Around the Region
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 11:55 p.m.
Police say ex-employee held up, robbed store
A former employee of a Levy County convenience store held up the business late Thursday, deputies reported.
Officers arrested Sharon Johnson Karam, 47, of Morriston shortly before midnight and charged her with robbery and driving with a suspended or revoked license, the Levy County Sheriff's Office reported.
A woman walked into the Lil Food Ranch, 16790 NE State Road 121, at about 9 p.m. and demanded money from an employee, according to officers. The suspect first took a 12-pack of Busch beer from a cooler, then reached into her jacket pocket, went to the clerk and said, "Give me your money and do not be stupid," according to the Sheriff's Office. She left with an unspecified amount of cash and the beer. No weapon was seen during the hold-up, authorities said.
Investigator Mike Narayan was able to identify Karam, an ex-employee at the business, as a suspect.
After Karam was located, the Sheriff's Office said she admitted to officers she had robbed the business and named a man she claimed had driven the getaway car.
Officers then located the man, Raymond Lewis Frazier, 20, of Morriston, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was not charged with the robbery because deputies could not determine if he knew about the crime, sheriff's officials said.
However, Frazier was arrested on a Levy County warrant for failure to appear for driving with a suspended license and he was also charged with possession of cocaine over 20 grams and sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of Williston Middle School.
- Lise Fisher
Deputies arrest three during drug detail
Alachua County sheriff's deputies arrested three people and seized marijuana and cocaine Thursday during a law enforcement detail to combat drug sales, the agency reported.
The detail was held between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m., with deputies and detectives heading to different sections of the county, according to the Sheriff's Office. The operation took place in Newberry and Archer, as well as the communities of Holly Heights, Majestic Oaks, Southern Pines and Linton Oaks.
Officers seized 19.3 grams of cannabis and 9.5 grams of cocaine, plus drug paraphernalia and $500 in cash, the Sheriff's Office reported.
Two Newberry men and a Archer man were arrested during the detail on drug charges including possession of cocaine and possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver. The three were being held at the Alachua County jail without bond early Friday, jail records showed.
- Lise Fisher
Sheriff's Office to hold checkpoint Sunday
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office will conduct a checkpoint this weekend on SW 13th Street.
Deputies will be holding a driver's license and safety equipment checkpoint in the 3000 block of SW 13th Street, the agency reported. The detail will be held from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday morning.
The Sheriff's Office held a checkpoint in the same area last month. The detail is in response to the county's high fatality rate last year, which totaled more than 50 people, and a series of recent traffic accidents in the county, the agency reported.
- Sun staff report
Rewards being offered for Levy County cases
Rewards are now being offered in connection with two recent crimes in Levy County in hopes that more information will lead to arrests in the cases, according to Lt. Evan Sullivan with the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Rewards of $1,000 are being offered in a double-homicide case in Fanning Springs that occurred on Dec. 21, as well as in a home invasion robbery in Morriston that occurred Jan. 17.
In the murder case, Hugo Devalle, 28, and Elfego Cano, 34, both from Guatemala, were found in a Mitsubishi Mirage that was fully engulfed in flames. The two had been shot.
In the robbery, an intruder broke into the home of a Morriston couple, 19650 SE 32nd Place, while they were sleeping. The husband, Dale White, 60, reportedly confronted the intruder and the intruder shot him, causing critical injuries.
Anyone with information on the cases is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 877-349-8477 to be eligible for a reward.
- Alice Wallace
Hanrahan in D.C. for meeting of mayors
Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan is in Washington, D.C., today for the last of a two-day meeting of mayors to discuss financing public land conservation and infrastructure improvements.
Hanrahan will be among mayors and senior staff from 40 cities and national policy experts meeting at the Brookings Institution as part of the Mayors Innovation Project, which began Friday.
Mayors will learn about energy efficiency, youth issues and immigrant populations. Nearly 12 million people will be represented by mayors attending the meeting.
Policy experts from universities, nonprofits and think-tanks will share ideas and develop policy tools.
"We have made great progress in Gainesville and, although our city is clearly very unique, it is amazing what we can learn from the successes and failures of other cities," Hanrahan said. "I hope to come home with some new ideas that we can think about and implement locally."
- Stewart Atkinson
UF Police warn of man who exposed himself
University of Florida Police have placed fliers around a campus library warning people about a man who exposed himself to two women this week.
Officers received a report Wednesday that a man had exposed himself at the Norman Hall library, said Capt. Jeff Holcomb.
The women were studying when they decided to get lunch and asked a man sitting nearby to watch their belongings, police reported. When they returned, he moved closer to where they were sitting and then exposed himself.
The incident occurred at about 2 p.m.
The women alerted library staff, but the man was gone when they returned to the area.
The man was described as black, about 6 feet tall and 175 pounds, with black hair and a goatee with graying hair, police said. He was wearing a black shirt and blue jean shorts.
- Lise Fisher
Recycling program adds to accepted items
The Alachua County curbside recycling program has been expanded and now accepts junk mail and mixed office paper.
Junk mail and office paper items should be placed in the orange bin along with newspapers, magazines, catalogs, brown paper bags and corrugated cardboard.
The county and city of Gainesville reminds residents to place their blue bin on top of their orange bin to prevent paper from being blown from the container.
SP Recycling Corp. and Waste Management Inc. assisted in the expansion, adding no additional cost to residents.
For more information contact the Alachua County Waste Management Office at 352-338-3233 or the city of Gainesville at 352-334-2330.
- Stewart Atkinson
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