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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Biker Sunday is Coming to Alford

Special testimonial service to be held at Baptist Church June 29.
The rumble of motorcycles traveling the busy corridor between Dothan, AL, and Panama City, FL, is not an unusual sound to the many residents living along Hwy 231. What is unusual will be the number of those choppers making a stop in the small town of Alford on Sunday morning.
If sleepy-eyed citizens venture a peek out their windows, they will see dozens of leather-clad men decked out in their "colors"; some will be sporting ponytails, tattoos, earrings and lots of facial hair. They are members of Christian motorcycle ministry groups from the Southeast. Many of them have a sordid past, and lived "like the devil" until a miraculous change freed them from lives of violence, addictions and lawlessness. And they are coming to Jackson County to tell about their changed lives.
Two members of the Heaven’s Saints Motorcycle Ministry will present their powerful testimonies at Alford Baptist Church Sunday, June 29th, on the devastation of drugs, alcohol and violence. Curtis Jamieson, who hails from Phoenix City, AL, "served Satan wide open for 40 years" and "never went to sleep and woke up, (he) passed out and came to". Each weekend he "could be found in the emergency room or jail". Robert Happoldt, a hard-case from Enterprise, AL, was no stranger to violence or jail. He was a dealer of meth-amphetamine until apprehended by the Alabama Drug Task Force. Curtis and Robert bring the same message of hope: miracles still happen.
The day begins with breakfast at 8 AM, followed by the Testimony service at 9 AM. There is no charge for the event, which will conclude with lunch. Alford Baptist Church is located 3 blocks east of Hwy 231, at 1764 Carolina St. Questions can be directed to Pastor Bob Johnson, at 850-573-3249.

Letter to the Editor 6/26/08

Dear Editor,
I recently lost my little dog Hobo. Darryl Williams called me one morning informing me about a dog (Hobo’s description) that had been found. The little fellow had fallen in the ditch on Kelson Avenue. Sara took him in, fed and watered him. He then left her house visiting the neighborhood and next stopped at Donna’s house. She also fed and watered him. The next morning he moved on in the neighborhood to another house. Later, Sara carried me around the neighborhood looking for him. Then Sara and Donna walked around looking for him at dusk. Hobo was not in sight.
The next morning Sara called me saying my little Hobo was on the way home. He had returned to Donna’s and she was returning him to me. He was gone six days and lost four pounds. The vet cleaned him up and he is my little Hobo again. Now Sara and Donna are strangers.
I just wanted to let all of you out there know that people are caring in the needs of others. I’m grateful to Darryl, Sara and Donna for helping me find and recover my beloved Hobo.
Muriel Spink

State E-911 Coordinator Reviews Jackson County’s Upgraded 911 System

By: Sid Riley

On Tuesday Mr. Wink Infinger, State E911 Coordinator, his technical specialist Mr. Akram McKee, and Christine Daniels, the Jackson County E911 Coordinator toured the Jackson County Sheriff’s facility and the Marianna Police Department facility. They were reviewing the new, updated systems that have been installed here. These systems will enable faster, easier identification of locations and will facilitate response activities.
These include the Viper power 911 Map and MIS System which is the newest technology in this field. The previous system a Lifeline Power 911 Map and MIS System was relocated to the Marianna Police Department when the new system was installed last November at the Sheriff’s Department. This creates a dual system thus providing for back up coverage if the primary system ever fails. It also removes the requirement for transfer of information to the Marianna Police for calls within the Marianna jurisdiction.
Christine Daniels, Jackson County 911 Coordinator brags, "Jackson County’s E911 System is among the best".

The Character Council holds program for Students Working Against Tobacco.

Students from across the County recently gathered at Graceville High School and participated in "SWAT it with Character," the theme for a Tobacco Prevention Youth Event held Wednesday, June 11th. SWAT, an acronym for Students Working Against Tobacco, was the focus of the event. The Character Council of Florida hosted 180 students who participated in the Jackson County WINGS summer program which is conducted at Graceville, Malone, Cottondale, Marianna and Grand Ridge schools.
With partial funding from a mini grant received from the Jackson County Health Department through the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, the Character Council, headquartered in Marianna, developed a hands-on curriculum allowing students to rotate through four educational and fun sessions led by volunteers from the Character Council of Florida, Melvin Engineering and several teenage leaders.
Students learned how demonstrating character qualities such as Self-Control and Responsibility helps them make positive choices when faced with peer pressure. Small group discussions, games and skits were a huge hit.
Each student was required to take a pre and post test. Upon completion of the post test, they were given a raffle ticket for door prize drawings and a "SWAT it with Character" t-shirt. Through the generosity of our donors, Melvin Engineering, Dr. Larry Cook, Character Council of Florida, and the grant, many students won items such as Wal-Mart, Subway and Burger King gift cards, electric toothbrush, digital camera and portable DVD player.
All students were encouraged to remember…. "The choices you make today, will determine your future"! For information regarding how Character can determine success in your organization, contact the Character Council of Florida at 850.482.0001 or visit our website:

A Taste of St. Luke's

Church Members Produce New Cook Book
A Taste of St. Luke’s, a new cookbook compiled by the members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, will be interesting to cooks and historians alike. The book commemorates the 170th birthday of Marianna’s second oldest church. St. Luke’s was organized March 7, 1838, seven years before Florida became a state. The cookbook includes art work by Maria Lincoln Johnson, photographs of eight of the twenty-seven notable St. Luke’s stained glass windows, interesting church history, and information about Episcopal rituals, customs, and sacraments.
The more than 300 recipes are favorites of St. Luke’s parishioners. There is a "Remembrance" section with recipes from the 1952 St. Luke’s cookbook and "from family members of people who have gone on to their heavenly home." The "This & That" section contains a recipe for elephant stew that you will not want to miss.
A Taste of St. Luke’s is available for $15 at the church office at 4362 Lafayette Street. The church email address is and the telephone number is (850)482-2431.

Fundraiser To Be Held for Bobbie Jo (Turner) Conroy

Fundraiser To Be Held for Bobbie Jo (Turner) Conroy On June 28 from 11am-4pm
Bobbie Jo is a fighting Cancer Patient. She is the wife of Mike Conroy and the mother of Joseph (11) and Abby (8) Conroy. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards her overwhelming medical expenses. Your Prayers and support are greatly appreciated.
The fundraiser will be held Saturday June 28, 2008 from 11am-4pm at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale. Plates are $6.00, with your choice of 1 meat and 2 sides. Smoked Leg Quarters or 2 Fried Catfish Filets, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw or Baked Beans and a Homemade Dessert. For ticket information contact Lula Chambliss 569-5900, Lydia Davon 579-4750, John Turner Jr. 352-3752, or Mike Conroy 352-4947.

A Long Road Ahead

Bikers stop for lunch at Jim’s Buffet on way to San Francisco By Sid Riley
Recently a bikers group from Jacksonville came through Marianna and Jackson County, traveling Highway 90 on their way from Jacksonville to San Francisco California. This is part of a program to increase awareness and raise funds for the nations need for affordable housing.
The name of the program is "Bike and Build", and each cyclist has pledged to raise $4000 for the effort. It is a national program involving biking organizations throughout North America. The funds raised will be given as grants to housing groups chosen by the riders through a competitive selection process.
There are seven routes for the various biking groups to use. These include Jacksonville to San Francisco, Boston to Santa Barbara, Boston to Seattle, Providence to San Francisco, Richmond to Portland, South Carolina to San Francisco, and Providence to Seattle.
They can be contacted through

The Chamber Corner 6/26/08

Because the first Friday of July falls on July 4th this year, our July First Friday Power Breakfast will be on July 11th, the second Friday of July. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Osteryoung, Executive Director of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University.
Dr. Osteryoung’s topic will be "Strategies for Surviving and Thriving in a Recessionary Environment". This will be a great "hands-on" follow up message to the high level economic perspectives offered by Dr. Malcolm Gillis at our May First Friday Breakfast. Expect lots of practical tips and techniques from Dr. Osteryoung for strengthening your business.
Sponsored by David Melvin Engineering, this promises to be an informative and timely message. Mark your calendar now for the SECOND FRIDAY in July. We’ll see you then.
Long time Chamber members Helen and Gene Smith have decided, in a manner of speaking, to "hang up their suits", retire from the daily grind, and sell their Suitman’s Men Shop in downtown Marianna.
Helen and Gene’s business has been a mainstay in downtown Marianna for ten years, and they have been faithful, dedicated Chamber members throughout. Their integrity in all aspects of life combined with a dedication to exceptional, personalized customer service has made their retail business a role-model for others to follow. On behalf of the Chamber’s board of directors and all Jackson County Chamber of Commerce members, we wish Helen and Gene the very best in the next phase of their life.
If you are interested in acquiring a wonderful retail business opportunity, or know someone who is, call Helen or Gene for information about purchasing their business. This is a great opportunity to acquire a market leading, one-of-a-kind retail business in downtown Marianna. Not only do they offer a large selection of men and boys suits and accessories, it is the only local shop for tuxedo rentals. This is a turn-key operation, and all inventory and equipment are for sale.
The Smith’s telephone number at Suitman’s Men Shop is 850-482-5400….that’s 850-482-5400. Call them to congratulate them, encourage them, or get information about acquiring this fine business. If you know someone who might be interested in continuing the traditions established by Helen and Gene Smith at Suitman, please let Helen or Gene know so they can follow-up with a call. Again, congratulations and best wishes to Helen and Gene Smith.

A Stormy Night In Cottondale

By: Sid Riley
Tuesday evening Jackson County Development Council Director Bill Stanton attempted to make an informative presentation to a noisy crowd of approximately three hundred citizens that had come to the meeting because they feared their lives would be impacted if a proposed north-south toll road comes through Jackson County. The crowd opposing the project was comprised of one group who own or operate businesses along highway 231. Another part of the crowd was comprised of property owners who feared their family properties might be seized by government through "eminent domain" in order to create a route for the road. Mingled in with these was a group of fifteen or twenty citizens who came to the function primarily for the purpose of disrupting the meeting in order to prevent anyone from listening to the pro’s and con’s of the project.
Stanton began his presentation by explaining the history of the toll road project and why it has come forward for consideration. He explained that the primary impetus for the creation of the toll road is coming from pressure from Dothan investors who recognize the fact that the lack of an interstate connector in that city is restricting growth there.
He then displayed area maps that exhibited the potential routes the road might take, what had been previously considered, and that a fifteen mile wide swath of land through Jackson County remains under consideration by the developers. This swath covers the area between the west border of Jackson County 3.2 miles west of Cottondale to near Marianna on the east.
He tried to assure the concerned property owners that our County Commissioners as well as himself and the JCDC were opposed to the use of eminent domain to create a final route, and that the final decisions and approvals would remain with the Jackson County Commissioners. However, the crowd had been previously aroused by rampant rumors of land seizure, and they remained fixed in their opposition.
Stanton explained that the venture is not a government project and that the funding would come through bonds that would be issued by the Toll Road Authority to private institutional investors. No federal, state, county, or city funds would be involved in any aspect of the project.
He tried to explain to the business owners along 231 that rely on tourist traffic, such as the fruit stands, candy stores, and handicraft vendors, the fact, that regardless of whether or not the road comes through Jackson County, much of the existing tourist traffic will use the new road. Those businesses will be impacted if the road is built anywhere through the panhandle. The business owners seemed to turn a deaf ear to that realization and continued their ranting about losing business if the road came through Jackson County.
Stanton tried to explain if the road came through Jackson County two new major interchange points would be created. These would then develop with distribution centers and other businesses which would create jobs and ease the tax burden on private citizens through expansion of the ad valorem tax base. That argument seemed to have little impact on the crowd which had come to the meeting with pre-formed opinions.
The Western portion of Jackson County is District 2, which is represented by Commissioner Edward Crutchfield. He was at the meeting and was probably swayed by the antics of the Cottondale crowd. However, a few days ago the City Commissions in nearby Graceville and Campbellton both voted to endorse further investigation of the proposal by the County Commission.
By 9:30 the crowd had dwindled to approximately 100, with most of those who were most vocal having left. This residue of approximately 30% of the original attendees was willing to listen with an open mind, and Stanton was ultimately able to obtain a unanimous vote from these citizens for appointing a committee of five for the purpose of drafting a resolution to the County Commissioners that would provide the safeguards to the land owners that everyone felt were essential. After that resolution is completed, another town hall meeting will be held to hopefully satisfy the opposition while allowing the studies to proceed for determining the final route. The committee that will draft this resolution for consideration is comprised of Sonny Davis, Meigs Woodham, Lola Huddleston, Kim Lee, and William Watford.
After the meeting Bill Stanton stated that he was discouraged by the close minded approach taken by many of those in attendance, but is hopeful that the resolution from the citizens committee will provide the desired protection to property owners to thus enable consideration of the project to proceed.
He reminded everyone that he is paid by the County and has no personal interest in the project, other than hoping to accomplish changes that would create jobs and better lives for the citizens of Jackson County.
Author’s Note: In my opinion the Cottondale citizens have organized against a project that might ultimately be good for the citizens of our county without giving the opportunity for full evaluation of the situation. If the project promoters are able to satisfy all legal requirements and are able to raise the needed funding, the road will be built somewhere. If it can be built with all involved land owners selling willingly without being forced into selling or being abused financially and with all environmental issues satisfied, I personally would rather it come through Jackson County than somewhere else.
The future development at this road’s major intersections will create more tax revenues and new jobs. That eases the tax burden on the citizens of our county and provides future jobs for our children and grand children. Also, if it is to be built, those businesses along 231 would be less impacted if the road was routed near 231 than if it was miles away in another county.
For the business owners that are involved I feel their main issue is not WHERE the road goes, it is IF the road is constructed. Conversely, for the property owners near the route the issue is WHERE it would pass.
I feel we should keep the doorway open for the project until we know what the exact proposed route would be and exactly who and what would be impacted.

Marti Coley Remains District 7 Representative


Coley Wins in Unopposed Election for State Representative By Sid Riley
The citizens of District 7 must be satisfied with the job performance of Marti Coley. She easily won reelection as the qualification date passed and she had no registered opponent seeking her job.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to continue serving the citizens of House District 7", said Coley. "It is a great privilege to carry the views and ideals of my constituents to Tallahassee. The lack of an opponent does not mean I am taking anything for granted. I know people are struggling financially and my goal is to continue to find ways to increase opportunities for everyone and to continue to help make Florida the best place to live, work, and raise a family."
Florida House District #7 includes Jackson, Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Wakulla, and Walton counties.

Marianna City Planning Commission Makes Sign Ordinance Recommendations

By Sid Riley
Recommendations will be forwarded to City Commission at next meeting
The Marianna City Planning Commissioners have now "tweaked" the existing Marianna sign ordinances, and are sending their recommendations forward to the City Commissioners for approval, disapproval, or further "tweaking".
Specifically, they recommended the following changes to the existing ordinances which many local businesses have complained are too restrictive.
- They recommended allowing use of small "A" frame signs placed in front of retail businesses during normal business hours. These must be no larger than 2 ft wide, 3.5 ft high, and can not impede pedestrian flow or vehicle traffic vision. Only one per business is to be allowed.
- They recommended allowing special sales events banners, balloons and streamers for up to five days, once per quarter, with the acquisition of a permit for the event at least five days in advance.
- They recommended enactment of a citation ordinance to enforce the sign ordinances.
- They did not recommend changing any sign rules for residential areas.
- They recommended allowing computerized changeable copy signs, but animation and flashing light signs are not allowed.
- They recommended allowing only flush mounted back lit signs for logos and letters.

Florida’s First Scientific Observatory Was in Jackson County

By Dale Cox
Neal’s Landing – It is a little known fact that the first scientific observatory in the history of Florida was established in what is now Jackson County in 1799. Florida was still a Spanish possession at that time and the observatory was the result of a joint U.S. and Spanish expedition assigned to determine the exact boundary line dividing the two nations. Spain and the United States had ratified the Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1796 and the treaty established the 31st parallel as the official dividing line between the United States and Spain’s possession, Florida.
The problem was that no one knew exactly where the line ran. To find out, the two countries assigned teams of surveyors to hack their way through the wilderness and mark the new boundary. The U.S. team was headed by Andrew Ellicott, a veteran of the American Revolution. He was the man called on by President George Washington to survey the new District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.). The leader of the Spanish team was Stephen Minor, a Pennsylvania native that had served in the Spanish army during the American Revolution and then settled in what was then Spanish territory at Natchez, Mississippi.
The two men, accompanied by other surveyors and a detachment of Spanish cavalry, started their work on identifying the line in what is now Alabama in 1799. After they determined the starting point, Ellicott and Minor traveled separately by ship to the mouth of the Apalachicola River while the other men of the survey party chopped their way due east through the wilderness, marking the line with a series of mounds of earth known today as "Ellicott Mounds."
Most of the mounds can still be found, but although the surveyors did the best they could with the equipment of the time, the Ellicott Line was incorrectly located for virtually its entire length. The errors were corrected later by surveyors with more modern equipment.
Severely blistered by poison ivy, Ellicott began his trip up the Apalachicola River on July 18, 1799. The wind did not cooperate, however, so he moved his equipment from his ship into a canoe and set off up-stream. Pushing ashore at a Native American village in what is now Calhoun County, he purchased horses and crossed into present-day Jackson County on July 23rd.
Following an old trail along the route of today’s River Road, he made contact with the surveying party on the banks of the Chattahoochee River just north of Irwin’s Mill Creek on July 25, 1799. In his journal he noted that, "The observatory was finished on the 27th, and the instruments unpacked and set up; but the rain continued until the 30th, and prevented any observations from being made until that day."
Ellicott was soon joined by Minor and the two officials spent a total of 28 days at their observatory in Jackson County, conducting astronomical observations to determine what they believed to be the precise location of the 31st parallel. In the process, they also recorded the first known weather observations in the history of Jackson County.
On July 28, 1799, for example, Ellicott noted that the day was "cloudy with rain all day" and that the temperature began at 82 degrees in the morning, but fell to 80 degrees at 10 a.m. On August 20th he reported that the morning began "remarkably fine and clear, wind from the east," but that a severe storm blew up at around 9 a.m. At 1 p.m. he reported a "gust of rain accompanied by large hail stones from the S.W."
The observatory was abandoned on August 23rd and the surveyors moved down to the present site of Chattahoochee in Gadsden County where they continued their work. Their Jackson County observatory, however, was the first known such scientific establishment in Florida.
The site, located on the Chattahoochee River just north of Neal’s Landing, is now overgrown and forgotten, with nothing more than one of Ellicott’s mounds remaining to mark this landmark event in the history of Jackson County, Florida, the United States and Spain.
Editor’s Note – Read more of historian Dale Cox’s notes about the history of Jackson County in the Local History section of our website,

Dale Guthrie Wins Another Four Years as Clerk of The Court

Guthrie Wins Fifth Term In Unopposed Campaign By Sid Riley
Dale Rabon Guthrie was born December 1, 1956, at Chattahoochee, Florida to Joe and Nancy Rabon. She graduated from Sneads High School and Chipola Junior College and then attended Florida A & M. Her husband John Guthrie and Dale live in the country just a couple of miles from where she has lived all of her life.
She is a Democrat and has been with the Jackson County Clerk of Courts’ Office for almost 29 years - the last twelve as the Clerk of the Circuit and County Courts. As Clerk, she is also the County Chief Financial Officer, County Auditor, County Recorder and ex-officio Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners. The office is very complex and has many duties and responsibilities, which she and her experienced staff strive to fulfill.
"In order to meet public and technology demands I have upgraded the computer systems for the function, and as a result the judges are able to view Clerk documents from their offices. All law enforcement agencies are now able to search the court records 24 hours a day seven days a week by logging onto the clerk’s criminal justice information system. Official records from 1990 forward are available on the Internet and can be viewed at County Commission minutes are also available on the Internet," she explained.
"I have implemented systems in court processing where the clerk can enter cases and court dispositions as well as issue notice to appear and warrants while the judge is still on the bench. The Judge signs the orders and the defendant, State Attorney and Public Defender receive their copies before leaving the courtroom. This procedure has been very cost effective since we are saving postage as well as employee work time. My next priority will be to make electronic filing of cases and recording of documents in the Official Records a reality, Guthrie continues.
I am thankful for the chance to continue my work for the citizens of Jackson County. We pledge to continue to provide exemplary service to all residents of Jackson County. My staff and I will always seek to treat each individual with respect, fairness and friendliness. I am committed to doing my very best and promise that I will never forget that it was you who elected me to this most honorable position.
I humbly thank you for your continued support.

Meet Mary Francis “Sangy” White

By: Sid Riley
"Just live a good life, do what you are supposed to do, stay out of bad places, always treat others like you want to be treated, and trust in the Lord". That is the secret to a long, healthy life according to Mary "Sangy" White as she approaches her 101st birthday in October.
This amazing woman is still smart, spry, sassy and on top of her game. She drove to our interview in her family car, hopped out and stepped smartly across the street to enter the door of our offices. She has just finished sewing twenty-four dresses for a large wedding party to wear at the 25th wedding renewal for her friends Sharon and Bishop John McMillion. She still lives alone, does her own housework and cooking, and at times does necessary home repairs.
Not too long ago she was found on her roof, cleaning out the gutters. On another occasion she went to Lowes, bought some flooring sills, crawled under her house and nailed in the new sills to reinforce some damaged old supports. Amazing?
"Sangy" was born in 1907 in Jackson County, and has lived all of her life near her homestead on Lovewood Road, northwest of Marianna. She was married for sixty years to Sherman White, Jr. who drove school buses for the Jackson County Schools. They had three children, two girls and one boy. "They are all gone now, except youngest girl," she says sadly. She has eleven grandchildren and isn’t sure exactly how many great grandchildren there are.
She says she farmed most of her life. She is a long time member of the Bethlehem AME Church, which she claims is the oldest AME church in the state of Florida.
She recalls when she was a little girl all of the roads in Jackson County were dirt. Farmers plowed with mules, and some farmers even used cattle. She remembers riding to church and to Marianna in a wagon pulled by mules, then a carriage, then a truck, and now finally in cars. "Back when there were no paved roads the commissioners promised that Lovewood Road would be the first road paved in Jackson County. Sadly, today it is still a dirt road. Before I die I would love to just drive once on Lovewood Road with it being paved", she explains.
"They had a big birthday party for me when I turned 100. They thought it was a surprise party, but I really knew about it….so I just pretended not to know so’s they would feel good," she chuckled. On October 3 she will be 101, but thinks they shouldn’t have a party "cause they cost so much". I told her she should celebrate every year from here forward, and she responded "I suppose you’re right."
We all watched her leave as she hopped over the curb, hustled across the street to elude traffic, cranked her car, backed out of the parking space, and cruised away. You might have seen her in Wal-Mart a while later.

Sherry Brown Wins 2nd Term as Tax Collector

Brown wins uncontested race and will serve another four years.
By Sid Riley
Friday, June 20 was the last day for qualification for becoming a candidate for an elected position in Jackson County. Since no individuals registered and qualified for the upcoming election as an opposition candidate to Sherry Brown, who has registered and qualified, she has won the position for another four year term.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Jackson County for the pleasure of serving their Tax Collector for the past four years, and appreciate the opportunity to serve another four years. I have always stated that nothing takes the place of experience. I added up the years of experience among our current staff in our offices and it totals to one hundred ninety seven years," Brown stated.
"Our goal has always been to serve the public in a professional, friendly and knowledgeable manner. If there is a problem we will find an answer. This is your office and I have an open door policy and will never change. We are open for any suggestions that you might have. In the past years I have seen this office go from pen and pencil to computers and the high technology that is today, " she affirmed.
Brown is proud of the fact that the department has kept up to date with all the changes in all three state offices she must coordinate with. Florida Statutes are changing almost daily with the state agencies they work with; Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Department of Revenue, Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission and Drivers Licenses. With all these state agencies along with the laws constantly changing, remaining informed and current is essential.
"I am the Tax Collector for all Jackson County, not just Marianna. With our present economic status, our branch offices in Graceville and Sneads are more vital that ever saving resident’s time and money. We also pull in revenue from the surrounding counties which helps our county.
I would like to thank my husband of 40 years, Wayne Brown, my son Michael, his wife Anitra and my beautiful granddaughter Madison for their continued support for my dedication to the county and the job I love. I would also like to say thank you to my staff for the wonderful job they have done. I also want to thank the citizens of Jackson County for the continuing faith they are demonstrating in our department," she concludes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Covenant Hospice is delighted to announce the 3rd Annual Covenant Hospice Garden Gala will be held on Saturday, September 20th at the National Guard Armory in Marianna. Guests will enjoy a whimsical evening as they wander serene garden paths, admire beautiful garden art, listen to lively entertainment and dine on savory cuisine. We are proud to reveal the featured garden art for the 2008 Garden Gala -- beautifully constructed and artistically decorated wooden swings along with benches and Adirondack chairs. During the gala, guests will have the opportunity to admire and bid on these eccentric pieces of art – in hopes of taking one home for their very own garden.
Now, more than ever, Hospice truly needs your support. With the help of your sponsorship, we will be able to continue "adding life to days, when days can no longer be added to life." Covenant Hospice’s services are based on need and not the ability to pay. Sponsorship details and forms are available online at Or, you may call Jennifer Griffin, Development Manager at 850.482.8520 or 850.209.0221. Or email her at Join these and other fine sponsors by supporting this unique event: Anonymous Donors, Buckin’ Bingo and PeoplesSouth Bank.
Proceeds from the Covenant Hospice Garden Gala will benefit Covenant Hospice’s Marianna Branch which provides special care to patients and their loved ones in Jackson, Holmes, Calhoun and Washington counties. As a not-for-profit organization, we rely heavily on fundraising events to fulfill our mission. We sincerely hope you will support the Covenant Hospice Garden Gala.

52nd Annual Panhandle Watermelon Festival features Country Music Legend John Conlee

The 52nd Annual Panhandle Watermelon Festival takes place in Chipley, Florida on June 27 and 28.
The weekend begins on Friday, June 27 at the Northwest Florida Campground on Griffin Road in Chipley and features award-winning country group Shenandoah former lead singer Marty Raybon.
Grand Ole Opry star and country music legend John Conlee highlights the Saturday show at 2PM at the Washington County Agriculture Center on Highway 90.
The Panhandle Watermelon Festival remains one of the last totally free heritage festivals in Northwest Florida and highlights the culture of the area. Downtown Chipley Merchants will stay open for extended hours following the Festival, allowing visitors to browse this quaint historic town.
"We continue to try and provide something for everyone. With political season in full swing and national acts like John Conlee and Marty Raybon, we expect this year to be one of the largest turnouts in the 52 years of the Panhandle Watermelon Festival’s history. We invite everyone, young and old alike, to come to Washington County and enjoy this celebration," said Festival Chairman Judge Colby Peel.
For the complete story as well as an activity and entertainment schedule see

"Workin’ At the Car Wash, Car Wash"

New Car Washing Service Opens in Marianna
Residents can now have their car detailed at any location.
Marianna residents can now have their cars washed while it sits in the parking lot while the owner is at work, or while they watch TV at home and the car sits in the driveway. Craig and Marcus Raley have equipped a vehicle with all needed instruments and materials for washing a car anyplace, anytime.
This approach is the ultimate in service, since all it takes from the owner is a phone call to tell them where to go to do the wash job for you. Owners no longer have to drive their car to the washing area and wait while the job is being completed, instead the wash comes to the car.
Prices are reasonable and the service is great. To make an appointment or to get more information, call 209-4075.

Overview of School Board Meeting

On Tuesday June 17, 2008 the regular meeting of the Jackson County School Board held its regular meeting. The following list depicts key items on the agenda.
- Three students were approved for the dual admission program at Chipola College. These students were Roderick Hewett, Jessica Bradley, and Richard Joyner, all of Sneads High School.
- Discussion was held on the possibility that the portable classrooms under construction at several schools may not be completed until mid September due to problems the contractor had with bonding requirements. This may mean that these schools will have to use other available space for the first few weeks of the school term.
- It was announced that at present there are 36 vacant teaching positions within the Jackson County system. However, there are many applications available and no staffing problems are anticipated. Bay County has had to cut over 100 teaching positions and Volusia County has cut over 450 positions. These are due to budget reductions, school closings, and efficiencies being implemented. Board members discussed the fact that since the Jackson County School System has not engaged in overstaffing and wasteful practices, those type of problems are not being experienced here.
- The Board approved numerous standing contracts with vendors and agencies involved in services to the school system.
- It was announced by School Board Attorney Frank Bondurant that the lengthy process of updating and revising the School Board Policies and Procedures Manual is nearing completion. This was necessary to bring the policies into full compliance with current federal and state rules, laws, and regulations. The finalized manual of over 400 pages will be presented to the Board for final approval and adoption within the next few meetings. Betty Duffee wanted to be sure the public is informed that there is no intention to require school uniforms in any part of these policies.

SCBC Asking Individuals to Give Blood to Overcome Critical Blood Shortage You can Help !

Southeastern Community Blood Center is making an emergency plea for blood donors, as inventory levels for blood have hit all time lows for the second straight week. Although the supply of O Positive blood seems to be suffering the most, SCBC is currently experiencing a shortage of every type of blood.
SCBC is accustomed to inventory levels of blood dropping throughout the summer months; however, this year, blood inventory levels for the center have dipped exceptionally low. When summer hits, regular donors take vacations and college students flee the town for the season, causing a seemingly impossible challenge to maintain an adequate supply of blood.
"Due to a significant drop in local blood donations and in order to avoid delaying scheduled surgeries, SCBC has implemented their emergency plan of importing blood from "sister" blood centers," said Jeanne Dariotis, SCBC CEO in Tallahassee. "It is extremely difficult to maintain the blood supply inventory in critical times like these – without participation and blood donations from individuals within the community."
Individuals interested in helping to fight the summer shortage can donate at the Marianna SCBC at 2503 Commercial Park Drive (526-4403) or can visit an SCBC bloodmobile in their area (see for blood drive schedules).
Donating is a simple procedure. To be a donor, individuals have to be in good health, at least 17 years old (16 years old with a parent’s permission) and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.
According to SCBC, less than 5 percent of the eligible population actually donates blood. For more information, contact SCBC at (850) 877-7181, (800) 722-2218 or visit its Web site All locations are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The Riggins Road location is also open on Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Southeastern Community Blood Center is a nonprofit and the only blood center providing blood to families in 26 counties in North Florida and South Georgia.

Bishop John McMillion and Exhorter Sharon McMillion To Renew Vows On July 5 In Celebration of 25th Anniversary

Ceremony to take place at Missionary Baptist Association Church Building in Marianna
By Sid Riley
Twenty five years of blissful bonding deserves a celebration. That is why Bishop John McMillion and his wife of twenty five years, Exhorter Sharon McMillion are renewing their vows as a restatement of the love they share for each other. The original service in 1983 had fifteen bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids, two flower girls, a ring bearer, and two to carry the bride’s train. The renewal service will be almost as large, with twelve bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids, a ring bearer, a flower girl, a bible carrier, a bell ringer, and two to carry the bride’s train.
One outstanding aspect of this special event is that the seamstress who made the bride’s dress and twenty one other bridesmaids and wedding party dresses will be 101 years old in October! Her name is Mary Francis White (Ms. Singy); she still drives, plays the piano, and even does her own home repairs.

PANDAAP Holds Sheriff Candidates Political Forum

Crowd of approximately 200 attends forum By Sid Riley
On the evening of Thursday, June 12 the Panhandle Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Coalition sponsored a political forum for the ten candidates currently running for the position of Sheriff of Jackson County. A crowd of approximately two hundred supporters and citizens attended the event which was hosted by Tom Lewis, from WTVJ in Panama City.
Campaigning inside the auditorium was prohibited, but the crowd engaged in a form of silent promotion of their selected candidate thru a wide assortment of promotional apparel including hats, tee shirts, fans, pins, badges and probably tattoos and screen printed underwear. It was interesting to see the array of ten candidates sitting on the stage in a formal setting.
The program began with presentations from PANDAAP staff members who described the mission and history of PANDAAP. This was followed by a presentation by the beautiful and energetic Sarah Martinez, who is working with PANDAAP as she holds the title of Miss Sunshine State, and will compete for the title of Miss Teen USA later this year.
Scott Gosnell from the Supervisor of Elections Department explained the upcoming election schedules and processes. Some of the information provided included the following rules:
- A person can change political parties up to 29 days prior to the election, which in this case will be July 28.
- A person can vote an absentee ballot without giving any reason. All that is needed is to call or stop by the Supervisor of Elections Offices.
- Early voting will begin two weeks prior to the election date of August 26, which will be August 11. The Supervisor of Elections offices will be open from 8:30 to 4:40 Monday thru Friday for that purpose.
- On election day the precincts will be open from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM.
The forum began with a reading of the biography of each of the ten candidates. PANDAAP had prepared six questions for the forum, and these questions were provided for the candidates several days prior to the event. Thus, each candidate had prepared in advance their responses to each of the questions.
The questions were designed to reveal the candidate’s philosophy on drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and abuse by youths. In general, the responses were similar, with some taking a more firm stance on the issues than others. As the candidates responded randomly to the questions, the audience was able to determine which performed most professionally in a public setting.
The five questions used from the six questions that were prepared were:
1. What behaviors do you expect your staff to model for today’s youth? What actions will you take if your staff does not follow your guidelines?
Answer: Generally, the candidates replied that they would demand professional and moral behavior from their staff at all times, on and off duty. Those failing to follow rules of conduct would be subject to disciplinary action and if repeated, dismissal.
2. What would you do to educate the public on the subject of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use?
Answer: Most candidates stated that they would have the Sheriff’s Department work closely with all of the agencies already in place for these programs. They would also increase education processes in the schools, believing that a key part of the program is early education on the dangers of these activities at grade school level.
3. Experts state that youths engaging in "high risk" behavior is at a crisis level. What do you see as the role of law enforcement in reducing high risk behavior by youth?
Answer: The candidates responded that dealing with individual problems as they are detected, involving the youth’s parents in the corrective processes, and having the deputies engage as role models for in-school programs are all useful techniques for reducing this problem.
4. What will be your policy on handling the individuals involved in underage drinking?
Answer: The answers to this question varied considerably. Most felt that involving the parents in the first incident, engaging the youth in "teen court", and involving counseling programs were better than having a conviction entered into the permanent record of the youth. This opinion prevailed because of the secondary penalties imposed by insurance companies, elimination for consideration for state employment, and prevention from entry into many professions if a conviction is on the youth’s record. However, a few others felt that the youth should be prosecuted to the maximum at first offense.
5. How soon after taking office will you implement your vision and policies?
Answer: The common responses to this question were "from day one", and "I will hit the ground running". Some did recognize the requirement for a brief period of orientation and review at the very beginning.
Political forums in Graceville, Sneads, and Marianna are scheduled for August 7, 12, and 21, in the weeks just preceding the August 26 election date. These forums will include candidates for all positions on the ballot. These events are being sponsored by the Jackson County Democratic Party, the Jackson County Republican Party, Chipola Television Channel 4 (CCTV-4), and the Jackson County Times. These should be informative and exciting events. Please plan to attend.

Jackson County Farm Bureau Endorses Marti Coley for Re-Election

Jackson County Farm Bureau has endorsed Rep. Marti Coley’s candidacy for re-election to State House District 7. "Rep. Coley has been a supporter of agriculture and we are pleased to support her re-election," said Jeffrey C. Pittman, president of the Jackson County Farm Bureau. The Florida Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (FARMPAC) has contributed $500 to Rep. Coley’s campaign.
The Jackson County Farm Bureau is one of 62 county Farm Bureaus in Florida. County Farm Bureaus are affiliated with the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest general-interest agricultural association with about 140,000 member-families statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, the Federation is an independent, nonprofit agricultural organization. More information about Florida Farm Bureau is available on the organization’s website,

First Baptist Orlando Volunteers Return to BCF

An exciting time at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville is when volunteer teams from across the country arrive to lend a helping hand on special "school’s out" projects on campus. This summer, June 7-13, over 40 members of First Baptist Church (FBC) Orlando, Fl, cleaned and painted buildings, refurbished bathrooms, and worked on construction projects from early morning until dusk.
Having been involved in mission teams from FBC Orlando for six years, Jim Wortham and his wife, Pat, were pleased to be the team leaders for this year’s trip. "It’s been a dream of our Missions pastor to come up here and be involved," stated Wortham. "Some of our laymen are familiar with the foundation of the school and so we’ve been coming here for six years doing anything from grounds work to painting, maintenance and construction."
This year’s projects included painting two dormitories, Brackin-Chandler Hall and Smith Hall, painting the student laundry room and also portions of the gymnasium. The team also assisted with construction on a new duplex on Ezell St., and the replacement of all the sinks in Brackin-Chandler Hall. Pat Wortham commented, "This trip has been a great time of fellowship serving the Lord."
The Orlando team was furnished with lodging in Napier and Lakeside dorms and food services was provided by Mike Parrish in the Lake Vista Dining Hall. Wortham was very grateful stating, "Mike and his team have been so great this year. They’ve done an excellent job with the food. Everyone on this trip said they will for sure be back next year!"
After a hard day’s work, members of the FBC Orlando team could be found playing volleyball and enjoying time together as a family in the gymnasium. For more information on mission projects at The Baptist College of Florida, call 800-328-2660 x 460.

County Asks For Your Assistance

Efforts to make the public aware of problems Emergency Responders face daily in responding to emergency calls. In order for Emergency Responders to find you more efficiently, your house number should be clearly displayed.
County Ordinance Number 89-4
All dwellings should have house numbers posted that are visible from the main road or drive way. Numbers should be at least three (3) inches high and have reflective background.
Road and Bridge Superintendent, Al Green expresses a deep concern for the problems with vandalism, theft and destruction of these signs which could hinder emergency response or cause a fatal accident. Road and Bridge staff works diligently to replace missing signs in a very timely fashion once notified.
Parents, should you see any legal street, stop, yield, or RR sign(s) in your Child’s possession please drop the sign off at:
· E9-1-1 Business Office, 4447 Marion St. 850-718-0009 or
· Road & Bridge Dept, 2828 Owens St. 850 482-9629 no questions will be asked.
The Road and Bridge Department currently spends approximately $40,000.00 per year for safety devices and sign replacement.
FALSE 9-1-1 CALLS - Children Playing
Lieutenant of Communications, Tony Potter JCSO – There is problems with Children having access to unregulated cell telephones and repeatedly calling 9-1-1 as fun and game; this has become a major problem for the call takers.
Parents as you discard old telephones and perhaps decide to give them to your child as a toy - please understand even without services these telephones can still activate the 9-1-1 system.
From January 1 - May 31, 2008 call takers have answered 8,989 calls and (391) of those calls were from children playing
As 9-1-1 Coordinator I would like to make everyone aware of the penalties for making false 9-1-1 calls as found in Florida Statutes:
♦ 365.171 Emergency Telephone Number "911"
(16) False "911" Calls – Whoever accesses the number "911" for the purpose of making a false alarm or complaint or reporting false information which could result in the emergency response of any public safety agency is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable as provided in S.775.82 or 775.83
♦ 775.083 Penalties
(d) $1000 when the conviction is a misdemeanor of the first degree

Chamber Corner 6/19/08

Today’s Chamber Corner features insights and observations from noted business guru, Dr. Jerry Osteryoung, Business professor at FSU, and Executive Director of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. Dr. Osteryoung has worked with over 5000 CEO’s at companies of all sizes, and brings practical expertise to today’s real business challenges.
This week Jerry offers some thoughts about "Surviving in today’s extreme business climate".
He begins his observations with a quote from Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft: Gates says, "The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency".
With gasoline hitting four dollars a gallon and no end to the increase in sight, it’s time to start thinking about the structural changes that we are going to experience in our economy and in our businesses. With the exception of the internet revolution, this is one of the most dramatic changes to come along in the last 50 years.
A recent report showed that if the current rate of oil consumption in China continues, they will need all of the world’s fuel in the next ten years. Additionally, production and refinery capacity is going to further limit the availability of fuel, meaning higher prices as well.
Is it practical to believe that fuel prices will ever go down to two or even three dollars a gallon? No, because the demand for this commodity is increasing exponentially. It would not be surprising to see fuel at five dollars a gallon by year end, especially if the dollar continues to do poorly against other currencies.
Not only is this a very big challenge for our country, but it is also an immense challenge for each and every business. One major change that we’re going to see as a result of these conditions is more and more shopping on the internet. People are going to opt for this alternative as a way to avoid using gas. Of course, people will still have to shop for items like food; but they will use the internet much more in order to combat higher fuel prices and maintain their standard of living.
What this means for you is that your business is going to have to step up your web site. An okay web site is not going to cut it. To prosper in tomorrow’s economy you must have a great web site that clearly demonstrates your products and services. It must also be easy to navigate and transact business. Users will simply fly by your site if it is not dynamic and relevant to their needs. In light of this, for many businesses it would be very prudent to shift as many advertising dollars as possible to the internet.
Dr. Osteryoung says a second trend we can expect to see is telecommuting becoming the norm rather than the exception. With high fuel prices and congested roads, businesses will simply not be able to recruit or afford workers that have to commute. Businesses will have to design the workplace so that more of their workers will not have to come into the office everyday. Of course, mass transportation will eventually fill this void, but this is going to take a long time to develop.
Another major change coming is new housing development growing up instead of spreading out. In the past, new development moved away from the city core, but now it will have to come back to the center to provide housing for people that can no longer afford to live in the suburbs.
This will be especially troubling for the many workers who moved further out to get inexpensive land for their houses. The commute was acceptable when fuel costs were low; however, now that paradigm has changed, and these workers are getting caught in an economic squeeze. They are going to be stuck, both unable to live out of town due to fuel costs, and unable to take on the expense of moving.
On the cost side of the equation, another area that warrants examination is transportation for your materials or products. Now is the time to take a look at ways that you can reduce your shipping costs. Start by looking for vendors or resources that are closer to home, thereby reducing your cost of doing business.
Finally, each and every business will have to change the way it thinks about fuel. Businesses will have to limit travel, opting to conduct more meetings using video conferencing technology. Smaller vehicles will have to become the rule rather than the exception. Bottom line: each business will have to redesign itself assuming that fuel hits $7 a gallon.
As the philanthropist, Jim Moran, who funded the Jim Moran Institute, said, "The future belongs to those that plan for it." There is a solution to this fuel price issue, and the answer is technology. Will this be a quick fix? No, but it will come within the next seven to ten years.
It’s time to take action. Go out and think about how you can offset the increasing fuel costs that will have a direct impact on your business. Do not be satisfied with minor tweaking here and there. The scope of this issue demands a major structural change – a reengineering of each and every business. It will be hard, but you can do it.
Our thanks to Dr. Jerry Osteryoung, Business professor at FSU, and Executive Director of Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship for those practical and timely words of wisdom.
Because the first Friday of July falls on July 4th this year, our July First Friday Power Breakfast will be on July 11th, the second Friday of July. I am pleased to announce that Dr. Osteryoung will be our featured speaker and he will be expanding on the topic of today’s broadcast. He will tackle the topic of "Strategies for Surviving and Thriving in a Recessionary Environment". This will be a great "hands-on" follow up message to the high level economic perspectives offered by Dr. Malcolm Gillis at our May First Friday Breakfast. Expect lots of practical tips and techniques from Dr. Osteryoung for strengthening your business. Sponsored by David Melvin Engineering, this promises to be an informative and timely message. Mark your calendar now for the SECOND FRIDAY in July. We’ll see you then.

Curamin 8X

Curamin 8X is the premier product to enhance the body’s natural defense mechanisms for the relief of inflammation and pain due to overuse. The unique ingredients work synergistically to offer 8 times greater bioavailability, providing enhanced absorption and longer retention in the bloodstream.
Even though Curamin is a phenomenal pain relieving product it has its limitations in terms of relieving soft tissue inflammation. Curamin 8X (CRX 791) can be used for any kind of pain and inflammation supporting joints, bowel and intestinal tract, heart function, skin health and whenever you hear the word ending in "it is". I have learned from my scientific colleagues in India that all disorders afflicting mankind can be significantly improved by the use of curcumin based on its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 80% of all diseases originate from oxidative stress or inflammation.
One or two capsules twice daily. At first it may be wise to start with 2 capsules twice daily to resolve the condition and then lower the dosage when results have been obtained. After using Curamin 8X and the problem is resolved, try reducing the dosage or eliminating it entirely. You will find it will continue to give results even weeks after it’s been discontinued. Then use it only when necessary. The formulation is designed to lengthen your own innate pain killing hormones. Therefore, it becomes stronger after continued use. It is possible that some people may only need to use Curamin 8X only 7-10 days out of a month. This of course is after the pain and inflammation has been resolved.

Rollin’ Down the River – A Trip To Paradise

By Shelia Hayes, aka "Chipola River Rat"
Well, "Hey Folks"!
As I am sitting up river from my house in my boat and listening to the mullet jumping nearby, I am reminded by the good Lord just how blessed I am to live and travel on our sweet Chipola River. It is a sunny Sunday and I am soaking up some sunshine and watching my two dogs play in the cool river waters.
My mind soon starts wandering down the Chipola and back to one beautiful May morning. Our driver, Ralph Oliver, put me and my canoe (The Nova 16), along with his wife and my good friend Peggy Oliver and her kayak (Speed Demon) into the river at Peacock’s Bridge landing at 7:15 am. Our adventure is to take us to Paradise, our moored houseboat, which is far down river very close to the Hwy 20 Bridge.
That’s right, I said the Hwy 20 Bridge! Thanks to Ralph & Shorty Hayes for getting up and helping their wives get their gear together. Folks, this was the longest trip we had ever traveled with no motor and no gas (Hootie Woo Whoo!).
We weren’t sure how long or how many miles we were going to be traveling. All we knew was we were headed for Paradise. As we waved goodbye to Ralph, the only fear we had was the wind. Well, it was just as I imagined it would be, peaceful and just plain beautiful to the eyes. The spider lilies were in full bloom and along the way we got to see our first bald eagle. We paddled down to the first wide shoal we came to and interrupted the beautiful bird’s fishing trip.
Wow! It was for our eyes only though since I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough. The beauty of the wonderful eagle was breath taking. I have been living on the Chipola for 17 years this November and I’ve seen a lot of cool wildlife. But getting to see that eagle in flight was the highlight of our trip, and we had just got started. (Hootie Woo Whoo!)
As we kept paddling down river we next came upon two baby raccoons taking a morning bath. Around the next curve was a male owl in hot pursuit of a female owl. I paddled right under him and he didn’t even notice. It seemed that Mother Nature had certainly showed up for mine and Peggy’s trip.
As we kept paddling around curve after curve, Peggy would hear me break out in song or say Johnny Boys is just around the curve. Eventually I think I tested my friendship with Peggy with that repeated statement as endurance became a factor on our longest trek. We made it to Johnny Boys about 10:30 and stopped to eat a snack and take a dip.
While we were there we talked to two young men sitting on the bank and we told them where we were headed. They said, "No way will you make it by dark." Little did they know they were talking to two "Chipola River Rats.
It was just us and nature -And it was awesome! As we headed down to "Look and Tremble" we stopped to make sure everything was secured in our rigs and that we were ready for the rapids. I shouted to Peg "put your paddle up in the air" and off we went, shooting into the white water. It’s an exciting ride through "Look and Trimble, but it can be navigated. Just stay to the left bank of the river, and go for it. We made it through with no damage done, just a little water splashing from the waves. (Hootie Who Whoo!)
As we made it to Lam Eddie we got to see the dancing of the Lord God Woodpeckers. We also met a very nice fisherman who thought we were great outdoors women. He had a mess of fish which he proudly displayed to us, and a very cute Bulldog puppy on board. He gave us the thumbs up and told us we were going to make it to Paradise.
Finally, after what seemed to be hours of ceaseless paddling, we made it to the Ten Mile Creek where we have previously taken a many of bath and stopped to drink a cold one. There we got to talk to a local woman who was sitting on her dock. She was very impressed that we had made it so far in a single day. We knew we still had about another 5 miles to Paradise, so we said our good byes.
Well folks remember I initially told ya’ll we were fearful of the wind. As Peggy was passing me on her Kayak (Speed Demon), the wind suddenly had me and my Novelle Canoe gripped in a whirl-wind. I couldn’t paddle hard enough to keep up with Peggy in the windy conditions. I was getting no where and tiring fast! Then all of a sudden, coming up the river in a beautiful boat, was a site for sore eyes and sore hands. It was our other Chipola River Rat girlfriend Shirley Sims. We were so glad to see her! (Hootie Whooo Whoo!).
We eagerly grabbed on to her boat until the wind calmed down, and boy was I glad to be out of that whirl-wind. We were finally able to paddle our way to the prettiest site on the river that day- except for seeing the Bald Eagle.
Finally, we made it to Paradise! Then, "Home Sweet Home". For the rest of the weekend we enjoyed a homemade houseboat that sits under a beautiful old oak tree. It has two sets of metal bunk-beds, a five gallon bucket and a nice big deck to fish from. Mrs. Shirley tore them up.
The rest of the trip was continued on Sunday, and we did make it to the Highway 20 Bridge with no problems. It took Peggy and I from 7:15 am to 2:30 pm on Friday to make it to our Paradise, eight hours of hard paddling. (Thanks Hank). We had such a good time on that houseboat from Friday to Sunday. We cooled, fished, boat rode, sang and even had company. A great time was had by all (Hootie Whoooo Whoo!).
Our family has spent many birthdays, girls weekends, and even my husband and I spent our 15th wedding anniversary in Paradise. I hope by the pictures accompanying this story, you will come to understand why we go to the river as often as we can.
So Chipola River Rats, if you come by our houseboat, give us a wave with your hands, not your boats. Or better yet, stop in for a cold drink and some great stories. This was a great trip with two of my lifelong friends, Shirley (Rebel) Sims, and Peggy (Wildcat) Oliver.
The sites and sounds we experienced will be with me for the rest of my life. I am sure we will be sitting on the deck of Paradise till we are old and wrinkled. I love y’all, thanks for a great trip!
P.S. I just want to thank Clint Cox and the whole crew at the Jackson County Times for all their hard work they do every week. And thanks for letting me tell you of just one of my many good times that I have shared with great friends and family. I hope you will take time to enjoy the Chipola River.
From the porch on the Chipola: Mrs. Mildred Martin always said to me "Go make it happen, don’t wait for it to happen… I miss you Mrs. Mildred!
Rollin’ Down the River is a weekly summertime feature of the Jackson County Times that highlights the Chipola River through pictures, stories and articles For more photo, please see Freeze Frame on back page.

My Amazing Mom!

Now turning 89 after a near death experience in 1948
As Related To Sid Riley By Sharon McMillion
My Mom (Grandmother who raised me after my real Mom’s death), is Mrs. Irene Blaine, and she will be 89 years old on October 3. The fact that she lived through a terrible ordeal that occurred in 1948 is a testament to the love our Lord has for us all.
When she was 29 years old she was shot at her home in rural Jackson County, about fifteen miles out of Marianna. She hollered for help over a long period of time, until a neighbor two miles away responded to her faint cries. She was rushed to Jackson Hospital in terrible condition.
She had stayed alive while losing more blood than any of the Doctors could find documented in any medical records. As a result of the wound they were forced to amputate her arm. The five physicians who treated her were Dr. Wandeck, Dr. Cook, Dr. Whitaker, Dr. McKinnon, and Dr. McQuagge. While most of the group felt the effort was hopeless and she was sure to die, Dr. Whitaker refused to give up. Amazingly, she lived and recovered to live a full and fruitful life.
My amazing Mom taught school for forty two years. She taught in Jackson, Liberty, Washington, and Calhoun Counties, while she raised three children of her own, and me. We went through periods of being dirt poor. She mended clothes salvaged from the trash, since her uncle worked on the trash truck. That same uncle would bring cabbages home from the bad cabbages discarded by grocery stores because of bad leaves. Mom would remove the bad spots, clean up the cabbage and cook it for us all. I remember him bring us bags of rice that had been thrown away because of bugs. Mom would lay out the rice in the sun, clean the rice, then cook it for the family. The starch water left from the rice would be used to starch our clothes. She refused to let her loss of an arm ever hinder her progress in life.
Today she owns a house with six bedrooms and two baths, she owns two Cadillac’s that are thirty years old and look like new….and she doesn’t drive any more. She has gained all she has through hard work, a moral life, and a constant faith in God. She is a wise, hard working, God loving woman that I admire and respect. She is my hero.

Project Springs "Springs Forward"

By Sid Riley
County Commission Approves Grant Agreement For New Plant
At Tuesday’s County Commission Meeting the Board of Commissioners responded to a presentation by Evan McAllister of Melvin Engineering requesting approval of a grant agreement between Ice River Springs, Jackson County, and the State Department of Community Affairs. This $750,000 grant will primarily be used to provide the necessary changes in the water delivery infrastructure at the Marianna airport industrial park to properly service the needs of the new plant. The agreement also requires the company to maintain a minimum level of employment of thirty positions out of the seventy positions anticipated when the plant goes into operation.
The grant is under the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG). This grant includes $89,000 for engineering services, $54,000 for administration, with the balance going for 12" water lines, well rehabilitation, sewer facilities and lift station, and street improvements. The board approved the agreement.
Additionally, the board approved initiation of advertising for bids for the Administration and Engineering services on the project to be funded by the designated portion of the grant funds.

John Deere Franchise Store Now on "Fast Track"

County Commission Approves Development Order By Sid Riley
After months of bureaucratic delays awaiting approval from the North Florida Water Management Board, the John Deere Franchise Store, SunSouth, processing now appears to be on fast track through County approval steps.
Last week the Jackson County Planning Commission approved the plans for the new development, and passed the paperwork forward to the County Commissioners for final approval. At the Tuesday morning session the County Commissioners also approved the development order, so construction should be initiated very soon.
Board Chairman Chuck Lockey commended the planning department for their work in expediting this project, since it has been held up by other agencies for several weeks. The new construction will be located on Highway 90 West, across from Mercer’s Paint and Body Shop.

Carly Barnes Becomes A State FFA Vice President

Three Malone Students Take Honors At State FFA Convention By Sid Riley
The Malone FFA Chapter "Plowed a New Furrow" at the State FFA Convention in Orlando last week. These youngsters represented Jackson County and the Malone School with distinction as they came away with several meaningful trophies, awards, and titles.
They went to Orlando with new shirts that were screen printed "Harvesting Leaders", and while there they demonstrated just what that slogan meant.
The most notable and exciting achievement occurred when Carly Barnes was nominated for the position of State Vice President…..and WON! The state officer panel for FFA consists of a President, a Secretary, and six Vice Presidents. It is a very high honor to win any of these coveted positions.
Along with this accomplishment, the Malone group excelled in several of the State proficiency competitions. Rett Daniels won the state title in "Agricultural Machinery and Machinery Repair and Maintenance", Lawson Mozley won in "Fiber and Oil Products" and "Forage Products", and Carly Barnes won the state competition in "Emerging Agricultural Technologies". As state winners, their entries will now become part of the national FFA competition to be held later in the year.
Carly Barnes is the daughter of Susan and Rick Barnes of Greenwood. She recently simultaneously graduated from Malone High School and Chipola College, at the age of seventeen. Her FFA Advisor is Kim Barber. Carly also worked as an intern here at the Jackson County Times earlier this year, so this outstanding young lady is special to our staff here at the paper.
Carly will now proceed to Gainesville for a week of what is termed "Blast Off" training for state officers. This will be followed by several other summer training sessions, including a session in North Carolina for all state officers.
In August she will take part in the first State Leadership School for other rising future FFA students. Her focus will be on the Area 1 FFA District which covers all schools from Madison to Pensacola. During the school year she will tour the state conducting training programs with chapters in many schools. She will be covering a wide range of subject matter during these programs, in response to the requests of the various Chapter Advisors.
Then next Spring she will be given the opportunity to travel to Spain as part of a national FFA delegation. This group will tour the Spanish agricultural industries and serve as good will ambassadors between the two nations.
On Tuesday evening a reception was held in honor of Carly for bringing home the state position. Her Advisor, Kim Barber, hosted the event at the Malone City Café. We congratulate Carly for a much deserved recognition, and wish her an exciting year as State FFA Vice President.


By Homer Hirt
As I waited in the checkout lane at Bruno’s in Gulf Breeze, my basket loaded with supplies for the hospitality room at our ship’s reunion, I glanced at a tabloid on the rack that is appropriately placed to entice housewives and other shoppers who have either a weight or a romance problem, or perhaps merely a desire to delve into the private affairs of the rich and famous.
But there, in big, bold print, was an article that promised the possibility of my being featured in a cover article!
There, in color, was a head and shoulders photo, freckles, wrinkles, cute nose and all, of DORIS DAY! And the caption promised that, inside the tabloid edition, would be listed, along with fellow actors, musicians and former husbands, her ‘SECRET LOVES’!
Her SECRET LOVES? I have secretly loved Doris Day from the first time I saw her face on the big screen, and heard her sing, and I still love her today!
No one else could sing the word "LOVE" like Doris.
No one else sang it directly to me.
For no one else would sit in a tropical rainstorm on an island in the Pacific Ocean just to watch a "girl next door" movie like "On Moonlight Bay". Never mind that the rain made it look more like an Esther Williams swim film.
For no one else would perch on a chair on the open deck of a destroyer underway at thirty knots, just to see her play a mannish Calamity Jane and sing, to me alone, "ONCE I HAD A SECRET LOVE, THAT LIVED WITHIN THE HEART OF ME". Hey, she was singing to me, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Homer Hirt, U. S. Navy, officer of the USS SAUFLEY, a unit of the United States’ Atlantic Fleet! With decks awash and salt spray pelting me, I was transported to the stagecoach she drove, hell-for-leather, through the tumbleweeds of Texas, and I watched as she threw her heart before Howard Keel, an insensitive clod who was rejecting her for a simpering dance hall girl! LOOK, LOOK, Doris, HERE I AM! Sing to ME!
Oh, I know that she played other parts with other actors. I even watched "Pillow Talk", and at first I could understand Rock Hudson having the hots for her, and I most certainly understood why she at first rejected him. It had nothing to do with his sexual orientation, but everything to do with the mental telepathy that I sent out to my darling Doris.
Did you ever hear her sing "Gonna take a sentimental journey?" That was just for me, no one else. "to renew old memories"…….Doris, Doris, how about some new memories! How about you and me going down to the lake to watch some submarine races? Or we could sit in a swing on your father’s front porch and listen to the crickets chirp in the cool of the evening, and maybe even hold hands, and hope that the old man doesn’t catch us! No sex, just handholding, and maybe a quick kiss, lips only, no tongues.
Oh Doris, Doris with the light dusting of freckles across her nose and cheeks, Doris with the perfect figure, Doris with the blonde hair bobbed short enough that it would bounce up and down as a perky next-door girl’s should when she walked with me down the sidewalk, to the envious glances of all of the other men.
So you and I are old, but you still sing to me, and I will forever be "your secret love" and should be at the top of the list in the tabloid, at least by right of seniority. Who else has carried the torch so ardently in wind and rain and storm and in my imagination?
Oh, Doris!

Mrs. Sherry Campbell, A Resident of Crestview, Wants to be District 5 State Representative

Okaloosa County Commissioner Hopes to Serve as Representative By Sid Riley
Crestview, Florida resident and Okaloosa County Commissioner, Sherry Campbell has announced her intention to run as a Republican candidate for the position of State Representative, District Five. District Five includes all of Washington and Holmes Counties as well as portions of Okaloosa, Walton, and northern Jackson County.
Mrs. Campbell has a BS in Business Administration and a Major in Accounting from the University of Florida. She is a Certified Public Accountant and is owner of Sherry Campbell Accounting. She also has experience as a public school teacher. She serves on the Board of Directors for Premier Community Bank, belongs to the Florida Association of Counties, West Florida Regional Planning Council Board, School Readiness Coalition Board, as well as many charitable and school related organizations. She is married to Dr. David Campbell, they have three children and three grandchildren (the third was born this week).
Sherry states that the reason she has decided to seek the office of State Representative is her desire to serve the citizens of the North Florida. She feels her twenty-nine years of professional business experience combines with her political experience from serving as County Commissioner for Okaloosa County qualifies her for the position.
She is a proponent of affordable government, and hopes to better promote the interest of Northwest Florida from Tallahassee. She hopes to strengthen the role and prominence of the Northwest Florida Legislative Delegation in our State government. She also is concerned about availability and affordability of good health care for our children and seniors. She wants to help resolve the existing property insurance crisis that exists in Florida. She is against Florida taxpayers being forced to fund benefits for illegal aliens.
She favors school vouchers and school choice for the families of Florida. She also feels that the class size restrictions should allow more local school district input as they are implemented. The existing methods of implementation often create excessive and unnecessary extra costs for the school systems. She is also a proponent of developing alternate water sources to better accommodate growth in Northwest Florida.
Mrs. Campbell can be reached at

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cave Diver Drowns At Blue Springs

Just after midnight on Tuesday morning a cave diver became distressed during a dive into the main cave at Blue Springs Recreational Area. The diver was properly certified and had registered at the Sheriff’s office as is required of all divers. The diver apparently became distressed after going only a short distance into the cave. Equipment malfunction or some health problem is suspected as being a possible cause. An autopsy will be performed to help determine what happened.
The unfortunate diver was identified as Joell Tubbs, age 41, of Oakmans, Alabama.
UPDATE: Through conversation with Edd Sorenson the Jackson County Times has learned that the diver was suffering from chest pains and indigestion during the day prior to his fatal dive. It is suspected he developed a heart problem during the initial dive.

Grand Ridge Woman Convicted of Murder

State Attorney Steve Meadows announces the conviction, in Jackson County Circuit Court, of Sue Ann Cole, on a charge of murder in the second degree.
A three male, three female jury deliberated about two hours before finding Cole, WF, DOB: 3-1-1974, 6741 Chips Drive, Grand Ridge, guilty of the December 26, 2007, shotgun slaying of her boyfriend, Danny Earl Durden.
Assistant State Attorney Mark Sims complimented the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Sentencing is set for June 24, 2008. Cole faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Chipola Chapter, NSDAR Welcomes Seven New Members

Seven new members were officially welcomed by Chipola Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in May. Honored were Sandra Parrish, Mary Ann Flowers, Carolyn Jordan, Christy Bloechl, Josephine McGlamery, Patty Melvin and Rosie Smith. Smith is a member of Fort San Luis Chapter in Tallahassee and a new associate member of the Marianna chapter. Regent Dorcas Jackson and Chaplain Jean Brooks conducted the ceremony with each new "daughter" receiving a pin from the chapter.
The NSDAR, established in 1890, is committed to historic preservation, education and patriotism. To be eligible for DAR membership a woman must be at least eighteen years old and able to prove direct lineage to an ancestor who rendered aid to the colonies, between 1775 and 1783, in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Chipola Chapter is glad to help interested women prove lineage. Please contact Registrar Marilyn Clere with an email to for information and assistance or call Regent Dorcas Jackson at 579-2103.
A certificate in appreciation for support of the chapter and for "giving us a history of Jackson County" was given to historian and acclaimed author, Dale A. Cox. Cox is donating proceeds from his latest work, The History of Jackson County, Florida: Volume One, to Chipola Chapter, NSDAR with the funds to be used to establish historic markers in this area.
The program for May was "Sharing Our Family Heirlooms." Deborah Buckhalter and Mark Skinner from the Jackson County Floridan were present to make a video tape of the program. At the end of the meeting Buckhalter was surprised when presented a certificate of appreciation for her numerous efforts to preserve history and for her support of Chipola Chapter, NSDAR.

Marianna Has An Open MRI Open and Doing Business

Marianna has an "open" MRI machine housed in the building on Jefferson Street that also houses the offices of Payne and Payne Dentistry. The MRI unit is owned and operated by Airis Open MRI of Marianna, and has been in business here for four years. This business is owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Keith Freudenberger, who also have similar offices in Ft. Walton and Navarre Beach, Florida.
Many people suffer from various forms of claustrophobia and become very agitated and distressed when placed in the enclosed chamber of the traditional MRI machine. That problem led to the design of the "open" MRI machine, such as the one offered at Airis. Additionally, some patients are just too large to fit comfortably into a traditional machine. In other instances the type of injury or malady may prevent bringing the arms or legs into the confines of a closed MRI unit.
"Charges for using an ‘Open MRI’ are no more than the traditional machines, in fact in many instances our charges are significantly less than the charges of larger organizations," stated owner Keith Freudenberger. The organization has five radiologists that read the images, with one usually being on site in Marianna each day. The results are normally available within 24 hours.
"We will open for special needs such as after hours and on weekends, if notified of the requirement", Keith continued. "Our operation is not as inflexible as is the case with larger companies, and we try to create a friendly, hometown atmosphere. Additionally, we want patients to know they can request use of an open MRI from their doctor when the decision is required to use MRI technology to assist in diagnosis or evaluation. "
Normally the office is open five days per week and the phone number is 850-526-2496.

Covenant Hospice Wants You

Do you want to have more meaning in your life? Do you desire to do something that is satisfying and of great service to persons in your immediate community? If your answer is yes, then become a Covenant Hospice volunteer. As a Covenant Hospice volunteer, you’ll be rewarded with a friendly work environment, appreciative staff, and new friends!
Volunteers are needed in your area to serve patients and families of the terminally ill. If you are willing to give an hour or two a month please attend our workshop. It will be Thursday, June 26, 2008 from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. It will be held at Covenant Hospice in the upstairs volunteer room. Lunch will be provided. This training will introduce the volunteer to the following: Covenant Hospice Volunteer Orientation, Clinical Care and Comfort, Psychosocial/Spiritual Care, Grief and Bereavement, Communication Skills and Volunteer Documentation. To register by February 25, please call Donna Meldon, Volunteer Services Manager at (850) 482-8520 or email her at .
Celebrating 25 years of keeping the promise, Covenant Hospice is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate services to patients and loved ones during times of life-limiting illnesses. The focus of Covenant Hospice is to enable its patients to live as fully and comfortably as possible, to provide dignified palliative care, to assist patients’ loved ones in coping with end-of-life issues and the eventual death of the patient, and to improve care for all patients at the end of their lives by example and education.

Local UPS Store Sponsoring Troop Package Drive


The new UPS Store that recently opened at 4415-C Constitution Lane in Marianna, FL is sponsoring an effort to ship care packages to our troops in Iraq. The public is invited to drop off donated items at the store Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm or Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:00 Noon.
The most requested items are snack foods packaged in small individual containers such as granola bars, cookies, crackers and chips. Other requested items are books, bibles, white ankle socks, phone cards, AAA and C batteries, Gallon size ziplock bags, room deodorizers, puzzle books, dice, games, music CD’s, baseballs and gloves. Items needed for personal hygiene include toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, chapstick, baby powder and foot powder. Sunscreen is another item in high demand.
The UPS Store hopes to send most of the donated items to local area men and women serving in Iraq. If you have a friend or family member there, call the store at 850-526-4877 and provide their name and address. They will be placed on a list to receive a package from home. Your local UPS Store will bear the cost of shipping the packages as a way of showing our troops that we support them.
Store owners, Roger & Judy Williams, and Store Manager, Michelle Maloni encourage the public to bring their donations to the store for the next few months. They would like to be able to send packages over the next few months.

BCF Answers the Call to Missions in Asia


In May three of The Baptist College of Florida’s (BCF) own, Rebekah Meahl, recent graduate along with David Denis, a Senior; and Lauren Parnell, the BCF Missions Coordinator, flew from Florida to meet up with a larger team in order to travel to Asia. While there, the group spent a few days on one university campus, engaging students in conversations at English corners, a designated time for Asian students to practice their English, and eating meals with students in the local cafeteria. "Relational evangelism is the only way to reach the people. You have to earn their respect before you can share Christ with them through conversation," said Parnell. "Fortunately, many of them make friends quickly."
After three days together, the large group was split into smaller teams that scattered across the country participating in a variety of ministry projects. Rebekah Meahl hiked through mountains locating previously unreached people groups. Denis went to one of the largest cities in the area to work with young businessmen and college students, and Parnell was in a city that mainly targeted university students. All three had vastly different experiences, but each one came back touched by how God is working in the lives of the people. "It was an eye-opening and life-changing experience to see the vast numbers of people who are lost without Christ," said Meahl.
In total the team had the opportunity to share Jesus with hundreds of people. Some accepted Christ, and many others now have a clear understanding of the Gospel and are considering the cost of following Jesus with their lives. "Now that we’ve seen the need for God in Asia there is no way we can ignore it," said Denis. "We will definitely be going back."
For more information on mission trips through BCF locally and around the world, contact Lauren Parnell at (800) 328.2660 ext. 488 or

Chipola Now Offers More than 40 Programs


Chipola College now offers more than 40 individual programs ranging from four-year Bachelor’s degrees to certificate programs which can be completed in a few hours.
Registration for academic programs is available at the beginning of Fall, Spring and Summer terms. Some workforce and certificate programs feature open enrollment which allows students to enroll at any time the college is in session.
The college now offers seven Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs, including: Business Management, Elementary Education, Mathematics Education (5-9 or 6-12), Nursing, Science Education (5-9 or 6-12) and Special Education. The Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) offers Teacher Certification for those with a B.S. in a non-teaching field.
The majority of Chipola students are enrolled in the Associate in Arts Degree program designed for students who plan to complete their first two years of college work at Chipola and then transfer to another college or university at the junior level. Credits earned are transferable and are applicable toward a bachelor’s degree. Curriculum guides that outline requirements for specific majors are available from Student Services and are located on the college website at
Chipola also offers more than a dozen Associate in Science (AS) degrees which provide professional training directed toward specific careers. These include: Business Administration, Computer Engineering Technology, Computer Electronics, Network Support, Computer Programming, Computer Information Technology, Criminal Justice Technology, Culinary Management, Early Childhood Education, Electronics Engineering Technology, Fire Science Technology, Network Services Technology, Nursing (RN and LPN), Recreation Technology and Telecommunications Engineering Technology.
Two Associate in Applied Science programs in Electronic Engineering Technology and Telecommunications Engineering Technology are also available.
Three College Credit Certificate programs are available in Child Care Center Management, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic.
The college offers a number of Workforce Development Certificate programs, including: Automotive Service Technology, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Computer Systems Technology, Correctional Officer, Cosmetology, Cross-Over Corrections to Law Enforcement, Cross-Over Law Enforcement to Corrections, Electronic Technology, Firefighter II, Law Enforcement Officer, Masonry Apprentice Training, Surveying and Mapping Technology and Telecommunications.
Two Dental programs are available through agreements with other colleges: Dental Assisting at Gulf Coast CC and Dental Hygiene with Tallahassee CC. Students may earn the first year of these programs at Chipola.
A variety of continuing education programs are available on campus in areas ranging from Child Care to Real Estate. Through partnerships with and, the college offers open enrollment, online courses in courses like health care, internet graphics/web design, business, law and travel.
For information about college programs, call 526-2761, or visit

Rentz is Chipola Faculty Member of the Year


English professor Pam Rentz of Sneads recently was named the Chipola College Faculty/Administrator of the year.
In her regular job Rentz teaches college students the importance of writing clearly and using good grammar and punctuation; but the lessons she teaches after class may be more important.
Rentz serves as faculty adviser to the college chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. Like most honor societies, good grades are required to join PTK, but service learning is the group’s main focus.
Rentz leads Chipola students in various community service projects each year, but "Project Prom" may be the most intriguing. Rentz led Chipola volunteers to Bay St. Louis High School in Mississippi where they helped put on the Junior/Senior prom. Chipola students collected prom gowns and decorations and helped organize the prom for students at the hurricane-ravaged high school.
Chipola students participated in a number of service programs. The "Behind the Scenes" program encouraged reading and creative expression among middle school students. The Leaders of Promise Conference offered a day of leadership activities and seminars for area eleventh graders. The Senior Leadership Conference with SGA provides leadership activities for area seniors.
The Chipola chapter of PTK was named the Most Distinguished Chapter of the Florida Region this year and has won numerous international recognitions.
Rentz also has been involved in Chipola’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) for SACS re-accreditation.
Rentz’s supervisor Dr. Sarah Clemmons, says, "Mrs. Rentz is respected by students, peers, and administrators for her dedication to service learning experiences for students. Her involvement of students and the college in projects to serve the community and the nation has earned her much special recognition and appreciation by all."
Rentz has taught English courses at the college since 2005. She formerly taught at Sneads High School. She is a Chipola alumnus who earned a B.A. from the University of West Florida and an M.S. from Nova Southeastern University.
Rentz and her husband Bill have two children. Their daughter Paige is a Chipola alumnus, a member of the Chipola Academic Hall of Fame and a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Their son Chase is a senior at Sneads High who is dual enrolled at Chipola.

Optimist Club of Jackson County Inducts New Members


Several new members of the Optimist club of Jackson County were inducted into the club at the April meeting at Jims Buffet. The new members are Brigetta Niccio and sponsor Debbie Gochenaru, Dena Bishop with sponsor Shellie Hollis, and Azur Sims with sponsor Betty Demmon. The Optimist Club of Jackson County meets the first and third Tuesday at Jim’s Buffet and Grill. The main mission of the club is to help the children of Jackson County.
The club sponsors two scholarship funds: one for a 12 grade student from the Jackson County area and another for a child or grand child of a police officer who is going into law enforcement or corrections from the 14 Judicial Circuit which includes Bay, Jackson, Gulf, Holmes, or Washington County. The club also sponsors an annual Benefit Ride against cancer for a child with cancer and co-sponsors the Law Enforcement Awards and Luncheon for Law Enforcement Week at the Jackson County Sheriff Dept. For more information contact President Sylvia Henry or Vice-President Shellie Hollis.

Teacher Outreach Program meets Future Educators


Some 45 area high school students who are aspiring teachers met recently at Chipola College.
The Chipola Future Educator’s Club led high school students in various activities. The students previewed Chipola education classes, toured the education department, practiced leadership, learning and instructional strategies, and experimented with microbial structures in a biology lab.
Through a Succeed Florida grant, Chipola officials developed a Teacher Outreach Program targeting seven district high schools to identify students interested in careers in education. The schools organized Future Educators Clubs under the direction of Teacher Outreach Coordinator, Joan Lasseter. Teacher Education students and members of the Chipola Future Educator’s Club, moderated by Dr. Cherry Ward, met throughout the semester at the following high schools: Bethlehem, Cottondale, Graceville, Holmes County, Malone, Marianna and Vernon. High school sponsors are: David Williams-Bethlehem, Medea Callahan-Holmes County, Liz Sims-Malone, Bridget Miller-Marianna, Glenda Hartzog-Cottondale/Graceville and Lisa Taylor-Vernon.
Teacher education faculty who participated in the event include: Dr. Rose Cavin, Dr. Lou Cleveland, Dr. Santine Cuccio, Dr. Gina McAllister and Dr. Cherry Ward. Administrators Dr. Sarah Clemmons and Dr. Kitty Myers also participated.
Chipola Future Educator Club students and recent graduates are: Angie Henderson, Event Coordinator; Nathan Day, Rachel Edminson, Lori Holland, Stephanie MacIntosh, Danny Rutherford, Amanda Wiggins and Amanda Williams.
For information about Chipola’s Teacher Education program, contact Dr. Lou Cleveland at 850-718-2416 or 718-2492.

Chipola Nursing Students Train on High Tech Patient Simulator


Chipola College nursing students recently got firsthand experience in a medical emergency scenario using a new human patient simulator.
The future nurses found themselves in a mock emergency room with a young child in breathing distress along with a panicked and somewhat-challenging mother.
The students performed basic tasks such as taking patient history, checking vitals, drawing blood and starting IV fluids. As the trauma progressed the students were faced with decisions regarding the best course of care in a deteriorating situation. Students had to decide which medications to administer and make quantity conversions for a child.
According to Lucinda Graven, Assistant Professor of Nursing, the scenario helped the students gain valuable experience in making quick and decisive decisions in a stressful environment.
"The Pedisim simulator can be adjusted to suit the education point of the student. The medical issues and training are basic in the initial semester and progressively increase in difficulty as the students move through the program," said Graven.
Jackson Hospital employees Tracy Mears and Amy Samson played a major role in setting up the patient simulator and evaluating the scenario for the Chipola students.
Funds for the human patient simulator came from a Succeed! Florida Nursing Profession grant. Chipola was awarded a total of $253,000 to help introduce nursing students to real life medical situations with three human simulators, including a male and female adult. The Pedisim human patient simulator can breathe, bleed and talk just like a real patient.
For information regarding entrance requirements to the Chipola nursing program, call 850-718-2278.

Optimist Club of Jackson County Says Thanks!


Each year the Optimist Club of Jackson County holds the Annual Steven Cullifer Poker Run Against Cancer to benefit a child from Jackson County that has Cancer. This year the club was able to present the family of Cade "Wheel" Shouppe with a check for $1,360.00. Wheel was not able to come to the meeting because of a doctor’s appointment but his aunt Jana Baggett was and she was presented the check from the club. Wheel is 12 years old and was diagnosed in July 2003 with T-Cell ALL Leukemia and he is the son of Jeff and Sondra Shouppe.
The Optimist Club of Jackson County would like to thank all of the riders for their participation in the ride this year and we will be looking forward to seeing you next year on the next ride.

Graceville City Commission Endorses Possible Toll Road Route


At Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Graceville City Commission, JCDC Director Bill Stanton made a presentation to the Commissioners regarding the potential economic development gains the Graceville-Campbellton area could realize from the routing of a Montgomery-Dothan-Panama City express toll road that would traverse north-south through Jackson County. Stanton announced that due to lack of support in Washington County, the project promoters have opted for the Jackson County route, even though it is twelve miles longer.
During a meeting last week, the Campbellton City Commissioners unanimously approved supporting the project after hearing a similar presentation given by Stanton. It is anticipated by Stanton that the new express route would include an interchange at the intersection of the road with Highway #2 between Graceville and Campbellton. Another exchange would be created as the road crossed I-10 somewhere west of Cottondale.
"In my opinion, this new interchange would create a wonderful opportunity for tremendous future development for these two communities", Stanton told the Commissioners. He explained that the connection of city water and sewage services to the interchange is the key for creating development. "That is why the Sneads and the Grand Ridge exchanges on I-10 have so little development and the Marianna exchange has flowered It is because of the delivery of these city services," Stanton emphasized.
"This project would be totally funded by private bond issues, and would not involve any investment or risk to the citizens of any community or Jackson County. "To me it is all plus and no negatives", Stanton explained.
The commissioners then unanimously voted support for the project. City Manager Eugene Adams voiced his amazement that the officials in Washington County had not moved aggressively to support the new road.
Bill Stanton plans to next solicit the endorsement of the communities of Cottondale and Alford, which would also benefit from their proximity to the new road. Then the presentation will be made to the Jackson County Commission for their endorsement before the completed documentation demonstrating total area support for the proposed road is forwarded to the promoters and planners who are working on the project.
"The project is from three to six years away at this time", Stanton responded when asked. "In total it will be a two billion dollar project, and things of this magnitude take time in formulation."