Around the Region, Sept. 28


Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 5:57 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

County installs new emergency system

Alachua County Emergency Management has added the Emergency Alert System, a national public warning system that will allow fast delivery of television and radio warnings for life-threatening situations that are quickly developing.

This program will expand the county’s emergency warning capability. State and local authorities can use it to quickly provide the public with emergency information.

Local emergencies that would necessitate use of the system include flooding, severe weather, terrorism and chemical spills.

Another feature of the system includes a requirement that broadcasters provide communications capability to the U.S. president in times of national emergency.

People may request weather-related and other warning notifications on the CodeRed website, cne.coderedweb.com, or by phone at 264-6500.

— Staff report

Man accused of sexually assaulting Lake City teen

An Arkansas man was arrested Wednesday night in Lake City on charges of sexually assaulting a Columbia County teenager.

Anthony Bryant Swanson, 42, was charged with sexual battery of a child age 17 or younger, Columbia County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Seifert reported in a news release.

Swanson was staying in the Piney Woods Lodge, a motel on U.S. 90 West. The victim’s father told deputies his daughter might have had sexual contact with Swanson, Seifert said.

Deputy Chad Guerry saw a man matching Swanson’s description walking on a sidewalk near the hotel. Swanson ran when Guerry tried to stop him, but he was apprehended.

Seifert reported that Swanson admitted to deputies that he did have sexual contact with the girl, that he met her through a chat line and that he knew her age.

Swanson is a convicted sex offender in Arkansas, Seifert said.

— Cindy Swirko

Two robberies reported along East University Ave.

One man was robbed Wednesday night and another fought off a robbery along East University Avenue, the Gainesville Police Department reported.

The first incident happened about 11 p.m. in the 900 block when two men approached a victim and struck up a conversation, Lt. Mike Schibuola said. One of the culprits pulled a gun, and they stole the man’s cellphone and ran east, Schibuola said.

They came upon a man who was walking his dog and tried to rob him, but the man struggled with the culprits, and they fled, Schibuola said. A neighbor called 911.

No one was seriously hurt in the incidents, and no arrests have been made.

— Cindy Swirko

STATE

Year’s 1st case of Dengue Fever found in Miami girl

MIAMI — South Florida health officials say they’ve confirmed the state’s first case of dengue fever this year in a 7-year-old girl.

The Miami-Dade County Health Department said Thursday that the girl had not been traveling and contracted the flulike illness in Florida. She has recovered.

Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a species common in the southeastern U.S. and the tropics. It’s sometimes called “breakbone fever” because of the severe joint pain it can cause in extreme cases.

Dengue fever was once thought eradicated in the U.S. No cases were reported in Florida for more than half a century until a small number of people were diagnosed with the illness in 2009 and 2010.

Health officials say residents can protect themselves by reducing their exposure to mosquitos.

— The Associated Press

Man kills 2, hurts another before shooting himself

ORLANDO — Authorities say a man fatally shot two women and injured another before turning the gun on himself in Orlando.

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies pursuing the suspect Thursday saw him put a handgun to his head and fire just before his car crashed into a tree.

Earlier they say he killed his estranged girlfriend and another woman at the Quality Suites. He then drove to the Westgate Resorts and shot another woman. She’s expected to survive.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the shooting was part of an ongoing domestic dispute with the woman. Deputies served the man a domestic violence injunction Wednesday after an incident in Osceola County.

— The Associated Press

Alligator that ripped woman’s arm off killed

LEESBURG — Wildlife officials say they’ve caught and killed the alligator that ripped off an elderly woman’s arm in a central Florida canal.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Joy Hill says that while no human body parts were found in the alligator’s stomach, authorities believe it was the one that bit Carol Hough on Wednesday morning.

Hill says the 7-foot-5-inch alligator was the same size they were looking for, and it had no fear of humans.

— The Associated Press

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