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Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 12:52 a.m.

Man held in Gainesville jogger sex attack

A Gainesville man was arrested Saturday after police say he admitted that he tried to sexually assault a female jogger on SW 34th Street.
Thomas Turner, 55, of 3316 SW 41st Place, was charged with attempted sexual battery in connection to the attack that occurred Saturday at 6:07 p.m. in the 3600 block of SW 34th Street, Gainesville police reported. The woman was jogging south on SW 34th Street when a man grabbed her from behind, forced her to the ground and tried to remove her shorts. The man was scared off by witnesses.
Turner was later found hiding in nearby bushes, police said.
Turner was still being held at the Alachua County jail Monday night.
- Deborah Ball

Bronson council member to resign

The most senior member of the Bronson Town Council is resigning at the end of January following 27 years of service. Edith Brown, 63, who has also served as mayor, said she felt it was time to step down.
Brown said she was most proud, during her terms of office, of participating in the expansion of the community park from a single baseball diamond to several ball fields, several soccer fields, a football field, a track and two concession stands. Brown's seat would have been up for election in September. On Monday, town officials were researching whether someone should be appointed, a special election should be called, or if the position could remain vacant until the regularly scheduled election. The post pays $250 a month in the town of fewer than 1,000 people.
- Karen Voyles

City manager of Gainesville gets raise

  • Gainesville city commissioners approved a 4.5 percent raise for City Manager Russ Blackburn on Monday, citing his leadership and his work on staff development.
    The raise, Blackburn's first since he was hired last summer, brings his salary to about $162,000 a year.
    Commissioners lauded Blackburn's focus on improving how employees and departments worked together, the speed with which he began to work on major issues and his responsiveness to direction from the City Commission.
    The amount of the raise was determined by averaging the recommendations of each of the commissioners.
    Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and City Commissioners Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Craig Lowe and Rick Bryant all suggested 4 percent raises. Commissioners Jack Donovan and Scherwin Henry suggested 5 percent raises and Commissioner Ed Braddy suggested a 5.5 percent raise.

    - Jeff Adelson

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