Ex-official sentenced in Levy bribery case
A former Levy County commissioner has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for bribery and other crimes.
William Samuel Yearty, 64, of Gulf Hammock received the sentence Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Yearty and another former commissioner, Robert Anthony "Tony" Parker, were convicted of conspiring and soliciting bribes to approve what they believed to be a new development project.
Parker was sentenced to five months of probation.
Yearty also was convicted of making false statements to a federal agent.
A videotape played at their trial showed the two officials making a deal with an FBI agent posing as a principal in a fictitious company. They were arrested in November 2008.
PORT ST. LUCIE
3 family members face animal cruelty charges
Three members of a family preparing to move from Port St. Lucie to North Carolina have been charged with packing more than 20 cats into poorly ventilated wooden boxes, authorities said.
The new owner of a Port St. Lucie home spotted three wooden boxes stacked near her neighbor's yard Saturday. Animal control officers responded and freed several cats.
Then, authorities say, 34-year-old Jessica L. Eskew arrived in a van with several dogs and cats inside. The van was towing an open trailer, which was carrying a wooden box with 20 more cats inside, some of them close to heat exhaustion.
After Eskew's parents — 59-year-old James F. Eskew and 56-year-old Shelia N. Eskew — arrived, all three were charged with felony animal cruelty.
Thirty-two cats and two dogs were taken by animal control officers.
PANAMA CITY BEACH
Teen put fake bomb in school, officials say
An 18-year-old Panhandle student was arrested after being accused of planting a fake bomb in the restroom of his high school.
The Bay County Sheriff's Office said Lars O'Mara admitted that he made the device to gain popularity and get people out of class.
A student alerted authorities Monday morning after spotting the device taped beneath a sink. It contained no dangerous materials and appeared to be a cell phone and Nintendo Game Boy with protruding wires.
An evacuation lasted about an hour, but officials say three-quarters of the student body either didn't return or were picked up by worried parents.