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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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By Times Staff Writer
Published December 19, 2007
ST. PETE BEACH
third-grader, 11, arrested after showing off gun
A third-grader was arrested Monday after bringing a gun to Gulf Beaches Elementary School and showing ammunition to other students, Pinellas County school officials said. School district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn said the boy, 11, was arrested after a student reported the incident to administrators. Pinellas school police arrested the boy and confiscated the handgun. Zahn said school officials do not believe the boy, who is not being named, intended to harm anyone. But they did refer the case to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office for possible charges.
$6,090 stolen from Toys for Tots drive
Robert William Blomquist accepted $6,090, authorities say, that was supposed to go to Toys for Tots. But none of that money bought any toys for any tots, officials say. Blomquist, 66, of Hudson was arrested Monday on a charge of grand theft. Blomquist, who served in the Marines, is a former coordinator of Toys for Tots Holiday Detachment 567, the very charity he's accused of stealing from. He was suspended Tuesday from all activities at Marine Corps League Detachment 567, the charity's sponsor, pending the outcome of his case. Blomquist was booked into the Pasco County jail but released on $5,000 bail early Tuesday morning. He did not return a call for comment Tuesday.
NEW PORT RICHEY
30 years for man in truck attack
Gary Lee Wilson Jr. plowed his pickup truck through the front of a bank in January 2006 in an attempt to kill his ex-girlfriend. He also slit his own throat. Bystanders tackled him as he tried to escape and asked him: Why? His reply: "I was in love." He agreed to spend 30 years in prison for that crime Monday, and this may have been the reason why: to avoid a life sentence. Wilson, 30, pleaded no contest to three counts of attempted first-degree murder. Not only was his ex-girlfriend, Kelly Webster, inside the SunTrust branch on U.S. 19 south of Main Street, but so was her mother, Renee Webster, and grandmother, Linda Hodges. Mother and grandmother both suffered broken legs. Circuit Judge Thane Covert adjudicated Wilson guilty. Because of the defendant's prior prison record, the 29-year-old Wilson will have to serve every day of his 30-year sentence.