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FBI says Clearwater man tried to defraud women in jobs scam

A Clearwater man was arrested Thursday in Tampa on charges that he tried to defraud women by advertising jobs for flight attendants _ jobs that the FBI says never existed. Lonnie Luerue Donaghue, 40, was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the nationwide scheme, said FBI agent Sue Bucenell. Donaghue and an unidentified accomplice in Ohio were accused of advertising in newspapers for would-be flight attendants. Women responding to the ads would leave their phone numbers with a voice-mail system, and the FBI said Donaghue would contact certain women and say he needed them to fly to another city for an interview. The women were coaxed into wiring him a portion of their travel expenses via Western Union, the FBI said. Agents began investigating Donaghue in September, a month after he was released from federal prison on similar charges for a similar scheme in 1992, the FBI said. It was unclear whether Donaghue, of 101 Brigadoon Drive, remained in custody late Thursday.


INTERSTATE 275 FATALITY IDENTIFIED. The driver of a Ford truck that hit a guardrail and flipped near Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg on Wednesday night has been identified as a Bradenton man, police said Thursday. Loyd Harris Glasgow, 30, died in the truck within minutes of the accident on the Gandy Boulevard entrance ramp to I-275, police said. Glasgow had been driving east on Gandy when he missed his turn and left the roadway to reach southbound I-275, police said. The truck hit the guardrail and flipped, trapping Glasgow inside. A passenger identified as Daniel J. Guth, 44, of Palmetto, was wearing a seat belt and managed to escape the truck uninjured, police said. The accident forced police to close the entrance ramp for 4{ hours. Police said they continued to investigate whether the accident involved alcohol. Several cans of opened and unopened beer were found in the truck.

CHAMBER BRANCH SET FOR NORTHWEST HILLSBOROUGH. In a move signaling the growing economic importance of northwest Hillsborough County, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce executive committee voted unanimously Thursday to organize its first branch chamber council. The Northwest Area Council of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce has been on the drawing board for about two years. Carrollwood Area Business Association president Jim Keeper said the branch organization will provide support for an area that is often forgotten by the county's major chamber of commerce. A steering committee plans to begin meeting next month to define goals and organize the council before recruiting members. About 500 Northwest area businesses already belong to the Greater Tampa Chamber.

TALBOTS CLOTHING STORE COMING IN FEBRUARY. Talbots, a classic-clothing store for women, will open its first Pinellas store in the Countryside area in February. The new store will be at Northwood Plaza on McMullen Booth and Enterprise roads. Spangles and glitter? There's little of that at Talbots. Behind the trademark red doors are wooden shelves stacked high with soft, wool sweaters. Costume-jewelry displays feature lots of pearls with an occasional rhinestone. And navy blazers, khaki slacks and silk skirts with paisley prints are always in season. Talbots "will be a good addition to the mix (of stores) that's already there," said Margaret Burnside, fashion editor of Tampa Bay Magazine.

FOUR MORE SUSPECTS CHARGED IN CRIME RING. Four more people were charged Thursday in a series of crimes that spanned four counties and involved two former police officers, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said. The four were linked to a variety of crimes, including burglaries, thefts and fraud, the FDLE said. Released after short stays in the Manatee County Jail on Thursday were Rafael Estrada, 35, Kimberly Marie Gray, 26, Ricardo Alvarez Silva, 27, and Dane Scott Weddle, 25. They were named this week in documents charging former Bradenton Officer Paul Haga with masterminding a criminal enterprise. Haga, 29, turned himself in Monday after prosecutors filed 61 charges against him. He has been released on $4,488 bail. Another former officer, Kelsey Hines, also has been implicated. He has agreed to testify against the others, FDLE agents said.