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Funeral Today for Sharpsburg Police Chief

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Big blue ribbons can be found on just about everything that stands still in Sharpsburg
SHARPSBURG — Funeral services were held Sundayat Sharpsburg Baptist Church for Chief of Police WayneHathaway. The town where everyone knows each other must move on withoutone of its key citizens and public servants, who was fatally shot thisweek while answering a call about domestic violence.

Hathaway's wake Saturday night brought crowds of relatives,colleagues, friends and fellow officers from other units to JohnstonMemorial Home in Rocky Mount.

Earlier Saturday the town took the first steps towards dealing with itsgrief, decorating every pole, door, and street sign with a bright blueribbon. Hardee's employees spent part of the morning hanging up ribbons. Theysay it's their way to honor a man they had come to know.

Hathaway was shot in the head Thursday while responding to adomestic disturbance call. He died Friday morning.

His assailant, Abner Nicholson, has been charged with two countsof murder. After allegedly shooting Hathaway at point blank range,Nicholson also allegedly shot his wife Gloria Nicholson.

Several hours after the shootings, Nicholson was found in a cornfieldnear his trailer park home.

Hathaway was the Chief of Police for more than 20 years -- years thatmany say will never be forgotten.

Sharpsburg is the kind of town where you can still hear the hoursignaled by a town whistle sounding. There's only one stop light. KelleyPortiss knew Hathaway. He says the chief was everyone's friend, and theloss is difficult to take.

Diane Batten knew Hathaway too. The convenience store clerk saw the chiefin the store almost everyday. Batten says Hathaway always made it pointto know the people of Sharpsburg.

Paula Powers says Hathaway's death hurts everyone because he hadbecome an integral part of everyone's life. Angie Weaver took to the roadhanding out ribbons after his death. One of her first stops was theconvenience store where Hathaway made daily trips.

Batten recalls the times Hathaway would come in at night or send hisco-workers to escort the clerks to the bank and back. Whenever Hathawaywas needed, he was there.

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