Around the region for Jan. 22, 2011

Published: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:00 p.m.


Police: Man pulled gun on roommate

An argument between roommates apparently over underpaid rent on Thursday evening ended with one being charged with aggravated assault with a gun.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office sent several deputies to 6217 NW 18th Ave. after one roommate, Charles Taylor, called 911 and said Juan Michael Alvarez was threatening him with a shotgun.

The first deputies at the scene said they found Taylor cowering on the ground outside the apartment and ordered everyone inside the apartment, including Alvarez, to come out. A subsequent search of the residence turned up a gun and marijuana, according to Deputy Thomas Thueson. The basis of the dispute was apparently that Taylor had stopped paying rent and agreed to move out but had not, deputies said. Alvarez told deputies he "lost control," but denied using a gun.

— Karen Voyles

Man critical after motorcycle crash

A Lake City motorcyclist was hospitalized in critical condition following a Friday afternoon accident in Columbia County, reported the Florida Highway Patrol.

Injured was Trey F. Green, 20. He was taken to Shands at the University of Florida, according to an FHP media release.

The accident occurred about 3:25 p.m. on State Road 47 at Walter Avenue.

Green was southbound on State Road 47 on a 2004 Honda motorcycle behind a 2003 Cadillac SUV driven by James A. Cook, 24, of Lake City, FHP reported.

Cook stopped to make a left turn onto Walter Avenue. As he was turning, Green drove into the northbound lane to try to pass Cook, the FHP said. The left side of Cook's SUV hit the right side of Green's motorcycle, troopers said. Green was thrown from his motorcycle and Cook was not injured, the FHP said.

— Cindy Swirko

Phone call at jail leads to an arrest

A jailhouse phone conversation led to the arrest of a second person in connection with one of the recent copper thefts in Alachua County.

The Gainesville Police Department said it used information from a recorded telephone conversation to arrest Jennifer Leigh Bossert, 33, of High Springs, on Thursday on burglary and grand theft charges.

Bossert is accused of acting as a lookout on Jan. 6 while Paul D. Messer, 25, removed the copper from an air conditioner outside a northeast Gainesville home.

Messer, who was previously arrested in the case, called Bossert from jail. Police said Messer and Bossert both made statements during the call that implicated Bossert in the theft.

Bossert and Messer were both being held at the Alachua County jail Friday.

— Karen Voyles

Banner day for fire sprinklers

Automatic fire sprinklers are getting credit for rapidly extinguishing two fires on Thursday, one in a nursing home and another in an apartment.

According to Don Campbell, Gainesville Fire Rescue's acting district chief, crews from Gainesville and Alachua County Fire Rescue went to the first call at Summerville of Gainesville, a nursing home at 1001 SW 62nd Blvd.

An automatic fire alarm had been activated. Firefighters and staff discovered a fire had started in a storage room. Campbell said the single sprinkler head in the room put out the blaze.

The second fire broke out at in a kitchen at the Enclave Apartments at 3000 SW 35th Place Again, firefighters found that a single sprinkler head was activated and extinguished the fire.

— Karen Voyles

Memorial is to be dedicated today

A memorial dedication in honor of all United States veterans will take place today at 11 a.m. at the Santa Fe Cemetery, off U.S. Highway 301 and County Road 18 in Hampton.

The dedication, hosted by the Hampton Veteran's Memorial Fund, will feature a fly-over, guest speakers from the office of U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns and the Alachua County Office of Veterans Services, and a benediction from Chaplain Bob Lucas.

— Staff report


Solar array being installed at center

Construction is under way on a 350-kilowatt solar array with nearly 1,500 panels covering 46,000 square feet of rooftop on the Publix- anchored shopping center at 3720 NW 13th St.

Gainesville Regional Utilities will buy the energy the array generates through the solar feed-in tariff program. It is expected to come online by the end of March.

Nautilus Solar of Summit, N.J., is leasing the roof space from Stafford Properties of Atlanta. Inman Solar, also of Atlanta, is the lead contractor on the installation. Nautilus bought the interest in the project from New York companies BrightPath Energy and The Real Thing Solar Energy Services, which held the original reservation.

The project will be one of the five largest rooftop solar systems in Florida, BrightPath said in a news release. The largest is a 1.6-megawatt array over Butler Plaza.

— Anthony Clark

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