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Child in hospital after being hit by truck

A 12-year-old boy was in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital Wednesday after he was hit by a truck as he rode his bike across Highway 92 in Seffner.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Nathan Musclewhite tried to cross the busy highway at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Nathan rode between two stopped cars in the westbound lane and out into the eastbound lane, where he was hit by a Dodge truck driven by David J. Fahlsing, 20, of Thonotosassa.

Troopers said Fahlsing had no time to stop. Fahlsing is not charged in the accident.

Lounge owner, partner

convicted in tax case

TAMPA _ The owner of Dallas Bull, a country and western dance lounge on U.S. 301, was found guilty Wednesday of filing false tax returns and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Federal prosecutors said Norbert Nissen, of Brandon, with the help of a partner, Dawn M. Langston of Thonotosassa, underreported the lounge's income in 1991 and 1992 by more than $1-million.

Langston was found guilty Wednesday of assisting Nissen in the fraudulent activity.

Nissen and Langston each face a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Arson is blamed

in apartment fire

TAMPA _ Arson caused minor damage to an apartment building early Wednesday, authorities said.

The blaze at 4013 N Howard Ave. began about 5:20 a.m. in the basement, fire officials said. The apartments above the laundry were not damaged.

Killer wants to be

co-counsel in rape trial

TAMPA _ Willie Crain, convicted of first-degree murder in September for killing 7-year-old Amanda Brown, asked a judge Wednesday to let him help represent himself when he goes to trial on five rape charges.

Crain, 53, wants to keep his court-appointed lawyer, Scott Robbins, and be granted co-counsel status. Circuit Judge Cynthia Holloway said she would consider it.

Crain, who was sentenced to death for killing Amanda, could get a life sentence if convicted on the rape charges.