Jane Powell is District Two Volunteer of the Year

Jane Powell is District Two Volunte…

This year’s District Two ...

Maredith Mitchell – Going outside the box

Maredith Mitchell – Going outside t…

Teachers come in all ages...

Jackson County Landmark goes up in  flames

Jackson County Landmark goes up in …

Even as the flames swept ...

Malone School celebrates breakfast week

Malone School celebrates breakfast …

Everyone knows that break...

Dr. Sarah Clemmons is new Chipola College President

Dr. Sarah Clemmons is new Chipola C…

Dr. Sarah Clemmons was na...

George Richard Lawrence - “I put the kids first”

George Richard Lawrence - “I put th…

George Lawrence was a uni...

Sneads Elementary celebrates a variety of events

Sneads Elementary celebrates a vari…

Sneads Elementary School ...

Marianna High TSA takes first place at State

Marianna High TSA takes first place…

Vicki Garrett, year in an...

Edward Jones - Transporting children to school for 18 years

Edward Jones - Transporting childre…

Edward Jones was a pionee...

Chipola Quick Care Complex officially opens

Chipola Quick Care Complex official…

The Grand Opening and Rib...

Prev Next
Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

Website URL:

Jane Powell is District Two Volunteer of the Year

This year’s District Two Volunteer of the Year award went to Marianna Woman’s Club member Jane Powell.  Jane served as president of the Marianna Woman’s Club from 2014-2015.  Throughout her time with the Marianna Woman’s Club, Jane Powell has gone above and beyond the expectations of any member.  She has put her heart and soul in every project she has undertaken.  Her fellow members hold her in the highest regard for her dedication to her projects.  Her efforts were recently rewarded when she was named the District Two Volunteer of the Year.  Below is the letter submitted in recommending Powell for this honor.

“Jane served as club President during the 2014-16 club year and finished her last four months in 2016. She asked for her special emphasis to be Membership and Veterans Affairs during her tenure.  Membership was increased by 29 new members and she organized the Marianna Woman’s Club (MWC) Veteran’s Appreciation Fair. Jane and her husband fought the VA Administration for 30 years to get the benefits he was entitled to and got nowhere with them. She eventually got them not only for him, but also she gained knowledge that she put into the Fair organization for MWC. She secured 12 different vendors with information to pass out to the veterans that would help them with questions concerning their health and services available to them that they may not have known about.  The local park to hold the event, a community partner to help with cooking the lunch and a program provided by their local, new senator and a 100 plus member Elementary School chorus completed Jane’s coordination of the Fair. It was a great success – over 300 people attended this event.  T.V. and local newspapers helped to made this a great success. She serves as Public Issues Department Chairman and coordinated and worked the National Salute to Veteran Patients, for a week, at the local VA Outpatient Clinic with club members handing  out Valentine’s and treats to the veterans as they came in for their appointments.  Jane provided baked goods for the Jackson County Library Dessert Extravaganza, sandwiches for the Special Olympics, Christmas gifts for the nursing homes, and food items for the MWC food drive for the Home Life Department, sponsored 3 children (Operation Christmas Child) for the International Outreach project, and produced many beautiful handmade items for the annual Christmas Auction for the Budget/Finance fundraising efforts. 

She coordinated the design of the MWC pin with proceeds to be placed in the Capital 

Improvements Account to help with the up-keep of their clubhouse. She helped our community sponsor, the Chipola Civic Club, with their annual Memorial Day Veteran’s and FirstResponders Appreciation Day. She assisted the MWC in the Clinton Street Halloween Trunk or Treat Festival – Jane poured 400 cups of punch and helped to hand out a barrel of candy to children in a safe environment. Jane decorated 2 tables in our annual Mother’s Day Celebration, provided the program, and assisted with other aspects of the event.  Jane worked to produce MWC’s first First Responder’s Appreciation Day for the many “First Responders” working inour local community in the Police, Sheriff, and Fire Departments.  Jane supported the FFWC CCI and Hacienda State projects not only with her time, but also with her  monetary donations. 

Jane coordinated the MWC Bag Mat project for homeless veterans by not only holding small meetings to teach members and volunteers crocheting, but also how to turn plastic bags into strands of crochet material for the sleeping mats. Newspaper coverage, 3 different times in local newspapers in one week, brought then an invitation to the local Malone Pecan Festival and Fun Day where many hundreds of people saw hands on bag mat demonstrations throughout the day. 

She attended the 2016 LEADS program, put what she had learned about leadership to work, and committed herself to the District 2 Membership Chairman position.  Jane truly does “Live the Volunteer Spirit” in her community with her 484 volunteer hours and lives by her club motto, ‘Not for Ourselves, But for Others.’”

The Jackson County Times salutes Jane Powell on her accomplishments and a most deserved award.


Four Jackson County players make East All-Star Basketball Classic

  • Published in Sports

The 13th Annual All-Star Basketball Classis is scheduled for April 8 at the Billy Harrison Field House at Gulf Coast State College.  The East Boys roster of players is now confirmed.  

The team includes players from eight counties including four from Jackson County.  Graceville’s Derrick White, Marianna’s Jaeden Harley and Anton Williams, and Sneads D’Anta Williams all made the roster.

D’Anta Williams had an extraordinary season, averaging 15.8 points per game, with 2.3 assists.  He averaged 6.4 rebounds per game in the 23 games.  Throughout the 2016-17 season, he was named MaxPreps Player of the Game eight times.   The senior recorded 363 points on the season with 55 of 104 free throws made, giving him a 53% average from the charity stripe.  Williams pulled down 88 offensive rebounds and 59 defensive rebounds, while recording 53 assists.  He had 35 steals and 16 blocks on the year.  Coach Rob Hubbs had the pleasure of coaching Williams and says he couldn’t be prouder, “D’Anta was great to coach and I’m going to miss him.  His passion for the game and his teammates will be hard to match.  He did everything I asked of him on the court and I look forward to hearing about his success in 

the future.”

Derrick White was an integral part of his team this year and their quest for a state championship.  White average 19 points in his 26 games.  He averaged seven rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3.5 steals.  White recorded 493 points on the year with 36 offensive rebounds and 147 defensive rebounds.  

He had 70 assists, 92 steals, and 21 blocks.  Coach Justin Miles was new to Graceville this year but learned quickly what a competitor White was, “I am happy for a guy to be on it from Graceville.  Derrick deserves to be on there because he has put a lot of work in to being one of the best players in this area.  I am really happy for him.”

Jaeden Harley averaged 12 points per game with four assists as a point guard for the Bulldogs.  Harley was a consistent force throughout the season for the Bulldog, recording 15 points in the Pensacola Catholic game during the playoffs with a team-leading 14 points in the game against Raines in Jacksonville.  That win landed the Bulldogs a trip to the final four in Lakeland. About his selection to the East All-Star team, Harley says, “Coach Anderson told me last week, that me and Anton would be playing at Gulf Coast.  I think it’s a great opportunity because not many people have get to play in this game.  It’s been a while since Marianna had two people playing in it at one time and it’s going to be fun for me and Anton.”  About his future, Harley says nothing is set in stone yet, “I’ve been trying to send my highlights to a few schools.  Basketball is what I’m looking to play at the next level because I love the game.”  Harley is the son of Latina Broxton and William Harley.

Anton Williams rounds out the selections from Jackson County.  Williams was a force for the Bulldogs throughout their 27-win season, including a season high 26 points against Catholic to propel the Bulldogs to a trip to Jacksonville in route to the final four at state.    Williams averaged nine points and seven rebounds per game.  Williams has signed to play football at Charleston Southern for the 2017 season.  

MHS principal Hunter Nolen says of Williams and Harley, “These boys gave everything they had when they stepped on the court.  They were great teammates, leaders, and loved the game.  That showed in every game.  We are very proud they were chosen for this honor.”

Maredith Mitchell – Going outside the box

Teachers come in all ages, with a variety of skills and teaching techniques.  Every now and then you find a teacher with a unique way of going outside the box to engage her kids in the learning process.  Maredith Mitchell who teaches first grade at Golson Elementary is one such teacher.  

Day after day, season after season, Mrs. Mitchell strives to find learning avenues that peak the child’s interest and gives them incentive to want to grasp the knowledge that is being taught.  Mrs. Mitchell had a great teacher before choosing her career path in that her mom is Janie Nolen.  She readily gives her full credit.

Teachers who have taught with Mitchell, praise her teaching.  Anne Mathis has taught with Mitchell for a number of years, “Maredith is a dedicated, loving, hard-working, and creative teacher. She strives to see that all of her students are successful and creates experiences in her classroom that are not only educational but make lasting memories for her children.”  

Brandi Harris started teaching with Mitchell at Golson and taught with her until Harris left in 2014.  Harris says of Maredith, “Maredith is such a genuinely loving person that truly cares about each and every one of her students.  She gives 110% of herself in and out of her classroom to ensure that her students succeed.”

As an administrator, Jessica Craven worked with Mitchell, “Maredith is one of the hardest working teachers I’ve worked alongside.  She is committed to excellence for each and every one of her students and strives daily to help them to achieve it, always with a smile on her face.  She’s one of those rare combinations of impeccable work ethic and joy to be around.  I wish I could clone her.”  

Oftentimes, teachers are judged by students by how ‘easy’ they are.  Mitchell’s praise comes from another angle.  Mitchell’s students give her credit for instilling the want to learn in them.   A student from Mitchell’s third year of teaching said, “Mrs. Mitchell always smiled and always, always made learning fun but you learned.  We did fun stuff that taught us math, and how to write sentences.  It wasn’t like we were in school most days but we learned.”   

From joining the kids in dressing up on dress up days, to drilling them for those all-important state tests, Mitchell has a smile on her face and her kid’s best interest in her heart.

Congratulations to Maredith Mitchell on going outside the box to teacher your students! 

Jackson County Landmark goes up in flames

Even as the flames swept up the walls and stretched through doorways of the building built in 1914 using locally available natural materials, the Milton family chose to think about the building’s history and the heritage which they and the other families who operated businesses from it shared. By the early night, the building built by Sydney Daffin, Sr, in the early 20th century had been destroyed by fire.  The lightwood, “lightard as it is commonly called, “floors, walls and counters were especially fast to burn because of the richness of the wood itself. Sydney Daffin was second generation Daffin; it was he who built the original main building after his own father Robert Dale Daffin had started a mercantile business which was then moved into the new building and named Daffin Mercantile. For the next hundred plus years, this building was the site for family businesses; first, the Daffin’s and next the Milton’s.  

As John V. and Alma Milton watched the blaze, they no doubt reflected upon the extraordinary building, the family business it had housed, their children at work and play inside, their memories of working there, and the many friends and patrons with whom they visited each day. Even on this Thursday afternoon, their son John Milton had taken the new county administrator, Ernie Padgett, on a tour of the facility. Padgett marveled at the building’s interior, its native materials, and features like the well -worn counter and the elevator; he had expressed the desire to bring his wife Lydia back so that she could also see the building. The Milton’s ran their business for over 45 years. Before the Milton’s took over the store, Alma’s father, Dr. Charlie Wandeck took it over during an especially lean economic time.  He did not intend to run the business permanently but was anxious to keep it going for the benefit of the area and its people. As they watched, they also had the opportunity to recall more history of the structure. 

 Prior to the acquisition of the property by Dr. Wandeck, generations of the Daffin family of Marianna were engaged in their business, Daffin Mercantile, at this location. 

Though the decades- old business had been closed in October 2014, the building constructed in 1914 by Daffin family patriarch, Sydney Daffin, Sr., had housed one of Marianna’s successful businesses for 144 years.  Generations of the Daffin family had successively taken the helm of Daffin Mercantile:    Sydney Daffin, Sr., Ralph Daffin, Hunter Daffin, and Lee Daffin. Robert Dale Daffin, father of Sydney Daffin, Sr. is credited with starting the family business initially. 

Members of the Daffin family remembered days spent in the building while growing up, working or playing there. The big old building made a perfect place for children to busy themselves by pilfering candy or snacks when they could, riding the freight elevator and the conveyor belt, major attractions to the youngsters at play. 

Lee Daffin, current president of the company shared memories of the business including the many employees who worked there throughout the many years. He, too, worked there in the summers and when needed. He recalls that the work was hard and included chores like cleaning, carrying groceries, straightening inventory—all needed to keep the business running and the process efficient. My parents were all about the training for life they felt we needed and it also meant that we were busy, contributing to our family business. As with any kid, a lot of the work was “go, get that” and “bring me this.”  “Still, there was a feeling of belonging to something important in our family. Seeing the building on fire was tough because of the many memories and the valuable grounding I got there. I can’t say I always loves it but I can say I nearly always understood that it was where I was supposed to be.” Daffin said he was working late in Quincy last Thursday when he got the call about the fire, “After that my phone started blowing up.” Daffin took time to reflect on the number of employees who, at one time, had worked for the family owned business.  Daffin without hesitation praised the employees, “Everyone was great.  We always had great employees. Cliff Daniel worked with us 40 something years and he always brought a smile to you if you needed it and sometimes if you didn’t. He was just one of many.”

After his inspection of the rest of the site, Daffin chose to comment on the fact that the warehouses looked like they were still in good shape. He had highest accolades for the fire departments for the way they worked to contain the fire to the older wooden building. He continued, “It could have been a whole lot worse; they made sure it didn’t spread to the other parts and we are so grateful for that.”

During the years of operation, stockholders including members of the John V. Milton family became involved in the company and held various offices.  John, Johnny, Chris, and Brian all had significant roles through the years. The company definitely was characterized by a family-type relationship with each other and all the employees. When the company did close in 2014, that commitment meant that the owners helped displaced employees find other employment.  John Milton pointed out that London Cobb worked for them for years.  After the closing, Mr. Cobb went to work at Jackson Hospital and very recently was again named the hospital’s Employee of the Month. He and others continue to exemplify the work ethic and business values of the Daffin Mercantile/Daffin Food Service employees.

Situated in what was known as “Daffin bottom,” the Daffin business at the time of its closure was the longest running business in Marianna. (Originally named Daffin Mercantile, the name was changed in later years to Daffin Food Service to reflect the focus upon supplying restaurants and grocery stores.)

In small towns everywhere, residents walk about in their communities hardly noticing the structures by which they walk.  The pace of daily life and its concerns often keep us from studying and truly appreciating the buildings, landmarks, and activities nearby.  The history these things encapsulate often escapes our notice as far as their being important or comforting in providing a “sense of place” about where we live. The Daffin building was one such building. The features therein, lightwood “lightard”, unpainted ceilings, exemplary woodwork, scarred counters, worn surfaces—all bear testimony to the life’s work of these families and the history of the Marianna community at large. Its accidental destruction, which appears to have been spontaneous since no electricity had run in the building since its closure, took the physical building from view. However, the Daffin, Wandeck, and Milton families’ mark on the history of this area stands as tribute to these industrious entrepreneurs whose forebears saw an economic opportunity and created a hometown business which stood the test of time for over 100 years. The story of the Daffin business is representative of the story of many Americans during the 20th century; these families worked and supported their community in countless ways. Daffin Mercantile, later Daffin Food Service, is the embodiment of America’s small business success stories.

Subscribe to this RSS feed