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Dateline Florida

Published June 13, 2007



There was this incident over the weekend where a woman was injured on the Suwannee River. If you've lived here for a while, you can probably guess how. Yep, a leaping sturgeon jumped up out of the water and struck the woman, who was boating north of Rock Bluff. Tara Spears, 32, was knocked unconscious but not seriously injured, the Associated Press reported. Sturgeon, which have hard plates along their backs, can grow up to 8 feet long and up to 200 pounds. In 2006, eight people were injured by them on the river.

For taxi driver, better safe than sorry

Another area cabdriver was robbed early Tuesday morning, but this time the driver simply handed over the money his passenger demanded. Police said Independent Taxi driver Nicholas Patras, 49, picked up a passenger at the St. Pete Diner around 3:50 a.m. and drove to Sixth Avenue S and 26th Street in St. Petersburg. The assailant, who was unarmed, demanded money from Patras, who forked over $7. The robbery was at least the fourth of a cabdriver in the Tampa Bay area in recent weeks.

Robbers find out what it's like to lose money

Crime doesn't pay. A federal judge this week approved prosecutors' motions seeking to seize the assets of the so-called Band-Aid Bandit and his sidekick, who were convicted of robbing six banks in west Florida. Rafael Rondon, 47, of Clermont and Emeregildo Roman, 54, of Davenport were ordered to give up their guns, bank accounts and more than $500, 000 in cash. The two face as many as 100 years in prison when they are sentenced June 29. Rondon got his nickname because he often wore a bandage to cover a distinctive mole on his face. Authorities say he was responsible for 39 heists.

[Last modified June 13, 2007, 00:33:48]

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