In the News: Mindy McCready’s death, tax identity fraud, Everglades water project, Gainesville biomass
Embattled country star Mindy McCready dead at 37 of apparent suicide – On Sunday afternoon, the country singer Mindy McCready, 37, was found dead on her Arkansas home front porch. The authorities said she died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. McCready was the mother of a 6-year-old and a 10-month-old. A month earlier, police found the infant’s father dead on McCready’s front porch. He also took his own life and had used a gun. CNN
Florida hit by ‘tsunami’ of tax identity fraud – The IRS has detected an identity theft trend across the nation, centralized in Florida and mostly concentrated in Miami and Tampa. An accurate number of fake tax filings could be higher since fraud is difficult to track, according to a General Accountability Office report. in November. Unlike pervasive Medicare fraud in recent years, tax identity theft is often linked to violent crime and armed gangs. Orlando Sentinel
Everglades plan could siphon water from county wells – Everglades restoration engineers said a current project can be manipulated to protect water flow to Miami-Dade’s major well field. Increased suburban flooding from raising water levels in the Everglades has been a concern, and the current restoration project could pose the opposite problem. Re-plumbing certain levees, canals and pumps could potentially divert too much water from a well field that supplies most of Miami-Dade’s drinking water. The Miami Herald
Biomass plant nearly finished, but issues remain – The Gainesville biomass plant off U.S. 441 is 85 percent complete after two years of construction. Conveyors will begin burning wood debris to generate electrical power through the Gainesville Regional Utilities system. The plant should be ready for generating power by September, said Al Morales, chief financial officer with the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center. GRU continues to pursue methods that will prevent electric rate increases when the biomass plant is fully functioning on Oct. 1. The Gainesville Sun
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Two Alachua County law enforcement officers were reprimanded after using an armored vehicle to pull a man over. Lucas Jewell was on his way home after the Orange and Blue game with one other passenger in his car.
Gainesville resident Thomas Sanders has produced about 800 Vine videos and amassed an army of 5.8 million followers on the social app. Despite this new-found fame, Sanders is still an active member of the local community.
Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.
A University of Florida student combines faith and spirituality with the ancient art of henna to comfort cancer patients. Jeena Karr uses henna paste made from the flowering plant, Lawsonia inermis, to create intricate designs on the heads of those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.
Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.