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Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.

Police: Trenton woman's death is a homicide 2006 events honoring MLK

  • A 45-year-old Trenton woman was found dead inside a home Wednesday afternoon, prompting investigators to rule the death as a homicide, according to a source close to the investigation.

  • The resident, whose identity was unknown, was found in the laundry room of the home. Few details were available late Wednesday. Trenton Police Chief Billy Smith did not return several calls from The Sun. Gilchrist County Sheriff David Turner said the Sheriff's Office was assisting in the investigation, but said he could not comment on the police department's case and referred all questions to Smith.

    State Attorney's Office spokesman Spencer Mann said he knew about the case, but said he could not comment on another agency's investigation.

    The investigation was handed over late Wednesday to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to the Sheriff's Office. FDLE spokeswoman Sharon Gogerty said she had no information about the incident and that the special agent investigating the case had not returned several calls from her seeking comments and details.

    -Deborah Ball

    Williston man dies in Lawtey accident

  • A Williston man driving a tractor-trailer died early Wednesday after he rear-ended another tractor-trailer in a school zone on County Road 225 in Lawtey, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    Ivory W. Morris, 40, was driving a semi east on County Road 225 at 6:39 a.m. and approached a school zone at the intersection of County Road 200A, troopers said. Another semi driven by Christopher J. Miller, 28, of Williston, had slowed for the school zone, but Morris did not. Morris' semi rammed into the back of Miller's semi, troopers said.

    Morris, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene, the FHP said. Miller was not injured.

    -Deborah Ball

    SFCC wants religious fair participants

  • Santa Fe Community College wants participants for its second Religious Diversity Fair, which is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 19.

    Any interested religious organization is invited to display its information and greet SFCC students and staff. To reserve a table and two chairs at no charge, call Kari Mattox at 381-3787 or e-mail her at kari.mattox@sfcc.edu by Wednesday.

    The fair will be in the E Building breezeway of the Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83rd St.

    -Tiffany Pakkala

    Gainesville removed from 'meanest' list

  • Gainesville is no longer one of the nation's 20 "meanest" cities to the homeless, a designation it earned in 2004 from the National Coalition for the Homeless.

    The group annually ranks cities based on local laws that impact the homeless, such as ordinances dealing with sleeping in public places or panhandling.

    Sarasota topped the list this year and is the only Florida city among the 20. Sarasota passed three laws that target the homeless, according to the group's report.

    Gainesville and Alachua County leaders have recently developed a long-term plan to end homelessness here.

    -Cindy Swirko

    Jacksonville taxi driver found dead in trunk

  • JACKSONVILLE - A taxi driver was found shot to death in the trunk of her cab Wednesday, authorities said.

    Denise Manning, 48, was found just hours after she was reported missing, said Rick Graham, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief.

    Manning's last known fare was around 1 a.m. Wednesday. At 3:18 a.m. she was reported missing and was found at 5:45 a.m. at a community center.

    Graham said authorities did not have any suspects. He also did not say if Manning used a phone or any other warning that she was in trouble.

    Manning worked for the Gator City Taxi Yellow Cab and they said authorities have asked them not to release information about the incident.

    - The Associated Press

    Lethal injection called cruel and unusual

  • TALLAHASSEE - Florida's lethal injection procedure is unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment, a lawyer for one of two inmates facing execution later this month told the state Supreme Court during oral argument Wednesday.

    D. Todd Doss, representing death row inmate Clarence Hill, asked the justices for a hearing to examine new evidence he said shows that the same procedure has resulted in painful executions.

    Inmates are injected with drugs to deaden the pain and paralyze their bodies in addition to the lethal chemical, potassium chloride. A study published last year in The Lancet medical journal indicates the pain killer, sodium pentathol, wares off before the inmates die. "Essentially, they are aware, they're conscious and they're able to feel pain, yet they can't say anything whatsoever in regards to what's going on," Doss said.

    Hill, 47, is scheduled for execution Jan. 24 for fatally shooting Pensacola police officer Stephen Taylor during a 1982 bank robbery.

    - The Associated Press

    Stiff penalties advance for violent video game sales

  • TALLAHASSEE - Retailers could face jail time and fines for selling violent video games to minors under legislation that cleared the Senate Commerce and Consumer Services Committee on Wednesday.

    The bill (SB 492) would require such games to be identified by white stickers with the number 18 outlined in black. Selling a violent game to someone under 18 could result in a 60-day jail term and $500 fine while subsequent violations could bring a year in jail and $1,000 fine.

    "With violent video games, you are an active participant," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami. "You're actually the one engaging in committing the act, whether it's decapitation, whether it's murder, whether it's maiming, whether it's raping."

    The committee approved the bill 7-1 and it next goes to the Criminal Justice Committee. A similar bill is awaiting its first committee hearing in the House.

    Opponents argued that such a restriction would violate the free speech and press guarantees of the First Amendment.

    - The Associated Press

    Today

  • Diversity Luncheon, 11:30-1 p.m., MLK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. 2006 Black History/Culture Brain Bowl, 7 p.m., MLK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St.

    Saturday

  • "Empowerment Through Education Symposium", 10 a.m.-3 p.m., MLK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St.

    Sunday

  • Martin Luther King Commemorative Program, 11 a.m., Mount Zion AME Church, Hawthorne. Inspirational song, skits, readings and guest speaker.

  • 21st Annual Hall of Fame Banquet, "Empowerment for the Next Decade - Empowerment Through Education;" keynote speaker: Bonita Parker, chief operating officer of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Chicago; 6 p.m., Paramount Plaza hotel, 2900 SW 13th St. Donation: $40 (no tickets sold at door). Contact: Jackie Hart-Williams at 376-2442 or 264-6956.

    Monday, Martin Luther King Day

  • Prayer Breakfast, 6:30 a.m., Gainesville VA Medical Center Auditorium, 1601 Archer Rd.

  • National Holiday Kickoff Program, noon, Downtown Community Plaza; speaker: Kendra Grimes, Eastside High School, 2006 Edna M. Hart Keeper of the Dream Award Recipient.

  • Annual Commemorative March, 1 p.m., MLK Memorial Gardens (downtown) to MLK Multi-Purpose Center, Waldo Road.

  • Gospel Extravaganza, 2 p.m., MLK Multi-Purpose Center, 1028 NE 14th St.

    Post-King Week events Wednesday

  • Ebony Fashion Show, 8 p.m., Lincoln Middle School, 1001 SE 12th St. Tickets: $25. Contact: Verna Johnson, 372-1004.

    Saturday, March 11

  • Rosewood Bus Tour, departs from Paramount Plaza hotel at 9 a.m., returning at 2 p.m.; Cost: TBA. Contact: Lizzie Jenkins at (352) 495-2197.

  • Women In Religion, time TBA, Paramount Plaza hotel; cost: TBA. Contact: Janie S. Williams at 378-4586.

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