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Commissioners declare state of emergency in light of Hurricane Michael

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Commissioners declare state of emergency in light of Hurricane Michael

Commissioners declare state of emer…

The Jackson County Commis...

Jackson County Education Foundation rewards teachers

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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Commissioners declare state of emergency in light of Hurricane Michael

The Jackson County Commissioners called a special meeting Monday at 11:30 to discuss the county’s position on preparations for Hurricane Michael. 

Emergency Management Director Rodney Andreasen addressed the board saying emphatically, “To be honest with you, this is one that Jackson County has never experienced before and this is going to be bad. What we are looking at now is this morning we were looking at a category one and as of one hour ago, we are looking at a category 3 coming into Panama City at 120 mile-an-hour wind and exiting the county at as a category 2. The eye is selected to go over between Grand Ridge and Sneads and go up through eastern part of the community.  They say it could reach category 4 level so what we are doing at this time, we had all the department heads and several cities in attendance and to make it the safest we can, we are expecting tropical force winds into the county at around 7 p.m. so we are looking at around 39 miles per hour into the night.  In talking with the school board, we are going to open the shelter at 7 a.m. tomorrow. We are going to open as soon as the schools close at 3 p.m. today, we are going to get the PSN people in there to start setting up and the animal control people as well in case we need a pet friendly shelter. Tomorrow morning, we will start moving the PSNs at 7 a.m.”  

Andreasen said they will be coordinating that with Calhoun and St. Joe because they do house their special needs people. We will get them moved in first. He said general shelters will open at 10 a.m. and after tropical force winds reach 39 miles per hour they will not move any ambulances, anything because it is simply too dangerous. They will activate to level one at that time Tuesday morning on a skeleton crew because Andreasen says it will be a great strain on folks that he has working in there.  At 1 p.m. they will take their whole crew and everybody will be on staff for 24 hours. 

The Times will update our readers through our website and social media as information is provided to us.

Rio the Turkey is home for the holidays

Tammy Elkins Taylor’s pet turkey Rio has been missing for almost a year. Last week when Facebook posts starting popping up about a turkey showing up in town in areas around the college, it crossed Taylor’s mind that it could be Rio. However, that was a long-shot at best for a turkey to go from Dogwood Heights to the area near Chipola College and she knew he had not graduated high school yet. In an interview with Taylor Saturday morning she was still more than shocked that her family pet was safe at home after MIA for nearly a year.  

Taylor said, “It’s so crazy, he left in October of last year. We’ve been looking for him, we went around to Ben Saunders place on Old US Road and we looked and looked, because they have turkeys too. His gate was still closed the morning when we got up and he was gone so we thought someone probably took him. We had hoped that maybe he had flown out and went there, anyway we looked and looked. We kind of had just given up that we would never see him again.”

Taylors says that when her hope was sparked again when she saw the Facebook posts but knew that was truly a long shot, “Jonathan Fuqua and Russell Roberts started talking about this turkey that kept coming to visit them last night on Facebook. Stacy Larkin was talking about one at her door and I’m like, ‘Do y’all have a picture of this turkey?’ Especially when they were saying he was trying to get inside, because he was a pet and would follow us all over the yard and stay right with us or come up to the porch. When they sent the picture I was like, ‘Tim, this looks like Rio.’”

When Taylor told Fuqua, Roberts and Larkin about the turkey and that he looked like the family’s turkey they told her that Rio had been making his rounds visiting people. Elkins said Stacy said she had given him some cat food and I don’t know what all Jonathan and Russell may have thrown out for him to have.

Her hopes were given a boost Saturday morning, “Then I get a text this morning saying he was at Dr. Sherrill’s office trying to get in the front door of the doctor’s office. They sent me a picture with him at Dr. Sherrill’s office trying to get in the front door.  So, we get in the car and go up there.  But when we get there the lawn equipment must have scared him off I guess with the mowers and stuff. We’re riding around Fourth Street and all in there looking for him and Tim’s calling him, ‘Rio, Rio, Rio.’ We turned down Second Street and I stopped to call him and we heard him and so, we’re looking. We can’t see him, but we can hear him. Finally, we start down by the office and all of a sudden Tim goes, ‘Stop! There he is!’ I stopped and Tim bails out of the car and he was on the porch of the Lewis’ that live on Second Street. He was trying to get in their front door. Tim picked him up and put him in the car and he road home in Tim’s lap to our house and that’s where he is now.”

Rio is safely locked in a cage where he can’t get out and make a second trip around town. Taylor says Rio has now reached celebrity status.  He has been invited to be in the Marianna High School homecoming parade. Taylor said that Marianna football booster president Robert Reiff called and wanted to know if Rio would be available to be in Marianna’s homecoming parade. Rio had also been invited to the Russ House, Taylor says, “There are a few other little things that people have been calling and wanting him to do. He’s become quite the little celebrity.”

The Taylors had Rio about two and a half years before he went missing. Rio is about three and a half years old now. Some of Rio’s favorite activities at home are following his ‘dad’ Tim around on the lawn mower and will occasionally take a ride on the mower. Taylor said she is undecided on what she and Rio will ride on in the homecoming parade and is uncertain if Rio will be the Grand Marshall of the parade. Taylor laughed when she said, “They did tell us they wanted us to bring him downtown before the parade and let him hob nob. I never knew my claim to fame would be a turkey. He just roams in the yard and follows Tim while he’s doing his farm duties; feeding the chickens and rabbits, planting trees and whatever Tim is doing outside, Rio is his sidekick.”

Taylor named Rio after the 2011 movie ‘Rio’ because he was very colorful and all of his tailfeathers had beautiful colors. People knew or could tell by Rio’s actions that he wasn’t just a random turkey when he would stop and pay citizens a visit. Taylor said that Stacy Larkin’s son Dustin told his mom that he wasn’t just a turkey, that he had to be someone’s pet because he would just walk right up to them. Taylor continued to say that Rio will let you hug him, rub or kiss him on top of his head and that he’s very loveable. She says they’ve always been able to touch him and that Rio acts more like a dog than a turkey. Along with Rio the Taylors have 60 chickens, 16-18 rabbits, four other turkeys, two dogs and a green cheeked parrot. Taylor said that the chickens love Rio, the turkeys they got after Rio went missing so they are a little curious as to why he is there and that Rio is really curious as to why his daddy has all of these turkeys now. 

Keep your eyes open for Rio’s guest appearances about town – it’s sure to be entertaining. For the next week, Elkins says she thinks Rio will be perfectly content to sit at home and be petted by family.

Jackson County Education Foundation rewards teachers

Jackson County Schools are truly blessed to have the help and backing of the Jackson County Education Foundation.  Each year, they work long and tireless hours to raise funds to give back to the classrooms and students in the schools located right here in their county.  

Their biggest fundraiser comes from their annual pork chop dinner that is held in the fall but they have many smaller fundraisers throughout the year.   They are gearing up for their biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual smoked pork chop dinner with all the trimmings.  This year the dinner will be held November 7 and will include a smoked pork chop, corn on the cob, baked beans and a dessert. Dinners may be picked up from 10:30 till 12:15 at the Armory on highway 90 or deliveries of large orders can be made. The Foundation stresses that for every dollar donated to JCEF, the state matches it so your dollar goes a really long way. 

The Foundation is aware that each year the teachers spend money out of their pockets to fund items needed for their classrooms.  JCEF offers grants to teachers to help offset those out-of-pocket expenses.  This year, JCEF funded 30 grants for K-12 schools for a value of $29,116.23.  There were two school grants, five group grants, and 23 individual grants.  Jackson Alternative School and Grand Ridge School were the schools receiving grants.

Charlotte Gardner and the JCEF were all smiles yesterday as they handed out the grant awards to some very happy teachers.  Check out next week’s TIMES for the teachers and their grants requests to see what awesome things are in store for Jackson County Schools in the coming months. 

Kudos to the Jackson County Education Foundation. 

Grand Ridge football keeps it perfect at 3-0

  • Published in Sports

The Grand Ridge Indians have defied all odds this season. Their season was off to a rocky start. They did not know if they were going to have a coach for their football team which led to a late start on the season.  They started weeks behind other middle school teams in the area but have shown in their first three games that they are up to the task of competing with the best of the best. 

This past week, they added their third win of the season in as many tries. They handed the Bonifay Blue Devils a 28-14 loss.  

The Indians wasted no time in getting on the board and setting the tone for the game. Jason Patterson removed the goose egg from the scoreboard early in the first quarter with a 45-yard touchdown run. The Blue Devils tied the game early in the second quarter but that is as close as they would come to making a challenge for the win. 

It was Patterson who added the second Indians’ touchdown with Kilik Simmons making good on the two-point conversion. The Indians had a 14-6 lead at the half way mark.

Following the halftime break, Patterson picked up where he left off with his third touchdown of the night. Simmons duplicated his efforts on a second two-point conversion to move the lead to 22-6. 

The Indians went to the air for their fourth and final touchdown on a pass from quarterback Aven Tyus to Donavon Hodges, making it a 28-6 ball game. Holmes County’s answer of a touchdown and a conversion came way too late in the game for any type of a comeback. 

Following the game, coach R. J. Bowers was all smiles, “The kids are playing good and consistent every week. They’ve set goals and are motivated to accomplish them.”

The Indians were scheduled to go for win number four Tuesday night when they hosted Blountstown. They will host Vernon October 9 at 6 p.m. at Citizen’s Field in Sneads.

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