Police: Don't gamble on illegal poker

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 11:03 p.m.
A reminder for those who have dreams of grandeur and believe one day they will play in a televised ESPN tournament: Florida law mandates poker games must be "penny-ante" - the pot can be no more than $10 - and the the game must be played inside a home, according to Sgt. Tim Hayes of the Gainesville Police Department.
Players who are caught breaking the law will be slapped with a misdemeanor and organizers arrested on felony charges. GPD has not made any recent arrests, but Hayes said, "With the popularity of these television shows, it wouldn't surprise me to see a lot of students playing." He said students were gambling at high stakes to pay off loans. For a complete list of gambling laws in the United States go to www.gambling-law-us.com/
n Children first: The University of Florida Levin College of Law has been chosen as a site for a center that will train people who work with abused and neglected children in the legal system.
The national child advocacy organization First Star plans to set up three Multidisciplinary Centers of Excellence around the country at UF, Columbia University and the University of San Diego, the Levin College of Law reported. The project will be administered through the college's Center on Children and Families. No date has been established for when the center will open. But the foundation is hoping to raise $2 million for each of the centers.
"Children in the foster care and child protective services systems meet and interact with a sea of faces, all working to bring about a happy ending," First Star founder and film producer Peter Samuelson said in a statement. "But without understanding the multidisciplinary nature of abuse cases, these professionals are often at odds, engaging in senseless turf battles. The First Star MCE curriculum is designed to level the playing field so that the ultimate victor is truly the child."
n Stop ahead: A traffic light and lower speed limits are in the future for a Bradford County intersection.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of February on a new traffic signal at U.S. 301 and County Road 18 in Hampton, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. Work started this week. Speed limits at the intersection will be dropped from 65 to 55 mph.
Traffic studies showed crashes at the intersection could have been prevented with a traffic signal, said DOT spokeswoman Gina Busscher.
Eight accidents were reported between January and December 2000. Flashing stop signs previously were installed at the intersection. Officers also tried to crack down on motorists running stop signs.
"They did not seem to work. We're trying the traffic signals as a last resort," she said.
  • More firefighters: Twenty-six new firefighters have joined the ranks at Alachua County Fire Rescue. The new hires were recognized at a swearing-in ceremony held last week. Also honored at the ceremony were eight promoted employees. The number of full-time employees at the fire rescue agency has increased from 196 in the 2002-03 fiscal year to 218 in 2003-04, said spokesman Mark Hughes. Approval has been granted for an additional 13 employees for the current fiscal year.
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