October: Times goes pink, millage rate unchanged

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Year in Review

By Alice Du Pont

For the first time in history, The Gadsden County Times went pink. The occasion was Pink Paper Day to kick off October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our readers were shocked with the color, but appreciated the edition, which contained features of local women battling breast cancer as well as survivors.

The county approved a budget of $40.6 million after weeks of wrangling. Interim County Administrator Arthur Lawson said the approved budget shows the Board of County Commissioners continues its efforts to maintain the most “fiscally responsible budget possible with the least impact on the taxpayers.”

The millage rate remained the same as 2011 at 8.9064, while maintaining the current level or above in county services without layoffs of any county employees. The county also established a four-tier medical insurance plan that will save the county money by having each employee pay their fair share of medical insurance.

Lawson called the 2012-2013 budget “challenging.”

Marvin Cannon showed no emotion when Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjorstrom read the verdict that sealed his fate. It included finding him guilty of one count of first-degree murder and guilty of one count of armed robbery with a deadly weapon in the murder of Zachariah Morgan and attempted murder of Sean Neel on Christmas Eve 2010.

Neel testified that he knew if he stopped running (away from Morgan) he would be dead. Morgan was stabbed over 35 times and Neel, who barely escaped with his life, was stabbed twice in the neck.

A 34-year-old teacher at James A. Shanks Middle School, Kimberly Price, was arrested after she was accused of injuring two 14-year-old girls during a classroom incident.

Price, according to information released by the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, hurt one student indirectly after she threw a desk that shattered when it hit the floor. Part of the chair flew into the air and landed on the student’s arm. Both students were treated at a local hospital.

Price was charged with aggravated battery on a child and child abuse with great bodily harm for her part in the fray.
Price was immediately suspended after the incident. School Superintendent Reginald James recommended Price’s termination to the school board. Price was a five-year veteran in the school district.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Quincy Bypass was held Oct. 26. The 1.6-mile project will connect U.S. 90 near Strong Road and State Road 12, just at the entrance of the Quincy Airport. The highway will be a two-lane undivided roadway with 12-foot travel lanes and 10-foot shoulders, five of which will be paved.

Drainage ponds, a new traffic signal and a new bridge will also be included in the project. The bypass is expected to open to traffic by summer 2014.

2013 Relay for Life kicked off its team-building and fundraising efforts in late October with a fun time on the Courthouse Square. Cancer survivor Michael Copeland, 5, is the honorary chairperson. The theme this year is “Through the Eyes of a Child: Finding a Cure for Cancer Is No Fairy Tale.”

With the General Election only a few days away, some Democrats left Washington, D.C., to hit the campaign for local challenger Al Lawson in his bid for the House of Representatives. On one Saturday morning, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville), Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Queens, N.Y.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia, Ga.) campaigned for Lawson. The day before, Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) talked to selected Democrats in a closed meeting.