Title: Citrus County chronicle
ALL ISSUES CITATION THUMBNAILS ZOOMABLE PAGE IMAGE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028315/00005
 Material Information
Title: Citrus County chronicle
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Citrus County Chronicle
Publisher: Scofield Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Inverness, Fla.
Inverness Fla
Publication Date: January 5, 2005
Copyright Date: 2006
Frequency: daily[<1987-1995>]
weekly[ former <1939-1968>]
semiweekly[ former <1980-1981>]
daily
regular
 Subjects
Subject: Newspapers -- Inverness (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Citrus County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Citrus -- Inverness
Coordinates: 28.839167 x -82.340278 ( Place of Publication )
 Notes
Additional Physical Form: Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1889?
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 48, no. 51 (June 8, 1939).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028315
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 15802799
alephbibnum - 366622
lccn - sn 87070035

Full Text




Orange Bowl
USC, Oklahoma
vie for national
championship
at the
Orange Bowl
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A llan Mello visualizes master-
pieces from misshapen
lumps of wood.
This is his first step in creating his
dragons, wood spirits, whales and
elephants.
Mello's work is the product of
power carving- a craft that utilizes
handheld drills and
electric sanders to
shape.wood.
"I carve a little bit
of everything,"
Mello said.
A resident of
Floral City, Mello,
53, has been power
Allan carving for almost
Mello 17 years.
power carver, He first learned
artist. about the unique
hobby when he and
his wife, Cissie Mello, were visiting
a flea market and saw: a booth with
hand-carved wooden wizards.
"'I thought, "I can do that,'" Mello
said. 'And that's what got me into
woodcarving," Mello laughed,. "a
flea market"
Now he spends about eight hours
a day, six days a week, working in
the driveway of his home, to shape
wood into ideas of his own cre-


action.
Mello boasts that he
does not carve from
drawings or sketches,
but from his own ides.
He tells customers that
if they find his work is a
copy of that of another
wood carver, he will give
them a refund.


CALL
E To lear
about
Mello's
carving
him at
72665E


'Anyone who gets one of my carv-
ings knows it's one of a kind," Mello
said.
His wife said Mello's work is cre-
ated with a passion for nature and
imagination.
'"Allan's just artistic," Mrs. Mello
said. "He's always done stuff like
this he's just so imaginative."
Some of Mello's more unique
pieces are two statue heads of
Jesus Christ and Moses. Mello used
cedar to make the carvings because
the inside of the wood is red and


Annie's Mailbox ..
~i Movies ........
4! Comics. .......
4r Crossword . . ..
S Editorial .. ....
Horoscope . . .
Obituaries .. .
Stocks ........
Three Sections


IL8IIIII I2ll iii25
6 457820025


BRIAN LaPETER/Chronicle
Allan Mello's office Is his front yard In Floral City, where he works on woodcarvings six days a week. He creates
carvings from several Inches to several feet tall, Including this wood spirit he named Ivan.


creates the illusion of blood tears
dripping down the faces.
"It's art and I love creating new
things," Mello said. "It keeps your
mind going."
Another statue of sea
.HIM life is about four feet
tall and sits on a rotat-
n more ing pedestal. Mello
Allan 'incorporated 21 types
wood- of sea animals spi ra ling
s call up the cone-shaped
(352) cypress knee. The sea-
561. life statue took Mello
about 100 hours to fin-
ish and will sell for about $1,100, hel
estimated.
One of his popular carvings is
wood spirits, which look like wiz-
ards or gnomes.'
"I call this one Ivan because I
carved him off and on' during, the
hurricanes," Mello said.
Ivan also has a beard that swirls
slightly, like the satellite pictures of
a hurricane.
Mello sells his work at art shows,
but more commonly to people who
drive by and see him working.


Allan Mello doesn't let.any piece of spare wood go to waste. He carved faces
on these leftovers.


While selling his art supports
him and his wife, one of his more
memorable gifts is his 9-year old.
dog, Callie. A woman at a flea mar-
ket wanted an eagle sculpture he


had carved and offered one of her
puppies as payment
"It was great because I can just
whip these things out," Mello said,
"but I can't make a dog."


Health department slates shot clinic


Flu vaccine offered
TERRY WITT
terrywitt@chronicleonline.com
Chronicle
The Citrus County Health
Department will offer 500 adult
influenza shots Thursday at a clinic
in Citrus Springs.
Announcement of the clinic came
just days after health department


Spirit of the season





t-


A school class shares their version of
T'was the Night Before Christmas."/1C


tests confirmed the first case .of.
influenza in Citrus County.
The health department will sell flu
shots at the clinic for $15. Pneumonia
shot tickets will sell ,for $25.
Health department employees will
begin the flu shots at 9 a.m. Residents
will not be allowed to call in advance
to reserve a ticket They must buy it
on site.
Nursing Supervisor Nancy Davis
said the flu season typically begins in
early January or .February and lasts


Orphans
face danger

UNICEF
hopes to
prevent
widespread
smuggling of
vulnerable
children
S orphaned by
the tsuna-
mi./12A'


for a couple of months ..
People are not instantly immunized
from the flu when they get the shot
Davis said it takes two weeks for the
flu vaccine to work
The Florida Department of Health
purchased the latest 500 doses of flu
vaccine from California, which has a
surplus.
Many high-risk individuals will not
get flu shots this year due to the
nationwide shortage of vaccine.


He ain't
heavy...
Twin teenage
brothers
undergo con-
troversial gas-
tric bypass
surgery to
shed the extra
pounds that
make them
morbidly
obese./11A


Power carving: A cut above

Woodcarver uses

tools to create art
CRUSTY LOFTS
cloftis@chronicleonline.com
Chronicle


County officials
sworn in
* A group of Citrus
County officials
are formally
sworn in./3A
* Inverness' Crown
Hotel nears com-
pletion./3A
* An 81-year-old
man is arrested
for domestic vio-
lence./3A


ToIbddlers


alone


while


;Imother


drinks

AMY SHANNON
ashannon@chronicleonline.com
Chronicle
Citrus County Sheriff's
deputies arrested an
Inverness woman Tuesday
morning after she left her two
small children home alone for
nearly seven hours while she
went out drinking and later
passed out at another house.
Kathryn Craft, 21, told a
deputy she
went out drink-
ing at 11:30
p.m. Monday
and left a 3-
year-old girl
and a 19-
month-old girl
with a babysit-
ter Kathryn
A man be- Craft
came con- left children
cerned for the alone at
children's well- home.
being when he
arrived at the house between
4:30 and 5:30 a.m., and found
Please see TODDLERS/Page 4A


County


grows at


record


pace

TERRY WITT
terrywitt@chronicleonline.com
Chronicle
Jim Baird figured the flood
of building permit applica-
tions would slow during the
Christmas and New Year's hol-
idays, just as it always had in
Citrus County, but admits he
was wrong.
"It's not slowing down at all,"
Baird said Tuesday "Con-
tractors are still coming in
with boxes of permits."
Baird, assistant director of
the county building depart-
ment, said construction activi-
ty this year could be just as
high as last, based on conver-
sations with contractors and
observations of permit activity.
With interest rates for mort-
gage loans remaining low, he
said people are lining up to
borrow money for homes. The
low interest and good econo-
Please see PACE/Page 5A


SO YOU KNOW
P The flu vaccine clinic begins at 9 a.m.
Thursday in the Citrus Springs
Community Center at 1570 Citrus
Springs Blvd.
U.Residents can take County Road 491
north through Beverly -lills and turn
left on Deltona Boulevard, then take
the next left on Citrus Springs
Boulevard. The community center is
on the left.
I Or, residents can take U.S. 41 north
toward Dunnellon and make a left on.
Citrus Springs Boulevard.







CITRUS COUNTY (FL) CHRONICLE


FNTEIRTATNMTE NTF


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Sn %WEDI~NESDAY, JANUARY/Si K5, Z JINAjflJJNX


Florida
LOTTERIES


Here are the
winning numbers
selected Tuesday
in the Florida
Lottery:


CASH 3
9-2-3
PLAY 4
5-5-6-7
MEGA MONEY
1-12-15-27
MEGA BALL
17
FANTASY 5
6-10-16-18-21
MONDAY, JANUARY 3
Cash 3:0-4-5
Play 4:1- 5 -1 7
Fantasy 5:1 -5 -9-15 18
5-of-5 No winner *
4-of-5 542 $243,087
3-of-5 13,155 .$7
SUNDAY, JANUARY 2
Cash 3: 6-4-7
Play 4:7 -6 8 -7
Fantasy 5: 9 24 26 29 31.
5-of-5 1 winner $174,614.32
4-of-5. 169 $166.50
3-of-5 6,627 $11.50
SATURDAY, JANUARY 1
Cash 3:4-8-9
Play 4:5 7 -1 5
Fantasy 5:4 7- 15 16 23
5-of-5 1 winner $218,093.68
4-of-5 420 $83.50
3-of-5 11,205 $8.50
Lotto: 11 21 32 35 42 46
6-of-6 2 winners $20 million
5-of-6 126 $4,646.50
4-of-6 6,727 $70.50
3-of-6 131,613 $5
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31
Cash 3:8 4 1
Play 4:9-8- 0- 0
Fantasy 5:1 17 18 28 36
5-of-5 3 winners $85,627.99
4-of-5 349 $118.50
3-of-5 10,469 $11
Mega Money: 14 -16 38 42
Mega Ball: 12
4-of-4 MB 1 winner $900,000
4-of-4 7 $1,601
3-of-4 MB 55 $446.50
3-of-4 1,102 $66.50
2-of-4 MB 1,788 $28.50
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30
Cash 3: 9-6-2
Play 4: 8-0-3-9
Fantasy 5: 13 20 22- 27 34 '
5-of-5 3 winners $73,708.28
4-of-5 237 $150


INSIDE THE NUMBERS
U To verify the accuracy of
winning lottery numbers,
players should double-check
tre .numbers printed above
with numbers officially posted
by the Florida Lottery. On the
WeD, go to www.flalottery
.com; by telephone, call (850)
487-7777.


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New county officials sworn in


Hensley joins

four others in

taking oath

MIKE WRIGHT
mwright@
chronicleonline.com
Chronicle
Five constitutional offi-
cers, including one dubbed
the "brand newest" by
Circuit Court Judge Patricia
Thomas, took their oaths of
office Tuesday afternoon
before family and friends jn
the historic Citrus County
Courthouse.
New Property Appraiser
Melanie Hensley joined
Sheriff Jeff Dawsy, Super-
Visor of Elections Susan Gill,
" Clerk of Court Betty Strifler
and Tax Collector Janice
Warren during the swearing-
in ceremony.
Ron Schultz, who retired as
property appraiser after 14
years in office, led the Pledge
of Allegiance. Schultz said
later that, except for a two-
year stint around 1980, this is
the first time since 1966 he's
attended a swearing-in cere-
mony in Pinellas or Citrus
counties where he wasn't one
of those taking the oath.
"I don't know what it
means yet," he said of retire-
ment. "I'm delighted with the
succession."
Angela Vick, who is
Strifler's administrative serv-
ices director, joined Kim


WALTER CARLSON/For the Chronicle
Circuit Court Judge Patricia Thomas administered the oath of office Tuesday for constitutional
officers at the Historic Courthouse. From left, are: Melanie Hensley, Melanle's husband Rocky
Henslev and Thomas. ,


Jeff
Dawsy
Citrus County
Sheriff.


Betty
Strifler
Clerk of
Court.


Esckelson and Aimee Kelso in
singing a heart-warming Na-
tional Anthem. Vick said the
other two attend Seven Rivers


Janice
Warren
Tax
Collector.


Susan
Gill
Supervisor of
Elections.


Presbyterian Church with her.
Thomas kept the ceremony
light-hearted. After swear-
ing-in Dawsy, she said: "I


begged him. to say a few
words and he, uh, said no."
Audience members includ-
ed Superintendent of Schools
Sandra "Sam" Himmel, tech-
nically a constitutional offi-
cer who took her oath in
November with three school
board members.
Thomas said Citrus resi-
dents are fortunate to be led
by this slate of officers.
"We have five of the finest
constitutional officers in
Citrus County," she said,
then, nodding to Himmel,
added, "You're off to a won-
derful job, too."


Elderly man arrested in battery case


AMY SHANNON
ashannon@chronicleonline.com
Chronicle


Sheriff deputies arrested an 81-year-old
Bteverly Hills man Monday after he report-
ed1ly kicked an 83-year-old woman's ankle,
causing bruising Sunday.
'Walter Robertson denied kicking the
woman in the ankle. He also denied twist-
ifig her wrist during a separate argument
t(iat occurred four or five days earlier.
Robertson told a deputy the woman
attempted to hit him with a rolling pin
duringg the first argument
,A deputy saw obvious bruising on the


woman's body and arrested Rqbertson at
5:41 p.m.
According to the arrest report, this is
what happened:
A deputy was dispatched to the woman's
Beverly Hills house in reference to a bat-
tery incident.
The woman told the deputy Robertson
had physically and mentally abused her
for 31 years. The woman sIId I~bbertson
grabbed her right wrist, twisted it behind
her back and caused it to bruise four to
five days ago: She also said he later kicked
her on her inside left, ankle during the
second argument.
The woman said Robertson is very con-


trolling and she fears him. She said he
owned a gun and has threatened her in the
past with it.
Robertson told the deputy he disarmed
the woman of a rolling pin during the first
argument, which caused bruising to her
right wrist
He told the deputy the woman grabbed
an iron bar and threatened to kill him
with it during the second argument. IHe
said he wrestled the woman for the iron
bar and it accidentally struck her on her
left ankle.
The deputy arrested Robertson and
charged him with domestic battery
No bond was set


Crown Court promises to add touch of royalty


SRefurbished

fliwillkeep

class appeal

DAVE PIEKLIK
: dpieklik@
chronicleonllne.com
Chronicle

,More than three dozen
Citrus County residents will
J on be treated to a touch of
royalty.
I'The Crown Court assisted
tiing facility in Inverness Is
nearing its grand opening. A
state surveyor from the Agency
for Healthcare Administration
is touring the buildiiii. thIhi
week, and if (',*vr'ilhi| I, is
approved, the facility is expect,-
1


ed to open Jan. 17.
The building, at 109 North
Seminole Ave. in Inverness, is
the former 34-room Crown
Hotel. When it opens, Crown
Court will have 34 single resi-
- dent rooms, with a two-bed
suite for couples.
The facility will retain the
hotel's original Victorian-style
charm with brass lighting and
faucet fixtures, antique fur-
nishings, paintings and refur-
bished rooms.
Marje Van Tassell, facility
administrator, said the survey-
or will inspect the building, go
over resident contracts and
care, and discuss the facility's
mission, She said if given the
!rii'ri light, residents will be
able to move in,
So far, 10 realdents hav@
handed in deposits to reserve a


The facility will retain the hotel's
original Victorian-style charm, with
brass lighting and facet fixtures,
antique furnishings, paintings and
refurbished rooms.


room, which will cost about
$2,000 a month.
The facility features a street-
level dining area with a grand
piano and windows overlooking
downtown, along with a bar that
has been converted into an ice
cream parlor. A movie theater
and library will occupy the sec-
ond floor, along with a small
kitchen,
In the back, a pool and seat-
ing area 1111 a largo iiiil.iy ril.
which guests can got to by


walking on a path through a
covered patio.
Workers continue putting the
finishing touches on the facili-
ty, including setting up comput-
ers in the library and bringing'
in furniture.
Van Tassell said she's ecstatic
the opening date's approaching.
"We're excited to be in here,
taking care of our residents,"
she said, "the most distin-
,ii-.ichd population of Citrus
County,"


' 4.
6


MADD


founder


jailed

DAVE PIEKLIK
dpieklik@
chronicleonline.com
Chronicle
A former county resident
and founder of the local
Mothers Against Drunk
Drivers chapter remains in
jail for violating her probation
for a gun charge.
Mary Leigh Gonzalez, 37, of
Ocala, has been serving five
years probation after pleading
,guilty to a charge of aggravat-
ed assault with a deadly
weapon. The charge stems
from an altercation Nov. 20,
A2Q03, when she pointed a
handgun at a man following a
dispute at bar in Inverness.
Gonzalez began serving the 60-
month probation on Aug. 20,
2004.
She was'arrested Dec. 18 for
the alleged probation viola-
tion. According to a warrant
issued for her arrest, Gonzalez
was seen Nov. 23 on a video
surveillance camera at a Sears
Department Store in Ocala
placing jewelry, perfume and
other items into a bag before
leaving the store. The warrant
says she did not pay for the
items, which were valued at
$166.99.
Court records say when
interviewed by investigators,
she said she did not know why
she took the items, because she
had more than $1,000 on her.
She said the whole thing was
"a misunderstanding" and that
everything would be straight-
ened out
Circuit Court Judge Ric
Howard ordered Gonzalez
remain in custody until a Jan.
21.. hearing.' He recommended
a mental health evaluation be
performed before proceeding
with her probation violation.
According to records, before
she was sentenced a doctor
diagnosed her as suffering
from bipolar disorder, panic
disorder, generalized anxiety
disorder and agoraphobia, the
,fear of open, public places.
'Slte has been taking medica-
tions for the disorders.
Gonzalez had been facing
five years .in prison for the
assault with a deadly weapon
charge. According to investiga-
tors, Gonzalez was at Griff's
Bar in the early morning hours
Nov. 20; 2003, when she pulled
out an unloaded Beretta 9-mil-
limeter handgun. Her arrest
report says Kevin Sweade and
an unidentified woman were
involved in horseplay when
Gonzalez interrupted.
Investigators say she
thought the argument was
real. The report says she
pulled out the gun and put it
within 6 inches of Sweade's
face. She told him to stop and
leave.
In an interview with
deputies, Sweade said he
"thought he was going to die."
Gonzalez's plea deal came
after several friends spoke of
her commitment to her com-
munity, and to the now-defunct
MADD chapter. Her mental
condition was also taken into
consideration.
As part of her punishment,
Gonzalez was ordered to write
a letter of apology to Sweade
and perform community serv-
ice.


Co0 vri


Correction
Due to reporter error, a story

on Page 3A of Tuesday's edition




























Crystal River Police Department
and Florida Highway Patrol







reported a 39.5 percent drop in
hour New Year's holiday period.
The Chronicle regrets the









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County BRIEFS

Roads to close for
Manatee Festival
The Citrus County Chamber
of Commerce announces the
closure of CR 495 (Citrus
Avenue) from U.S. 19 to Crystal
Street from 3 p.m. Friday until 7
p.m. Sunday in preparation for
the Florida Manatee Festival.
The following connecting roads
will also be closed; Northwest
'First Avenue from U.S. 19 to
Crystal Street, Northwest
Second Avenue from U.S. 19 to
Northwest Seventh Street and
Northwest Seventh Street from
C.R. 495 to Northwest Third
Avenue.
Alternate roads available will
be Crystal Street and North
Turkey Oak Drive. Call the
Citrus County Chamber of
Commerce at 795-3149 or
726-2801.
Those wanting to attend the
Manatee Festival on Saturday
and Sunday should park at the
Crystal River Mall, on the south
end near Kmart. A free shuttle
service is available for those
attending the event.
DEP to conduct
weed control effort
The Department of
Environmental Protection will
conduct aquatic weed control
operations during the weeks of
Jan. 10 through Jan. 21 in Lake
Rousseau, using EPA-approved
herbicides. Water hyacinth and
water lettuce will be maintained
using the herbicide Reward.
People using these areas of
Lake Rousseau for domestic
purposes or for irrigation are
cautioned that treated water
should not be used for a period
of five days in Reward-treated
areas. No livestock should be
watered for one day in Reward-
treated areas. Water shall not
be used for drinking (does not
apply to tap water) for two days
in Reward-treated areas.
EDC to hold
Smoothly meeting
The monthly executive com-,
mittee meeting of the Citrus"
County Economic Development
Council will start at 2 p.m. today
in the boardroom of the Citrus
County Chamber of Commerce,
28 N.W. U.S. 19, Crystal River.
No new business appears on
the agenda. The meeting will
include time for public comment.
From staff reports







CITRUS COUNTY (FL) CHRONICLE


4A WIEDNEISDAY, JANUARY 5, 200


For the RECORD


Crystal River Police
Domestic battery
arrest
Christopher Andrew
LaRocca, 18, Hemando, at 12:52
p.m. MondWy on a charge of domes-
tic battery.
A police officer was dispatched to
the parking lot of Small World
Daycare in Crystal River in refer-
ence to a battery. A woman told the
officer her live-in boyfriend,
LaRocca, came to her work at the
daycare and started an argument
about a cell phone, according to the
report. She said as she went outside
the business, LaRocca grabbed and
squeezed the back of her neck and
grabbed her left arm.
The officer did not see any red
marks on the woman's neck or face,
but did see redness on her left arm
as if it had been grabbed or struck.
LaRocca told the officer he
grabbed the woman's arm and that
he was sorry, according to the
report.
No bond was set.
Citrus County Sheriff
Domestic battery
arrest
Lucio Nascimbeni, 38,


Homosassa; at 11:18 p.m. Monday
on a charge of domestic battery.
A deputy was dispatched to the
area of Rosedale Drive in
Homosassa, in reference to a phys-
ical altercation. Nascimbeni told the
deputy he hit a 48-year-old
Homosassa woman in her head dur-
ing an argument about a dog. He
said the woman then scratched him
in the face.
The deputy saw a large bump on
the crying woman's left temple.
No bond was set.
Other arrests
U Bradford Baldwin, 45,7636 E.
Shore Drive, Inverness, at 3:40 p.m.
Monday on a charge of possession
of marijuana.
He was released on his own
recognizance.
Anthony. Carl Palmiero, 45,
4335 N. Saddle Drive, Beverly Hills,
at 4:13 p.m. Monday on a charge of
petty theft.
He was released on his own
recognizance.
Teresa Marie Simcox, 19,
6298 S. Rainbow Point,
Homosassa, at 4:41 p.m. Monday
on charges of resisting/obstructing
an officer without violence and on a
Citrus County warrant for violation of


ON THE NET
For more information
about arrests made by'
the Citrus County
Sheriff's Office, go to
www.sheriffcitrus.org and
click on the link to Daily
Reports, then Arrest
Reports.

probation in reference
A deputy made contact with a
Florida Highway Patrol trooper in
reference to Simcox's active war-
rant. Simcox gave her personal
belongings to her boyfriend and fled
the scene on foot. She was later
found underneath a porch.
Her bond was set at $500.
Edward James Pfeifer, 23,
4419 E. Lucy Court, Hemando, at
6:51 p.m. Monday on charges' of
possession of marijuana, posses-
sion of drug paraphernalia and driv-
ing with a suspended license.
His bond was set at $1,500.
Jessica Zane, 19, 429
Hiawathea Ave., Inverness, at 12:14
a.m. Tuesday on a charge of pos-
session of drug paraphernalia.
She was released on her own


recognizance.
Craig Garkus, 21, 701 W.
Perry St. unit 1, Paulding, Ohio, at
1:26 a.m. Tuesday on a charge of
carrying a concealed weapon.
A deputy conducted a traffic stop
on U.S. 19 in Homosassa on a Black
Pontiac without tag lights. The
deputy asked the driver if he had
anything illegal in the vehicle,
according to the arrest report. The
driver told the deputy there was a
knife in the center console.
The deputy asked the passenger,
Garkus, if he had anything illegal in
his possession. Garkus showed the
deputy a pair of black metallic brass
knuckles.
His bond was set at $500.
Erica Danielle Wiley, 28, 7831
E. Floral Park Drive, Floral City, at
1:31 a.m. Tuesday on charges of
driving with a 'suspended license
and an illegal license plate.
A deputy activated his emergency
lights to conduct a traffic stop on a
pickup truck traveling 50 mph in a
35-mph zone in Hernando.
The woman's driver's license had
been suspended on three, occa-
sions. The tag was not assigned to
the truck it was attached to.
Her bond was set at $2,500.


Burglaries
A burglary was reported at
11:53 a.m. Monday, Dec. 27,
between 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec.
22, and Monday, Dec. 27, to a motor
vehicle at the 5000 block of West
Cr6me Court, Dunnellon.
A representative of First
Christian Church, West Grover
Cleveland Boulevard, Homosassa,
reported at 11:10 a.m.. Wednesday,
Dec. 29, a burglary between 4:30
p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, and 9:20
a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, at the
church and grounds.
A burglary was reported at
10:29 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29,
between 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 29, to a vehicle at
a bar-night club at the 8000 block of
West Miss Maggie Drive,
Homosassa.
A burglary was reported at
12:53 p.m. Monday, between 3 p.m.
Saturday and Monday, to a resi-
dence on the 6000 block of West
Akazian Lane, Homosassa.
S.A burglary was reported at 1:38
p.m. Monday, between 10:40 a.m.
and 1, p.m. Monday, to a residence
at the 7000 block of West Quiana
Lane, Dunnellon.
A burglary was reported, at 6


CITRUS" COUNTY (FL) CHRONICLE


TODDLERS
Continued from Page 1A

the children unsupervised.
Craft was unable to provide
correct contact information for
the female babysitter she said
supervised the children.
Sheriff's office spokes-
woman Gail Tierney said
investigators believe the 3-
year-old girl was sexually
abused recently, but are
unsure if the abuse occurred
during Craft's absence.
Tierney said the 3-year-old
made a statement to a third
party possibly a family mem-
ber that something hap-
pened to her in her private
parts.
"Now the idea is to find out
what happened and who was
involved," Tierney said.
She said Department of
Children and Families con-
ducted a Children's Protective
Teams medical test on the girl
and found "unusual findings,
at least indicating that some-
thing happened."
According to the arrest
report, this is what happened:
A man called deputies to
report two unattended chil-
dren at Craft's house. The man
told the deputy dispatched to
the house that Craft was out
drinking and told him to meet
her at her house at 4:30 a.m.
When he arrived, no one .was
home except the children.


The deputy made contact
with Craft, who was sleeping at
a house three miles away. It
took Craft 45 minutes to arrive
at her house once she was noti-
fied that the children were
unattended.
Craft told the deputy she left
the children with a babysitter.
at 11:30 p.m. so she could go
drinking. She said she came
back to the house at 3:30 a.m. to
find the children sleeping on a
couch and the babysitter sleep-
ing on Craft's bed.
Craft said she was only going
to go out again for another 30
minutes, but instead passed,
out at another house.
In the arrest report, the
deputy wrote, "If it was not for
law enforcement arriving at
the residence, the defendant at
least would have never been
home before 8 a.m."
The deputy asked Craft for
contact information for the
babysitter to verify her story.
Craft gave the deputy an
approximate address and a
phone number for the babysit-
ter.
The number came back to an
elderly man who had no idea
who the babysitter was and
why anyone would give his
telephone number.
The deputy went to the
address where Craft said the
babysitter lived, but no one on
the street had ever heard of the
babysitter.
Craft later gave the deputy
the name and number to the
babysitter's best friend, who


lives in Texas. Craft said this
was the one person who would
definitely know the babysitter.
The deputy called the
woman in Texas, but she said
she had never heard of anyone
by the babysitter's first or last
name.
Craft later told the deputy
that the babysitter went to
Florida State University and
'prior to that was a student at
Citrus High School.
The deputy contacted CHS
officials and they did a search
for not only CHS, but for every
school in Citrus County. They


found that n
babysitter's n
enrolled.,
The deputy
FSU officials a
was enrolled b
In the arr
deputy wrote,
was never a b
defendant's re
At 9:28 a.i
arrested Craft
with child neg
failed to prove
and her failure
of the children
abused.
The deputy
Craft that eve
was present a
elected to care
because she a
to watch the
not knowing
the woman.
She was ja
bond.


: '"Copyrighted Material' 7

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Deputies search for suspects


in burglary, purse snatching.
7*


Similarities

noted in vehicles
AMY SHANNON
ashannon@chronicleonline.com
Chronicle


1o one by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office
aame was ever investigators searched for clues
Tuesday afternoon into two sep-
also contacted arate incidents a car burgla-
nd found no one ry and a purse snatching-both
y that name. involving a suspect described as
est report, the a young female who sped off in
"I believe there a small white car.
abysitter at the At 1:05 p.m., deputies
sidence." received a call about two young
m., the deputy women stealing a purse from a
and charged her woman's car in the Homosassa
lect because she Winn-Dixie parking lot, said
ide supervision sheriff's offices spokeswoman
e resulted in one Gail Tierney.
n being sexually Tierney said the first young
woman distracted the purse's
owner as she sat in the driver's
y explained to seat of a car. A second young
n if a babysitter woman grabbed the purse from
nd left, she neg- the passenger side when the
for the children owner wasn't looking.
Ilowed a person The young women ran away
children despite on foot, but the purse's owner
anything about chased them down and
retrieved the purse.
ailed on $5,000 Deputies were unable to
locate the suspects.
Hours later, deputies
received a call at 3:41 p.m. that
a young woman snatched a
purse off an elderly woman's
arm as she walked away from
an ATM at SunTrust bank in
__- ,. Beverly Hills, Tierney said.
The elderly woman withdrew
about $100 from the ATM and
^ putit in her purse, Tierney said.
Seconds later, a young woman
came from behind and grabbed
her purse. The elderly woman
told deputies she saw a young
woman sitting on a bench in
I | J front of the bank prior to mak-
S/laeP ing the withdrawal.
"Several witnesses ran after
SI I the suspect, but apparently she
had a good start," Tierney said.
- "No one visually saw a second
person, but there very well


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could be a second person
involved."
In the second case, the young
woman ran off with the purse
and into a small white car
Tierney said investigators are
exploring all angles to the
cases, including the similarities
in the suspect descriptions and

SC I T R U S


nature of the cases.
"Is possible for it to be the;
same suspects? Yes," Tierney,
said. "Is it absolutely certain?.,
No." .,
Anyone with information
about either case should call
the Sheriff's Tips Line at (888),
269-8477. ;;

C O U N T Y


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p.m. Monday, between 8:10 a.m.
and 10:50 a.m. Monday to a resi-
dence at the 8000 block of East
Gobbler Drive, Floral City.
Thefts
An employee at Chicken King,
North Florida Avenue, Hemando,
reported at 6 a.m. Monday a theft,
between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and
3:30 a.m. Monday, at the restaurant.,
A theft of a bicycle was report-,
ed at 5:39 p.m. Monday, between
noon Sunday and 3 p.m. Monday, at'
the 1000 block of North Haggerty,
Point, Crystal River.
A theft was reported at 10:14,
p.m. Monday, between 5:30 p.m.
and 10 p.m. Monday, at a residence,
at the 200 block of South Fillmorm
Street, Beverly Hills.
Vandalism -.
A case of vandalism wag
reported Wednesday, Dec. 29, at'
8:43 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 'a
residence at the 6000 block of
West Heritage Drive, Homosassa&
A case of vandalism was,
reported at 8:31 a.m. Monday,
between 11 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m'.
Monday, at a business parking lot at
the 400 block of East Highland'
Boulevard, Inverness.


ff M-1-


L








C'iCOIINY (FL) CHRONICLE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2005 SA
CrrmlsR COUINTY (FL.) CHIRONICLF________________ _ ___------------------------------- ------


RELIEF
Continued from Page 1A

The private donations are in
addition to the $350 million
pledged thus far by the U.S.
government Two ex-presidents
renowned for their fund-rais-
ipg prowess Bill Clinton and
George H.W Bush have been
recruited to spur more private
giving.
"The No. 1 recipient, by far,
lihs been the American Red
Cross; its pledged tsunami
donations as of Tuesday
totaled $92 million.
.'"Something about this disas-
ter has really touched a chord,"
shid Suzanne McCormick, who
heads the Red Cross chapter in
southern Maine. "In terms of
international relief, we have
ever seen anything on this
salee"
1Other major recipients
included the U.S. Fund for
UNICEF and Doctors Without
Borders USA, with donations
oi' about $20 million apiece;
a;hd World Vision, Oxfam
A4nerica, Catholic Relief
Services and Save the
Children, each reporting gifts
of roughly $15 million from
U.S. sources.
Dozens of other agencies
also were collecting funds for
tsunami relief. A New Jersey
council of mosques raised
$250,000, the Akron, Pa.-based
Mennonite Central Committee
$2.5 million.
World Vision set a $50-mil-
lion goal to help victims of the
tsunami, the largest single
commitment in its 54-year his-
tory.
'"This disaster came on in an
instant, but it will take years to
6elp survivors rebuild their
lives," said World Vision presi-
dent Richard Stearns. "This


U.S. tsunami donations top $200 million
In just more than a week Americans have donated more money
to tsunami victims than they did for Central America's Hurricane
Mitch in 1998 and the Ethiopian famine of the mid-80s. For victims
of Sept. 11,2001, $2.3 billion in donations were collected.


Tsunami aid raised by some top
American relief organizations
In millions
American Red Cross $92
Doctors
Without Borders 20
UNICEF* 20
Catholic
,Relief Services 15
Oxfam America 15
World Vision USA 15
Save the Children 15
CARE USA 111

international .................
Rescue Committee i2 fund


American Red Cross largest
international disaster responses
In millions
Hurricane Mitch '98 $50
Balkans crisis '99 39
Africa famine '85 25
Mexico
earthquake '85 20
Rwanda crisis '94 18
India
earthquake '01 14
Armenia
earthquake '88 14
Turkey
earthquake '99 12


NOTE: Hurricane Mitch affected El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
SOURCES: American Red Cross; Association of Fundraising Professionals;
Chronicle of Philanthropy


tidal wave of generosity will
help them rebuild."
Baltimore-based Catholic
Relief Services has committed
$25 million for relief efforts;
spokeswoman Caroline
Brennan said her colleagues
were confident of raising that
sum without dipping into
* reserves.
"We usually receive $40,000 a
month through our Web site,
and now we've been receiving
$100,000 an hour," she said.,
"It's overwhelming. We're
enormously grateful."
Doctors Without Borders
USA, a branch of Medicines
Sans Frontieres, has advised


its supporters that it has r
enough to meet imme
needs related to the tsu
and urged donors to give
other programs.
"We can't accept any
restricted donations at
time," said spokeswoman
Torgerson. "But we very
appreciate unrestricted
tions to meet need
Southeast Asia and else
that are not in the imm<
spotlight."
Numerous U.S. corpor
have made large donatic
including $10 million last
from Coca-Cola and $5 m
Tuesday from Midland


based Dow Chemical Co. The
Connecticut-based relief group
AmeriCares received $500,000
from The New York Stock
Exchange Foundation.
Major drug companies such
as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson
and Bristol-Myers Squibb have
been giving not only cash but
also antibiotics, bandages, pain
relievers, syringes and other
supplies.
Celebrities also are pitching
in. Bullock gave $1 million to
the Red Cross, while Leonardo
9 DiCaprio, who filmed "The
Beach" on a Thai island in the
tsunami zone, set up a link on
his Web site for relief dona-
tions. Singer Willie Nelson
agreed to headline a benefit
concert Sunday in Austin,
Texas.
In Ohio, the majority owner
of the Cincinnati Reds, Carl
Linder, and his son, Carl
Linder III, provided $200,000
for a flight carrying 60,000
pounds of antibiotics, food and
water for tsunami victims in
India and Sri Lanka.
In Fargo, N.D., which was hit
AP by the Red River flood in 1997,
city officials agreed to give
$10,000 of taxpayer money to
tsunami relief.
raised "As I think back to the flood...
ediate and the amount of assistance
unami- we received from so many peo-
to its ple and communities, I feel
compelled to reciprocate,"
more Mayor Bruce Furness wrote in
t this a letter to city commissioners.
n Kris In Chattanooga, Tenn., some
much errant motorists were given
dona- extra incentive to donate -
s in Municipal Court Judge Russell
where Bean is letting them give $100
mediate to tsunami relief rather than
pay a traffic fine.
nations "I don't want to force this on
ons them," Bean said. "But I
.week thought this would be a good
million way for people to make a dif-
Mich.- ference."


Puhlix to -


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PACE
Continued from Page 1A

niy, he said, both contributed to
tle high growth rate.
I The county has statistics to
verify the booming construc-
tion trade.
IAt noon on Dec. 30, the day
before the county closed for the
New Year's holiday, the num-
ber of development permit
applications for the year had
reached 16,000, a 20-percent
increase from the previous
y ar and a 45-percent increase


from 2002, according to
Development Services Director
Gary Maidhof.
Development permit applica-
tions cover everything from the
repair of homes and businesses
to new construction. The coun-
ty's busy tropical storm season
in August and September might'
have contributed to the
increase in permit activity. But
it wasn't responsible for the
entire increase, Maidhof said.
Maidhof said the county
added 3,000 new site-built
homes and mobile homes in
2004, an increase of about 33
percent from the previous year.


And those new homes had noth-
ing to do with the storms.
Another growth indicator is
building inspections. The coun-
ty building department con-
ducted 75,840 inspections in
2004, an increase of 36,140 from
the previous year.
The increase in inspections
was not caused by changes in
the Florida Building Code in
2001, Baird said. The code has
required more inspections for
the past three years.
Baird said the increase was
due to the booming construc-
tion industry.
The University of Florida's


Bureau of Economic and
Business Research estimates
Citrus County's current popula-
tion is 129,110.
By 2010, the bureau projects
the county's population will
grow to 143,200.
But growth is nothing new
here. The 1980 Census set
Citrus County's population at
54,704, but the county grew to
93,513 by 1990. In the 2000
Census, the population had
reached 118,088.
Bureau Director Stan Smith
said the bureau's statistics are
usually accurate.
In the year 2000, he said the.


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RIGHT TO REFUSE PAY, CANCEL, OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT, WHICH IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AN
REE.DISCOUNT ED FEE, OR REDUCED FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION OR TREATMENT OFFER EXPIRES 1/31105 NOT VALID WITH PRIOR PURCHASES PRICES ILLUSTRATIVE OF
' STANDARD FRAMES. MAY NOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER OR INSURANCE UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, POWER OVER STANDARD AND PRISM ADDITIONAL,


bureau was almost dead-on in
Citrus County. He said the
bureau estimated the county's
population would be 117,786.
The Census Bureau counted
118,088.
The bureau uses the number
of building permits and the
number of electrical housing
meters to determine how much
the population of a given coun-
ty grows.


But the bureau's statistical
year is from April 1 to April 1,
rather than January to
December. That means the lat-
est numbers for Citrus County
do not include the last nine
months of high growth activity.
Whether that will change the
bureau's population projec-
tions for the county is unknown.
The numbers won't be avail-
able until after April 1.


Small Price



FURNITURE

DEPOT
Top Notch New
& Used Furniture
& ,)k -- Ethan Allen Thomasville
Drexel Broyhill


f~


1 1 '1


* Loveseats....... ........ ............................ from S195
* Formal Dining Room Table w/leaf & 6 chairs
w/large Hutch (Fruitwood) .......................$995
* Couch & Loveseat .............................. ..$...... 795
* Recliners (all colors) ............................ from $125
* Sofa Sleepers............ .......... .......... $395
* Leather Loveseat (cream)..............................$295
* King Arthur Grandfather Clock.....................$795
*Thomasville Table w/4 chairs.........................$295







u -- so .e E
* HBIE.ZBH *


Z''726-4835
" i' 565 Hwy. 41 South
Inverness, FL
M A
Sa. 0A.. P_


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