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The week in review

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 17, 2002

BELOVED TEACHER SUCCUMBS TO CANCER: Hunter's Green Elementary School teacher Carol Woodson died on Sunday at 53, after battling small-cell lung cancer for slightly more than a year.

An educator for 23 years and her school's Teacher of the Year, Woodson chose to spend the final year of her life teaching first grade. Administrators and coworkers supported her decision, and many students wore hats as Woodson lost her hair. Parents donated grocery store gift certificates and cooked meals during her chemotherapy. Staff participated in the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life" to raise money and to honor their colleague.

"I think in the long run those kids learned a tremendous lesson about dealing with things you have no control over and how to make the best of them," said her former principal, Barbara Hancock.

Woodson rarely missed a day until she took a leave of absence on Dec. 5. Another instructor who spent time with Woodson's class will continue teaching her first-graders.

BURGLARY SUSPECTS ARRESTED: Authorities on Tuesday said they have put an end to a string of burglaries that has plagued Meadow Pointe since November.

An undercover investigation led to the arrest Monday of Ronald Christopher Hasty, 19, whose address was unavailable, and Walter Brian Ortiz, 22, of 23211 Lucerne Place in Land O'Lakes.

A unit of deputies and detectives caught the pair as they tried to steal a package from the doorstep of a home in the neighborhood, sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers said.

Deputies said the men were driving a pickup truck that contained property suspected to have been taken during previous break-ins in the neighborhood.

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