+ Haile student dies in I-75 crash
Courtney Starling, a 14-year-old student at Haile Middle School, died on the scene of a crash at 1:30 p.m., May 2, on Interstate 75 just south of I-275.
According to Florida Highway Patrol reports, Courtney was sitting in the backseat of a 1995 Ford Explorer when the left rear tire split. The SUV, driven by Courtney’s stepfather, John Dimeglio, began to spin and sped into a grass median before overturning into the southbound lanes of the on-ramp for I-275.
Courtney, who was wearing her seatbelt, was partially ejected from the vehicle. Dimeglio and an 8-year-old girl both had minor injuries; and Tanya Dimeglio, Courtney’s mother, was taken via Bayflite to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.
+ Study ready for public review
The Lakewood Ranch Civic Action Forum Incorporation Committee has completed its review of Fishkind and Associates’ feasibility study for Lakewood Ranch.
The group expects to have the study posted to its Web site, www.lwrdv.com/incorp, by May 7 and is encouraging residents to review the document before a public meeting later this month.
+ Buchanan salutes veterans at fair
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan made a special visit to Freedom Elementary School this weekend for the Veterans’ Appreciation Fair May 1.
Buchanan recognized area veterans and service members.
+ MTI sweeps competition
Manatee County schools again swept the podium at the annual Florida State Technology Student Association Conference in Orlando late last month.
For the first time, Manatee high schools took the top three spots for overall honors. Braden River finished second, and Lakewood Ranch placed third. Southeast High became Manatee’s first high school to win back-to-back championships.
At the middle school level, Haile and Nolan both were awarded superior middle school performance. Haile also received first place for the spirit award.
+ Woman dies in East County crash
A Georgia woman died, and a University Place resident was left in serious condition after a single-vehicle crash early May 2 on Cooper Creek Boulevard.
A Florida Highway Patrol report states that Carlos A. Rivera, 39, of University Place, was driving a Toyota pickup north on Cooper Creek when he failed to negotiate a curve and then drove over a curb, shrubbery and a tree before the vehicle came to a stop and caught fire around 3:18 a.m.
His passenger, Haudrey F. Figueurdo, 28, of Alma, Ga., died in the accident. Rivera was taken to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center in serious condition.
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On the calendar
It’s time for feasting on candy and family fun.
Merchants on Lakewood Ranch Main Street continue to mourn the surprising loss of fellow business owner Rebekah Hatmaker, co-owner of Serendipity Boutique.