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Little Information Available Following WTSP-Ch. 10 Weather Anchor's Stroke



Dickfltcher A spokesman for local CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10 couldn't offer much elaboration to the story featured on their Web page noting meteorologist Dick Fletcher suffered a stroke yesterday.

According to WTSP spokesman Pete Nikiel, Fletcher's wife Cindy found him at their home early Monday afternoon. He would not say which area hospital was treating the meteorologist; only that news director Darren Richards is in touch with the longtime forecaster's wife and hoped to have an update soon.

The station's Web site has logged more than 350 comments since WTSP announced Fletcher's stroke Monday evening. The 66-year-old forecaster, a WTSP employee since 1980, had a previous stroke in November 2003, which kept him off air for two weeks.

According to a St. Petersburg Times story from December 2003, that stroke occurred at about 3:45 p.m. Nov. 26, when Fletcher was sitting at his computer, preparing the graphics for his forecast on the 4 p.m. program.

Dickfletcher2 Back then, Fletcher told the Times of the experience: ""I turned my head fairly quickly to the right and literally lost control of my eyes. It felt like they were rolling. I couldn't stop to make them focus on anything. And I felt dizzy. I told myself, 'Calm down, just open one eye and control it.' But I couldn't."

The Times story in 2003 said: "Anxious co-workers told Fletcher they would call 911, but he insisted on contacting his wife instead. His family doctor's office had closed for the holiday, so his wife drove him to St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg."

Now, anxious co-workers are waiting for word from Fletcher's family about his condition, gratified by Dickfletcher3 the community interest.

"We're on pins and needles waiting for information, just like everyone else," said WTSP's Nikiel. "But it has been amazing to see the response from the community."

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:44pm]


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