Around the Region - Jan. 28


Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 1:36 a.m.

Police Beat

Police: Man jailed for bootleg DVDs

He said he was trying to get enough money for a trip back to his home in Detroit.

But Alachua County deputies allege the way Jarret Williams, 24, of Gainesville planned to fund his homecoming is illegal.

Deputy Kevin Davis spotted Williams trying to sell something from a bag in a gas station parking lot on SW 20th Avenue Friday, said Alachua County Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey.

Davis learned the items were about 20 counterfeit DVDs, some showing movies currently in theaters, including "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and "Hotel for Dogs."

Williams now is facing charges for selling counterfeit goods and violation of a county ordinance, Forgey said.

— Lise Fisher

Man accused of gun threat to landlords

Clay County sheriff's deputies arrested a Melrose man accused of threatening his landlords with a gun Monday night.

Sean Matthew Wells, 19, is facing a charge for assault while armed with a pellet gun without intent to kill, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Deputies allege Wells armed himself with the weapon, which appeared to be a real handgun, while his home's owners talked to him and his wife about their possible eviction from the residence in the 8000 block of Cactus Hill Drive.

The property owners told officers Wells grabbed the gun from underneath the couch and told them "they were lucky that he didn't kill both of them tonight," an arrest report stated.

The couple left the home and called officers. Wells, they said, went outside and raised his hand as if he was going to shoot one of them.

The man's wife said her husband left the home afterward and went into the woods.

Officers found the pellet gun in a laundry basket in the home, the Sheriff's Office reported. Wells later surrendered to officers without incident.

— Lise Fisher

COMMUNITY

‘Dreamgirls' begins at Eastside High

An Eastside High School student performance of the musical "Dreamgirls" begins Thursday.

There will also be performances on Friday, Saturday, Thursday, Feb. 5, Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, Feb. 7. All performances will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Eastside High is located at 1201 SE 43rd St.

— Staff report

Rest stop to close for construction

The southbound Interstate 75 rest area, near Paynes Prairie, will close for construction that is expected to last about a month and will start early next week, the Florida Department of Transportation reported.

Crews will be reconstructing the southbound exit ramp, beginning Feb. 2. The work should improve the ability of trucks and recreational vehicles to exit the interstate and enter the rest stop's parking area, according to DOT. The shoulder of the interstate near the rest area also may be closed at times.

Motorists should watch for construction vehicles in the area, officials cautioned.

Construction should be completed by March 6.

— Staff report

27 have applied for open Levy positions

Gov. Charlie Crist has received applications from 13 people who want to fill a vacant seat on the Levy County School Board and 14 who would like to fill in for two suspended Levy County commissioners.

A spokesman for the governor said the vacancies could be filled within 30 days.

The School Board seat was vacated in November when Billy Morrison resigned after reaching a plea deal for an October indecent exposure charge. Whoever replaces him will be up for election during the 2010 election cycle. The job pays $26,317 a year.

The $33,419-a-year commission seats have been temporarily vacated since Crist suspended Tony Parker and Sammy Yearty. The men are awaiting a May 4 trial on charges of conspiring and soliciting bribes in connection with their positions in government and offering their approval for developments in exchange for money or other incentives. Appointed replacements will serve until the charges are resolved or until Parker and Yearty resign.

For details about each applicant for the school board and commission seats — including their completed application — go to www.gainesville.com.

— Karen Voyles

STATE

Ocala teen dies in juvenile detention

AVON PARK — Officials say a 17-year-old boy died after collapsing at a Polk County juvenile detention facility.

A Polk County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman says John Kingcade collapsed Monday night while playing basketball. Avon Park Youth Academy staff performed CPR on the Ocala teen until paramedics arrived. Kingcade was transported to a Sebring hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Kingcade had been at the facility for more than a year. He had been convicted of cocaine trafficking.

The sheriff's spokeswoman says autopsy results are pending toxicology tests, but detectives do not suspect foul play.

— The Associated Press

Company nixes Caylee Anthony doll

ORLANDO — A Jacksonville promotions company has suspended sales of a blonde-haired doll bearing the name of a slain Florida toddler.

Showbiz Promotions had planned to sell its Caylee Sunshine doll, named for Caylee Anthony, for $29.99. But on its Web site Tuesday the company's president backed off the launch plan. Jaime Salcedo says the company reversed course after reviewing public response to the doll.

Salcedo says the doll was intended as "a tribute" to Caylee Anthony. Other items bearing the doll's name remain available. Salcedo says the proceeds will go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

— The Associated Press

Police officer fired after investigation

MELBOURNE — Police officials say an undercover Melbourne officer accused of having a relationship with a prostitute and harassing a witness has been fired.

A Melbourne Police Department spokesman says Christopher Buccelli was fired on Thursday. He had been with the departments prostitution division for three years.

The department began an internal investigation after a known prostitute claimed in September that she had sex with him on multiple occasions. Buccelli denied having sex with the woman, as well as three others.

— The Associated Press

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