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Educators Hall of Fame seeking nominationsIf you wish to nominate someone to the Taylor County School District Educators Hall of Fame, you have less than a week to turn in your application. To be eligible for nomination, those under consideration must meet the following criteria: Taylor County School Board member, a non-instructional staff member, an instructional staff member or as an administrator. retired or resigned from the Taylor County School District. minimum of 25 years working in the eld of education with a minimum of 20 years service in Taylor County. Board members must have a minimum of 12 years service on the Taylor County School Board. available at the Alton H. Wentworth Administrative Clark St. All nominations are due no later than noon on Tuesday, Feb. 11.Guardian ad Litem seeking volunteersGuardian ad Litem will be offering volunteer training Friday, Feb. 14, in Perry for those interested in being a voice for a child. The training will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Perry Guardian ad Litem Ofce, which is located at 103 West Bay St. If your heart has been broken too many times by the tragic stories of abused and neglected children, it may be time to take a positive step and make a real difference in a childs life, organizers said. For more information or to register for the training, call the Perry ofce at (850) 5842159. Evening classes are available upon request.Have a date night at the library Feb. 13The Taylor County Public Library has announced its adult workshop schedule for February. The programs include: Computer internet workshop at 5 p.m. and mobile devices workshop at 6 p.m.; Valentines Day couple painting date at 6 p.m.; working workshop; Computer internet workshop at 5 p.m. and mobile devices workshop at 6 p.m. All workshops are free. The library is located on downtown Perry. Serving the Tree Capital of the South Since 1961 TacoTimes 50 One Section53rd year, No. 6www.perrynewspapers.comWednesdayFebruary 5, 2014 Index Editorial . .................. A-2 Living . ...................... A-4 Religion . ................... A-6 Sports . ..................... A-7 Community . .............. A-8 Classieds . ............ A-10Weather Wednesday 76 5970% Thursday62 43 COLD News Forum In crime lab prob e FDLE reviewing Taylor cases The Perry Police Department (PPD) is reviewing 20-25 drug cases which may have been affected by the actions of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) chemist in its Pensacola Regional Crime Laboratory. PPD Capt. Jamie Cruse said FDLE agents were here Tuesday reviewing the cases, all of which are from the past year, to see if they t the parameters and if so, the evidence will be re-tested to see if they were affected by the chemists actions. Taylor County Sheriffs Ofce Capt. Ron Rice said FDLE is reviewing two of their cases from the past three years. FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey announced Saturday that his agency had begun a review of all cases processed by the chemist in question. Last week, in conjunction with the Escambia County Sheriffs Ofce and State Attorney William Eddins Ofce, FDLE began an investigation into missing prescription pain pills from the evidence room at the Escambia County Sheriffs Ofce. The missing drugs Downed trees at the end of the intersection of Old Dixie Highway and C.R. 30/Foley Road were the only visible signs of a horric accident that claimed the life of a Dawson, Ga., native some time this past weekend. A Taylor County Sheriffs Ofce (TSCO) deputy noticed the damaged trees Monday afternoon and, when he took a closer look, spied the 2005 Volkswagen Jetta entangled in a strand of thick brush located on the south side of C.R. 30. The driver of the vehicle, Daniel Trenton Trent Walker, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 22 years old. Investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident and are also working to establish a timeline of when the crash happened. Initial reports indicate Walker was southbound on Old Dixie Highway when he drove through the stop sign at C.R. 30 (Foley Road), crossed the intersection and collided with multiple trees in the wood line. Walker was raised in Dawson, Ga., and attended Terrell Academy (a Christian-based K3-12 grade college preparatory school) his entire school career. After graduating from the academy in 2010, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He knew that was what he wanted--he had his mind made up, Terrell Academy Headmaster Bill Murdock said. Walker was discharged from the Corps sometime last year. Trent had just gotten out of the Marine Corps and was transitioning back into civilian life, Murdock said. Murdock, who is also the schools head football call, said Walker was just a good guy. He played defensive end on two state championship football teams his junior and senior year. His sister is still going to school here. My understanding is he moved down (to Florida) with a friend. The coach recalled one memorable play where Walker did a front ip as he was running down eld after a kick-off. Then he went down and made the tackle. Funeral arrangements for Walker were not known as of presstime. The crash scene was discovered around 4 p.m. Monday and law enforcement ofcials, along with two trucks and trailers, were still at the scene later that night. FHP was assisted at the scene by the sheriffs ofce. Cpl. J. Yarborough is the trafc homicide investigating ofcer. Please see page 3 killed in crash at CR 30/Old Dixie The Stan Mayeld Biorenery Pilot Plant located at Buckeye looks to hit near full production in the next few weeks, University of Florida Professor Dr. Lonnie Ingram told the Perry Kiwanis Club last week. Were thinking well be making large batches of ethanol by the end of the month, Ingram said. The University of Floridas Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), partnered with Buckeye to construct the 18,000 square-foot facility in 2009, completing construction in 2011. Several setbacks have delayed the facility going into full production but those issues have mostly been settled. Much of the plants research will be based on Ingrams work as the University of Floridas distinguished professor of microbiology and cell science, and director of the Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels. Several years ago, Ingram engineered an E. coli bacterium that breaks down inedible plant material into sugars that can be processed into fuel-grade cellulosic ethanol. Variations of the technology are already at work in fuel plants in Louisiana and Japan. While much of the United States 15 billion gallons per year production of ethanol relies on corn, Ingram hopes to utilize non-food feed stock like waste wood at the Taylor County pilot plant to produce ethanol. In addition to fuel, Ingram hopes other products can be derived from the plant such as plastics, solvents Biorenery pilot plant nears full production Please see page 3 ELECTION 2014CITY, COUNTY RACES District 2Jim Moody (R)District 4Pam Feagle (D)CITY COUNCILDistrict 1CITY COUNCILDistrict 2 Candidate ling for city seats does not open until open May 19, but those listed have announced their intention to run for election in 2014. DISTRICT, STATE RACES Who are your local candidates?SEAT CANDIDATES District 4Alan Hall (NP)District 5Tonya Holton (NP) District 1Danny Glover (NP)District 2Brenda Carlton (NP) District 4Danny Lundy (NP) COUNTY COMMISSION CITY COUNCIL* SCHOOL BOARD A month into the new year, there are seven led or announced candidates for the seven open local seats that will be featured on the 2014 ballot. School board member Danny Glover Jr. (District 1), Brenda C. Carlton (District 2) and Danny Lundy (District 4) have all registered for re-election for their seats, along with sitting county commissioners, Jim Moody (District 2) and Pam Feagle (District 4). According to the supervisor of elections ofce, the ve incumbents were the only registered county candidates as of Thursday. The qualifying deadline for county candidates is June 20 at 12 noon. In the city, Alan Hall has announced his candidacy for the District 4 council seat (currently held by Don Cook) while Tonya Holton has announced her candidacy for the District 5 seat, currently held by Mayor Daryll Gunter. The ling period for city candidates will open May 19 and close June 17 at 12 noon. Voters will go to polls for the 2014 Primary Election on Aug. 26 and the General Election on Nov. 4. On the district level, two circuit judge seats will be on the ballot: Group 4, held by Greg Parker, and Group 6, held by Julian E. Collins. The top state ofces-governor, attorney general, chief nancial ofcer and commissioner of agriculture--will also be up for election. Residents interested in running for ofce can contact Dana Southerland at (850) 838-3515 or online at: www. taylorelections.com. In related news, the Taylor County Commission on Tuesday approved license agreements for the countys 14 voting precincts and the supervisors ofce will be forwarding them to the property owners for their approval. The precinct locations are set to be as follows: Precinct 1 First United Methodist Church; Precinct 2 Taylor Technical Institute; Precinct 3 Blue Creek Baptist Church; Precinct 4 Salem Baptist Church; Precinct 5 Steinhatchee Community Center; Precinct 6 Shady Grove Adult Literacy Center; Precinct 7 Johnson Stripling Road Voting House; Precinct 8 United Steel Workers Union; Precinct 9 Forest Capital Armory; Precinct 10 Lakeside Baptist Church Education Building; Precinct 11 -Kelly Grade Voting House; Precinct 12 Perry Shrine Club; Precinct 13 -Jerkins Building; and Precinct 14Taylor County Sports Complex.Eyeing a run for ofce? Register today Voter registration available weekdays at the elections the Taylor County Courthouse.
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A-3 Taco Times February 5, 2014 had been replaced with overthe-counter medications. On Thursday, Jan. 30, investigators determined that each case with missing drugs had been analyzed by one Pensacola chemist. FDLE Ofce of Executive Investigations has opened a criminal investigation and the chemist has been relieved of duty, ofcials said. According to Cruse, most of its drug cases are reviewed by the FDLE lab in Jacksonville. The Tallahassee lab hasnt processed drug cases for the past few years, Cruse said. We submit the evidence to Tallahassee and they send it to Jacksonville. If theyre busy, it goes to Pensacola. FDLE began sending teams to impacted agencies to inspect all evidence handled by the chemist to conrm cases potentially compromised. The chemist worked nearly 2,600 cases for 80 law enforcement agencies spanning 35 counties and 12 judicial circuits. and even disposable cups capable of handling hot drinks. Sixteen employees are now on hand at the pilot plant, Ingram said, enough to run the plant around the clock. BIOREFINERY Continued from page 1 Plant has 16 employees round the clock FDLE Continued from page 1 Chemist worked some 2,600 cases for 80 Fla. law enforcement agencies Fifth grader Ellie Webb showed off her brains, bravery and good sportsmanship to win the Taylor County Elementary School (TCES) spelling bee held Dec. 5, 2013. On Saturday, Feb. 8, Webb advances to the 2014 Big Bend Regional Spelling Bee in Tallahassee. The competition at our event was stiff and the words the students were asked to spell were insanely difcult, said Katie King, media specialist for TCES. Nevertheless, Ellie won condently and Im sure she will represent our district well. Webb will represent Taylor at regional spelling bee SaturdayCollege students majoring in political science, public or business administration, or journalism/mass communications are invited to apply for one of three $1,200 scholarships to be awarded by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. Applications are available at the local supervisor of elections ofce or online at www.taylorelections.com.Scouting for Food pick is this SaturdayLocal residents are reminded that Boy Scouts will be collecting donations as part of their Scouting for Food initiative this Saturday, Feb. 8. Residents are asked to place canned goods and other nonperishable food items in the bag that were distributed last weekend. All donations are appreciated.Apply now for scholarship
A-4 Taco Times February 5, 2014 Living Red roses came early for two... Perry Primary Schools Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Amman, right, as well as the schools Non-Instructional Employee of the Year, Shanna Lago, center, were showered with red roses and good wishes at a reception held recently in their honor. Both were also presented a gift card by Principal Pam Padgett, left, for their dedication and commitment to our students success and development. Ileah Jennifer Vaughan, Glen Richard Richmann Grifns Calling Author of trilogy speaks at TCMSAuthor N. R. Rose visited Taylor County Middle School on Jan. 23, speaking to sixth and seventh grade classes reading two novels from her trilogy, Grifns Calling. Ms. Rose was pleased to see that so many students had read her novels and could interact with her during her 45-minute lecture, said Dale Thompson, media specialist, at TCMS. According to Thompson, the author spoke on her passion for writing, displaying her handwritten version of her rst book. She also discussed the publication process for and how she arrived at the illustration for the cover. Rose also discussed her love of sports. Students Katie Ricketson and Elizabeth Blue presented her a plaque at the conclusion of her lecture. Questions followed, and the event ended with Rose signing copies of her book. The author was pleasantly surprised by the students artwork and summaries on the walls of the hallway, Thompson said. Students from Dianna Speas sixth grade reading classes, and Daryll Gunters seventh grade classes, participated. The classes had completed both Grifns Calling and Grifns Temptation. The nal novel in the trilogy, Grifns Legacy, was published in August, 2013. Rose grew up in a small rural area in Oregon and began her rst novel when she was 16. N.R. Rose Vaughan, Richmann to marry at Hiawassee, Ga., River Retreat William and Cindy Simpson of Perry announce the engagement of their daughter, Ileah Jennifer Vaughan of Athens, Ga., to Glen Richard Richmann II, also of Athens. The groom-elect is the son of Claudia and Glen Richmann of Lawrenceville, Ga. Local grandparents are Rachael and Rodger Spanjer. The couple will be married May 3, 2014, at Hiawassee River Retreat in Hiawassee, Ga., in a 6 p.m. ceremony. Invitations are being issued. Nancy Silberkleit Taylor County Middle School will spotlight the coCEO of Archie Comics Friday, and invites parent/public attendance at the 1 p.m. event. Nancy Silberkleit, who is the daughter-in-law of one of the founders of Archie Comic Publications, stepped into her role as co-CEO in 2009. A former public school educator, Silberkleit says the comic book can be a valuable tool for developing literacy among rst-time readers and instilling love for reading in everyone. She travels with the Comic Book Fairs in schools across America and Canada, working to ignite an interest in reading. CEO speaks at TCMS Friday Saturday wedding will unite Lundy, Rogers Friends and relatives are reminded that Margaret Jewel Lundy and Garon Randal Rogers will be married on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. in the Parish Hall of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. A reception will follow. EVEN SMALL ADS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE: CALL 584-5513 FOR YOURS
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Religion A-6 Taco Times February 5, 2014 The Souper Bowl was super Souper Bowl-2014 was possibly more interesting than Super Bowl-2014, as members of Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF) gathered to watch the sports action, but also to collect cans of soup and other non-perishables to re-stock the food pantry at the First United Methodist Church. The CYF is composed of youth from both the Methodist and Presbyterian churches. For this event, 249 cans were collected along with $312 in monetary contributions to be used to meet the needs of families in this community. Obituaries Jo Ann Murdock MelvinJo Ann Murdock MelvinJo Ann Murdock Melvin, 82, of Clarksville, died Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Panama City. She was born Sept. 10, 1931, in Grapeland, Texas, graduated from Frink High School in 1948, serving as valedictorian of her class. She obtained a Bachelors degree in elementary education and a Masters degree in library and information studies at Florida State University. She retired in 1996 after 25 years as an educator. Mrs. Melvin was a member of Travelers Rest Free Will Baptist Church where she sang in the choir. Preceding her in death were her husband, Ellis Melvin; her father, Earle Murdock; and a son-in-law, Jackie Attaway. Survivors include two sons, Dr. Stephen (Delinda) Melvin of Panama City, and Dr. Wade (Dr. Naomi) Melvin of Chipley; two daughters, Linda Attaway of Clarksville and Renee (Greg) Ratliff of Perry; her mother, Edith (Nichols) Murdock and sister, Jerice Concilio of Houston, Texas; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, numerous other relatives and friends. The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, at Adams Funeral Home in Blountstown, which is in charge of arrangements. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, at Travelers Rest Free Will Baptist Church in Clarksville. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Travelers Rest Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund, 19573 NW SR 73, Clarksville, FL 32430 or The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, 18769 NW Pioneer Settlement, Blountstown, FL 32424. Alice Mearl Knight Alice Mearl Knight, 81, died Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, at Marshall Health Care in Perry, following an extended illness. Mrs. Knight was born July 30, 1932 in Naylor, Ga., and moved to Perry in Its not a retreat... its an opportunity to be honest with self & God Women in the community are urged to come together this weekend for the If: Gathering in the student center of First Baptist Church. This is not a retreat, said Kristy Goodman and Kendall Cruce, organizers. It will not be polished and perfect, but simply a gathering place for women to come and to be real, honest, open and vulnerable with God and with each other. The event features a simulcast with sessions on Friday from 7-10 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. We will gather as women, not as a church, a denomination or anything more, to wrestle out how to live out the calling God has placed on our lives. Late registration of $25 was due by Feb. 6. On the day of the event, registration is $30. A light lunch of soup will be served Saturday. For additional information, please contact 850-672-2321 or 850-838-6800. If God is real, then what? Please see page 11
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A-8 Taco Times February 5, 2014 Community AARP: last Wed., 10 a.m. at Perry Shrine Club. Kiwanis Club: Wednesdays, noon, Perry Elks Lodge on Puckett Road. MainStreet Perry: fourth Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Perry Historic Station. NAACP: rst Sunday, 5 p.m., at Jerkins Community Center. Optimist Club: Thursday, noon at Rosehead, downtown Perry. Perry Garden Club: third Wednesday, 10 a.m. Perry Elks Lodge: second and fourth Tuesday, 7 p.m. Perry Lodge #187: rst and third Tues., 6 p.m., Masonic Hall. Perry Masonic Lodge 123: meets rst and third Monday, 7:30 p.m. Perry Shrine Club: fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. (club house located on Courtney Road). Perry Womans Club: second Wed., noon (September to May). Rotary Club: Tues., noon at Holiday Inn Express. Taylor County Leadership Council: second and fourth Friday, 7 p.m., Jerkins Community Center. Vogue XIII: rst Mon., 7:30 p.m. Call 584-2404. Airport Advisory Committee: fourth Wednesday, 12 noon, Perry-Foley Airport. City Council: second and fourth Tues., at 5:30 p.m. County Commission: rst Mon. and third Tues. at 5:30 p.m., courthouse annex; workshop, fourth Tues., 5 p.m. Planning Board: rst Thurs., 6 p.m. Courthouse annex (old post ofce). Taylor County Construction License Board Meeting: third Fri., 2 p.m., courthouse annex. Taylor County School Board: rst and third Tues., 6 p.m. Taylor Coastal Water and Sewer: fourth Tuesday at 18820 Beach Road, 3 p.m. Taylor Soil & Water Conservation District Board: fourth Monday, 7 p.m., Foley Airport terminal conference room. Diabetes classes: every Tuesday, 3 p.m., Doctors Memorial Hospital. FAMU Alumni Chapter: second Monday, 7 p.m., Jerkins Community Center. Friends of the Taylor County Public Library: last Monday of the month, 5:30 p.m., public library. Girl Scouts Service Unit: rst Tuesday, 7 p.m., Scout Hut. Habitat for Humanity: second Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Capital City Bank, Rm. #208. Helping Hands of the Shelter: second Tuesday, 6 p.m., Chamber of Commerce. Home Educators League of Perry: Forest Capital Hall. Call 584-6866 or visit on-line htt:taylor. ifas.u.edu. Muskogee Creek Indian Nation: second and fourth Sat., 7 p.m. Tribal grounds, Lyman Hendry Road. Muskogee Creek Indian Tribe: second Saturday, 3 p.m., Oak Hill Village on Woods Creek Road. National Wild Turkey Federation (Yellow Pine Drummers): holds open monthly meeting on rst Thursday, Golden Corral, 7 p.m. Call 584-9185. Parrot Heads in Perry-dise Club: meets the rst and third Wednesday, 7 p.m. Call 843-1469 for location. Perry Alliance of Ministers & Pastors (P.A.M.P.): meets the rst and second Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Little St. John P.B. Church. Pet adoptions: Taylor County Animal Shelter, open Monday through Friday. Call 838-3525. Republican Party of Taylor County: second Thursday, 6 p.m., at Rigonis Cookhouse on Highway 19 North. Call 2232648. Search & Rescue Riders #1135 of Christian Motorcyclists Assoc.: 4th Saturday, 9 a.m. at Barclays Restaurant. Taylor Adult Program (TAP): Thursdays, 10 a.m., 502 N. Center Street. 223-0393. Taylor Coastal Communities Association: second Tuesday, 6 p.m., at the district building on Beach Road. Taylor County Brotherhood: meets on Mondays, 7 p.m., at New Brooklyn; every third Saturday, 9 a.m., at Stewart Memorial. Taylor County Brotherhood Choir: meets every Thursday, 6 p.m., at Stewart Memorial. Chamber of Commerce: second Thurs., 8 a.m., chamber board room. Taylor County Development Authority: second Mon., noon, at Historic Perry Station. Taylor County Historical Society: third Mon., 7 p.m. Historical Society building. Societys museum is open every Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Taylor County Horsemans Association Horse Show: practice roping every Friday, 7 p.m.; second Saturday, registration, 3 p.m.; ride, 4 p.m. Arena is located on Bishop Blvd. Free admission. Taylor County Quilters: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to noon, public library. Taylor County Reef Research Team: second Tuesday, 7 p.m., Forest Capital Hall. Taylor County Senior Center: Executive Board of Directors meeting, last Wednesday of the month, 10:30 a.m., Senior Center. Taylor County United: second Mon., 7 p.m., Evangel Christian Fellowship. Tourism Development Council: second Thurs., noon, Chamber of Commerce. Whole Child Taylor-Shared Service Network: fourth Mon., 9 a.m., Alton H. Wentworth Administrative Complex. Yarn Lovers Circle: rst and third Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Taylor County Public Library. AL-ANON: meets every Thursday at noon, St. James Episcopal Church. Alzheimers Support Group: meets every fourth Thursday, 10:30 a.m., First Presbyterian Church. Big Bend Hospice Advisory Council: fourth Tuesday at 1 p.m., Big Bend Hospice ofce. Friends and Family of Sexual Assault Survivors Support Group: fourth Tuesday, 6-7 p.m., Glorious Rain Church. For information, call 843-0158. Narcotics Anonymous: Sun., Tues., Wed., Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 12 noon Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (Parish Center), 2750 S. Byron Butler Pkwy. Call: (877) 340-5096. AMVETS Post 20: third Saturday, 10 a.m., at 107 East Green Street. American Legion Post #291 (Steinhatchee): second Thursday, 7 p.m. American Legion Post #96: rst Tues., 7 p.m., American Legion Hall, Center St. Sons of Confederate Veterans: fourth Thursday at North Orange Street. Call 5845725 or 838-2045. VFW Post #9225: second Tuesday, 7 p.m. (American Legion building). CIVIC GROUPS GOVERNMENT INTERESTS SUPPORT GROUPS VETERANSTo add your organization free of charge, please call 584-5513 or e-mail email@example.comCommunity CalendarPlease call 584-5513 to update your current calendar listing or e-mail newsdesk@ perrynewspapers.com Expanded Calendar of Events available at: www.perrynewspapers.comAunt Mae MORE THAN A CENTURY WELL LIVED Editors Note: The following submission proles Ella Mae Jones, who was Taylor Countys oldest living citizen at the time of her death Jan. 22, 2014. She was 107 years old. Three generations of children lovingly called her Aunt Mae because she was a woman with a heart of gold, a hand of mercy and a will of iron. She was the aunt everybody wished they had. Born in Donalsonville, Ga., on Sept. 6, 1906, as the second oldest of eight children, Ella Mae Jones was destined to be both practical and wise. She knew how to cook, how to comfort and how to think. She could dry the tears of her siblings while making, what she called, sopping good biscuits. As a teenager, in search of a better life, she left Georgia where she had picked cotton and moved to Perry, where she met and married the love of her life, Ernest Jones, fondly known as Tinch. He gained his reputation as a natural comedian working among his peers at the pulpwood factory in Perry. She did housework and cared for the children of a local family. Together they became respected members of the community, known for their generosity and sage advice. In the 1940s when her own family times were tough, the couple did not hesitate to move quickly to embrace and raise her sisters two sons as their own, giving them the love, incentive and support to succeed. The elder, Robert Cummings, eventually became a scholar and Howard University professor and the younger, E.B. Cummings, distinguished himself with the postal service in Pennsylvania. For decades, their children and grandchildren, along with people in Colored Town and neighboring communities, came to Third Street to hear Aunt Maes recipes for ashcake and corn pone and her hints about cooking gopher and hoghead cheese. As Aunt Mae would say, It would make you slap your mama but you better keep on running. She was sincere and honest in her assessments, quick to correct a child and lovingly admonish a youth. She was a woman who loved the Lord, her church and her family. The three were her life. On the day she turned 100, she sang, Down through the years, the Lords been good to me. She lived gracefully beyond a century, becoming the oldest resident of Perry at 107 years old. Jones died Jan. 22, 2014, and loved ones honored her memory during services held Saturday, Feb. 1, at New Bethel M.B. Church. Taylor Countys oldest citizen, Ella Mae Jones, died Jan. 22, 2014. She was 107 years old.Ella Mae Jones Perry native, now an African chief, to speak Sunday at Black History Month celebration New Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1014 East Green Street, will host its annual Black History Month program Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. Guest speaker for the occasion will be attorney Vernita C. Williams, who traveled to Africa last year where she was coronated as an authentic African chief by the Ibo Tribe African King Dennis Onwubiko in recognition of her contribution as the international business consultant to the All Nations Organization in Africa. Williams grew up in Perry and is the daughter of Juanita Scott. She obtained her pharmacy degree from Florida A & M University and her law degree from the University of Miami. Earlier in her career she served as a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and is now an attorney in private practice in Miami where she handles estate planning, probate, medical malpractice and personal injury cases. She is the associate pastor of stewardship at New Birth Baptist Church where Bishop Victor T. Curry is senior pastor. The programs theme will be African American Christians Keeping the Hope Alive. Come hear stories of victory, triumph and hope as we connect to our African roots and glean untold truths from an unprecedented message about the African culture, genital mutilation, tribal beliefs an customs, and ways in which African Americans can embrace who we are with pride, Williams said. Choir rehearsal for the program will be held at the church Thursday at 7 p.m. All choir members of the city are invited to participate. Brother Izell Montgomery Jr., serves as pastor of the church. Vernita C. Williams New downtown The Perry-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a ribboncutting ceremony to welcome new member, The Shugar Shoppe. Located in the Historic Perry Station (former Old Depot), the store specializes in accessories. Sisters and co-owners Ashley Speas and Heather Speas were joined by family, friends and fellow chamber members at the event.
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