Around the region


Evan McNamee, 3, laughs after missing the ball in a game of catch with his father, Bob McNamee, during the Florida-Georgia baseball game at McKethan Stadium on Sunday.

AARON DAYE/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, May 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 30, 2006 at 11:37 p.m.

Area man crashes car after fatal heart attack

  • A 70-year-old man died in a single-vehicle car crash Friday after he apparently had a fatal heart attack and crashed his pickup into a tree just north of Starke, the Florida Highway Patrol announced Sunday afternoon.
    Jimmy Uvon Thornton of Starke was driving north on County Road 229 at 6:40 p.m. when he had a heart attack in his 1994 Ford pickup, troopers and family members said. Thornton veered off the roadway onto the northbound grass shoulder before striking a tree, troopers reported.
    Thornton was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, the FHP said.
    - Deborah Ball

    Firefighters greeted by menagerie at house fire

  • Firefighters were greeted by some unusual residents when they responded to a fire at an Archer home Sunday morning, according to Alachua County Fire Rescue.
    Although no one was inside the house at 16340 SW 133rd Avenue when the blaze apparently began on the porch at about 10 a.m., several animals - including a rattlesnake - were inside, said ACFR spokeswoman Megan Crandall. Crews from ACFR and the Archer and Newberry fire departments responded to the fire.
    Alachua County Animal Services was called to remove the rattlesnake and nine other reptiles and snakes from the house, Crandall said. Three dogs also were inside the home at the time. Two of the dogs escaped without injuries, but one of the dogs, a male Dachshund, received severe burns and smoke inhalation, Crandall said. The dog was given oxygen with ACFR's new pet masks, Crandall said. The dog was in stable condition Sunday afternoon.
    The house, however, was a complete loss with a total of $80,000 in damages from the blaze, Crandall said. The resident, Agnes Dillon, 68, was assisted by the American Red Cross in finding shelter. Officials call the fire "suspicious" and the State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.
    - Deborah Ball

    Eastside ranks sixth in Newsweek poll

  • Eastside High School in Gainesville ranked sixth as one of the best public high schools in the nation by Newsweek, according to the magazine's annual survey.
    Eastside, which has placed in the survey before, was the only school in North Central Florida to be ranked in the top 100. Overall, three Florida schools (including Eastside) placed in the top 10 and the state had the most schools (20) in the top 100, the survey found.
    The rankings are based on the percentage of students who take the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.
    The complete list can be found online at www.msnbc. msn.com/id/12532678/site/newsweek.
    - Deborah Ball
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