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    MEXICO BEACH — The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is hosting a public information meeting July 9 concerning the replacement of the 36th Street Bayou Bridge in Mexico Beach.

    The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (CDT) at the Mexico Beach Civic Center, 105 N. 31st St in Mexico Beach. The intent of the project is to replace the low level bridge with a new structure. The bridge will be closed during construction, but traffic will be maintained along a detour route, according to an FDOT news release. Construction is anticipated to begin in winter 2017.

    The meeting will be conducted in an open-house format with no formal presentation scheduled. FDOT representatives will be available to explain the proposed improvements, answer questions and receive comments.

    For more information, follow the Florida Department of Transportation District Three on Twitter (@myfdot_nwfl) or visit the department’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/MyFDOTNWFL.


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    CHIPLEY — The Florida Department of Transportation is suspending construction projects on all major roadways across Northwest Florida through Sunday.

    Although no closures are scheduled, existing state highway work zones will remain in effect, according to the agency, and motorists should use caution while traveling through work zones.

    As the holiday weekend kicks off, FDOT is encouraging drivers to take extra caution by allowing extra travel time, buckling up and never drinking and driving. Drivers should also prepare for unscheduled closures due to accidents and other unforeseen events.

    For more information on highway conditions, travelers can access Florida’s 511 service by dialing from cell phones and landlines and online at www.FL511.com.For more information, follow the Florida Department of Transportation District Three on Twitter @myfdot_nwfl or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MyFDOTNWFL.


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    PANAMA CITY — A local man has been arrested after authorities said he slammed his pregnant girlfriend to the ground and began to strangle her, according to police reports.

    Xavier Anthlen Anderson, 27, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of aggravated battery on his pregnant girlfriend nearly two months ago. The girlfriend was 6-months pregnant with his child at the time, the Panama City Police Department reported.

    Police said that on May 11 at their Comet Avenue apartment Anderson struck his girlfriend by “violently throwing” her to the ground during an argument in their bedroom. He then allegedly began choking her with both hands before the girlfriend pleaded with him to let go. As she then tried to escape the room, Anderson again began choking her, this time with a forearm chokehold, PCPD reported.

    Police said the two lived together and Anderson was aware of the pregnancy. His bond has been set at $25,000.


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    PANAMA CITY — With fireworks shows and Fourth of July events throughout Bay County this holiday weekend, some areas are advising caution and patience during traffic congestion and closures.

    Many of the firework displays will take place on the beaches of Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach and Grand Lagoon, with traffic congestion in those areas peaking before and after the festivities. However, in Panama City and Lynn Haven, officials were alerting the public of road closures and detours for Fourth of July festivities.

    The Panama City Police Department announced road closures for the “Salute to Freedom” celebrations in downtown and on the Panama City Marina on Saturday.

    --- MORE: FOURTH OF JULY EVENTS»»

    Parking on the Panama City Marina will be limited, and no vehicular traffic will be allowed there from 3 p.m. Friday till 4 a.m. Sunday, according to PCPD. The boat ramp on the marina will close at midnight Saturday and reopen about 10 p.m. that day.

    Limited public parking will be allowed in the lot north of the Civic Center. Other street closures will be required leading up to the fireworks show Saturday night, and motorists should expect traffic delays after the event, PCPD reported.

    Beach Drive from west of Harrison to the intersection with West Sixth Street and Beach Drive east of Harrison to Cherry Street will be closed to vehicular traffic at about 6 p.m. Saturday. The areas will reopen to vehicular traffic sometime after the fireworks.

    Motorists in Panama City traveling east and west crossing Grace, Jenks and Harrison avenues should expect delays due to the heavy flow of traffic from those leaving the downtown area after the fireworks Saturday night.

    Lynn Haven will host a “Patriotic & Proud” firework show at A.L. Kinsaul Park, 1160 W. Fifth St., but officials did not announce any road closures for the firework display. Detours will be along State 77 for the Fourth of July parades.

    Southbound traffic on State 77 will come off the Bailey Bridge and be diverted onto East Third Street and travel to Illinois Avenue, and then head south to 14th Street and west back to State 77, and northbound will travel the same route in the reverse manner. Lighted message boards will be positioned to advise motorists of a detour and Lynn Haven police officers will be stationed along the detour route to assist.

    --- MORE: FOURTH OF JULY EVENTS»»

    “There will be heavy pedestrian traffic around the activities at Sheffield Park but no other road closures,” said LHPD Maj. Matthew E. Riemer.

    Holiday traffic: These streets will be affected by Fourth of July events:

    • Back Beach Road (U.S. 98) and Front Beach Road in the area around Pier Park in Panama City Beach will experience high volumes of traffic all weekend, but especially before and after live events.
    • Beach Drive from Cherry Street to West Sixth Street in downtown Panama City will close at about 6 p.m. Saturday.
    • Motorists in Panama City traveling east and west crossing Grace, Jenks and Harrison avenues should expect delays Saturday night due to the heavy flow of traffic leaving the downtown area after the fireworks.
    • Portions of State 77 in Lynn Haven will be detoured for parades and heavy pedestrian traffic is expected near Sheffield Park on Saturday.

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    PANAMA CITY — A taxi driver who abducted two Spring Break visitors and attempted to force himself upon them has been sentenced to two years in prison and could face deportation for the crimes.

    Edgar Eduardo Lopez-Jaramillo, 23, appeared Thursday with a translator for a change of plea hearing. Through the translator, he said he understood that accepting a plea of no contest to two counts of felony battery could lead to his deportation.

    Jaramillo had been in jail since his arrest on charges of kidnapping and sexual battery stemming from two incidents in March 2014 involving spring breakers. He pleaded Thursday to two counts of felony battery and was sentenced to two years in prison.

    Jaramillo was operating a taxi van in the area of Thomas Drive and Joan Avenue about 1:30 a.m. March 17 when he called to tell his boss at CK Taxi Cabs he was sick and needed to go home, according to Bay County Sheriff’s Office investigative reports.

    About that time, a woman flagged down a taxi outside Club La Vela at 8813 Thomas Drive and asked to be taken to her hotel. The driver began to head in the wrong direction and told the woman it was to avoid traffic.

    The woman offered all the money in her wallet for him to stop and drop her off, she told investigators, but the driver refused. He began touching her leg and her neck before he pulled onto Upas Drive, where she was able to jump out of the van, she said.

    The driver forced her back into the van before stripping away her shorts and underwear. He then placed his hand between her legs and said, “You know you want this. You’ve wanted this all night,” the woman told investigators.

    The driver again slowed, the woman grabbed her shorts and shoes and fled the area calling for help.

    The victim described the taxi, the driver and the music playing in the van to authorities the following day. BCSO found the woman’s underwear on the roadside near Upas Drive, and found hair from the victim on the passenger seat and passenger door of the van operated by Jaramillo.

    Investigators were struck by the similarity of an incident from a week earlier being worked by Panama City Beach Police. A victim reported she’d been picked up by a taxi van as she was trying to return to her condominium. The driver began to make sexually suggestive comments and pulled off into a secluded area. The victim repeatedly told the driver “no” as he removed her top and began to grope her, police reported.

    At some point, the driver began traveling toward the victim’s condo but again pulled over and forced his hand down her pants, according to investigative reports. The victim later identified a photo of Jaramillo as the driver.

    During an interview with investigators, Jaramillo admitted he had sexual contact with the woman, but he said it was consensual.

    Jaramillo tried to have the women’s testimony omitted from the state’s case, but that request was denied.

    The prison sentence of Jaramillo, a West Palm Beach resident, could be cut short since he could be subjected to deportation for the crimes. His taxi license also was revoked.


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    PARKER — A Parker man was arrested and faces several charges after allegedly strangling a woman.

    Aaron Michael Krep, 43, found the female victim by placing an ad on Craigslist, according to a Parker Police Department news release. Kreps forced the female to perform on sex act on him and subsequently was charged with sexual battery, felony battery and battery by strangulation, police reported.

    The victim was treated at a local hospital. Kreps was taken to the Bay County Jail.


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  • 07/03/15--17:29: BCSO-PCPD operation nets 10
  • PANAMA CITY — Ten people were arrested on multiple charges following a joint investigation over the past two days by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division and Special Investigations Division and the Panama City Police Department.

    Five people were arrested Wednesday night and five Thursday night as law enforcement worked to located and arrest fugitives with narcotics violations in Bay County, according to a BCSO news release. Fifteen felony charges and six misdemeanors were reported.

    Arrested were:

    • David Lenard Howard, 36, on charges of possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as misdemeanor charges.

    • Richard Minthorne. 42, on charges of violation of probation for felony driving with license suspended or revoked, possession of cocaine and tampering with evidence.

    • Jessica Hardie, 27, on charges of violation of probation for felony retail theft, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

    • Guillermo Hernandez-Perez, 34, on charges of possession of synthetic marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    • Shane George, 23, on charges of violation of community control for two counts of transmission of child pornography

    • Kim Adams, 50, on charges of violation of probation for possession of methamphetamine and retail theft.

    • Keneen Gary, 24, on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and grand theft of a firearm, as well as a misdemeanor charge.

    • Marlon Pierce. 20, on charges of violation of probation for possession of marijuana more than 20 grams.

    • Passion Williams, 32, on charges of violation of probation for sale of cocaine and felon in possession of a weapon.

    • Jordan Sparkman, 26, on a charge of grand theft.


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  • 07/04/15--09:52: BCSO arrest log June 24-30
  • Information is provided by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office on people arrested on charges June 24-30. Those arrested can contact The News Herald if charges are dropped or if they are acquitted. Addresses are those given by the defendant during arrest.

    --- MUGSHOTS»»

    Kathryn Ann Springer, 49, 655 Malaga Place, Panama City Beach, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill

    Timothy Earl Young, 30, 3834 Bunyon Drive, Chipley, grand theft

    Nicholas Christopher Ginas, 21, 6411 Causeway Drive, Panama City, felony battery or domestic battery by strangulation

    David Raymond Smith, 38, Marianna, Ga., vehicle theft

    Crystal Lynn (Custer) Pridgen, 30, 2636 Lori Ave., Panama City Beach, possession of controlled substance without prescription

    Guy Alfred IV Lear, 33, 709 Florida Ave., Lynn Haven, possession of controlled substance without prescription

    Fred Lee Jr Caldwell, 38, 13200 White Western Springs Road, Panama City, burglary

    Robert Earl Baker, 25, 1601 W. 22nd St., Panama City, possession of cocaine

    Joel Kevin Gray, 31, 148 N. Charlene Drive, Panama City, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, aggravated assault with use of a deadly weapon without the intent to kill, possession of weapon or ammunition or other by felon

    --- MUGSHOTS»»

    Jesse Eugene Burdette, 23, 2109 Hinson Ave., Panama City Beach, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver

    Warren Dwight Cash, 52, P.O Box 615 Panama City, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of synthetic narcotics with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver

    Justin Chad Forsythe, 25, Vienna, Ga., possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver

    Audry Ellen Gough, 30, 22237 Inlet Beach Circle, Panama City Beach, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of opium or derivative with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of controlled substance without prescription

    Jakkare Kemel Wiley, 38, 123 Claire Ave., Springfield, grand theft, aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon

    Gerald Thomas Boswell, 49, 612 N. Carryville Road, Bonifay, grand theft

    --- MUGSHOTS»»

    Stephen Douglas Harrison, 30, 9036 Brook Stone Drive, Panama City, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, neglect child without great bodily harm

    Michael Douglas Sisk, 49, 8003 Beach Drive, Panama City Beach, felony domestic battery or domestic battery by strangulation

    Justin Harold Mills, 29, 16821 Eastwood Drive, Fountain, felony or domestic battery by strangulation

    Faith Joyce Bergh, 19, 130 A Larry Drive, Panama City, aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon

    Cinnamon  Diaz, 45, Marietta, Ga., grand theft

    Douglas Wesley Clark, 27, Dothan, Ala., grand theft

    Mark Bradley Bell, 28, 9437 N. Silver Lake Road, Fountain, burglary

    --- MUGSHOTS»»

    William Floyd III Willoughby, 44, 17325b Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, burglary

    Barbara Yvonne Latorre, 33, 1012 W. 11th Court, Panama City, grand theft

    AltonJohn McClendon, 28, 6201 Cherry St., Callaway, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of cocaine

    Justin Harold Mills, 29, 16821 Eastwood Drive, Fountain, felony battery or domestic battery by strangulation

    Faith Joyce Bergh, 19, 130 A Larry Drive, Panama City, aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon

    Angel Omar Santos, 25, 2532 Chaucer Circle, Panama City, cruelty toward child – aggravated abuse


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    PANAMA CITY — The trial of a prison guard accused of helping in a brutal, group attack on an inmate is scheduled to begin Tuesday, according to court records.

    Christopher Blake Christmas, 32, was one of five Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) officers indicted on charges of violating 31-year-old Jeremiah Tatum’s rights to not suffer cruel or unusual punishment at the Northwest Florida Reception Center (NWFRC) in Washington County. Prosecutors said the attack was an act of jailhouse retaliation. Christmas has denied hearing an order to jump Tatum after his commanding officer claimed Tatum had spit on him.

    Jury selection begins Tuesday morning at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Panama City.

    Every other officer involved has pleaded guilty to their role in the attack. When it came Christmas’ time to change his plea at a June hearing, he changed his mind in court and decided to proceed to trial. He said he had only considered pleading guilty because he sought a lighter sentence.

    “At no time did I hear (the captain) say he would yell [that] the inmate spit on him and that we were to jump on him, although I don’t doubt he said it, because he was that type of person,” Christmas told the court.

    Dates for the other officers to be sentenced were pushed back in light of Christmas’ decision, and the length of their sentences could depend partly on their testimony in the trial.

    James Fletcher Perkins, William Francis Finch, Robert Lewis Miller and Dalton Edward Riley have admitted to accepting orders from former Capt. James Kirkland prior to slamming the inmate face-first to the ground and then falsifying reports of the incident. Kirkland has since died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    The arrests of the officers stemmed from an Aug. 5, 2014, incident, during which Tatum was left severely injured. Prosecutors claim Kirkland sought retaliation from a previous incident, where Tatum deflected pepper spray onto him. Kirkland then organized an incident in which Tatum was again sprayed, and Kirkland called in a five-man extradition team to escort Tatum to a decontamination shower, prosecutors allege. As the men equipped themselves for the extradition, Kirkland allegedly told the officers he would state that Tatum spit on him leading up to the beating “to teach him a lesson,” according to court records.

    Video from the prison showed Finch and Riley slamming Tatum face-first into the concrete floor while Tatum’s hands and ankles were restrained. The three other officers then jumped on Tatum and pinned him to the ground, according to arrest records.

    Christmas said he didn’t hear the orders to attack Tatum and that he helped restrain his legs because “that’s my job,” he said.


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    MARIANNA — A Marianna man was bound and beaten by robbers in his own home at midnight on Saturday.

    Mike Murphy, 63, told Jackson County Sheriff’s Officers that two male subjects forcibly entered his residence on Fleetwood Lane demanding money. Murphy was later struck in the back of the head by a blunt object, had his fingers stomped and then his hands tied together, police reported. The suspects were unable to retrieve any money and left on foot, according to police.

    Murphy was transported to Jackson Hospital to receive medical treatment. An early description of the subjects was two black males, one with an afro and the other with short dreadlocks, driving a gold late-model Toyota Camry.


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH — A man has been arrested on charges of stealing more than $20,000 in fishing equipment and attempting to sell the merchandise online, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

    Adam Kessler Barnes, 36, of Panama City Beach was charged in connection with multiple burglaries in Bay Point and the PCB area. The first reports of missing equipment were made in April, with other burglaries in May and June, including from two storage sheds in Bay Point, police said. One burglary outside of Bay Point resulted in the theft of almost $20,000 in fishing gear, according to the BCSO.

    Investigators discovered the gear advertised for sale on Craigslist in posts listed from Gulfport, Miss. Deputies set up a sting operation and arranged a purchase for one of the advertised fishing rods. After confirming the rod was one of those reported stolen, deputies obtained a search warrant for Barnes’ home.

    Barnes returned to PCB from Gulfport on June 13, at which time BCSO executed the search warrant. Barnes was charged with four counts of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and two counts of grand theft. Additional charges are possible.

    Most of the stolen items were recovered and returned to owners. However, deputies said they believe Barnes might have committed other burglaries, as about 40 items were not matched to reported thefts.

    Anyone missing fishing gear who has not reported a theft can contact Investigator Robbie Claytor at 850-248-2116. BCSO said the remaining unclaimed items are “very unique” and will require descriptive details from callers to retrieve.


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    JACOB CITY — A man was shot and killed after an altercation at a Jackson County hangout spot early Monday morning, Jackson County Sheriff’s officials said.

    Calvin Lee Rhynes, 36, of Houston County, Ala., was shot in the upper torso at about 2 a.m. outside of a spot commonly referred to as “Shags” near Jacob City. He was transported to a hospital in Dothan, Ala., where he died from his injuries.

    The shooting suspect, George Beachum Jr., 29, of Washington County was arrested without incident at 6 p.m. on Monday, police reported. Beachum, who was apprehended in Altha, was booked into the Jackson County Correctional Facility and charged with murder and armed robbery.

    Jackson County sheriff’s officers arrived at the scene at 2:20 a.m. Sheriff Lou Roberts said there were multiple witnesses to the shooting, and multiple shots were fired from a handgun. He said it is likely the victim knew the assailant. Investigators have yet to retrieve the weapon.

    “I don’t know what provoked it,” Roberts said. “It happened fairly quick. It maybe wasn’t a physical confrontation. We haven’t gotten that clarified.”

    Shags has been the site of crimes in the past. Roberts described it as a place where people play pool.

    “Over the years, we have had a number of individuals injured or killed,” Roberts said. “You have a murder every now and then.”

    Those with information on the case can call the JCSO at 850-482-9648 or Crime Stoppers at 850-576-5000.


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    PANAMA CITY — Javares Cameron, convicted of manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Curtis Hunt, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday afternoon.

    The 19-year-old, who shot Hunt in the back of the head in broad daylight Oct. 14, 2014, will serve 25 years in prison followed by five years of probation.

    Before he was sentenced Cameron apologized to Hunt’s mother, Kwanis Hunt.

    “I know that it’s too soon to ask for forgiveness, but I’d just like you to know that honestly I’m sorry,” he said.

    Cameron told Hunt that he “never had any problems” with her son and that he was sorry things happened the way they did that day. Before sentencing, Cameron said he still had plans for the future and hoped to contribute to society.

    Cameron’s mother, Melissa Dunklin also apologized to Hunt during the sentencing, saying she blamed herself and she “obviously failed as a mother.”

    “Ms. Hunt, I’m so sorry and I feel responsible. I feel just as responsible as Javares because I didn’t raise him this way,” Dunklin said. “We raised him to respect life.”

    Hunt was emotional when she addressed the court about her son.

    “He never hurt nobody. He was a joyful person. He loved everybody,” she said.

    To Cameron, she said that right now she did not forgive him.

    “I don’t know what your intentions were, but I’m gonna pray for you,” Hunt said.

    Cameron’s attorney, Kim Jewell, lobbied for an easier sentencing because of Cameron’s lack of trouble with law enforcement before moving to Bay County, calling him bright and intelligent.

    “I think he went in a wrong direction,” she said.

    Prosecutor Bob Sombathy painted a more sinister picture, saying that Cameron shot a person in the back of the head and should serve the full sentence.

    “He then did everything he could to avoid getting caught,” Sombathy said.

    Along with 25 years in prison Cameron was also ordered to complete 500 community service hours and pay $5000 in restitution and $1,077 in other costs.

    At the request of both mothers, Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet agreed to recommend a faith-based facility for Cameron’s incarceration.


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    ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — FBI agents and Indiana State Police raided the home of Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle on Tuesday, removing electronics from the property and searching the house with a police dog, two months after the then-executive director of Fogle’s foundation was arrested on child pornography charges.

    FBI Special agent Wendy Osborne said the agency was conducting an investigation in Zionsville, an affluent Indianapolis suburb, but wouldn’t say whether it involved Fogle or describe the nature of the investigation.

    Subway said in a statement that it is “very concerned” about the raid, which it believes “is related to a prior investigation” of a former employee of the Jared Foundation, an organization founded by Fogle to raise awareness about childhood obesity. Subway did not immediately say whether that employee was former foundation executive director Russell Taylor.

    Federal prosecutors in May filed a criminal complaint charging Taylor, 43, with seven counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Fogle issued a statement after the charges were filed saying he was shocked by the allegations and was severing all ties with Taylor.

    Fogle left his house just after noon Tuesday with his attorney, wearing a rain jacket with the hood up, and declined comment. The Indianapolis Star had earlier photographed Fogle stepping out of a police evidence van parked outside his home.

    Fogle, 37, became the Subway restaurant chain’s pitchman after shedding 245 pounds more than 15 years ago, in part by regularly eating Subway sandwiches. Subway began featuring Fogle in commercials soon after, and his story was instrumental in giving the sandwich chain an image as a healthy place to eat.

    During a search of Taylor’s home this spring, federal investigators say they discovered a cache of sexually explicit photos and videos Taylor allegedly produced by secretly filming minor children at the home. They said they also allegedly found more than 400 videos of child pornography on computers and storage media recovered from Taylor’s home office in his Indianapolis residence.

    Taylor’s attorney, Brad Banks, said Tuesday his client was briefly hospitalized after the allegations surfaced but is now in federal custody. Sheriff’s officials have said Taylor tried to take his own life in jail.

    “The only thing I can say is that I’m aware that there’s an ongoing investigation,” Banks said.

    Tim Horty, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Indianapolis, said prosecutors “are moving forward” with the case against Taylor. He declined to comment on Tuesday’s raid at Fogle’s home.

    Neighbors said Fogle and his wife entertained frequently and would say hello but that they didn’t see the couple outside a lot.

    Jacob Schrader, 19, who lives across from Fogle’s house, said the pitchman seems “like a pretty private guy” and that he’d only seen him about a dozen times in the last five or six years.

    “He’s like an endangered species or something like that,” Schrader said.

    Subway, which is based in Milford, Connecticut, and is privately held, has struggled in recent years. Last year, industry tracker Technomic said average sales for Subway stores in the U.S. declined 3 percent from the previous year. The company has about 44,000 locations around the world.

    Associated Press writers Candace Choi in New York and Rick Callahan in Indianapolis contributed to this story.


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    BRADENTON (AP) — A man convicted of having sex on a Florida beach in front of families was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Monday.

    Jose Caballero, 40, and Elissa Alvarez, 21, were convicted in May of two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior in a case that drew international attention for the couple's brazen act. They were videotaped having sex on a Manatee County beach last summer in broad daylight. Witnesses testified that a 3-year-old girl saw them.

    Caballero told jurors that he and Alvarez were not having sex and that witnesses were mistaken. Jurors listened to graphic testimony from witnesses and saw a video of Alvarez moving on top of Caballero in a sexual manner in the middle of the day while others watched.

    --- MORE NEWS OF THE WEIRD»»

    “We are grateful that the state has offered 2 1/2 years,” said Ronald Kurpiers, defense attorney for Caballero.

    He said Caballero planned to appeal his case. Alvarez, who was recently sentenced to time served, filed an appeal in her case in June.

    Prosecutors say they were tougher on Caballero because he previously served eight years for cocaine trafficking. Both must now register as sex offenders. The Bradenton Herald reports the jury found them guilty after deliberating only 15 minutes. The couple had faced 15 years in prison.

    “If you think about 2:30 in the afternoon on a crowded beach. It takes a certain type of person to do that in front of children a few feet away,” said Assistant State Attorney Anthony Dafonseca.

    Prosecutors said it was important that the community knew what wouldn't be tolerated on public beaches.


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    BOSTON (AP) — The FBI is hoping to locate 240 more victims of a man convicted of using online threats to extort pornographic images from teenage girls.

    In November, Lucas Michael Chansler was sentenced to 105 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to nine counts of producing child pornography.

    Prosecutors say Chansler, formerly of St. Johns, Florida, communicated with hundreds of teen girls in 26 states, three Canadian provinces and the United Kingdom. Authorities have identified 109 victims but believe there are about 240 more.

    On Tuesday, the FBI asked for the public's help in identifying additional victims. The agency released a list of screen names he used, including CaptainObvious, sk8er4life2021 and VictorHugo.

    Chansler, now 31, would target girls through social networking sites and pretend to be an acquaintance, friend or admirer, according to the FBI. Once he gained their trust, he would persuade the girls to expose themselves or engage in sexually explicit conduct on video chats he secretly recorded. He then threatened to put the images online or send them to the girls’ parents unless they agreed to provide more graphic images.

    The FBI identified Chansler after the parents of one of the girls came forward. He was indicted in 2010.

    Chansler told authorities he targeted girls who ranged in age from 13 to 18 because adults were “too smart” to fall for his scheme.

    Peter Kowenhoven, an assistant special agent in charge in the FBI's Boston office, said the victims were spread around the country, including four from Massachusetts.

    “With the expansion of the Internet, online profiles, social media and the ability to anonymize somebody, sextortion has really escalated in the United States and around the world,” Kowenhoven said. “Because the Internet is global and cuts across state lines, the victims can be found anywhere.”

    Because Chansler used many aliases online, many of the victims might not know he has been convicted and is in prison, Kowenhoven said. He said the FBI hopes to identify additional victims to raise awareness about the problem of sextortion.

    “Maybe they can help others to get the word out there to report it when you're a victim,” he said.

    “They're very afraid. They don't want to ruin their reputation. They don't want to embarrass their family and friends. By getting this out, we can try to help the victims.”

    Chansler's lawyer, Alan Rosner, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


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    PANAMA CITY — Officials have received another complaint involving the theft and fraudulent use of credit card information, according to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. This time, the victim was in another state but the card was used in Bay County.

    A man in Pennsylvania discovered last Wednesday that his credit card information had been used to conduct multiple transactions without his consent. The purchases were made on June 30 in Bay County and totaled more than $1,500. The victim was still in possession of his credit card, so investigators believe the information was stolen off the card and used on a counterfeit card, BCSO reported.

    The suspect was captured on security video and is described as a black male of medium height and build. He appears to be in his late 20’s and wearing a white tee shirt with a design on the front, tan shorts, white shoes, and carrying a white towel he uses to constantly wipe sweat from his face, BCSO said.


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    PANAMA CITY — Authorities have arrested a local man on charges that he sent a threatening email to numerous individuals, including one general email to the Bay County Courthouse, according to Bay County Sheriff’s officials.

    The email contained a message that the individuals who received it were “scheduled to die” that day. Photos were attached, including one of a knife lying across the suspect’s driver’s license and one of the suspect himself, BCSO reported.

    Investigators identified the suspect as 57-year-old Anthony Brian Whittington. A warrant was issued for Whittington, a transient. Additional investigation prompted investigators to issue an Officer Safety Bulletin to law enforcement at the BCSO and the PCPD advising caution when dealing with Whittington.

    Information was developed on Tuesday that located Whittington at a restaurant on Highway 77 and he was arrested without incident that morning.


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH — An Arkansas man has been arrested after allegedly exposing himself to beachgoing children before attacking an offended parent and then fighting with police and emergency workers, according to Panama City Beach Police reports.

    Police responded July 1 at about 9:30 p.m. to an area of the beach behind the Sunbird Condominiums, 9850 Thomas Drive. Numerous witnesses said Charles David Earwood, 40, unzipped his pants and exposed himself to children on the beach before allegedly pouring his alcoholic beverage onto one offended mother and then strangling her for no apparent reason, PCBPD reported.

    When officers arrived, Earwood was soaking wet and appeared intoxicated, police reported. He also had blood coming from his nose and mouth where the offended parent had struck him in the face after she allegedly had been grabbed by the throat. One officer attempted to stop Earwood to speak with him, but police reported that Earwood ignored him and walked swiftly toward the street.

    --- DOCUMENT: READ THE INCIDENT REPORT»»

    --- MUGSHOTS»»

    Police and fire crews corralled Earwood after he fought the officers and began spitting blood at them, police reported.

    “I repeatedly told him to stop,” one officer reported, “but he continued to alternate between spitting blood towards me and spewing blood out of his nose towards me, yelling and cursing at me the entire time. …”

    Earwood also repeatedly told the officer to perform a sexual act, according to the report. --- DOCUMENT: READ THE INCIDENT REPORT»»

    Officers reported Earwood continued to resist after he was placed under arrest. After arriving at the hospital to be treated for his injuries, Earwood allegedly began screaming at medical staff and attempting to spit blood in their faces. One attendant was bitten in the hand trying to muzzle Earwood, police said.

    Earwood was charged with indecent exposure, battery, resisting arrest with violence and battery on medical personnel. He later was transported to the Bay County Jail and his combined bond set at $27,500.


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    PANAMA CITY — Prosecutors are now weighing whether a mother accused of leaving her 2-year-old child in a hot car will face charges in connection with the fatal incident, according to officials.

    Jamie Buckley is not currently charged in connection with the death of her 2-year-old child. Authorities confirmed Tuesday that BCSO officers have turned over their investigative files to the State Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges are appropriate.

    The mother and teacher at Cedar Grove Elementary saw a welling of community support after she found her 2-year-old daughter, Reagan Buckley, lifeless inside her car June 2. Authorities said Jamie Buckley left her in the car in the school parking lot while she was teaching classes. The child remained in the vehicle after she arrived for work between 7 and 7:30 a.m., according to Bay County Sheriff’s Office reports.

    When Jamie Buckley left school for the day at about 3:15 p.m., she found the child still in her car seat, BCSO reported. Deputies found her unresponsive after they arrived, and Reagan Buckley was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

    Although school staff and community members demonstrated an outpouring of support for the Buckley family following the incident, BCSO has been conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Reagan Buckley’s death. Their findings have recently been turned over to prosecutors to determine whether those circumstances could result in criminal charges, officials reported.

    Neither BCSO nor the SAO would discuss ongoing investigations with the public. No charges against Jamie Buckley have been filed in Bay County’s courthouse as of Tuesday.

    News of Reagan Buckley’s death spread to national news outlets. Nearly 200 people donated more than $10,000 for funeral expenses in the month that followed, according to a gofundme web page.

    “The outpouring of love and support these past few days has been amazing,” curators of the site wrote. “We live in a gracious, spiritual community who truly know and appreciate the power of our Lord. Through him the Buckley family will continue. Your thoughts, prayers and support are appreciated. Continue to pray for strength and understanding for this precious family.”


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