Around the region


Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 1:44 a.m.

Accident sends Live Oak teen to Shands at UF

A Live Oak teenager was hospitalized at Shands at the University of Florida after she was injured in a crash Tuesday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.
Alicia Faye Cash, 17, was in serious condition Tuesday following the Suwannee County accident, according to hospital staff.
Cash had been heading north on 133rd Road near the U.S. 90 intersection at about 7:30 a.m. Troopers reported she entered the highway and drove into the path of a pickup traveling east on the road.
The pickup's driver, James G. McCall, 26, of Jasper, received minor injuries and was taken to Shands at Live Oak, FHP reported.
An investigation into the accident was ongoing, troopers said.
- Lise Fisher

Candidate files to run against Hanrahan

A retired Gainesville Regional Utilities employee entered the Gainesville mayoral race Tuesday, adding competition to what many had expected to be an uncontested election.
Wesley Watson, who lives in northwest Gainesville, filed paperwork to qualify for the election late Tuesday afternoon. He will face incumbent Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan in the March 6 election.
Watson could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
There are also signs a third competitor may join the race before qualifying ends at noon Friday.
Supervisor of Elections Pam Carpenter said last week another person had picked up papers necessary for a friend to qualify to run for mayor.
- Jeff Adelson

Police officer's actions draw praise, criticism

BRADENTON - A city police officer is being simultaneously celebrated and ridiculed after he went out of his way to save a homeless woman's shopping cart full of her possessions.
After arresting Marie Brooks on an outstanding warrant early one morning last week, Officer Nicholas Evans pulled her shopping cart alongside his police cruiser for 12 miles to the county jail so Brooks wouldn't lose her meager belongings. The trip took him an hour.
''He wasn't obligated to have a generous, spiritual heart,'' said Mary DeLazzer, who manages Our Daily Bread, a soup kitchen in Bradenton.
But police are looking into whether Evans acted inappropriately and should be reprimanded. The act has made Evans the butt of jokes among peers who have heard the story, now posted on a popular police Web site.
Evans is a three-year veteran officer who works the overnight shift. He told his bosses he was unsuccessful at trying to find someone to take the cart after arresting Brooks for violating a court order stemming from a misdemeanor drug arrest, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
A call to Evans at the police department Tuesday was not immediately returned.
- The Associated Press

Dead peacocks alarm Martin County officials

RIO - Six peacocks have been discovered dead in a neighborhood here in the last week, prompting fears of foul play.
Three birds were found Tuesday; three others were found last week.
Nancy Weiss lives near where the peacocks were found and said she witnessed one of the birds suffer convulsions for a half-hour before dying. She suspects someone poisoned the peacocks.
''It's disturbing,'' Weiss told The Stuart News. ''They're dying a horrible death.''
The birds are such a familiar sight in this town there are ''peacock crossing'' signs on some roadways. But not everyone is a fan and some have complained of the birds' noise and mess.
It's not the first string of animal deaths in Rio. In 2004, cats, raccoons and peacocks were found dead and some residents and animal control officers suspected someone was spreading rat poison.
Martin County animal control officers are still investigating the latest cases.
- The Associated Press

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