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Local News

  • Man charged with sexual assault on juvenile gets 30 years

    Christopher G. Martin, 46, was sentenced to 30 years in prison last week after he was found guilty on one count each of sexual assault on a juvenile and lewdness.

    Lt. Larry Gilyard of the Quincy Police Department, who made the initial arrest on June 16, 2008, called the sentence a victory for law enforcement.

    "We hope the days when these type of criminals getting off with 2 or 3 years are gone. The Quincy Police Department will not tolerate sexual abuse on our children. We're going to arrest them and make sure they are held accountable," he said.

  • Swine flu case numbers climb statewide

    The Florida Department of Health announced today that Okaloosa County now has a probable case of swine flu, and the cases in Miami-Dade now total four.

    According to the release, there are now 22 probable cases throughout the sate. Alachua, Flagler, Lee, Indian River, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Seminole and Clay counties all have one case each, while Broward County has three. Hillsborough County has six probable cases.

    Florida still has only two confirmed cases, two in Lee County. Broward, Orange and Pinellas each have one confirmed case.

  • Jail population drops for first time in nearly a year

    For the first time in almost a year, the inmate population at the Gadsden County Jail is less than 200.

    "Judge Kathleen Dekker has done a tremendous job. She wants to get our population down to 150," said Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young.

  • No swine flu in Florida, but state warns residents to be cautious

    While no cases have been identified in Florida at this time, cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the U.S., according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are an undetermined number of cases in Mexico reaching into the hundreds.

  • It's official: Gadsden County has an administrator

    Johnny Williams was officially hired as Gadsden County administrator Monday night after a majority of the Gadsden County commissioners ratified a letter to Williams from Eugene Lamb, commission chairman, during a special meeting.

    But Williams' salary, originally set at $100,000 annually, will be an item on the May 5 agenda for discussion. Williams’ moving expenses of $4,700 will also be discussed.

  • New admin recommends paying Ajax for work at hospital

    Johnny Williams, Gadsden County administrator, said Monday that he will recommend payment of $586,138.90 to Ajax Construction for the work completed at Gadsden Community Hospital. He said he is in the process of working out a payment plan.

    "We're going to have to take a little from here and a little from there until we can pay it all," Williams said.

  • Senate passes bill for hospital extension; now it’s Crist’s turn

    The Florida Senate passed the bill Monday that would give Gadsden County a 12-month extension on the Gadsden Community Hospital license. The extension will become effective when Gov. Charlie Crist signs it.

    Mike Glazer, attorney for the is Gadsden Hospital Inc. Board of Directors, said the news is wonderful but there is a lot of work to do.

    "It's still 8 to 12 months before operations. You need to get senior management in place and get with the medical community to find out what they need," Glazer said.

  • Remembering young lives lost too soon

    A ceremony to remember Shanesia Cox and Chris Grande was held in Chattahoochee last Friday. The program featured performances by members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Bend, to which Cox and Grande belonged. Trees were planted in honor of both and in celebration of Arbor Day. Cox was hit and killed by a drunk driver in December 2007, while Grande died earlier this year from cryptococcal meningitis. Shown is Cox’s mother and sister.

  • Quincy businessman, educator dead at 80

    UPDATE: Funeral services will be held May 5 at 11 a.m. at New Bethel AME Church. Visitation is May 4 from noon to 5:30 p.m. at Betsey Funeral Home in Quincy.

    Sam Betsey Jr., a former educator and businessman, died Monday afternoon at his home.

    Betsey, 80, owned and operated Betsey Funeral Home, along with his wife Gertrude, in Quincy for 46 years.

    "He was some kind of gentleman. He was kind and smart and he helped so many people. Young men and women may have become better by knowing Sam Betsey," said Robert Bryant, longtime friend and former coworker.

  • Workshop provides opportunity, hope for local Hispanic students considering college

    Simon Silva told his life story in Quincy Saturday as the keynote speaker for the Dreams to Reality Scholarship Workshop. Silva is an artist, author and motivational speaker who has traveled nationwide, speaking and encouraging Latino students to take control of their lives.