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Around the state

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 15, 2000

Assistant principal suspended after arrest

PALM COAST -- An assistant principal at Flagler Palm Coast High School was suspended with pay after being charged with driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Volusia County authorities arrested John Highsmith, 35, of Palm Coast on Sunday night.

Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Phil Cook said Highsmith's vehicle was found stopped in the westbound lane of U.S. 92 in Daytona Beach with the motor running about 9:30 p.m. He said Highsmith and a passenger, Lori Fortier, 37, of Palm Coast, were both passed out.

After arresting Highsmith, Cook said, he discovered a brass pipe in his pocket. The pipe "smelled strongly of marijuana," and a field test of the residue was positive, according to the report.

Fortier, a fifth-grade teacher in the St. Johns County School District, was not charged, police said.

Disney restaurant gets AAA's five-diamond rating

ORLANDO -- The Disney restaurant Victoria & Albert's has been given AAA's five-diamond rating, the auto and travel club said.

Victoria & Albert's, in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, has been in business since June 1987. It features continental cuisine with Southern influences.

The restaurant is Disney's first to receive the top five-diamond rating from AAA. Three other Florida restaurants have the five-diamond rating: the Grill in the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island; the Dining Room in the Ritz-Carlton, Naples; and the Restaurant at the Four Seasons, in the Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach.

Woman swims 5 miles to shore after boat sinks

PONCE INLET -- A sailor escaped with scratches and achy muscles after abandoning her sinking sailboat in dark waters and swimming 5 miles to shore.

Sophia Hargreaves, 27, doesn't know what her 19-foot Ranger sailboat hit, jolting her from sleep. But she knew it was holed and no amount of bailing could keep the boat afloat.

Hargreaves, an experienced sailor and diver, left St. Augustine late Sunday aboard the Titisello. She planned to be home in Daytona Beach by midnight Monday.

When a friend from North Carolina couldn't reach her at home after that, he called the Coast Guard. "We got word at 4:30 a.m. and about an hour later . . . we heard she swam ashore," said Coast Guard Executive Petty Officer Malcolm Kennedy.

Christopher Phelps, Ponce Inlet fire chief, said his department got a 911 call from Hargreaves from a phone at a convenience store, just a few hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean.

Hargreaves was checked at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach and released.

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