Around the Region for Aug. 2, 2011

Published: Monday, August 1, 2011 at 10:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 1, 2011 at 10:13 p.m.


Burglar strikes woman in face

A Live Oak resident was punched in the face Sunday after interrupting an apparent burglary in progress, police reported.

According to the Live Oak Police Department, the resident arrived at home around 5:20 p.m. and found the back door ajar. The victim suspected the dog might have gotten out, stepped into the home to call for the animal and instead heard an unusual noise.

According to the resident, a man ran inside the home, punched the victim in the face and then fled.

The man was described as clean-shaven, fair-skinned, in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds. The man was black and was wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt.

Anyone with information may call Crime Stoppers at 386-208-TIPS/8477.

— Karen Voyles

Man is injured in a vehicle accident

A Melrose man received life-threatening injuries in a single-vehicle crash just after midnight Sunday.

Robert Jason Chamberlain, 23, was taken to Shands at the University of Florida in critical condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

FHP Trooper M. L. Quade said Chamberlain was driving his 2003 Chevy Silverado north on Clay County Road 219 northeast of Melrose at the intersection of Cygnet Lane.

Quade said it appeared Chamberlain’s truck left the pavement and went through six wooden fences in a pasture before coming to a stop.

The trooper said Chamberlain was not wearing a seat belt.

— Karen Voyles


SNAP doubled for farmers market

Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps, can double their benefits at the Alachua County Farmers Market on Saturdays through Sept. 24 or until funding runs out.

The nonprofit Florida Organic Growers is providing Double Dollar Coupons of as much as $25 per transaction for SNAP recipients using their electronic benefit transfer cards.

The coupons can be used with market vendors who offer products that include cheese, bread, fruits and vegetables.

FOG hopes to boost use of the market and provide needy residents with access to healthy foods, spokeswoman Christine Hale said.

The market is at the intersection of Northwest 34th Street and U.S. 441, and operates from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

The Double Dollar program was funded by a $48,600 allocation from Alachua County commissioners.

— Anthony Clark


Man gets 15 years for fatal crash

FORT MYERS — A Southwest Florida man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for a DUI crash that left two nuns dead.

A Lee County judge sentenced 62-year-old Michael Hickman on Monday after he pleaded guilty to two DUI manslaughter counts.

Authorities say three Cape Coral nuns were returning from a conference in Cocoa Beach in September 2009 when Hickman turned into their path at a North Fort Myers intersection. Two of the women — 80-year-old Karinne O’Malley and 84-year-old Ann McFall — were killed in the collision. A third nun, 67-year-old Elizabeth Meegan, was injured.

— The Associated Press

Order could give Anthony probation

ORLANDO — A Florida judge has signed an order that could require Casey Anthony to serve a year of probation for fraudulent check writing.

An assistant in Judge Stan Strickland’s office said the judge signed an amended court order Monday. Strickland sentenced Anthony in January 2010 to a year of probation for the fraudulent checks.

— The Associated Press

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