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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Understanding Florida’s Agriculture

By Carly Barnes

The extensiveness of Florida’s agriculture industry never ceases to amaze me. As a state officer for the Florida FFA Association, it is necessary for me to have a comprehensive understanding of Florida agriculture in order to be an advocate for the industry. However, with each new experience during my role as the Area I State Vice President for Florida FFA, I’m quickly discovering how much agriculture crosses industry barriers and into our daily lives.
During the week of October 6-10, 2008, my state officer team was given the awesome opportunity to intern at and tour the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services located in Tallahassee, FL, the largest department within our state, and the largest department of agriculture in the nation. The vastness of the department is no surprise, as agriculture is the second largest industry in our state, falling very closely behind the tourism industry. The Florida agriculture industry produces over 270 commodities on over 42,000 commercial farms, making Florida one of the most agriculturally diverse states in our great nation.
The internship allowed my team to gain first hand experience in several divisions of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). We visited the Division of Food Safety and inspected a local Wal-Mart, observed chemists test octane levels in gasoline, and inspected a gas station on the first day of the internship.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is unique in that the Department regulates agriculture, as well as deals with all consumer protection issues around the state. This is why petroleum inspection falls under the regulation of the Department, along with the state-wide consumer complaint call center.
During the internship, my team also toured the Florida State Capitol, as well as met with the staff directors for the Florida Senate and House of Representatives Agriculture Committees. By meeting with these staff directors, we were able to understand more about agricultural policy, and how agricultural laws are drafted and passed. During our time at the capitol we met with Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson, as he spoke with us about Florida’s initiative to produce alternative fuels.
Florida is very well known for its beaches, but many people never realize that our state has a booming aquaculture industry. Right down the road in Apalachicola is the heart of Florida’s oyster industry. Our internship took us to "Apalach", where we visited an oyster processing facility and met with Division of Aquaculture environmental specialists who tested the bay waters for contamination. These specialists have the authority to cease the harvesting of oysters in the bay, therefore controlling the livelihood of oyster farmers.
Have you ever seen the "Fresh from Florida" logo in a grocery store or on produce or seafood? If so, you have witnessed the product of the FDACS Division of Marketing. While visiting this Division, my team discovered how much marketing plays into the global agriculture market. Our Florida food products are marketed and sold all around the globe, and without this Division, our agricultural sales around the state would definitely go down. Next time you’re purchasing fresh food products, look for our logo and support locally grown Florida foods.
After our tour in Tallahassee, we traveled over to the Agricultural Inspection Station on I-10 in Live Oak, Florida. We witnessed how members of Agricultural Law Enforcement used canines to inspect for food cross contamination and for non-native species illegally transported into Florida. The ag inspection stations are another example of how the Florida Department of Agriculture works to protect its consumers.
The final stop of internship was at the Suwannee River Water Management District in Live Oak. It was there that we were reminded that agriculturalists are environmentalists and stewards of the land that they depend on. We were able to see the proactive steps that farmers in the area were taking to better manage their farms and the water used on them. We also heard from the Master Gardener Program in Live Oak that works to educate others about how plants can protect the environment and conserve water around our homes.
The week-long internship at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services widened my view of our agriculture industry and how important it is to the citizens of our state. This department regulates every member of the agricultural community, from gas station owners to local farmers to business owners, in order to protect you, the consumer. To learn more about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit

Signature HealthCARE at The Courtyard Now Offering Services to Managed Care Patients!!


Signature HealthCARE at The Courtyard announces it is now able to offer services to Medicare Advantage patients from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Citrus Health Care, Freedom Health, Optimum Healthcare and PPO members from Humana and more, in addition to traditional Medicare and Medicaid patients! Services that are available to plan members include rehabilitation services, pain management, wound care, respite care and more.
Signature HealthCARE at The Courtyard is a 120 bed nursing facility located at 2600 Forest Glen Trail in Marianna, FL. Signature HealthCARE at The Courtyard offers numerous clinical and spiritual services and activities as well as a Quality of Life Program and direct admissions from office or hospital to serve the residents. For more information, please contact our Admission Team at 850-526-2000.
E. Joseph Steier, III, President and CEO of Signature HealthCARE, expresses his excitement, "These key partnerships are critical to providing access for insured seniors who need specialized clinical services. Everyone is focused on improving quality, lowering costs, and expanding access. These partnerships make it happen."
Signature HealthCARE, headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is a family-based organization that is revolutionizing the long term care industry through a culture of resident-centered healthcare services, personalized spirituality, quality of life initiatives, and employee development and empowerment. With 65 facilities operated and managed by its affiliates in 7 states, including 20 in the great state of Florida, Signature HealthCARE is redefining care by earning the trust of every resident, family and community it serves.

Local Dentist Wins National and International Recognition

Dr. Robert Payne is recognized for years of humanitarian service.
By Sid Riley

"These awards merely demonstrate my inability to say ‘No’," Dr. Payne states in his normal humble manner. However, those who know and work with him know that is not the case. This is an example of a skilled professional who feels a sincere, Christian responsibility for using his time and abilities to help those in need around the world.
At the annual national meeting of the American Dental Association in San Antonio, Texas last week, his peers recognized the humanitarian work of Dr. Payne by designating him as one of only ten association members nation wide deserving of their humanitarian award.
Dr. Payne has participated in numerous missions in underdeveloped areas of the Caribbean and other parts of the world. He has provided free dental care and has assisted in the creation of new, permanent dental clinics in these areas. Locally, he has repeatedly led programs to provide free dental care through work with County Health Services. Dr. Payne has always given of himself to help his fellow man.
Dr. Payne was also one of the few American Dentists given the International Service Award by the International Dental Association during the San Antonio event. This is a well deserved, significant honor bestowed on one of the leading dentists in Jackson County. We are fortunate to have him in our community.

PANDAAP Red Ribbon Week


Area 9th Graders Converge in Marianna to Learn About Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Abuse Prevention
The Panhandle Area Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Coalition (PANDAAP) announces the 2008 I’m Aware: Youth Empowerment Workshop scheduled Friday, October 31st, 9am-12:00noon CST at Chipola College Student Health Center, Marianna. Area ninth graders from Jackson, Liberty and Washington Counties will participate in an action-packed educational event to learn about the health dangers of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.
October 31st is the day set aside for the seminar culminating a week-long awareness initiative called Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week came into being to keep alive the work of Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena who was kidnapped, tortured, and brutally murdered in 1985 while working undercover in Guadalajara, Mexico for over four years. His work led to the discovery of a multimillion dollar narcotics manufacturing operation in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Local area coalitions have worked tirelessly to find resources to sponsor Red Ribbon Day and provide a united position on educating the 3-county area students on the prevention of drug (illicit and prescription), alcohol, and tobacco use. There is no cost to the students nor their parents to participate.
Coalitions joining efforts for Red Ribbon week are Big Bend AHEC, Character Council of Florida, Inc., Community Safety Coalition, Department of Health Jackson County Healthy Communities, Healthy People program, Jackson County Students Working Against Tobacco, Jackson Hospital, Liberty County Students Working Against Tobacco, PAHN, PANDAAP, and the Washington County Health Department.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Tiffane N. Raulerson at (850) 638-6240 x.149 or email her at

Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor:
Last Thursday evening, October 16, 2008, the lives of 4 families were changed forever when Thad Garrett was murdered at his home. For reasons that may never be made totally clear, Adam Shay Bolds, accompanied by 2 other men, allegedly decided to mete out his own form of "justice" by shooting Thad several times, at last once in the back, resulting in a mother & father losing their son, siblings losing their brother, and 2 very young children, the youngest only 3 months old, left to grow up without their father.
My family has known Thad’s family for more than 30 years. His mother & I have worked together, laughed together, and shared the joys and pain of motherhood together. Now I am sharing her pain as she prepares to bury her son. She called me early this morning to express her very deep concern over the apparent mind-set of some of the community, law enforcement officials & the media.
As reported in the Jackson County Floridan on Sunday, October 19, 2008, Adam Bolds’ father reported a possible "drive-by" shooting incident at his & possibly his son’s home sometime early this past Friday morning. Ms. Garrett was questioned just hours after her son died about any knowledge she may have had regarding this incident. After Bolds was apprehended, she was visited by a detective from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office who informed her that the vehicle Bolds was in when arrested was a "borrowed" vehicle and that the owner had reported being "followed".
The detective was apparently asking Ms. Garrett to try and quell any further such activity. All of this after Sheriff McDaniel’s quote in Sunday’s Floridan that "vigilante justice" would not be tolerated. I would be remiss if, in referring to this article, I did not point out that the statement was made that Bolds’ wife & children were not at home at the time of this "drive-by" incident. However, in the article in Friday’s Jackson County Floridan describing the shooting, no mention was made that Thad’s 2 young children & their mother were inside the house while the shooting was taking place on the carport.
At Ms. Garrett’s request, and because of my love & concern for her and her family, all of the parties involved should be made aware that the Garrett family is not interested in any type retaliatory action--they are too busy trying to learn to live without their son, brother & father. All they ask is fair & honest justice as provided by our Constitution.
Kathy Williams Grand Ridge, FL.

Thank You Colin Powell!

By C. Chadwick Taylor

Thank God for Colin Powell! Not one to invoke the deity in such matters, I find in this fellow citizen for me a sincere experience of national pride when this statesman pretty well said it all this past Sunday. In a rare moment of true patriotism, heroism and citizenship and in a moment of national service, that has somehow now become identified with wearing a lapel pin, flying a car flag and going shopping, we saw a call to our fellow citizens from a true leader. Not to be confused with rank politics, and there are those who will attack the messenger, this soldier, general and former Secretary of State, now engaged citizen, answered again the call to duty and to speak truth to power, political and religious.
He listed precisely and succinctly the real issues facing our country; our national standing and leadership, the moral crisis of a widening economic disparity at home and abroad, the environment, the energy crisis, our failing infrastructure and our host of other challenges not yet addressed and unresolved and the list goes on and on. He spoke to the limits of power, military and economic, and to the power of diplomacy, leadership by example, engagement and respect. He spoke of the opportunity in these challenges for Americans and America to regain our confidence, reestablish our leadership role and lead our fellow citizens worldwide to a brighter future than what we presently face.
The choice is evidently clear and becomes more so by day, and the world is watching and belongs to those that show up. The questions that remain are; will our fellow citizens answer the call and set aside our differences, will we not respond to fear by fear itself, will we be the citizens our forefathers said we will have to be, not to prosper economically but to prosper democratically, a society of engaged citizens, participating in our democracy, not just a democracy of the majority but one that protects the minority with the same passion and action.
I followed this General and Secretary of State into war, even though I didn’t agree, and I’ll follow this engaged citizen again, now that I do. I hope you do to, for the sake of our community, our country and the Earth, all citizens and all of life!
Unfortunately, Florida leads our nation in our national woes for many of the same misguided reasons and there is plenty to vote on here that needs change. Amendment #2 stands out as a callous, theocratic and dangerous breach of an important American value, separation of church and state, and brings to mind the very values we have supposedly gone to war for in the Middle East; freedom and democracy, that protects the rights of the minority with those of the majority. This amendment needs a resounding vote in the negative, as might #1 to a lesser degree. A yes vote on #3 thru #8 is a good thing even though I’m not in favor of littering our constitution with so many amendments but such is the failure of our legislature and our citizenry.
This Letter to the Editor was in my computer awaiting the motivation to completion when I noticed this morning my Obama sign was stolen from the yard. What a shame, on the individuals involved and by extension on our community. The meaning of association is a powerful statement and we should all work mightily and together for a more perfect Union. This requires a more engaged citizenry so at a minimum, vote and vote early, but it takes a whole lot more than that.
Respectfully submitted,
C. Chadwick Taylor
Marianna, Florida

Rabid Raccoon South of the Cypress Community


Marianna -- A raccoon picked up by Health Department staff on October 24, 2008 has tested positive for rabies according to lab results received from the Department of Health Pensacola Branch Lab. The raccoon fought with and was killed by a dog at a home off Church St., just south of I-10, south of the Cypress community. The dog has been placed in quarantine to prevent possible spread of the disease.
T.G. Harkrider, Environmental Health Director at the Jackson County Health Department stated that "anyone having knowledge of bites or other exposure from a suspected rabid animal to humans or to domestic animals should immediately contact the Health Department at 482-9227 during normal working hours". The Jackson County Health Department has an answering service to relay information for assistance after hours and on weekends concerning animal bites and other exposure. This answering service can be reached by calling 526-2412. "Please call us with information and questions related to exposure" Harkrider stated emphatically. "We need to act quickly in some cases to save people’s lives. Never shoot a biting animal in the head" he added. "An intact brain is needed to determine if the animal is rabid. If you shoot them in the head and destroy the brain, we have to assume the animal was rabid. Without negative lab results, treatment to the victim has to begin. Please call us! We are reachable 24 hours a day and 7 days a week through our answering service at 526-2412".
Residents are also reminded that Jackson County and the State of Florida have laws requiring vaccination of all dogs and cats. PLEASE HAVE YOUR PET(S) VACCINATED.

Just Good, Clean Family Fun

30th Annual Sunland Fall Festival Draws Large Crowd
By Kendall Boggs

Saturday October 25th, kicked off the 30th annual Sunland Fall Festival. A very large crowd came to the increasingly popular event this year. The main problems attendees had that day were finding a place to park and once they entered the event area, deciding what to eat! They could choose from pork sandwiches to sausage dogs and snow cones for dessert, the festival offered them all.
Community members as well as many local clubs/organizations provided entertainment for guests. A stage was set up, as well as benches for seating of entertainers and viewers. Many craft booths were present, all enticing attendees to come look around. Among the many booths, some were selling birdhouses, a variety of art, holiday decorations, and clothes. Others were offering pamphlets on important issues.
The weather co-operated with a glorious day. There was abundant sunshine and the temperature was just right. This allowed the many visitors to have an enjoyable time without being too hot or too cold. This festival offered a little something for everyone… and everyone seemed to be there enjoying it. The 30th annual Sunland Fall Festival was an obvious success- I’m looking forward to their 31st event next year.

Ribbon Cutting Held For Angels Gate Ranch


The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for ANGELS Gate Ranch, Inc. on Saturday, October 25th. Participants enjoyed a tour of the facility and a "ranch-hand" brunch hosted by owners Virginia & Keith Coco.
ANGELS Gate Ranch, Inc. Adults Needing Guidance Education Love and Support (ANGELS) will help young people ages 8-24 receive the needed societal support to enable them to realize their goals. ANGELS Gate Ranch, Inc. conducts workshops, camps and extended programs to help develop happy, self confident, critical thinking, productive citizens.
As part of their life skills program, ANGELS Gate Ranch also offers workshops, camps and retreats for community groups and youth organizations. These workshops are geared towards specific lessons and skills depending on the goals of the group leader. They also have special programs for youth aging out of the foster care system. Their programs deal with issues such as improving communication skills, building relationships, conflict resolution, creative thinking, empowering women, and Financial Literacy. Their aim is to help in the fight against domestic violence, teen pregnancy and lack of skills in the workforce.
They look to partner with local governments, school districts and businesses to build a network that will aid in this mission and bring our youth up to speed with the rest of the country.
At ANGELS Gate Ranch, Inc., they seek to incorporate the innovative practices of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) in conjunction with traditional activities to help "ANGELS" in their development toward becoming responsible, productive citizens. Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. EAL is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. This approach has been compared to the "Ropes" courses used by therapists, treatment facilities, and human development courses around the world. But EAP/EAL has the added advantage of utilizing horses, which are dynamic and powerful living beings.
The focus of EAL is not riding or horsemanship. The focus of EAL involves setting up ground activities involving the horses which will require participants to apply certain skills. Non-verbal communication, anger management, conflict resolution, self-confidence, creative thinking and problem-solving, leadership, responsibility, teamwork and relationships, communication and attitude are several examples of the tools utilized and developed by EAL.
For more information contact Virginia A. Coco, AFC, at ANGELS Gate Ranch, Inc., 2000 Sexton Rd., Marianna, FL 32448, 850-526-3417.

Heavy Voting Underway

By Sid Riley

Sylvia Stephens, Jackson County Supervisor of Elections, reports that very heavy early voting is in process at the Elections Office on Jefferson Street in Marianna. "It appears that over 30% of our registered voters will engage in early or absentee voting, and the total turnout is projected to be at least 75%. These are near record percentages for Jackson County", states Stephens.
Sylvia Stephens also wanted to remind voters that all absentee ballots must be received at the Elections Office by 7:00 PM next Tuesday, November 4. Early voting at the Elections Office will be underway daily from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM, this Saturday from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM and on Sunday, November 2 from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM.. After that, voting will occur at the designated voting precinct locations on Tuesday, November 4 from 7:00 AM till 7:00 PM. Please take time to vote.

Breast Cancer Survivor

By Debbie Cloud

My name is Debbie Cloud and I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. The month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, has become very personal to me. When I was a young adult in my early 30’s I lost two very close friends to Breast Cancer and became vigilant in staying aware of the disease, watching what I ate, performing monthly breast exams and having a yearly mammogram.
It just couldn’t happen to me… Then in January of 2005 my safe secure world came crashing down upon me. During the Christmas Holidays, I had been unusually tired and had noticed that my left breast was very sore. I didn’t have time to be worried. I had recently had my yearly mammogram in October. I felt sure that if there had been a problem, my mammogram would have shown it. Besides I had too much to accomplish in preparation for Christmas.
When the soreness became worse after Christmas, I decided I needed to call the doctor’s office, but felt it could wait until we were out of school for the MLK holiday. Then one morning in January I noticed a slight dimpling near the nipple. As I performed my self-examination I felt a small lump.
I still wasn’t that concerned because it had only been 3 months since my mammogram. How could a lump have formed so quickly? In my mind it was simply a fibroid cyst as I had problems with them all of my life. Still the soreness was persistent so I made an appointment with my ARNP to check it out. Little did I know at that point that my journey with breast cancer was just beginning?
I remember the look of concern as Gail Gunter, my ARNP, examined my breast and asked how long the dimpling and lump had been there. I would need another mammogram and an ultra sound as well. She felt that no matter what the mammogram and ultra sound showed, the lump would need to be removed. A knot began to form in my stomach and I had an uneasy feeling that something might not be right this time.
I didn’t want to worry my husband or my sons so I kept the worry to myself. I tried to reason with myself that it was probably another fibroid cyst since I had previously had one removed from the same breast. But that nagging feeling stayed with me as I went to the hospital for another mammogram. I knew something was wrong when the light, friendly conversation with the technician stopped and I was quietly ushered to the ultra sound room.
The results were confirmed and I was scheduled for a breast biopsy the following Thursday, January 27th. I called my two sons and told them that I would be having the lump removed just as a precaution and they should not worry. My oldest son, who lived in Birmingham at the time, asked if I needed to have this done in Birmingham. I reassured him that I would be fine having this done at home. My youngest son was a senior at FSU and wanted to come home. I told him it wasn’t necessary and that I would call him when the surgery was over. The nightmare had begun.
The lump was removed during out patient surgery. I was sore when I woke up. Dr. Brunner came in to talk to my husband Larry and me. He told me that he had removed the lump and had asked that the pathology report be phoned in to him the next day so that I would not have to wait all weekend to know the results. The knot in my stomach seemed to grow as somehow I already knew what the pathology report would confirm.
When Larry and I arrived at his office that Friday morning we never sat down in the waiting room. We were instead immediately taken to an exam room. Dr. Brunner confirmed what I had been expecting to hear – Breast Cancer! What followed was a blur. The word Cancer stops you dead in your tracks. It is hard to remember exactly what I felt. Cancer wasn’t in my plans. I had no family history of breast cancer. My youngest son, Jeremy, was about to graduate from college and was applying to Law School. My oldest son, Zack, was looking for a new home in Birmingham where he was successfully working as an investment banker.
I was looking forward to a future of retirement, traveling, weddings, and grandchildren. Breast Cancer was not in my life plan. How would I tell my sons? How would I explain to my mom, who has dementia, that I would not be able to visit her? Still in a daze I was told to prepare for a mastectomy.
Because of the location of the lump, the breast could not be saved. Dr. Brunner would need to take lymph nodes also to make sure that the cancer had not spread. I wanted to have the surgery immediately to get rid of the cancer as fast as I could but Dr. Brunner explained that I needed to process what he had told me. When I finally looked at Larry, I could see that he was devastated. As I scheduled my surgery, he went outside to call our sons. We left the Dr.’s office and went straight to our church. It seemed the black hole was getting deeper and I did not know how to climb out.
I began to prepare myself for surgery. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t want to think what might be ahead of me. My sons came home. I didn’t know what to say to them. They attempted to reassure me that everything was going to be okay.
I didn’t wake them when I left for the hospital early on the morning of the surgery, for fear that I would break down. Larry and I couldn’t talk. The lump in my throat and the knot in my stomach continued to grow. Then my breast was removed.
I awoke to find my hospital room full of family and friends. I don’t remember being in very much pain. I just remember an overwhelming sense of loss and wondering what would happen next.
We returned to Dr. Brunner’s office the next week. The report was in. The Cancer was Stage 2 and had reached one lymph node. The good news was that my cancer was caught in an early stage. The bad news was that I would need to have chemotherapy and before the chemotherapy could begin I would need to have a third surgery to have a port inserted in my chest so that the drugs used in chemotherapy could be injected.
Dr. Dunn, my oncologist, soon became a good friend. His office staff provided answers to many questions and concerns as I prepared for 6 rounds of chemotherapy. I was told to expect to lose all of my hair, experience extreme fatigue and cautioned about foods that I would no longer be able to eat. I would need to buy a wig and make plans to be out of work at school for several days after each treatment. My life would begin to revolve around Doctor visits and chemotherapy treatments. I would no longer be able to sleep at night without medication. The days following treatments would be spent trying to deal with nausea, fatigue, ulcers in my mouth and throat, and hair falling out by the handfuls. I would have my head shaved and lose my eyelashes and toe nails. I became very self-conscious about my head, always being covered with a scarf or a hat, and never letting my two sons see me bald. Oh how I would yearn for days to be normal again!
Throughout my treatments the loving warmth of family and friends surrounded me. My sons would call every day. Meals would appear at my door. Cards would come from people that I had not seen or heard from in years. Simple acts of kindness would help me to make it through each day. It all meant so much to me in my time of need.
I learned what to expect from the treatments. Larry and I would enjoy the good days when I could keep a Popsicle down. He would hold my head and tell me that tomorrow would be a better day when I would be so sick. He quietly cooked all of the meals. He learned to load the dishwasher and wash clothes.
I scheduled my treatments so that I would be well when my son Jeremy graduated from college. We took a family trip to Las Vegas to celebrate. In August we celebrated with our friends that the chemotherapy was finally over and Larry would surprise me by booking a cruise for our family for Christmas.
One out of every 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Every 15 minutes a woman dies of Breast Cancer. Now that I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer my two sisters are now in a high-risk group of developing breast cancer. These are the cold statistics. Medical services, surgery, chemicals and therapy help women and men to get through this terrible disease, and extend the lives of those that it affects.
Breast cancer is a merciless killer. It can leave survivors devastated and hopeless. Women face many challenges when they suffer from breast cancer. The most traumatic side effect for me was the loss of my hair. It is a great challenge to focus on getting well when you are faced with an onslaught of information that instills fear and doubt about your treatment.
You hear through the media about the latest survival treatments or new treatments that you didn’t receive. You pick up the newspaper or a magazine and read about someone who died of breast cancer and you wonder if that will be you one of these days. Well meaning friends tell you about someone whose cancer has come back. A simple headache or fever will send you to the doctor. You feel like you are on a roller coaster and your emotions are in a constant tailspin…… but you get through it.
My journey with Breast Cancer isn’t over. I consider myself lucky. My cancer was diagnosed early, but I live with a reminder of how precious life is. Every day I take the oral chemotherapy that I hope will continue to keep the cancer from reoccurring. Every day is a blessing for me. I treasure every moment that life brings, the good and the bad. I relish in being able to wash my hair and celebrate each month that I am cancer free. I cherish time spent with family and friends. I am more aware of the beauty around me. I could have chosen to wonder why me – why did I have to have cancer? Instead I have chosen to take this bump in my road of life as God’s plan for what he wants me to do with the rest of my life.

Little Miss Grand Ridge, Marissa Baxter, Wins Second Runner Up Position for Little Miss National Peanut Festival Queen

By Sid Riley

Jackson County may be developing a reputation for the beauty and grace of its young ladies, since our local queens performed so well at the 2008 National Peanut Festival which is underway this week in Dothan. Marissa Baxter, who is the current "Little Miss Grand Ridge" title holder, finished as 2nd runner-up for the title of "Little Miss National Peanut Festival Queen". This is especially significant since there were fifty contestants for this title.
Marissa is the daughter of Michael and Melinda Baxter and has one brother McLane who is 4. Paternal Grandparents are Dewey and Betty Baxter of Sneads. Maternal Grandparents are Bill Evans of Malone, and Glenda and Wayne Winkle of Malone. Paternal Great-Grandparents are Coy Lee and Essie Baxter of Sneads, and the late Homer and Mildred Weeks of Grand Ridge. Maternal Great-Grandparents are Mary Jane Evans and the late A.D. Evans of Greenwood, and Faye Jones and the late Charles Jones of Malone.
As reported in the Jackson County Times last week, Alicia Hatcher, who held the title of "Miss Jackson County", won the first place title of "Miss National Peanut Festival Queen", and Ashleigh Lollie, the current "Miss Grand Ridge" finished as 4th runner up for festival queen.

Please Help My Artist Friend Who Is Battling Breast Cancer

By Suzanne Payne

This story is not about a breast cancer "survivor", instead it is about a special friend who is in the midst of a fierce battle against breast cancer. My friend, who is also the friend of many in our community, is Kathy Wycoff. Kathy is a mother of five, grandmother, a gifted artist, and the wife of the former pastor of Christ Alliance Church of Marianna, Brad Wycoff.
Kathy recently discovered she has "inflammatory" breast cancer, which is a fast moving form of the terrible disease. Kathy’s cancer has already spread to her ribs, sternum, and cranium. She is currently being treated with chemotherapy.
To make things even worse, she does not have medical insurance. As a fund raising effort, her friends in Jackson County have banned together and formed a benefit yard sale which will occur on Friday, November 7th (10 am thru 3 pm) and Saturday, November 8th (9 am thru 2 pm) at 4477 Broad Street, Marianna. You may also give a love offering to help her at that time.
I first met my friend, Kathy Wycoff about 3-4 years ago. It was a fall day, and I had been invited to her home by one of my Chipola art students who was interested in getting local artists together. Kathy has a gift of hospitality as well as being a talented artist. When the front door was opened, I was met by a woman with sparkling blue eyes and a beaming, genuine smile. I immediately felt at home and just knew we were going to become special friends. As it turns out Kathy is just 2 days younger than me. We both love art and the Lord.
Kathy is a woman of faith. She and her husband, Brad, moved to Jackson County from Denver in 2002. Kathy was a dedicated pastor’s wife and always attended to her responsibilities at the church which included playing the piano, singing and supporting her husband. Kathy held Bible Studies in her home, went on evangelism visits with her husband, and had a weekly after school program with children at Golson Elementary.
She did all this while caring for a mother-in-law with Alzhemier’s who regrettably passed away just before Kathy and Brad moved to Ft. Smith, Arkansas. They had not lived close to family since their children became adults, and Kathy was hoping to help with her aging mother. As it turns out now, Kathy is the one in need of help.
I have been so blessed by praying with Kathy, going to Bible studies, and sharing on a spiritual level. Those that know Kathy well would say she has a personal relationship with Jesus and the assurance that she will go to heaven one day. This is indeed a comfort to her friends and family.
Only God knew what would become of the meeting of artists that fall day at Kathy’s home. It was the day that knit a group of people together with the commonality of art and faith. The beginning of the Artists Guild of Northwest Florida occurred around Kathy’s dining room table that afternoon.
Kathy’s warm, out-going nature and enthusiasm soon brought many new members to The Artist’s Guild. She was one of the founding members of The Artists Guild of Northwest Florida. She worked tirelessly on the logistics of several "Sunday Afternoon With the Arts" shows. She showed at least three pieces in the show each year and has exhibited in other regional shows. She has mastered the medium of soft pastels, especially portraits. She loves painting people, and that love jumps out of paintings to you as you view her work. She did demonstrations of her techniques at Sunday Afternoon with the Arts. Her bubbling personality encouraged all local artists.
One of the special things Kathy and I did together was to paint benches for the first Garden Gala for Covenant Hospice. Her bench was a fairy cut out of wood sitting on her bench which was titled: "I’ll Fly Away." This comes from a familiar gospel song which refers to going to heaven one day. We know Kathy will go to heaven, but we are not ready for her to leave just yet. Please pray for her in the coming weeks, and give if you are able. Please come to the yard sale and support my friend, Kathy Wycoff.
Another Friend with comments about Kathy Wycoff:
Lesli Longbottom writes: Five years ago this month I met a woman destined to become my dear friend. While unpacking after moving into our new home, I heard a knock on the door. I was surprised to see an attractive woman, a distinguished looking gentleman and several young adults standing on my porch. I opened the door, thinking how nice it was for my new neighbors to introduce themselves, when the woman asked if I minded if they walked through the house.
Her children were visiting from Colorado and she would love for them to see the home they were interested in buying…Confused, I told her we had just purchased this home….We both laughed as she explained that she thought I was the real estate agent.. The "FOR SALE" sign was still up in the yard. This was to be my first encounter with this remarkable woman, Kathy Wycoff. She became my very first friend in Marianna.
All of us are aware of the challenge Kathy and Brad are facing with her recent diagnosis with breast cancer. Kathy has been a friend, mentor, prayer partner and teacher to many of us. Her gentleness, kindness, graciousness and great faith have inspired most all of us. Not to mention the God given talent she possesses artistically which has been a source of pleasure for so many.
She has impacted all our lives in such a positive way. I am sure we will all continue to keep them both in our thoughts and prayers. Let’s not forget that there are tangible needs which must be addressed and met as well. Finances are certainly one area. Please prayerfully consider making a monetary donation to assist Brad and Kathy as they engage in this battle.
Special Note:
For your information, the Cancer Research Foundation web page has written that the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer or IBC are: swelling, usually sudden, sometimes a cup size in a few days, itching, pink, red, or dark colored area (called erythema) sometimes with texture similar to the skin of an orange (called peau d’orange), ridges and thickened areas of the skin, nipple retraction and nipple discharge. The breast is warm to the touch and painful. The areola may change in color. Inflammatory breast cancer usually grows in nests or sheets, rather than as a confined solid tumor. IBC may not be detected using either mammography or ultrasonography. Increased breast density compared to prior mammograms should be considered suspicious. Remember: You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Two Local Anglers Qualify For ABA National Championship


A couple of local fishermen, Len Lindall and Lindsey Page recently fished the Southern Region of the American Bass Anglers Tournament Trail at West Point Lake, in West Point, Georgia. Both finished in the top 35 which was their goal …other than winning.
Now they are heading to the National Championship on Lake Guntersville the last week of October and the big prize is a TR21X2 Triton with 225 Mercury, a $50,000 Boat package, and $30,000 in money for 15% of the top Fishermen in the tourney. The format is 3 days of fishing and the fourth day is narrowed down to the top 25 for the big prize! Lindsey Page is employed with and sponsored by Bob Pforte Dodge, and Len Lindall is employed by the Federal Correctional Institution in Marianna, Florida.
Good Luck guys!

“The Last Forum” Was Best of Series


The "Last Forum" which was conducted at the Marianna High School on Thursday, October 16 was considered by most attendees and participants to be the best of the four event series that has been conducted in the weeks preceding this election. This forum was conducted in more of a discussion format than the previous events, since after the primary election last month the original field was narrowed to only fourteen remaining local and state candidates. Royce Reagan was the Master of Ceremonies.
One of the most spirited portions of the evening’s agenda was the State Attorney portion which put incumbent Steve Meadows face to face with his contender, Judge Glenn Hess. The discussion-counter point- rebuttal format enabled both candidates to get in plenty of "licks" during their allotted time.
Sheriff McDaniel’s opposition, Brad Drake had a conflict, so Johnny Mac stood alone on the stage to provide his responses and opinions as issues were presented. Moderator Jerry Dorchuck presented the audience generated questions to the candidates.
Just before the intermission, which featured refreshments and snacks provided by the Republican Executive Committee, the candidates for Superintendent of Schools took the stage. Lee Miller and Steve Benton fielded several questions, some relating to budget tightening and teachers salaries.
The County Commission candidates took the stage in competing pairs, with Chad Fears and incumbent Chuck Lockey who are competing for the District 3 seat being first on that part of the program. Again, questions about how to proceed with budget cuts and restraints in a declining economy were key questions. Also, development of a road paving program for the county was a key issue.
For the District 5 seat, Ben Odom and Kenneth Stephens came into the spotlight. Stephens described his thirty eight years of business experience and his service on the Grand Ridge City Commission as components of his background that qualify him for the County Commission seat. Odom cited his business ownership experience, his educational preparation, and his awareness of potential sources of additional state funding for the county to use in paving as reasons the citizens of Jackson County should vote for him.
For the final time the candidates for Sheriff of Jackson County. There are four candidates remaining out of the original slate of eleven. William Nelson, Jim Peacock, Lou Roberts, and Zannie Williams took their positions on the stage and began to discuss the issues as presented by Moderator Dorchuck. Issues brought forth included how to attack the growing problems related to drugs and gangs, traffic enforcement, and improving the department in the face of budget cuts.
This series of four forums has been sponsored by Chipola Television CCTV 4, the local Democratic Executive Committee, the local Republican Executive Committee, and this paper, the Jackson County Times. We feel that these programs have given the public a good opportunity to meet and evaluate the slate of candidates, and have given the candidates a good opportunity to present themselves to the public. We appreciate everyone’s assistance and participation…..and now encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote.

Common Sense Ideas for Saving Energy this Winter

By the West Florida Electric Co-op Association

The average American family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, with that number increasing as energy costs rise. With winter setting in, it is important to understand that approximately half of your monthly power bill goes directly to heating your home.
The good news this winter is that you can control the amount of energy you consume, giving you the ultimate power to lower your monthly electric bill.
Here are some simple, low-cost ways to lower your power bill this winter:
● Lower your thermostat. Each degree you reduce your thermostat in the winter lowers your total bill by up to 4 percent. A five degree reduction could save up to 20 percent on your monthly heating cost. We recommend your thermostat be set at 68 degrees during the winter. Or, try keeping it set at a temperature where you will feel comfortable with a sweater on.
● Lower the temperature when you aren’t home and when you are sleeping. Extra covers on the bed will keep you warm. Helpful tip: Put a hook in the wall beside your thermostat and hang your keys on it. When you get your keys to leave home, you will remember to turn the temperature down.
● Close window shades and drapes at night to conserve heat and keep cold air out. Open them during the day to let the sunshine help heat your home. You can use blinds to block out the cold while still letting light in. Try tilting the slats at a 45 degree angle to the window.
● Add humidity. As we know in the South, humid air feels much warmer than dry air. (Think of those hot, summer days.) You can add a little humidity to your home by keeping plants indoors and by leaving the bathroom door open after a shower.
● Use your bathroom exhaust vent sparingly. It can draw out an entire houseful of heated air in about an hour.
● Keep the doors and vents closed in rooms you’re not using. Why heat an empty room?
● Reverse the spin of your ceiling fan and set it on the slowest speed to help send warm air down into the living area.
● Close your fireplace’s damper when not in use. Keeping it open is like having a full-sized window open all winter long, letting valuable warm air out. Also keep in mind that a fireplace is not an efficient source of heat for your home because heat escapes through the chimney with the smoke. You can minimize this by closing the doors to the room with the fireplace and lowering the thermostat.
● Keep filters clean. A dirty or clogged filter can make your heating unit work harder, costing you more money.
There are also several low-cost investments that can make your home more energy efficient.
● Caulk around windows and doors. By sealing all the gaps around doors and windows, you can keep out cold drafts. Be sure to caulk around your foundation and anywhere pipes pass through the walls.
● Close attic vents or fans during the winter and check the insulation. Much of the heat escaping your home is lost through the attic. Weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door.
● Install a programmable thermostat with temperature and time settings to save approximately $100 a year on energy costs.
Remember that you don’t have to spend money to save money. There are many easy, inexpensive things you can do this winter to reduce your energy consumption, and in turn, your power bill. You are the only one who can control how much energy you use.
Rising energy costs, climate change, carbon capture — these are complex issues. Lowering your electric bill? That’s easy. It’s just a matter of Conserve101.

Visit Six Local Authors, All At Once, All In The Same Place


Six of our local authors will gather at the main branch of the Jackson County Public Library, on Green Street in Marianna, this Saturday, October 25. This book-signing event will provide an opportunity for you to meet and chat with these writers, perhaps buy a book or get one signed by its author, and view and celebrate the newly refurbished library interior. Activities begin at 10:00 a.m., last until 2:00 p.m., and free refreshments will be served.
M.C. Bechum, a prolific writer of detective mysteries, is best known for his series of books and stories about Florida Panhandle private investigator, Pete Masters. Bechum’s most recent books are Panhandle P.I. and Family Treasures. His books, rich with local color, are unusual in that Mr. Bechum strives to write about tough crime and detectives, yet without the typical language and content that are distasteful to some readers.
Dale Cox, Jackson County’s greatly respected historian, has written extensively about southeast U.S. history, and particularly about the history of our local area. Some of his recent titles include The Battle of Marianna, Florida, The History of Jackson County Volume I, and The Battle of Natural Bridge, Florida: The Confederate Defense of Tallahassee.
Dorothy Seals began teaching in Cottondale in 1935 earning a salary of $60 a month and spent the next 58 years working in education. For over 35 years she has been collecting the "childhood memories, friendships, happy and care free thoughts, and activities—some real, some imaginary—" and has written about them and delighted readers. Two of her books are Dustin’ The Heart and Shredded Ribbons of Memories.
Natalie Johnson, both a poet and writer of fiction, has a new book out, Inheriting Death. She describes the book as "a mini-novel for young adults and is not as morbid as the title sounds." A previous book, Innocence and Beyond, is a collection of her poetry.
Doug and Mary Robbins love cooking, cookbooks, and good stories about times past. They have written and published cookbooks that contain, in addition to many delicious recipes, "a lot of local history" as well. Mr. Robbins has written Country Cookbook and Country Stories, a book with good country recipes such as red velvet cake and rice pudding and easy to cook dishes such as cowboy beans. The book is based on the author’s experiences growing up in south Alabama and northwest Florida and includes stories about country life in the 1930’s and 1940’s, pictures of a moonshine still, a grind rock for sharpening knives, and other pictures of farm life.
If you (or a family member or friend) don’t have a library card yet, or want to renew an expired card, this is a perfect time to do just that. Library cards are free to any resident of the county and are good for three years. Once one has a library card, up to 25 items can be checked out at a time, including best-selling books, large print books for easier reading, children books for all levels of readers, and up to 5 movies (VHS and DVD) or recorded books for listening on CD or cassette tape. Additionally, the library and its branches have computers with Internet access, with free usage to patrons.
The library currently has a large display of used books for sale, many of which have been donated by patrons. Funds from the sale of these books, some of which are nearly new or recently published, will go to purchase new books and materials.
The main branch of the Jackson County Library, and the location of the book-signing event, is 2929 Green Street, Marianna. For More Information contact Jo-Ann Rountree at the Jackson County Public Library, 482-9631, or Pam Pichard at the Jackson County Board of County Commissioners Administration Building, 482-9633.

Letter to Editor Mother of Murder Victim Speaks To Community


To the editor of the Jackson County Times and the Jackson County Community:
I am the mother of Thadius Rhian Garrett. I lost my son on Thursday, October 16, 2008 to a senseless crime. My son was shot in the back at his residence with his family (which included his two young children) present. His four year old (my granddaughter) watched as her father was shot and struggled for his life. His 3 month old was inside the house with his mother who, hysterically, was trying to help my son get into the house and escape the gunfire. The Jackson County Floridian has failed to report this but they have provided some interesting and not very responsible journalism, if you can call it Journalism.
Two detectives showed up at my home yesterday. It is noteworthy that I had not been contacted ever by either of them for any information update or otherwise. They came to inform me that the vehicle driven by the men who shot my son was a borrowed vehicle and they wanted to "appeal to me and my family not to retaliate against this man". As he spoke I thought to myself….How did we become the people who they needed protection from? What did we do wrong?
My daughter, son, and family have been somewhat busy picking out a casket, clothes for a last viewing, and just trying to make sense of this tragic incident. "Vigilante justice" has never crossed my mind. Civil justice for my son is all that I have ever wanted and all that we want.
This was never a race issue for me until it was made into one by the Jackson County Sheriff’s office. Mr. McDaniel has assured the public they will tolerate no vigilante justice. I agree with him whole heartedly and my appeal to the community is to let this play out in the courts. This "vigilante justice" should never be tolerated, just as it should not be tolerable for a lynching to occur.
Three men (people), black, indigo, or green should never be allowed to go to another man’s house and gun him down (shoot him in the back) in front of his family. A little girl should never be terrorized and have to report to her Nana that she "saw them shoot my daddy saw his legs when he fell".
I applaud Mark Sims for asking for a higher bond for this man who killed my son and Judge Wright for granting it. Not because it was above and beyond but because it was the right thing to do. I believe that the bond should originally have been a higher amount or none at all. What is the merit for my son’s life, it deserves a representative bail cost for the severity of the crime. I simply ask that the punishment fit the crime.
Just as any mother, I need to feel justified in my heart that justice is being served. The parents of this man did not ask for the suffering that should soon be theirs BUT neither did I. I ask for Gods comfort for their souls and minds and that His perfect rest will abide with us all.
The merit of a man can only be judged by God. Thad was very well loved and cared for not only by his immediate family but numerous other people in the community. I do not want to see this situation and the inadequate, incorrect uses of the media cause separation and strife in the lives of people who have dwelt together in love and friendship. I have reared and nurtured my children with a love and admonition of the Lord and I will trust in Him alone for the completion of this in a perfect manner.
I could not care any less what color these people are, where they come from, what kind of car they drive, where they live or what they did before Thursday October 16, 2008. I care that they killed my child; a child who as the Floridian’s bloggers’s have been so quick to point out was not a perfect child like those who killed him but never the less perfectly loved by his mother.
Please have no fear from me. I own no guns or knowledge of "drive bys". I only have an empty space left in my soul that longs for that imperfect child who is loved as much as any perfect child. I respectfully request of the Floridian please make an attempt to at least get the spelling of his (my son’s) name correct. It shows some degree of respect to get a persons name correct. It’s THADIUS RHIAN GARRETT.
Peace, Rest and Blessings to ALL.
Phyllis Garrett

City of Marianna is holding a Poster Contest Celebrating Trees for K-8th Grade Students


The Urban Forestry Youth Education week is October 27-31. The Theme "Trees are Terrific… in Cities and Towns!" The theme is designed to increase understanding of the importance of trees in a community. The first step in maintaining an urban forest is teaching children the important role trees play in the quality of life and the environmental health of Marianna.
General Rules Include:
· Poster must state and follow theme.
· Standard size poster board (22" x 28")
· The student’s and parents’ names, grade, address, and phone number where they can be reached must be written on the back of the poster.
· Entries may be done in marker, crayon, pencil, colored pencil, watercolor, ink, acrylic, and/or tempera paint.
Deliver your poster to Mrs. Kim Cianelli, Administrative Assistant, Municipal Development between 8:00am-4:30pm Monday through Friday at City of Marianna, City Hall, Corner of Jefferson and Clinton Streets in Marianna. Deliver poster on or before Monday, October 27, 2008 by 12:00 noon.
Prizes are being donated by A Wild Hair, Dino’s Pizza, Sweet Stuff Bakery, The Growing Tree, Jema Boutique, and Movie Gallery. The approximate retail value of each prize package is $65. During the week of October 27th, one prize will be awarded to each of the following divisions: K-2nd grade; 3rd-5th grade; and 6th-8th grade.

Marianna High School News

Junior Class selling Satsuma Oranges

The Junior Class at Marianna High School has started fundraising efforts for the Junior-Senior Prom. Students are selling boxes of Satsumas for $20; boxes weigh between 17 and 20 pounds. The Satsuma is a variety of mandarin orange that is very sweet, low in acid, seedless and easy to peel. The fruit is grown locally by Cherokee Satsuma Co-op.
Orders are due by November 10; checks should be made payable to MHS Junior Class. The fruit will be delivered to MHS on November 24, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
To place an order, you can contact a junior class member. Prizes will be awarded to the student and TAP group with the most sales. For more information, contact Tammy Bragg at 482-9605, Ext. 268.

Jackson County’s Black Leadership Is Outraged By Greg Howard Incident at MMS

By Sid Riley

Last Thursday’s meeting of the Jackson County School Board was a memorable event. The first part of the session involved giving several awards and special recognition for student and school accomplishments. This is the kind of activity the Board enjoys, since it deals with the positive aspects of the organization.
However at this meeting the bright, positive spirit of this occasion was tempered by a dark stormy cloud that waited in the doorway as the leadership of Jackson County’s black community awaited their turn on the agenda.
Next, the agenda moved to the improvement plans for each school for the coming year. Each principal described their action plan for improvement, again in a very positive, enthusiastic vein. Meanwhile, the dark storm cloud in the outer hallway loomed even larger.
Finally, Chairman Terry Nichols moved to the portion of the agenda that dealt with employee discipline…….The Greg Howard incident. As the principals and parents of bright students exited the room, their chairs were quickly filled with black leaders and parents.
First, outgoing School Superintendent Danny Sims read his recommendation to the board in regards to administrative action that should be taken against Mr. Howard. He recommended two weeks unpaid suspension, a permanent negative entry into his personnel record, transfer away from teaching children and into the Adult Education program, loss of all coaching activities, and requiring remedial counseling.
Eight attendees had filled out the required request for the right to speak to the board on the subject, for three minutes each. And speak they did.
As a group they made a very passionate, logical, and well delivered presentation of their feelings to the School Board. It began with a written statement from the local NAACP organization, delivered by current President Richard Patterson. The document stated that "Racial discrimination will not be tolerated", and "The school board must recognize a zero tolerance policy in the matter of racial prejudice."
This was followed by a series of presentations by angry church leaders, educators, and parents. They all demanded dismissal of Mr. Howard. "Mr. Sims, do your Job!" Elected members of the School Board, do your job!" "As a parent I will not tolerate having my child subjected to this type of action while she is at school!" These and many other piercing, pointed comments were thrust at the listening members of the School Board.
The group’s presentation ended with Mr. Crump, from the Law Firm of Benjamin Crump, Parks, and Crump of Tallahassee. Mr. Crump cited legal precedents where other school boards in the state have been faced with similar situations. "In this incident it was a premeditated, deliberate act, not merely reactive. This type of act should warrant dismissal and loss of teaching credentials", he explained.
Then it was time for the vote. Board member Kenny Griffin began by asking Supt. Sims if he still stood by his original recommendation or wished to modify it. "I stand by my original recommendations", a tight lipped, stern faced Sims responded.
Next the board asked their legal advisor Frank Bondurant, what authority the board had in this matter. He explained that the Board could only establish policy, and the Superintendent had sole authority over personnel actions. "The board can only vote to accept or to deny his recommendation. If they deny the recommendation he can then modify that action and resubmit it to the Board, but ultimately the decision is his", Bondurant stated.
The vote was to accept the recommendation, passing by a 3-2 margin. Board members Kenny Griffin and Charlotte Gardner voted against the recommendation. As the angry black contingent left the meeting room they shouted back "This isn’t the end of this matter!" and "You will be hearing more from us about this!"
This writer asked Mr. Crump what the next planned step would be. He responded, "We will now take the matter to the State Department of Education officials and to Governor Crist."

Sneads High Seeks Missing Class Composites


In an effort to complete the display of class portrait composites for Sneads High School, school representatives are asking for the help of the community. After the previous school burnt in 1991, Ms. Betty Jean Edwards was gracious enough to diligently work to restore the collection of class composites of graduating classes from 1928 to 1990. However, Ms. Edwards was unable to replace the class composites for the Classes of 1948, 1952, and 1953.
In place of portrait composites of the classmates in the classes of 1930, 1931, 1933, 1965, and 1936 only a list of names is hung. The Sneads High School faculty, staff, administration, and alumni would like to see the composite collection completed with pictures from each of these classes.
Therefore, they are asking that anyone with pictures or names of these class members please contact the school. In an effort to complete the display prior to homecoming, November 7, 2008, they are asking for anyone with pictures or yearbooks from these class years to contact Holli Fears at 850-482-9004 ext. 247 or Mindy Howell at 850-482-9004 ext. 245 as soon as possible.

Principals Present Improvement Plans

By Sid Riley
School Board receives school improvement plans for 2008-2009

At the Thursday meeting of the Jackson County School Board, each school principal in the county presented their "improvement plan" for the coming year. These are plans designed to improve the organization, curriculum, and teaching capabilities within every school.
In summary, the presentations included the following:
Adult Education
♦ Continuing with GED assistance work, will stress "ready to work" certification program.
Cottondale Elementary
♦ Will continue programs and improvements in process. Doing well.
Cottondale High
♦ Programs in process have already improved school FCAT ranking.
Family Services Center
♦ Continuing with assistance programs. Board member Kenny Griffin recognized benefits derived from this program. Can cite several cases where this program enabled teen mothers to finish High School and obtain College degree.
Graceville Elementary
♦ Is an "A" school. Continuing existing successful programs
Golson Elementary
♦ Is in the process of testing several new teaching programs.
Graceville High School
♦ Is introducing several new improvement programs in the science area.
Grand Ridge
♦ Has a "Boiling Point" program emphasizing need for improvement throughout the school. Has 212 degrees signs prominently displayed. Only needs two points improvement to move from a "C" school to a "B". Has everyone focused on goal.
Hope School
♦ Continuing ongoing programs. Doing well.
Jackson Alternative School
♦ Expanding and adding two new classrooms. Stressing behavior and learning gains from students. Starting "Catch Up" program that will accommodate 15 students.
Malone Schools
♦ Doing well. Continuing with existing programs.
Marianna High School
♦ Placing increased emphasis on reading skills development. Starting mentoring program in reading using community volunteers. Currently has 20 mentors enlisted to work with 70 students needing help. Need more mentors.
Marianna Middle School
♦ Continuing with existing programs. Has been an "A" school for 8 consecutive years. School spirit and sincere concern for every student is key.
♦ Simms statement ‘The concept is to catch any student that begins to slip behind before they lag too far behind their class."
Riverside Elementary
♦ Now has a projector system in every classroom. Is proving to be a wonderful teaching aid.
Sneads Elementary
♦ Has good performance record. Is continuing existing programs.
Sneads High School
♦ Last year improved from a "C" to an "A" school. Key is creating spirit of individual, personal involvement and concern linking faculty and students together. School mission statement is "Importing Promise…Exporting Results".

Chipola College Accreditation Reaffirmed for Ten Years


Chipola College president Dr. Gene Prough has been notified that the college’s accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
No additional follow-up report was requested. "This means we are reaffirmed through 2018," said Dr. Prough. "Our hard work has paid off. I very much appreciate the effort of every employee in accomplishing this task. Now we can focus on our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and increasing student persistence and success at Chipola."
The letter from SACS President Dr. Belle Wheelan asked that the college submit a one-page summary of its QEP to be posted as an example on the SACS website. This summary was submitted in August. The QEP, a five-year plan addressing an issue at the college, is now required as part of the reaffirmation process.
Dr. Sarah Clemmons, Executive Vice-President for Instruction and Student Services, said, "We are elated that no follow-up reports are required, and that SACS officials are pleased with our QEP."
Chipola’s QEP Learning to Persist will be featured at the SACS Annual Meeting in San Antonio in December. Dr. Cherry Ward, Faculty QEP Chair, and Gail Hartzog, Associate Dean of Development and Planning, will make presentations about Chipola’s reaffirmation process and explain the development of the QEP.
Clemmons said Chipola’s Title III project has already allowed the college to make a good start on achieving the QEP goals of helping students persist in college and remaining continuously enrolled until they graduate. She said one important component of Chipola’s QEP is providing professional development activities to help faculty and staff deal with today’s students. Other components teach students to make better decisions and help them take advantage of tutoring and academic support so they will achieve their academic and career goals.
Chipola College was founded in 1947 to provide the first two years of college and workforce programs for residents of its five-county district. The college has maintained continuous accreditation with SACS since 1957. Chipola is now accredited as a Level II institution because it has been authorized to offer several Bachelor’s degrees, including six Bachelor of Science in Education degrees, a Bachelor Business Management degree with three majors, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN).

Certified IT Tech Program Offered at Chipola


Prepare for a career in Computer Systems Technology
If you can install a printer or DVD burner, or if you know how to install a new operating system after a crash or use free software to remove a computer virus, you may be able to turn those skills into a career in Information Technology.
The Chipola College Computer Systems Technology Program prepares students for jobs in the information technology field. Program curriculum prepares students for industry certifications with world wide recognition. Students can earn CompTia A+ certification, recognized as the industry standard for PC support technicians, or the CompTia Network+ certification in network support. Students may also earn certification as a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA).
Students may begin the program any time classes are in session and complete the degree in less than two years. Tuition costs run approximately $1,000 per semester. Financial aid is available.
In addition to technology courses, students must meet math and language proficiency levels by graduation.
Full-time classes meet Monday through Thursday and schedules can be adjusted to accommodate work schedules. For information, contact instructor Dean Giles at 718-2392.

Chipola Offers Free Tuition for Four-Year Nursing B.S. Degree


Chipola College is offering free tuition to the first 20 Registered Nurses admitted to the college’s new Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Known in health profession as the RN to BSN, the program is open to Registered Nurses (RN) with licensure in Florida, Alabama, or Georgia.
The Beall Tuition Scholarship Fund in the Chipola Foundation is guaranteeing free tuition to the first 20 RN’s admitted at the junior level for the Spring semester which begins in January. The Beall Fund pays for tuition, but does not cover the cost of textbooks.
Applicants must be licensed RN’s, with an AA degree and have completed all prerequisites before being admitted. Applicants must apply for federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA at or by visiting Chipola’s Financial Aid Office. The process takes a few weeks.
RN to BSN classes are offered in the evening and online. Application deadline for the Spring 2009 semester is Dec. 3.
Chipola’s BSN curriculum also has an emphasis in community health that is not included in the Associate Degree Nursing program of study. Graduates of Chipola’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program have an advantage over graduates of other programs. Chipola graduates must complete only 30 upper-level semester hours to earn the BSN degree.
Admission requirements to the BSN program include: RN licensure in the state of Florida, Alabama, or Georgia; an AA degree from a Florida public institution; a cumulative grade point average of 2.5; and completion of all prerequisite courses.
For information about Chipola’s RN to BSN program, call Dr. Kitty Myers at 850-718-2260.

Chipola Seeking Donors for First Generation Scholarship


The Chipola College Foundation is seeking donations for the First Generation in College Scholarship for the 2009 Spring Semester. The Florida Legislature created the scholarship program and appropriated funds for each community college to match dollar for dollar with private contributions. These new scholarships, which will be funded for the upcoming Spring 2009 semester if the local matching dollars are raised, will be awarded to students whose parents did not complete a bachelor’s degree.
Foundation Director Julie Fuqua, says, "Chipola serves many first generation college students and the potential impact this scholarship program can have on their lives, as well as their families, is tremendous. Last year through the generosity of donors and state matching funds, Chipola was able to award 25 students with First Generation scholarships."
Chipola is eligible to receive up to $12,597 in First Generation in College Scholarship state matching funds this year. Donations will be matched dollar for dollar to enable Chipola to award over $25,000 to first generation in college students during this school year.
First Generation in College Scholarship donations must be received by Nov. 14 to qualify for the dollar for dollar match. Donations may be mailed to: Chipola College Foundation, 3094 Indian Circle, Marianna, FL 32446. For information, call the Foundation Office at (850) 718-2478.

Chipola EMT and Paramedic Program Enrollment Underway


The Chipola College EMT and Paramedic programs are currently accepting applications for upcoming courses. The next EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) program begins Nov 17. Classes meet weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The next Paramedic program begins Jan. 12, 2009. Classes meet weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Acceptance is limited in both programs. Applicants with extenuating circumstances, such as military duty, may apply up to the day classes begin.
The EMT program is an 11 credit-hour course that is 260 hours in length. EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course) is included in the EMT curriculum. Clinical assignments are required in addition to regular class hours. Students must complete 20 hours of emergency room work in either Jackson ER and/or Northwest Florida Community Hospital) and 80 hours of ambulance ride time.
Prerequisites for the EMT Program include: high school diploma or GED and AHA healthcare provider CPR, FDLE background check and satisfactory score on the college placement test. The EMT program prepares students for employment as ambulance drivers/ambulance attendants, or emergency medical technicians and to treat various medical/trauma conditions. Both EMT and Paramedic programs are intensive courses designed to prepare the student to function in both rural and urban environments. Both courses require high standards to prepare the student to function successfully in the diverse field of emergency medical services. For information, contact Keith D. Maddox AS, EMT-P, Paramedic Program Supervisor at (850) 718-2403.

Chipola Brain Bowl Teams Make Strong Showing at FSU and Faulkner


The Chipola Brain Bowl team scored big wins in a pair of recent tournaments at Faulkner State and Florida State University.
The Chipola Gold Team finished third in the Faulkner State ACBL Tournament on Oct. 3. Chipola Gold lost to the eventual champion Northeast Alabama (240-225) in the semi-finals, but it won the consolation game over Bevill State CC. Anthony Garrett and Brad Wells finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in individual scoring. Gold Team members are: Anthony Garrett, Brad Wells, Jordan Belser and Ryan Wells (captain).
The Chipola Blue Team finished with a 3-3 record in round-robin play and made the eight-team playoff round, where they lost in the quarterfinals. Blue Team members are: Drew Padgett, Cody Pickens, Nathan Hooppell and Anthony Berkeley. Of 64 participants in the tournament, all eight Chipola players finished in the top 32 in individual scoring.
The Chipola Gold Team competed with four-year and community colleges in the FSU Early Fall Tournament on Oct. 4. Chipola finished with a 6-2 record with highlight wins over Georgia Tech (205-200) and defending national champion Valencia Community College (215-80). Chipola Gold won all of its junior college matches with its only losses against eventual champion, University of Georgia, and runner-up, University of South Florida.
Anthony Garrett finished the tournament as the tenth overall individual and second overall among junior college players. Chipola Brain Bowl coaches are Stan Young and Dr. Robert Dunkle.

Chipola College Show Choir 2008-09


The Chipola College Show Choir has selected 27 members for its 2008-09 group. Show Choir performs in local venues throughout the Southeast, as well as Disney World and on luxury cruise lines. The group recently performed for 1,000 area high school students at the college’s Senior Day.
Show Choir’s annual extravaganza Jazzmatazz is set for Jan. 7-10, 2009. Tickets go on sale before Thanksgiving and are available from Show Choir members and in the Fine Arts Department office.
Show Choir is under the direction of Angie White and Dr. Josh Martin. Student members, are: Courtney Corbin, Marianna; Kaleigh Owens, Sneads; Cassie Mitchell, Marianna; Kylee Shores, Marianna; Mindy Shamblin, Donalsonville, GA; Kara Jumper, Graceville; Brenna Kneiss, Chipley, Josh Johnson, Marianna; Audrey Brown, Altha; Caroline Segers, Bonifay; Rachael Daniel, Marianna; Ashely Bruce, Greenwood; Emily Harrison, Marianna; Madison Wester, Grand Ridge; Kyndall Covington, Arlington, TN, Kris Sampson, Marianna; Cam Hitchcock; Garrett Brolund, Dothan, AL; Cuyler Engram, Blountstown; Keith Watford, Graceville; Quintin Beachum, Campbellton; Kevin Shores, Marianna; JuJuan Clark, Campbellton; Aaron Moore, Bonifay; Nathan Hauser, Bonifay; Atrayu Adkins, Marianna; and Geoffrey Poole, Marianna.

Potential New Ethanol Plant is Subject of Program for Campbellton Senior Citizens Meeting


CAMPBELLTON SENIOR CITIZENS held their monthly meeting recently. Adeka Kuscmaul from the Busy Bee Quilt Shop displayed samples of her quilts and other items from the shop and invited everyone to come see her; she’s not only teaching quilting but has a room set aside for small group meetings/showers, etc.
As the program for the meeting, Lee Hatch from East Coast Ethanol did a slide presentation of their plans to build an ethanol plant in the Campbellton area. He expects the plant to be operational in a couple of years. Of particular interest to the farmers was his encouragement for them to plant "Dent" corn, which they will be using; he stated most of the corn will be shipped in by rail from the West, but that corn grown locally would bring a premium price.
New club officers for the coming year were elected as follows: President, Teresa Carver; Vice President, Aggie Curry; Secretary/Treasurer, Judy Daniel and Brenda Griffin; Hospitality, Rev. James and Persey Robinson;. New Board of Directors are: Tom Whiddon, Lois Foy, Grenda Griffin, Dorothy Britt, Ben Graves, and Quillian Carver.

Peacock Exhibits a True Champion


Local Girl Wins Grand Champion Title in Perry, Georgia Event
RC Southern Black Bling – 18 times exhibited and 18 times a champion: Brittany Peacock exhibited her 2100 lb. champion cow accompanied by her 800 lb. bull calf standing by her side to claim the title 2008 Grand Champion Cow/Calf pair in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Brittany has exhibited her December 2005 Rc’s Southern Black Bling as a heifer with a flawless winning streak and continues her winning streak as a cow/calf pair. As a bonus Brittany’s February 2008 bull calf (Rc’s Krugerrands Candy Man) claimed the title of Grand Champion Bull calf at the Southern National Jr. Angus show in Perry, GA, in June. Brittany will continue to exhibit her champion cow/calf pair through the 2008 show season.
When asked what’s next Brittany replied "My plans are to wean this big calf and retire this cow in November 2008, if all goes well she will calve again in December". Brittany also stated that she will continue to show her bull calf and make plans to attend the 2009 National Junior Angus show in Perry, Georgia. Brittany contributes her years of success to determination, hard work, her parents and above all good genetics.

Results From FFA Agricultural udging Contest During JC Fair


The Jackson County Fair FFA Agricultural Judging contests were held Wednesday, October 8, 2008. 186 students competed in this event. Teams of 3 to 4 members evaluated 8 different classes in this competition. The classes included; beef prospect steers, beef heifers, 2 classes of market swine, peanuts, cotton, hay, and corn. The total possible team score was 1200 points and the total possible individual score was 400 points.
12 teams participated in the Junior Division. The Junior Division includes students in grades 6-8. The high scoring individuals were as follows:
1st Place - Alex Maphis- Grand Ridge FFA with a score of 390 points
2nd Place - Courtney Rudd- Grand Ridge FFA with a score of 287 points
3rd Place - Lindsey Locke- Grand Ridge FFA with a score of 383 points
Team placings were as follows:
1st Place
Grand Ridge # 1 Team
Team Score 1104 points
Team Members: Nick Godwin, Lane Edwards, Blair Burks, Lindsey Locke. Mr. Glenn Alexander is the Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at Grand Ridge School.
2nd Place
Graceville # 2 Team
Team Score 1104 points
(tie breaker moved Graceville # 2 to 2nd place)
Team Members: Jacob Merritt, Zayleon Russ, Joey Dalton. Mr. Cornel Peacock is the Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at Graceville High School.
3rd Place
Grand Ridge # 4 Team
Team Score 1084 points
Team Members: Shellsey Hefner, Courtney Rudd, Wayne Poole, Caleb Bohannon
35 teams participated in the Senior Division. The Senior Division includes students in grades 9-12. The high scoring individuals were as follows:
1st Place - Alan Toole- Sneads High FFA scoring 398 points
2nd Place - Christy Andreasen- Marianna High FFA scoring 396 points
3rd Place - Kody Simms- Marianna High FFA scoring 387 points
Team placings were as follows:
1st Place Marianna High
Team Score 1154 points
Team Members: Christy Andreasen, Justin Matthews, Leah Miley, Kody Simms. Mr. Brian Solger is the Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at Marianna High.
2nd Place Sneads High
Team Score 1146 points
Team Members: Blake White, Allan Toole, Emily Cain, Kayla Toole. Mr. Stan Scurlock is the Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at Sneads High.
3rd Place Malone
Team Score 1114 points
Team Members: Daniel Jackson, Cody Hughes, Cailyn Haight, Tatum Skipper. Mrs. Kim Barber is the Agricultural Education Teacher and FFA Advisor at Malone School.
Congratulations to each of these students and advisors.

Sunland Center Announces Publication of the Sunland Family Cookbook, 2nd Edition


The original Sunland Family Cookbook published in 2001, became a local "best seller" and very quickly sold out. According to Sunland Superintendent Dr. Tracy Clemmons, Sunland has continued to receive requests from individuals wishing to purchase the cookbook, long after it had sold out. Consequently, the Sunland Family Cookbook, 2nd Edition was published.
Dr. Clemmons noted "this cookbook really captures the true essence of Sunland. From the beautiful cover, which features the dogwood laden drive through Sunland’s Environmental Park to the wide variety of delicious recipes, the quality of this cookbook truly represents the heart of this facility. This cookbook contains over 600 of the best recipes from the greatest cooks at Sunland, as well as many of Sunland’s retirees."
Cookbooks are now on sale and can also be purchased at Sunland’s 30th Annual Fall Festival, which will take place on Saturday, October 25, 2008, at the Sunland Environmental Park. The price is only $12.00, which is a great value for the quality and quantity of recipes! Anyone with questions about the Fall Festival, or the cookbook should call the Superintendent’s Office at 482-9210, or Volunteer Services at 482-9373. Don’t miss out….Sunland expects an early sell-out!!!

John Brewer’s Studio Staff Attends the Décor Art & Framing Show in Atlanta


The staff of John Brewer’s Studio made their annual trip to Atlanta in September to attend the Décor Art and Framing Show, held at the Georgia World Congress Center. The staff at Brewer’s understands the importance of keeping up with current trends in the art and framing industry as well as receiving continuing education through classes offered at the show. Vendors from all over the world displayed new products used in the framing industry and there were thousands of attendees for the three day event. John Brewer’s Studio made several new equipment purchases, as well as new prints, original oil paintings, and frames.

Chad Taylor, a Jackson County land manager and forester, has been named Springs Champion 2008 by the Blue Springs Working Group.


According to BSWG coordinator Allen Tidwell, "Chad has been an invaluable resource for the knowledge he possesses about water resource issues and his many contacts with key environmental people. He is my ‘go to’ person for the working group and he has been a tremendous help to me since I assumed the responsibility of project coordinator."
Taylor was the initial project coordinator for the group before Chipola College took responsibility for the program. In addition to his active role in the BSWG, he is an active member of the Apalachicola River Keepers, River Way South, and the Riparian County Stakeholder Coalition for the Apalachicola River.
Taylor is the organizer of the annual Blue Springs "Old Timer’s Day" the first Saturday in May where he provides and cooks fish for the guests. Taylor is a land manager and forester who has worked with springs and growth management issues for many years.
"Chad’s passion about preserving and protecting the environment; specifically our water resources is genuine. With regards to groundwater and springs protection, he practices what he preaches in every facet of his personal, business, and political life. Without a doubt, Chad Taylor is truly a Champion for Jackson Blue Springs," Tidwell said. The BSWG meets quarterly. For information, contact Allen Tidwell at 526-2761, Ext. 3248.

Tax Reapers +100%....Tax Payers 0


For second year in a row, no adjustments are recognized for taxpayers By Sid Riley
Commissioner Jeremy Branch, Commissioner Ed Crutchfield, School Board Member Kenny Griffin, Joey Woodruff, and Jan Poller felt that the appraisals of the Property Appraiser’s office were 100% correct in every instance where taxpayers felt they had been mistreated and had filed an appeal. This was the second consecutive year the panel has turned a deaf ear to all appeals.
Many of the appeals came from property owners in the Compass Lake in the Hills development where during the property sales boom of 2006 property values in the area apparently soared from $2500 per lot to over $16,000. Even though the particular lots might not have been sold at the higher value, the tax roll increased the appraisal based on sales of similar lots in the area. In today’s market, they are approaching the pre-boom value, but the tax appraisal has remained at the inflated value. It will be interesting to see what values are put on these properties on next year’s tax roll.

Murder Suspect is Apprehended in Alabama

Adam Bolds arrested near Ashford, AL
By Sid Riley

"It doesn’t pay to commit a serious crime in our area", stated Sheriff McDaniel during a Monday afternoon press conference." Our deputies worked thirty six hours without relief while tracking the activities of Mr. Bolds. They followed every tip and lead and their work eventually led to his arrest."
The shooting incident occurred Thursday evening at the residence of Thadius Garrett on Blue Springs Road. Adam Shay, Donavon Cook and Eugene Hardy who accompanied Bolds to the Garrett residence were apprehended shortly after the incident. However Bolds managed to elude the police over the weekend.
It is surmised that he hid in a vacant house, and eventually managed to obtain a relatives vehicle. He was captured with his wife in that vehicle while apparently attempting to flee the area. A BOLO (BE ON THE LOOKOUT) alert had been broadcast to all area law enforcement agencies.
Bolds is being held in the Jackson County Correctional Facility on an open count of murder, awaiting his first appearance……Good Work, Sheriff.

Community Mourns Loss of Quen Rahal, Local Auto Dealer and Civic Leader

Quenton Rahal passes at age 69 after an extended illness.
By Sid Riley

The true measure of a man is the quality of his character. One of the best ways to test that character is through a significant business relationship. There is much truth to the old adage, "The best way to lose a friend is to make him a business partner".
For relationships to endure under the strain of a business relationship requires a unique strength of character. Quen Rahal had the business ethics, personality, and character required to maintain lasting friendships while being involved in a business arrangement with an individual.
Our community has lost a business leader who performed numerous civic and charitable acts while taking a leading role in the automobile community of our region. He left a lasting mark on the business community and many people of our area.
Rahal came to Marianna from Memphis, Tennessee in 1973 when he entered into a partnership arrangement with Creshull Harrison, a required part of transitioning the Chevrolet dealership franchise as Rahal purchased the business. Rahal who had previously lived in Davie, Florida simultaneously sold his Chrysler dealership in Memphis as he bought into the Harrison Chevrolet Dealership here in Marianna. Harrison had become heavily involved in real estate transactions in the area, and had decided to devote his full attention to that business.
Thus, Creshull Harrison was the first local person to be a business partner with Quen Rahal.
"Through all of the negotiations for the sale and transfer of the business, through the year of co-ownership of the franchise, and during the years that followed, Quen always lived up to every commitment he made, always dealt with the highest level of honorable business ethics, and was a continuing friend", stated Creshull Harrison as he reflected on his relationship with Rahal. Once the required year had passed, the final sale was consummated and the dealership became Rahal Chevrolet.
"During the ensuing years, every time Quen had a major business decision to make, he always called and asked my opinion", Harrison stated. "He didn’t necessarily always follow my recommendations, but I appreciated the fact that he respected my opinion enough to ask. Marianna has lost a great citizen, and I feel I have lost a friend."
In the years that followed, Rahal purchased the Marianna Toyota dealership, a Buick- Mercedes dealership and a Toyota dealership in Dothan, and another Toyota dealership in Enterprise. He continued to live in the Marianna area with his wife, Ann. He served on the Jackson Hospital Board, the Board of 1st Bank, was President of Rotary, and was active in many industrial associations.
There are two other Marianna residents who were deeply involved for many years with Quen Rahal … Jorge Garcia and Ricky Miller. They were first involved as sales employees, then as managers, and finally as business partners. Their testament to the type of person Quen Rahal was is perhaps the most meaningful of all.
Both Jorge and Ricky become choked with emotion when they attempt to tell others about what kind of man Quen Rahal was. He positively and significantly changed both men’s lives as he recognized their talents, contribution to the organization, and potential. He opened doors of opportunity for them that might have never existed. "We both have two fathers", Ricky Miller stated in a choked voice, "Our biological fathers, and out business father. Quen meant that much to us both."
Jorge Garcia worked with Quen Rahal for twenty five years, and Ricky Miller for fifteen. They both had deep personal and business relationships with this outstanding man. "At times we agreed to disagree", stated Garcia, "But once a decision had been made, or a problem discussed and resolved…the matter was over. He never bore a grudge or let issues injure personal relationships".
They jokingly stated that there were three things that came to mind when they thought of Quen Rahal… a red tie….a passion for chocolate….and a stronger passion for the car business. He was always positive in nature, motivating those around him. Anytime someone asked "How are you doing?" his stock answer was always…"Excellent!"
Another significant indicator of the character of Quen Rahal was his appreciation for those in his organization that helped create success. Quen had prepared for his departure from the business through his relationships with his key employees. He assured that upon his departure it would be "Business as Usual" throughout the organization.
Jackson County mourns the loss of Quen Rahal, but we will always appreciate his accomplishments, his contributions, and the legacy he leaves behind.

Bealls Department Store Is Closing In Marianna

December 27 will be last business day
By Sid Riley

Bealls main store which is located in the River Gate Shopping Center in Marianna has informed its employees that the store will cease operations on December 27, 2008. The Bealls Outlet store located in the Oaks Shopping Center will continue operations.
The main store has been in operation for eighteen years, and employs an estimated fifteen local citizens.

Breast Cancer Survivor Ella Mae Harris

By Ella Mae Harris

In March, 2004, I went for my annual physical and mammogram in Dothan, just as I had done for the last 25 years. I had not noticed any problem at all, but when the radiologist said, "Mrs. Harris, you have an area that we can not ignore" I sat up and listened to the doctor carefully. He advised that I have a stereotactic biopsy the following week. It was a long week, but all the time I felt that it was going to be a normal result.
I had the biopsy and then a few days later, I learned that the tumor was malignant. Some of you know the feeling....shock, scared, and confused as to what was to happen next. Within a few days, the site of the biopsy began to turn into an infectious lesion and an antibiotic was prescribed. During this time, I made an appointment at the University of Alabama Medical Facility in Birmingham for further consultation. When the doctors saw the lesion on my right breast they said that I had a staff infection. My antibiotic was changed and we proceeded to decide on treatment of the tumor.
The doctors at UAB did their own testing and mammograms and upon reviewing them, they found that I had some spots in my left breast also! After another biopsy, I was told that those areas were malignant. It was proven that my cancer of the left side had been there for 2 years, undiagnosed.
I had never missed a yearly mammogram and it was really hard to realize that the cancer had been there that long with no one seeing those spots. I was devastated. In early May I went back to UAB for bi-lateral breast lumpectomies and sentinel lymph node (plus one more) removal.
Thankfully, there was no invasion into the lymph system, but there was not a "clean margin" on the tissue from the right breast. I went home to heal before I was to return for a re-excision. After a few days at home, I suffered terrible pain in the incision under my arm. Lane (my husband) carried me back to Birmingham and a huge abscess was drained and proved to be a full blown staff infection again...remnants of the first infection from the biopsy.
This problem caused my second surgery to be postponed until the infection was gone from my arm. For 5 weeks, Home Health Care and my loving Lane treated and packed the incision.
Finally in July I went back for the re-excision with tentative plans for treatment with 7 weeks of radiation to follow. We stayed in Birmingham at the Hope Lodge sponsored by the American Cancer Society and it was one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. We met others who also had cancer, and we lived with and among them for our 7 weeks of radiation therapy. We all had the common bond of this terrible disease and we drew strength from each other.
The facility was wonderful and housed 33 families. The only stipulation for staying there at no charge was that you had to be a cancer patient. It was a home environment and was such a comfort to us to visit with people who knew how others felt without saying a word.
August 6, 2004, I began radiation therapy and we finished on September 19, after seven weeks….Homecoming was wonderful.
I have been on an uphill journey with pain in my joints from the radiation and the medication to keep me cancer free, and now I feel I am a real person again! I had bi-lateral knee replacements last October and it has been a great success. My Life is so full with the wonderful opportunities that God has given me. I find that everyday offers a chance to reach out and try to be what my Mother and Daddy always prayed for....that we children be what God wants us to be.
I have 2 fantastic sons... T.G. and Max Harkrider. T.G. is employed with the Jackson County Health Department as Director of the Environmental Department and Max is the Athletic Director and Baseball Coach at Malone High School.
Max is the younger of the two and when he was a little fellow....probably in the 2nd grade, his teacher asked the class to draw a picture of their favorite sport. Max loved football, so he brought home a detailed picture of a football field with the scoreboard, the crowds, the whole concept of a football game in progress.
He proudly showed his Dad his handiwork and Tommy said..."My Max, this is really have the yard lines drawn, the goal posts, the crowds and the scoreboard. But....I’m a little concerned about the score you have up here. You have Marianna 21 and Auburn 7. I am wondering just why you have Marianna beating Auburn...we know that you love Auburn and it is your favorite team and I just would like to know why Auburn is losing". Max looked up at Tommy and said, "Well, Daddy.....the ball game is not over yet!!"
Maybe you sometimes feel that you are losing in your game of life...that your troubles are just more that you can take....that your pain is too bad and your situations are beyond your control. I am here to tell you that no matter how low you get, just remember that "the ballgame is not over".
I have a wonderful family...I could not have made it through the past 4 years if it had not been for them...especially my wonderful husband, Lane. He has been so attentive to every need and all the while, emotions that I did he. I thank God every day for him, my sons, my daughter-in-law Amanda, my siblings, and for the days I have ahead of me. I will strive to do all I can to help anyone in anyway that I can....You see, my ballgame is not yet over….. and I plan to win this one!!!

Alicia Hatcher, "Miss Jackson County", Wins "Miss National Peanut Festival" Title


Alicia Hatcher, Miss Jackson County 2008-2009, won the title of Miss National Peanut Festival this weekend at the Dothan Civic Center. She was chosen out of a field of fifty area beauty queen title holders. For winning the festival title Alicia won a $5,000 scholarship and other prizes. She was also the winner of the Alabama Peanut Producers Scholarship for $500.
She also was in the top five finishers in the competition for Best Portfolio, Evening Gown Competition, and Best Interview. Alicia will now represent the Peanut Festival organization in numerous area events during her 2008-2009 reign as queen.
Alicia is the nineteen year old daughter of Chuck and Patte Hatcher. She has one sister, India. She is the granddaughter of Jerre and Christine Nettles of Marianna, and the late Peggy B. Nettles, Pat Odom and the late Jim Odom of Dellwood, Woodrow and Linda Hatcher of Marianna, FL and Chuck and Eileen Brown of North Haven, CT.
Congratulations Ladies!

"Miss Grand Ridge" Ashleigh Lollie Wins 4th Runner Up Recognition
Ashleigh Lollie who is the current "Miss Grand Ridge" title holder also fared well at the Dothan event. Ashleigh won recognition as 4th Runner Up for the title of National Peanut Festival Queen, and was in the top five finishers in the Written Communications Competition and the Evening Gown Competition. She was the recipient of a $500 scholarship award.
Ashleigh is the daughter of Greg and Shannon Lollie of Grand Ridge. Her grandparents are Janice Kelton and Wayne Poole, and Billy and Lonia Lollie.
Jackson County can be very proud of both of these outstanding young ladies.
Ashleigh Lollie - Photography by Tabitha Conrad