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One killed, one injured critically in wreck

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2000


BRANDON -- One man was killed and another critically injured Wednesday night when their car skidded out of control on John Moore Road, flipped and hit a utility pole, the Sheriff's Office said.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt, and both were ejected from the 1990 Mazda Miata, authorities said. The driver, 39-year-old Richard Steven Eckleberry, of 3218 Welborn Way in Tampa, died at the scene. Michael Shane McGuire, 38, of 3301 Las Brisas Drive in Riverview, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. He remained in critical condition Thursday night.

The accident happened about 10:20 p.m. as Eckleberry drove south on John Moore Road two miles south of Bloomingdale Avenue. The accident is under investigation.

Police release sketch of rapist, ask for help

TAMPA -- Police detectives have a detailed description of the man they say forced a woman inside her home and raped her on April 6.

On Thursday, the detectives released a sketch of the man who forced his way inside the Caracas Avenue home as the victim returned home about 5 p.m. with an armload of groceries.

The suspect is a black man in his mid-20s, about 6 feet 1 and slim, weighing about 145 pounds. He has tattoos on both arms, and the one on his right forearm has the name "Melody" inscribed.

The day of the attack, the suspect wore a white ribbed tank top, brown jeans and brown work boots with untied laces. He wore a black or gray pantyhose skull cap on his head and wore a letter medallion -- either "F" or "B" -- on a gold chain around his neck. The victim told police the man fled in a newer two-door black sedan that might have been a Lexus with silver wheel rims.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Detective John Yaratch at (813) 276-3536 or Crimestoppers at 800-873-8477.

Tampa tries to upgrade its Web accessibility

TAMPA -- Go to the city of Tampa's Web site, and you can learn about the city's water restrictions, find a list of job openings and check on the number of crimes in more than 200 different parts of the city.

By the end of the year, that Web site, www.ci.tampa.fl.us, might also let users pay their water bills online, apply for jobs or request accident reports.

"What we're attempting to do is all about improving customer service . . . and we're doing that by increasing access to City Hall," city Director of Planning and Management Rick Smith told the City Council on Thursday.

Officials hope to request proposals in May from companies that want to establish the service, tie it into the city's data bases and operate it. A decision on which company to hire could be made by the end of the summer, and the service could be available toward the end of the year.

As expected, the company running the service would recoup at least some of its costs by charging a fee each time someone used the Web site to carry out a transaction.

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