Around the Region - June 1, 2009

Published: Monday, June 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 11:02 p.m.

Amber Alert issued for missing Miami boy

MIAMI - Authorities are looking for a 2-year-old boy from Miami.

An Amber Alert was issued late Saturday for Donald Arauz.

He's described as three feet tall, 32 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

He was last wearing a white shirt and blue shorts.

Miami Police reports say the child may be with 37-year-old Antonia Acuna.

She's described as being five feet tall, 130 pounds, with blonde hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing a white tank top and blue jeans.

Police say the two may be riding in a burgundy truck.

Elusive South Florida black bear captured

WESTON - The search for an elusive black bear in South Florida is over.

Wildlife officials spotted the bear Sunday morning near the edge of a golf course and later tranquilized it.

The 200-pound black bear will be transferred to Picayune Strand State Forest in Collier County.

The bear was first spotted in mid-April.

Officials said it was likely searching for territory not already taken by another male.

This week the bear was seen in the city of Weston in Broward County.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there are between 2,500 and 3,000 black bears in the state.

hey are listed as a threatened species, although it's common to see bears as development encroaches upon their habitat.

Fire at wood-frame home leaves man dead

ST. PETERSBURG - Authorities say a late-night fire at a small, wood-frame house in St. Petersburg left a man dead and a woman homeless.

St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue crews found the man within minutes Saturday night and rushed him to Bayfront Medical Center.

However, the man later died at the hospital.

Investigators are still working to determine how the fire started, according to a news release.

It was not known whether the house had a working fire alarm.

The Red Cross is helping the woman who was displaced.

She was not identified.

The man who died was also not identified.

Elderly driver accused of killing pedestrian

WINTER PARK - An elderly driver in Seminole County is accused of leaving the scene of a fatal accident after running over a pedestrian.

The 78-year-old man identified as John Sepelak Jr. of Winter Park was stopped five miles from the accident by another driver who saw what happened and chased him down.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, alcohol was not an apparent factor in the crash.

Charges are pending.

Officials say the victim, 48-year-old Paula Carrison, stumbled and fell onto the roadway Friday evening.

Sepelak drove over her, then pulled over and returned to the scene, according to the highway patrol.

He then "became scared and drove off," the highway report said.

No injuries in plane crash in Sarasota

SARASOTA - Authorities say no one was injured when a small plane crashed into a massive oak tree in Sarasota.

The private plane had engine problems Saturday morning.

The 172 Cessna was owned by Pat Grella, who was the co-pilot on the flight.

Neither him nor the pilot suffered any major injuries.

Grella said they were headed back to the airport after a quick flight when the engine quit.

When authorities arrived, the airplane was sideways in an oak tree.

Rescue workers had to get both Grella and the pilot down from the tree.

Snake bite sends Tampa teen to hospital

TAMPA - A high school basketball player is being treated in a Tampa hospital after being bitten by a snake, and emergency workers who treated him say the reptiles are on the move due to the recent rain.

Jonathan Yokel was playing basketball Thursday night when the ball rolled into some bushes.

When the 16-year-old reached in to get the ball, he was bitten by a 14-inch pygmy rattlesnake on his right hand.

Yokel was given 14 vials of antivenin and other medicine and was in fair condition Saturday.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, this small snake is very aggressive.

Its bite, although not usually fatal, is extremely painful.

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