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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Graceville softball wins 13-7

  • Published in Sports

Everyone following Jackson County sports knows that Graceville softball has had its struggles this year, but they have given 100% every game and every practice. Friday night, the proof was in the pudding that hard work and a few key hits pays off when they won 14-6 over the Malone Lady Tigers. 

Malone went on offense first and picked up one run. Mikayla Anderson led off with a walk and stole second before scoring on a double by Ashlyn Golden. With two outs, Elizabeth Carnley drew a walk but an out ended the inning and left her on first. Graceville was hungry for a win and jumped out with seven runs in the first inning.  Jasmine Bellamy walked and moved to third on a single by Cassidy Miller. With one out, walks to Kaylee Skinner, Aliyah Wilburn, Hope McAllister, and Jordan Wesley followed.  Jonay Jones singled with Ny’omi Daniels taking one for the team, to plate two more runs before Jasmine Bellamy drew her second walk of the inning. Cassidy Miller doubled, scoring two, followed by a walk to Kaylee Skinner before the inning came to an end.

Malone scored two runs in the second inning with Hollie Askew leading off with a single and went to third on an error. With one out, Daniya Collins and Mikayla Anderson drew a pair of walks with Askew and Collins scoring before the inning came to an end.  Graceville added another run in the bottom of the frame.  With one out, Jonay Jones drew a walk and scored before the third out of the inning was made. 

Malone was retired in order in the top of the third inning. Graceville had opportunity but failed to execute a run across the plate. Cassidy Miller drew a walk but was left stranded on third. 

Malone plated one run in the fourth inning when Hollie Askew led off with a single and stole second. A walk to Mikayla Anderson resulted in Askew crossing the plate. Graceville had two left on base in the fourth inning. With one out, Hope McAllister singled and moved to second when Jordan Wesley drew a walk. Both runners stole a base but a pair of outs left them on the bags. 

Malone scored three runs in the fifth inning. With one out, Carissa Winget took one for the team, and scored on a single by Madison Peeler. Elizabeth Carnley drew a walk and both runners scored on a single by Brandy Adams.  Graceville had a leadoff single by Asiaana Harvey but she was left on third when the third out came.  

Malone threatened in the sixth inning but came up empty. Daniya Collins drew a leadoff walk with Mikayla Anderson taking one for the team. Both runners were left on the base. Graceville add two runs in their half of the frame. Kaylee Skinner drew a walk and with one out, Hope McAllister was issued a walk. Jordan Wesley and Miah Fountain both drew walks with two runs scoring before the final batter went down swinging. 

Graceville added two runs in the seventh inning.  Walks to Aliyah Wilburn, Jonay Jones, and Jasmine Bellamy, coupled with Hope McAllister taking one for the team accounted for the final two runs of the game, giving Graceville their first win of the season. 

Chipola basketball finishes second in the state

  • Published in Sports

The Chipola Indians basketball team finished out their season 22-8, with a 2-1 run in the state championship games. They opened the state tournament with a solid 77-65 win over Eastern Florida State College in the very first game of the tournament. They then handed St. Petersburg College a 93-72 defeat before facing off against panhandle conference foe, the Northwest Florida State Raiders. After winning over the Raiders at the Johnson Center on homecoming evening 98-91, the Indians fell 92-67, taking second place in the state for 2018.  

The Indians hung tough throughout the season with the Raiders, losing in their first game 85-73 at home before taking their game on the road for a closer 85-79 loss. The third game, it was all Chipola, handing the Raiders a 98-91 defeat.  Such was not the case in the fourth matchup. 

The Indians trailed 39-28 at the half before the Raiders pulled away in the second half of the championship game. 

Chipola shot 38% in the game and was led by Keishawn Brewton, who had 22 points and eight rebounds. Brewton also led the team in steals with four. JJ Miles added 13 points and Brandon Mahan was in double digits with 10 points. Shamarkus Kennedy led the team in rebounds with 10. Kennedy also added nine points and four blocks.

Shamarkus Kennedy, Brandon Mahan, and JJ Miles were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Congratulations to Coach Bret Campbell, his staff, and the Indians basketball team on a great season from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.

Jackson County looking to expand recreational areas

Jackson County Commissioner Eric Hill, District 4, has been looking at the prospect of providing more recreational facilities, camping, and outdoor activities for children and families for some time. He is making progress on his forward thinking with some property in Sneads. He is looking to enhance port landing.

Hill said the property referred to as the Old Port Authority was purchased back in January of 2017.  Hill says, “Commissioner Stephens (Kenneth) actually helped facilitate this when he was in office. This started July of 2016 and we closed on this the first week January of 2017.”

Hill said the county crews had been out at the property for about two months and were making headway, “We’ve got Brian Bairwood from Melvin Engineering to make sure that all the wetlands were preserved. We will have a nature trail and Robert (Douthitt) already has it cleared out for a small path. It’s going to be a walk path and kind of arch. We can’t mess with that over there because it’s the flood plains. We will have picnic tables out there, and we will have some camping out here, some primitive and some pull through. We will eventually try to have a park host. People don’t fish here, this is the only access to the river unless you go through the dam. The problem is you have people coming here, putting their boat in. There may not be but five cars a day and their cars get vandalized. We want a camp host down here to watch over it and give it some security to the people that come here, that at least someone is watching their boats and stuff.”

When asked about having slides and recreational equipment Commissioner Hill responded, “We’re not sure, because this area floods. The railroad track that you come over back there, there’s been water there before. We’re not exactly sure what all we will be able to have here. We’d like to do some type of activity stuff, and if we do, it’s got to be made to where it can survive floods.”

Hill said eventually they would like to have eight drive-thru and pull thru RV camps. He said they would like to have primitive camping for tents, and to have a wash off here. Hill said, “The thing we have to overcome and Robert’s very familiar with this is, we’d like to have a wash house here. We can’t have bathrooms down here because of the septic tanks and flood plain. We could probably put a dump station there if D.E.P. will let us. It’s up to them, we shouldn’t have a problem, just have something to where they can empty their RV Parks on the way out with their waste water. We’d like to have shower houses, water, lighting and things like that. We just want to make sure this is known and again this is the only access to the river and we’ve required the easement going through the property. The water in there is privately owned. They can’t even come off the river and fish in there either. That’s enforced by Florida Wildlife Conservation (FWC). It’s the only access to the river on the Jackson County side. They can launch boats and come and go they just can’t fish in the basin. His plan was to develop all of this. On the old port side, he’s got a big cabin, and all that stuff. His plans were to put campers up there and floating homes here. Now he’s sold this to us and he’s going to sell everything else. We have approximately eight acres. $120,000-$125,000 ball park price for the property. I got with Robert and Larry and we designed all this.”

Hill is realistic that it is in the early stages but is confident this will be a great improvement to the area and provide family recreation for Jackson County residents.

Campbellton-Graceville Hospital is nearing sale status

The Campbellton- Graceville Hospital has been vacated for some time, but that status may be closer to coming to an end.  In an exclusive interview with Michael Kozar, CEO of Northwest Florida Community Hospital this week, he is hopeful that the sale will be forthcoming.

Mr. Kozar stated, “House Bill 1449 passed through the House and Senate earlier this month and is currently with the Governor for his signature.  This Bill will enable the hospital district to sell the property to Northwest Florida Community Hospital (NFCH).  NFCH is currently leasing the Graceville Clinic, which is staffed with John D. Byrd, MD and Michael Kennedy, ARNP who are providing healthcare services to the community.  

Kozar said, “Upon completion of the sale of the hospital to Northwest Florida Community Hospital, we plan to repurpose the facility.  Though we have not made a definitive decision on which program will go into this facility, we are currently evaluating (3) possibilities.  1) an inpatient geriatric psych facility which would be for elderly residents who may require psychiatric treatment; 2) a chemical dependency/ medical detox facility for patients who are facing opioid, drug or alcohol abuse.  This would allow us to medically stabilize the patients and get them into a treatment plan; and 3) we are considering a program that would allow is to treat Baker Act patients.  NFCH is working closely with a partner who is experienced in operating these types of medical facilities and over the next few weeks we will determine a business plan that is the best utilization of that facility for the surrounding communities.   We anticipate that it will take some time to complete the licensure process, but anticipate that by the end of this year, we can have the facility repurposed and operational in providing patient care.”  

Mr. Kozar concluded with a very positive outlook about the future of the former Campbellton-Graceville Hospital and the strong possibility of bringing jobs back to the Graceville community.  He stated, “We continue to be excited about our options, but must wait for the Governor’s approval of the Bill to enable us to advance to the next phase in utilizing the facility.”

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