Around the region

Nine-year-old George Pages of Circus Pages waits to do his act Tuesday afternoon while standing in between two equestrian riders. The circus performed to a sold-out crowd at the Alachua County Fairgrounds.

ALLISON DURHAM/Special to The Sun
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Suwannee woman dies after crash in Live Oak
  • A Suwannee County woman died after her car crashed into an oncoming van in Live Oak Tuesday morning, police reported.
    Evelyn S. Mortlock, 67, of Live Oak was killed in the accident in the 500 block of S. Ohio Avenue about 6 a.m., according to police.
    Mortlock had been driving north on the street, Police Chief Nolan McLeod said. After stopping at a traffic light, her 2000 Pontiac Grand Am crossed into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 1983 Ford Econoline van.
    McLeod said the van was carrying several Hispanic men, who ran away from the crash.
    The crash remains under investigation, McLeod said.
    - Lise FisherTwo men are injured in rollover on I-75
  • Two men were seriously injured early Tuesday after the pickup they were in sideswiped a semi and flipped over, ejecting the pickup's driver on Interstate 75 in Alachua County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
    Edwin Villa, 52, whose hometown was unknown, was driving a 1995 Ford pickup north on I-75 in the middle lane about 9 a.m., the FHP said.
    Antwan Carter, 20, of Ocala, who was driving a semi truck north in the inside lane, told troopers that Villa veered into his lane, hitting his car, the FHP reported.
    The Ford then spun around clockwise and traveled off the east shoulder, flipping over and hitting a tree before coming to rest on its roof. Villa was ejected and landed beneath the pickup, the FHP said.
    Villa, who was not wearing a seat belt, and his passenger, Tobias Flores, 27, of Mulberry, were flown to Shands at the University of Florida in serious condition. Carter was not injured.
    - Deborah BallInvestigators believe arson to blame for fires
  • Fire investigators believe arson is to blame for two fires in a northeast Gainesville apartment complex during the weekend, Gainesville Fire Rescue said Tuesday.
    Two separate fires were reportedly started at one upstairs and one downstairs unit in Tree Trail Apartments at 2501 NE 9th St. on Saturday, GFR said. The fires caused $100,000 in damage, but no one was injured.
    The tenants in the two affected units were given assistance from the American Red Cross. Six other apartments in the eight-unit building were not damaged or affected in the incident.
    GFR spokeswoman Krista Ott said evidence was collected and sent to the State Fire Marshal's Office and is being analyzed. The fires are still under investigation and no suspects have been named, Ott said.
    - Deborah BallConference to focus on health care quality
  • A conference Thursday and Friday hosted by the University of Florida will address a growing concern for many Americans: the quality of health care.
    "Quality: the Critical Variable in Health Care" is the topic for the Dorothy M. Smith Nursing Leadership Conference at the UF Health Professions/Nursing/Pharmacy Complex on the north side of the UF Health Science Center.
    National experts and leaders in nursing and health care administration will gather to discuss issues affecting quality in patient care, including the nursing shortage and quality patient outcomes.
    Speakers will include Linda H. Aiken, a UF College of Nursing graduate and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania; and Audrey Nelson, director of the Patient Safety Center of Inquiry and associate director of nursing service for research at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tampa.
    Also speaking are Polly Bednash, executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing; and Susan V. White, associate chief for nursing services and quality improvement at the Tampa VA Medical Center.
    For more information on the conference, including schedules, available continuing education credits, speaker and topic descriptions, and registration information may be found online at the following Web address:
    - Diane ChunWork starts Thursday on SW 24th/SW 20th
  • Lane closures will resume Thursday on SW 24th/SW 20th Avenue.
    Crews will be placing asphalt at the intersection with SW 62nd Boulevard, and there will be lane closures between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. that will cause traffic delays.
    - Alice Wallace
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