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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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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

CURRENT

Jackson County Board proposed

PROPOSED

JCFR Chief Charlie Brunner promotes Steve Hall to Fire Marshall

Jackson County Fire Chief Charlie Brunner wasted little time filling needed slots when he took over the department in January.  One position vacated with a change of structure within JCFR was the fire marshal’s position. Brunner says he felt this position was most critical for the safety of businesses, churches, schools both private and public and other public buildings within Jackson County. 

Previously, the duties were incorporated with the assistant chief’s position but he resigned back in February of 2018.  Prior to Chief Scott Birge leaving in August, he had jurisdiction and could sign off as well. Brunner said, “The county is responsible for everything outside the city of Marianna, the unincorporated areas and the small municipalities that don’t have an organized fire inspector position. We do all of these smaller municipalities because if the cities don’t have one, it falls on the county.”

The Fire Marshal inspects all businesses, churches, and public buildings to make sure entrances and exits are clear of debris, fire extinguishers are currently up to date and properly filled as well as making sure there are no other hazards that may be lurking around that have not been detected. 

Brunner named Steve Hall as the new Jackson County Fire Marshall. Hall began his employment with JCFR in 2012 as an EMT/Firefighter.  Hall attended EMT and Firefighter school at Chipola College.  He still holds his certification as an EMT/Firefighter although he has assumed the duties of Fire Marshall. About his duties, Hall says, “I am doing pre-fire inspections on the businesses and buildings here in the county. We are looking at basically exit signs, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems if they have sprinklers.”  

Brunner said Hall will also be responsible for doing plan reviews for any renovations for new construction of commercial property in the county. When asked how that tied into the building inspector’s job, Hall said, “We look at the fire plan aspect of the building plans, they look at the construction end of it, plumbing, electrical and such. I look at the fire side of it, whether it be fire suppression, sprinklers, or alarm systems. I determine occupancy loads, if you have an assembly area, how many people can safely be put in that area.” 

Hall is married to Melissa and they have one son, Ben Hall. Ben Hall is making it big in California as a cinematographer. 

Two locals charged in 71-count indictment

  • Published in Police

Two panhandle residents have been indicted, along with three others in a 71-count indictment with defrauding federal agencies by paying bribes and fraudulently obtaining at least $15 million in government contracts they were not entitled to though disabled-veteran set asides and other programs. James A. Clark, 61 of Chipley who owned several businesses, including Enola Contracting Services, Inc., and Harvey Daniels, Jr., 40, of Marianna who owned HDJ Security, Inc. were two of the five indicted.

Others indicted are: Eric L. Hogan, 59, of Bonaire, Georgia, who owned P&E Construction, LLC; Kenneth A. Latham, 73, of Albany, Georgia, who was employed by the U.S. Navy as a civilian engineering technician and James K. Alford, 55, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who owned K&S Constructors, Inc.

The charges include conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to submit false claims, false claims and major fraud.

Construction projects detailed in the indictment include contracts at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, the VA Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and the NASA Plum Brook Station near Sandusky, Ohio.

According to the indictment:

Federal departments and agencies, as directed by Congress, work with the Small Business Administration to award portions of contracts to small businesses, with specific goals for small disadvantaged business, including service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

Businesses must register and meet a number of criteria to be classified as small disadvantaged business – also known as the 8(a) program -- such as being at least 51 percent owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Businesses must also meet a number of criteria to be classified as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, such as being at least 51 percent owned by a veteran with a service-connected disability who controls the management and daily operations of the company. Service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses are permitted to enter into joint ventures with other companies but must meet specific requirements to do so.

The defendants and others engaged in several criminal schemes designed to deprive the government of its right to honest services of its employees through bribes and kickbacks, and to submit false claims and defraud the United States by obtaining government contracts set aside for qualified companies to which they were otherwise ineligible to obtain by fraudulently using proxy and pass-through companies.

P&E, through Hogan and Clark, made false statements, misrepresentations and omissions of facts. Hogan on several occasions certified P&E was a service-disabled veteran-owned small business. It also registered as a joint venture with Enola, with Hogan listed as president and Clark as vice president of the joint venture. HDJ Security was enrolled in the 8(a) program. Daniels self-identified as the president of HDJ, the sole owner of the company and to be socially disadvantaged.

In one scheme, Latham accepted a series of bribes and kickbacks from Hogan and Clark --  including cash, meals, a hunting trip,  a fence, and an all-terrain vehicle -- in return for Latham using his official position with the Navy to benefit Hogan, Clark and their businesses. These benefits included assistance in finding and securing government contracts, approval of invoices for payments to pass-through companies used by Hogan and Clark to obtain set-aside contracts for which their companies were not otherwise eligible, and concealing Clark and Hogan’s use of pass-through companies to obtain bonding.

Another scheme involved defrauding the VA and the TK by fraudulently representing that P&E and Hogan independently qualified for the service-disabled veteran-owned small business program despite Clark’s involvement in providing bonding for and equity ownership in P&E.

Clark, Hogan, Alford, Daniels and others defrauded the government by using purported service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and 8(a) businesses as proxies to bid on and obtain set-aside contracts.

Arrow Construction, which was registered in the 8(a) program, was awarded a $2.8 million contract for work at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, in September 2011. Clark and Arrow officials Kent Reynolds and Jennifer Dillard (who both have been previously charged in the Northern District of Ohio) agreed that about 90 percent of the value of the contract was passed through to Clark and Enola, in violation of the 8(a) program.

HDJ was awarded a contract for work at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, in September 2012. HDJ was paid approximately $2.6 million. Clark, Hogan and Daniels agreed to pass through approximately 95 percent of the value of the contract to Clark, Hogan, Enola and P&E, in violation of the terms of the 8(a) program.

The VA in June 2011 awarded a contract to P&E Construction for work at the VA Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The VA paid P&E approximately $4.5 million that the company would not have received if the VA knew P&E was acting as a pass-through for K&S and that it was back-bonded by Clark and Enola.

P&E submitted a winning bid in February 2013 for a contract for construction services at the NASA Plum Brook Station near Sandusky, Ohio. NASA paid P&E approximately $5.6 million that the company would not have received if NASA knew it was acting as a pass-through for K&S and that P&E was back-bonded by Clark and Enola.

“These programs were created to help companies owned by disabled veterans and other struggling small businesses,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “The defendants in this case took advantage of these programs to fraudulently obtain taxpayer money.”

Michael J. Missal, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said: “The VA’s Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business Program supports qualified veterans who have served and sacrificed for their country.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute individuals who wrongfully and fraudulently exploit these federal contracting opportunities that are meant only for service-disabled veterans.”

“I commend the outstanding investigative efforts of the NASA OIG, NCIS, DCIS, SBA-OIG, VA-OIG, DCAA, and AFOSI Agents, and the work of the USAO for the Northern District of Ohio,” said NASA Inspector General Paul Martin. “Their teamwork uncovered evidence of a criminal scheme that prevented legitimate small businesses from obtaining lucrative contracts that the defendants obtained through fraud.”

The acceptance of bribes and kickbacks is both a violation of law and the trust the Department of the Navy places in its employees," said NCIS Director Andrew Traver.  "NCIS will continue to protect the Department of the Navy from these fraudulent schemes to ensure readiness of the fleet."

"Protecting the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD's) contracting process and ensuring the integrity of DoD employees are top investigative priorities for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS)," stated Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Special Agent-in-Charge of the DCIS Northeast Field Office.  "Today's indictment of five individuals, including an employee of the U.S. Navy, is the direct result of a joint investigative effort and demonstrates the DCIS' ongoing commitment to work with its law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney's Office to identify, investigate and prosecute those who seek to fraudulently profit at the expense of the DoD's procurement system."

"Conspiring to commit fraud is no way to gain or extend access to SBA’s set-aside contracting programs,” said SBA Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware.  “OIG is committed to rooting out fraud in SBA’s programs and bringing those responsible to justice.  I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s office and our law enforcement partners for their support and dedication to pursuing justice in this case.”

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case was investigated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- Office of Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Veterans Affairs -- Office of Inspector General, Small Business Administration -- Office of Inspector General, Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Om Kakani and Alejandro A. Abreu.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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