Around the Region for Aug. 1


Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 12:48 a.m.

Lake City Police ID man killed after hit by train

A man who was apparently killed after being hit by a train in Lake City has been identified as Dennis Allen Pangburn.

According to Lake City Police, Pangburn’s body was discovered at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday on the railroad tracks near the intersection of Railroad and Dunmore streets. He was identified by police as a 31-year-old Lake City resident.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was called in to investigate the scene. Police said it was not immediately clear if Pangburn’s death was accidental. The investigation into the death was continuing late Thursday.

— Karen Voyles

Police: 1 dead, 2 missing during lobster diving

KEY WEST — Authorities say a man has died and two others remain missing during the second day of the lobster mini-season.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says the man was diving for lobster off Bahia Honda Thursday morning in 20 to 25 feet of water when he surfaced in distress. Officials say he lost consciousness and was brought on board a boat. He was rushed to Fishermen’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is searching for two missing divers. Officials say Yosmany Gonzalez has been missing since Wednesday night. He went missing near Key Biscayne.

Another man, Ronald Stefens, 63, went missing Thursday afternoon off Vero beach.

— The Associated Press

Man gets one year in Va. Tech threat case

MIAMI — A Florida man who had a large arsenal of weapons will spend about eight months in federal prison for threatening on the Internet to stage a Virginia Tech-style massacre.

U.S. District Judge Alan Gold imposed a one-year sentence Thursday on Calin Chi Wong but gave him credit for four months he has spent in jail. The 20-year-old Wong pleaded guilty in June to making a threat over the Internet. He could have gotten five years.

Wong said in a chat room that he might re-enact the Virginia Tech rampage that left 32 people dead. Authorities later searched Wong’s home in Homestead and found four AK-47s, a sniper rifle, handguns and thousands of ammunition rounds.

Wong said in court Thursday he made a mistake and he’ll never again touch a gun.

— The Associated Press

Legal, home groups clash over FLASH

TALLAHASSEE — If you need help strengthening your home against hurricanes or other disasters, just call FLASH.

If you’re a Florida homeowner and need free legal aid to avoid foreclosure, you can call another FLASH.

The first FLASH — the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes — on Thursday demanded that the second FLASH — Florida Attorneys Saving Homes — stop using its acronym. Both are nonprofits based in Tallahassee.

The attorneys group is checking with lawyers who have trade mark expertise before responding, said Kent Spuhler, executive director of Florida Legal Services.

The safe homes FLASH says it’s been getting calls about legal help since the attorneys’ FLASH was featured Wednesday on CNN’s Larry King Live.

— The Associated Press

Orlando Police ID three people found dead

ORLANDO — Orlando Police have identified three people found murdered in an apartment.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones says 29-year-old Marcus Hayes, 18-year-old Cedric Garrett and 16-year-old Carlos Patterson were found dead in the apartment on Wednesday.

Police are not releasing the cause of the deaths, but officers were responding to shots being fired when they found the bodies.

— The Associated Press

Judge refuses to release woman on bond

SANFORD — A judge has refused to release on bond a woman accused of kidnapping a baby from a hospital.

Jennifer Latham’s attorney asked the judge to set bond for her on Thursday.

Latham, 40, of Sanford, has been in jail since March 28. She faces several charges, including kidnapping.

Authorities say Latham posed as a hospital employee when she took the baby from the maternity ward in March.

Latham’s attorney didn’t return a telephone message left at his office after hours.

— The Associated Press

Ex-police officer heads Fla. business regulation

TALLAHASSEE — A former police official is the new permanent head of the state agency that regulates businesses and professions.

Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Charles Drago on Thursday.

Drago spent 30 years with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and then served as police chief of Oviedo before becoming deputy secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation last year.

Drago’s responsibilities include regulating pari-mutuel gambling, alcoholic beverages, hotels, restaurants, real estate agents, veterinarians, accountants, contractors and cosmetologists.

— The Associated Press

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