Man hurt in crash;
Phone cell use alleged
Crash091914
The bent pine tree in the background shows where the truck hit it.
Photo Courtesy of Williston Fire Rescue

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 19, 2014
     WILLISTON -- A 25-year-old Williston man suffered serious injuries Thursday evening (Sept. 18) when he was involved in a single-truck accident on Levy County Road 241, one-half mile north of CR 335, according to a media release by Florida Highway patrol Trooper J. Hoover, reviewed by FHP Sgt. D.K. Roberts.
     Samuel L. Rodriguez was driving a 2004 Dodge 3500 pickup north on CR 241, the FHP said, and according to witnesses on scene the driver appeared to be distracted by his phone.
     Rodriguez allowed the Dodge to drift onto the east shoulder, the FHP said, and upon realizing he had left his travel lane, the driver attempted to steer back onto the roadway but overcorrected.
     The truck went across both lanes of CR 241 and onto the west shoulder, the FHP said, and then it continued to the northwest for a short distance before striking an embankment. The impact caused the Dodge to become airborne, the FHP said, and it struck several large pine trees while in the air.
     The collision with the trees caused the vehicle to overturn, the FHP said. After overturning, it came to final rest on all four wheels on the west side of CR 241 facing northeast, the FHP said.
     Rodriguez, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the truck as a result of the crash, the FHP said. The man, listed in serious condition, was taken to UF Health in Gainesville for treatment, the FHP said. A charge of careless driving is pending, the FHP said.



Three busted for
alleged drug sales

DCSOrobbins091614 DCSOLocke091614 DCSOreyes091614

(from left) Minnie Robbins, Hollie Locke, Andrea Reyes
Photos Provided by the Dixie County Sheriff's Office

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 16, 2014
     DIXIE COUNTY -- A Lake County woman and two women from Dixie County are residing in the Dixie County Jail, each with a $125,000 bond holding them there until they post bond or complete the judicial process through court as they will maintain their innocence or become convicted of two felonious drug crimes each, according to information shared in a press release from Dixie County Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Scott Harden on Tuesday morning (Sept. 16).


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    It was about a week prior to that press release, when on the afternoon of Sept. 9, DCSO investigators -- with the use of an informant -- purchased Oxycodone from three females, Harden said.

     Oxycodone is a prescription narcotic that is used for relief from severe physical pain. People who abuse it like this type of drug, which has similar side effects to opium, heroin and the like.
     During the course of the negotiation and transaction with the informant, all three females played a role in the transaction, Harden said. The informant and sellers met at a local business to conduct the illicit drug deal, Harden said.
     Deputies and investigators monitored the sale and immediately after it was completed, investigators moved in to make the arrests, Harden said.
     Minnie Robbins, 48, from Leesburg; Hollie Locke, 35, from Cross City; and Andrea Reyes, 32, from Old Town were each arrested and charged with the sale of Oxycodone and trafficking in Oxycodone.


Flagman dies after accident
at Bronson Speedway on Sunday

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 15, 2014
     BRONSON – A flagman died as the result of injuries he suffered Sunday night (Sept. 14) during an accident at Bronson Speedway, according to a Sept. 15 press release from Levy County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Scott Tummond.
     Deputies from the LCSO went to the Bronson Speedway next to State Road 24 just east of Bronson, at 3:11 p.m. on Sunday, Tummond said.
     They discovered the flagman, identified as Buddy Jack Howell Jr., 49, had been struck in the infield by a 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck that was participating in a two-vehicle “spectator” event the track was hosting.
     The vehicle driven by Gene Lawson rounded turn four, lost traction and began rotating counterclockwise, Tummond said. The vehicle entered the infield and struck Howell. Howell was treated at the scene by paramedics with the Levy County Department of Public Safety and was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Tummond said.
     The death was investigated jointly by LCSO and the Florida Highway Patrol, Tummond said.


Woman injured in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 15, 2014
     DIXIE COUNTY -- A 20-year-old Chiefland woman suffered serious injuries Saturday evening when she was involved in a crash in Dixie County, according to a media release by Florida Highway Patrol Trooper J. Hoover, reviewed by FHP Sgt. D. Roberts.
     Katelyn Michelle Ressler, 20, of Chiefland was taken to UF Health in Gainesville, the FHP said.
     The accident happened at about 5:45 p.m. on U.S. Highway 19 at Dixie County Road 317, the FHP said.
     Lynne Carol Thackrey, 63, of Winter Park was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer northbound on CR 317, the FHP said. Deborah Lee Barnes, 48, of Old Town was a passenger.
     Ressler was driving a 2000 Isuzu Trooper eastbound on U.S. 19 in the inside lane, the FHP said. After
stopping at a stop sign, Thackrey pulled out in front of the vehicle  that Ressler was driving as Thackrey attempted to enter the westbound lanes, the FHP said.
     The front of the Isuzu struck the left side of Ford, the FHP said. The impact caused the Ford to rotate counterclockwise and it came to final rest in the paved center median facing southeast, the FHP said. The Isuzu rotated counterclockwise and also came to final rest in the center median facing northwest, the FHP said.
     Thackrey was cited for failure to yield right-of-way. Thackrey suffered minor injuries and did not need hospitalization. Barnes was not injured, the FHP said. Everyone involved in the accident was wearing a seatbelt. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, the FHP said.


FHP targets aggressive drivers
FHP091214
Published Sept. 14, 2014
     TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Highway Patrol has launched a campaign to help reduce aggressive driving behavior, according to a Sept. 12 news release.
     Passenger vehicles and tractor trailers share Florida’s highways every day, but too often aggressive driving habits result in deadly crashes between the two. On Sept. 12, the FHP launched one of its Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) safety
campaigns aimed at educating drivers of passenger vehicles and commercial trucks about the dangers of aggressive driving.
     “Confronting the aggressive habits of drivers, whether they are in a car or a large truck, is essential to making
Florida’s highways safer to travel,” FHP Lt. Col. Troy Thompson, deputy director of the FHP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau. “If all motorists exercise patience and caution, avoid aggressive driving behaviors and remain alert, we can reduce the number of crashes that occur on our state’s roads.”
     The latest TACT campaign runs from Sept. 12 hrough Sept. 25. Troopers will be looking for car and truck drivers who display aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, following too closely, and unsafe lane changes.
     FHP offers these tips for driving around large trucks:
     • Stay out of the No Zone: Watch for the extensive blind spots (No Zones) around large trucks.
     • Pass trucks with caution: Pass on the left side for maximum visibility and maintain a constant speed.
     • Don’t cut trucks off. Large trucks simply can’t stop as quickly as other vehicles.
     • Practice patience. Try to be predictable. Avoid making erratic moves if a truck isn’t going as fast as you’d like.


Driver cited after crash;
Residents of Dixie, Levy,
Gilchrist counties and Arizona involved

By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 12, 2014
     DIXIE COUNTY -- A four-vehicle accident in Dixie County on Thursday (Sept. 11) result in three people suffering minor injuries and one person being cited for violation of right-of-way at about 9 p.m., according to a media release by Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Glen Ganus, reviewed by FHP Sgt. Kevin Pace.
     All five people in the four vehicles were wearing seatbelts, the FHP said.
    Robert S. Story, 70, of Old Town was driving a 2002 Chevy pickup on Dixie County Road 317 at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19, the FHP said.
      Scarlett A. Aslan, 47, of Bronson was driving a 1998 GMC pickup south on U.S. 19 in the inside lane, the FHP said. Myka B. McCoy, 36, of Tuscon, Ariz., was a passenger in that pickup truck.
     The Chevy proceeded across the southbound lanes of US-19 and the GMC pickup struck it in the left side with its front, the FHP said.
     The Chevy rotated counterclockwise as it crossed the median and struck a 2001 Dodge Neon in the left front with its right front, the FHP said.
     That Neon was driven by Wayne Fedrick, 51, of Trenton, the FHP said, and Federick’s vehicle had been traveling north on U.S. 19 in the outside lane.
     The Chevy came to final rest at second impact and was facing southeast, the FHP said. The Neon came to final rest at impact and was facing northwest, the FHP said.
     A 2010 Ford pickup truck was in the left turn lane of U.S. 19 and was about to make a left turn onto CR 317, the FHP said. The Ford was driven by John Bass, 42, of Cross City.
     After the GMC pickup truck hit the Chevy pickup truck, the GMC began going southeast and it entered the median area of U.S. 19, the FHP said.
     The GMC pickup truck smacked the Ford pickup truck in the left side with its left front and came to final rest at second impact and was facing southeast, the FHP said.
     The Ford came to final rest at impact and was facing in a northwesterly direction, the FHP said.
     Aslan and McCoy were taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, the FHP said. Story suffered minor injuries but was not transported to a hospital. Fedrick and Bass were not injured, the FHP said.
     Story was cited for failure to yield right-of-way, the FHP said.
     Rough estimated damages by the FHP listed for the four vehicles show the following tally: Chevy - $10,000; GMC - $5,000; Neon - $4,000; and Ford - $2,000. Insurance agents are known to say the FHP estimates are just to have an idea of the level of damage. Estimators will look at vehicles to determine actual damage amounts.


Burnt Truck
Wreck091014
A truck that began burning while it was pulling a utility trailer in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday (Sept. 10) sits in the grassy median next to Levy County Road 347 near CR 341 later on that morning.

Wreck091014B
There were no injuries as a result of the fire that Chiefland Fire Rescue extinguished. The truck was later removed.
Photos by Jeff M. Hardison


RAD classes forming
Published Aug. 24, 2014
     LEVY COUNTY -- Classes are forming for free classes to help women defend themselves from rape.
     The Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Women’s Physical Defense program was designed with the needs and strengths of women in mind. In the class, participants learn practical safety tips and risk reduction strategies, have the chance to practice specialized defensive techniques, and utilize those techniques in dynamic simulations.  
     Most importantly, R.A.D. classes are fun and provide you with the knowledge and techniques to avoid potentially dangerous situations and to effectively defend against a violent encounter.  
     Women of all ages and fitness levels have successfully participated in this program.  
     Classes are scheduled for:
* Oct. 20 (Mon.), 22 (Wed.) 28 (Tues.) and 30 (Thurs.) from 6-9 p.m. at the College of Central Florida Levy Campus (By Save A Lot in Chiefland)
     Register by emailing the program coordinator, Ray Tremblay, at suwanneevalleyrad@gmail.com or by calling the Chiefland Police Department at 352-493-6777. Please provide your name, email address, phone number, and which class you would like to attend.
     A $25 registration fee is required at registration, but will be refunded at the first class. Please make checks out to “Friends of the Chiefland Police” and put “RAD” in the memo section.

LCSOStar1LCSO arrests
to Sept. 14

Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office in regard to people arrested. These defendants were arrested by the LCSO and other agencies. People suspected of Failure To Appear (FTA) or of Violation of Probation (VOP) are not listed here. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
DWLSR– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession
DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence
 
SEPTEMBER 8
     Delania Monique Evans, 35, of Micanopy was arrested for burglary – residence, poss. of weapon or ammo by convicted felon, grand theft. Bond $150,000.
     Donald Keith McLaughlin, 47, of Bronson was arrested for sexual assault by 18-years of age or older – battery on victim under 12 years of age, sexual assault by custodian – sexual battery victim, 12 years of age to under 18 years of age. Bond $750,000.
     Earl Stanley Peterson, 56, of Jacksonville was arrested for burglary – residence, grand theft, poss. of weapon or ammo by convicted Florida felon. Bond $350,000.
     Joseph Colin Roush, 25, of Dunnelon was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $500.
     Sheila Nannette Thompson, 46, of Williston was arrested for DWLSR – first offense. Bond $500.
     Jeremiah Tupps, 32, of Fort White was arrested for poss. marijuana, drug equipment – poss. and/or use. Bond $3,000.
SEPTEMBER 9
     Rafeal Andres, 32, of Bronson was arrested for operating a motor vehicle without valid driver license. Bond $500.
     Dorothy Kay Karsmizki, 34, of Bell was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $2,500.
     Steven James McMurry, 44, of Bronson was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Jorge Rincon, 21, of Fanning Springs was arrested for operating a motor vehicle without valid driver license. Bond $500.
     Donna Michelle Smith, 33, of Bronson was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $500.
     Michael Christopher Tucker, 23, of Bronson was arrested for three out-of-county warrants. No bond amount was given.
SEPTEMBER 10
     Jack Smith Jr., 44, of Williston was arrested for DUI – alcohol or drugs – third violation within ten years, DWLSR – third or subsequent offense. No bond amount was given.
SEPTEMBER 11
     Mya Maria Fitch, 36, of Chiefland was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. No bond amount was given.
     Carrie Ann Hendricks, 36, of Trenton was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. No bond amount was given.
     Darian Jerome Jelks, 33, of Williston was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. No bond amount as given.
SEPTEMBER 12
     Johnathon Beau Bender, 19, of Chiefland was arrested for deliver/ poss./ sell altered firearm, knowingly give false report to LEO, tamper with or fabricate physical evidence. Bond $10,000.
     Howard Lee Dayton, 26, of Williston was arrested for operating a motor vehicle without valid driver license. Bond $2,500.
     Knight Donald Gonczarow, 21, of Bronson was arrested for obstruct without violence. No bond amount was given.
     Sherry Hanley, 45, of Cedar Key was arrested for petit theft from merchant – second offense. No bond amount was given.
     James Wilkinson, 62, of Titusville was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment – poss. and/or use. Bond $10,000.
SEPTEMBER 13
     Cory Dallas, 25, of Gainesville was arrested for DWLSR – third or subsequent offense, flee/ elude LEO at high speed, out-of-county warrant. Bond $30,000.
     Frank Evans, 57, of Bronson was arrested for commit domestic battery by strangulation, tampering with or harassing a witness/ victim. Bond $20,000.
     Shelbie Virginia Hastings, 23, of Trenton was arrested for burglary – residence, criminal mischief, grand theft - $300 to less than $5,000. Bond $20,000.
     Nicole Diann Hooper, 23, of Trenton was arrested for battery – domestic violence. Bond $5,000.
SEPTEMBER 14
     Howard Lee Dayton, 26, of Williston was arrested for battery – second or subsequent offense, violation of probation. No bond amount was given.


 DCSODCSO arrests
to Sept. 13

Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office in regard to people arrested. These defendants were arrested by the DCSO and other agencies. People suspected of Failure To Appear (FTA) or of Violation of Probation (VOP) are not listed here. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
DWLSR– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked Poss. – Possession
DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence

SEPTEMBER 9
     Hollie Locke, 35, of Cross City was arrested for trafficking Oxycodone, sale Oxycodone. Bond $75,000.
     Andrea N. Reyes, 32, of Old Town was arrested for trafficking Oxycodone, sale Oxycodone. Bond $75,000.
     Minnie Elizabeth Robbins, 48, of Leesburg was arrested for trafficking Oxycodone, sale Oxycodone. Bond $75,000.
     James F. Barrs, 51, of Trenton was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $15,000.
SEPTEMBER 10
     Jason Roger Everidge, 30, of Old Town was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $3,000.
SEPTEMBER 11
     Autumn Rigby Carlisle, 35, of Old Town was arrested for drug paraphernalia – use or poss. No bond amount was given.
     Jerrell E. Cannon, 48, of Steinhatchee was arrested for fail to report residence change by sex offender. Bond $5,000.
     Brandie Lynn Moon, 32, of Old Town was arrested for throwing a deadly missile, battery. Bond $5,000.
     Michael Jacob Barnette, 59, of Old Town was arrested for murder, poss. of short barrel shotgun. No bond amount was given.
     Kevin Wayne Barnette, 24, of Old Town was arrested for violating city ordinance. Bond $1,000.
SEPTEMBER 12
     Earl B. Ward, 22, of Old Town was arrested for aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. Bond $10,000.
SEPTEMBER 13
      Stuart Alan Prescott, 47, of Suwannee was arrested for murder, tampering with evidence. No bond amount was given.


 GCSOGCSO arrests
to Sept. 14

 
Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office in regard to people arrested. These defendants were arrested by the GCSO and other agencies. People suspected of Failure To Appear (FTA) or of Violation of Probation (VOP) are not listed here. Every person suspected of a crime is presumed innocent until he or she is proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
DWLSR– Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
Poss. – Possession
DUI – Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or other drugs
LEO – Law Enforcement Officer
RWOV– Resisting Arrest Without Violence

SEPTEMBER 8
     Tyler Austin Gray, 21, of Belleview was arrested for dealing in stolen property, drugs – sell other – schedule III or IV. Bond $200,000.
SEPTEMBER 9
     Rich NMN Etienne, 20, of Miami was arrested for aggravated battery – person uses deadly weapon, smuggle contraband into prison – firearm, weapon or explosive. Bond $75,000.
SEPTEMBER 11
     Nathan Allen Jackson, 25, of High Springs was arrested for DWLSR – knowingly. Bond $500.
     Daniel Thomas Ratley, 35, of Bell was arrested for assault with intent to commit a felony, disorderly conduct – brawling/ fighting – corrupt public moral decency. Bond $260,000.
SEPTEMBER 12
     Timothy G. Baker, 42, of Trenton was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. Bond $250.
SEPTEMBER 14
     Rey David Reyes Gamboa, 20, no address, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle without valid driver license. No bond amount was given.

-- UPDATED --
FRI.  SEPT. 19  9:27 a
.m.
Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist counties



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