Around the region

Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.

Seminar to focus on avoiding identity theft

  • Worried about identify theft? The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the University of Florida's Information Technology Security Team will present a daylong seminar today to help residents and businesses protect themselves from identity theft and other dangers posed by Internet use.
    The Cyber Security Awareness for Everyone (C-SAFE) seminars will begin at 8:45 a.m. in UF's Reitz Union Auditorium. UF students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Gainesville community, are welcome to attend.
    The seminar will focus on protecting against cyber crimes like viruses, Internet stalking and identity theft.
    To learn more about the event, visit
    - Jack Stripling

    Mobile home near Jonesville gutted by fire

  • A fire destroyed a doublewide mobile home Tuesday south of Jonesville, according to Alachua County Fire Rescue.
    The blaze began shortly after 5:30 p.m. and by the time firefighters arrived, the mobile home was 50 to 75 percent engulfed in flames, ACFR spokeswoman Megan Crandall said.
    The address of the mobile home, located on SW 14th Avenue and SW 122nd Street, was not released because the homeowners had not yet been notified Tuesday night, Crandall said.
    No one was home at the time of the incident and there were no reported injuries.
    Crandall said the house was a total loss. The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
    - Deborah Ball

    County Elections Office will stay put for now

  • The Alachua County Elections Office may stay in its current spot for the time being and hold early voting at the downtown library rather than hastily move into rented space.
    The County Commission on Tuesday spurned recommendations to move the office from the County Administration Building. Elections Supervisor Pam Carpenter said she needs more space for regular operations and early voting.
    Primary rental options were the fourth floor of the Wachovia Bank at 104 N. Main St. or the second floor of Union Street Station. Commissioners had concerns about those sites.
    "If people have to go to the fourth floor, it is a deterrent to voting. If they have to go to the second floor, it is a deterrent to voting," Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut said. "I don't want to deter people from voting."
    A study on long-term space needs for county offices is due soon. Commissioners decided to wait for the study before making any decisions.
    In the meantime, County Manager Randall Reid will discuss having early voting for the fall elections at the library with Library Director Sol Hirsch.
    Early voting is increasingly popular. Some voters in 2004 spent more than an hour in lines that wrapped around the Administration Building.
    - Cindy Swirko

    Lawmaker considering vote on gay adoption

  • TALLAHASSEE - A House Republican leader said he would consider lifting or modifying the state's 30-year-old ban on gay adoption, but only if the Senate takes similar action.
    Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said he would schedule a vote on a bill allowing gay foster parents to adopt children already in their care, but only if companion legislation resurfaces in the Senate, the Tallahassee Democrat reported first on Tuesday. Galvano chairs the House's Future of Florida's Families Committee.
    Florida is the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption.
    - The Associated Press
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