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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chipola Students Honored at Awards Ceremony

Marianna - Chipola College recognized the outstanding achievements of its students at the recent annual Awards Ceremony. Awards were presented for academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.

The following students received academic awards: Jared Moseley of Bonifay, Joseph Brandon Yon of Chipley, Freshman Computer Science; Christian Smith of Grand Ridge, Sophomore Computer Science; Esther Meng Burlison of Bonifay, Information Technology; Brandon C. Bryant of Bonifay, Biology for Science Majors; Lora A. Parsons of Cottondale, Microbiology; Ryan E. Wells of Altha, Freshman Chemistry; John D. Byrd of Graceville, Sophomore Chemistry; Jantzen Whitehead of Cottondale, Physical Science; Kyrie L. Strickland of Bonifay, Earth Science; Ciarra N. Jackson of Graceville, Calculus I; Bradley Nissley of Blountstown, Calculus II; Brandon Bryant of Bonifay, Calculus III; Julian “Trey” Paul, III of Bonifay, C.H. Barton Award; Jonathan Carr of Grand Ridge, Freshman English; Mark Hodge of Bonifay, Sophomore English; Michael N. Gillikin of Alford, Dr. Robert E. Ringer Award; Mark Hodge of Bonifay, Social and Behavioral Science.

The following nursing students received awards: Alesia Green of Greenwood, Clinical Excellence (fourth semester); Sabrina Spence of Marianna, Academic Excellence (fourth semester); Regina Boyce of Bonifay, Clinical Excellence (fifth semester) and Stevey Pope of Marianna, Academic Excellence (fifth semester).

Students in Workforce Development programs received the following awards: Anthony Newton of Greenwood, Electronic Engineering Technology; Jeremy Lewis of Cottonwood, Ala., Computer Engineering; Fred Lee Gilley of Bonifay, Computer Systems Technology; Jacob Schreffler of Marianna, Welding; Delbridge Edwards of Chattahoochee, Automotive; Timothy L. Hendrix of Marianna, Corrections; Donald Wadkins of Pace, Firefighting; Erika Hunter of Marianna, Cosmetology; Michael P. Miller of Altha, Law Enforcement; Michael Jess McWilliams of Sneads, Surveying and Mapping..

Three students received awards for athletics: Tyler Bumgarner of Marietta, Ga., Charlton Keen Scholar Athlete Award; Ashley Duce of Greenwood, Neal Sportsmanship Award; Erik Blount of Chipley and Ashley Duce of Greenwood, Cheerleader Award.

The following students received awards for extracurricular activities: Mark Hodge of Bonifay, Jantzen Whitehead of Cottondale, Chuck Bryant of Bonifay, Deloney Brain Bowl Award; Brandy Blighton of Greenwood, Science Club; Tanya Savell of Blountstown, Student Ambassadors; Blaire Taylor of Marianna, Alicia Hatcher of Greenwood, Courtney Corbin of Graceville, Student Government Association; Veronica Oliver of Marianna, Mu Alpha Theta; Amy C. Redmond of Altha, Outstanding Musicianship; Juliann Pettis of Bonifay, Library Award; Shannon Alicia Hatcher of Greenwood and Glen Thompson of Malone, USA Today’s Academic All-American’s.

Two awards were given to non-students. The student body selected Pam Rentz, Distinguished Faculty Award; Bonnie Smith, for the Distinguished Administrators Service Award.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Local Builder Delayed Over 12 Months For Permitting

Jimmy Grant, local builder has small project that is creating conflict and confusion over code interpretations
By Sid Riley

Jimmy Grant angrily exclaimed at the Monday evening Planning Commission meeting.
His frustration comes after struggling to get permitting approved for a small six lot private development just off highway 71, near Sunland. He has repeatedly been before the planning commission and the board of commissioners over the past year as he struggled with the bureaucratic processes involved in getting final approval for the development.
The basic problem seems to lie in conflicting and overlapping definitions and code requirements for a small subdivision within the County Code Ordinances and the County Comprehensive Land Use Plan. This situation is compounded by the relative inflexibility of the Comprehensive Plan, which requires a lengthy bureaucratic process before any changes or amendments can be made.
This conflict is heightened by what appears to be a growing conflict between Planning Director Schairer and Grant, who once worked in the Planning/Inspection Department.
The Planning Board members and the County Commissioners have all struggled to resolve this ongoing conflict for many months. Meanwhile, Jimmy Grant has three houses built that he can not sell, thus causing his $500,000 investment to be idled.
At Monday’s meeting of the Planning Commission, the commissioners discussed the fact that this problem was not being handled in a "Developer friendly manner", and the project was so small that it had virtually no threat of any negative impact on the citizens of Jackson County.
After much discussion, the Commission finally approved, by a 3-2 vote, a motion to move the approval process forward for consideration by the Board of County Commissioners. Meanwhile, steps are being taken to amend the Comprehensive Plan in order to remove small projects from the subdivision regulations in order to have this type of project be under the more flexible County Subdivision Regulations. This will still take several months to accomplish.

Confederate Memorial Day Is Saturday, April 26

Local Memorial Organizations Plan Several Ceremonies in County
By Sid Riley


This Saturday is "Confederate Memorial Day". The United Daughters of the Confederacy, William Henry Milton Chapter 1039 will recognize this memorial day by placing memorial wreaths at the Confederate Monument in downtown Marianna, on the Battle of Marianna marker at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and on the Confederate Monument on the Southeast corner of the Courthouse Square.
Additionally, the organization is seeking input for a video being prepared entitled "Confederate Tales". One person recently taped for this video was a ninety-nine year old resident whose Civil War ancestor was from North Carolina. If you have any family stories about ancestors who took part in this war, please call 482-3477 or 663-2570 to discuss video taping your story.
The William Henry Milton Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was organized in a meeting held at the old Chipola Hotel in October of 1906. The official charter was granted by the national organization the next month. The initial group was led by Mrs. W. H. Milton, and Mrs. R.L. Moore. A few years later a subsidiary organization, The Children of the Confederacy, was founded by Mrs. B. S. Liddon, and Mrs. W.R. Snead, with Miss Maggie Liddon as the first President. Later Mrs. M. Guyton became Director. It was this group that was instrumental in having appropriate markers placed at the graves in the Old Cemetery and the Episcopal Cemetery.
Through fund raising activities and a $5,000 grant from the State Legislature in 1921, the Daughters of the Confederacy obtained the marble shaft monument that today is displayed in the western end of Marianna Monument Park as a tribute to those soldiers felled in the Battle of Marianna. The monument was dedicated in November, 1921 after an address made by then Govenor Cary Hardee. The State Legislature also made an annual appropriation of $600 for upkeep and maintenance of the park. A pavilion and several benches were added in 1930.
In 1927, while Mrs. F.T. McKinnon was President of the chapter, the State Confederate Reunion was held in Marianna. The organization has remained active since it’s inception in 1906, and today has sixteen members. If you have any interest in this group, please contact Mrs. Nadine Standland at 482-3477.

Governor Crist Selects Brantley Clark as New 14th Circuit Judge In Marianna

Panama City Resident Chosen to Fill Position Vacated by Judge Hess
By Sid Riley

On Tuesday afternoon Florida Governor Charlie Crist interviewed the three finalist who were seeking the position as Judge for the 14th Circuit. The position was recently vacated by Judge Smiley when he left to help fill the position vacated by Judge Glen Hess when he began a bid to become the 14th Circuit States Attorney.
The three finalists for the interview with the Governor were Brantley Clark from Panama City, David House from Blountstown, and Joe Grammer of Panama City. On Tuesday the Governor announced his decision. Our new judge will be Judge Brantley Clark.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Local Redneck Fisherman Becomes Author

Richard Folsom, Grand Ridge resident writes a unique book entitled "Was I A Poet and Didn’t Know It?"
By Sid Riley


Photo Caption: Author Richard Folsom with 45 Pound Apalachicola River Catfish
Sometimes it is during times of extreme personal hardship and stress that the real human spirit emerges. Perhaps that is the case that applies to Richard Folsom, when his literary and poetic skills emerged during a period of pain filled recuperation from a life threatening fall.
Folsom has always taken pride in his country roots, his love of nature, and his ability to catch big catfish. On the surface he may seem to be another of the "good ole boys", but underneath his redneck fa├žade is a sharp mind that has enabled him to develop a meaningful philosophy of life. That philosophy is presented in his recently published book.
It was a fall from a riverside cliff while fishing in the Apalachicola River that crushed his feet and legs that created the time for his literary skills to emerge. During his pain filled period of recuperation he realized the urge to write. Poems with clever, philosophical themes came to his mind along with page after page of personal philosophies of life. The poems in the book come with titles such as "Trees", "A Happy Song", "Figure It Out", "Talkin’ Walkin’", "TV Analogy", "Different Ways Of Looking At the Same Thing", "A Redneck Anthem", and "Sandbar Saturday Night".
"Learning to suppress one’s ego is the secret to personal peace and enjoyment of life," Folsom explains. "If a person allows their ego to direct their actions, thoughts, and emotions, they are sure to live a life of conflict and negatives."
Folsom's book is available at Chipola Book and Tea store on Lafayette Street in downtown Marianna. The secrets of cat fishin’ are given in Chapter Four of his book.

Local Chipola Students, Alicia Hatcher and Glen Thompson, Win State and National Awards

Presentations Made In Philadelphia To Local Scholars, Chipola to Make Special Presentation On Thursday

Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Fellowship are the four hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society of the two year College. And for Chipola students Alicia Hatcher and Glen Thompson, they are a way of life.

Alicia first began her involvement in Phi Theta Kappa as an early admissions senior in 2006 with the encouragement of Phi Theta Kappa advisor Pam Rentz. Since then, she has participated in service projects such as Project Prom, a project to provide Katrina ravaged Bay St. Louis, MS students with their dream prom and Campaign for Literacy, a project targeting students from kindergarten to college.
In February Alicia received notification that she had been chosen as one of thirty Phi Theta Kappa members to be named to the 2008 All-Florida Academic Team First Team. Sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society-Florida Region, the Florida Association of Community Colleges and the Foundation for Florida’s Community Colleges, this was the thirteenth year an All-Florida Academic Team was named as a means of recognizing Florida’s outstanding students. Nomination by their college for the USA Today/Phi Theta Kappa sponsored All-USA Academic Team and their standing in this national competition determines student selection for the All-Florida Academic Team.

On April 15, 2008 Alicia, along with fellow Chipola sophomore Glenn Thompson was honored in Tallahassee at the 2008 All-Florida Academic Team Awards Ceremony. Based on participation in honors organizations, awards and honors for academic and technical accomplishments, academic enrichment through study and internships, sharing academic attainment, knowledge, skills and cultural enrichment, both students as All-Florida Academic Team members received Phi Theta Kappa medallions in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments.

At the same time that Alicia and Glen were notified of their selection to the All-Florida Academic Team, they also found they had been chosen as one of 60 outstanding two-year college students to be named to the All-USA Academic Team, chosen from a selection of 1600 outstanding student nominees. As a member of the All-USA Academic Team Third Team, Alicia received national recognition in the April 7, 2008 USA Today newspaper. Glen Thompson who won second team awards was also nationally recognized in USA Today.

In March Alicia found that she had been named one of twenty Guistwhite Scholars internationally. The Guistwhite Scholar Program is named in honor of Dr. Jack Guistwhite and his wife, Margaret who established the first designated transfer scholarships for Phi Theta Kappa members. Guistwhite Scholarships are based on academic achievement, participation in Phi Theta Kappa programs and service to their colleges and communities. Chosen by a panel of independent judges, Guistwhite Scholars are awarded a $5,000 scholarship to be used during their junior and senior years of college. This award was presented at the 90th International Convention held in Philadelphia, PA April 3-5, 2008.

While in Philadelphia Alicia was awarded one of thirty Distinguished Chapter Officer Hallmark Awards, given internationally. The Hallmark Award Program is a competitive awards program which in this case recognizes individuals for excellence in the Society’s Hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Fellowship.

Along with Phi Theta Kappa, Alicia is an active member of the Student Government Association where she served as Freshman Class President, Student Ambassadors, Mu Alpha Theta where she served as President, Pre-Med Society, Honors Club where she serves as vice-president, and Governance Council. She is currently Scholarship Officer for Phi Theta Kappa.

A special ceremony was held on Thursday, April 17 in the atrium of the Literature/Language Building honoring these two outstanding students. A portrait of each student will be hung on the Chipola Academic Wall of Honor at this time.

Glen Thompson, a Malone High Graduate is the son of Tommy and Marcia Thompson of Malone. He is active in many school organizations, including being a Service Officer with Phi Theta Kappa, Senator in Student Government, Student Leader in Chipola Honors Group, is a volunteer coach and referee for youth sports, is a volunteer for JCARC, is a volunteer worker for Partners for Pets, worked in Katrina clean-up as volunteer, and assisted in campus breast cancer awareness seminar.

Alicia is the daughter of Chuck and Patte Hatcher of Dellwood and is a graduate of Graceville High School. She has one sister, India who also attends Chipola College. She is the granddaughter of Jerre and Christine Nettles of Marianna and the late Peggy B. Nettles, Woodrow and Linda Hatcher of Marianna, Pat Odom and the late Jim Odom of Dellwood, and Chuck and Eileen Brown of New Haven, CT.

The Jackson County Times offers congratulations to these two outstanding local stuents.

City Purchases Historical National Bank Building for $100,000

Possible Site for History and Arts Museum
By Sid Riley

After lengthy negotiations between Wachovia and the City of Marianna, the historical old First National Bank Building was bought by the City for $100,000. The sale also includes the adjoining corner parking area at the corner of Lafayette Street and Caledonia Street.

The building was erected in 1902 on the previous site of the W.J. Daniel and Company private bank. At the time of construction it was one of the finest bank buildings in the state.

It is claimed that the first loose-leaf ledger and first adding machine used in a Florida bank were used here. The attractive structure facing Confederate Park was renovated in 1993.
The City of Marianna used accumulated CRA funds for the purchase. As part of the program for restoration of downtown Marianna under the direction of Main Street Marianna, this fine building will certainly be a significant addition to that continuing effort. It is hoped that a feasibility study can be funded through state grants to determine what must be done to the facility to bring it up to codes for public use. Then, through coordination with the Historical Society and local Arts Associations, it is hoped that this beautiful building can be used to house a Museum of Local History and Arts.

The Jackson County Times congratulates the city administrators for accomplishing this purchase and look forward to the day when this facility houses a museum which demonstrates the history of our area as well as local arts and crafts.

Steve Meadows Wants To Remain State Attorney for the 14th Circuit

Panhandle native is working hard to retain position.
By Sid Riley

Steve Meadows became our State Attorney four years ago, and he wants to keep the job. He feels that much has been accomplished and much remains to be done. He feels if elected for another term he will be able to effectively serve the citizens of the 14th circuit as an experienced, seasoned prosecutor.

Meadows is a native and life-long resident of the Florida panhandle region. After graduating from Bay High School in 1976, Steve enlisted in the US Army, and served in the 101st Air Assault Division and the US Army Aviation Center. After separation from the service, Steve went to work for the Panama City Police Department, and later for the Bay County Sheriff’s Department.

During the eight years he was working as a uniformed police officer he attended night school and graduated from Florida State University, magna cum laude with a BS in Criminology. He later continued his studies to eventually earn his Juris Doctor degree. After law school he worked as a prosecuting attorney in the State Attorney’s Office for fifteen years.

Meadows is the proud father of three daughters, Megan, Jenny, and Kristen.

Recent highlights of activities involving the State Attorney’s office have included the conviction of Robert Bailey for the murder of Panama City Beach Police Sgt. Kevin Kite. Through the prosecution effort, Bailey was given the death sentence for the murder. Another successful effort was the grand jury indictment gained in Jackson County against Wesley Williams for the murder of Danielle Baker and her four children in a Marianna apartment complex. Throughout this investigation the State Attorney’s office worked closely with the Marianna Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s department to assist in gaining this indictment.

Another hot issue involving the State Attorney’s office was the decision of the Medical Examiner Commission for removal of Charles Siebert from his position as the District 14 Medical Examiner. Feeling this action was politically motivated, Meadows took a public stand in defense of Siebert.

Other programs initiated or supported by the Department under the guidance of Steve Meadows include the much acclaimed DVD for teen drinking and driving reduction, the creation of a Child Abduction Response Team, and involvement in the Communities Against Seniors Exploitation program. Meadows has aggressively prosecuted those who sell drugs as well as those who commit violent acts against or abuse children. Steve Meadows is proud of his Department and what they have accomplished during the past four years. He hopes to continue this important work by gaining reelection. Steve Meadows can be reached at 850-872-4473.

Monday, April 14, 2008

New History of Jackson County coming in May!


Two Egg - Volume One of the long awaited new history of Jackson County from local writer and historian Dale Cox is scheduled for release on Saturday, May 3, 2008.


The History of Jackson County, Florida will be the first new complete history of the county published in more than 25 years. It will be published in three volumes, the first of which focuses on the years 1674 to 1861.


Cox began writing the series of books more than two decades ago and finished it in 2007. It has been in the editing and production pages since then. "Our county has such a wonderful past and so much of it has never appeared in print," he said in confirming the project's completion "I began working on the books in 1986 because I wanted my own sons to know that there is much more to the history of Jackson County than just dry dates, old houses and forgotten names."


Cox said that the new history focuses on aspects of Jackson County's history that have received little or no attention in the past. "I wanted to put some of these stories into print," he told the Jackson County Times, "to make sure that they are better remembered by future generations than they have been by our own."


Some of the key chapters of Volume One focus on the little known Spanish missions that existed in Jackson County during the 1600s, on the county's role in the American Revolution and on the rich Native American heritage of the area.


Other chapters in the first volume focus on the county seat controversy between Marianna and Webbville, the first steamboat on the Chipola River, the Bellamy Bridge legend and a little known "war" that broke out in the southern parts of the county in 1860.


All three volumes in the series are expected to be released by the end of the year and will be available in both hard cover and paperback. The first volume will be available in May at Chipola River Book & Tea in Downtown Marianna as well as for order online through http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/, http://www.twoeggfla.com/ and http://www.battleofmarianna.net/ and through national websites such as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fame Spreading For Cottondale "Meat Man"

Forrest Dilmore Is Racking Up Victories and is Becoming Renowned as Pork Bar-B-Q Expert
By Sid Riley


Barbequing is an Art…and Forrest Dilmore of Cottondale has been grilling a lot of masterpieces lately. His culinary skills were much appreciated at the East Point Florida Fire Department Charity Bar-B-Q in March where Forrest’s Fine Foods of Cottondale won in three of the top four categories for the event, and brought home the grand championship trophy.

His barbequed chicken strutted away with the prize in the chicken competition, while his Boston butt and brisket entries both took top honors in their categories. Dilmore prepares his meats with a special dry rub and injects them with secret sauces prior to introducing them to his controlled cooking techniques. The result is a prize winning "unique flavor" that is winning him fame and fortune in the competitive barbequing circuit.

Dilmore and his barbeque buddy Walt Loftin of Dothan who cooks under the name "Pork Avenue BBQ", have a good time at the dozen or so events they enter each year. They have even started a barbequing school for those wishing to improve their skill at the grill. The school is called "BBQ Boot Camp". "The best thing about it", states Dilmore, "it is a hobby you can eat!" Contact Dilmore for information on the next scheduled class.

(www.tristatebbq.com/bbqbootcamp or (334)699-1475)

By listening to their conversation you learn that a Boston Butt is actually a pig shoulder, baby back ribs do not come from baby pigs, but rather the loin area, and over-cooking is a common mistake. "There is a fine line between too tender and just right", they assert. And do not dare use the "G" words around them, like grilling or gas, they use only wood. They prefer cherry, maple, pear, pecan, and other trees that produce a nut or fruit.

"I had gas once", Lofton quips…."but I took something for it".

Jacob Citizens Approve Changes To City Charter

By a vote of 61 to 38 the Jacob Citizens voted to adopt an amendment to the city charter that establishes a five person city council, with the Mayor elected from that council. This change was prompted by ongoing conflicts under the existing city system of government.

Graceville Election Results

Incumbent Walter Douglas With 74% Of Vote Wins Over Patrick Wooley, Retains Seat On City Commission.

Grotto Closing – Cornerstone Expanding

Rising Costs and Difficult Economic Conditions Cause Closing of One of Marianna’s Fine Restaurants By Sid Riley
Ric and Dawn Amora have announced the planned closing of "The Grotto" one of Marianna’s fine restaurants on April 12th. "The rising cost of food, gas, utilities, taxes, and general operating costs along with the impact the increasing cost of living is having on the public, have all combined to create a negative cash flow for our business. Consequently, we will be forced to close The Grotto to enable us to focus totally on our other local restaurant, ‘The Cornerstone’, states a saddened owner-operator Dawn Amora.

Chef Ric will be returning home to the Cornerstone Restaurant, where he will bring many of his new and exciting dishes as additions to the existing menu. Many of the existing staff members will also be transferred to the Cornerstone. "We plan to work to make the Cornerstone one of the finest restaurants in the Panhandle.

The Cornerstone will soon be expanding it’s hours and will be open on Sunday’s with breakfast offered all day as well as regular menu items. The Amora family wishes to express it’s appreciation to all of the supporters and regular customers of the Grotto, and look forward to seeing them in the future at the Cornerstone. We at the Jackson County Times wish them good fortune and brisk business.

County Is Saddened By Death of Clara Hudnall

Clara Hudnall dies at age of 96
By Sid Riley
Clara Hudnall and her husband Frank both loved Jackson County very much. They expressed that love by giving generously from the blessings life had bestowed upon them. They will be dearly missed by many local citizens, but their generous gifts remain as part of their life legacy.
They supported Jackson Hospital and the service it provides to the people of the county. Much of the medical facility at the hospital stands as a tribute to their history of financial support. The Hudnall building which houses doctors offices, labs and cancer treatment facilities exists as a direct result of Mrs. Hudnall’s donations.

Chipola College was another recipient of the Hudnall generosity. Along with establishing a scholarship fund, the Hudnalls provided significant financial support to many of Chipola’s needs.
In 2005 Mrs. Hudnall was recognized by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce as the "Citizen of the Year".

The gleaming gold dome atop the First Baptist Church is another reflection of the Hudnall generosity to their community. The van used by the church to transport seniors to services was largely provided by her donations.

The Hudnalls donated a significant percentage of the funds used to build the new Jackson County Library. The van used by the Family Stopover House for children in crisis situations is another gift they provided. There are also many, many individual charitable acts they gave to people in need, without general public knowledge or appreciation.

The standard of the benevolent, Christian spirit that Frank and Clara Hudnall provided will hopefully lead us all towards increased involvement and support of our community and our fellow man.

Mrs. Hudnall’s funeral was held Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Marianna.

The Chair Is Filled!!

New Marianna City Manager Jim Dean Now On The Job
By Sid Riley

" One way of describing what I am experiencing now as I try to get oriented on everything that the city has underway is that it is similar to trying to sip a drink from a fire hose", quipped Jim Dean as I interviewed him this week. The Jackson County native is very glad to have this opportunity to serve the citizens of Marianna, and the citizens of Marianna are very glad to have him as City Manager.

While we were there Jim Dean gave us an update on several issues that are now before the city. "The Kelson street project is gaining time previously lost on the project schedule, with the paving on phase two of the four phases scheduled within the next few days. Although we are still slightly behind schedule because of initial weather delays, we have gained back some of the lost time during this second phase", Dean explained.

Phase three will be reworking the road between College Street and Jefferson, and the last phase will be from Jefferson to Noland. The work currently being performed at the lift station in this last section is another project that is completely separate from the Kelson project.

Next our conversation led to the Alliance building at the airport industrial park. "That is one huge building", Dean exclaims. "We would like to locate a single tenant, but are prepared to separate the leases into several smaller users if necessary. There is manufacturing space, an office complex, and a huge warehouse. We are excited about the opportunity to bring in new occupants."

Then came the sign ordinance issue. A workshop has been scheduled for May 7th. "I hope we can get a lot of the business people and general public to come to this session and provide our commission with some meaningful input", Dean stated. "I feel that there is a good chance that some worthwhile changes may come from this approach."

While the interview was underway, Lori Harris, the wife of Louy Harris, came in and gave the new City Manager a flower arrangement and a big hug. That seemed to make Jim’s day.

We at the Jackson County Times wish Jim Dean good luck in his important new role.


100th Birthday Party for Mrs. Grace Purvis


A surprise Birthday party was held for Mrs. Grace Purvis Tuesday April 8, at the Senior Citizens Activity Building. Mrs. Purvis will turn 100 years old next week.

The Ocheesee Ridge Boys & Girls played a song in her honor at the program. After her Birthday song, she was presented with a cake, plaque, corsage and orchid plant. Many Senior Citizens joined her to celebrate with cake and punch.

Milton Pittman, Proud of Record and Hopes To Continue to Serve People of County

District Five Commissioner Seeks Fourth Term

By Sid Riley

Milton Pittman has served the citizens of Jackson County as the Commissioner from District Five for eleven years and six months. He wants to add another fourth term to his years of service as a commissioner. Pittman is proud of the many accomplishments he has seen the county implement over the years.

Most notably would be the role the Commission played in locating the Family Dollar Distribution Center in our area, the expansion of Rex Lumber Company in Graceville, Green Circle Bio Energy which is nearing completion near Cottondale, and the placement of a girls juvenile detention center in our County. They are currently working on the project for the new bottling plant and an additional prison at the Graceville Park.

Milton Pittman and his wife Jo, formerly Jo Basford of Grand Ridge, live in the Lovedale-Two Egg Community, where they have raised their three children, Angie, Jeff, and John. They are now the proud grandparents of three grandchildren. They are lifelong members of the Lovedale Baptist Church.

Pittman wants to manage the growth in Jackson County in a manner that will preserve the high quality of life here that we all enjoy. He points to his recent efforts in the leasing and management of state lands by the County for recreational and eco-tourism. These would include the significant improvements made to the Blue Springs Recreational Area, the Citizens Lodge and Park Area, and the Spring Creek Park improvements. Pittman was directly involved in arranging a thirty year lease with the U. S. Corps of Engineers on Lake Seminole for the boat ramps on the west side of the Chattahoochee River. Also, the county is preparing to engage in a program of extensive resurfacing and widening of numerous roads as well as a long term county paving program.

Milton feels he is a fiscal conservative, a trait created by his experience in owning and operating his own farming business and working for the farming community as a commissioner. He understands the pressure facing the small businessman today, especially farmers. Over his past three terms he has worked diligently to limit millage rates while maintaining and increasing the services delivered to the citizens by the county.

Milton Pittman has also served as past chairman and current director of the GFA Peanut Association Board, is currently Chairman of the Florida Rural Utility Finance Commission, is a past Director Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, and of the Jackson County Farm Bureau as past director, and is a past president of the Jackson County Cattleman’s Association. He is also a past board member and past chairman of the FSA Committee in Jackson County. This wide ranging history of public service better qualifies him to perform in the capacity of a County Commissioner.

"There is no substitute for ‘hands-on’ experience in working with county finances, county road projects, and in dealing with all of the issues of managing growth in our county", Pittman states. "With budget cuts looming in our future, and uncertain of the future flow of revenues, our county will need astute management in the coming years in order to maintain services and properly control spending. I am well prepared for the task at hand".

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Suspect Arrested in Greenwood Murder



Jackson County Sheriff's Deputies responded to an anonymous citizen's report of a shooting at 4357 Dickson Road near Greenwood Monday morning. While deputies were on their way to the scene, a second call was received from a woman who said she had been shot.


When deputies reached the scene shortly before 1a.m., they found 47-year-old Lonnie Lee Baxter on the floor suffering from a gunshot wound. A second person, 38-year-old Gianna Simmons was also in the home. She had been shot multiple times.

Baxter was pronounced dead on the scene. Simmons was transported to an area hospital where at last report she was in critical but stable condition.

Simmons was hospitalized for treatment and at last report was in critical but stable condition. Sheriff's Investigators were called to the scene and were quickly able to identify a suspect in the case. Danny Tyrone Jackson, age 36 of Gordon, AL (formerly of Malone, seen above) was arrested and charged with an open count of murder. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.
Investigators indicate they are also looking for another person of interest in the case. Clarissa Howard, a 31-year-old female (seen at left), is being sought for questioning. She is believed to have been at the home at the time of the shooting.
She is also wanted on an outstanding warrant for state parole violation.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts should contact law enforcement.
The Sheriff's Department has been assisted in the case by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Houston County, AL Sheriff's Department and the Dothan Police Department.

Hayes Baggett new Marianna Chief of Police



Marianna - Jackson County native and Marianna High School graduate Hayes Baggett is the new Chief of Police for the City of Marianna.

Baggett defeated two opponents on Tuesday to claim the office.

The final vote was:

Hayes Baggett - 597
Virgil Watson - 370
Donald Bland - 97

Baggett completed the Police Standards Course at Chipola College, holds his Certification as a Police Officer, completed an AA Degree at Chipola and graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. Degree in Criminology. He has worked for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and is currently employed at the Jackson County Probation Department.

He is married, a Director of the Optimist Club, member of Harmony Masonic Lodge #3, Elks, and serves on the Marianna Industrial Advisory Board.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Theft Arrests Reported

Marianna - On April 3, 2008, investigators from the Jackson County's Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division arrested Daniel Eugene Walters of Bonifay and Jeffrey David James of Chipley on burglarly charges.

The arrests followed a large number of recent complaints involving the theft of copper. Acting on informationd eveloped in the investigation, investigators were watching property at 2499 Dilmore Road along with other locations in the county when they were able to arrest the two individuals. According to investigators, the two men were in the process of removing items from a White Construction Company Plant when they were arrested.

The two defendants are charged with burglary, trespass, grand theft and possession of burglary tools.

This investigation is ongoing and other arrests are expected.

Arrested were:

Daniel Eugene Walters
DOB 01-08-1966
2860 Dauphin Road
Bonifay, FL 32425


Jeffrey David James
DOB 01-20-1961
1559 Orange Hill Road
Chipley Florida 32428

Truck Seized by Sheriff's Department

Marianna - On April 3, 2008 the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office seized a 1999 Dodge pickup truck owned by Jeffrey David James for violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. This vehicle was allegedly used in the commission of a Felony (Grand Theft and Burglary) on two occasions in Jackson County.

Recently the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department has begun pursuing more aggressive measures in curtailing criminal activity by using the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act to seize property being used during the commissions of Felonies.

The Sheriff’s Department is sending a message to the criminal element who commits crimes and felonies in this county that we will use all means available to prevent the citizens and business owners in our county from becoming victims.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Three Arrested for Stealing Ice Cream Truck in Grand Ridge

Grand Ridge - Jackson County Sheriff's Deputies took three people into custody Friday after allegedly they stole an ice cream truck loaded with $20,000 worth of ice cream. They also are accused of stealing $300 worth of beer, cigarettes and rolling papers from the Handy Mart on State Highway 69 in Grand Ridge.

The incident took place at 1:52 a.m. when a witness notified the sheriff's department that he had seen the three taking items from the store and then leaving in the ice cream truck. Deputies and Marianna Police Officers intercepted the truck on Interstate 10 a short time later. They also found a Chevrolet S-10 pickup the three had abandoned near the store in Grand Ridge.

Arrested were James David McCullers, age 19, of Ponce de Leon, Robert Eugene McCoy, age 25, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Carey Michelle Vymislicky, age 21, of Ponce de Leon.

They were charged with burglary, grand theft and grand theft auto.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

David and Eleanor Nicholson Celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary


David and Eleanor Nicholson celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary April 4, 2008. Mr. Nicholson and the former Eleanor Mixson were married April 4, 1958 in Port St. Joe, Florida. They have made their home in Marianna since 1962.
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson are retired educators. Mr. Nicholson was an instructor and administrator at Chipola College. Mrs. Nicholson taught science and English at Cottondale High School.
They are members of Marianna First United Methodist Church. Mr. Nicholson is a member of the Marianna Lions Club and Elks Lodge 1516. Mrs. Nicholson is an accomplished quilter and a member of the Bay County Quilters and the Jackson County Quilt Guild. They enjoy an active retirement and particularly like to travel.
Their daughter Melissa lives in Macon, Georgia with her husband Timothy Anderson. Their son Warren and his wife Kenda live in Fayetteville, Arkansas with children Aaron, Nathan, Ethan and Anna Claire.
The attached pictures show the couple 1st year and 50th year. The Jackson County Times wishes Dave and Eleanor congratulations for reaching this life milestone.

It Is "Springs Time" in Marianna

Bottling Plant Almost Ready To Come To Marianna Industrial Airpark Facility By Sid Riley

Bill Stanton was the speaker for the lunch meeting program at the Marianna Rotary Club at Jim’s Buffet and Grill this Wednesday. As part of his presentation he made the announcement that the "Springs" Bottling Plant will soon become a reality. It seems that this large company has agreed to purchase the Russell Distribution Center Building at the Marianna Industrial Park in order to convert that facility into a new, modern bottling plant for water.

In order to convert the facility for this use several significant modifications will have to be made to the facility design. This represents additional significant investment on the part of the new resident company. It is projected that the company will initially employ31 people with good paying jobs, with eventual growth to an employment level of 101.

This project has been facilitated by the combined effort of the Jackson County Development Council (JCDC), the Jackson County Commission, and several State agencies.

The total capital investment involved in creating this new plant will be approximately $15,000,000.00.

Prior to this successful industrial recruitment effort, and hopefully the "Project Alliance" success, the Marianna Industrial Airpark was a dying industrial park full of large, empty buildings that reflected a different era in American industrial composition. These new businesses will constitute a much needed revival of the Airpark, and should provide a significant stimulus to Jackson County. We congratulate Bill Stanton and everyone involved in our area industrial recruitment efforts.

Marianna City Commission Takes Back 287,000sq.ft. Alliance Laundry Building


By Sid Riley
A significant step was taken by the Marianna City Commission at their Tuesday meeting. They released the former Wisconsin based occupant company of the Alliance Laundry Systems (Unimac) from the long term lease contracts that required them to continue to pay lease-holder payments to the city even though they no longer occupy the facilities. Why would the city allow them to get "off the hook" and be released from their obligations?
It is believed another industrial prospect has appeared on the scene and the facility had to be made available before the prospect could move forward in its decision to come to Marianna. At the request of Bill Stanton, Director of the Jackson County Development Council, the Marianna Industrial Commission, chaired by Harold Donaldson and the Marianna City Commission voted to make the facility available for a new leaseholder. Stanton has termed this new recruitment effort as "Project Alliance", but is tight lipped as to any details relating to who this new industrial prospect might be.
We applaud the Marianna City Commission for assisting in this effort. We certainly need another job creating company operating in these large, empty buildings at our industrial airpark.

Lee Miller Announces Candidacy for Superintendent of Schools

Lee W. Miller, principal of Golson Elementary School, has announced his intention to seek the office of Superintendent of Jackson County Schools. Miller is a life-long resident of Jackson County and is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Jack Miller of Graceville, Florida. Miller and his wife, Debbie, have two daughters, Lindsey, a freshman at Chipola College, and Leeanna, a senior at Graceville High School. A graduate of Graceville High School and Chipola College, Miller received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Florida State University. Continuing his education, he secured both a Master of Science in Education and an Education Specialist degree in the area of Administration and Supervision from Troy State University.
Miller’s professional career in education began as a math teacher at Malone School. He transferred to Graceville High to teach mathematics there until he began his administrative career as GHS’s assistant principal in 1987. In 1990, Miller was appointed as the principal of Graceville Elementary School, where he served until his appointment as Deputy Superintendent of Jackson County Schools in 1997. In 2001, Miller became principal of Cottondale Elementary School and served there until 2005. For the last three years, Lee Miller has served as principal of Golson Elementary School in Marianna.

Lee Miller and his family are active members of First United Methodist Church in Graceville. In addition, Mr. Miller serves his community through his involvement with the Lions Club, where he has been a member for twenty years and is a past president . In addition, the Lions Club has selected Lee Miller to be honored with the title "Man of the Year" on two different occasions. Also, Mr. Miller serves on the board at a local bank.

According to Miller, "Working in Jackson County’s school system for the last 33 years in six different locations has afforded me the opportunity to listen, observe, and learn from some of the best educators in the area. As a result, I am aware of the educational needs and concerns in our county." Mr. Miller says that his number one goal is the security and safety of the children and staff in our schools. If elected, Miller will work diligently to improve employee benefits and to monitor the five-year facility plan of the county. Two of Lee Miller’s objectives have always been and will continue to be (1) maintaining a positive atmosphere and (2) managing with a conservative fiscal philosophy. Accordingly, each school under Miller’s supervision maintained a ten percent contingency fund for emergencies. Mr. Miller pledges to continue to recruit certified educators of high quality because he believes that great teachers make great schools.

In the words of Lee Miller, "Life is made of opportunities and choices. We work hard to see that children make good choices." Lee Miller wants to be the new positive choice for Jackson County.

Marianna Police Chief Election set for Tuesday




Three Candidates Running in April 8 City Election


by Sid Riley

The date for the election of a new Chief of Police for the City of Marianna is upon us. The polls will open at City Hall on April 8 to allow the residents of Marianna to select their next Police Chief from the three candidates that are vying for the position.

Here are brief bios of all three candidates:

Hayes Baggett
A Jackson County native and graduate of Marianna High School, completed the Police Standards Course at Chipola, Certification as a Police Officer, an AA Degree from Chipola, and a B. S. Degree from FSU in Criminology. Baggett has worked for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Dept., and currently works in the Jackson County Probation Office. He is married, Director of Optimist Club, member of Harmony Masonic Lodge #3, Elks, and serves on the Marianna Industrial Advisory Board.
Donald Bland
Don obtained his initial law enforcement training and certification from Chipola College in 1977. He has served as a devoted member of the Marianna Police Department for over thirty-three years, rising to the rank of Sergeant. He served under Chief’s Pittman, Palmer, and Roberts. He was the 2005 "Officer of the Year" as designated by the Jackson County Crimestoppers. Bland is also a businessman, owning and operating the popular hunting-fishing supply store, "Don’s Outdoors". He is married and has two children.

Virgil Watson
Watson is a Jackson County native and graduate of Marianna High School. Watson initially worked for Winn Dixie for seventeen years in Management. In 1992 he switched careers by obtaining his police officer certification and going to work for the Marianna Police Department under Chief Palmer. He now has fifteen years of service with the Police Force, has risen to the rank of Lieutenant, was the 2002 "Officer of the Year", and works actively with the Jackson County Drug Task Force as the representative from the Marianna Police Department. Virgil is married and has three children.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dean caves on seating Florida Delegates: Jackson County Votes will Count

Washington - It now looks as if Howard Dean, the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has changed his mind about not allowing delegates from Florida to participate in this year's Democratic National Convention. In a meeting yesterday in Washington, D.C., he said that while details must still be worked out, Florida's delegates would have a place at the convention and hotel rooms have been reserved for them.

Dean had previously indicated the party would not seat delegates from Florida because the state had held its Presidential Preference Primary earlier than party leaders wanted. Such a refusal would have, effectively, ignored the votes of 1.7 million Florida voters, including more than 8,000 from Jackson County.

State Party Chair Karen Thurman, who flew to Washington on Tuesday to meet with Dean, called the announcement "a breakthrough."