Local News

  • July: Local politics heat up, domestic violence turns deadly

    The city of Quincy held an open house for the second fire station on Joe Adams Road. The $970,000, 7,000-square-foot building was funded by a grant from the American Recovery Act.

    “This facility will allow us to improve our response time based on the city’s contract with the county to improve our service to those citizens who live south of Quincy,” said Chief Howard Smith.

    The new station will be staffed 24 hours by firefighters and volunteers.

  • June: Quincy gets award for good taste, National Solar plans proceed

    In a changing testing environment with standards being raised and test scores tumbling statewide, Gadsden County’s elementary schools continued to perform well in mathematics. With the release of all FCAT scores for grades 4 through 8 for mathematics, reading and science, 61 percent of Gadsden County fourth-graders were proficient in math, beating the state average of 60 percent. In fifth grade, 58 percent of Gadsden County students were proficient in math, exceeding the state average of 57 percent.

  • May 2012 brings murder trial, pair of attacks

    The closely watched murder trial of Kevin Marquis Johnson ended before it began in early May. Johnson, who brutally beat 92-year-old Eunice “Sunny” Lester in her front yard Dec. 17, 2010, pled guilty. He was sentenced to two life sentences plus 30 years by Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom.

    Johnson entered a guilty plea to all charges on the first day of jury selection. The state intended to seek the death penalty if he had been found guilty.

  • Man reports years of livestock mutilation

    For more than 10 years, Gary Murray has come upon his livestock, discovering carcasses slaughtered and beheaded in or near their pens. His outbuildings have been vandalized, electrical wiring and copper tubing has been stolen and wild dogs seem to have set their sights on his property. But Dec. 23 has been the worst.

  • Year in Review: April

    Negotiations continued between the Gadsden County Board of Commissioners and National Solar Power. Following a Feb. 21 workshop, which included public comment and commissioners’ concerns, a draft developer agreement was forwarded to NSP.

    But just before a regular meeting when the issue was to come up for discussion, the company sent a response to the county’s proposal, which stalled the agreement further.

  • Year in Review:March 2012

    It’s a long way from the old James A. Shanks High School to the Pentagon.

    Just ask Quincy native U.S. Army Major Gen. Frederick B. “Ben” Hodges, a graduate of Shanks.

    Hodges came home in March to the delight of many and visited the school. Classmates remembered him as a big, blond kid, smart in school with a good sense of humor. From the James A. Shanks Class of 1976, he went to West Point and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1980.

  • Year in Review: February 2012

    Patricia Stephens Due, civil rights icon, lost her courageous battle with thyroid cancer Feb. 7. She was 72. She passed in a nursing home in Smyrna, Ga., surrounded by loved ones.

    She led the first jail-in in the nation in 1960, refusing to make bail for her arrest at a Woolworth lunch counter in Tallahassee. The jail-in caught the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson, who praised her for her courage and wrote her encouraging letters.

  • Year in Review: Recapping the big stories of 2012

    Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series of stories reviewing the most significant Gadsden County stories in 2012. Look for the conclusion in the Jan. 3 edition.

    Despite opposition from some in the community, Gadsden County voters, almost by a 2-1 margin. voted yes in two referendums that could change the face of the county forever.

  • Life lessons

    Of the 12 young men who participated in the Brotherhood of Respect organization in the 2011-2012program, seven are left. The organization’s founder and sponsor, Edgar Griffin, is more pleased than ever with the “Significant Seven.”

  • White House taps Quincy police chief

    Walt McNeil, Quincy Police chief, traveled Dec. 20 to Washington, D.C., to serve on a panel with Vice President Joseph Biden. The meeting came on the heels of the Dec. 14 shooting incident that left 20 children and six adults dead in Newtown, Conn.

    President Barack Obama held a press conference Dec. 19 at the White House and promised the panel would be one of substance.