Around the region for Feb. 2, 2013
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:45 p.m.
Two women injured after car overturns
Two Lake City women suffered minor injuries after their car overturned several times when the driver ran off the road to avoid hitting a trailer early Friday morning in Suwannee County, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.
Treated for injuries at Shands Hospital at Live Oak were Katrina D. Hill, 39, and Markina K. Edwards, 23, FHP stated in a news release.
The accident occurred at 2:32 a.m. on U.S. 90 about one mile west of Live Oak. Hill was eastbound on U.S. 90, while Morris Oubre, 61, of Grand Prairie, Texas, was westbound turning left into a driveway.
FHP reported that Oubre, who was hauling a trailer attached to his 1994 Dodge Dakota pickup truck, violated Hill’s right of way.
Hill swerved to the right to avoid the trailer and overturned about three times. Her 2004 GMC Envoy ended up on its left side.
Both women were wearing seat belts. FHP reported their injuries as minor.
Oubre was charged with violating the right of way.
— Cindy Swirko
Walmart Supercenter has its 1st shoplifting incident
Gainesville’s new Walmart Supercenter opened its doors for the first time Friday morning, and by 3:30 p.m. a customer had been arrested and accused of shoplifting, the Gainesville Police Department said.
A loss prevention officer at the new store, located at 5700 NW 23rd St., told Gainesville police that he observed Charles R.J. Jackson, 31, of 1055 SW 62nd Boulevard, take an MP3 player valued at $79.38 from a store shelf and take the merchandise into the store’s men’s restroom.
The officer said he observed Jackson leave the restroom a short time later without the package, at which point Jackson was seen walking toward the store exit. According to a police report, the officer then entered the bathroom to find the empty MP3 packaging in a trash can. Jackson was confronted at the store’s front doors, police said, and later admitted to placing the MP3 player in his pocket because he did not have enough money to pay for it.
— Staff report
Hillsborough official calls for talks on Rays’ future
TAMPA — The chairman of the Hillsborough County Commission wants to convene a regional discussion about the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team.
The Tampa Tribune reports that chairman Ken Hagan will contact government leaders in the next two weeks to invite them to an open session about how best to keep the Rays in the region.
Hagan says he wants to meet with other local officials because the team’s principal owner, Stuart Sternberg told officials that the Rays want to stay in the area, but Major League Baseball might force a sale or move because of low attendance.
The team is contracted to play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg through 2027. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster has threatened to sue anyone who tries to lure the Rays away.
— The Associated Press
Prosecutor does not want Zimmerman trial delayed
ORLANDO — The prosecutor in the case of the former neighborhood watch leader charged in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin is asking the judge to deny a defense request to delay the trial.
In a written response to the motion to postpone the trial until November, state attorney Bernie de la Rionda said that George Zimmerman’s attorneys weren’t following the judge’s suggestions for obtaining wanted discovery documents faster.
On Wednesday, Zimmerman’s attorneys asked for more time to prepare, saying prosecutors had been slow to turn over evidence. De la Rionda responded saying the defense “wants the state to do its job.”
Zimmerman is claiming he acted in self-defense in shooting Martin last year and is pleading not guilty to a second-degree murder charge.
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
— The Associated Press
41 snakes dead so far in state’s ‘python challenge’
MIAMI — More than three dozen Burmese pythons have been hunted during Florida’s “Python Challenge” that ends in less than two weeks.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday that 41 of the invasive snakes have been killed in the Everglades since the competition began Jan. 12.
University of Florida researchers examine each snake hoping to learn more about the elusive species.
No one knows for sure how many pythons live in South Florida. Wildlife officials say eradicating pythons from the Everglades was never the goal of the monthlong challenge. Instead, they hoped to raise awareness about the snake’s threat to native wildlife and the fragile Everglades ecosystem. The snake faces both state and federal bans.
More than 1,000 people signed up for the challenge that ends Feb. 10.
— The Associated Press