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Standoff north of Bell ends with a fatality

By Carrie A. Mizell
A 26-year-old man described as having mental health issues was shot and killed early Tuesday morning, ending an 11 hour standoff with police officers.
The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call on Monday at 2:41 p.m. from Jay Donald Stankovich’s father, who told a dispatcher that his disturbed son had a gun and was suicidal.
Officers, including Sheriff Bobby Schultz, responded to 4740 NW 10th Street, off County Road 313 in Bell at 2:56 p.m.
Stankovich, who was armed with a stolen .38 caliber handgun, had active felony warrants out of Duval County for aggravated battery. When officers arrived, they found Stankovich outside of his home. He refused commands and made verbal threats to harm Gilchrist County deputies if they approached him. Stankovich fled into his home and refused to come out.
Sheriff Schultz and his deputies secured the area and ensured safety for Stankovich’s father, who was on scene. Sheriff Schultz said he recognized the need for additional resources, and called in the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Negotiation Response Team, which included a robot. The robot has camera capability and would be used to gather information inside the home.
After 11 hours of negotiations, during which Stankovich discharged the firearm inside the home, he came out of the house and pointed a gun at Alachua County officers who returned fire.

(Full Story)

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Splishin’ and a Splashin’

Kimberly Zinkel and her sister, Paige Williams, both of Melrose, have fond memories of summers spent at Hart Springs when they were kids. “My sister Paige learned to swim here,” Kimberly recalled on Monday. Every summer, the sisters try to bring their children to Hart Springs, so they can make their own memories. Jumping into the boil, balancing on paddle boards and swimming through the clear, cold water kept the teenagers busy on Monday afternoon. Kimberly’s daughters Meghan Zinkel and Bailey Zinkel are pictured above jumping into the boil, along with their cousin, McKenzie Williams and friend, Chelsea Tussinger.

Park manager’s use of county vehicle being questioned

By Carrie A. Mizell
Gilchrist County Commissioners have been asked to consider granting Mitchell Gentry, manager of Hart Springs Park, permission to drive his county vehicle home.
Gentry lives less than one mile from the park he oversees, and maintains that being able to drive a county vehicle home would save the county money.
“Why is he asking for permission now to do what he’s been doing for a long time?” asked Commission Chair D. Ray Harrison, Jr. on Monday.
Harrison said he has had complaints from citizens who saw Gentry and his wife in the county issued vehicle Gentry drives eating dinner at Pizza Hut in Chiefland. Harrison further questioned the county’s liability if Gentry were to get into an automobile accident in his county vehicle with a non-county employee in the passenger’s seat.
That is not the only complaint Harrison has received regarding the Hart Springs park manager. During the July 7 meeting of the Gilchrist County Commissioners, Harrison told his fellow commissioners that he has heard several complaints regarding the operation of Hart Springs Park. One woman reportedly complained after she was told that she could not walk down the boardwalk at Hart Springs while her daughter was taking swimming lessons at the Hart Springs pool.

(Full Story)

State champs call Trenton home

Members of the coaching staffs of the 2013 Class 1A Baseball and Football State Championship teams are pictured standing in front of one of five new signs at the entrance to the City of Trenton.
Placed on state and US highways entering the municipality, the signs acknowledge the town of Trenton as home of the 2013 Class 1A Baseball and Football State Champions.
Pictured from left to right: Greg Turner, Toney Sullivan, Head Football Coach Andrew Thomas and Mike Sauls. Back row, from left to right: Head Baseball Coach Todd Bryant, Shannon Smith, Terry Parrish, and Lyle Wilkerson. Not pictured, Assistant Coach Randy Fuller and Trenton City Manager Taylor Brown.

(Full Story)

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