Around the Region - Jan. 14

Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 1:48 a.m.


Man accused of drug-deal dispute

A 20-year-old faces possible prison time because of his alleged conduct in a minor drug deal on Monday.

Courtney Edward Crosby, 19, of 1949 SW 69th Drive in Gainesville, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and destroying or tampering with evidence, charges punishable by more than a year in state prison.

According to Alachua County Sheriff's Deputy William Arnold, the case began when deputies were dispatched to an apparent armed disturbance in the Tower Oaks apartment complex in the 6900 block of SW 21st Lane.

Keith Small reportedly told deputies that Crosby had threatened to shoot him in the face if he failed to pay $45 for some marijuana. Other witnesses said they had seen Crosby earlier in the day and at the site of the dispute with two chrome automatic handguns.

Crosby later was found and arrested at his home nearby. In Crosby's arrest report, Arnold wrote that the apparently disputed marijuana was confiscated and that a 9 mm handgun found in a nearby yard was taken into evidence. The second gun was not found.

Crosby reportedly told deputies that he had two guns, but could not remember where he left them.

Crosby was being held at the Alachua County jail on Tuesday.

— Karen Voyles

Woman faces theft charges

A woman performing community service hours at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on NW 23rd Avenue has been arrested for shoplifting from the store.

Latonya Omega Jackson, 19, of Old Town was charged with petty theft for allegedly taking three shirts and a pair of jeans with a combined value of $10.96.

The incident was reported at 3:30 p.m. Monday by employees of the store at 55 NW 23rd Ave.

Gainesville police spokeswoman Summer Hallett said Jackson reportedly put the clothing in her purse. Hallett said that when Jackson was confronted, she claimed someone outside the store was forcing her to take the items.

Jackson had been ordered to perform 15 days of community service for an earlier, unrelated trespassing case that began as a felony charge and had been reduced to a misdemeanor.

Public records show Jackson was being held at the Alachua County jail on Tuesday morning.

— Karen Voyles

Crooks steal from 6 vehicles

Someone broke into six vehicles over the weekend in northeast Gainesville neighborhoods east of Waldo Road, police reported.

Officers began receiving reports about the break-ins on Sunday and believe thieves entered unlocked vehicles overnight Saturday and early Sunday.

The burglaries occurred in the 1000 block of NE 24th Terrace, the 2100 block of NE 13th Avenue and the 1000 block of NE 22nd Court, said Officer Summer Hallett, a police spokeswoman.

Thieves took change and small items from the vehicles. Police reminded residents to keep vehicle doors locked to prevent easy access by thieves.

— Lise Fisher


New circuit court judge takes post

A man who has worked as an assistant state attorney and as a private criminal defense attorney has begun his new job as a circuit court judge.

William E. Davis is the newest Eighth Judicial Circuit Court judge. He was elected to the position in November and formally took the post a week ago.

Davis has been assigned to preside over Alachua County cases, including adoptions, juvenile dependency cases, shelter hearings, unified family court cases, truancy court and Dependency Drug Court.

Davis, a native of Bushnell, is a former police officer who also served as a military intelligence officer with combat service during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Until his investiture on Friday, Davis had served as an Alachua County Court judge. His assignments had included presiding over misdemeanor, criminal traffic, small claims cases and civil traffic infraction cases.

— Karen Voyles

First concert of series canceled

Today's free concert by singer Jack Williams has been canceled due to the performer's illness.

Williams, an Arkansas-based singer/songwriter, was scheduled to performed at noon today in the first installment of a new concert series at Wilmot Gardens.

The series, called Art in the Garden, will feature free performances on the first Wednesday of each month at the park on the corner of Gale Lemerand Drive and Mowry Road.

The series will continue in February with a noon performance by Scrub Hillbillies on Feb. 4, followed by a performance by Lisa Lynne & George Tortorelli on March 4.

Other dates on the new series include David Beede on April 1, the folk/bluegrass group Patchwork on May 6, and world-beat performer Ajamu Mutima on June 3.

— Bill Dean

Health fair set for female veterans

The Gainesville VA Medical Center will host its annual veterans' health fair for women in the auditorium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

Vets can pick up valuable information from community agencies and specialized VA departments on issues ranging from stress management and migraines to exercise therapy, intuitive eating and osteoporosis. There will be a fashion show presented by Catherine's Clothing Store.

To learn more, contact Cheryl Tillman at 352-379-4064.


Judge grants water request

SANFORD — A judge has recommended that state water authorities grant Seminole County's request to take water from the St. Johns River.

Administrative Law Judge Lawrence Johnston's decision Monday ended a yearlong legal review. The ultimate decision rests with the St. Johns River Water Management District, which hasn't set a date for voting on the request.

Seminole County, in east central Florida, wants to draw 5.5 million gallons of river water daily.

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