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POLICE: WOMAN TRIED TO RUN OVER BOYFRIEND

TARPON SPRINGS

A 58-year-old woman tried to kill her boyfriend Saturday afternoon by running him over with a car, police said.

Kathy Ternes Wolanin of 215 Anclote Road was arrested on a charge of attempted murder and taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, authorities were called to Pinellas Avenue N, north of Jeru Boulevard.

According to Tarpon Springs police, the victim had been walking south on the west side of Pinellas when Wolanin began slowly following him in the grass. At some point, she bumped him with the front of her 1998 Mercury Sable, and he responded by hitting the hood of the car.

Wolanin accelerated, police said, hitting her boyfriend again and knocking him onto the road. She then ran over him and left the scene, police said.

The man, whose name was not released Saturday evening, was flown to Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Shortly after the incident, Wolanin returned to the scene and was taken into custody.

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RUSKIN

Woman who died on U.S. 301 identified

Troopers have identified the woman who died and toddler who was critically injured in a Friday afternoon crash with a semitrailer at U.S. 301 and 19th Avenue NE.

About 3 p.m., 52-year-old Tonya R. Brown was driving a 1995 four-door Toyota east on 19th Avenue, said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Larry Kraus. For unknown reasons, Brown didn't stop at the intersection of U.S. 301, instead veering into a grass ditch.

The car kept sliding and crashed into a billboard trailer that was about 300 feet off the road, Kraus said.

Brown and her passenger, 4-year-old Deasia Brown, both of Ruskin, were taken to Tampa General Hospital. Tonya Brown died. Deasia was listed in fair condition Saturday night.

The relationship between the woman and child was unclear Saturday.

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ZEPHYRHILLS

Passenger dies, driver injured in crash

A car carrying two people hit a tree in Pasco County early Saturday, killing one person and critically injuring the driver, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

About 2:50 a.m., Leah Nicole Slagle, 18, of Dade City drove onto the north shoulder of Wire Road, near Zephyrhills. She tried to steer her 2002 Chevrolet back onto the road, but overcorrected, drove into a ditch and hit a tree, according to a report.

Slagle was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where she was in critical condition Saturday. Her passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said they did not yet know the passenger's identity or what caused the crash.

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PALM HARBOR

Off-duty deputy saves neighbor from fire

An off-duty deputy came to the aid of a neighbor whose home caught on fire just before midnight Friday.

David Michael Kelleher, 58, was outside by a pool when he noticed a fire inside his home at 15 Birch Lane. He summoned Pinellas County sheriff's Deputy Ted Biama to help.

Biama, 49, entered the home and guided Pamela Sue Walker, 57, from the smoky house. Walker had been in the kitchen and suffered minor burns, officials said.

Kelleher was treated for smoke inhalation.

Detectives believe the fire was started by a candle that Walker lit in the bedroom, and spread to the sheets and upholstery.

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PALM HARBOR

Man charged with impersonating officer

A U.S. Marine was booked into the Pinellas County Jail after pretending to be a federal investigator in an effort to discover information about a Palm Harbor woman's husband, officials said.

Eduardo Luis Ramirez, 21, of Queens, N.Y., was arrested Friday evening on a charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Authorities say he told the woman he was a U.S. Navy investigator and tried to get information about her husband, according to an arrest affidavit.

An investigation revealed that Ramirez had staked out the woman's home in order to deliver a package to her husband. The package included photos of the family, a diagram of their home, calculations of a debt the husband owes and a typed letter containing threats to the husband and the family if demands weren't met.

In exchange for delivering the package, Ramirez was going to be paid $30,000 by a person in New York, the affidavit said.

Bail for Ramirez, who has no ties to Florida, was set at $5,000.

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TAMPA

West Shore blocked after hotel fire

Fire crews blocked West Shore Boulevard on Saturday afternoon as they investigated a fire at the Embassy Suites Hotel just north of WestShore Plaza.

At 2:33 p.m., smoke was reported on the second floor of the hotel at 555 N West Shore Blvd., but no one was injured, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

The motor of a commercial washing machine in the hotel's basement failed, causing a small fire that employees doused with fire extinguishers, Fire Rescue reported. The fire marshal's estimate totaled about $3,000 in damage to the machine.

The hotel was evacuated because of alarms triggered by heavy smoke on the second and third floors, but guests were allowed back inside by 3:30 p.m.

Traffic was rerouted.

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