Local News

  • Jury finds Daniels guilty

    A 12-member jury unanimously found 36-year-old Hernandez Lopaz Daniels of Havana guilty of premeditated first-degree murder in a Gadsden County courtroom filled with relatives of the victim and the defendant. Daniels, who is serving a life sentence in federal prison, showed no emotion when the verdict was read.

    Assistant State Attorney Richard Combs, who had requested the death penalty in the case, did not want to comment on the verdict.

  • State murder trial witness says he was told what to say

    As the murder trial of Hernandez Lopaz Daniels progressed last Friday afternoon, a witness for the state of Florida dropped a bombshell.

    "I ain't gonna sit here and lie. He didn't tell me nothin' man. Y’all said y’all was going to do something for me and y’all didn't. That man ain't told me nothing," said John "JC" Miller, when Assistant State Attorney Richard Combs asked him about a conversation he’d had with Daniels.

  • Rich named as new Times general manager

    The Gadsden County Times has welcomed a new general manager.

    Alana Rich, a native Floridian who was raised mostly in Citrus County, is excited to be in Gadsden County and says she has fallen in love with the community.

    “From the moment I drove into Gadsden County, I knew this was a special community,” she said. “The beauty of the area and historic homes are breathtaking. I am enjoying meeting with community leaders, festival coordinators and residents.”

  • Local officials propose regional stiumulus package; $183 million targeted in county

    Gadsden County officials gathered with representatives from throughout the region last week to lay out a plan for federal stimulus dollars they hope will come to the Big Bend.

  • Volunteer firefighters say they've got the better deal for the county

    Gadsden County fire chiefs presented county commissioners a proposal Tuesday night outlining how their volunteer fire departments could give the county equal or better fire protection than is in place currently.

  • Family struggled with grief as trial moved forward

    Constance Dupont was Bernard Hunter's little sister. He worried about her sometimes but was always confident that she could hold her own with anyone.

    "They had to steal her. One on one she could handle herself with man or woman. That's why her nickname was Bear," said her brother.

    But Dupont couldn't hold her own in the early morning hours of August 3, 2002. Someone shot her several times through the window of her apartment at 411 Main St., No. 23, in Havana.

  • Commissioners agree to provide $200,00 to sheriff's department

    Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young didn't get the $500,000 he asked for during a county commission workshop last week, but commissioners voted Tuesday night during a regular meeting to give him $200,000. The money will be used to help the sheriff meet some of the operating costs at the jail that he says have caused his law enforcement budget to fall short.

    "I've talked to the sheriff and he's fine with this. This is what we're doing and what we can afford it. He knows the fiscal constraints this county is under," said Commission Chairman Eugene Lamb.

  • Stewart Street’s Harris named Rookie Teacher of the Year

    Kesandra Harris, Gadsden County Rookie Teacher of the Year 2009-10, thought teachers were underappreciated and overworked – and she had no desire to pursue a career in education.

    The James A. Shanks High School graduate was pursuing a degree at Florida State University, majoring in psychology, with a minor in special education.

    “I had said I would never be a teacher, due to political issues,” she laughed. “But I became a teacher because I found myself in it, not because it was my last resort as a job.”

  • Event designed to help residents save money

    Want to get information that will help you with your financial problems? Come to AmericaSAVES/GadsdenSAVES Countywide Financial Conference Feb 26 at the University of Florida Research Center from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Program speakers will cover such topics as, "What To Do If You Cannot Pay Your Utilities Bills," "Where To Go To Find Training To Help You Learn A Trade Or Seek Work" and "Learning How to Save for Emergencies."

  • Daughters on opposite sides face heartache during sentencing hearing

    Updated 1:15 p.m.

    Leon Circuit Judge Kathleen Dekker handed down a life sentence today for Hernandez Lopaz Daniels, convicted Tuesday of killing Constance Dupont, a Havana resident and former law enforcement informant. The sentence was recommended by the jury after an hour-long deliberation.

    Updated 9:30 a.m.

    Two daughters made tearful pleas for their parents Thursday as part of their testimony during the sentencing hearing for Hernandez Lopaz Daniels, who is facing a possible death penalty or life in prison.