Around the Region-Jan.15


Published: Friday, January 15, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 7:12 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Man charged with breaking into day care

A Gainesville man was arrested on burglary charges Wednesday on suspicion of breaking into a Hawthorne Road day care, according to an arrest report.

Anthony Graham, 47, is accused of kicking in a door to United Children's Daycare at 1734 Hawthorne Road at about 10:55 a.m. Wednesday, Gainesville police reported.

An employee told police that Graham, a temporary laborer, climbed a fence and kicked in the back door.

The report states the building was occupied by the employee, who told police he heard a loud bang and observed Graham standing in the center.

Police located Graham, and the employee identified him by his photo.

The arrest report states that Graham told police he went to the day care to look for a friend.

Cindy Swirko

No injuries reported in area school bus crash

No injuries were reported when an Alachua County school bus got into a slow-speed crash with another vehicle Thursday morning.

The crash happened at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning in the Alachua Highlands area off County Road 241, according to Alachua Police.

Detective Patrick Barcia Jr. said the bus had stopped to pick up children when another vehicle hit the back of the bus.

"This was a low-speed impact with no injuries reported," Barcia said. Alachua Police are investigating the crash along with school district officials.

Karen Voyles

Man seriously injured in crash on interstate

A Pensacola man was seriously injured and northbound traffic was stalled as a result of a Wednesday night crash on Interstate 75.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened at about 9:30 p.m. near mile marker 396, which is between the U.S. 441 exit in Alachua and the County Road 232 overpass.

Those involved were identified by FHP as Valdosta Buckhanon, 47, of Georgia, and Charles English, 45, of Pensacola.

FHP Trooper Rick Brown said Buckhanon, who was not injured, was driving a 1997 pickup that was pulling a 26-foot-long enclosed trailer.

English was the only other person in the truck, and he was taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, according to Brown's report on the crash.

Based on statements from witnesses and evidence at the scene, Brown determined that while the pickup was headed north in the outside lane, a semi passed it in the center lane.

The enclosed trailer began to fishtail in the draft created by the passing semi, Brown said, and the pickup and trailer left the freeway and overturned on the east shoulder.

Brown said no charges would be filed.

Both men were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Karen Voyles

COMMUNITY

Official: Beware of aid scams involving Haiti

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson Thursday warned Floridians to be on the lookout for scams involving relief aid in the aftermath of this week's massive earthquake in Haiti.

"The people in Haiti need massive amounts of aid, and we encourage our citizens to be as generous as possible in helping," Bronson said. "But you need to make sure that the donations you are planning to make go to legitimate organizations that will benefit Haiti, and not to con artists who undoubtedly will try to exploit the tragedy by lining their own pockets with your donations."

While no known scams have yet to be uncovered in Florida, con artists typically arise when tragedies occur and approach citizens with impressive-sounding organizations that seek money over the Internet, by phone and sometimes even in person.

"Don't be tricked into giving money to a person or organization with which you are not familiar," Bronson said.

Residents who are thinking about making a contribution to an unfamiliar organization can contact the Consumer Services Division at 800-HELPFLA (800-435-7352) to make sure that the organization is registered with the state as a charity and to check its complaint history.

Consumers can also go to the division's Web site at www.800helpfla.com and determine an organization's registration status by looking at the "Gift Givers Guide" and can file an online complaint on the same site.

Staff report

Leaking natural gas pipe shuts down 1 lane

A leaking natural gas pipe that shut down one lane of Southwest 13th Street Wednesday afternoon and evening was repaired by early Thursday, allowing traffic to return to normal.

According to Gainesville Regional Utilities spokesman Dan Jesse, the leak never posed a danger to the public.

It was the result of a crack in a cast iron pipe on the east side of the 800 block of Southwest 13th Street.

The leak was reported shortly before 4 p.m. and left 15 customers, including seven sororities, without natural gas. "We had crews working on this overnight to make the repair," Jesse said. "Like anything else, this was an old pipe and things do wear out."

Gas service had been restored to all but one sorority house by 9 a.m. Thursday, Jesse said.

Karen Voyles

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