• “Keep your politics and your political views to yourself” was a fundamental principle my father pounded solidly into my character. It’s one of the many principles that he successfully passed onto me.   Several of the rules he had set for his four children I chose not to pass on to my own son. I found that my father did not live by some of the rules and principles he had set for us.  Hypocrisy can be a difficult pill to swallow.

  • The aim of the 1000 Man Rally is to get 1,000 or more men in Gadsden County to come together to learn how to empower themselves and help the community. The inaugural rally was held in Leon County last year and was the brain child of Rev. Greg James, senior pastor at Reclaiming the Land Ministries Inc.

  • Nine new recruits graduated last week from the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Midway.

    Members of the Basic Recruit Class 347 were welcomed by Training Center Director James Murdaugh, who also introduced guest speaker, Ricky Lay.

    Lay, who is employed at the Wakulla Correctional Institute in the training division and has also served as a minister and a U.S. Marine, first thanked parents and friends of the graduates.

    “You have changed the direction of the future,” he told them.

  • Exotic glass balls had a way of escaping from large fishing nets that some Japanese fishermen used in the Pacific Ocean to keep their nets afloat. In time, these now-free objects would drift to the shores of isolated Wake Island, located about 2,300 miles west of Honolulu. They were of all sizes, greenish in color and usually opaque. I have seen them as small as 3 inches in diameter all the way up to over a foot.  Sometimes I’d find them washed up onto the shore still enclosed in a piece of netting.

  • Alvan Pickels knows just abut every inch of Gadsden County. He can take you to some of the most beautiful, idyllic settings there are to be found in this part of Florida. That's because in his 45 years in law enforcement he has seen it all at one time or another.

    Pickels came to Quincy in 1964 after he heard about an opening in the Quincy Police Department.

  • Two years ago Sonja Hines-Hall, a tutor with the Gadsden County Literacy Volunteers of America, met an 82-year-old man who told her he wanted to learn to write his name. His motivation was the shame he felt when he signed his name with an X. He told he her wanted to sign his driver's license.

    Last month the man got his wish. Hines-Hall took him to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new license. This time, she said, he wrote his name.

  • Christopher "Duke" Thorpe and Tia Bradwell were united in marriage June 13 at Jacob Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Tallahassee. A reception followed at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

    The couple honeymooned on a seven-day cruise to the Western Caribbean.

  • Monica Michelle Phillips and Daemari Vakarr Wade will be married Aug. 7 in a private ceremony.

    The bride-elect is the daughter of the late Richard and Bessie Phillips.

    The groom-elect is the son of the late Mary Francis Wade.

    A reception will follow Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Simon Scott Center in Quincy.

  • It was a field trip like nothing the 40 students from Florida A&M University's Black Male College Explorers program had ever experienced. At the request of program counselor Barry Young of Greensboro, Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young gave permission to show the students what it’s like behind bars.

    Young, along with corrections officers and inmates, didn't sugar-coat the facts as they told students the reality of jail.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Washington Menton will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 1 by renewing their vows. The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m.at St. Hebron AME Church in Quincy.

  • What started as a way to have fun with his daughter turned into a life-changing activity for Barnie Ross. That wouldn’t be a big deal – except that the activity was karate and Ross was in his 60s at the time.

    In 1999, Ross and his wife, Carol, watched their daughter in a tournament, and according to him, “She looked like she was having a ball.”

  • The Lord does provide. In the past week or so I have experienced the Lord’s help and assistance in several ways. He has been beside me, as He has so many times in the past, and I am humbly grateful.

    As my beloved readers may know, my wife Judy and I have been very busy with the business of settling her mother’s affairs and doing our best to prepare her Wacissa home and 10 acres for occupancy. Her mother has been in a nursing home since last September due to the rapid onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • When you take a look at fingerprints closely, it’s easy to see two things: everyone has them and each person’s prints are unique.

    Using fingerprints as fodder for a lesson for both themselves and the children they served last week, 17 teens and their leaders, a total of about 22 people, embarked on a unique mission to serve their community and their Lord.

    Mike Park, minister of students, said the youth at First Baptist Church in Quincy wanted to do something locally to help their own community.

  • Helping someone in need can be as easy as slinging a hammer – just ask any of the youth from Thomas Memorial Baptist Church or First Presbyterian Church in Quincy.

    The two youth groups, along with a group from First United Methodist Church in Niceville, worked last week on projects in Gretna and Havana. The groups, a total of about 70, all stayed together at Centenary Camp in Gadsden County, and were divided into work teams of about 10-12 students, plus some adults, each day.

  • From judges to janitors, everyone in Gadsden County government knows Eugene and Glen Wood. The two silver-haired brothers leave people smiling wherever they go.The eldest, Eugene, is the comedian of the pair and has a ready quip for just about anything at any time. Glen is the quieter of the two, but he can also bring a smile.

    The two started working for Gadsden County 8 years ago as construction maintenance workers after careers building houses together in Calhoun and Liberty counties declined.

  • Ola Bryant of Tallahassee, along with Gale Johnson of Havana and Don Q. Parker Sr. of Midway, are pleased to announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their children, LaTonya Altovese Bryant and Avereston Disraeli Parker Sr.

    The bride-elect is a 1991 graduate of Havana Northside High School, and the groom-elect is a 1988 graduate of the school.

    The wedding is planned for July 18 at 5 p.m.

  • “Me, a nerd, a geek? No way, Jose!” What a rude awakening last Sunday morning turned out to be! 

    I was going through my usual, “What am I going to wear to church?” routine, as I have been ever since I can remember.  I know that I am not alone with this dilemma as I’m sure many gals go through it, as well as guys. 

  • How many times in the past few days, weeks or even months, has your day been made brighter because someone took the time to greet you or flash a warm smile first thing in the morning?

    I know that most of you work or are going to school and really are not in a position or location for such an even to occur or may not even have a chance to greet family members in a loving manner.

    Last week on my way to Twin Ponds Road, which is usually around 6 a.m., one of my female neighbors bid me a good morning.  She shared that she enjoyed reading my column.

  • Suzi Starr and Tim Adams, both of Greensboro, will be married at 7 p.m. July 18 at the W.T. Neal Civic Center in Blountstown.

    The bride-elect is a licensed practical nurse and business owner.

    The groom-elect is the manager of a liquid fertilizer plant in Mt. Pleasant.

    A reception will follow.

    After a honeymoon in Seagrove, the couple will make their home in Greensboro.

    No invitations will be sent and all family and friends are invited.

  • Alfronia Louie-Wilson and Tommy Williams, and Vickie Smith, all of Quincy, are pleased to announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their children, Toshia L. Williams and Darfonza R. Smith.

    The bride-elect is a 1992 graduate of James A. Shanks and is currently enrolled at Strayer University, where she is studying business administration. She is employed as a supervisor at Version in Tampa. She is the granddaughter of the late L.G. and Nora Bouie of Quincy.