Around the Region - Jan. 24

Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 11:18 p.m.


Police investigate delivery robbery

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is investigating Thursday's armed robbery of a food delivery driver.

Sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey said the crime happened at 9:10 p.m. after a Wing Zone driver delivered an order to a home in the Cornerstone Mobile Home Park off Tower Road.

The driver told deputies he was returning to his car when he was approached by three men wearing black hoodies, blue jeans and bandanas over their faces.

The driver said one of the men was carrying a silver, semi-automatic handgun.

The three men reportedly demanded cash, and after the driver handed over the money he had, the men walked away.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 955-1818.

— Karen Voyles

Thieves steal cell phones from shop

Thieves smashed through a front window to steal thousands of dollars in cell phones from a Live Oak business, police reported.

The burglars took everything they could grab, according to the Live Oak Police Department.

They ended up stealing about $9,000 in new cell phones from Tiger Talk Wireless, 634 S. Ohio Ave., during the break-in late Jan. 14.

Thieves hit the same store again on Jan. 19 but this time only got one phone, according to police.

The business has since installed an alarm system.

Police also were collecting serial numbers from the stolen phones so they can be tracked once they are activated, officers reported.

— Lise Fisher

Chase leads to one arrest, car crash

A chase involving Columbia County sheriff's deputies and a crash in which a vehicle hit a park fence ended with one arrest Friday.

Gregory Alonzo McCaskill, 24, of Lake City was booked into the Columbia County jail on multiple traffic charges and felony warrants involving drug charges, according to the law enforcement agency.

Officers saw a motorist, fitting the description of a shooting suspect, and tried to stop the vehicle, the agency reported.

The driver refused to stop, started a short chase that ended when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed through a fence at Annie Mattox Park, deputies said.

The man, identified as McCaskill, ran but was captured, they added.

Inside the vehicle, deputies reported they found several loaded handgun magazines and a large amount of handgun ammunition.

McCaskill currently is probation relating to narcotics charges, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

— Lise Fisher

Man struck by van while in roadway

A Middleburg resident apparently walking in the road died early Friday when he was struck by a van in Clay County, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

Cammeron T. Nettles, 21, died on the scene of the accident on Blanding Boulevard, less than a mile north of County Road 220, according to FHP.

The accident occurred at about 1:35 a.m.

Nettles was walking in the inside lane of Blanding Boulevard during the early-morning hours, troopers reported.

A southbound van, driven by Corry L. Hull, 41, of Keystone Heights, struck Nettles, who landed in the road's median, FHP said.

Troopers said Hull did not see Nettles walking in the dark and that the pedestrian had been wearing dark clothing.

— Lise Fisher


School seeks input on project

P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School is holding a workshop on a proposed campus reconstruction on Monday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the school auditorium, at 1080 SW 11th St.

The school is seeking input on the project; the public is invited to the workshop.

The school has hired design consultant Fielding Nair International to lead the planning process.

—Staff report

Family Fun, Safety Day is held today

Alachua County's Third Annual Family Fun and Safety Day will be held today in Gainesville.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office has partnered with several other agencies to host the free event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the K-Mart store off Newberry Road just west of I-75, at 900 NW 76th Blvd.

Organizers said the event is aimed at educating children and their families about the dangers kids face every day and how to respond to those dangers.

Families will be able to learn about topics like stranger danger, fire safety, child safety seat installation and firearm safety at home.

— Staff report


Machen, wife to discuss Iran trip

University of Florida President Bernie Machen and his wife, Chris, will discuss their recent trip to Iran next week in a public event on campus.

In November, Machen was one of six U.S. university presidents to visit several Iranian universities.

The trip, organized by the Association of American Universities, was meant to foster academic exchanges between Iran and the U.S.

The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Pugh Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The Graham Center for Public Service will host the talk, which will be followed by a reception.

— Nathan Crabbe

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