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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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County battle in softball goes to Lady Pirates

  • Published in Sports

The junior varsity Lady Pirates softball team faced the Lady Bulldogs on Saturday in a tournament at Optimist Park. The Lady Pirates handed Marianna a 5-3 loss. 

For Sneads, Jada Coleman reached first on an error with one out to get her team’s offense going. Aurlee Perkins reached on a fielder’s choice that got Coleman going to second. A strikeout ended the top of the first.  Jade Hendrix led off for Marianna with a walk in the bottom of the frame. Hendrix stole her way home before three consecutive outs were made.

Clara May had a leadoff single for the Lady Pirates in the top of the second. With two outs, Katelynn Chumley tripled and scored May. Rebecca Bruner singled to bring Chumley home. Brooke Smith singled, but the inning ended with no more run scoring. In the bottom of the second, Ashlyn Wierman singled to get things going for the Lady Bulldogs, was out going to second. With two outs, Jayden Stevens reached on an error. A strikeout ended the inning with Sneads leading, 2-1. 

For the Lady Pirates, Aurlee Perkins took one for the team to get her team’s offense started. Kennedy Harrell singled to move Perkins into scoring position. Ciera Kent reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Perkins. With two outs, Katelynn Chumley doubled home a pair of runs before a strikeout ended the inning. Marianna was three up, three down in the bottom of the third. After three complete innings, Sneads led 5-1.

Brooke Smith had a single for Sneads in the top of the fourth. With one out, Aurlee Perkins singled to the right side with Smith being tagged out going to third. Alexis Rountree was issued a leadoff walk for Marianna in the bottom of the frame. Brooke Wierman waited patiently and was also issued a walk. Ashlyn Wierman reached on a fielder’s choice that got sister Brooke going to second. With two outs, Jayden Stevens singled and scored Rountree. Diamond Vann reached on an error that brought Ashlyn Wierman home. Going into the fifth inning Marianna trailed, 5-3.

Sneads had the only offense in the fifth inning, a one-out single to Ciera Kent, giving the Lady Pirates a 5-3 loss.

Cottondale baseball picks up first regular season win

  • Published in Sports

Cottondale traveled to Altha last week to take on the Wildcats in search of their first regular season win and they found just what the doctor ordered. They handed the young Wildcats a 15-3 loss behind the pitching of Avery Burkett and Jude Haser. Burkett got the starting nod on the bump and went five innings, gave up one run on six hits, one walk and fanned seven batters. Haser went the final two innings, gave up two runs on two hits, three walks and struck out five batters. 

Cottondale put two runs on the board in the first inning, starting with a leadoff single by Caleb Nix. Nix stole second before Jordan Braxton drew a walk. Savoric Williams sacrificed the runners to second and third with Mason Jones singling to score Nix. Braxton scored on a passed ball before Avery Burkett singled and stole second and with two outs, Brent Hicks drew a walk. Brandon Early reached on an error but a groundout left the bases loaded. 

Cottondale plated a trio of runs in the second to go up 6-0 over the Wildcats.  Caleb Nix started inning two on a repeat of inning one. Nix moved to second on a single by Jordan Braxton and with one out, both runners scored on a double by Mason Jones. Avery Burkett drew a walk, followed by Austin Grissett reaching on an error. Brent Hicks sacrificed the runners to scoring position. Brandon Early walked to load the bases but no runs crossed the plate. 

Three was good the first two innings so Cottondale opted for another three in the third, making it a 9-0 game. Logan Pumphrey led off with a walk and stole second before Caleb Nix and Jordan Braxton drew back-to-back walks. Savoric Williams walked in a run for a cheap-o RBI before Mason Jones picked up two RBIs on a double to left centerfield. Avery Burkett drew a walk but three flyouts followed to end the inning. 

Goose eggs were the name of the game in the fourth inning for both teams. Cottondale had a double by Caleb Nix for their only offense.  Both teams plated a run in the fifth inning. Mason Jones went yard on the second pitch he saw from the leadoff position and watched it sail over the centerfield fence. With two outs, Brent Hicks singled to center but was left on first when the final batter struck out. 

In the sixth it was again an equal opportunity inning with both teams putting up two runs. Jude Haser led of with a walk and with two outs, scored on a passed ball. Savoric Williams took advantage of an error and stole second before Mason Jones drew a walk. Eriq Hendricks reached on an error that scored Williams before a strikeout ended the inning. 

Cottondale added three runs in the top of the seventh. Brandon Early doubled and scored on a single by Jude Haser. With one out, Caleb Nix took one for the team and with two outs, Savoric Williams singled to load the bases. Cason Holley took the not-so-easy way to pick up an RBI when he was hit by a pitch that scored Haser, followed by Nix crossing the plate on a passed ball. Altha was shut down in the seventh with only a one-out walk offensively, sealing the Hornets a win.

Veteran’s Treatment Court is in place

In September, 2018, Chief Judge Elijah Smiley, Senator George Gainer and court officials announced the creation of a Veteran’s Court in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.  The funds for such a court were funded by the 2018/19 Florida Legislature.  The funds were appropriated for the creation and support of problem-solving courts including veteran and mental health courts. 

The purpose of the Veteran’s Court is to reduce recidivism by emphasizing treatment and rehabilitation as an alternative to incarcerations, while also requiring offender accountability and increasing public safety.

In an interview with Larry Basford, Chief Prosecutor for the 14th Judicial Circuit, he said, “This will include all counties, Bay, Washington, Gulf, Calhoun, and Jackson. Basically, when a person is charged with a crime, whether that is a misdemeanor or a nonviolent felony, they may be eligible to go into this diversion program. The whole purpose of this is to reduce the recidivism by trying to get them to treatment and by then offering any kind of rehabilitation that they need whether that be in the form of long-term drug treatment or long-term counseling or it may be in addition to drugs and counseling, helping find them a place to live, helping them find them a job, something that they can do.  All of this is an alternative to incarceration, putting them in jail or in prison.”

In reference to the first veteran defendant into the Veteran’s Treatment Court, Basford said, “Last week, we accepted our first participant, our first veteran defendant into drug court March 8.  I think it is a worthwhile program that has been needed for a long time. Fortunately, you know Senator Gainer (George) helped get the appropriations for this diversion court.  Not only do I support it but it has the support of Mark Sims, the public defender.”

Basford says they have other veterans that they are screening for the diversion court. In addition to providing the services that they will need, each veteran defendant will have a mentor who is a law-abiding veteran that will help them, will come to court with them and will be there to help them on an as needed basis. 

Public Defender Mark Sims says he is very supportive of the program. 

UPDATE - Arrest made in Shack Circle homicide



Arrested:  Justin Andrae Shack Jr; age 14

Homicide occurred on March 5, 2019

On March 5, 2019, approximately 4:55 a.m., the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a juvenile male at 2880 Shack Circle, Marianna, FL. The juvenile stated that an unknown person(s) broke into the rear door of his home and shot a family member.  The first Deputy arrived on scene and observed the victim, Patricia Ann Shack age 65, lying on her bed with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.   

Investigators were assisted in the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Scene unit, the Department of Corrections Canine Unit, and the Florida Wildlife Commission.   During the investigation a shotgun and two .22 caliber rifles along with various other items of evidence were recovered from the house.  

DOC canine units were utilized to search the perimeter of the residence and surrounding wooded areas in an attempt to locate any human scent of possible suspect(s) leaving the residence.  No human scent or visible foot prints were located during their search.  The FWC article dog was then utilized in an attempt to locate any concealed firearms or shell casings that may have been hidden or dropped around the outside of the residence.  Neither of these items were located during this search. 

On March 14th Investigators received confirmation from the FDLE crime lab that the projectile recovered from the victim’s head during the autopsy was fired from one of the .22 caliber rifles recovered from the crime scene.

During the investigation, Investigators discovered discrepancies and inconsistencies with the juvenile’s 911 call and recollection of events as compared to evidence observed at the scene.  This, along with several witness statements and the forensic firearms evidence, lead Investigators to obtain an arrest warrant on March 18th, 2019 for the juvenile male for an open count of murder for the death of Patricia Ann Shack.  Investigators then traveled to Tallahassee and with the assistance of Leon County Sheriff’s Office Investigators the juvenile was taken into custody without incident.  The juvenile was transported to the juvenile detention facility in Leon County to await first appearance.

Sheriff Lou Roberts and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance with this investigation: The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Office of the State Attorney 14th Circuit, the District 14 Medical Examiner’s Office, Jackson Correctional Institution, Florida Wildlife Commission and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.  


Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts announced in a news conference Tuesday morning that an arrest had been made in the homicide of 65-year old Patricia Shack. Roberts said the homicide occurred March 5, 2019 off of Shack Drive.  He said the victim was found deceased at the residence from an apparent gunshot wound.  He said his investigators had been working tirelessly on the case with assistance from the onset from Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Crime Scene, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Service who assisted with canine tracking dogs, the tracking dogs from the Department of Corrections, and assistance from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Roberts stated the Medical Examiner’s Office along with the State Attorney’s Office of the 14th Judicial Circuit were involved and it has been a combined effort. He commended his investigators. He stated it was unfortunate that they have made an arrest in the case and clarified that it was unfortunate in that it was a family member. 

Investigator Cheree Edwards said the sheriff’s department had received the call at 4:55 on the morning of March 5 from a subject living in the home. She said he advised that his grandmother had been shot due to someone breaking into the house. She stated they called out the Florida Department of Law Enforcement where they processed the scene and several items of evidentiary value were taken from the home. Edwards stated, “Upon receiving the projectile from Mrs. Shack’s head where she was shot, they were compared to one of the firearms found in the home and it come back as conclusive for the match. At that point, we began to realize that the 911 call had discrepancies, we had discrepancies at the scene as well as statements from other family members which led us to be able to obtain an arrest warrant for the suspect. On March 18, we obtained that arrest warrant for the suspect.”  In reference to the question if they were the only two people in the house, Edwards said that was correct as far as they know. 

Edwards and another investigator traveled to Tallahassee and arrested the suspect without incident and at the time of the press conference she stated that he was awaiting first appearance.  The charge pending is an open count of murder.  

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