Around the Region for Jan. 21, 2011

Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 11:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 11:32 p.m.


Released brothers face new charges

A pair of Levy County brothers recently released from prison for bank robbery have been jailed on drug charges.

Robert Huffman Jr., 34, and Daniel Huffman, 27, were arrested Wednesday night at 8151 NW 30th St. in Chiefland during the execution of a search warrant.

According to the Levy County Sheriff's Office, the Huffmans were charged with sale and possession of oxycodone as a result of undercover drug buys.

The Huffmans both have extensive criminal histories, including multiple prison terms. Florida Department of Corrections records show they were most recently released from prison after serving 3 years for robbing the Capital City Bank in Chiefland.

Robert Huffman was released in July 2009 and Daniel Huffman in February 2010.

— Karen Voyles

Two women charged in armed store robbery

Two women have been arrested and a man is being sought for a holdup at a Dixie County convenience store.

Old Town residents Shelly Jean Stroupe, 26, and Courtney Megan Johnson, 24, were arrested at their homes by the Dixie County Sheriff's Office late Wednesday for the Tuesday night armed robbery of the Trading Post.

Stroupe, who is accused of being the person seen on a surveillance camera wielding a gun, was charged with robbery with a firearm and grand theft.

Johnson was charged with being a principal in the first degree to robbery for apparently assisting in the robbery.

Both women were being held at the Dixie County jail in Cross City on Thursday.

Deputies were not releasing the name of the man suspected of being involved.

— Karen Voyles

Officials: Handyman stole from employer

A handyman hired to help a woman at her deceased mother's home in late December apparently helped himself to about $2,000 worth of family jewelry, Gainesville police report.

Gainesville Police Department investigators said they found some of the jewelry reported missing at a pawn shop.

Alachua County Sheriff's Office detectives found more of the jewelry in pawn shops outside the city, officials said.

The man accused of pawning the jewelry, Denis N. Dubuc, 46, of 4724 NW 35th Lane, was arrested by police Wednesday on charges of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and providing false information on a pawn form.

Police said Dubuc is a suspect in at least one similar case while he was employed as a handyman.

— Karen Voyles

Man accused of taking unemployment money

State officials have charged a Gainesville man with fraud for allegedly accepting more than $10,000 in unemployment compensation at the same time he apparently made more than $12,000 as a day laborer.

According to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Arthur B. Lee, 40, of 2212 NW 12th Terrace, claimed he was totally unemployed and cashed unemployment checks from April 2009 until March 2010.

However, investigators determined he was employed by Action Labor of Florida during the same time and being paid for his work.

Lee was booked into the Alachua County jail following his arrest Thursday afternoon.

He was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

— Karen Voyles


Battle of the blood donors: Cats vs. Gators

In the week before the University of Florida plays Kentucky in basketball, fans of both teams can show their loyalty in a blood drive challenge.

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers asks, "What color do you bleed?"

Donors in Gainesville will be pitted against those in Lexington, Ky., with all donations being tallied up between Jan. 24 and Jan. 28.

Whichever team draws the most donors earns bragging rights for the year.

Gainesville donors will earn a T-shirt featuring a slam-dunking Gator.

Donations can be made at either donor center, 1221 NW 13th St. or 4039 Newberry Road, or at one of next week's on-campus blood drives.

Donors must be 17 or older, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health.

A photo ID is required.

— Diane Chun

UF getting $7.9M grant to aid Mozambique

The University of Florida is getting $7.9 million to help reduce hunger and poverty in the African nation of Mozambique.

UF announced Thursday that it had been awarded the four-year grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

UF will lead a collaboration of universities and agricultural research agencies in the U.S. and Brazil.

The project is intended to increase agricultural productivity, create economic opportunities and improve nutrition in Mozambique.

Project activities in the country will start this spring.

Located in southeastern Africa, Mozambique is one of the world's poorest nations, and malnutrition is a widespread problem there.

— Nathan Crabbe

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