Betsy Knight fought off more than one illness in her life, but I am afraid that she lost the battle this time. Betsy passed away around 11:30 this morning with her family by her side.
This was shock to many of us because we thought she was on the road to recovery. However, when she had planned surgery this week, the doctors discovered a mass that was cancerous and it had rapidly spread through her body.
Betsy Knight had a beautiful soul and dedicated her life to conservation and wildlife. She loved the outdoors and some of you may not know that every year in March she would go kayaking with friends and some of her grandchildren. She raised and rehabilitated many native animals during her years as the Director of Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary. From all the stories I have heard, I don't think there is a species she hadn't cared for at one time or another.
If Betsy had to pick one accomplishment though, I think she would say she was most proud of the success she had with Florida Black Bears. She has raised or rehabilitated over 40 bears and returned them to all back the wild, even though she was told it couldn't be done. Few people told her no and if they did, it only made her WILL to prove them wrong all the stronger.
I will miss Betsy's stories and her wealth of knowledge. I hope I can continue her legacy with wildlife as many others are already doing. Betsy knew more about the natural history of each animal than I could ever hope to know. But mostly I will miss Betsy.
Thank you all for your prayers for Betsy and her family. The schedule for services has not been determined yet, but I will post that information as soon as I get it. I know Betsy had so many friends and I hope I have reached all of them either through phone calls, FWRA, Facebook or email but if anyone thinks of someone that might not know please pass this information on to them. I attached 2 of my favorite photos of Betsy.
Another new candidate has stepped forward in the Calhoun County School Superintendent's Race. Julie Leonard Smith has filed her letter of intent to seek the office. She will be running with no party affiliation (NPA). Smith will face Logan Barbee and Ralph Yoder on the ballot, both running NPA. Incumbent Tommy McClellan has not yet announced.
If it was a movie, the ending would sound unbelievable.
A group of investigators from Calhoun and surrounding counties gathered in Gadsden County Wednesday to compare notes and strategize following a string of 25 burglaries spanning from Bainbridge, GA, all across Northwest Florida. As they sat outside the BP in Chattahoochee talking in unmarked vehicles, a Calhoun County investigator noticed something. A car fitting the description of one they were seeking after an attempted burglary in Bristol Tuesday afternoon pulled into the parking lot. Two black males matching the description of the suspects stepped out of the car. A Chattahoochee police officer quickly boxed in the vehicle, preventing the pair from leaving.
Within minutes, two teens from Quincy were in custody. Their car contained firearms, as well as some of the jewelry missing from homes around the region.
Xavier Darcus Parks, 18, and Keldrick Trenaud Wilson, 17, are facing numerous charges in Calhoun, Liberty, Jackson, and Gadsden counties, as well as Decatur County, GA, where residents were actually home at the time of the break-in. Other cases in Wakulla County may also be connected. Additional members of the burglary ring are being sought.
Authorities in Chattahoochee have apprehended two suspects in a burglary ring that recently hit homes in Calhoun, Liberty and Jackson counties. Task Force members are in Gadsden County now where the pair were taken into custody at the Chattahoochee BP. The search continues for two more suspects, as well as the location where the loot from these burglaries is being stashed. The County Record will post more details as they become available.
Madison County businessman, Mike Williams, has announced that he will seek the Republican nomination to represent ten North Florida counties in the Florida House of Representatives, District 7 seat. The post is currently held by Marti Coley.
Feb. 6: Shane Goff, state VOP; Ronnie Taylor, state VOP, non-support; Clayton Earl Harris, violation of community control, contempt; John Derek Sangster, disturbing the peace, resisting an officer, aggravated battery, assault
Feb. 7: Crystal Landrum, state VOP; Kevin Hansford, violation of community control; Charles Barbee, failure to appear
Feb. 8: Zachary Willis, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana; James Travis Lane, driving while license suspended or revoked, sale of crack cocaine within 1000 ft. of a school
Feb. 9: Otis Pennywell, failure to appear
Feb. 10: Lavon Holland, state VOP; Shane Coburn, manufacture of meth, possession of listed chemicals
Feb. 11: Christia Clinney, manufacture of meth, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of listed chemicals; Joseph McDonald, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana; Christopher Butler, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of listed chemicals, manufacture of meth, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana; Frederick McCormick, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana
Feb. 4: Stephen Hanf, possession of less than 20 grams, poss. of controlled substance, poss. prescription drug without prescription
Feb. 6: Charlie Drew, sentenced to DOC; Shawn Goff, housing for CCSO
Feb. 7: Vicki Bailey, DWLSR, DUI refusal
Feb. 8: Crystal Landrum, housing for CCSO; Ronnie Taylor, state VOP
Feb. 9: Tina Marie Andrews, holding for Gulf Co.; Travis Allen, Liberty Co. warrant, Franklin Co. warrant, Travis Johnson, state VOP, out of county warrant
Feb. 10: Gary Miley, grand theft, trespassing
Feb. 11: Christia Clinney, hold for Calhoun
The above individuals were booked into the Calhoun or Liberty County Jail over the past week. Although they have been charged with a crime, they are considered innocent until proven guilty.
As reported last week, 16 Air Commandos from Hurlburt Field are ruck marching to honor our fallen Special Operations warriors and to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. They will be coming through Blountstown this afternoon, then proceeding into Bristol. Updated information is the group will REACH Magnolia Square around 3 p.m. (coming in on Hwy. 20 from the west). The group will set up at Magnolia Square for anyone wishing to purchase t-shirts, etc. to support the cause. Once they finish the visit in Blountstown, the Air Commandos will proceed into Bristol. The march began Feb. 12 at Hurlburt Field and will continue all the way to Tampa.
Ralph Yoder has filed his letter of intent to run for Calhoun County Superintendent of Schools. This seat is currently held by Tommy McClellan who has not yet announced. Logan Barbee has also entered this race.
Election season continues to heat up in Calhoun County with another candidate stepping forward. Sky Scott has announced plans to run for Supervisor of Elections. The seat is currently held by Margie Laramore who says she does plan to seek re-election.
A new candidate has stepped forward to seek the Calhoun County Commission seat for district 3. Nick Stone filed his letter of intent last week to run for this office. The seat is currently held by Don Miller. Also running is Jeral Hall, who previously served in this post.