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July 31st, 2009

It's not me, I'm just a dispatcher!

Columbia sheriff alive and well despite rumors of his death

By Lise Fisher
Staff writer, The Gainesville Sun


Published: Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 2:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 2:04 p.m.
Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter is OK -- really, the Sheriff's Office insists.

That's the message the law enforcement agency reported Thursday afternoon in spite of a stream of calls from family, friends, commissioners, judges and media to the contrary.

The Sheriff's Office began getting phone calls earlier in the day from people asking if Hunter had been shot and killed, Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Ed Seifert said.

Not only was the agency getting questions, but Hunter was too.

"His cell phone bill is through the roof," Seifert said about the number of messages the sheriff has received from callers worried that something had happened.

The rumor quickly spread, prompting Seifert to issue an e-mail to media refuting the report.

In fact, Seifert said, when he first learned about the rumor he confirmed that Hunter was in his office working. "He's fine," Seifert said.

"We can't seem to pin it down to where it began," Seifert said. "It's freaky."

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