Around the region for July 8, 2013


Published: Monday, July 8, 2013 at 10:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 8, 2013 at 10:47 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Man accused of stealing laptop

A 35-year-old Gainesville man is accused of stealing a laptop computer and charger over the weekend from the Walmart Supercenter at 1800 NE 12th Ave.

Police say that, according to the store’s loss prevention unit, Corey M. Smith went to Walmart on Saturday and took a $598 computer after breaking open the security tag.

Smith returned to the store on Sunday and took the computer’s charger for $39, but loss prevention was able to stop him, according to reports. The computer has not been recovered and is reported as stolen in state and federal records, police say.

Smith was charged with second-degree petty theft, two counts of using an anti-shoplifting control device countermeasure and grand theft.

He was booked into the Alachua County jail, where he remained Monday in lieu of $85,000 bond.

— Kristine Crane

STATE

Tampa police search for missing TB patient

TAMPA — Authorities are searching for a woman infected with tuberculosis who left a Tampa hospital against doctor’s orders.

Tampa police say 53-year-old Sarah Williams tested positive for tuberculosis at Tampa General Hospital around noon on Saturday. She left the hospital before receiving results from her tests.

Hospital officials contacted Tampa police.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that affects the lungs. It was not clear whether the woman suffers from latent or active TB. Latent TB is not contagious.

— The Associated Press

Woman, 23, dies in boating accident

FORT MYERS — One woman died in a boating-related accident on a Southwest Florida river.

Authorities said 23-year-old Maleah Nowak of Cape Coral died Sunday on the Caloosahatchee River. A tube on the boat she was riding in flew out, and the line attached to it wrapped around her neck, pulling Nowak into the water.

Investigators are examining the boat for clues to shed light on what led up to the woman’s death.

Gary More of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told WZVN that he’s never seen a death caused by these exact circumstances before. But he added that wind can be a problem on any vessel, and boaters need to take that into consideration before taking off.

— The Associated Press

Venezuelan opposition leader speaks in Fla.

DORAL — Venezuelan lawmaker and opposition leader Maria Corina Machado told supporters in Miami on Monday that their voices are critical in getting a message out to the world: That Nicolas Maduro is not the legitimate president of Venezuela.

“It’s so important that we know the power of every voice, of every letter from every finger,” she said as the crowd took photos and sent Tweets from their cellphones.

Her words were enthusiastically received in South Florida, where the largest concentration of Venezuelans outside that South American country reside, the majority of them staunch opponents of the late President Hugo Chavez and his hand-chosen predecessor, Maduro.

Machado said the diaspora’s chief priority must be to show the international community that democracy does not exist in Venezuela, that human rights are being violated and that the April election results are fraudulent.

“I want us to leave here today with a clear work agenda,” Machado, 45, said in a speech at the University of Miami.

Maduro narrowly won the election by a margin of 1.5 percentage points. Venezuela’s Electoral Council affirmed the result in an audit in June, but opposition candidate Henrique Capriles and his supporters continue to contest the results.

They say the audit was a farce and that a full recount is needed — not just comparing votes electronically registered by machines with the paper ballot receipts they emitted, but with poll station registries that contain voter signatures and digitally recorded fingerprints.

A preliminary report on the election by the Atlanta-based Carter Center found the Venezuelan population, political parties and candidates in general have “demonstrated confidence” in the automated touchscreen voting machines used in the election.

— The Associated Press

Woman falls three stories from walkway

ORLANDO — Police are investigating after a woman fell three stories from a walkway connecting a parking garage to a building in downtown Orlando.

Television station WESH reported that the woman landed on a car when she fell on Sunday morning.

Police said she was taken to an Orlando hospital but her injuries were not life threatening. Police are trying to determine how the woman got over the walkway’s guardrail.

— The Associated Press

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