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MUSIC TEACHER ACCUSED OF CHILD ABUSE

BRANDON

A Kingswood Elementary teacher was charged with child abuse Friday after an incident in his music class, according to jail records. Robert William Nicholson, 52, of 10517 Deepbrook Drive, Riverview, grabbed a 10-year-old from behind Wednesday, according to the arrest affidavit. The 10-year-old victim was a student in his music class, said Debbie Carter, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The teacher told deputies that the boy was being inattentive. Carter said he moved the boy about 6 feet, gripping him in a bear-hug-type hold around his upper body, which the boy complained constricted his air passage. Nicholson was released from the Orient Road Jail on $2,000 bail. He has worked for Hillsborough schools for 19 years, teaching music.

TAMPA

Palin rally set for Convention Center

More details on Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's visit to Tampa on Sunday: She'll hold an 11 a.m. rally at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. Doors will open at 9 a.m. Tickets can be picked up at area GOP offices or online at www.johnmccain.com. Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden will hold a rally in Sims Park in New Port Richey on Monday.

TAMPA

Gulfport woman charged with theft

A Gulfport woman has been arrested on charges she stole $240,000 from her employer. Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents said Julie Taylor-Mashburn, 45, stole the money from Gasmasters Inc. in Hillsborough County, which had employed her as a bookkeeper. Taylor-Mashburn is charged with grand theft and organized scheme to defraud, both felonies.

CLEARWATER

Kindergartener takes gun to class

A teacher's assistant found an unloaded handgun in a kindergartener's backpack Friday at Leila G. Davis Elementary School. The incident happened about 9:30 a.m. when the assistant was going through backpacks looking for student planners, according to school district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn. School police and Clearwater police were notified, and the gun was confiscated. An investigation by the Clearwater police found that the 6-year-old boy, who lives with his grandparents, took the old .22-caliber handgun from a container in the grandparents' bedroom. Officials said the child apparently brought the gun to show his friends, not to harm anybody. Police spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said police would notify the Department of Children and Families about the incident but do not plan to file criminal charges.

Tampa

Hurricane threat is over? Think again

Hurricane season is almost over, and so far the Tampa Bay area has gotten off easy. But here's a cautionary note from history: The last hurricane to make a direct hit on Tampa Bay struck 87 years ago - today. The storm hit Tarpon Springs before tearing northeast across the state.

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