Around the Region - Jan. 7
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 1:13 a.m.
Police: Man tried to lure teen girl
Alachua County deputies saturated the Newberry area Tuesday morning after a 14-year-old student reported being approached by a stranger Monday morning while she was on her way to school.
The incident happened at about 7:45 a.m. Monday near the Hammock Oak Apartment complex on NW County Road 235 on the eastern edge of Newberry, according to Sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey.
"This student told us that she was on her way to her bus stop when she was approached by an unknown adult male who tried to lure her to his truck," Forgey said.
The girl told deputies that the man was driving a small, black pickup with a standard cab that had been damaged on the passenger side and had untinted windows.
The girl described the man as having a heavy country accent and a red goatee. He was reportedly wearing blue jeans and a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head.
The girl said she ran back to her apartment and was chased by the man for a short distance. She said she watched him drive out of the complex after she was back inside her apartment.
"We take these incidents very seriously," Forgey said.
The Sheriff's Office sent as many deputies as possible to patrol the area Tuesday morning while students were going to school.
Anyone with information about the man or Monday's incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 955-1818.
— Karen Voyles
Car's driver jailed after hitting semi
A traffic crash involving a car and a semi on Interstate 75 near Micanopy ended with the arrest of the car's driver Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.
Jeffrey J. Napier, 48, of Naples was being held at the Alachua County jail without bond Tuesday night on charges of driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of narcotics equipment, according to jail records.
Troopers were called to an accident on northbound I-75 at about 12:15 p.m. The right front of a 2007 BMW hit the left rear axle of a semi, reported FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan.
Initial reports had indicated Napier, the car's driver, might have been injured after the car drove under the truck.
Riordan said there were no injuries and the car clipped the semi.
But when troopers arrived, they allege Napier had been driving under the influence and had marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his possession.
— Lise Fisher
Veterans, spouses may get tax break
About 265,000 of the 1.8 million veterans or their surviving spouses who live in Florida should be receiving letters this week from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that can be used for a property-tax exemption.
State officials said veterans with a 10 percent or greater service-connected disability who claim a homestead exemption in Florida are eligible for an additional $5,000 tax exemption. In order to receive the exemption, the veterans need to take a copy of the letter verifying their eligibility to their local property appraiser's office.
The verification letters are available year-round from the regional Veterans Affairs offices. However, this year, for the first time, VA officials ran a special computer program to automatically generate the letters for veterans known to qualify.
Officials said any veteran who receives VA disability compensation but has not received a letter or who has questions about the letter should call the VA at 800-827-1000.
Veterans with questions about Florida's tax programs should contact their county property tax appraiser's office on the Web at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/appraisers or the county tax collector's office at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/taxcollectors.
— Karen Voyles
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