01/30/2001

2 inmates escape from DeSoto jail
[Sarasota, FL]

January 28, 2001, Sunday, Sarasota Edition
Copyright 2001 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Co.
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
January 28, 2001, Sunday, , Sarasota Edition

(SARASOTA, Fla.) -- Authorities from three counties were searching late Saturday for two inmates who escaped from DeSoto County jail, police said.

James Edward Bailey, 19, and Richard Trueland, 20, both of Arcadia, are considered armed and dangerous by police, said Sgt. Carol Wayne of the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office.

DeSoto, Charlotte and Sarasota County sheriff's deputies were searching for the two men with helicopters and police dogs near the area of I-75 and Kings Highway in Charlotte County late Saturday.

The two men probably broke out of the jail through the roof, DeSoto Sheriff's Capt. Rick White said.

After their escape, Bailey and Trueland stole a black 1991 Toyota pickup truck, which was later recovered at a Port Charlotte mall, White said.

Bailey, 19, of Arcadia, is serving time for two counts of burglary, grand theft and fraudulent pledge to a pawnbroker.

Trueland, 20, of Arcadia, is convicted of attempted burglary, two counts of armed burglary, grand theft and two counts of grand theft with a firearm.

Firefighters contain Polk County fire

A Polk County fire that has scorched more than 2,700 acres continues to burn but at a much slower rate, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Authorities say the brush fire that has destroyed land in Polk and Lake counties after a tractor-trailer knocked down a utility pole Tuesday likely will be extinguished in a couple of weeks.

On Saturday, the fire was contained and burned only a few acres, if that, said an agriculture spokeswoman.

The blaze created a hazard for some drivers Saturday morning. One motorist drove into a police car on U.S. 27 near Exit 192 because the driver couldn't see through the smoke.

Authorities closed U.S. 27 from the exit to Highway 59 from about 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Leaders will speak with Rep. Detert

Sarasota County school leaders and board members will meet with state Rep. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, on Monday to discuss the school district's legislative agenda.

School officials say their top priority this session will be to get legislative approval to ask voters to endorse a four-year tax hike instead of the two years currently allowed under law.

With the extra tax money stretched over the next decade, the board members say they could plan their budgets for 10 years because the extra tax money could be stretched over the next decade.

The meeting will be at 11 a.m. at 200 Capri Isles, Suite 2-F in Venice.

Political meetings

The Herald-Tribune will begin running notices of political meetings on its Community Central pages.

Send notice of the meetings at least two weeks in advance to City Desk, Political Meetings, 801 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236.

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