patrolling in a Humvee on Sunday when a remote controlled car bomb was detonated, according to military officials. Holmes was the most seriously injured and has already undergone surgery in Baghdad and at a military installation in Germany to try to repair extensive damage to his left leg.
    Holmes' parents, Glyn and Pam Holmes, still live in Chiefland. Family friends said Holmes was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was injured.
    - Karen Voyles

    City board postpones decision about SFCC

  • The Gainesville Code Enforcement Board voted to wait 90 days before making a decision on whether to require Santa Fe Community College Endowment Corporation to bring two houses up to code in the Pleasant Street Historic District.
    Board members said they wanted to put off a decision while SFCC and the city worked on an arrangement that would allow the dilapidated houses at 502 and 508 NW 4th St. to be brought up to city codes. The homes are considered contributing structures to the historic district.
    Guy York, SFCC's vice president of college and government relations, said during the meeting that the college was looking into several options for the properties, originally purchased to provide a buffer between the college's downtown campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. Options being discussed include donating the houses and their property to the city, or having them moved to another location, York said.
    - Jeff Adelson

    High Springs lawyer reprimanded by Bar

  • A High Springs lawyer has been reprimanded for professional misconduct, The Florida Bar reported.
    Jeanne Odom Conway received the reprimand for representing a client when it was adverse to another client's interests, the agency reported.
    A Bar complaint, filed in March, stemmed from 1999 when a client of Conway's law firm sued another person who was also an employee of the law firm, records about the case stated. Conway eventually was disqualified from the case due to conflict of interest.
    Conway has no prior disciplinary history.
    In addition to the public reprimand, Conway also must pay costs in the case of $1,436.
    Conway could not be reached for comment Thursday.
    - Lise Fisher

    Sen. Nelson envoy holds Cross City meeting

  • The regional director for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson will hold outreach office hours Tuesday in a visit to Cross City.
    Area residents will have a chance to discuss their issues with Anne Morgan, regional director for the senator, at the Dixie County Courthouse in the Commission Chamber at 401 North Cedar St. in Cross City. Office hours will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
    For more information, contact Nelson's office at (813) 225-7040 or toll free at (888) 671-4091.
    - Deborah Ball

    UF professor is reappointed to board

  • Dr. Laurie Davies of Gainesville has been reappointed to the Florida Board of Medicine.
    Davies, associate professor of anesthesiology and surgery in the University of Florida College of Medicine, was recently elected to chair the state board.
    She also is a member of the Alachua County Medical Society and Florida Medical Association.
    - Diane Chun
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