Officer honored for his role in Dougherty chase
Kevin Widener, the police officer who was shot at during the Aug. 2 pursuit that touched off a national manhunt for the Dougherty siblings, received a distinguished performance award from the Zephyrhills City Council on Monday night. Capt. Jeffrey McDougal said Widener remained calm amid the chaos. The chase ensued after Widener clocked a Subaru Impreza going 45 mph in a 30 mph zone and tried to pull it over. Authorities say the Dougherty siblings shot at Widener's patrol car, blowing out his tire. The three were arrested a week later after another shootout with law enforcement in Colorado. They are also accused of robbing a bank in Georgia. No bystanders or law enforcement officers were injured in the eight-day crime spree, something for which Widener says he is thankful. After the brief ceremony, which also honored dispatchers Stephanie Nelson and Alex Humphries, Widener said it was just another day on the job. "The only thing I was thinking about was catching them," he said.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Winning lottery ticket from Publix
A lottery ticket worth nearly $58,000 was sold over the weekend at the Publix at 9850 Little Road. The winning numbers — 1-11-12-18-19 — in Sunday's Fantasy 5 drawing were picked by the person who bought the ticket, the Florida Lottery said. Two other winning tickets were sold in the Panhandle town of Parker and the Palm Beach city of Greenacres. Each winner will receive $57,702.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Take time to enjoy free flick on Friday
The city's Free Movie Friday series resumes this week with a showing of Rango about 7:30 p.m. in Sims Park. Admission is free and open to all who want to enjoy an evening out with friends, family and community. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, nonalcoholic beverages or dinner from one of New Port Richey's restaurants. In case of unfavorable weather, the movie will be moved inside Peace Hall, just behind the park band shell. The event is organized by the city's Cultural Affairs Advisory Committee. Businesses or organizations interested in sponsoring a free movie may contact committee chairman Derek Smith at (727) 967-6726.
Coastal Cleanup taking volunteers
There's still time to sign up for the Coastal Cleanup event Saturday in central Pasco. Volunteers will head out at 8 a.m. to pick up trash from waterways, schools, parks and roadways. So far, 25 teams have registered to help clean up from Connerton through Land O'Lakes/Lutz to Odessa. To register for the event, visit pasco.ifas.ufl.edu/fcs or call Betsy Crisp at Pasco County Extension (813) 996-2411, ext. 4288.
Zephyrhills police Officer Kevin Widener was involved in the first pursuit of the Dougherty siblings. His name has been misspelled in previous stories.