Morriston man dies
in Marion County crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 18, 2018 at 11:08 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
A 53-year-old Morriston man died Friday afternoon (Aug. 17) as the result of injuries suffered in a two-vehicle crash in Marion County, the FHP said.

 

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     Claude Pepper Blount Jr., 53, of Morriston was driving a 1999 Toyota Camry at 1:50 p.m. on Aug. 17 in Marion County, according to information in a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper J. Sudlow and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. K. Hamilton.
     Blount was driving southbound on U.S. Highway 41, south of Overdrive Circle, the FHP said.
     Dean Robert Doroban, 52, of Ocala was driving a 200o Mack truck southbound on U.S. 41, ahead of the Camry, the FHP said. Alan Simpkins, 57, of Ocala was a passenger in the Mack truck, the FHP said.
     The Camry passenger car overtook the Mack truck and collided with the rear of the truck, the FHP said.
     Post-impact, the Camry rotated to final rest along the west shoulder of U.S. 41, the FHP said, while the Mack came to a
controlled stop.
     Blount suffered fatal injuries at the scene of the crash, the FHP said. Neither Doroban nor Simpkins suffered any injuries, the FHP said.
     All three occupants in both vehicles were using seatbelts, the FHP said, and alcohol was not a factor in the crash. There are no charges pending from this crash, the FHP said.


CPD Gets Go-Ahead For Grant Application
CPD Capt. Ray Tremblay HardisonInk.com
Chiefland Police Capt. Ray Tremblay standing in for CPD Chief Scott Anderson On Monday night (Aug. 13) hears a 5-0 vote of approval from the Chiefland City Commission in regard to the CPD’s request to apply for a $30,000 Byrne Grant to replace some equipment.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 15, 2018 at 3:38 p.m.

 


Suspected burglars
busted in Chiefland

Photos by LCSO
By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published August 14, 2018 at 10:28 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division arrested two people in connection to three recently reported residential burglaries on the outskirts of Chiefland.


Dustin R. Morgan


Brittany Dickerson


A stolen item that was recovered but not yet claimed by an owner.


More stolen items waiting to be returned to their rightful owners.



Some of the stolen items. Please report to law enforcement agencies when items are stolen.


     Investigators identified Dustin R. Morgan, 30, and Brittany Dickerson, 32, boyfriend-girlfriend, as the responsible parties. Morgan and Dickerson were located living inside their vehicle in the Chiefland area on Aug. 3 and arrested.
     Investigators believe Morgan is responsible for additional break-ins in the Chiefland area and are seeking assistance from our public to help solve more cases. Investigators located multiple household items and jewelry believed to be stolen inside the vehicle Morgan and Dickerson were living in.
     The vehicle is described as a white four-door Chevrolet passenger car. Pictured are some of the recovered items that have not yet identified. Anyone who recognizes any of these items is asked to please contact LCSO Inv. C.J. Perryman at 352-486-5111 ext. 276.
     Morgan is currently being held at the Levy County Jail. He has been charged with three counts of burglary, two counts of grand theft and one count of felony criminal mischief. His bond has been set at $250,000.
     Dickerson posted a $10,000 bond after being charged with two counts of providing false information to a pawn broker.


Suspected Burglar Arrested

On Sunday (Aug. 12), Erik Gath, 36, of Horseshoe, was arrested in connection with a residential burglary and burglary of a structure in the area of Horseshoe. According to the sworn complaint, Gath entered a residence of a former landlord and removed several items that did not belong to him and instead were the property of the landlord. A few days later, Gath is alleged to have entered a storage shed at the same address and where he removed several tool related items. Gath is being held in the Dixie County Jail on a $33,000 bond.
Published Aug. 14, 2018 at 9:28 p.m.

Information by DCSO Maj. Scott Harden. Mug Shot By DCSO.

 


Man arrested after allegedly parking reported stolen car at his residence

David Dyals

Mug Shot By DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 14, 2018 at 9:08 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 55-year-old man from Old Town was arrested Friday (Aug. 10), Dixie County Sheriff's Office Maj. Scott Harden noted in a press release, after deputies tracked a stolen vehicle to his residence.
     David A. Dyals, 55, from Old Town remained in the Dixie County Jail Monday (Aug. 13) with bond set at $85,000 on the charges of grand theft, trespass and criminal mischief in connection with the alleged theft from the female victim, Harden said.
     And he is going to see more bond added after other charges result from his reported actions, Harden said.
     It was in the early morning hours of Aug. 10, Harden said, when DCSO deputies responded to a complaint from a female resident in Old Town.
     They were told that Dyals, a former acquaintance of the victim, had come to her residence and threatened to kick in the door and kill her.
     The victim said that she then heard a car crank, Harden said, and she went to the window to see Dyals driving away from her property in her car.
     The victim said that Dyals had been given a trespass warning to stay away from her property previously, Harden said, and deputies confirmed through DCSO dispatch that Dyals had been warned to stay from her property.
     After obtaining a sworn statement from the victim, Harden said, the deputies went to Dyals' home where they found the victim’s car.
      When deputies knocked at the door in an attempt to interview Dyals, Harden said, Dyals told them that if they entered the home, then he would shoot them in the gut.
     The deputies then took cover behind a patrol unit, Harden said, and they notified a supervisor. The supervisor told them to obtain a warrant before entering the home, Harden said.
      Later that morning after having obtained the warrant, Harden said, deputies arrested Dyals and charged him with grand theft, trespass and criminal mischief in connection with the female victim.
     On Monday (Aug. 13), while Dyals was still in custody at the Dixie County Jail, he was arrested and charged with making the threats against law enforcement during the night of the incident, Harden said.
     Charges of assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer were added to the other charges, Harden said.

 


FHP seeks hit-and-run driver
after Dixie County crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 14, 2018 at 9:38 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
The Florida Highway Patrol is searching for a hit-and-run driver who smacked into a classic vehicle in Dixie County on Monday night (Aug. 13), according to an Aug. 14 press release from FHP Sgt. William Ernst.
     Steven Hunter, 70, of Old Town was driving a 1952 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck at 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 13, the FHP said. Ronnie Bass of Old Town was a passenger in the vehicle, the FHP said.
     Hunter was driving northbound on State Road 349, the FHP said.
     Hunter turned right onto Northeast 379th Avenue, the FHP said.  Once the turn was completed, the hit-and-run vehicle struck the right side of the old 1952 pickup, the FHP said.
     The vehicle that left the scene is described as a four-door, dark Ford truck, the FHP said.
     Anyone with information about the driver and-or the vehicle involved in this crash is asked to call Sgt. Ernst at the Cross City FHP Station at 352-541-6131, or call the FHP Communications Center in Jacksonville at 1-800-387-1290.


Man dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 12, 2018 at 10:08 p.m.
     ALACHUA COUNTY --
A single-vehicle crash claimed the life of a 63-year-old man in Alachua County on Sunday afternoon, the FHP said.
     Dennis John Lawrence, 63, of Saint Johns (St. Johns County) was driving a 2002 Ford F-150 pickup truck in Alachua County at 12;26 p.m., according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kevin M. Pace, based on information from crash investigator and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. S. Downing.
     The pickup truck was southbound on U.S. Highway 301 in the right lane, the FHP said. According to witnesses, the FHP said, Lawrence for unknown reasons slammed on the brakes and swerved to the right.
     This caused the vehicle to leave the roadway onto the right shoulder, the FHP said. The Ford rotated clockwise and overturned before coming to final rest upright facing to the northwest, the FHP said.
     During the rollover event, Lawrence was partially ejected and suffered fatal injuries as a result of this crash, the FHP said.


FHP reminds motorists
about schools reopening

Provided By FHP Lt. P.V. Riordan
Published Aug. 11, 2018 at 8:38 a.m.
     LAKE CITY –
As summer vacations end and area schools resume the Florida Highway Patrol reminds motorist to prepared for increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic in and around school zones.
Safety Tips for Bus Riders and Parents
     • Arrive at the bus stop a few minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
     • When waiting for the school bus, children should stay back from the road and never sit on the road or curb.
     • When the bus stops, wait for the driver’s signal that it is safe to cross the road or board the bus.
     • Teach children to never speak to strangers at the bus stop or get into the car with a stranger. Make sure they tell the bus driver, teachers at school, and parents if a stranger tries to talk to them or pick them up. Know the bus driver’s name and bus number.
     • When crossing the street, look left, right and left again. Never walk behind the school bus and stay away from the bus wheels at all times.
     • Children should sit properly in the seat facing the front and remain seated at all time. Children should listen to the driver and never put their head, hands or arms out the window.
     • Children should avoid running to or from the bus.


Motorists Traveling Near
School Bus and School Zones

     • All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
     • On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least five feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus. Painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers. Motorists should always slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus.
     • Be alert and watch for children especially in early morning hours where darkness is a factor near schools, bus stops, and school buses.

 

School Bus Law HardisonInk.com
Graphic Provided by HardisonInk.com


 


FWC recovers body from river

Chrissy Hough is seen holding baby Fago while waiting for word on her missing fiancée Richard ‘Tarzan’ Preston.
Photo Provided

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 10, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
The body of Richard James Preston, 36, of the Town of Suwannee (Dixie County) was recovered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at approximately 10:40 p.m. on (Tuesday) Aug. 7, according to information from FWC Regional Public Information Coordinator Karen Parker.

Richard James Preston HardisonInk.com
Richard James Preston

Photo Provided By Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office

     The man had been missing since Friday night.
      On Friday night (Aug. 3), at approximately 9 p.m., Parker said, Preston left as a passenger on a 16-foot 1988 Landau boat. Preston would have celebrated his 37th birthday this coming Wednesday (Aug. 15), according to records.
     James Wilmer Corbin, 68, of Old Town was piloting the boat that departed from Ellie Ray's RV Resort and Lounge (Branford) on the Santa Fe River, heading downstream, as they went toward where the two men had launched at the Town of Suwannee earlier that day, according to records.
     Preston stood up in the boat to urinate over the side of the boat as the vessel was idling down the Suwannee River, according to records. Corbin said Preston fell overboard into the water and could not be located, records showed.
     Witnesses at a nearby residence on the river heard Corbin yelling, records showed, and they shined a flashlight on him and called him over.
     Corbin drove the boat to the witnesses’ dock, records showed. The witnesses then called 9-1-1.
     Several law enforcement agencies responded to the scene for the search and rescue operation, Parker said.
     The search and rescue operation became a recovery mission.
     At approximately 10:40 p.m. on (Tuesday) Aug. 7, FWC Lt. James Futch, FWC Officers Austin Sheffield, FWC Officer Aubrey Ransom, FWC Inv. Terrynce Bing, Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Deputy C. Keen and Clay Locklear, an employee from Gooding Funeral Home, recovered Preston’s body in an area just north of Rock Bluff on the Dixie County side of the river, Parker said.
     The Eighth Judicial Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office will determine cause of death. The FWC is investigating the accident, Parker said.
     Among the people Preston leaves behind is his fiancée Chrissy Hough and their baby Fago, Hough said.
     Hough said her late fiancée was also known locally as “Tarzan.”

 


Semi hits SUV, five injured
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 8, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
All five people involved in a two-vehicle crash Saturday (Aug. 4) were taken to Shands at Gainesville with non-life-threatening injuries, according to information in public records released Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 8) from the Chiefland Police Department.
     Natasha Nell Enfinger, 27, of Bell was driving a 2003 Toyota SUV at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, according to information in a Florida Traffic Crash Report by CPD Officer K. Schultz.
     The three passengers in the SUV were Wilbur Eugene Chewning, 40, of Old Town; Kylie Hunter, a child with no age listed in the report, of Trenton; and Clayton Hunter, a child with no age listed in the report, of Chiefland, Schultz noted.
     Gregory Lamar Butts, 56, of Pelham, Ga., was driving a 2000 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer, Schultz noted.
     Enfinger was pulling out at the green light leading from Winn Dixie heading east as she was going to turn left and go north on U.S. Highway 19, Schultz said.
     Butts was southbound on U.S. 19, Schultz said, and he failed to stop for the red light.
     The semi smashed into the left side of the SUV, carrying it on the front of that vehicle through the intersection until it stopped facing south.
     Two witnesses in different vehicles at the scene of the crash confirmed in no uncertain terms that Butts drove the semi through the red light, according to records, and Schultz noted this as a cause for the crash; however, at the top of page 1 of the report it shows "# of Violations 0 (zero)."
     In addition to the SUV, the semi reportedly damaged a sign owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, according to the crash report.
     All five occupants of both vehicles were taken to Shands in Gainesville by Levy County Department of Public safety ambulances, according to records.


Idle speed on three zones
of the Santa Fe River

FWC Santa Fe River high HardisonInk.com
FWC Photo

By Karen Parker,
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
North Central Regional Public Information Coordinator
Published Aug. 8, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.
     LAKE CITY --
A third idle-speed, no-wake zone was activated today on the Santa Fe River, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
     Zone 8 begins at an unnamed island approximately 4.25 miles upstream from the confluence of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers (coordinates: 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W) and ends at the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. This includes the Ichetucknee River upstream to the U.S. Highway 27 Bridge. This zone activates when the Three Rivers gauge reaches 16.25 feet. Today, the water level was at 16.3 feet.
     Zone 5, which activated July 26, runs from the Santa Fe River at the River Rise in O’Leno State Park downstream to the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge when the river is 34.2 feet or higher on the High Springs gauge. Today, the gauge is at 35.98 feet.
     Zone 6, which activated July 27, starts at the centerline of the U.S. 27 Bridge downstream to .5 mile upstream from the State Road 47 Bridge when the river is 23.25 feet or higher on the Fort White gauge. Today, the gauge is at 24.8 feet.
     “With the rainfall the area has been receiving recently, the river water levels have been steadily increasing,” said Capt. Clay Huff, area supervisor. “FWC officers will be patrolling this area of the river to ensure the idle-speed, no-wake zone is enforced. The higher water levels can create navigational hazards, such as floating debris, rocks, stumps and shoaling conditions, for unsuspecting boaters. We want everyone to be safe,” Huff said.
     The three zones will remain activated until the water level recedes below their activation points.
     An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than what is required to maintain steerageway and headway. At no time is any vessel required to proceed so slowly that the operator is unable to control it or anything it may be towing.
     For more information about the flood zones, call 386-758-0525. To report violations, call 888-404-3922.
     To obtain real-time river level information, visit http://mysuwanneeriver.com/.

 


LCDPS teaches CPR to teachers






Story and Photos
Provided By Alesha Rinaudo Of the LCDPS
Published Aug. 8, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.
     The campaign shows basic skills to handle an event where there is injury resulting in blood loss; call 9-1-1, ensure safety, compress and control bleeding.
     As part of this campaign, and in conjunction with the Levy County School Board, to prepare for the upcoming school year, the Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) met with teachers to provide Stop the Bleed and CPR training this week.


Man arrested as a suspect of DWLSR and drug law violations

Artis Feaster
Mug Shot By DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison
© Aug. 8, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A deputy with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office uncovered evidence to support an arrest for driving while license suspended or revoked (DWLSR), possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia on Sunday (Aug. 5), DCSO Maj. Scott Harden noted in a press release he sent on Aug. 6.
     While on patrol in the early morning hours Sunday (Aug. 5), a DCSO deputy saw a vehicle backing up the roadway on Northeast 82nd Avenue in Old Town, Harden said.
     The deputy then conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, Harden said, and the deputy identified the driver as Artis Feaster, 56. 
     Having had previous contact with Feaster, Harden said, the deputy asked Feaster if he had his driver’s license become active again, to which Feaster said that he had not.
     The deputy verified through dispatch that Feaster’s license was suspended, Harden said, and then the deputy asked Feaster for consent to search the vehicle.
     Down in the driver’s door panel, the deputy discovered a burned smoking pipe with wire mesh, Harden said.
     The pipe tested positive for cocaine, Harden said.
     Feaster was arrested for DWLR, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, Harden said.
     Feaster was put in the Dixie County Jail in lieu of $21,000 worth of bonds, Harden said.


Heavy rains increase
risks for flooding

By Katelyn Potter, Communications Director
Suwannee River Water Management District
Published Aug. 6, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
     LIVE OAK –
Rainfall across the Suwannee Valley has increased levels in the aquifer across much of the 15-county region of the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) and the springs and rivers are flowing; but so is water in the streets in some areas.
     The District is warning residents to be prepared as we move into what is typically the most active months of the year for tropical weather.
      “Water levels are the highest they have been for many years in some areas of the District,” said Fay Baird, senior hydrologist with the District. “If our area receives a tropical storm or heavy rainfall event, flooding in many low areas across the District could be significant.”
     Many areas throughout the District have experienced much higher than average rainfall over the past two months. Areas in Dixie and Levy counties have received almost 40 inches of rain over the past three months, compared to a long-term average of approximately 18 inches for that same time period.
     Communities in Alachua, Levy and Dixie counties have already experienced localized flooding, particularly in low-lying areas of the counties. Additionally, river-level forecasts on the Santa Fe River are already at minor flood stages, although water levels are currently expected to recede before significant flooding occurs.
     Because of all the rain, there is little ability for the landscape to absorb more water. This can result in flooding. In many areas of the District, the only solution is for the water to move to another place, recede, evaporate or percolate into the ground.
     Historically, August and September are the months in which the District is most likely to have widespread rain from tropical systems. But even if there is no tropical weather over the next few weeks, summer thunderstorms can create local downpours. Under those conditions local flooding can happen very quickly especially when an area is already saturated.
     Residents in low lying areas and those along rivers and streams should be thinking NOW about what they can do to safeguard their homes and belongings from high water.
     ● Take time to identify alternate evacuation routes in the event the home’s main ingress and egress becomes flooded. Residents also should keep in mind that even if their home is on high ground, the roads that lead to it may not be.
     ● Make a plan to move valuable property, including animals, from low, flood-prone areas to higher ground.
     ● Verify that drainageways on or through the property are not blocked and allow for water flow.
     ● Identify an evacuation location ahead of time.
     ● Always evacuate if instructed to do so.
     The District monitors river and rainfall levels on an hourly basis. If levels along river corridors approach flood stage, the District works with the National Weather Service and local emergency management personnel to warn citizens, so they can protect their homes, resources and roads.
     For more information on rainfall and river levels, visit http://mysuwanneeriver.com/. The District works with local communities to provide grant funding for flooding prevention and mitigation. If you have ideas for projects, please submit them to the District’s Project Portal found on the website.
     The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public.


FHP seeks dark F-150
in fatal hit-and-run

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 6, 2018 at 11:08 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
The Florida Highway Patrol is seeking information concerning a dark colored, possibly dark blue, Ford F-150 that has damage to the front left headlamp assembly.
     The unknown driver of the as-yet unidentified pickup truck hit a pedestrian on Sunday night (Aug. 5) at 9:11 p.m. Details about the pedestrian are being withheld pending notification of the next-of-kin, according to a press release from FHP Lt. Jonathan Young, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper M. Earnest and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Richard S. Crawford.
     The accident happened at the intersection of Northwest 110th Avenue and Fifth Street in Marion County, the FHP said.
     In the earlier press release from FHP Sgt. Javon Murphy, it was noted that pickup truck was southbound on Northwest 110th Avenue, approaching the Fifth Street intersection.
     The pedestrian was walking eastbound, while pushing his bicycle, on Northwest 110th
Avenue attempting to cross the road. The vehicle continued southbound as the pedestrian traveled its travel path, the FHP said.
     This caused the front right of truck to hit the pedestrian, the FHP said.
     Due to this collision, the pedestrian was thrown southeast into the northbound lane, the FHP said. The victim was later transported to the Ocala Regional Medical Center, the FHP said, where he was pronounced dead.
     The driver of the truck fled the scene of the crash without rendering aide to the pedestrian, the FHP said, traveling southbound on Northwest 110th Avenue.
     Anyone with information about the driver and-or the vehicle involved in this crash is asked to contact: FHP Cpl. Crawford at 352-955-2004 or call the FHP Communications Center in
Jacksonville at 1-800-387-1290, or call Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-7867.


DCSO arrests suspected child abuser

Katlyn Forehand
Mug Shot by DCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 6, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 21-year-old Cross City woman was arrested by investigators with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office last Friday (Aug. 3) on a charge of aggravated child abuse, DCSO Maj. Scott Harden said in a press release Monday morning (Aug. 6).
     Bond was set at $50,000, the major said, for Katlyn Forehand, 21 of Cross City in regard to that charge, and she is in the Dixie County Jail.
     Sheriff’s officials were notified by the Florida Department of Children and Families of a case of possible child abuse, Harden said, and DCF referred the DCSO investigator to the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.
     Based upon the findings of the UF Department of Pediatrics, Harden said, a sworn complaint was filed on Forehand.
     According to the sworn complaint, the 2-month-old victim was suffering from multiple fractures in the upper and lower extremities, Harden said, and the types of fractures that were suffered are highly specific for abuse.

 


Trenton man dies in
Suwannee County crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 5, 2018 at 7:28 p.m.
     SUWANNEE COUNTY --
A 27-year-old Trenton man died very early Sunday morning (Aug. 5) in a single-vehicle crash in Suwannee County, the FHP said.
     Justin James Wooddell, 27, of Trenton was driving a 2007 Ford F-150 pickup truck at 1:35 a.m. on Aug. 5 in Suwannee County, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kevin M. Pace noted in a press release based on information from crash and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Derek MacLaren.
     The crash happened south of Wellborn, the FHP said, on Suwannee County Road 137.
     The Ford was northbound on CR 137, the FHP said, when it approached a right curve.
     Wooddell, failed to negotiate this curve and the pickup truck went onto the west shoulder of the road, where it overturned and struck a utility pole, the FHP said.
     Wooddell was transported to UF Health Shands Hospital via helicopter and he later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital in Gainesville, the FHP said. It is unknown whether he was wearing a seatbelt, the FHP said, and it is unknown whether alcohol was a factor in this crash.


Back To School Reminder

Members of the Chiefland Police Department, Levy County Sheriff's Office and Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office helped children enjoy visiting with them during the two-week back-to-school socializing event at Walmart. CPD Chief Scott Anderson, LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond and GCSO Chief Deputy Jeff Manning all confirmed those agencies participated. Seen here are a German Shepherd mascot to help children be reminded that K-9 officers are part of the same team of officers who protect life and property. Lindsey and Ryan Brault are seen with the mascot Saturday (Aug. 4). This officer dog is Cannon the K-9. This weekend there has been a tax break on some school supplies at stores in Florida. That break ends today (Sunday, Aug. 5).
Published Aug. 5, 2018 at 8:08 a.m.

Photo By
Kristen Brault

 

 

 


Physician assistant charged in embezzlement of office funds;
Gambling habit reportedly caused him to steal

James Eldon Long Sr.
Mug Shot By WPD

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 3, 2018 at 10:28 a.m.
     WILLISTON --
The Ocala Police Department assisted the Williston Police Department in uncovering evidence to show probable cause to arrest a physician's assistant for his alleged embezzlement of funds from a clinic.
     WPD Chief Dennis Strow noted in an Aug. 2 emailed press release that on July 17, the WPD had been contacted by one of the owners of Williston Rural Health and Wellness Clinic who reported an embezzlement of clinic funds.
     As of Thursday (Aug. 2), James Eldon Long Sr., 67, of Morriston, is charged with grand theft, Chief Strow said, and this defendant also has pending an arrest warrant from Marion County charging him with dealing in stolen property and falsification of ownership to a pawn broker.
     Long's current bond at the Levy County Jail is $7,000, Strow said. The investigation into this incident is not complete, Strow said.
     During the investigation of the crime, Strow said, detectives found pawn records where the defendant had pawned a computer monitor belonging to the clinic at a pawn shop in Ocala.
     WPD officers, Chief Strow said, found the box which had the serial number of the pawned monitor in the back room of the clinic.
     OPD Det. S. Young was notified and that Ocala Police Department detective determined that the defendant pawned the clinic’s property at an Ocala pawn shop, Strow said.
     Det. Young obtained an arrest warrant for the Long.
     On Thursday (Aug. 2), 2018, the defendant was located at his residence was taken into custody and transported to the WPD for questioning, Strow said.
     Upon being questioned, Strow said, Long admitted to taking money from the office, and he told investigators that he used the cash for gas and to support his gambling habit.


Fort White man dies
in three-vehicle crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 2, 2018 at 9:18 a.m.
     COLUMBIA COUNTY --
A Fort White man died in a crash, where drivers from Suwannee and Dixie counties were involved as well, the FHP said.
     Steven Butler, 64, of Fort White was driving a 2016 Ford F-150 pickup truck Wednesday morning (Aug. 1) at 8:45 a.m. in Columbia County, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kevin M. Pace noted in a press release based on information from crash investigator Trooper Brian Bates and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. James D. Smith.
     Kelly Danaher, 41, of Branford was driving a 2015 Mazda 6 passenger car, the FHP said.
     Jesse Carlton Bennett, 57, of Cross City was driving a 2006 Mack CHN613, the FHP said.
     All three vehicles were northbound on U.S. Highway 441, the FHP said.
     The lineup of vehicles from front to back on those northbound vehicles, the FHP said, was Mack truck, passenger car and pickup truck.
     The Mack truck came to a stop in the northbound lane of the roadway, the FHP said, due to road construction. A flagger had stopped the Mack truck, the FHP said.
     The passenger car then began slowing in front of the pickup truck, the FHP said.
     Butler failed to reduce the pickup truck’s speed, the FHP said, causing the front of the pickup truck to collide with the rear of the passenger car.
     This collision caused the passenger car to travel onto the eastern shoulder of the roadway, the FHP said. After the pickup truck separated from the passenger car, the FHP said, the pickup truck continued traveling north -- causing the front of the pickup truck to collide with the rear of the Mack truck, the FHP said.
     The pickup truck and the Mack truck came to final rest in the northbound lane of U.S. 441, the FHP said, and the passenger car came to final rest on the eastern shoulder of the roadway.
     Butler was pronounced dead on the scene, the FHP said. He was not wearing a seatbelt, the FHP said.
    The two other drivers suffered minor injuries that did not require transport to a hospital, the FHP said. Danaher and Bennett were wearing seatbelts, the FHP said.
     Charges are pending completion of the investigation of the crash, the FHP said.


Dogs track and locate
fleeing VOP suspect



Steven Barnette

Mug Shot by DCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 1, 2018 at 1:08 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A Cross City Correctional Institution (CCCI) K-9 Team assisted the Dixie County Sheriff's Office on July 24 in apprehending a man suspected of Violation Of Probation, according to information in a July 31 press release from Dixie County Sheriff's Offices Maj. Scott Harden.
     Steven Eric Barnette, 28, of Old Town is in the Dixie County Jail, where he is being held without bond, Harden said.
     Barnette's new temporary residential address started when, on the morning of July 24, a DCSO deputy who was patrolling in the area of Northeast 470th Avenue saw Barnette, whom he knows, Harden said.
     The deputy had knowledge that Barnette was wanted on an outstanding warrant for Violation Of Probation (VOP), Harden said.
     When the deputy approached the property, Harden said, Barnette fled on foot behind the residence into a wooded area. The deputy gave chase on foot for approximately 100 yards before losing sight of Barnette, Harden said.
     The deputy then requested assistance from the CCCI K-9 Team, which responded to the area, Harden said, and they then began to track Barnette.
     While tracking Barnette, Harden said, the K-9 Team and deputy found two freshly dropped baggies that contained a substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine.
     The K-9 Team continued to track from the point where the baggies were located for approximately another mile and a half, Harden said, where they arrived at a property with a shed.
     While clearing the shed, Harden said, Barnette was found hiding under a blanket inside.
     Barnette was arrested on the VOP warrant, and he was then subsequently charged with resisting an officer without violence, possession of methamphetamine and tampering with evidence -- for disposing of the methamphetamine while fleeing, Harden said.


Tuesday night crash claims a life
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 1, 2018 at 11:38 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
A 26-year-old Gainesville man died late Tuesday night (July 31) in a crash, the FHP said.
     Taylor Starling, 26, of Gainesville was driving a 2017 Dodge Ram at 11:17 p.m. in Marion County, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Javon Murphy said in a press release based on information from crash and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. R. Crawford.
     The Dodge pickup truck was southbound on Marion County Road 329, near Northwest 163rd Road Street, the FHP said.
     The vehicle went off of the roadway to the right (west) shoulder, the FHP said.
     Starling then overcorrected and steered the Ram back to the left, the FHP said.
     The vehicle began traveling across both travel lanes of CR 329, the FHP said, and then it went onto the left (east) grass shoulder. After exiting the roadway, the FHP said, the pickup truck hit a tree. Starling was pronounced dead on the scene by Marion County Fire Rescue, the FHP said.
     This case is still under investigation, the FHP said.


Deer avoidance leads to Trenton
teen's crash in Dixie County

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 31, 2018 at 10:18 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
Avoiding a collision with a deer, a 19-year-old woman crashed the car she was driving Monday night, the FHP said.
     Kayleigh Alexis Johnson, 19, Trenton was driving a 2001 Lincoln Town Car at 8:10 p.m. on July 30 in Dixie County, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Javon Murphy noted in a press release based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper K. Skelly.
     The Town Car was northbound on Southwest 358 Highway near 661th Street, the FHP said, when a deer entered the roadway from the east shoulder.
     Johnson took evasion action to avoid a collision with the deer, the FHP said, which caused the vehicle to run off of the roadway. The driver then over-corrected, the FHP said, causing the vehicle to overturn into the wood line.
     The front of the vehicle was partially submerged in a ditch full of water, the FHP said.
     Johnson suffered minor injuries and was taken to UF Health Shands in Gainesville, the FHP said. The driver was not cited.


Dunnellon woman dies
in Citrus County crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 31, 2018 at 8:48 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY --
A 67-year-old woman from Dunnellon died Monday afternoon (July 30) in a crash in Citrus County, the FHP said.
     Kathleen Trammell Chaffee, 67, of Dunnellon was driving a 1997 Ford F-150 in Citrus County at 12:24 p.m. on July 30, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins noted in a press release on Monday, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper C. Vaughn and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. K. Hamilton.
     Susan Marie Little, 63, and Lawrence Michael Fay, 51, both of Dunnellon, were passengers in the Ford.
     Ashley Dawn Bressler, 24, of the city of Hernando (Citrus County) was driving a 2003 Jeep Patriot, the FHP said.
     The four passengers in the Patriot, all from Hernando, were Violete Rosetta Bressler, 45, Tamika Diane Bressler, 22, Jackie M. Bressler, 6, and Sonnie N. Bressler, 5, the FHP said.
     The Ford pickup truck was southbound on Citrus County Road 491 (North Lecanto Highway), the FHP said, approaching the intersection of West Pine Ridge Boulevard.
     At the intersection, the Ford failed to stop for a red traffic signal and entered the path of the Jeep, the FHP said, which was eastbound on West Pine Ridge Boulevard.
     As a result, the FHP said, the front of the Jeep Patriot ran into the right side of the Ford F-150. Post-impact, the Ford overturned and Little suffered fatal injuries at the scene of the crash, the FHP said. Fay was taken to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Hospital with minor injuries.
     All of the Jeep's occupants were wearing seatbelts or child restraints, the FHP said, and no one in that vehicle suffered injuries.


LCDPS trains with
air medical team

HardisonInk.com

Story and Photos
Provided By
Alesha Rinaudo, Assistant to the LCDPS Director
Published July 30, 2018 at 8:08 p.m.
     BRONSON --
During part of the quarterly training held by Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) on Wednesday (July 25), field staff met with crew members with PHI Florida 1 -- the new air medical team based in Levy County.


HardisonInk.com


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     PHI Florida 1 operates a 2003 Bell 407 Rotorcraft out of Williston Municipal Airport. This helicopter has an engine built by Rolls Royce, according to FAA records.
     This training consisted of landing zone requirements, safety, and special considerations with the helicopter crew(s) and unit.
     LCDPS looks forward to the continued positive working relationship with PHI to best serve the residents and visitors of Levy County.


 




Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
BUI - Boating While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested
Aug. 6 Through Aug. 12

Updated Aug. 13, 2018 at 10:48 p.m.


AUGUST 6
     James Otha Gaskins, 32, of Timmonsville, South Carolina was arrested for marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams.
     Eduardo Santillan, 23, of Alachua was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $1,000.
     Selena Marie Scott-Barber, 38, of Williston was arrested for larceny - resist arrest - commit theft - resist recovery of property. ROR.
     Ashleigh Leigh Sykes, 30, of Toccoa, Georgia was arrested for poss. controlled substance without prescription, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $7,000.
     Jacob Thomas Verrier, 18, of Hernando was arrested for an out-of-county warrant, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams. Bond $1,000. No bond on warrant.
AUGUST 7
     Jason Richard Blouse, 44, of Cedar Key was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
     John William Snow, 56, of Ocala was arrested for RWOV, two counts of poss. controlled substance without prescription, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $37,000.
     Adrian Craig Ware, 33, of Apopka was arrested for DWLSR - first offense, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams. No bond amount was given.
     Nebuchadnezzar Earl Watson, 63, of Fanning Springs was arrested for disorderly intoxication in a public place causing a disturbance. Bond $1,000.
AUGUST 8
     James Wesley Dyess, 47, of Morriston was arrested for two out-of-county warrants. Bond $31,000.
     Larry Mortimer Huskins Jr., 46, of Inglis was arrested for battery - second or subsequent offense, battery - commit domestic battery by strangulation, contempt of court - violate injunction - repeat sex date violation. Bond $500,000.
     Houston Lee Myers, 22, of Chiefland was arrested for DWLSR, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. drug paraphernalia - advertise, VOP. Bond $3,000. No bond for VOP.
     Bennie Lee Richardson Sr., 59, of Williston was arrested for poss. of weapon or ammo by convicted Florida felon, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $2,000.
     Wesley Austin Sims, 26, of Perry was arrested for simple assault - intent threat to do violence. Bond $1,000.
AUGUST 9
     Noah Keith Bevins, 37, of Inglis was arrested for an out-of-county warrant, resist officer/ interfere with LEO without violence, VOP. Bond $5,000. No bond on warrant or VOP.
     Dena Ray Doty, 37, of Cedar Key was arrested for poss. controlled substance without prescription, drug equipment - poss. paraphernalia - deliver to minor, VOP. Bond $26,000. No bond for VOP.
     Brittany Lynn McCool, 24, of Homosassa was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
     Timothy Leon White, 44, of Morriston was arrested for poss. controlled substance without prescription. Bond $15,000.
AUGUST 10
     Elmer James Lane Sr., 55, of Trenton was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
     Ken Stephon Rives, 38, of Williston was arrested for non-support of children or spouse, poss. cocaine. Bond $13,700.
     Donald Jean Simmons, 37, of Ocala was arrested for two counts of non-support of children or spouse, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. and/or use. Bond $64,160.
AUGUST 11
     Ja’Harold Davonta Davis, 20, of Gainesville was arrested for operate motor vehicle without a valid driver license, poss. of weapon or ammo by convicted Florida felony. Bond $22,500.
     Christopher Neal Easom, 41, of Williston was arrested for operate motor vehicle without valid driver license. Bond $1,500.
     Johnny Ray Futch Jr., 44, of Trenton was arrested for poss. controlled substance without prescription, marijuana - poss. over 20 grams, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment - poss. paraphernalia - advertise. Bond $29,500.
     Kevin Henry Hahn, 59, of Inglis was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond.
     Thomas Ira Miller II, 50, of Micanopy was arrested for poss. cocaine, VOP. Bond $10,000. No bond on VOP.
     Michael Allen Miller, 26, of Chiefland was arrested for flee/elude police - fail to obey LEO order to stop, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams. Bond $22,500.
     Mandy Jean Sears, 40, of Williston was arrested for attach registration - license plate not assigned, DWLSR, poss. cocaine, poss. controlled substance without prescription. Bond $35,000.
AUGUST 12
     Ledarcus K. Jackson, 26, no address, was arrested for an out-of-county warrant, marijuana - poss. not more than 20 grams. Bond $8,580.
     Robert Earl James, 40, of Williston was arrested for DUI - refuse to submit to DUI test after license suspended, poss. cocaine. Bond $12,500.
     Dustin Dwight Liston Sr., 22, of Chiefland was arrested for battery - touch or strike. ROR.



Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested
Aug. 6 Through Aug. 12

Updated Aug. 13, 2018 at 10:48 p.m.

AUGUST 6
     Tiffany Ann Smith, 31 of Old Town was arrested for cannabis - less than 20 grams. Bond $1,000.
     Dalton Ell, 20, no address was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
     William Tumlin, 39, of Cross City was arrested for DWLSR - second offense. Bond $3,000.
     Andrew T. Williams, 31, of Cross City was arrested for violation of injunction. Bond $50,000.
     Vera Leira, 40, of Old Town was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $900.
AUGUST 7
AUGUST 8

     Charles L. Dolin, 47, of New Port Richey was arrested for loitering or prowling. Bond $1,000.
     Robert C. Haynes, 48, of Gilchrist County was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $15,000.
AUGUST 9
AUGUST 10

     David Alton Dyals, 55, of Old Town was arrested for grand theft auto, trespass, criminal mischief. Bond $25,000.
     Erica D. Pasley, 34, of Old Town was arrested for simple battery, elderly abuse. Bond $3,000.
     April J. Stacy, 24, of Branford was arrested for obstruct public highway, disorderly intoxication. Bond $1,000.
AUGUST 11
     David White, 35, of Bell was arrested for poss. controlled substance, poss./ use/ manufacture/ delivery/ advertise. Bond $15,000.
     Gregory Scadura, 43, of Fanning Springs was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
AUGUST 12
     Jasmine Kaylie Music, 18, of Cross City was arrested for marijuana - poss. more than 20 grams. Bond $5,000.
     Walter Burns, 47, of Cross City was arrested for battery - spouse abuse. No bond amount was given.
     John Andrew Anderson, 43, of Old Town was arrested for burglary - occupied dwelling, battery. No bond amount was given.
     Erik Wayne Gath, 36, of Old Town was arrested for burglary - residence - unoccupied, grand theft, criminal mischief. No bond amount was given.
     David F. Weeks, 31, of Old Town was arrested for spouse abuse - battery by strangulation, battery  - spouse abuse - domestic, aggravated battery domestic. No bond amount was given.

 






 

Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested
Aug. 6 Through Aug. 12

Updated Aug. 13, 2018 at 10:48 p.m.

AUGUST 6
     Jeremy William Lanier, 19, of Branford was arrested for DWLSR, flee/elude officer in patrol vehicle. Bond $6,000.
     Travis Randall Rose, 26, of Newberry was arrested for VOP. No bond.
AUGUST 7
AUGUST 8

     Jack Joseph Fogler, 44, of High Springs was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $10,013.
     Jonathan Raymond Perkins, 27, of Trenton was arrested for FTA, two out-of-county warrants. Bond $4,500.
AUGUST 9
     Brittany Leigh Dickerson, 32, of Bell was arrested for burglary of unoccupied dwelling, unarmed, no assault/battery. Bond $25,000.
AUGUST 10
AUGUST 11

     Elmer James Lane, 55, of Trenton was arrested for VOP. No bond.
AUGUST 12
     Elex Adelmo Gomez-Diaz, 20, of Bell was arrested for no driver license - never had one. No bond amount has been given.
     Jared Robert Suggs, 36, of Trenton was arrested for VOP, battery - second or subsequent offense. No bond amount has been given.

--UPDATED--
SATURDAY  AUG. 18  11:08 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties




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The people shown above are the most wanted currently by the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Updated Aug. 14, 2018 at 8:38 p.m.

 




Here Goldy the cat Hardison plays dead.
Cat training and video
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Here Inky the cat Hardison performs three Olympic jumps to rival the athletes in Brazil in 2016. Wait for it -- JUMP!
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