Around the region for April 10, 2013


Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 9:56 p.m.

Police beat

Two in Lake City charged with election fraud

Two Lake City residents surrendered to authorities Tuesday on charges of election fraud stemming from allegations involving the Lake city District 10 City Council election.

Betty Jefferson, 64, of Lake City, faces 24 felony and two misdemeanor violations of state election laws, while Linda Ivery, 56, of Lake City, is charged with six felony and two misdemeanor counts of election law violations, according to authorities.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation into the allegations. Both Jefferson and Ivery turned themselves in to the Columbia County Jail on Tuesday and were released on their own recognizance.

The allegations stem from the election of Eugene Jefferson to the District 10 City Council seat. Betty Jefferson, wife of Eugene Jefferson, and Ivery are accused of asking voters to sign absentee ballots that were already completed, fraudulently obtaining absentee ballots and attempting to influence or deceive persons into signing absentee ballots.

The investigation began following complaints to the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections and the FBI. State Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bill Cervone will prosecute the case.

— Staff report

Community

Farm and Forest Festival planned for April 20

The 35th annual Farm and Forest Festival, set for April 20 at Morningside Nature Center, will help celebrate Earth Day with a focus on the sustainable opportunities we have in the community, neighborhood and home.

Enjoy food, music, demonstrations, environmental displays and activities, live animals, guided walks and talks, and horse-drawn wagon rides at this year’s festival, which will place special emphasis on historical people and practices that help balance today’s modern trappings.

Admission to the festival, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 20, is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages three to 12. Admission is free for children under three.

Morningside Nature Center is located at 3540 E. University Ave., three miles east of downtown Gainesville.

For more information, contact Sally Wazny, environmental and cultural history programs coordinator, at waznysa@cityofgainesville.org or 334-3326, or visit www.cityofgainesvilleparks.org.

— Staff report

Help sought for Lake Alto Preserve project

In celebration of Earth Day 2013, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is hosting a volunteer stewardship event at the soon-to-be-opened Lake Alto Preserve on April 20.

The public is invited to participate at the event, which will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Because there will be multiple volunteer teams, participants are asked to RSVP prior to the event.

Participants may choose from three team projects:

  • Removing trash and exotic plants from the swamp surrounding the new boardwalk.
  • Removing trash from the edge of Lake Alto and near the newly refurbished dock.
  • Installing interpretive signs along the trail system.
  • Participants should bring a water container, snacks, bug spray, sunscreen, hats and work gloves.

Those wanting to pick up trash on Lake Alto by boat should bring a boat and enough personal flotation devices for their team.

The 662-acre Lake Alto Preserve is located in northeastern Alachua County between Lake Alto and Lake Santa Fe. It is adjacent to Lake Alto Swamp, a Suwannee River Water Management District property.

Features of the preserve include seven distinct natural communities, some in excellent condition, and a quarter of the entire shoreline of Lake Alto.

The Preserve comprises four tracts, which were purchased between 2005 and 2008, for a total of $3 million.

To RSVP, or for more information, contact Alachua County Senior Environmental Specialist Susie Hetrick at264-6835, 213-1217 or shetrick@alachuacounty.us.

— Staff report

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top