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Bradenton woman gets life in prison for raping 5 year old boy

BRADENTON, FLORIDA- A 31-year-old Bradenton woman was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for raping a 5-year-old boy.

A jury convicted Tabatha Crawford of capital sexual battery and promotion of child pornography.

Manatee County detectives say in December 2009 they found an image on Crawford's computer of her performing a sex act on the boy.

Crawford will not be eligible for parole.



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Habitat for Humanity construction site burglarized

PALMETTO, FLORIDA-- It's a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of the less fortunate.

Doing that for Manatee County's Habitat for Humanity will now be more difficult.

A Habitat construction site on 38th Avenue East was burglarized on Tuesday, according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The site manager told investigators someone cut several locks and broke into two storage containers and stole tools and machinery that were being used to build homes.

There were no witnesses according to the report.

Anyone with information can contact the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011.

Longboat Key Trolley service to be reduced

Longboat Key Trolley service to be reduced

Longboat Key, FL -- People who like to hitch a ride on the Longboat Key Trolley will have to wait a bit longer for the service and finish their rides earlier in the evening; the trolley's schedule is about to change.

Sarasota and Manatee County transit officials have agreed to reduce the hours of service for the trolley.

Starting some time in March, the trolley will run every hour, instead of every 30 minutes like it does now.

Trolley service will also end three hours earlier at 8 p.m.

USF Health, HCA announce trauma partnership

USF Health, HCA announce trauma partnership

Tampa, FL -- USF Health and HCA are partnering up to form a statewide trauma network dedicated to improving access to trauma care and services in Florida.

The joint initiative will enable five HCA hospitals in underserved areas to provide trauma care, including two in the Tampa Bay area--Blake Medical Center in Bradenton and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson.

Florida residents also will benefit from centralized statewide data collection for trauma research.

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'Biggest Loser' winner to deliver motivational speech

'Biggest Loser' winner to deliver motivational speech

Bradenton, FL - Bill Germanakos, who lost 164 pounds to win the fourth season of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" competition, will speak today in a free motivational speech open to the public, according to The Manatee County Government, who will also be hosting the event.

Germanakos was one of 18 contestants on the fourth season of the hit reality show featuring overweight contestants who attempt to lose weight for a cash prize. His mantra on the show was "to become half the man, so that he could be twice the man." He won the competition by losing 49.1 percent of his starting body weight, going from 334 lbs. to 170 lbs.

He will speak to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. at Manatee Memorial Hospital Auditorium. He will talk about his experience and success on the show as well as sign autographs and take pictures. The event is sponsored by Quest Diagnostic Laboratories and there was no cost to Manatee County Government for Germanakos' visit. Germanakos is the Quest Diagnostics Wellness Ambassador.

Border agents chase human trafficking suspects in Bradenton

BRADENTON, FL -- Joe Barbado was driving his work pickup today when a mini van slammed into him along State Road 64 in Bradenton. At first, he didn't know what hit him.

"I might have seen four or five of them running in my rear-view mirror," said Joe Barbado.

U.S. Border Patrol agents say the Dodge Caravan that struck Barbado was being used for human trafficking. And the four or five people Barbado saw running were actually part of a group of eight people who bailed out and took off on foot after the collision around 10:45 a.m.

Agents say, minutes before the wreck, an agent working the I-75 corridor noticed a mini van with Alabama tags, loaded with people who kept ducking down to avoid being seen.

They say when the agent tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver took off, and the chase ended with the collision on S.R. 64.

Witnesses who were sitting at a nearby gas station say two of the men who jumped out of the mini van had guns.

Search is on for suspects involved in police chase

Bradenton, Florida - This afternoon, the search is on for individuals involved in a chase.  Officials attempted to pull over a van when it sped off. 

There was a short pursuit, when the van collided with a car at the 400 block of 48 Street Ct. East.  The suspects fled on foot.

Our reporter, Eric Glasser tells us that two of several possible suspects are in custody and Authorities are searching a wooded area for others.

Several agencies are involved in the search from air and on ground.