Around the Region for Nov. 2, 2010


Published: Monday, November 1, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 12:25 a.m.

POLICE BEAT

Man accused of battery on 81-year-old mother

A 56-year-old carpenter went to jail after his 81-year-old mother told the Gainesville Police Department he intentionally shoved or bumped her three times in an argument over a walking stick.

Thomas G. Lawrence III was charged with battery on a person age 65 or older.

Officer Kim Rosell said an argument escalated into physical contact around 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the woman’s home in the 3000 block of Northwest 45th Avenue.

The woman told police that during the argument Lawrence pushed her against a hallway wall inside her home. When the woman left her home to call for help, a witness reported seeing Lawrence push the woman and then bump her with his shoulder.

Once police arrived, the woman said her son had been living with her but she is scared of him and wants him out of her home.

Lawrence was booked into the Alachua County jail.

— Karen Voyles

Woman, 26, turns self in on stabbing charge

A woman turned herself in Saturday night shortly after Starke police discovered another woman with several cuts to her face. The victim survived.

The stabbing was reported shortly after 11 p.m. at a home at 915 Crosby St. in Starke, according to Capt. Barry Warren. The 21-year-old victim was taken to Shands at the University of Florida and had been released from the hospital by Monday afternoon.

While officers were interviewing witnesses, another woman, Tiara Jefferson, 26, of 1199 Crum St. in Starke, turned herself in to Bradford County deputies. After questioning by Starke police, Jefferson was charged with aggravated battery with a knife and then booked into the Bradford County jail.

According to Jefferson, she and the victim got into an argument that escalated into violence when the victim slapped her on the face. Jefferson told police she was responding to the slap when she struck the victim with a knife.

— Karen Voyles

Newspaper carrier helps quickly solve burglary

An alert newspaper carrier is being credited with helping the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office quickly solve a burglary.

A co-owner of the Little Red Store on County Road 251 South discovered the burglary early Sunday morning and told investigators it appeared to have been done by someone who knew a lot about the store.

Maj. Scott Harden said that while investigators were collecting evidence at the store, Gainesville Sun carrier Brian Privitt stopped by and told them what he had seen while on his route at about 4:30 a.m.

Using information from the store co-owner and from the carrier, Harden said deputies arrested two Cross City men.

Troy D. Rogers, 26, a former store employee, and Ryan N. Fletcher, 29, were arrested and charged with burglary, theft and dealing in stolen property.

Rogers and Fletcher were being held at the Dixie County jail on Monday.

— Karen Voyles

COMMUNITY

Local students receive permanent tooth sealants

Second-grade students at Rawlings Elementary School were the first in the county to receive permanent tooth sealants as part of a pilot program Monday.

Children filed through a modified kindergarten classroom operated by University of Florida dental students and faculty, said Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson.

The $20,000 program, created by the United Way of North Central Florida, will pay for applying sealants and fluoride on an estimated 2,500 county students to help protect their teeth from decay and cavities. Other partners include Oral Health America, Alachua County Public Schools, the Alachua County Health Department and Plackers.

United Way plans to apply sealants at two elementary schools, two high schools and Early Head Start programs.

Only students with signed permission slips will receive sealants.

— Jackie Alexander

Operation CarePak at SFC is back for a sequel

Community members will start assembling care packages for a Special Forces unit from Camp Blanding deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation CarePak2. The first packing will be Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Room 115 of Building D on the Northwest campus.

The group needs donations of white socks, shampoo, bars of soap and deodorant. Donations also will be taken for shipping and packing supplies.

Items can be donated on campus or at the following locations during normal business hours unless otherwise noted: A Child’s Academy, 3401 NW 34th St.; Alachua County Housing Authority’s D’ Acosta House, 703 NE First St.; Bailey’s Powerhouse Gym, 3441 W. University Ave.; Brame Architects, 606 NE First St.; Central Florida Office Plus, 10 NW Sixth St.; Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd.; Hospice Attic, 300 NW Eighth Ave.; Law offices of Wershow, Schneider, Arroyo & Talbert, 204 SE First St.; Napolitano’s Restaurant, 606 NW 75th St., 3:30-10:30 p.m.; Advantage Publishing, Inc., 4140 NW 37th Place, Suite D.

For more information, call Anne Marie Mattison, 538-2434, or visit www.sfcollege.edu/operationcarepak.

— Jackie Alexander

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