Around the region for Jan. 15, 2011

Published: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 10:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 at 10:57 p.m.


New fire chief will start this Wednesday

Ocala City Manager Rick Horst has named John DeIorio as Fire Chief for Ocala Fire Rescue, effective Wednesday.

According to a new release from Ocala Fire Rescue, DeIorio will succeed Dan Gentry, who is retiring after 24 years with the agency. DeIorio was hired as Deputy Chief in August 2010 as part of a succession planning effort.

DeIorio has 26 years experience, starting as a firefighter with Palm Beach Fire Rescue in 1984 and retiring as Acting Fire Chief in 2004, according to the release. He worked for the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal at the Florida State Fire College as Domestic Security Coordinator and with Marion County Fire Rescue as an Assistant Chief.

He has completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and is a designated Chief Fire Officer through the Commission for Public Safety Excellence. He also is a recent graduate of the Naval Post Graduate School's Center for Defense and Homeland Security Master's Degree program.

The release notes that he and his wife, Elaine, reside in Marion County with their six children.

County to hold 2 meetings Tuesday

The Alachua County Commission will hold two meetings on Tuesday.

Commissioners will have an informal meeting at 10 a.m. At 1:30 p.m. there will be a special meeting on the criteria for the Community Agency Partnership Program in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Through CAPP, the county provides funding to area nonprofit groups.

— Christopher Curry

‘Town hall' on sales tax is Feb. 1

Alachua County's "town hall" meeting on the potential placement of a sales tax referendum on the November 2012 ballot is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

County Commission discussions in recent months have focused on a half-cent or full cent tax for infrastructure projects, including the county's backlog of road resurfacing needs.

During the meeting, county staff will make a presentation on the "potential use of a sales tax for pavement management of county and municipal roadways," County Manager Randall Reid wrote in a Thursday e-mail. There will be public comment.

The meeting will take place in Room 209 of the County Administration Building, 12 SE First St.

— Christopher Curry


6 students injured in bus, SUV crash

FORT LAUDERDALE — Officials say six South Florida elementary school students were injured when their bus collided with a SUV.

Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue reports that the children were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries Friday afternoon.

Authorities didn't report the cause of the crash.

— The Associated Press

Man convicted in shooting of teen

NAPLES — A southwest Florida man has been convicted of fatally shooting a teen on New Year's Day last year.

A Collier County jury found 24-year-old James Menard guilty Friday of manslaughter, third-degree felony murder and aggravated battery. He had been facing greater charges of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder. He could still face a life term in prison at his Feb. 11 sentencing.

Menard told jurors he was worried about his safety when he pulled a .40-caliber Glock pistol from his waistband last January and fired at least five times.

— The Associated Press

Officer dies after SWAT team tryouts

DAVIE — A South Florida police officer who collapsed during his department's SWAT team tryouts earlier this week has died.

Davie police say 27-year-old Rogerio Morales died Thursday at a Weston hospital. Officials believe Morales might have had a heart attack, but an autopsy has been ordered to determine an exact cause of death.

Morales — who was described as being very physically fit — collapsed Monday while completing a physical agility test. He was given first-aid by a Davie paramedic at the scene before he was taken to the hospital.

— The Associated Press

Man gets 16 years prison for crash

PENSACOLA — A Florida Panhandle man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for a crash that killed one of his teenage passengers.

An Escambia County judge sentenced James Gray Hartsfield II on Friday.

He had pleaded no contest to one count of vehicular homicide, three counts of felony reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

— The Associated Press

Officials: School sub punched kids

SARASOTA — A substitute teacher at a Gulf coast elementary school was arrested and faces allegations he punched two students and pushed another.

Authorities say 55-year-old William Amory faces child abuse charges.

According to authorities, he was substituting for a second grade class at Booker Elementary School last week when he became angry because he couldn't get the classroom's ActivBoard to work.

— The Associated Press

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