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September 1, 2010     The Florala News
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ESTABLISHED ! 900 Location Of One Hundred Forty Consecutive Annual Masonic Celebrations ONE HUNDRED TENTH YEAR WEDNESDAY NUMBER 24" ! 0 PAGES PRINTED ON ! 00% RECYCLED PAPER SEPTEMBER 1,2010 50 PER ISSUE (SAILESTAX INCLUDED| I MUST BE BATTING A THOUSAND! Two weekends in succession, I have been able to lis- ten to gospel music to my heart's content. Mamie Clary and I were among close to 100 gospel music lovers attending Gospel Music Saturday at the Paxton Ag Complex Sat- urday night. The 'jam session' with just about every musi- cal instrument you could think of got underway around six o'clock. It was something to behold. What made it so special was the joy in performing seen on the faces of the participants. There was some toe tapping going on. Eight quartets par- ticipated. Among them were The Cains, Destina- tion Heaven, Charlotte Wyatt, The Harrelson's, Gospel Echoes, Dyess Family, Smooth Gospel, Janet Matthews, and Called Out. This evening of enter- tainment answered all the things suggested by Paul in Phillippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers, what- ever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, what- ever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or Praisewor- thy - think about such things." To me, anyway, the gospel concert Satur- day night filled the bill. IS IT JUST ME, or are crackers and flour getting to be a lesser product? One thing I know - they ain't what they uged to be. The cracker problem most likely relates to the flour. Biscuits are gooey. I've found that it is not just my biscuits, the sau- sage biscuits we buy are not as good as they have always been. Everybody has always enjoyed my angel bis- cuits. I make them with yeast. They rise up and are light and fluffy. Not so anymore. They rise up but are still gooey. I've always used Dixie Lily because that is what my mama (the late Clara Parker) used. Then, I tried using several dif- ferent brands. They were still gooey. Let me know if any of you have had the same experience. Something else I have noticed, eggs suffer from anemia. They are pale when scrambled. They certainly don't have that rich, yellow texture that our eggs on the farm used to have. Our chickens had the run of the yard. That is most likely why they see ROSE page 3 FLORALA MAYOR ROBERT WILLIAMSON (center) Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar (right) and Com- mission Chairman Lynn Sasser (left) discuss Mon- day's commission vote in which the commission, by vote of 3-2, rejected the City of Andalusia's re- quest to approve a 15-year $45,000 contract to enter a joint venture with the city to build new ballfield's at Andalusia's Johnson Park. The county cur- rently pays the city $6,500 for the county league to. use the city's ball fields. Commissioner say "no" to joint recreational project with Andalusia by Jan Allred Tempers flared and emo- tions ran high at Monday's Covington'County Commis- sion meeting when commis- sioners voted 3-2 not to en- ter a 15-year contract with the City of Andalusia for $45,000 a year. In August, the Andalusia City Council approved their part of the joint use agree- ment with Covington Coun- ty to construct two new ball fields and make improve- ments to the existing facility at Johnson Park in Andalu- sia. Once completed, there will be four small and four large ball fields. A joint rec- reational facility has been in the talks for years between the city and county, but the economy kept the project from moving forward. Rather than construct an entirely new facility it was determined to be more cost effective to revamp the ex- isting facility and Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson said at the meeting that both sides seemed satisfied with the agreement. Covington County Recreational Board members met with repre- sentatives from the City of Andalusia to iron out the details. The contract called for city league games to be played on Tuesdays and Fri- days and county leagues to play vn Mondays and Thurs- days. Make up games would be played on Wednesdays and Saturdays. According to the contract, the city would run the concession stands but profits from concessions would be shared on a pro rated basis, according to the number of players. According to the agree- ment, $20,000 would be for operation and maintenance of the fields and $25,000 of the $45,000 was for the debt service on the field construc- tion. The payments would increase one percent each year and at the end of the 15 year period the county would pay $49,500. The con- tract was renewable for an- other 15 years at the end of the original period. The total cost for the p, roject is around $1.5 million 'with the City of Andalusia bearing the ms-., jority of the expense. Cur- rently, the county pays the city $6,500 annually for use of their facilities. After impassioned pleas from Florala Mayor Rob, ert Williamson, Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar and Covington County Recreational Board President Wayne Bush, each of tke commission- ers expressed their feelings on the issue. Both mayors stated that it was not right to help one municipality and not all municipalities. Bush, on the other hand, said ffthe commission failed to enter the agreement with the city "it would be the end of the county's recreational program" because the 526 county kids who play in An- dalusia would not have a place to play ball next year. With the commission try- ing to find a way to budget county employees a three percent pay raise, health insurance premiums in- creasing and sales tax rev- enue down, Commissioner David Ellis :felt it would be irresponsible to enter into a contract for $45,000 a year. He said the ,county was still $16.4 million in debt and said it was time for federal, state, and 1,ocal officials to say no when they knew they couldn't afford to do some- thing, Ellis called around to several other commissions and not one of those have contributed anywhere near $45,000 a year for recre- ation. Commissioner Bragg Carter read a prepared statement in which he was CITY OF ANDALUSIA Department of Leisure Services Director Dwight Mikel (left) was obviously displeased that District Three Commissioner Harold Elmore (right) voted against the county entering into a contract with the City of Andalusia to build two new ball fields and revamp the old ones at Johnson Park in Andalusia. obviously in support of the fields in Florala, Pleasant contract and made a motion. Home and Red Level there for the commission to enter would be nobody to maintain into the contract. The corn- the fields unless the county mission would be letting hired them, said Carter. "I the children of Covington don't believe you could find County down ff they didn't approve the agreement ac- cording to Carter. Carter pointed .out that 12 years ago when the county and City of Andalusia pro- posed a joint facility, nobody in Opp nor Florala spoke up to oppose it or request pro rated funding. Showing the crowd pic- tures of the Kiwanis Park in Florala, adding it needed to be weeded, Carter said Florala's children could play there. 'q.okslike to me they been abandoned and nobody has played on them in quiet some time." Williamson explained that the Kiwanis Park doesn't belong to the city but is Covington County School Board property and Florala children can't play on those fields without a lease agreementfI believe they can they do everywhere else," replied Carter. If the county had to build somebody to drive from Flo- rala to Pleasant Home and Straughn to maintain them for $45,000 a year." Carter reminded Mayor Edgar that it was his county crew who helped his city complete construction of their school. 'I didn't tell you I couldn't come over there unless I spent the same amount of money over here in Andalusia," Carter said. WiUiamson was 01so reminded by carter that the county had helped Florala and W.S. Harlan, saying he didn't do that same amount .for Andalusia. As to the objection of Florala residents not want- ing to drive from Florala to Andalusia to play Carter stated that residents drive from Wing, Friendship, Red Level, and other places to Johnson Park to play ball. "We have a lot of parents that drive 20 miles to play see BALL page 2 Paxton voter turnout considerably less than in previous years by Reid Tucker Reports compiled by the Walton County Supervisor of Elections' Office show that the total votes cast in Paxton's city elections ac- counted for only 23.5 per- cent of all registered voters. Of Paxton's 395 registered voters, city officials said 93 people voted in person last Tuesday, Aug. 24, and a fur- ther three votes were cast through absentee ballots for a total of 96 votes. No bal- lots were turned in through either early voting or provi- sional voting. Though no figures as to total registered voters in 2008 and 2006 were avail- able at press time, a total of 585 votes were recorded in 2008, with 329 votes be- ing counted in 2006. Both of these numbers represent to- tal votes received, including those sent in via absentee ballots, early and absentee voting, though no specif- ics were available and the counts are unofficial. If these latter two numbers are in- dicative of the actual totals it means that voter registra- tion decreased by around 33 percent from 2008 to 2010 and voter participation fell by 71 percent compared to 2006. As current Council mem- bers Ann Sexton and Mark Warren chose not to run for reelection, Paxton voters elected Travis McMillian, who received 45 votes, for- mer mayor Tommy Mathis and Charles Cook (who was edged out by Warren in the last election to the tune of only 10 votes) who received 69 votes apiece. With 36 votes in his favor, current Councilman Bill McRae will relinquish his seat come No- vember. Similarly, Kaleb Hoover was not elected to the town council, as he re- ceived only 21 votes. Council members are elected to staggered four- year terms and will receive their departmental appoint- ments from Mayor Hayward Thomas upon being sworn in immediately preceding the Council's regularly sched- uled meeting on Nov. 16. Paxton's city election dates were amended in 2008 to coincide with Walton County's primary elections, which City Clerk Susan Davis said "saves the city [thousands of dollars]" dur- ing election years in terms of logistics and hiring tem- porary workers at the poll- ing place. xtended Day program offered at W.S. Harlan by Jan Allred Certified teachers]tutors The program runs from W.S. Harlan Elementary each student attending the With the closing of Florala City Middle School (FCMS) last year, many arents were left wondering what would become of the school's extended day program. are on hand as part of the extended day program to work with children on their homework and offer them an opportunity to partici- pate in dance, archery and other enrichment programs, 3-5 p.m. and is available for elementary and middle school students. Students also have the opportunity to participate in field trips and to attend several different camps. School implemented the same extended day program last week. The program will be funded from grant money remaining from the FCMS grant. There will be a $10 per week charge for program to help sustain the program. W.S. Harlan will teapply for the grant to continue the program next year.