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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jackson County’s Biggest Loser

Integras Wellness and Fitness Center Hosts Weight Loss Challenge
By Kendall Boggs
Integras Fitness Center recently concluded an 11 week weight loss challenge. There were 12 participants and as a whole, they lost a total of 69.6 pounds. A big congratulations goes out to Sharina Jones who was named "The Biggest Loser" for her weight loss totaling 25.4 pounds.
For this event, participants did a variety of exercises including Hilo, Kickboxing, Circuit Intervals, Step Aerobics and Abdominals. All the fitness instructors also took part in this event by heading the different classes the participants attended throughout the challenge.
Approximately, 25 people, including the instructors, attended the last day of the challenge on August 25th. After the program concluded, participants were served refreshments and door prizes were also awarded. Several local businesses also provided donations to help with the festivities of the fitness challenge.
Integras has personal trainers available for the public as well as a variety of group fitness for anyone who wishes to maintain that summer swim-suit body all year round or for those who just want to be healthy and fit.

Ed Jowers Is Inducted Into the FACAA Hall of Fame

Submitted by: Doug Mayo, Jackson County Extension
Jackson County Extension Director, Ed Jowers was recently inducted into the Florida Association of County Agriculture Agents (FACAA) Hall of Fame, at their recent state meeting held in Orlando, Florida. Only one agent per year statewide is selected for this honor. Jowers was selected as the 2008 inductee because of his many years of dedicated service to the agricultural producers of Florida, University of Florida Extension, and FACAA.
Ed Jowers has served as a true leader through more than 40 years of public service. He served five years in the US Air Force, as a maintenance officer during the Vietnam War, before beginning a career in Extension with the University of Florida. Jowers has been a leader in UF Extension, FACAA, and in the three communities he served for 37 years.
Ed had a vision for how things should be, and always worked to keep people involved to make things better. He has consistently hired the very best people, and gave them the support they needed to succeed. Jowers also worked very hard to make FACAA successful, by giving of his time and energy, and by encouraging other agents to get involved.
In 1971, Jowers began as a County Agent in Suwannee County working primarily with 4-H youth, cattlemen and hog farmers. When the local County Extension Director (CED) was fired, Jowers was pressed into service as the acting CED. He met the challenge by providing the leadership the staff needed to serve their clientele until a new director was hired.
Throughout his career, Jowers sought challenges and a place where he felt he could make a difference. In 1979, he was promoted to CED of the Madison County Extension Office. While in Madison County, he worked very closely with Farm Bureau, and also formed the North Florida Hog Producers Association.
The work he was most proud of in Madison was his use of demonstration plots. Jowers showed local farmers the value of adopting nematode and disease resistant varieties of soybeans. He also introduced farmers to conservation tillage. Jowers was able to help the farmers in the region increase their average annual yields by 25%, going from 20 to 25 bushels to the acre.
In 1985, Jowers transferred to the Jackson County Office to face a new challenge. His friends in Extension told him that the Jackson Office was not a good place to work, with aging facilities, limited meeting space, and a limited budget. Today our Extension Office has 13,000 square feet of office and meeting space, including a Conference Center with a seating capacity of 350 people.
In addition to improving the facilities for the Jackson County Extension, Jowers was also able to provide office space for all of the agricultural support agencies in one building. While in Jackson county, Jowers became well known for his expertise in peanuts. He has maintained an annual attendance of over 200 farmers for his yearly Peanut Short Course and Peanut Field Day.
Jowers has also been a long time leader in FACAA. His primary leadership came as he moved through the officer rotation from 1990-1994. While serving as President he completely revised the Bylaws and Polices. He established the Young Professional Award by securing an annual $500 sponsorship from Farm Credit. In 1995, he served as the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) Southern Region Scholarship Committee Chair. Since that time, although he has not held a formal office, he is still recognized statewide as an opinion leader and mentor for those in leadership roles.

Graceville Harvest Festival Beauty Pageant

Submit applications by September 18
The 27th Annual Harvest Festival Pageant, sponsored by the City of Graceville, will be held Friday, September 26th and Saturday, September 27th at 6:30 PM at the Graceville Civic Center. The entry fee is $50 with all proceeds going to the Graceville Harvest Day Celebrations. The Graceville Harvest Festival Pageant is an open pageant.
To enter, return applications by September 18th along with the entry fee. Checks should be made payable to the City of Graceville. Applications should be mailed to Bush Paint and Supply, Attn: Teresa Bush, Pageant Director, 971 6th Avenue, Graceville, Florida 32440. Applications can be personally delivered by September 18, 2008 deadline.
Winners will receive a large trophy, large crown and banner. Alternates and participants will receive trophies. Photo packages will be available. A $4 per adult door admission applies to all individuals with exception of contestants. Admission is free to children three years old and under.
The Graceville Harvest Festival Pageant is an open pageant and would be an excellent opportunity for National Peanut Festival pageant participants, since this will be the final pageant prior to the NPF pageant. For more information call Teresa Bush (daytime) 263-4744, (nighttime) 263-3072, or contact Michelle Watkins, City of Graceville 263-3250.
September 26th 6:30 PM (Friday night)
Baby Miss: 0-12 months- Sunday wear
Toddler Miss: 13-23 months- Heirloom or Sunday Attire
Tiny Miss: 2-3 years- Pageant wear
Future Little Miss: 4-5 years- Pageant wear
Little Miss: 6-7 years- Pageant wear
September 27th 6:30 PM (Saturday night)
Petite Miss: 8-9 years- Pageant wear
Miss Pre-Teen: 10-12 years- Pageant wear
Jr. Miss: 13-14 years- Pageant wear
Teen Miss: 15-16 years- Pageant wear
Miss: 17-21 years- Pageant wear

Sheriff Deputies Give Numerous Tickets At Cornerstone Restaurant

By: Sid Riley

On Thursday evening, before Fay reached us, deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office were handing out tickets at the Cornerstone Restaurant. However, these were tickets of a different variety, since they only involved the food charges for a delicious meal the deputies had just served the patrons of the restaurant that evening. In a combined effort with the ownership and staff of the Cornerstone Restaurant, the Sheriff’s fund raising team volunteered to be the servers at the outdoor bar-B-Q event held on behalf of the March of Dimes.
"I will never leave a restaurant without properly tipping the server", declared Corporal Sean Hill. "I have a new and deeper appreciation for the work they have to do". He and co-deputy server, Jeff O’Pry worked diligently until the 9:00 closing time. The event and all of the volunteer effort raised $429.00 for the March of Dimes.
These funds will be combined with other fund raising teams as part of the annual "March for Babies" walk-a-thon which will be held at Citizens Lodge on September 20.
This fund raiser at the Cornerstone included live music by Joe Rutherford, who volunteered his time. Also the regular staff of the Cornerstone, Kaitlin, Megan, and John also devoted their evening to the effort as volunteers.
So, a grand time was enjoyed by all who came. They were treated to great food, fine music, and an opportunity to harass the deputies.
Watch for future information on the upcoming walk-a-thon fund raiser, or contact

Fort Scott had a Major Impact on History of Jackson County

By: Dale Cox
Lake Seminole – On the Georgia side of Lake Seminole, an overgrown historic site attracts little attention these days, but 190 years ago it was the headquarters for the Southern Army of the United States and the command post of General Andrew Jackson.
Now covered by a dense growth of trees and vines, Fort Scott was once a twelve-acre military post, complete with barracks, officer’s quarters, a hospital, gunpowder magazine and log stockade walls designed to protect the fort from attack by Seminole and Creek warriors. It was for a time, perhaps, the most important military installation in the United States and played a major role in the history of not only Jackson County, but Florida and the nation as a whole.
Established by Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Lamont Clinch and a battalion from the 4th U.S. Infantry during the late spring of 1816, the fort served as a stepping off point for the American campaign against the so-called "Negro Fort" on the Apalachicola. Now known as Fort Gadsden, the "Negro Fort" had been built by the British during the War of 1812 as a rallying point for a large organized force of Native Americans and escaped slaves from the plantations of the Southeast.
When the British left the area in 1815, they turned the fort and its artillery and other armaments over to their former allies. When U.S. troops attacked the post in July of 1816, its inhabitants still flew the British flag and considered themselves subjects of the King of England.
An American gunboat lobbed a heated cannonball over the walls of the "Negro Fort," striking the gunpowder magazine of the establishment and blowing the fort to bits. An estimated 270 of the 320 men, women and children in the fort were killed in the blast and most of the survivors were carried back upstream to Fort Scott.
By 1817, Fort Scott had become the command post for the 4th and 7th Infantry Regiments and on November 21, 1817, served as the base for military operations against the Lower Creek village of Fowltown in what is now Decatur County, Georgia. The Fowltown raid ignited the First Seminole War and for more than three months Fort Scott was kept under siege by Native American forces.
Andrew Jackson broke the siege in March of 1818 when he arrived at Fort Scott with an army of nearly 2,000 men. Using the fort as a base of operations, he invaded Florida to battle Seminole and Creek forces and ultimately captured the Spanish towns of St. Marks and Pensacola. The campaign brought him through Jackson County and many of his soldiers later returned to become the first settlers of the area.
Fort Scott remained an active military post until 1821, when Florida was transferred from Spain to the United States. Its usefulness then ended, the post was closed and its garrison relocated to Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Although the site is now on Federal property, the location of the old fort remains neglected and overgrown. More than 100 U.S. soldiers are buried there in unmarked graves, their ultimate sacrifices to their country forgotten by modern generations.
Editor’s Note: You can read more writings from historian Dale Cox at Just click the "Local History" button.

City Taxes Will Go Up In Marianna

By: Sid Riley
Marianna Commission Will Raise City Taxes 1 Mill
The cost of living within the city limits of Marianna will cost the property owners $219,000 more next year. The Marianna City Commission decided to increase the tax rate by this amount at the Monday afternoon special workshop.
Initially, there was a strong effort to make the increase be 2 mills, but after discussion the lower amount was agreed to by the panel.
Commissioner Howard Milton was the main proponent of the 2 mill increase, citing concerns about the condition of streets in the city. Commissioner Roberts, who favored the 1 mill increase, stated that the only solution to the city street problems was a future bond revenue issue to engage in a major repaving program.
Mayor Jim Wise was the major proponent of the 1 mill option. Commissioner Clay was also in favor of 1 mill. Initially, Paul Donofro pushed for a 1.5 mill increase. In order to pass, the panel must vote unanimously for the increase at the September 10 meeting. They instructed City Manager Jim Dean to proceed with budget preparation based on the 1 mill increase in revenues.
Expenditures include an annual increase in wages for the 25 city employees who have gross annual wages under $25,000. Also, the City’s electric bill to Florida Public Utilities has risen to over $63,000 per month, or $756,000 per year. The cost of gasoline has also increased operating costs for the City. These increases in cost combined with decreasing revenues from state funding, and decreases in tax revenues from various taxes paid on other franchised services will result in a budget shortfall …even with this 1 mill increase.
The amount of the shortfall will hinge on the result of negotiations with the County Commissioners relating to the cost the City of Marianna bears for cost of providing fire station coverage to outlying subdivisions, and for the cost of operating the new sub-station required in the arrangements with Family Dollar locating here. The original contract provided for the City to share the cost of operating this station with the County on a 50-50% basis. For the past three years the city has borne 100% of the cost.
If the final result after all of the financial dust has settled is a budget shortfall, the city will be forced to use some of the approximately $5,000,000 reserve funds to cover the annual operating costs. "That is the purpose of having a reserve", stated Commissioner John Roberts, "It is situations such as this that we create the reserve account. This may be the year we have to use some of this money."
In other business, the Commission approved an arrangement with Waste Management to utilize some of the existing idle capacity at the new waste treatment plant by agreeing to process 100,000 gallons per month on a trial basis.

Ed Cearley, Local Businessman Passes at 61

By Sid Riley
Body was discovered at his home on Monday morning
The Texas Longhorns lost their biggest fan in Florida this weekend. The body of Ed Cearley, Owner and Manager of WTOT and WJAQ Radio in Marianna, was discovered by co-worker Robert Conrad in his home early Monday morning. It is estimated that Cearley died sometime Saturday evening of natural causes.
Ed Cearley moved to Marianna from Texas almost eight years ago, to assume management of the local radio stations. He is CEO and President of Graceville Florida Radio Inc., and Marianna Florida Radio Inc., the parent company of our local stations WTOT and WJAQ. He was a member of the Marianna Elks Lodge, and an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Marianna.
Ed has two children who live in the Houston, Texas area. They are a son Chris and daughter-in-law Elizabeth a future grandson Benjamin, and a daughter, Ginger. His parents Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Cearley reside in Longview, Texas.
Ed was active in the Marianna community, and was an all-round great fellow and friend. His presence will be missed by those who worked with him and all of us who knew him. Arrangements are incomplete at this time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chipola FFA Federation Holds 2008-2009 Re-Organizational Meeting


The Chipola FFA Federation held its 2008-2009 re-organizational meeting Thursday, July 30 at the Jackson County School Board office. FFA members and advisors from numerous Jackson County schools were in attendance. Also in attendance were 2008/9 FFA Area I State Vice-President, Carly Barnes of Malone, and 2007/8 FFA Area I State Vice-President, Amy Johnson of Marianna.
Chipola FFA Federation Advisor Phyllis Daniels welcomed all and expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming year. She then introduced Jackson County Schools Superintendent Danny Sims, who reflected on what the FFA meant to him. He also shared memories from his past FFA experiences. Then Deputy Superintendent and co-advisor for Chipola FFA Federation, Larry Moore, greeted everyone. Next the formal meeting and elections were held.
The following FFA members were elected as 2008/9 Chipola FFA Federation Officers: President: Cody Hughes, Malone; Vice President: Amber Rabon, Sneads; Secretary: Sydney Stone, Sneads; Treasurer: Lawson Mozley, Malone; Reporter: Rett Daniels, Malone; Chaplain: Daniel Jackson, Malone; Sentinel: Zack Godwin, Sneads; Historian: Tyler Pickins, Sneads; Parliamentarian: Olivia Mosier, Cottondale; Student Advisor: Christy Andreasen, Marianna.

NAACP Youth Council Does Some Grilling At The Russ House On Sunday Afternoon

Entrees Included Candidates au jus By Sid Riley
On Sunday afternoon a crowd of approximately fifty citizens assembled in the upstairs meeting room at the Russ House in Marianna for a forum. The candidate panels included the four individuals who are running for School Board positions, and the three candidates for Superintendent of Schools. These were Betty Duffee, Nancy Deese, D. Rodriguez, and Kenny Griffin for School Board, and Danny Simms, Steve Benton, and Lee Miller who are candidates for Superintendent.
The forum was sponsored by the Youth Council of the local chapter of the NAACP. All questions posed to the candidates were submitted by the audience and were directed to the panel of candidates by the youngsters.
After each question was read, all of the panel members who wished to respond were given the opportunity to give their opinion on the subject. This format led to a relaxed, almost conversational approach to the event which made it very enjoyable. After some twenty five questions were posed over a two hour period, the session was adjourned.
The last scheduled political forum will be held on Thursday evening August 21 at the new Marianna High School auditorium at 6:30 PM. It is sponsored by the Jackson County Democratic Committee, the Jackson County Republican Committee, Chipola College Television CCTV 4, and the Jackson County Times. Please come out and meet the candidates and then on the 26th, PLEASE VOTE!

Jackson County’s First American Settlement was near Campbellton

By: Dale Cox

Campbellton - The smoke had barely cleared from the First Seminole War when the first settlers began to make their way back to the rich lands they had explored with Andrew Jackson in 1818. It was a risky proposition at best. The area that would become Jackson County was still Spanish territory at the time and there was the possibility of violent confrontation with Native American warriors still angered over their losses in the war.
It is unclear whether the first settlers actually intended to cross the international border. Moving down through southern Alabama, they crossed into Florida just north of present-day Campbellton and began to clear farms along Spring Creek. The land in the area was rich, with a good water supply, and the border dividing the United States from Spanish Florida was poorly marked.
Although there are some old Florida history books that claim Campbellton was founded during the American Revolution, this is an inaccurate claim. A community of a similar name existed during the 1700s north of Pensacola, but the Jackson County community was not settled until the early 1800s.
Exactly when the first settlers arrived north of Campbellton is not known, but it was sometime in either late 1818 or early 1819. By the time Florida was transferred from Spain to the United States in 1821, several dozen families had staked claims in the area, clearing small farms ranging in size from 15 to around 40 acres.
Many of the names of these original settlers can still be recognized in Jackson County today. They included members of the Williams, Falk, Nelson, Philips, Hamilton, Cadwell, Parrot, Ward, Farmer, Thomas, Hays, Fowler, Hudson, Blount, Brantley, Robert Thompson, Moore, Daniel, Gwinn, Jones, Roach, Moses, Porter, Cook, Smith and Scurlock families. Their farms stretched from Holmes Creek near present-day Graceville and along Spring Creek in a curving arc just north of the present Campbellton site to the west side of Forks of the Creek.
As the settlement grew, it spread south across the site of Campbellton and by the time of the cession of Florida from Spain to the United States, a settlement had begun to grow there. The area was incorporated into Jackson County in 1822 and in 1825 a landmark event in Florida history took place in the little settlement.
On March 12, 1825, seventeen residents of the area gathered in a grove of oak trees to form what was then known as the Bethlehem Baptist Church. Known today as Campbellton Baptist Church, it is the oldest Baptist congregation in the State of Florida.
The original members of the church were John Beasley, Miller Brady, Sarah Brady, Sexton Camp, Ephriam Chambless, James Chason, Lucy Chason, Elizabeth Daniel, Benjamin Hawkins, Clark Jackson, Richard Lonchsten, Martha Parker, Martha Peacock, W. Peacock, Nancy Phillips, Elizabeth Taylor and Sarah Williams. Elizabeth Owens was taken under the "watch care of the church" for unclear reasons and William Brady was appointed as the first clerk of the congregation. James Chason and Clark Jackson were ordained as the first deacons.
The historic church continues to meet today, a living reminder of the first settlement in Jackson County and of the determination of the early settlers that carved homes and built a new county from the wilderness of Northwest Florida.
Editor’s Note: To read more on local history from writer and historian Dale Cox, please visit the local history section at

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pack 170 Holds Raingutter Regatta


Cub Scouts in Pack 170 of Marianna enjoyed an evening of fellowship, food, and fun at their annual Raingutter Regatta held at the Westfork Ranch this year. The event began with a social time, as scouts and their families enjoyed visiting and having snacks and refreshments together.
Special awards were presented by Assistant Cub Master Steve Hutton and Bear Scout leader Mary Ann Hutton. Bear Scout Calen Sims was given a framed collection of pictures and newspaper clippings from his completion of three different triathlons this summer. He had to swim 125 yards, bicycle three miles, and run one mile in each of his races. Bear Scout Hunter Hutton was presented with two certified, specially framed United States flags that have both personal and collector’s value. The first flag is a 48-star flag purchased in 1949, and given to Hunter from his grandmother, Wanda Hutton. This flag is in perfect condition, since it was never flown. The second flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2008, in honor of Hunter G. Hutton. It was flown on July 4, because that is historically when new stars were added to the flag representing new states.
Bear Scout Nicholas Walker then spoke to the scouts about his trip to Kansas and the destruction he saw there following a tornado. He shared pictures and informed scouts of a service project that he is starting to help those individuals in Kansas. For the next month, he asked Pack 170 scouts to collect aluminum cans to be recycled, with the proceeds to be sent to Boy Scouts in Kansas.
The races then got underway, with scouts racing boats they designed and constructed themselves. The boats were raced down two raingutters, with the scouts using straws to blow their boats to the finish line. Every scout was awarded a regatta medal patch for their uniform, and a ribbon. Winners of the races were: Grand Champion, Austin Westbrook; First Place, Calen Sims; Second Place, Ash Lanier; and Third Place, Austin Livingston. Best of Show was awarded to Michael Howard for his unique pirate boat.
To learn more about scouting, please e-mail Mary Ann Hutton at, or call 209-2818.

Eure Is New Baptist Collegiate Ministries Director at BCF


The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville is pleased to welcome new Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) Director Brianne Eure, BCF junior. With her heart felt passion for service and ministry, Eure is excited about the tremendous opportunity to serve the Lord in this new capacity.
By changing the name of BCM’s Tuesday night meetings from "Fusion" to "Connection," Eure will follow in the footsteps of former BCM Directors in continuing the strong Bible study events and adding new spice to the ministry. "I want BCM to become a place where BCF students come to have fun," stated Eure. "But most of all to come and then get connected with other students and various ministry opportunities."
Eure is planning a "Back to School Bash" for all students on August 19th, followed by an "Ultimate Relay Day" which she describes as, "a boredom buster Saturday with mega messy and all out crazy games for the individual dorms and off campus students to come together for competition and crazy fun."
Student Services Director Roger Richards is extremely confident in the future of BCM through the leadership of Brianne Eure. "Through prayerful consideration, it was evident that among all of the outstanding candidates that applied for this position, Brianne was God’s choice for the job. I am excited by her vision for the ministry and concern for the spiritual well-being of the campus," stated Richards.
Eure is currently in her office located in the BCF gymnasium doing last minute preparations for the busy semester ahead. For more information on upcoming BCM events, call Eure at 800-328-2660 x409.



Covenant Hospice is delighted to announce the 3rd Annual Covenant Hospice Garden Gala. The 2008 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, we truly need 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 contact Jennifer Griffin, Development Manager at 850.482.8520, 850.209.0221 or
Join these and other fine sponsors by supporting this unique event: Alltel- Kara Allgood, Business Sales; Anderson Columbia Co.; Anonymous Donors; Buckin’ Bingo; Economy Heating & Air; GEO Group; James & Sikes Funeral Homes; In Memory of Cecil Sandifer; In Memory of Wheeler Shouppe; Jackson Hospital; Marianna Orthopedic Clinic; PeoplesSouth Bank; SunTrust; Superior Bank; Rahal-Miller Chevrolet Buick; Wal-Mart of Chipley; Wal-Mart of Marianna.
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.

Missions Celebration Opens First Week of Chapel


For the first time ever, The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville will kick off the 2008-2009 school year with a week of chapel services dedicated to summer missions. Throughout the summer, over 100 students and faculty members from BCF participated in various summer mission projects, to include teams working in Jacksonville, Fl., Brazil, Peru, Wisconsin, and Russia. Beginning at 10 AM on August 18-20, each mission team will be given the opportunity to share experiences from their trip and explain the work done in reaching people for Christ.
On Monday, August 18, Dr. Robin Jumper, BCF Professor and Dean of Faculty, along with nine BCF students who participated in the June missions practicum in Jacksonville, will begin chapel services sharing the challenging stories from their 10-day inner-city missions experience. Then Dr. Rich Elligson, BCF Missions Professor and former IMB Missionary, will talk about his trip to Cururupu, Brazil, where BCF has a teaching ministry partnership.
Dr. John Thomas, BCF Preaching Professor, and the six BCF students who participated in the early July trip to Ayacucho, Peru, will explain their cross-cultural evangelism experiences with the indigenous peoples of the Andes Mountains on Tuesday, August 19.
Then on Wednesday, August 20, BCF Missions Coordinator Lauren Parnell, along with eight students will impart stories from their late July mission trip to the post-modern culture of Portage, Wisconsin. "I’m thrilled that BCF has decided to highlight the missions department during the first week of school," stated Parnell. "I believe it’s important for the BCF family to see how our students are choosing to use their summers for the glory of God’s Kingdom."
Each day will be filled with action-packed stories of how Christ moved and worked through the hearts of BCF students and faculty. Everyone is invited to come and listen to the inspiring and incredible reports of the 2008 summer missions.
For more information on upcoming chapel services and speakers, contact 800-328-2660 x446.

BCF Mission Trip to Wisconsin


Eager to serve the Lord wherever He leads, seven students from The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville headed to Portage, Wisconsin, July 21-29, on a missions trip led by BCF Missions Coordinator Lauren Parnell and BCF alum Rebekah Meahl.
Hosted by River of Life Church in Portage, the team assisted in their fair ministry, Vacation Bible School, painted, and helped with the state disaster relief efforts.
Throughout the day, the women on the team spent time at the Columbia County Fair painting faces, making balloon animals, and inviting people to come hear about the love of Christ at River of Life Church. The men on the team spent their days working with disaster relief cleaning up the surrounding areas that have experienced heavy floods.
"There is no doubt in my mind that our team was meant to be in Wisconsin," stated Parnell. "I saw all throughout the week how God placed each of our team members there for a specific purpose. He had divine appointments for all nine of us and I feel as though we represented and served our Savior to the very best of our abilities. God and His sovereignty never cease to amaze me!"
For more information on upcoming mission opportunities at BCF, please contact Lauren Parnell at 800-328-2660 x488.

Indiana Youth Group On Mission At BCF


A youth group from Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Vincennes, Indiana, arrived at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville on July 26 with intentions to serve. Youth Minister, Shane Breidenbaugh, heard about several mission opportunities on campus from his brother, BCF Adjunct Professor Joel Breidenbaugh.
Making the long day and night journey, the youth arrived in the Sunshine State and were able to visit the beach briefly before starting to work. The group of fourteen students, along with their chaperones, had a full week with various missions projects located on the BCF campus.
The youth group began their week of service by cleaning and preparing the male dorm for the upcoming fall semester. They also painted the speed bumps around the recently paved parking lot, moved furniture into the new dorms and replaced ceiling tiles in several buildings on campus.
According to the youth, the hardest job by far was prepping and painting Lakeside Hall, one of the large male dorms on campus. They had to pressure wash the outside of the dorm and then began applying the paint on the rough textured exterior. Garrett Mercer, one of the Ridgecrest youth, stated that his favorite job, "Was painting these walls!"
Not all of their time was spent working; each night the youth made time for worship and bible study. Nathan Ziglar, BCF Lead Graphic Designer/Webmaster and Youth Minister at Damascus Baptist Church in Graceville, led the group in bible study each night. "I was blessed to lead these students with lessons from the Sermon on the Mount this week," stated Ziglar. "My hope is for each of them to understand Jesus’ call for us to change our lifestyle so that we can better serve Him."
"We have done a lot of work this week," stated Ridgecrest Youth Minister Breidenbaugh. "But we’ve also had a lot of fun. We have worked hard, played hard, and slept hard." BCF maintenance crew said, "The youth provided a tremendous service to the College. The campus looks better and we’re well on our way to the new school year."
To learn more about how you can get involved in BCF mission projects, contact 800-328-2660 ext. 431.

McChapel’s Second "Save the Children" Event


The McChapel AME Church under the pastorage of the Rev. Mary D. Myrick recently held their second "Save the Children" event.
Associate Minister Jessica Muse and the educational committee came together once again to promote positive ongoing coaching for the youth. The "Save the Children" event, which was held June 28th, brought over 70 Jackson County youth and adults to share in a positive direction.
The administrators for this session were Minister Jessica Muse and Sis. Fannie Collins. Sister Collins administered and had question/answer sessions relating to healthy choices/food. Such as "What should we eat/drink"; How much should we consume, and when should we eat/drink?
Minister Muse had question/answer sessions relating to making healthy choices for the Christian Body. How can we use our bodies for Christ?
Youth as well as adults took part in many games, and outdoor wet activities. Three gift cards were given out. Everyone was served grilled hot dogs, grilled and Bar-B-Cued chicken, potato salad, baked beans, chips, cantaloupe and a cold drink.
Once again, and always, the main focus is that the organizers refuse to hand the kids over to juvenile justice/prison system, and as adults, they will do everything in their power to prepare the kids for the future.
The McChapel AME Church invites ALL youth to attend the next "Save the Children" event which will be held September 27th, at 9:30 AM. For more information call 352-3383.

It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey


On July 7, six students from The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville, Fl., along with BCF Preaching Professor John Thomas, traveled to Peru on missions. Landing in Peru with the purpose of sharing the gospel with Peruvians, as well as spending time in the local churches, the missions team quickly learned that each day produced a new barrier they would have to face.
"Our trip was marked by obstacles that became God-ordained opportunities," stated Thomas. "The sovereignty of God and His special providence were evident each day."
The trip started with a 16-hour drive from Lima, Peru to Ayacucho where the team was delayed because a national strike had erupted in the community. Not to be deterred, the team took the opportunity to play soccer and volleyball with the children of the city and shared Christ during the delays.
Traveling another eight hours, the team arrived at the city of Huancopi. In route, the bus they were traveling on got stuck. They exited the bus to find a wedding in progress and the local school had closed. The missions team was able to spend time with teachers and students sharing the message of Christ. "God used our bus getting stuck to allow us to speak to the kids and teachers about Christ," said BCF Senior Krista Brown.
The team’s last stop was in the city of Umaro where they all started building positive relationships among the people. BCF graduate Noah Reid said, "I learned that when missionaries go somewhere, they have to be on their best behavior."
"We saw many lives changed and a couple of village churches strengthened by the ministry of these fabulous students," concluded Thomas. "Our motto while in Peru was: ‘It’s not the destination, it’s the journey’." This was a journey they will not soon forget.
To learn more about how you can get involved with missions at The Baptist College of Florida contact BCF Missions Coordinator Lauren Parnell, 800-328-2660 ext. 488.

Annual Hawaiian Luau at BCF


The start of a new fall semester means it’s time for the Annual Lake Vista Dining Facility Luau located on The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) campus in Graceville. Everyone is encouraged to put on their Hawaiian attire and join the BCF family on Monday, August 18, at 4:30 p.m. for great food and a great time. Hosted by dining facility manager Mike Parrish, the event promises to be unforgettable. Guests can enjoy a menu of BBQ ribs, pulled pork, BBQ chicken, and "aloha" side dishes for only $6.50 (unlimited seconds). Reservations are not required!
The Lake Vista Dining facility, located on the BCF campus, is also open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every weekday! Providing a hot meal, deli, grill, salad bar, desserts, and ice cream at reasonable prices, Lake Vista Dining offers a beautiful view of Lake Albert. For more information about the Luau and the Lake Vista Dining schedule contact 800-328-2660 ext. 490 or visit the website at

Chipola Artist Series Season Tickets on Sale


Season tickets for the 2008-09 Chipola Artist Series go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 2, in the college Business Office located in the Student Services Building or by phoning 850-718-2220.
The highly-acclaimed four-event series opens Sept. 22 with "Vienna to Broadway" presented by the Jacksonville Lyric Opera Company. "Vienna to Broadway" includes highlights of operetta, grand opera, and classic Broadway favorites performed by a quartet of gifted soloists and their superb accompanist. Titles include The Merry Widow, Die Fledermaus, La Boheme, La Traviata, The Student Prince, Show Boat and Carousel. The show features musical staging reflecting the historical period of each piece, supported by seamless transitions from number to number. Stylish costumes and colorful scenic projections will add to the audience’s enjoyment of this musical presentation. Vienna to Broadway is produced in association with Opera Management Corporation, New York City.
"An Appalachian Christmas," presented by the Atlanta Pops Orchestra will delight audience members at Chipola, Monday, Dec. 8. Perfect for the holiday season, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra’s 2008 holiday tour of "An Appalachian Christmas" creates the feeling of a small community at Christmas time with a diverse program including traditional and not so traditional holiday favorites ranging from "The 12 Days of Christmas," "Little Drummer Boy," "In Dulci Jubilo," "Deck the Halls," and music from the Appalachian region using flute, harp, dulcimer as performed by Gentle Rain and Scott Douglas. The audience will join in with some surprises toward the end of the show. Come early and hear the brass section playing in the lobby at 6:30 p.m.
"The Music at the Crossroads" presented by Celtic Crossroads will have audiences enjoying St. Patrick’s Day a bit early on Monday, Jan. 26. Celtic Crossroads is critically- acclaimed as one of the best live music concerts to come from Ireland in over 20 years. This magical display of music incorporates seven world-class musicians, playing an array of both traditional and non-traditional instruments on stage, creating a truly incredible and unforgettable musical experience.
Christine Yoshikawa, classical pianist, will perform Tuesday, March 24. The Canadian pianist has enjoyed a multi-faceted international career performing as soloist with orchestras, recitalist, chamber musician, and teaching masterclasses throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Critics have praised her as an artist of "impeccable artistry, radiant lyricism, and virtuosity" for her interpretation of traditional and contemporary repertoire. A prize-winner of national and international competitions, recent concert engagements have taken her to the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Spain and France. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University under the tutelage of Robert Hamilton and is the 2000 Toradze Institute Charter Fellow of Indiana University South Bend. She is on the Roster of Recording Artists for Eroica Classical Recordings and serves on faculty at Chipola College.
The Chipola Artist Series is funded through Chipola’s Performing Arts Fund, with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Southern Arts Federation, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the Chipola Regional Arts Association and corporate donors.
Season tickets—$40 for all four events—entitle holders to same seat reserved seats, invitations to the "Meet The Artist" receptions hosted by Superior Bank, The Bank of Bonifay, Regions Bank, and First Capital Bank and a subscription to the CRAA arts calendar. A limited number of individual event tickets—$12 for adults and $8 for ages 18 and under—will be available prior to each performance at the Chipola Business Office.
For performance information, contact Joan Stadsklev at 850-718-2301 or For season tickets, call the Chipola Business Office at 850-718-2220.

All for Fun and Fun for All In Sneads


The Community Safety Coalition and the City of Sneads announces the upcoming RiverFest- "All for Fun and Fun for All". The event, scheduled for August 30, 2008, includes a RiverFest Beauty Pageant on Friday, August 29, 2008, beginning at 6:00pm. The RiverFest Parade will begin on Saturday at 10am in downtown Sneads.
RiverFest will take place at Sneads Park on beautiful Lake Seminole. Doors open at 11am, cost is $2.00 per person over the age of six. Transportation will be provided from Adam Tucker Park to Sneads Park the day of the event. Food, arts and crafts, entertainment, canoe races, and much more guarantee lots of fun for all attendees.
Vendor registrations are available from any Committee member. Costs for booths vary according to the type of vendor. Electricity is available for a nominal fee. To register a food vendor, please contact Helen Grice at 593-6204; commercial vendors are asked to contact Chris Hawthorne at 599-4289; arts & crafts or general vending companies may contact Greg Lewis at 593-5600; and please contact Karen Fader at 526-2861 to register as a non-profit.
Anyone interested in participating in the RiverFest Parade is encouraged to contact Helen Grice at 593-6204. For information on the Beauty Pageant contact Karen Fader at 526-2861. The RiverFest Committee is looking for sponsors and volunteers to assist in the coordination and activities of the event. Any agency, or individual, wanting to assist in this community-wide event are asked to call the Community Safety Coalition office at 526-2861.

Living Waters Exhibit Coming To Chipola College

"Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida," a multi-media experience of film and photographs will be on display beginning Sept. 8 on the Chipola campus in the Chipola College Arts Center.
The public is invited to the premier opening of the exhibit, Thursday, Sept. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. (CST). The free evening of art, film, music and refreshments, will include discussions and demonstrations by the artists.
The exhibit features photography, film and music inspired by the Florida’s natural waterways, including a collection of 29 fine art photographic images by Clyde Butcher, renowned Florida Everglades photographer, and a screening of the PBS film "Living Waters: Aquatic Preserves of Florida," by documentary film maker Elam Stoltzfus.
For more than a decade, Stoltzfus and his Live Oak Production Group, have captured rare images of natural Florida, with Living Waters winning a coveted Crystal Reel award for excellence. The film showcases a dozen of the state’s 41 aquatic preserves, highlighting their natural and cultural significance.
Michael S. Sole, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, says, "Florida is known throughout the world for its lush, watery landscapes. Living Waters emphasizes the more than two million acres of diverse water landscape and coastal areas that are critical to Florida’s future. This award-winning film and exhibit encourage us to be better environmental citizens and gives viewers an intimate look at the unique aquatic preserves of Florida."
Sammy Tedder, a Florida Panhandle music legend, scored the film, weaving sounds of natural instruments he fashioned from swamp reeds for flutes and cypress logs for percussion. Tedder also will perform at the premier.
The traveling museum exhibit is managed by the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The exhibit will travel from the GTM Reserve Environmental Education Center in Ponte Verde Beach, FL to Chipola and throughout the South.
The Department of Environmental Protection, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, The Ocean Conservancy and The Gulf of Mexico Foundation supported the film’s production.
The Artists Guild of Northwest Florida, Inc. and the Fine and Performing Arts Department of Chipola College have joined together to bring this exhibit to the Chipola Arts Center. The exhibit is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. School and civic group visits are encouraged. For information or to arrange group tours, contact Joan Stadsklev at 850-718-2301 or email

Chipola’s Ace Tutors Earn National Certification

Student tutors in Chipola College’s Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) have been certified by the College Reading and Learning Association.
CRLA is an association of over 1,200 postsecondary learning assistance colleagues. These include: tutor trainers; faculty; learning center administrators; developmental educators; and other academic support professionals. CRLA offers International Tutor Program Certification (ITPC) and International Mentor Program Certification (IMPC) which provide resources and support for tutor trainers and mentor trainers.
Chipola’s (ACE) is a full-service lab designed to help students succeed in their college courses. ACE offers individual tutoring, test-prep sessions for specific courses, study group organization, study skills development and high-speed computers with course software.
ACE now provides Chipola Supplemental Instruction (CSI) for students in high risk courses. These regularly scheduled sessions offer clarification of concepts and assist students in developing the proper skills for success in class. Test reviews also are part of the services provided at ACE.
Chipola faculty members, Bonnie Smith, Academic Center for Excellence Coordinator/Honors Advisor and reading instructor Angie Tyler coordinate the ACE lab.
ACE employs a staff of 16–20 students in the Fall and Spring semesters. Tutors are paid through a federal Title III grant. Tutors complete a training session prior to beginning work in the lab and participate in ongoing training sessions during the year. After all CRLA criteria are met, students receive level I CRLA certification.
Marshall Hilton, a student tutor, says, "It’s an easy-going place to work. You get to help a lot of people and learn a lot. If you can explain something to someone else, you really learn it."
Returning student Maryann Alexander, says, "I wouldn’t be passing math without ACE? I haven’t had a math course since 1986. These guys have been wonderful. I’ve gone from thinking I was going to fail to an "A" in algebra."
Tutors also work closely with Chipola faculty to ensure proper communication of course content. Several of Chipola’s faculty members also meet some of their regularly scheduled office hours in the ACE. Chipola Honors Program students and Phi Theta Kappa members also volunteer in the ACE.
A total of 658 students visited ACE during the 2007-08 school year. In the fall, the ACE averaged almost 300 visits per week and up to 450 visits during final exam week.
The ACE is located in Literature/Language (Z) during renovation of Building L. Fall and Spring semester hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Title III team members include: Gail Hartzog, Project Director; Dr. Cherry Ward, QEP/ Title III Facilitator; Vicki Mathis, Project Assistant; and Bonnie Smith, ACE Coordinator. Six Chipola faculty members serve on advisory committee for the ACE: Lee Shook, Rachel West, Janice Holley, Gena Porter-Lankist, Daniel Powell and Cherry Ward.

An Inspiring View of Our Nation

By: Erika Lang

My name is Erika Lang and I am a rising senior at Marianna High School. This summer, I was privileged to participate in the July 13th-19th, 2008 Presidential Classroom in Washington, D.C. While I was there, I took a course on Intelligence & National Security where I explored the federal government at work, and experienced how policy-making works within the democratic process.
I joined 160 other high school juniors and seniors from 36 different states and other countries, including, Puerto Rico, Germany, and Brazil. We spent an entire week at the Georgetown University Conference Center in the heart of Georgetown University. All of the students that participated in the Presidential Classroom program were split up in Caucuses, where we participated in a hands-on simulated National Security Crisis with our peers.
We also were involved in many seminars and crossfire’s, where we debated over constitutional rights and current issues within our government. In addition, I observed the American political process on Capitol Hill, visited various intelligence organizations, and visited many of our nation’s historical sites.
Among the many intelligence agencies that I visited were the Central Intelligence Agency; (where we actually met a spy), National Security Agency, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. I also had the opportunity to attend a seminar on Homeland Security where the guest speaker was John Moran, the Chief Emergency Preparedness Transportation Safety Adm. Dept. Homeland Secretary. I later attended a seminar at the State Department, this time the guest speaker was Dr. Kenneth Staley, Acting Deputy Secretary for Counter-proliferation.
Other activities for the week included debating key current issues, hearing from numerous Congressmen and professionals, visiting the National Archives, and watching a video on the war in Iraq called "No End in Sight". I also participated in a seminar about Public Service and Congress on the Floor of the House of Representatives. This seminar was taught by the Honorable Todd Akin, R-MO.
I was inspired as I toured historic sites around Washington, D.C. such as the White House, Grant’s Statue, Washington Monument, Peace Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Einstein Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Navy Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial. I toured the American Indian Museum, Air & Space Museum, National Archives, Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. I had my lunches at the Old Post Office, Union Station, The Pentagon Mall, and the Supreme Court Café.
While on Capital Hill, I had private appointments with Senator Mel Martinez and Senator Bill Nelson. I also had an appointment with Congressman Allen Boyd, whom I personally met.
My favorite part of the trip was our trip to Arlington National Cemetery. I was worried at first, due to a national hazard delay. Fortunately, we had an amazing staff and they worked out a way so that Presidential Classroom could still get into the cemetery. We visited the Kennedy’s Gravesites and the Tombs of the Unknown. We witnessed a funeral in progress while we were there, then made our way up to the tomb to watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. The Presidential Classroom was fortunate enough to participate in a Wreath Laying Ceremony as well.
It was a hectic schedule, waking up at five in the morning and going to bed after eleven at night. The entire time there, we were required to wear business attire, even if there was 95 degree weather. Wherever the bus could not drive, we walked, and we had schedules, and time restrictions everywhere we went. There was not a minute I was bored.
It was a very educational, yet very exciting trip. I made many lasting friendships, and we are all still in touch through modern technology. A lot of things have changed due to this trip, perhaps my intended college major. I was once very interested in architecture, but now I am leaning towards political science or national intelligence.
I would personally like to thank all the businesses, local organizations, and private citizens for all the support you have given me. Thank you so much for your encouragement, valuable insight, and for believing in me.

Rotary News 8/14/08

First United Methodist Church Minister, Bob McKibben, Makes Presentation By Sid Riley
At Wednesday’s regular meeting of the Marianna Rotary Club at Jim’s Buffet and Grill, Member Greg Wise brought as his program event, Rev. Bob McKibben. Reverend McKibben is the pastor at the Methodist Church in Marianna.
His program concerned the philosophy of risk taking. He used examples of being in a Fourth-and-One situation in the closing minutes of a football game. The coach is faced with the options of taking the risk of going for it, or taking the conservative option and punting the ball to the opposition. Life is full of these types of options, and most people avoid the risks and take the conservative options.
However, this approach is often not the best option. "Just playing not to lose often causes us to lose", McKibben related. "What if Moses, Noah, or even God had taken the easy option? It was a fourth and one situation for them….and they took the risk." He related this situation to his time in the military when he was a fighter pilot. "In a dogfight you must always play to win. Just playing not to lose will result in failure", he stated. "In an economic downturn many businessmen take the conservative option and refuse to take acceptable risks, and in the process worsen the economic situation."
The Marianna Rotary Club has given eighty years of community service to our area.

Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Cost-Share Program To Begin Accepting New Applications


Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced today that the department’s Division of Forestry is re-offering the Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Cost Share Program to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners. The goal of the program is to minimize southern pine beetle damage in Florida by helping forest landowners reduce the susceptibility of their pine stands to this destructive insect pest.
Periodic southern pine beetle outbreaks in Florida have resulted in millions of cubic feet of pine timber killed on thousands of acres. Forest management practices, such as thinning, prescribed burning, other competition control, and use of less-susceptible pine species can improve the health of pine stands and decrease their likelihood of developing southern pine beetle infestations.
The program offers up to 50% cost reimbursement for pre-commercial thinning, prescribed burning and mechanical underbrush treatments in existing pine stands, and a $50 per acre incentive payment for landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning.
In addition, landowners may apply to receive up to 50% reimbursement for the cost of longleaf seedlings and $25 per acre in planting cost assistance to establish a longleaf pine plantation. The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties located within the range of the southern pine beetle. Qualified landowners may apply for up to two approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres and funding requests may not exceed $10,000.
For an application and more information on program requirements and procedures, forest landowners can visit their local Division of Forestry office or contact the county forester office in their area by visiting Applications will be available beginning July 30 and will be evaluated on a first-received, first-served basis. The program is supported through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service and will be offered only as long as funding is available.

Free Tutoring Help Available To Students


Students who attend school in Jackson County may qualify for extra, after-school academic help through Supplemental Educational Services, known as SES. SES providers employ trained instructors to provide this free tutoring in the areas of reading and math. This service is available to students who are also eligible for free or reduced-price lunch at the following Title l schools:
Cottondale Elementary
Graceville Elementary
Golson Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Malone School
Grand Ridge School
SES is available to eligible students at these selected Title l schools because the state has identified these particular schools as "in need of improvement" for two or more years. Parents may choose the tutoring provider that best meets their child’s needs.
For more information and the opportunity to meet all the approved Jackson County providers and sign up for SES, plan to attend the countywide Provider Fair on August 21, 2008, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., CST at the old Marianna High School cafeteria located at 2979 Daniels Street in Marianna. For parents unable to attend the district Provider Fair, Graceville Elementary School will also host an enrollment night on Tuesday, August 19, 2008, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Also, each of the eligible schools has a facilitator who can assist with enrollment.
For additional questions contact Donna Martin or Jackie Fay Kelly at the district office, 482-1200.
Don’t miss this great opportunity to help your child learn!

Mayor Wise Signs Children’s Health Care Coverage Day Proclamation

By: Trish Brannon

On Monday the City of Marianna Mayor James Wise signed a proclamation declaring Friday, August 8th to be "Children’s Health Care Coverage Day" in Marianna. The proclamation recognizes the importance of well-child visits and proper medical care for the children of Marianna and its surrounding communities.
The Mayor and the City Commission are supportive of the efforts of the Panhandle Area Health Network (PAHN) who is launching its annual Back-to-School Campaign in Marianna to encourage parents with uninsured children to put enrolling them in Florida KidCare at the top of their back-to-school checklist.
"Kids who have health care coverage are better prepared to learn in school," said Annie Hollister, Interim Executive Director. "That’s why enrolling uninsured children in Florida KidCare should be a top priority for parents as they prepare to send their kids back to school. The coverage offered through Florida KidCare means health security for kids and peace of mind for parents."
There are nearly 715,000 uninsured children in Florida, and most of them are eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage offered through Florida KidCare. Many families are not aware that their children may qualify for coverage. In Florida, a family of four can earn up to $41,300 a year and still qualify for low-cost or free Florida KidCare.
In keeping with the Mayor’s proclamation, the Panhandle Area Health Network and its partners stepped up their efforts to increase the number of children enrolled in Florida KidCare beginning August 8th. Kicking off the back-to-school campaign will be a news conference and enrollment fair. The event was held at the Hudnall Building on the campus of Jackson Hospital.
The news conference began with a feature guest speaker State Representative Don Brown. Also speaking will be William Long, MSM, Administrator of Jackson County Health Department; Dr. Joseph Sherrel, pediatrician and owner of North Florida Pediatrics in Marianna and Sneads; Anna Brunner, RN; and Annie Hollister, Executive Director of PAHN. Immediately following the news conference there will be an enrollment fair where families may come and apply for Florida KidCare. The news conference begins at 10:00 a.m. and the enrollment fair runs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Children enrolled in Florida KidCare will receive comprehensive benefits, including routine checkups, hearing and vision screenings, prescriptions and hospitalization.
"The comprehensive coverage offered through Florida KidCare helps keep Florida’s kids healthy," said Mrs. Hollister. "We encourage parents to find out if their kids are eligible."
To find out more information about Florida KidCare and the enrollment fair please call the Panhandle Area Health Network at (850) 482-9088 or toll-free at 877-892-9593.

Affordable Health Insurance for Children

By Kendall Boggs

Kicking off the Florida KidCare Back-to School Campaign
At a news conference and enrollment fair hosted by The Panhandle Area Heath Network held Friday August 8, the main issue was raising public awareness about getting local children insured, as well as rallying community support for the Florida KidCare children’s health insurance program.
The Florida KidCare program is comprised of four parts: MediKids-which covers children, ages one through four, Healthy Kids - children ages 5 through 18, Children’s Medical Services Network (CMS)- covers children from birth through age18 with special health care or emotional needs or ongoing medical conditions, and Medicaid for children which covers children from birth to 18 years of age.
In order for children to be eligible for this low cost (or even free depending on family situation) program they must be younger than 19 years of age, be uninsured, have not cancelled employer health insurance in the past six months, are United States citizens or qualified non-citizens, are not dependents of a state employee eligible for family coverage, are not in a public institution, and meet income eligibility.
At the news conference, held at Jackson Hospital’s Hudnall Building, several community leaders and two Florida House representatives were in attendance in order to give the families who took the initiative to be present and take part in the enrollment fair held afterwards.
Pastor and parent of children covered by KidCare, Ben Peters, told those present of how this program allows he and his wife, Tracy, to provide for their three children. He spoke of how his oldest son, Drue, became diagnosed with Asthma and required three hundred dollars worth of medication and because of Florida KidCare he was able to afford it as well as cover all three children for around five dollars each for a total of 15 dollars a month.
In addition to Peters, Jackson Hospital Education Director and mother, Anna Brunner, also gave insight on just how expensive medical bills can be. From her experience in the E.R., Brunner has witnessed bills tallying up to 1400 dollars for stitches alone and a 300 dollar fee for having a bug removed from a child’s ear. On average, said Brunner, the medical for children who required services from the E.R. the bill came to a bank breaking 900 dollars.
Local Pediatrician, Joseph Sherrel also informed parents that from birth children require at least 69 immunizations-which can have a negative effect on parents’ wallets. However, for children covered by KidCare, the cost would be tremendously less than those not covered.
According to State Representative, District 7, Marti Coley, 28 million dollars has been allotted to this program, a 15 million dollar increase to last year. Coley stated that the issue of affordable health insurance for children was an important issue that the legislature was addressing- this was one program in which the budget was not cut, but rather increased. In the words of William Long, MSM, Administrator of Jackson County Health Department, this program is something right to come out of Tallahassee.
The Florida KidCare program covers services that range from doctor visits to mental health care and all the important things in between. Though most families do not even attempt to apply for this program because they are under the impression that their annual income is to high for low cost health insurance, it is strongly suggested that they do apply because most of the time, they too are eligible. Most families pay $15 to $20 per month to cover all children in the household. If families are required to pay more, they will be informed. Also, if a child has a pre-existing medical condition, coverage will not be cancelled. For more information on the Florida KidCare program visit or call 1-800-821-5437.

Local Educator May Receive $4,685,000 in Compensation for Damages from State

By Sid Riley

Senator Al Lawson Enters Compensation Bill for Local Educator and Businesswoman, Kay Stripling
The wheels of justice grind slowly… sometimes so slowly they appear to not be moving at all. That has been the situation for the past four years for local educator, Kay Stripling as she fought a difficult and long battle against the powerful state bureaucracy within the Department of Education in Tallahassee.
Her battle began when the state DOE accused her of misuse of federal educational grant funds she was receiving for delivering services to assist "drop outs" from the education system to study and obtain their GED, under a faith based program entitled "Read and Lead". Mrs. Stripling charges that during the 2004-2005 era, the state DOE was on a "Bush programs witch hunt" against federally sponsored faith based programs.
It was charged that the DOE officials singled out Mrs. Stripling’s program, refused to honor $200,000 in invoices, and informed state and federal regulators that she mishandled federal monies. These accusations led to the halting of her program and a federal probe with threats of indictment. After lengthy investigation the accusations were found to be false and she was completely cleared of all wrong doing.
In a turn of events, the FAMU bureaucrat, Pat McGill, who administered the grants programs for the FAMU Institute on Urban Commerce and Policy was later indicted, found guilty of fraud, taking multiple kick-backs, and conspiracy.
This four year ordeal was very costly to Mrs. Stripling, who must now begin to resume her career and rebuild her reputation. Because these losses were the direct result of state actions, Senator Al Lawson is going to file claims bill #0064 in the Florida Senate on August 1, 2008 in Mrs. Stripling’s behalf for $4,685,000. The basis of the claim is that the State Department of Education is guilty of breach of contract, and discriminated against her and her faith based company because she is an evangelical Christian. Mrs. Stripling currently has a law suit against the Department of Education pending in Leon County concerning this matter.

Remembering the "Gopher Gang"

By: Dale Cox

People by the thousands pass through Florida Caverns State Park each year, but few realize that perhaps as remarkable as the beautiful scenery is the fact that this major area tourist attraction became a reality during some of the darkest years of American history.
The Great Depression, brought on by the economic collapse of 1929, was felt from coast to coast and the already poor rural areas of the South were particularly hard hit. By the 1930s employment had all but vanished, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes and hunger and misery stalked the land. It is sometimes in the midst of such hardship, however, that great ideas take root and it was during the Great Depression that Dr. J.C. Patterson of Malone gave Jackson County an unforgettable gift.
Dr. Patterson was fascinated with caves and during a visit to Luray Caverns in Virginia he began to ponder the possibility that a similar attraction might be developed in the beautiful caverns north of Marianna. The idea must have seemed farfetched during such a time of economic distress, but in 1935 the doctor invested his own funds to purchase 494 acres forming the heart of today’s state park.
Tom Yancy of the Marianna Chamber of Commerce quickly realized that Patterson was onto something and he soon joined the doctor, with support from other chamber members, in a drive to encourage the state to take over the project. Yancy and Patterson both realized that the creation of a state park at the site would mean construction jobs for local residents and tourism dollars for decades to come.
Florida’s governor and legislature agreed and Florida Caverns became the state’s seventh state park. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp Number SP-12 was established on the original Patterson parcel and construction work began on the park during the late 1930s.
It is remarkable to think today that the massive cavern now known as the "Tour Cave" at the park was completely unknown to Patterson and his fellow promoters. An opening was discovered beneath the roots of a fallen tree and exploration revealed the beautiful caves and formations that have delighted hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years.
Much of the work on developing the cave was done by a group of men known as the "Gopher Gang." CCC workers, they moved tons of mud, ran electrical wiring, carved steps and passage ways.
Three different companies of CCC workers labored to build the park. One company was comprised of veterans from World War I, the second was comprised of African Americans from Florida and the third was made up of "junior members."
Florida Caverns State Park today is one of the most beautiful public places in the South. The tourism it generates produces a major economic boost for Jackson County and the determination, inspiration and labors of the people that worked to create it more than 70 years ago stand today as a spectacular memorial to human endeavor during a time of great suffering.
Editor’s Note: Read more from writer and historian Dale Cox by visiting the "Local History" section at

Three Forums Down, Two to Go Before Primary Election Date


Forum #1 - Good Turnout for Graceville Political Forum By Sid Riley
First of several forums preceding Election Day
People in Graceville appear to be taking a sincere interest in the upcoming elections. This is reflected by the presence of over two hundred citizens at the Graceville Civic Center on Thursday night for the Decision 2008 Political Forum. This event was sponsored by Chipola College Television CCTV-4, The Jackson County Executive Democratic Committee, The Jackson County Executive Republican Committee and The Jackson County Times newspaper. The program began with Royce Reagan serving as moderator while a young boy stood on the stage and held a small American Flag proudly over his head as the audience recited the "Pledge of Allegiance".
The evening’s program included a full slate of candidates vying for a wide range of county and state elected positions. A variety of questions were asked by the three person panel consisting of Democratic Committee Chairperson, Judy Mount, Republican Committee Chairperson, Sandra Helms, and Executive Director of the Jackson County Times, Sid Riley. The first group on the stage was the candidates for the District 5 State Representative position.
Sherry Campbell, Brad Drake and Sheriff John McDaniel each responded to three differing questions relating to state government. The next group of candidates to step into the spotlight was the three candidates for Jackson County School Superintendent, and the two candidates for District 2 School Board Seat.
Supt. Danny Sims, Lee Miller, and Steve Benton were asked pointed questions relating to their opinions on subjects relating to schools administration. They were then followed by Nancy Deese and Kenny Griffin who also responded to school related questioning.
Then a fifteen minute break was taken with refreshments provided by the two political parties. Each group had a refreshment table set up in the entrance area of the civic center.
The second half program then began with eight of the ten Sheriff Candidates taking the stage. In groups of four, the potential new Sheriffs each fielded three probing questions designed to reveal the depth of their knowledge and their prevailing attitudes relating to how the department should be run.
The last part of the show was perhaps the portion that most sparked response from the crowd. Steve Meadows and Glenn Hess, the two candidates who are fiercely competing for the States Attorney 14th Circuit position. Their responses involved feinting and probing each other in an aggressive manner which evoked healthy applause from the audience.
The second in this series of three Decision 2008 Political Forums was held at the Sneads High School Auditorium at 6:30 Tuesday evening, August 12. The third and last of these events will be held at the Marianna High School Auditorium at 6:30 PM on Thursday, August 21, only four days before our election day of August 26. The public is encouraged to attend these important events.
Forum #2. Pirates Partners Holds Superintendent of Schools Forum In Sneads
On Friday, August 8, Superintendent Candidates Face Sneads Citizens
With only a few hours rest since their appearance in Graceville, the busy candidates for Superintendent of Schools moved to a forum on Friday night at the Victory Academy in Sneads. This event was hosted by the local school support group, "Pirates Partners".
Approximately one hundred local citizens attended the two hour event. Homer Hirt a Pirates Partner and local Republican Party leader, Sue Bradley of Grand Ridge with Pirates Partners and the local Democratic Party group, and Jim Peacock, President of Pirate Partners all combined their efforts to ask a barrage of audience submitted questions to the three candidates.
The extensive exposure of the candidates this format presented for the audience made the event informative and worthwhile. The next forum scheduled was presented Tuesday evening in Sneads, with a full slate of candidates from the area.
Forum #3. Decision 2008 Forums Moves To Sneads High School
On Tuesday evening, August 12 the "Decision 2008" forums moved to their second scheduled presentation in the series of three pre election events. The forum featured almost all candidates for all open positions in a two hour question and answer format.
Even with stormy weather conditions, a crowd of over 200 citizens assembled in the beautiful Sneads High School auditorium, coming to root for their favorite candidates and to make another pre-vote examination of others. The first group of candidates on stage was Eddie Hendry of Tallahassee who is running for U.S. Congress against Alan Boyd and Mark Mulligan. Hendry was the only candidate for this position present. He responded to three questions from the panel, involving his opinions on stem cell research, giving welfare benefits to illegal aliens, and the proposed national 55MPH speed limit legislation.
Next came the fiercely competing duo for the State Attorney position, incumbent Steve Meadows vs. Glen Hess. They fielded questions concerning use of the death penalty, their opinion of how the Megan Lunsford prosecution was handled by the State Attorney in that district, and what programs they would use to improve the cultural sensitivity of their staff.
After a short break, the questioning resumed. The next group was the candidates for Superintendent of Schools, and the District 5 County Commission candidates. The three candidates for Supt. Of Schools were still fresh from the Pirates Partners forum held a few evenings previously, and by now were well prepared to answer almost any posed question.
One question to Lee Miller probed his attitude relating to the practice of the winning Superintendent taking reprisals against any principal that dared to run against him, thus causing the school system to lose valuable and needed staff. Miller stated that he would not consider taking any vendetta actions against any of his opponents. Danny Sims was asked questions relating to the cost of the girls softball field during construction of the new high school and how our district had been able to weather the budget reductions without requiring any major changes. Steve Benton was asked his feelings about further consolidation of schools in the district, and what steps should be taken to improve teacher screening procedures during the hiring processes to assure no sex related problems are hidden in their history.
Ben Odom, Lee Miller, and incumbent Milton Pittman were next. They responded to questions probing the relationships between the County Administrator and the Commission, whether or not the County Administrator should have the authority to hire and fire department heads, skills needed to be a good Commissioner, the proposed new county administration building, and initially granting Family Dollar tax benefits in order to entice them to locate here.
After a fifteen minute break with refreshments provided by the Republican and Democratic Committees, the action resumed with eight Sheriff Candidates in the spotlight. Chucky Anderson, John Dennis, Sonny Fortunato, Aldrich Johnson, Jim Peacock, Lou Roberts, Robbie Wester, and Darryl Williams, were present. This group answered a wide variety of law enforcement related questions. These included probes into their feelings relating to deputy abuse of handcuffed prisoners, management style, qualifications needed, use of motorcycles, required number of deputies, budgeting processes, use of road block check points, and lack of female and black deputies.
It was a revealing, spicy and entertaining evening of political analysis. It was an event well worth attending.
Future Forums-
There are currently two more political events scheduled prior to the August 26 primary election. The first is a "School Board Candidates Forum" scheduled on Sunday, August 17 at the Russ House in Marianna. This event is sponsored by the Jackson County Youth Council and begins at 3:30 PM.
The last forum is anticipated as being the largest event of the pre-election action. It will be the last of the "Decision 2008" series, and will include the full slate of candidates. This forum will be held at the new Marianna High School Auditorium at 6:30 PM on Thursday, August 21. The "Decision 2008" series is sponsored by Chipola Television CCTV-4, The Jackson County Democratic Party, The Jackson County Republican Party, and the Jackson County Times. We encourage you to get involved in the political processes, and attend these events.

Local Woman Prepares To Be Part of History Making Event

By Sid Riley

Judy Mount eagerly awaits upcoming trip to Democratic Convention in Denver
"I just can’t wait! I’ve been packed for two weeks and I am absolutely ready for this experience of my lifetime!" Judy Mount excitedly states with a broad smile and bright glimmer of anticipation in her eyes. She is heading out of Tallahassee for Denver, Colorado on August 23. She will be one of the elected "Party Leaders and Elected Official" delegates within the Florida delegation at the National Democratic Convention. These credentials give her VIP designation at many of the scheduled functions. We can all watch for her on national television.
Judy should be easily recognizable since she will be wearing an especially designed jacket that promotes the state of Florida, Jackson County, and Marianna. Appliqués of Florida beaches, the FSU logo, Osceola, the Florida Flag, a Jackson County tractor, peanuts, and wording across the back "Marianna, Florida" should make it apparent to the national audience where this gal is from.
Judy Mount is the daughter of Allen and Bernice Smith (both deceased). She was raised in Malone, and graduated from Malone High School. She has a daughter, Janna, who is currently attending school at Troy State University while she also lives in Troy, and works for the City of Troy.
Judy worked in Tallahassee for the Florida House of Representatives for 5 years, and prior to that worked for the Florida Black Business Investment Board. She also has worked as the administrative assistant to the Jackson County Manager, and as Administrative Secretary at JJOCC at Dozier. She is also the current local Democratic Committee Chairperson and is working actively to promote her party and the slate of Democratic candidates. Of course at the national level, she is a devoted Obama supporter.
"Being an African American, and being raised in the southern black culture, I am overcome with emotion when I think of being present when the first black American citizen is nominated to be President of the United States of America. It will be a history making moment and I will be part of it. I know I will cry tears of joy on my pillow when I attempt to go to sleep the night of his acceptance speech." Judy relates in an emotion filled voice. "I plan to gather and bring back as much memorabilia as possible. Years from now I want to be able to show those items to my grandchildren, and proudly tell them I was there!"
The delegate dispute with the national leadership has been resolved, and the Florida delegation will be seated with full voting privileges. Thus, Judy will have the experience of casting a vote for the first black presidential candidate in our nation’s history, Barack Obama.
Judy was one of five women elected statewide from the Democratic Party Leadership from Obama’s state allotment, receiving 856 votes out of a possible 1,000. Her credentials will be at a level above that of a delegate, thus allowing her to participate in special, private events during the convention. The week will be filled with meetings on platform development during the days and celebrity filled events and receptions during the evenings.
One day of the trip will be dedicated to performing social services in the Denver area. These services include working in the inner city, working with the poor and elderly, and parks clean-up. Judy plans to take part in a clean-up program.
Judy has previously met Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. In fact, on one occasion several years ago, she dined with the rising political figure from Illinois. She hopes to get to speak to him again while at the convention.
Congratulations to Judy Mount. She has worked diligently for what she believes in, and certainly deserves this memorable experience as her reward.

Local Iraq War Hero Needs Our Help


Fund Raising Effort is Initiated by Local VFW and Ladies Auxillary By Sid Riley
Bill Sellers, Jr.graduated from Marianna High School with the class of 1986. A Jackson County native, he is the son of Bill and Cheryl Sellers of the Marianna area. Those who are closest to him affectionately refer to him as "Little Bill", or "Bill Junior".
After graduation, young Sellers joined the U. S. Navy, where he served five years. After discharge he returned to Marianna and worked with his father in their cabinet making business. Bill is married to Pam Hall Sellers, who is also a Marianna High School graduate.
Then that dreadful day in September of 2001 came. Bill was so impacted by the 9-1-1 event and the cowardly attack on our nation, he made the decision to re-enter the military. This time it was the U. S Army.
Bill was sent to Iraq in October 2006 with Army Delta Company, 2/124 Infantry, with the rank of Staff Sergeant. In May 2007 he was in a HMMVV which rolled over. The crash resulted in Bill receiving a severe brain concussion that incapacitated him for several months while he recovered in a Mobile hospital.
Then he rejoined his outfit in Iraq. He had only been back in the fray a short time when he was riding in another HMMVV which was under attack. The armored vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb which resulted in Bill receiving another severe concussion, which had a compounded effect since he was still recovering from his initial injury. Bill has been nominated for a Bronze Star for his action in Iraq.
These injuries have left him with several rehabilitating conditions including Traumatic Brain Injury, severe migraine headaches, seizures, tendonitis, and posttraumatic stress disorder. He is currently unable to drive and is unemployable. His family is suffering severe financial hardships while trying to survive on only $1,000 per month in benefits. However, there is still hope for further recovery that may restore him to a fruitful lifestyle.
There is a renowned neurologist, Dr. Carol Hendricks of Tucson, Arizona who has reviewed Bill’s medical records. She feels that a relatively new treatment involving Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy which is administered in a special pressure tank, which aids the body’s ability to heal, for a nine week period would greatly improve Bill’s chances for recovery. Because of Bill’s service to his nation and the fact that this treatment is outside the scope of VA benefits, this doctor has offered the treatment free of charge. Normally it would cost many, many thousands of dollars.
However, other expenses related to this treatment remain. The cost of travel to and from Arizona, and housekeeping for the nine weeks of treatment while routine obligations continue here at home are prohibiting him from accepting the offer of free treatment.
Liz Huber, with the local VFW #12046 Ladies Auxiliary heard of this struggling Iraq War veteran’s problems while distributing poppies at Wal-Mart on Memorial Day. She sprang into action by enlisting the help of Ernest McNeil who is active in the VFW. They then located Bill Sellers and got the entire VFW organization to launch a fund raising effort on Bill’s behalf. Their goal is to raise a minimum of $5,000 which will cover the travel and living expenses for Bill and his family while he gets this needed medical help in Tucson.
If you want to do something worthwhile, good, Christian, and patriotic….then this is an opportunity for you to do your part. Please send a donation addressed to "Staff Sergeant Bill Sellers Treatment Fund" to any Peoples South Bank. The account number is #3302951359.
This fund is being spearheaded by the Ted Walt Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12046 and their Ladies Auxiliary. Please take time to help this vet who was injured while protecting us all.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Busted In Grand Ridge

By: Sid Riley

On Friday two men in Grand Ridge lost over $150,000. They lost this money by taking a big gamble…..and they lost.
Sheriff McDaniel and the top men in several area municipal police forces, as well as agents from D.P.L.E. and the Florida Highway Patrol proudly stood in the back room of the Sheriff’s Department, in front of a table loaded with bales of marijuana, some cocaine, $86,000 in cash, and a small arsenal of weapons. This was the loot which was captured in the local drug bust executed in Grand Ridge on Friday. The action was the result of an extended undercover operation.
Travis Walker and Carlos Edenfield of Grand Ridge were arrested on drug trafficking charges. Edenfield attempted to flee during his arrest, but only made it a short distance eastbound on Old Spanish Trail before overturning his vehicle and being captured.
So, their drug customers in the area will have to drive a little further to feed their habits. And the war against drugs goes on. The Jackson County Times congratulates Sheriff McDaniel, all of the agencies involved, and the Jackson County Drug Task force for cleaning out this local cesspool.

Covenant Hospice Invites You To Walking Tour At Courthouse


The 3rd Annual Covenant Hospice Garden Gala is underway. The event is set for Saturday, September 20 at the National Guard Armory in Marianna. This annual event is renowned for the hand painted benches and chairs that local artist design and fabricate. For the third year, Covenant Hospice has provided local artist with custom constructed wood garden furniture to be transformed into exquisite pieces of art. This year, artist had the choice of a bench, swing or Adirondack chair to transform into their canvas. The furniture was constructed by JCARC, under the leadership of Mr. Joe Shores.
Covenant Hospice invites you to attend the "Walking Tour" on Thursday, August 21 at 5pm on the Jackson County Court House Lawn. You can be the first to preview the magnificent works of art and take advantage of voting on your favorite piece. The community votes will help determine which creations will be in the live auction portion of the Garden Gala. Tickets for the Garden Gala are available now for $40 per individual or $75 per couple.
Proceeds from this breathtaking gala will benefit Covenant Hospice’s Marianna Branch which provides special care to patients and their loved ones in Jackson, Holmes, Calhoun and Washington county areas. The need for Covenant Hospice to serve persons with life-limiting illnesses and their families is growing rapidly. Covenant Hospice’s services are based on need and not the ability to pay.
For more information about the Garden Gala, please contact Jennifer Griffin at 850.482.8520, 888.817.2191 or email To learn more about the compassionate services of Covenant Hospice visit
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.

Resurrecting the Past

By: Kendall Boggs

On Saturday, August 2nd, a group of thirty-four men and women had the opportunity to experience Florida Caverns State Park as well as learn about the history of Marianna. They had traveled here from Ft. Rucker in Alabama.
These men and women visited the Caverns before being taken to the Russ House and receiving a history lesson from our very own, Dale Cox. From the Russ House, the group - consisting of exactly twenty-six International Military Students, most of whom spoke Spanish- was lead on a walking tour to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Once they arrived at the church grounds, they were greeted by several men in full Confederate soldier gear. The visiting group was then given the chance to see the weapons used by soldiers in the Civil War.
Stan Peacock provided the weapons as well as a "show and tell" of how each item worked and was made. After the showing of weapons, the tour continued into the St. Luke’s Cemetery where tales of the war and of old Marianna held their interest as they stood among the ancient headstones.
Cox showcased his knowledge of Marianna’s history impressively with stories of individuals buried in the cemetery as well as educating the visitors on the history of several areas located near the church.
Larry Clere and Lionel Young, members of Theophilus West, M.D. Camp No. 1346 Sons of Confederate Veterans resurrected the essence of their ancestors in their Confederate garb. Also assisting the gentlemen were Mr. Young’s wife, Sheila Young- member of the Order of Confederate Rose- and granddaughter, Julia Russo, both dressed in traditional clothing from the time of the Civil War. Both Clere and Young are helping to identify and mark the graves of Confederate Soldiers buried in various cemeteries by the use of GPS mapping.
In order for one to become a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, males must have a direct or indirect ancestor that fought in the war. The Order of Confederate Rose, an organization for women, is an independent support group to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Yet, unlike the Sons of Confederate Veterans, female members do not have to be direct or indirect relatives with citizens who fought in the war.
The Field Studies Program Coordinator from the International Military Student Office in Fort Rucker, Alabama, Joseph Fernandez, was responsible for transporting the assembly of students to Marianna. He said a group of students usually come to Marianna (as well as other cities) about twice a year, once for a weekend outing and the next trip for a single day. Fernandez also acknowledged his luck in contacting Stan Peacock, calling Peacock a "Godsend", in helping organize the day trip for the students.

Meandering Along…….,

By: Homer Hirt

Almost all of the rivers of the Southeastern United States are meanderers. Meandering is defined as (1)"following a winding or intricate course" or (2) wandering aimlessly or casually without urgent destination".
For some reason I like the latter definition. It reminds me of a tipsy sailor, happy in the fact that he is in port after a long sea voyage, and having had a few too many, wanders along, loose kneed and slack, checking out store windows, bars and, of course, the occasional lady with good legs and a short skirt.
Of course, each river must have a destination, and for many of the southeastern streams that is the Gulf of Mexico, or in some cases a larger river of which it is a tributary. Almost always flowing southerly, eventually reaching its destination. Most Southern schoolchildren of my generation learned Sidney Lanier’s "Song of the Chattahoochee"
"Out of the hills of Habersham
And down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall;
Split at the rock and together again,
And accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
With a lover’s pain to attain the plain,
Far from the hills of Habersham, far
From the valleys of Hall".
The only problem is that the Chattahoochee does not "attain the plain" but it links up with the Flint River and forms the Apalachicola River, and the waters flow into Florida and finally into the estuary 106 miles to the south.
Because the boundary of our new country in 1787 was described in part as being to "the west bank of the Chattahoochee" the three states are in a twenty year long dispute as to the rights of the use of the flow of the two upstream rivers.
But this draws me away from my original intent: to describe a meandering stream. The Chattahoochee tries to meander. It tries for well over a hundred miles, but it is not very successful. It has a lot of rocks (read the poem!), and rocks don’t allow for much meandering. If the stream "splits at the rock" it soon comes "together again". So meandering, while innocently intended, does not come about in any great detail.
And the Flint has about the same amount of success at meandering, only it is much shorter, and has another handicap: it rises just south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which does not add much to its overall greatness as rivers go.
But the Apalachicola, a mere 107 miles long, really knows how to meander! In regular years (notice I don’t use the word normal) it manages to meander with the best of them, allowing for its size. Mile for mile I would put it up against any other meanderer anywhere.
It meanders from side to side, and out into the swamp, and cuts across points and then closes the channel up again to open it somewhere else. In the lower reaches of its trip to the gulf it not only has tributaries, but it has dis-tributaries. This word means what it says. Water from the main river wanders off between another stream’s banks and peters out in the swamp somewhere.
And then it gets to the estuary, and widens out into what most folks would not call a river at all. It is more like a fan of water, split up by clumps of trees and boats that are sunk and have been there for many, many years.
Perhaps the Apalachicola River should be renamed "The Drunken Sailor" River. (Senator John McCain once accused the Congress of spending money like a drunken sailor would spend it, if only he had an unlimited budget, like that august body).
Most of the meandering of the Apalachicola is fostered by the ebb and flow of Nature. The WeWa Wiggles have been there for centuries, and can be blamed on God or Nature, whichever suits you. Ocheesee Reach is both natural, and unusual. In most meandering streams, the current goes toward the bend, or the "pocket", and thereby not only hollows out the bank, but deepens the channel at that point. Old timers always steered for the "pocket". But not at Ocheesee Reach. At this spot the pocket of the bend is rock bottomed and has resisted the temptation to deepen. Many a propeller or outboard foot has been left there by the unsuspecting boat captain or fisherman.
The Chipola Cutoff also differs from the norm. The Cutoff was formed by hand labor (and probably some ground slides being pulled by mules). One story relates that the Confederates had placed logs helter-skelter in the main river channels to keep the Yankees from coming inland from the Gulf. This strategy worked well until they encountered their need to get the CSS Chattahoochee downstream to lift the Anaconda blockade at Apalachicola Bay, but couldn’t make it past the logs. So, using hand (and, one supposes, slaves) labor, a diversion was cut, and through the years the river has meandered through this cut until almost half of the usual flow goes down the Cutoff instead of the regular channel. Now, that’s a real unusual meander!
Meandering makes for interesting supposition. Mark Twain, in his Life on the Mississippi, marveled at how the Mississippi had shrunk over the years. Twain in his young years was first a "cub" and then a full fledged riverboat captain. After the War Between the States he took an excursion down the river, beginning in Illinois and riding all the way to New Orleans. He discovered that in certain sections the river was shorter. Some of the shrinkage could be charged up to disgruntled farmers that wanted to deprive their downstream neighbors of water, and would divert the river. Other diversions were caused by floods, and even earthquakes..
Twain noted that "in the space of one hundred and seventy six years, the Lower Mississippi had shortened itself two hundred and forty two miles…………….any person could see that seven hundred forty two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three quarters long, and Cairo (ILL) and New Orleans will have joined their streets together………and will have a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen".
Do you think that the meandering Apalachicola shares the same fate and that Sneads and the City of Apalachicola could one day have a common city election?
Just to relieve the tension, let me give you Mark Twain’s last quote on this shortening of the River: "There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact". For lasting memories, I suggest that you and your family spend some future weekend meandering down the meandering Apalachicola.

Yankee Saves Jackson County Citizen’s Life


One of the most nationally significant events in Jackson County history took place on September 27, 1864, during the engagement remembered today as the Battle of Marianna.
A Union officer, Captain George H. Maynard of the 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in part for his actions in saving the lives of local men and boys on the grounds of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
A Northerner by birth, Maynard had joined the Union army early in the war as a private in Company D of the 13th Massachusetts Infantry. He quickly displayed an unusual combination of both heroism and mercy on the battlefield that attracted the attention of his superior officers.
At the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), Maryland, on September 17, 1862, for example, Maynard personally went under fire to remove two wounded comrades from danger. He then joined each Union regiment advancing to his location of the battlefield and by the time the fight was over had charged the Confederate lines with six different units.
At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, three months later, he went twice alone into enemy fire to bring wounded men to safety. This heroic act resulted in his promotion to captain and assignment to the 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry, a new regiment formed of liberated African American men from Mississippi and Louisiana.
A detachment from the regiment fought at the Battle of Marianna on September 27, 1864, and in the final stages of the fighting, Maynard found himself with his men on the grounds of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church where Captain Jesse Norwood and the local citizens of the Marianna Home Guard refused to surrender.
According to Maynard’s personal account of the battle, the Union troops ceased firing in an effort to talk Norwood and his men into giving up, but the local citizen soldiers intensified their fighting. The action, he said, "infuriated" his men and the battle degenerated into a bloody melee.
Finally, Norwood and his men realized that their situation was hopeless and began to lay down their weapons. To Maynard’s shock and outrage, however, his men began shooting the defenseless prisoners. "I at once dismounted and rushed into the graveyard," he reported, "just in time to knock away a musket placed at the head of a prisoner." According to his account, he then leveled his pistol at his own men and "threatened to blow out the brains of the first man who dared to shoot a prisoner."
According to men present from both North and South, Maynard’s actions at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church prevented the massacre of many of the captured men and boys of Marianna.
The captain was subsequently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism under fire, in part for his actions during the Battle of Marianna. The medal survives today, a reminder of a remarkable act of courage and compassion for which Maynard was recognized by his government. The medal is accompanied by the notation that he was honored for being "heroic and humane."
Editor’s Note: Read more about the history of Jackson County online by visiting the "Local History" section at