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Local News

  • Gadsden’s Teacher of the Year announced

    Zola Akins doesn’t remember not wanting to be a teacher. As a child she forced herself to play “A-Team” with her younger brother so he would sit still long enough for her to “practice” being a teacher with him as her only pupil.
    “Even then I did what a teacher had to do to get the student’s attention,” she said as she reflected on the honor of “Teacher of the Year” for the Gadsden County School District on Jan. 16.

  • Missing Gretna man found safe

    Garrett Hughes, the 72-yer-old Gretna man who was the subject of a week-long manhunt, has been found safe. Interim Gretna Police Chief Carlos De La Cruz said a call came to the police station shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday morning from a woman who said she saw a man outside of her home gathering sticks. The individual fit the description the woman she had seen on television earlier in the week of the missing man.

    An officer went to the home, less than a mile from Hughes’ home, and identified the man as Hughes. He was taken to the hospital without incident.

  • Strong for a century

    The years have slowly crept up on Nora Williams. Saturday she will join the ranks of some of the world’s most elite and special people in America when she turns 100 years old.

    “Oh, I feel just fine. I can take care of myself; I can cook and eat about anything I want. I can clean my own house. The only thing I really miss is my garden,” she said.

  • Utility bill help could resume in Quincy

    Quincy leaders discussed implementing a new program geared toward helping citizens who are struggling with their utility bills. The program, called “Round-Up,” which was once called Project Help, could begin as soon as a minor survey is completed to determine how many citizens would participate in the program.

    The city started a program in 2007, which was designed to help utility customers who have a financial need and are unable to/ pay their utility bill.

  • Little league coach has big dream for team

    Shannon Faison coached little league football in Gadsden County throughout the fall of 2012. His aim, along with several other volunteers, was to teach the young men skills and sportsmanship combined with a large dose of respect for authority and pride in accomplishments. He also wanted to save as many at-risk kids as he could from the choosing the streets over education.

    “We were keeping them off the street and getting them to do something constructive and physical. If you’re tired, it’s hard to go out and get into trouble,” Faison said.

  • Homecoming

    Three chartered buses pulled into the parking lot of the A.O. Shelfer National Guard Armory in Quincy a few minutes after noon Jan. 8. More than 100 people were waiting, some of them waving the American flag and others carrying “welcome home” signs for the passengers. Coming home were 59 members of the National Guard 869th Engineering Company who were returning after 11 months in Afghanistan.

  • Officials, volunteers search for missing man

    The search for a Gretna man, Garrett Hughes, continued Monday, Jan 7. The 72-year-old man was last seen around 3 a.m. Jan. 5 walking along Williams Street in Gretna.

    “We’ll keep searching until we find him or we become exhausted,” said Gretna’s Interim police chief, Carlos Del La Cruz.
    He was last seen wearing a black-and-red checkered flannel shirt, blue jeans, black hat and beige top coat. He is 5-feet, 11-inches tall and weighs 166 pounds.

  • Midway city manager fired

    Midway’s City Manager, Auburn Ford Jr., was terminated Jan. 3 during the regular monthly meeting of the city council. Ford became permanent city manager Oct. 4, 2011, after Agatha Muse Salters was terminated.

    Ford said he was disappointed in the action taken and he thought the city was moving forward quickly.
    Councilwoman Allean Robinson made the motion to fire Ford after she expressed concerns about his leadership skills and said she had received a complaint from subcontractors (doing work on the fire station currently under contraction) who were not paid.

  • November: Incumbends fare well in election, local man’s murder a mystery

    Candidates who won the General Election won big in Gadsden County. Shirley Green Knight, supervisor of elections, said things ran smoothly at all precincts. Early voting and absentee voting helped keep long lines down in many communities. Of the registered voters in the county, 16.14 percent cast their ballots either on Election Day, early voting or absentee. Here’s how the winners fared:

  • December: A first for Gadsden judges, local icon passes

    Kathy Garner made history in Gadsden County when she was sworn in as the county’s first African-American and the first female every elected county judge. Garner was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist In 2009, but was overwhelmingly elected by the voters on Aug. 14, 2012.

    She said the voters validated the governor’s choice in appointing of her.

    East Gadsden High School’s graduation rate for the 2011-12 school year soared compared to the prior school year, jumping from 65.61 percent to 81 percent.