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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Possibility of additional graves uncovered at former Dozier School for Boys

Jackson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Clint Pate received the following letter from Governor Ron DeSantis on April 10, 2019:

“Dear Chairman Pate:

It has come to my attention that during a ground pollution cleanup of a site located near the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, anomalies consistent with possible graves have been discovered. I write to you today to establish a line of communication and provide assurance that my administration is dedicated to collaboratively determining the best course of action.

In late 2017, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) contracted with a company, Gyosyntech, to clean up the polluted site as part of DEFs Petroleum Restoration Program. Given the history of this site, a subcontractor conducted a survey of the land using ground penetrating radar prior to engaging in any cleanup activities.

According to a report developed by Gyosyntech, and received by DEP on March 26,2019, the radar revealed twenty-seven "anomalies" consistent with possible graves. Since the discovery, cleanup efforts have consisted of soil sampling and placing three monitoring wells carefully to avoid the anomalies. The report, which details the circumstances surrounding the discovery, is attached to this letter for your reference.

After reviewing the report, I have directed the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Management Services, the Department of State and the Department of Economic Opportunity to work with Jackson County to develop a path forward. Representatives of these agencies will be reaching out to meet with County officials as the first step to understanding and addressing these preliminary findings.

I look forward to working together and offer my full support and partnership to ensure this issue is handled with the utmost sensitivity and care.” 

The burial ground was found inside a thick pine forest on the campus of Florida’s oldest reform school, Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. When clearing property after Hurricane Michael, 27 anomalies that could possibly be graves found outside Dozier’s Boot Hill Cemetery. 

The board and administrator Wilanne Daniels released the following statement concerning the above letter, “We have received the report and are studying the information and findings. We will be working with our State Agency partners to determine the next steps.”

Chipola softball claims Panhandle Conference Championship

  • Published in Sports

The Chipola softball team has once again claimed another Panhandle Conference Championship making that a total of nine since Belinda Hendrix took over as Chipola’s head coach. Add to that seven FCCAA Region VIII Championship and two National Titles under the Hendrix reign and it goes without saying Chipola is a dynasty in the softball world.

This year they claim the 2018-19 conference championship and have dominated the diamond.  Prior to conference play, they outscored their opponents 235-41 runs while picking up a 25-3 record. They shut out their opponents 12 times, had 17 games end in five innings with one game ending in six innings. The Lady Indians didn’t let up in conference play winning 15 games before they fell short by one run, giving them a 15-1 conference record. They outscored their conference opponents 154-59 with two games ending in five innings. Chipola won a 10-inning match up against Gulf Coast 3-2 to keep their win streak alive at 12 games.  The Lady Indians are scheduled to complete conference play Sunday with games at Pensacola Monday, at home Tuesday, on the road Friday before ending at home against Northwest Florida State Sunday at 3 p.m. 

Chipola shuts out Tallahassee in game one

The Lady Indians shutout the Tallahassee Lady Eagles 13-0 in game one. 

They plated three runs in the first, five in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth inning while outhitting TCC 15-1.

Ally Clegg led her team in hits with four, including two HOMERUNS, five RBIs and four runs scored. Candela Figueroa, Eila Infante, Amy Woodham and Sydney Mclain had two hits each including a HOMERUN by Figueroa. Figueroa added an RBI and three runs scored to her stats. Infante had two runs scored, with Amy Woodham picking up five RBIs. Haley Sandridge, Lauren Finch and Christine Marsland had one hit each. Finch had an RBI and two runs scored, with Sandridge and Marsland scoring one run each. On board with an RBI was Mikayla Lewin. 

Amy Woodham went the distance and picked up the win for Chipola. In five innings of work, Woodham allowed no earned runs on one hit, three walks and eight strikeouts.  

Lady Indians defeat TCC 

The Chipola Lady Indians took a 10-2 win in game two against the Lady Eagles in just five innings. 

Chipola scored three runs in the first inning, three in the third, two in the fourth and two in the fifth. The Lady Indians out hit their opponent 9-2.

Leading her team with two homeruns was Ally Clegg and added four RBIs with three runs scored.  Tammie Lijbers and Taylor Scala both had two hits each. Lijbers and Scala each scored a run, with Lijbers also picking up an RBI. Lauren Finch, Eila Infante and Amy Woodham each had a hit, with Finch sailing her hit over the fence. Finch and Infante each had an RBI and a run scored. Woodham checked in with two RBIs in game two. Madison Kent scored two runs with Haley Sandridge right behind her with one run scored. 

Brianna Bailey went the distance in the circle and picked up the win for the Lady Indians. Bailey gave up two earned runs on two hits, four walks and no strikeouts. 

Chipola softball wins again 

The Chipola Lady Indians picked up their 15th conference win last week against Northwest. Chipola handed the Lady Raiders a 13-5 loss.

The Lady Indians scored four runs in the first, two in the second, six in the third and one in the fifth. They also out hit Northwest by a slim 10-9. 

Sydney Mclain led the team with three hits, including two HOMERUNS, four RBIs and three runs scored. Mikayla Lewin, Candela Figueroa, Haley Sandridge, Ally Clegg, Lauren Finch and Amy Woodham each had a hit, with Lewin sending her hit over the fence for a HOMERUN. Lewin and Figueroa added two RBIs and two runs scored to their stats. Sandridge had a run scored, with Clegg on board with two RBIs and a run scored. Finch and Woodham had a run scored each with Finch picking up an RBI. Eila Infante and Taylor Scala scored one run each. 

Amy Woodham was in the circle for Chipola and picked up the win. In five innings, Woodham allowed four earned runs on 10 hits, two walks and sat six batters down on strikes. 

Lady Indians drop heartbreaker to Northwest

The Chipola softball team dropped their first conference game last week to Northwest Florida State. The Lady Indians took the slim 13-12 loss, despite out hitting the Lady Raiders 17-14.

Eila Infante led with three hits and three runs scored. Candela Figueroa, Haley Sandridge, Ally Clegg, Mikayla Lewin, Amy Woodham and Sydney Mclain had two hits each, with Figueroa getting the crowd on their feet with a HOMERUN. Figueroa had four RBIs and two runs scored, Haley Sandridge had a run scored, with Ally Clegg scoring three runs. Lewin had three RBIs, Amy Woodham was on board with two RBIs and a run scored. Mclain added an RBI and a run scored to her stats. Lauren Finch and Tammie Lijbers had a hit each, with Finch picking up an RBI. Jadia Jones also had a run scored. 

Brianna Bailey started in the circle for Chipola. In three and one-third innings, Bailey gave up four earned runs on nine hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Payton Clark came in for one and two-thirds innings, surrendering five earned runs on four hits, a walk and no strikeouts. Yoshie Omori came in for the last one and one-third innings and allowed one earned run on two hits, no walks and no strikeouts.

Graceville’s Baseball Wall of Fame comes to fruition

  • Published in Sports

Friday afternoon, the Graceville community, past and present baseball players and Graceville alumni gathered to commemorate the first inductees into the Baseball Wall of Fame. 

Good Evening. My name is Leroy Barkley and I am the head baseball coach here at Graceville High School. I want to talk briefly about a man who supported Graceville High School Athletics like no other. The late Mr. Kim Miller. I had the honor of playing ball with Kim from 1974 -1976. He was a hardworking dedicated team player, who was always there for his teammates. His dedication to the team continued on after he graduated in 1978. When his son Travis became a player here Kim could be found just about anywhere. Whether it was cooking, working on the field, or just cheering on the team Kim was always right there. Today the Graceville High School Baseball Program honors his memory by dedicating our dugout to him and naming it the Kim Miller dugout. To his parents Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Miller, his wife, Charlene, his children, Travis and Lyndsey, and his brothers and sister thank you for sharing him with us. They are Ricky, Terrel, Brent, Chad and sister Leah

Carmileta Barkely introduced the 2019 inductees into the Graceville High School’s Baseball Wall of Fame beginning with Mr. Sonny Campbell.

Mr. Sonny Campbell

Mr. Campbell graduated from Graceville High School in 1964 where he lettered in baseball for 5 years. After high school he went on to play baseball at Gulf Coast Jr. College for 2 years. Once he graduated from Gulf Coast, he continued playing ball. This time, however, he played fast pitch softball while in the military both stateside and in Southeast Asia after joining the US Air Force and serving in Vietnam. Mr. Campbell came full circle and was head football and baseball coach here at Graceville High School for 6 years. Within those 6 years, not only did he lead his team to 2 District Championships victories, he was also awarded Panhandle Coach of the Year in Baseball and Football between the years of 1983 and 1985. For those of us who are bad at math, that’s 3 consecutive years he was named Panhandle Coach of the Year. Sonny is married to the former Lila Gordy and has 3 beautiful daughters, Janna, Joli, and Kara. 

Mr. Edward “Tony” Wesley

Mr. Wesley graduated from Graceville High School in 1972. He was a 4-year starter in baseball and basketball. In his Senior year his batting average was 583. Upon graduation, Mr. Wesley went to Ft. Lauderdale, FI and played on the winter league for the Philadelphia Phillies. He attended Chipola Junior College, where he received his certification for Emergency Technician and attended Florida Firefighters College to become a firefighter. He was employed with Jackson County Fire and Rescue for 25 years with positions ranging from Lt. to Capt. In 2006 he became Fire Chief and remained in that position until retirement in December 2013. Mr. Wesley is now employed as the CEO of Wesley Farms at the Stateline and holds multiple community seats, the most important title he holds is the title for World’s Greatest Grandpa/driver/babysitter/fishing instructor/bank and so much more. 

Mr. Jamie Cassady

Mr. Cassady graduated from Graceville High School in 1985 and signed with Enterprise State Junior College. While there he received the Hustler award. In 1990 he signed to Auburn University at Montgomery. His team went on to compete for the national championship and Jamie was chosen to be a part of the All World Series Team. After graduating from Auburn, he became the assistant baseball coach at Griffin High School. 2 years later he was promoted to head coach. In the summer of 2005 Jamie was named assistant coach of the German National Baseball team. His team finished 4th in the European championship. He is now the assistant superintendent in Bibbs County, GA.

Mr. Woody Richardson

Mr. Richardson graduated from Graceville High School 1976. He was First Team All-County, and All Holmes Valley Conference in both 1975 and 76. He was First Team All-State in 1976. He holds the highest pitching average at Graceville High School with 25 wins and one lost. Woody graduated from Auburn University in 1980. He then completed an MBA and PhD in Management at the University of Arkansas. In 1989 he married Lynne Davis and began a 12-year tenure at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Since then he has taught at Ball State, Mississippi State, Shenandoah, and the University of Mary Washington (UMV). During his career he authored over 75 publications and collected three teaching awards. Woody and Lynne are the parents of three college graduates, Davis, Wheeler, and McKay. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and supporting UMW student athletes. He is planning to retire in May 2020. His current hobby is searching for his and Lynne’s retirement home. 

Mr. Leroy Barkley

Mr. Barkley graduated from Graceville High School in 1976. His senior year he batted 612. He signed with George C. Wallace Community College right out of high school and was the first baseball player at Graceville High School to ever receive a baseball scholarship. In 1977 he led the nation in batting with a 487 average and won the Big Stick award. He made All State and All American that year. The following year he led the state in batting with a 458-average coming in 4th in the nation for batting that year. He made All Conference that year and once again made All State and All American. Leroy went on to become the leading batter in Wallace history with a 471 average, a record he still holds to this day. In 1978, 2 years after signing with Wallace, his college jersey #20 was retired and taken out of circulation. Leroy is married to the beautiful Rachel Barkley and has 5 equally beautiful children. Nicholas, Tracy, Cameran, Carmelita, and Niyah. He is currently the head baseball coach here at Graceville High School. His hobbies include making old man noises, losing the glasses that are on his head, and going to bed before 8 o’clock. 

Congratulations to these fine men from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times. 

Structure changes to county includes Deputy County Administrator

In a special meeting of the Jackson County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday, the board voted three to one to approve changes to the operational procedures. County Administrator Wilanne Daniels said the experience with Hurricane Michael played a significant role in her thoughts on the changes she proposed. Her goal is to make the structure flow smoothly without anything falling through the cracks. Daniels said with 18 people presently reporting to her, that was a impossibility no matter how strong of an administrator she was.  Below is what Daniels proposed to the board.  

“During my time as County Administrator the county has experienced one of the most catastrophic and devastating natural disasters in our history. In the days following the storm our individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as our strengths and weaknesses as a county became very evident.  In reviewing our current organizational chart I realized that a large amount of our current weaknesses can be blamed on the number of people directly reporting to the County Administrator.  With 18 staff members directly reporting to me, when my focus should be on long-term recovery, budgetary issues, and bigger picture items – my time is instead spent on day-to-day issues, personnel matters, and the direction of my managers. I feel that the county and my employees need more than I currently have the time to give in order to adequately foster the growth and development that they both need.

To this end I have conducted research verifying that other counties are not structured like Jackson County, in fact, most if not all other counties reviewed included a more evenly distributed managerial structure that allowed the County Administrator to better provide for the needs of the county.  So, after hours of research, outreach, and review I am proposing that the board adopt the attached organizational structure. This restructuring will:

 · Require the creation of two new positions: a Deputy County Administrator and an Operations and Budget Director (these changes will use $68,000 of the $150,000 from this FY (Fiscal Year) Budget for Salary Adjustments)

Reclassification of the current Administrative Services Director to a Long-Term Recovery and Facilities Coordinator (No Budgetary Impact); 

Reclassification of the current Chief of Corrections to a Public Safety Officer/Chief of Corrections (No Budgetary Impact);

Reclassification of the Community Development Director (No Budgetary Impact);

Establishment of a Community Services Director (No Budgetary Impact);

Reclassification of the current Administrative Support III to a Road & Bridge Business Manager; and

Reclassification of the current Road and Bridge District Supervisors from Pay Grade 123 to Pay Grade 128 (these changes will use funds from Vacant Assistant Road and Bridge Superintendent)

I am sensitive to the budgetary constraints we are facing in the wake of Michael and as a county overall. I view this reorganization as an investment, during possibly the most critical time for our county. These changes will shape the aptitude, transparency, accountability, and overall integrity of what we do and how we do it.

I truly believe that this request will give us the solid foundation needed to move forward to focusing on recovery and beyond for the county. With the right order established we will be able to better assess, reach individual departments, and determine what still needs to be addressed, streamlined, defined, and/or developed – which will result in a stronger department and by default a stronger county government. My hope is that the end result will be a county that has been fortified to face not only inevitable changes and natural disasters, but whatever the future chooses to throw at us.

The Administrative Services Director is now Pam Pichard. Daniels told the board that in conversations with Pichard she was concerned about focusing strictly on long term recovery with Hurricane Michael issues and that in no way was she being forced out of a job. Daniels praised the work done by Prichard with FEMA, insurance, and all things associated with Hurricane Michael. 

On a motion by Commissioner Jim Peacock with a second by Commissioner Eric Hill, the commission voted 3-1 to with Commissioner Chuck Lockey not supporting the change. Commissioner Willie Spires was absent and did not cast a vote.

Jackson County Board current


Jackson County Board proposed


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