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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Marianna soccer wins again – beats North Bay Haven 8-1

  • Published in Sports

The Bulldogs showed up and showed out for the second night in a row with an 8-1 win over North Bay Haven.  The home crowd had plenty to cheer about from the opening kickoff till the final whistle blew.

A pair of Bulldogs had a banner night with a hat trick each. Riley Arunakul recorded a trifecta along with Bishop Bosland.  Beau Alday and Ronak Gocool both recorded a goal each.

Once again, the Bulldog offense was aided with assists driving the ball to them to find the back of the next.  Recording one assist each were Caden Akerson, Jac Clikas, Victor Dubeaux, Caleb Torbett and Taylor Young. 

Jacob Weaver was in the box for the Bulldogs and recorded seven saves on the night while allowing just one goal.

They faced Rickards for the third night in a row but didn’t have enough left in them for a win.  They fell 2-1 with Victor Dubeaux making the lone Bulldog goal. 

The NBA comes to Sneads

  • Published in Sports

It wasn’t a Celtics/Lakers matchup but the intensity was just as prevalent when the Sneads Old-Timers took the home court against the Grand Ridge Old-Timers last Friday night. Hurricane Michael changed the venue, but for the night, there was no mention or thought of Michael’s sweep through Jackson County. When all was said and done and the final buzzer sounded with no oxygen being required throughout the four quarters, it was Sneads with a 48-44 win, giving them bragging rights for the next year. 

Chris Johnson surpassed all expectations of not going more than three minutes when he lasted three minutes and 25 seconds and left with a round of applause and cheers.  Jumping John Smith was the work horse for the Indians along with lots of help from Teddy Garrett, Pat Garrett, Terrence Ellis, Terry Decree, Vershawn Perry and Desmond Simms.  

Sneads had their counterattack planned beautifully with now coach Isaac Livingston ably loaded with Blake Fitzsimmons, Steve Sprouse, Jason Milsapp, Jason Patterson, Doug Lewis and Phillip Wilson.  

Breaks were few and far between with the two teams battling for the prized “Jackson County Old-Timers” championship.

It was Grand Ridge on the board first with less than a minute off the clock but Sneads quickly answered with a shot from DOWNTOWN and the contest was on. Grand Ridge answered with a shot from way outside. Not to be outdone, Sneads came back with a pair of threes, making it a 9-5 game. The Grand Ridge faithful fans were getting restless, demanding a new ball with air in it, convinced the shots were going in and out of the basket due to improper inflation. Jumping John squashed their concerns briefly when he made a pair of buckets and added one from the charity stripe to give the Ridge a 10-9 brief lead.  A shot from way outside made that lead short-lived but a basket by Grand Ridge tied the game at 12. It was Sneads getting the last shot of the first quarter to take a 14-12 lead. 

The Ridge opened the second quarter with a downtown shot and added a bucket for insurance and a 17-14 lead. Sneads went to the line for one and then added a bucket and once again, it was a knotted game at 17. Four seconds later, Sneads answered with a three while Grand Ridge countered with a bucket. Buckets exchanged and a shot from the line and once again the game was tied at 22 with 2:40 until the half and the defibrillators could get to work to prepare the teams for the second half. The Ridge took the lead with a three 25-22 with 1:30 left but it was Sneads answering with a three of their own and another tie at 25. Grand Ridge had the last laugh of the first half with a downtown shot and a 28-25 lead going into the half. 

The lead continued to change between the east and west coast teams throughout the first part of the third quarter with Sneads pulling away 38-32 at the end on a 6-0 run.  A free throw for the Ridge and one for Sneads brought a little objection from the bench. Chris Johnson could be heard saying, “I think we getting some bum calls around here,” which brought another round of laughter.  Sneads added another bucket to make it an eight-point game with 5:16 left in the fourth. A three by the Ridge and a pair of buckets by an always competitive Jumping John narrowed the Sneads’ lead to 42-41. Not to be outdone on their own court, Sneads rallied to take the win 48-44.  You could hear lots of laughter, lots of reminiscing that let you know it was not about wins or losses but helping their alma mater’s programs. That being said, a few Grand Ridge loyals did mention the absence of Wayne and Donnie Edenfield on the court could have changed the outcome. 

The proceeds of the game will be given to Grand Ridge and Sneads basketball programs.  The proceeds were enhanced by a cake auction and a half-court shot where many, many youngsters dug deep in their pockets to participate. 

Sisters on the Fly rallying the wagons in Marianna

The news of the devastation suffered in Jackson County from Hurricane Michael made national news in October and continues to do so three months later.  Jackson County suffered extensive damage, many without power and the bare necessities for weeks, with roads still a daily struggle, many homes still surrounded by water and debris. It’s been over 100 days and the help is continuing with the latest arriving today (Thursday).  Sisters on the Fly will arrive today and be in Marianna through January 22.  

Sisters on the Fly is a very unique organization, a national adventure group of women, who are now over 12,000 strong.  They camp together in mostly vintage campers that will be camped today through Tuesday. They asked their corps group from the Pensacola area to help with rebuilding, clean up and repairing homes in the Panama Beach area post Hurricane Michael. They did this also in Texas, post Hurricane Harvey.

They have now organized a group of 70 Sisters from across the country with some coming from as far away as 1,000 miles, to rally the wagons and help the residents of Marianna.  They will have boots on the ground, camping at the Trinity Baptist Church, armed with women-power, tools, saws, paint, cleaning supplies, clothing, pet supplies, gift cards, etcetera to help those families in need, as well as a no-kill shelter, and a woman’s shelter.  All of this will be through donations of their time and money. They will be hosting an auction at their meet and greet and presenting the entire proceeds to one of the shelters.

They will be working in conjunction with a few of the churches here to get in contact with those families in need. They have received seven full pages of personal requests from families in dire need of help. One family with six children lost everything and are waiting on a trailer. 

In an interview with Kelly Tallant of Sisters on the Fly, she told the TIMES a little about the history and origin of Sisters on the Fly (SOTF), “Sisters on the Fly was created probably about 20 years ago by two women who decided they were going to be adventurous while their husbands went out fishing without them and they went out and got a camper and started fly fishing. One thing led to another and fast forward to today. We are now over 12,000 women strong with women doing this.  Most of them have vintage campers that they fixed up to camp in. We are all over the country from every state.  I think there is now one in Australia and London.  Our main leader asked me poll a group here to see if we would be interested in going over to help and of course we like to give back to the community. We said, of course we’d like to do that. We did this in Texas after Hurricane Harvey and it was a smaller group of women and the first time we had done it.”

Tallant said they put the word out to other sisters in the group and they have 70 women from as far away as Texas, Ohio and New York who are all going to be converging down on the Marianna area. The reason they chose that area is that one of the sisters’ mother does a lot of work for the churches over here in the rebuilding and construction. 

Tallant had a little extra spark in her voice when she said, “We are going to rally the wagons like the old-fashioned way and we are going to have campfires, we are going to bring our campers in and we have a kitchen crew that the church is allowing us to use their kitchen for cooking.  We have ten groups of seven women and we are going to go out to various homes whether it’s cleaning their homes, taking out sheetrock, painting or just whatever needs to be done.” 

Government shutdown impacting local residents

The impact of the United States government shutdown has made its way to Jackson County. As little as 20 years ago, no one in our community would have had a second thought about decisions in Washington D.C. directly affecting the livelihood of Jackson County Citizens.  That all changed with the recent mandated government shutdown that came on the heels of Hurricane Michael.

With no agreement on the building of a wall at the southern border, the partial government shutdown goes on. Residents in Marianna who are employed at the Federal prison are feeling the impact of the shutdown daily. The husband leaves for his two-week stint only to return to find his wife packing for hers. 

FCI employees now have a seven hour, 400 plus mile commute to work which they make in two-week intervals. For families with husbands and wives both working at the prison, the impact is doubled. Add one, two or three children to the mix and you can see the impact it has on the family unit. 

Federal employees are dealing with the situation the very best they can but feel trapped to openly discuss the hardship for fear of being targeted for their comments. One 22-year employee said recently when given anonymity that the hardest part was all of the critical comments from non-federal employees about how they should have been prepared and had money saved. He said he and his wife did have money saved prior to Hurricane Michael but that the debt they incurred not covered by insurance with debris removal, deductibles on their insured property for their house and both vehicles, had consumed all of their savings. They are now faced with a seven-hour drive, out-of-pocket expenses while the government remains shut down. He quickly says they have it better than most since their children are grown and not under their budget but for families who have children at home and in school, they are really feeling the pinch. 

One employee with two non-school age children said she and her husband have pulled their children out of daycare to save that expense but fear having a spot for them when the shutdown is over and they can afford to have them in daycare again. She said right now she keeps them for two weeks while her husband is away working and her husband keeps them on the weeks she is away. 

In an interview with our partnered station, WMBB Channel 13, federal correctional officer Charles Jones said, “Waking up, packing up, and heading to work is the same routine Charles Jones has been doing for the last six years. “I transferred here about six years ago but I’ve been working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons for almost ten years.”  

Except now, work isn’t an hour drive away from his Lynn Haven home. “It’s more than 6 hours that we’re traveling right now it’s almost four hundred miles,” said Jones. Like many other buildings in the area, the Federal Prison in Marianna received damage from Hurricane Michael. 

“They had some damage to the facility and had to move those inmates out,” said Jim Dean, Marianna City Manager. Correction officers have also been relocated to work in Yazoo for two week stretches. With the partial government shutdown, the employees are not getting paid.

The Times received a call from Malone Mayor Gene Wright Monday morning with concerns about federal workers with children and the lack of a paycheck and the impact it was having on the families. We spoke with the mother of an employee who stated her grandchildren were suffering because of missed paychecks and one parent out of the home for two weeks at a time working six or seven hours away, “Something needs to be done to help these employees out now, not whenever the government opens again.”  

Wright immediately went to work and has supplies on the way.  He is in contact with federal employees at FCI to set up the best way to get the employees and their families assistance. He has monetary donations coming in that will be distributed also. 

And the federal prison isn’t the only federal offices affected. The United States Department of Agriculture provides crucial assistance to farmers and cattlemen, many of whom plant cotton, soybeans, peanuts or raise cattle.

A visit to the local U.S.D.A. last week found a printed sign taped to the door that read, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture office is currently closed, due to the lapse in federal government funding. The office will reopen once funding is restored.”

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