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Deputy Dog Found
Within two and a half hours after Levy County Undersheriff Brett Beauchamp issued an email at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 17) that Levy County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Nero” was missing from his kennel in Trenton, the dog was located and returned to his partner Deputy Clint Anderson. LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond at 6:53 p.m. sent an email to note the LCSO is grateful to the people of Gilchrist County for their help in finding the deputized dog.
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Williston mayor thanks
Bronson Town Council

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 16, 2014
     BRONSON -- Bronson Mayor Franklin Schuler read a note Monday night (Sept. 15) from Williston Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat, which shows how friendly the two towns are.
     Mayor Hethcoat opened his letter with an apology for taking so long to write it. His letter was in regard to what had been a few weeks ago. Bronson had called Williston for help with a leaking water pipe.
     Williston Utilities Director Utility Director C.J. Zimoski went to Bronson with the largest pipe sleeve that he had.
     “Unfortunately, the sleeve we provided did not fit the broken pipe,” Mayor Hethcoat wrote.
     The mayor found the bright side of the event, because this gave the easternmost city workers of Levy County a chance to mingle with their counterparts in Bronson.
     “After the leak was repaired,” Hethcoat wrote, “our staff contacted me and asked if I would be sure to let you know how impressed they were with the professionalism of the Town of Bronson’s employees and the job they were doing, especially your City Clerk Kelli Brettel.”
     The staff had never before seen a city clerk in a hole with mud up to her knees as she worked with the crew to do whatever was required to repair the leak, Hethcoat said in his letter.  The mayor noted that if there is any way Williston can help Bronson in the future, then the city is there to assist its neighbors.
     During the Monday night meeting, Brettel said a pipe with an eight-inch diameter puts out a lot of water in a short period of time. Bronson Public Works Director Jimmy Dunford said that if not for the help of the Williston workers, the pipe would probably still be leaking.
     Dunford added that Curtis Stacy’s son Curtis, and Jimmy Turner were in the hole helping. Brettel said that Dunford was up to his neck in mud and if she had gone all the way into the hole where he was, then it would have been over her head.

WHS forfeits football game;
Principal fires coach
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 15, 2014
     WILLISTON -- A coach and teacher lost his job in Williston on Sunday (Sept. 14) after a terrible set of circumstances caused the Williston High School Red Devil Varsity Football Team to forfeit its game on Friday (Sept. 12) to Duval Charter School of Baymeadows (Jacksonville).
     There was no head referee, umpire or other official who wears white shirts with black stripes at the game as of 7:15 p.m., everyone realized there was a critical issue. Kickoff for all high school football games in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties is at 7:30 p.m. This was a home game at Williston.
     After a concentrated effort to find officials at the last minute failed, the game was called as a forfeit by WHS at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, according to WHS Principal Eulin E. Gibbs.
     “We called everybody and their brother,” Gibbs said as the search for last minute officials started.
     The score of this disastrous non-game is recorded in favor of the DCSB Panthers over the WHS Red Devils. On Max Preps (a site) there is a column with an "F" for “forfeit” and that check mark goes next to WHS in regard to this match.
     Williston is now 0-2 in the win-loss standings for 2014-15 Florida High School Athletic Association 1A District 7 Football regular season series. The other teams in the district show the following standings in that regard now -- Chiefland 2-1; Dixie County 3-0; Newberry 1-3; and Union County 3-0, according to Max Preps.
     Overall, including the pre-season, WHS is 1-3 for wins-losses if the forfeit is counted as a loss.
     Williston will travel to Dixie County for its game on Friday (Sept. 19).
     WHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Cliff Lohrey was fired from his positions as athletic director and head football coach on Sunday (Sept. 14) by Gibbs, the principal said.
     Gibbs offered the coach a teaching position in credit retrieval but Lohrey declined the offer.
     “He turned that down,” Gibbs said, “because he felt that with him being on campus it would be a distraction to the team and the new coaching staff.”
     Gibbs said it was a bad situation, but he and Lohrey parted on good terms and the principal noted “He (Lohrey) is a good man.”
     For the visiting team's fans who showed their ticket from the game that night, there was a cash refund that night for tickets that were purchased if they sought a refund, Gibbs said. For the home team fans, if they kept their ticket stubs, then those tickets from the Sept. 12 game can be used at the next home game, which will be against Wildwood High School on Sept. 26.
     Principal Gibbs explained that the process leading to no officials appearing at the game on Friday night occurred from a two-part set of people dropping the ball.
     Coach Lohrey sent the schedule of games for WHS to the refereeing association, Gibbs said, on July 19 and the coach has confirmation of that email.
     Gibbs said a person with the officials’ association enters the data of game schedules into a software program named “Arbiter,” and that program assigns officials to all of the games for that association to send officials.
     “’Arbiter’ automatically generates an email the week of the game,” Gibbs said, “and sends it to the athletic director or head coach.”
     That email lists the officials’ names for the game as well as confirming that the game is scheduled to be officiated, Gibbs said.
     “Whoever entered it from the officials’ association, for some reason, missed putting our game in,” Gibbs said.
     After the failure on Friday, the principal said, contact was made with the officials’ association. Coach Lohrey learned that the game was simply not entered into the “Arbiter” program for that program to perform what is required to have officials be at a game.
     When Coach Lohrey did not see confirmation midweek for the officials to be at the game, Gibbs said, Lohrey should have contacted the officials’ association to question who would be covering that game.
     “That’s where they dropped the ball by not getting it into the system,” Gibbs said. “We dropped the ball by not confirming that we had officials and following up from there.”
     The officials’ association has the rest of the schedule for WHS logged into its system, Gibbs said.
     WHS Varsity Baseball Coach Scott Hall was appointed Sunday as the interim Head Varsity Football Coach and WHS Athletic Director, Gibbs said. Coach Hall will complete the school year as athletic director, the principal said.
     Football ends Oct. 31 and baseball begins Feb. 1, Gibbs said, and so Coach Hall will be able to perform the required duties.
     “He (Hall) was somewhat apprehensive jumping into the middle of the (football) season,” Gibbs said. “He was our golf coach. He wasn’t coaching football this year.”
     Gibbs said he and Levy County Superintendent of Schools Robert Hastings wanted someone on the campus to be the head football coach for the remainder of this season. They wanted a coach who would know the players and keep the principal in the loop at all times.
     Gibbs said that Coach Hall is excited to continue the football season with the Red Devils. The principal said it has been a long weekend, where he had to reflect on what would be best for the football program and for the school as a whole.

Another suspected
shotgun murder
rips through Dixie County;

Another suspected murderer arrested
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 13, 2014
     DIXIE COUNTY -- As the result of what appears to be cold-blooded, premeditated murder, an 18-year-old man is dead and a 48-year-old man is in the Dixie County Jail after the incident Saturday morning (Sept. 13), according to a press release from Dixie County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Scott Harden.
    Tyler Snellgrove, 18, of the Town of Suwannee, was found suffering from a shotgun wound to his torso and was treated and transported to meet with ShandsCair for helicopter transport to UF Health in Gainesville, where he died as a result of his wounds, Harden said.
DCSOPresctt     At 9:27 a.m. on Saturday, the DCSO and Dixie County Emergency Medical Services responded to a residence in Suwannee in reference to a shooting. The suspect, Stuart Prescott, 48, also from Suwannee, was located and detained during the initial investigation, Harden said.

Stuart Prescott is seen in an older mugshot than the one taken on Saturday.
Photo Provided By DCSO

     Representatives from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Scene Unit and the Eighth Judicial Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office also responded to the scene, Harden said.
     Witnesses told investigators that Snellgrove was on the porch of a home as he spoke with a female when Prescott came to the door and confronted Snellgrove before going back inside the home, Harden said.
     Prescott then reappeared on the porch, where he shot Snellgrove with a single shotgun blast to his torso, Harden said. Snellgrove left the porch area as he he retreated to some nearby brush before collapsing, Harden said.
     At this point, the female went to render aid to Snellgrove and called 9-1-1, while Prescott remained on the property for a brief time before leaving to go to a nearby property where deputies located him, Harden said.
     After conducting initial interviews, search warrants were obtained, and at 3:45 p.m. those warrants were executed on the Prescott property and Prescott’s person, Harden said.
     During the execution of the search warrants, various items of evidence were collected and will be forwarded to the FDLE Crime Lab in Tallahassee. Snellgrove's body will be taken to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office where an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of death, Harden said.
     Prescott was arrested on one count of first degree murder and tampering with evidence, Harden said.
    Prescott is currently in the Dixie County Jail awaiting first appearance, Harden said, in his 7:34 p.m. press release on Saturday night.

Man dies from gunshot wound
Suspect charge with murder
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 12, 2014
     DIXIE COUNTY -- A 59-year-old Dixie County man was arrested for murder and possession of a short-barrel shotgun Thursday night (Sept. 11) after he is believed to have shot and killed another man, according to a press release from Dixie County Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Scott Harden.
     Michael Jacob Barnette is the man suspected of shooting Gabriel “Gabe” Edward McCabe, Harden said.
DCSOmbarnette091214    At 7:32 p.m. on Thursday night, DCSO Dispatch received a call from a residence on Northeast 874th Street in Old Town, Harden said.

Michael Jacob Barnette

     There had been an altercation at the residence next door and an individual had been shot with a shotgun, the caller told the dispatcher.
     DCSO deputies and Dixie County EMS responded to the scene, Harden said, and while those emergency personnel were responding, dispatchers learned that the alleged shooter had returned to his home less than one-half mile away from the scene.
     Upon arriving at the scene, deputies found the victim McCabe lying in the driveway being held by his brother Gary Lee McCabe Jr., Harden said.
     Gary McCabe was removed from the immediate area and EMS personnel evaluated Gabe McCabe’s condition, Harden said. They pronounced him dead on scene.
     Additional DCSO personnel and investigators responded to the scene where they began interviewing witnesses and processing the scene, Harden said. During this time, investigators learned that the suspected shooter, Michael Barnette and his two sons, Kevin and Kyle Barnette, had returned to the residence after one of his sons had been in an earlier altercation with Gabe.
     As the Barnettes exited the truck, Harden said witnesses reported, there was a brief exchange of words between Michael Barnette and Gabe McCabe and that was when Barnette retrieved the shotgun and shot Gabe McCabe.
     That shooting incident happened before Michael Barnette and his sons left the residence and returned to their home, Harden said.
     At the conclusion of the investigation on scene, and after conducting the interviews with the witnesses and parties involved, Michael Jacob Barnette, 59, of Old Town, was arrested on the charges of murder and possession of a short-barrel shotgun, Harden said.
DCSOkbarnette091214     Kevin Barnette, 26, was arrested on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant in regard to an alcohol violation, Harden added.

Kevin Barnette

     At 7:52 a.m. on Friday morning (Sept. 12), DCSO dispatch received a call from Gary McCabe who reported that he had been shot. When deputies and EMS personnel arrived at the location on 349 Northeast Highway, they found McCabe who was suffering from a single non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg, Harden said.
     This shooting victim reported that he went to an acquaintance's home in the early morning hours and during that time was shot by a male occupant of the home, Harden said.
     Gary McCabe was treated at the scene and waived any additional treatment, Harden said. At this time, DCSO investigators have not found any connection to the first shooting incident and the second shooting, Harden said. The second shooting does not appear to be connected to the Barnette family, Harden said. is a great place to advertise!

Forty-Fifth Jingle Singer

The newest performer of the jingle is Tabatha Hendricks of the Family Pet Vet in Chiefland, in Chiefland. Everyone is invited to sing the jingle. 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 Sept. 17, 2014. The next jingle singer will be Steve Bloom at Ace Hardware of Bronson, who also is among the singers in the choir at First United Methodist Church of Williston.
-- Video by Jeff M. Hardison

Another email to use to contact Jeff M. Hardison



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WED.  SEPT. 17   7:37 p.m.
Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist counties

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