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FDLE investigates DCSO;
Teenage passengers
released from hospital

Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. ends multiple-agency fleeing felon chase
In this photo, a ShandsCair helicopter prepares to launch from just south of the crash site in Dixie County, south of Cross City. Behind the helicopter is a crumpled black truck in the southbound lane of U.S. 19. Dixie County Fire-EMS attended victims and controlled the landing site for safety.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 23, 2014
Updated 7:37 p.m.
Gretl Plessinger of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said the FDLE is investigating the use of force by Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. when he forced a vehicle off the road, which ended a harrowing high-speed chase Wednesday morning.


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     The chase began in Marion County, Plessinger said.
     The Dixie County Sheriff’s Office requested the FDLE investigation, Plessinger said.
     A vehicle was reported stolen from Too Your Health Spa, 2841 S.W. 20th St. in Ocala, according Angy Scroble of the  Ocala Police Department.
     Law enforcement officers from the OPD, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Williston Police Department, Levy County Sheriff’s Office, Chiefland Police Department and the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office chased a suspected vehicle thief from Marion County on U.S. Alt. 27 through Williston, Levy County, Bronson, Chiefland, Old Town and Dixie County, before the suspect vehicle crashed on U.S. Highway 19 south of Cross City.

The ShandsCair helicopter makes its way to UF Health in Gainesville.

     Sheriff Hatcher forced the vehicle off the road, DCSO spokesman Maj. Scott Harden said. The vehicle was a Dodge Ram 2500 series, Harden said.
     There were three occupants inside the stolen truck. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, Plessinger said. A 17- year-old male and a 15-year-old female, who were passengers, were treated and released from the UF Health in Gainesville, Plessinger said.
     One went by helicopter and the other went by ambulance, Harden said.
     The Florida Highway Patrol is assisting on scene, , Plessinger said. The MCSO is investigating the vehicle theft, Plessinger said.  
     Here are some photos and a video from the Wednesday morning (July 23) event, when the FDLE and FHP post information, a new story will be generated.

Williston Police Department Deputy Chief Clay Connolly sits in a WPD cruiser in Bronson, returning to Williston, after having completed his part of the duties. This photo was taken at the stop light near Bronson Ace Hardware. Within a second after the shutter closed, Deputy Chief Connolly rolled down his window and wished his friend from The Fourth Estate a good day, in Connolly's own way.
Levy County Undersheriff Brett Beauchamp (right) and three other LCSO members walk away from assisting a motorist after they departed from the chase. In this photo taken at 9:16 a.m. on Wednesday, the officers are walking northbound on the western shoulder of southbound U.S. Highway 19 in the unincorporated part of Levy County north of Chiefland.

Learning To Sew
Levy County Extension Agent Muriel Turner assists Madison Anderson as the girl cuts cloth in sewing camp on Tuesday morning (July 22). To see some more photos and learn a little bit more about this marvelous summer activity being enjoyed by some children this week, please visit the LIFE PAGE.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison

Road dedication planned
Under the canopy for the presentation of the program are (from left) Lori Moss, WPD Cpl. David Moss’ widow; Jim Moss, older brother of the late Cpl. Moss; Traveler Wendell, a close friend of the late Cpl. Moss; WPD Chief Dennis Strow (at the podium); WPD Deputy Chief Clay Connolly; WPD Assistant Chaplain (and officer) Dave Johnson; and retired Marion County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Gary Ernst, the guest speaker, during the 2013 event.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © July 31, 2013

Story By Jeff M. Hardison © July 22, 2014
     WILLISTON -- Twenty-six years after an officer with the Williston Police Department died in the line of duty, the dedication of a road section in his honor is scheduled, according to a press release from WPD Chief Dennis Strow.
     Florida Rep. Charlie Stone (R-Ocala, Dist. 22), earlier this year Florida State Representative Charlie Stone was able to navigate legislation to have Noble Avenue (U.S. Alt. 27) from Main Street going seven block west to Northwest Seventh Street to be designated in memory of Corp. David W. Moss, Strow said in his July 22 press release
     Chief Strow noted that a 19-year-old suspect with a stolen handgun was hiding in some tall weeds behind a building, when Cpl. Moss began to investigate at about 2 a.m. that day. When Cpl .Moss walked into range, the suspect fired one shot killing the young officer. Prior to Cpl. Moss succumbing to his wounds he shot and killed the suspect, Strow said.
     On July 30 (Wednesday) at 10 a.m., the WPD is scheduled to conduct a ceremony to honor the sacrifice of Cpl. Moss.
     Strow noted that during the ceremony the sign dedicating the road in memory of Cpl. Moss will be unveiled by Lori Moss, the widow of Cpl. Moss along with Rep. Stone.
     The ceremony will take place at the corner of Noble Avenue and Main Street and is open to the public, Strow said.
     To see the whole story, photos and videos from the 2013 event, please click HERE.

Suwannee River Flows
The Suwannee River is a river that flows between Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist Suwan071614Ccounties, as well as other counties like Hamilton, Madison and Suwannee. It is an economic engine as well as a cultural thread for the area. On Wednesday afternoon (July 16) the river was at a nice level with a relatively strong flow. At one of the parks next to the river, there are bands placed on a post to show flood levels of April 14, 1948 - 21.78 feet; April 4, 1973 - 18.03 feet; April 14, 1984 16.53 feet; Feb. 27, 1986 - 15.10 feet; and March 26, 1998 - 16.85 feet. These levels are measured at the gauges located in the Fanning Springs Roadside Park and elevations are given in feet above mean sea level. This information was provided by the Suwannee River Water Management District. The view of the stairs is looking up from the river, almost from the bottom stair-step. There is also a floating dock in this area of the Suwannee River, which is on the southwest quadrant of the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and the Suwannee River in the town of Fanning Springs. The warning sign speaks volumes about the dangers of swimming in the river here.
Photos by Jeff M. Hardison is a great place to advertise!

Jingle Singer

The newest performer of the jingle is Gilchrist County Clerk Todd Newton. Everyone is invited to sing the jingle. You can be featured here. If you see Jeff Hardison and you want to sing the jingle, just let him know or send an email to He asks people to sing it, too, and some of them agree. (Thanks people!) This video was posted July 18, 2014. Next Singers To Be Posted – Gilchrist County Supervisor of Elections Connie Sanchez, Gilchrist County Assistant Supervisor of Elections Tracy Ridgeway, and Gilchrist County Supervisor of Elections Deputy Clerk Lisa Slaughter. (This will be Ridgeway’s second appearance as a jingle singer.)

-- Video by Jeff M. Hardison

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Your weather just got better.

 -- UPDATED --
WED.  JULY 23  7:37 p.m.
Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist counties

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