FHP targets drunk drivers
FHP122014
One of three FHP cruisers with troopers who were helping protect life and property in the Fanning Springs area on Saturday (Dec. 20) leaves the median. This was not an accident scene at the time. The troopers had helped a number of motorists to understand that posted speed limits are maximum speed limits, not minimums.
Published Dec. 18, 2014 @ 7:27 a.m.

     TALLAHASSEE -- During this holiday season, the Florida Highway Patrol joins law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. The campaign runs through Jan. 1.
    
In 2013, nearly 20 percent of all fatal crashes in Florida were alcohol related. During last year’s campaign, 421 impaired drivers were removed from the roads, preventing them from hurting themselves or others.
     “It will be hard to enjoy the holiday season when you are sitting in a jail cell or worse,” Col. David H. Brierton, FHP director said. “Drunk driving affects not only you, but your family, friends and the innocent motorists you happen to come


Minor crash happens
near Williston

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 20, 2014 @ 5:17 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY -- Men from Beverly Hills and Morriston met by accident on Friday morning (Dec. 19) in Levy County when their vehicles made contact with each other and caused damage, according to an official press release by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. A.W. Sapp, from a crash that was investigated by FHP Trooper A. Rodriguez.
     Ralph P. Dorsi, 60, of Beverly Hills was driving a 2001 Toyota Tacoma and Bryan Landis, 43, of Morriston was driving a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria, the FHP said, when they were both traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 41 in the only southbound lane at about 7:11 a.m. on Friday.
     The Toyota was directly behind Ford, the FHP said. The Toyota started to pass the Ford through the double yellow line, the FHP said. When there is a double-yellow line, it is not legal to pass.
     The Ford slowed to a stop in a right turn lane to allow the Toyota to get back over into the southbound lane, the FHP said. The Toyota then attempted to pull directly in front of Ford in the turn lane, but did not completely pass the Ford -- causing the rear right of Toyota to strike the left front of Ford.
     There was no road blockage and there were no injuries resulting from the crash, the FHP said.
     No charges were listed on the FHP press release.


Suspected arsonist arrested
Published Dec. 19 @ 3:07 p.m.
     LAFAYETTE COUNTY -- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on Thursday (Dec. 18) arrested a Suwannee County man and charged him with multiple counts of arson and trespassing after several fires were set in woods along County Road 360/Land Cemetery Road just south of Mayo, according to a Friday afternoon press release.
     Wildland firefighters from the Florida Forest Service were on the scene quickly and were able to extinguish all of the fires without any property damage or injuries.
      Gene Roger Desmartin Jr., 38, of McAlpin, was charged with 20 counts of intentional burning of lands, a third-degree felony; 20 counts of trespass after warning, a misdemeanor; and one count of failure to report a dangerous fire, also a misdemeanor.
      Desmartin was booked into Lafayette County Jail.
The investigation, conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in conjunction with the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office, uncovered multiple witnesses who saw Desmartin at the scene of several fires just after they began. Earlier on Thursday, Desmartin had been issued a trespass warning for timberlands in Lafayette County.
      The Florida Forest Service manages more than one million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For more information about the Florida Forest Service, go to www.FloridaForestService.com.


Woman arrested for
two felonies after
fatal hit and run

By Jeff M. Hardison © Dec. 19, 2014 @ 6:37 a.m.
      LEVY COUNTY -- A 50-year-old Dunnellon woman was arrested Thursday (Dec. 18) and now faces two felony charges stemming from the death of a pedestrian, according to an official press release by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Tammy Wildy, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Matthew Geoffroy and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Shaun R. Lattinville.
      The accident happened at Levy County Road 337 south of CR 326, the FHP said, at a time prior to Thursday's arrest, which was after 4 p.m.
      Janine Ann Blythe was arrested at her place of employment. She was charged with a felony of leaving the scene of a crash involving death and a felony of tampering with evidence. She was given a citation for careless driving, the FHP said. She was taken to the Levy County Jail, the FHP said.
      Blythe was driving a 2013 Chevy pickup truck, the FHP said, which hit and killed the pedestrian.
      The victim was James Thomas Lowman, 70, of Morriston, the FHP said.


WPD Seeks Help
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On Monday (Dec. 15), Williston police officers responded to Bill's Tire on East Noble Avenue to a report of the theft of wooden pallets. Here are photos of the suspect and his truck.
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Anyone who might know the identity of the suspect is urged to contact Williston Police Department at 352-528-4991.
Published Dec. 17, 2014 @ 7:37 p.m.
Photos Courtesy of WPD


LCSO seeks help finding killer
Published Dec. 17, 2014 @ 11:17 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY -- On Dec. 8, 2012, deputies with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office responded to 10150 N.E. 48th Lane in Bronson to the report of a dead man. George Pierce (who would be 53 now, but who died at the age of 51), had been murdered in his home.  
LCSOpierce121714     The investigation has gone cold, Levy County Undersheriff Brett Beauchamp noted in a Dec. 16 press release. On the second anniversary of Pierce’s murder, LCSO Investigators are asking members of the public for their assistance in closing this case for the friends and family of the victim, Beauchamp said.

George Pierce

      Anyone wishing to provide information can contact the lead investigator, Lt. Jimmy Anderson, at the LCSO at 352-486-5111.  
     Crime Stoppers of Levy County has authorized a cash award of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons involved in the murder. That information can be provided anonymously at 1-877-349-8477.


LCDPS Is Active
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Levy County Commissioners and the Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) participated in this year’s Chiefland Christmas Festival and Parade on Saturday (Dec. 13). LCDPS members provided information to the public and displayed one of the transport units at the event. At the event, the public was provided with an opportunity to meet some of the LCDPS staff and receive information about holiday safety and fire prevention. Several members of the local community stopped by to meet the crew and ask questions about the services LCDPS offers. Commissioners handed out candy to children along the parade route.
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Celebrating the holidays, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners and the Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) participated in the 2014 Inglis Christmas Parade on Saturday (Dec. 13). Commissioners Danny Stevens and Mike Joyner rode alongside an LCDPS fire truck and an ambulance, taking time to visit with citizens along the parade route. Seen here (from left) are Firefighter-Paramedic Matt Cribbs, Commissioner Mike Joyner, Commissioner Danny Stevens and Firefighter-Emergency Medical Technician Kenny Maddox.
Published Dec. 17, 2014 @ 11:17 a.m.
Photos and Information Provided by Levy County Department of Public Safety


Man arrested for animal abuse
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The victimized dog before surgery was performed.
Photo Provided By WPD

Published Dec. 16, 2014
     WILLISTON -- A 34-year-old Williston man was arrested Saturday afternoon (Dec. 13) after he went to the Williston Police Department and said he cut the ears off of his dog, according to a Dec. 15 press release from WPD Chief Dennis Strow.
     Shawn Daniel Bailey told an officer that he used a razor to cut his 3-month-old pit bulldog's ears in an attempt to make the dog "look tough," but he got carried away, Strow said. The officer went to the suspect's home and found the dog's ears had been almost completely removed.
     The canine was taken to Levy Animal Clinic by the WPD, where Dr. Robert Bullock performed immediate surgery to prevent the animal from suffering more. The surgery went as was anticipated and the animal is in foster care recovering from the trauma inflicted on it by Bailey.
     Bailey was taken to the Levy County Jail. Bond was set at $3,000, according to records.


adLCSOStar1LCSO arrests
to Dec. 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. 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

DECEMBER 8
     Chriss Patrick, 38, of Williston was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Remus Kevin Scalf, 42, of Inglis was arrested for marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams, FTA. Bond $3,000.
DECEMBER 9
     Michael Bivins, 45, of Jennings was arrested for resisting arrest with violence. No bond amount was given.
     Alden Anthony Gillyard, 48, of Miami was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. Cash $1,000.
DECEMBER 10
     Edmundo Trinidad Bocanegra, 60, of Trenton was arrested for no motor vehicle registration, violate non-resident exemption driver license. Bond $500.
     Donald Burton Butler, 43, of Cross City was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $2,660.
     Lauren Marie Curry, 29, of Miami was arrested for larceny – grand theft - $300 to less than $5,000. Bond $30,000.
     Faustino Alvarado Garcia, 28, of Williston was arrested for violate non-resident exemption driver license. Bond $500.
     Matthew Richard Walker, 26, of Bronson was arrested for DWLSR, RWOV, poss. cocaine, poss. of paraphernalia for storage. No bond amount was given.
     James Scott Wilkinson, 62, of Titusville was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
DECEMBER 11
     Hubert Justin Carter, 29, of Cedar Key was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $50,000.
     Spencer Jordan Eldridge, 21, of Orlando was arrested for RWOV, disorderly intoxication in a public place causing a disturbance. Bond $6,000.
     Misty Alona Jackson, 39, of Chiefland was arrested for RWOV, disorderly intoxication in a public place causing a disturbance. Bond $5,000.
     Reginald Lenard Rayford, 44, of Williston was arrested for attach registration - license plate not assigned, DWLSR – knowingly. Bond $1,500.
     Issac Anthony Renneker, 34, of Bronson was arrested for cocaine – poss. with intent to sell/ mfg./ deliver, etc. schedule II, poss. controlled substance without prescription, marijuana – poss. not more than 20 grams, drug equipment – use poss. mfgr. Paraphernalia to transport drugs. Bond $42,000.
     Sherry Lynn Storey, 38, of Old Town was arrested for DWLSR – knowingly, poss. controlled substance without prescription, drug equipment – poss. and/or use, trespassing – structure or conveyance. Bond $18,000.
DECEMBER 12
     Tekoa Sinai Haynes, 37, of Chiefland was arrested for battery – cause bodily harm. Bond $5,000.
     Austin Taylor Langford, 18, of Naples was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. Bond $50,000.
DECEMBER 13
     Shawn Daniel Bailey, 34, of Williston was arrested for animals – cause cruel death pain and suffering. Bond $3,000.
     Boyd Iris Chisolm, 54, of Chiefland was arrested for battery – touch or strike. Bond $10,000.
     James Russell hart, 30, of Bronson was arrested for DUI – alcohol or drugs. Bond $3,000.
     Gerald Leron Rheaume, 39, of Fanning Springs was arrested for aggravated assault with deadly weapon without intent to kill, battery – touch or strike, an out-of-county warrant. Bond $26,503.
DECEMBER 14
     Iverson Tyrone Aiken, 23, of Cross City was arrested for battery on officer/ firefighter/ EMT, etc., interfere with LEO without violence. Bond $35,000.
     Devin Garren Donald, 20, of Williston was arrested for cruelty toward child – abuse child without great bodily harm. ROR.
     Kevin Joseph Maillard, 37, of Williston was arrested for DUI – alcohol or drugs, refuse to submit to DUI test after license suspended, battery on officer/ firefighter/ EMT, etc., resist officer with violence. Bond $45,000.
     Jose Elbito Oyola, 33, of Morriston was arrested for burglary – unoccupied conveyance – unarmed, larceny – petit theft – first degree $100 to less than $300, poss. cocaine, drug equipment – poss. drug paraphernalia advertise. Bond $15,000.


adGCSOGCSO arrests
to Dec. 12

      Publisher’s note: The following information was provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office. These defendants were arrested by the GCSO and other agencies. 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

DECEMBER 9
     Devane Germaine Jenkins, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale was arrested for aggravated battery – person uses deadly weapon, smuggle contraband into prison – any firearm, weapon or explosive. Bond $75,000.
DECEMBER 12
     Ebony Joyce Kelley, 28, of Trenton was arrested for poss. weapon or ammo by convicted felon. ROR.


 adDCSODCSO arrests
to Dec. 14


      Publisher’s note:
The following information was provided by the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. These defendants were arrested by the GCSO and other agencies. 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

DECEMBER 7
     Nicole Lynn Darling, 26, of Old Town was arrested for a drug charge and drug equipment. Bond $3,000.
DECEMBER 8
     Christine E. Morgan, 49, of Steinhatchee was arrested for a Taylor County warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Joseph Ernest Hillesland, 27, of Old Town was arrested for burglary of conveyance, dealing in stolen property, grand theft III. Bond $10,000.
DECEMBER 9
     Christopher M. O’Neal, 38, of Old Town was arrested for aggravated battery – great bodily harm, writ of bodily attachment. Bond $25,000.
     A 14-year-old juvenile from Old Town was arrested for battery. No bond amount was given.
     Bernard Allen Benway, 37, of McAlpin was arrested on a warrant. No bond amount was given.
DECEMBER 10
     Nathen A. Sykes, 32, of Old Town was arrested for burglary of a dwelling, grand theft III. No bond amount was given.
     A 15-year-old juvenile from Cross City was arrested for sexual battery, lewd and lascivious battery. No bond amount was given.
     A 17-year-old juvenile from Cross City was arrested for sexual battery, lewd and lascivious battery. No bond amount was given.
     Jacob Lee Davidson, 28, of Ocala was arrested for DWLSR. Bond $1,000.
DECEMBER 14
     Tod Dwain Herring, 47, of Cross City was arrested for tampering with a witness, abuse child. No bond amount was given.

-- UPDATED --

SUN.   DEC. 21   8:27 a.m.
Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist counties



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