Monday, October 19, 2020
Thursday, October 8, 2020
UFO (unidentified flying object) stories are now part of American culture, albeit a hotly debated part. In 1955, however, they were breaking news and the military often kept them top secret. Such was the case with an incident that year in the skies over Jackson County that ranks as one of the nation's first government-verified UFO sightings.
On December 6, 1955, a civilian radar operator was working his normal shift at Graham Air Base when he detected something unusual on his scope. An unidentified object suddenly streaked into radar range, entering Jackson County from the south at a high rate of speed.
As the operator watched by radar, the UFO flew over Jackson County at a speed faster than any known U.S. Air Force plane. It first appeared to be following the Apalachicola River but angled to the northwest as it passed over Jackson County, a route that carried it close to both Marianna and the airbase.
|USAF Record Card of Marianna UFO|
Alarmed by the approach of the object, the Flight Service Center commander at Maxwell notified the Air Defense Command at Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Air Force Chief of Staff in Washington, DC:
...One unidentified flying object sighted over Marianna FLA at 0100E Aircraft radar. Object at 15000 feet over Marianna FLA. Object proceeded to Montgomery ALA climbing to 30,000 FT elapsed time of object from Marianna FLA to Montgomery ALA five minutes. Object presently over Maxwell AFB. - Project Blue Book Record, U.S. Air Force, December 6, 1955.
|Graham Air Base Historical Marker|
Kept top secret at the time, the sighting was investigated by the U.S. Air Force as part of its "Project Blue Book." Between 1952 and 1970, Air Force investigators examined 12,618 alleged UFO incidents. Of that number, only 701 remain listed as "unidentified." The 1955 Marianna incident is one of those 701 cases.
|Graham Air Base in the 1950s.|
State Archives of Florida/Memory Collection
At least one person reported seeing an object in the sky over northern Jackson County at about the time of the incident. The eyewitness later recalled that he was on a trip from Alabama to Florida with his parents along US 231 when they suddenly saw an unidentified object fly over the highway near the Florida-Alabama line. He described it as a saucer-shaped object with red lights around its bottom. It made no sound. Whether it was the UFO picked up by radar operators is not known.
To this day, the Marianna UFO of 1955 has never been explained.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
The Marianna City Commission imposed the following by a 4-1 at its meeting on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. It takes effect immediately:
EMERGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 2020-___ E
AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MARIANNA,
FLORIDA, FINDING THAT A PUBLIC EMERGENCY EXISTS; REQUIRING EMPLOYEES IN BUSINESSES TO WEAR A FACE COVERING; PROVIDING FOR EXCEPTIONS; PLACING ADDITIONAL STANDARDS ON RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS, FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS AND BARS; PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF THIS ORDINANCE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, The City of Marinna (“City”) is a municipality granted home rule authority pursuant to Article VIII, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Florida and may exercise its governmental, corporate and proprietary powers for municipal purposes, including to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare; and
WHEREAS, the City of Marianna is empowered, pursuant to Section 166.041(3)(b), Florida Statutes, to adopt emergency ordinances by a two-thirds majority vote; and WHEREAS, the World Health Organization, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, President of the United States, Governor of the State of Florida and the City of Marianna have all acknowledged and declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, to be an international, national, state and local emergency; and
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of the State of Florida issued Executive Order 20-52 authorizing, among other things, local governments to execute their authority under the State Emergency Management Act; and
WHEREAS, since March 17, 2020, the City Commission has taken careful and measured action by Resolution and Emergency Ordinances to balance the public health and safety while also monitoring the need to allow for recreational and commercial activity to safely continue; and
WHEREAS, on June 3, 2020, the Governor of the State of Florida issued Executive Order 20-139 enacting the “Phase 2: Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery” which expanded guidelines on safe congregations and recreational activities; and
WHEREAS, the City is home to the Florida Caverns, Blue Springs, the Chipola River and other natural and eco-friendly areas to many visitors each year, while also serving as the permanent home for approximately 6,500 residents; and
WHEREAS, U. S. Highways 90, 71 and 73 as well as Interstate 10 are main travel routes for visitors coming into the State of Florida from other states and for Floridians traveling east toward Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando and central and south Florida, and traveling west toward Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans and other states; and
WHEREAS, since the reopening of the City’s recreational areas and local businesses under the enactment of Phase 2 Reopening, the City has seen an influx of visitors, and many of these visitors are exhibiting an attitude of carefreeness and indifference for CDC guidelines, regarding social distancing; and
WHEREAS, the City has observed that the reopening of the State has led to a corresponding rise in contact between individuals, the potential for increased community spread of COVID-19, and a rise in COVID-19 diagnoses in the City and in Jackson County; and
WHEREAS, since April 3, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (the “CDC”) has identified cloth face coverings by the public as an effective mitigation tool against the spread of COVID-19 transmission and provides guidance on how to wear, make and maintain cloth face coverings; and
WHEREAS, on June 22, 2020, State Surgeon General, Scott Rivkees, issued an additional public health advisory recommending people wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible, stating that in gatherings of fewer than 50 people, individuals should maintain at least six feet distance from each other or wear a face covering; and
WHEREAS, on July 12, 2020, the United States Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, issued recommendations that mandatory mask orders be put in place at “local and state levels”; and
WHEREAS, on July14, 2020, the CDC Director stated that “(c)loth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families and their communities”; and
WHEREAS, the CDC, writing in the Journal of American Medical Association, stated that "c)ommunity-level protection afforded by use of cloth face coverings can reduce the number of new infections and facilitate cautious easing of more societally disruptive community interventions such as stay-at-home orders and business closings”and placed special emphasis on wearing face coverings while indoors or in poorly ventilated areas; and
WHEREAS, on July 14, 2020, President Donald Trump, speaking with CBS News, urged Americans to follow CDC guidelines and wear a mask; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission finds that, based upon the recommendations of the medical community and the rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the City and Jackson County, the continued risk of COVID-19 infection necessitates emergency measures to mitigate the spread;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MARIANNA, FLORIDA, AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. FINDING OF EMERGENCY: The foregoing recitals are true and correct and incorporated herein as if set out in full. For the reasons set out in the above recitals, the Commission finds and determines that the public health emergency facing the City requires enhanced restrictions adopted by this ordinance which are needed immediately to help address the dangers present in our nation, state and community.
SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS: For purposes of this Ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings proscribed below:
A. “Business” means a location with a roof overhead under which any business is conducted, good are made, stored, processed, sold, or made available for sale, or where services are rendered. The term includes transportation network companies, such as Ubers and Lyft; vehicles operated for mass transit delivery services, taxis, limousines for hire, other enclosed passenger vehicles for hire.
B. “Face Covering” means a material that covers the nose and mouth in a manner that fits snugly against the sides of the face so there are no gaps. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk or linen.
C. “Wear a Face Covering” means the securing of a face covering over the person’s nose and mouth and snuggly against the sides of the face.
D. “Lodging Establishment” means any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings which is rented to guests more than three (3) times in a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or one (1) calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.
E. “Food Service Establishment” means a business licensed to sell food covered by Executive Order 20-139
F. “Bar” means a business licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption which is not also licensed to sell food.
SECTION 3. FACE COVERINGS IN THE CITY:
A. Business Employees. All persons who own or manage a Business shall assure that all persons who are employed or contracted by a Business wear a Face Covering while working indoors within the course of and scope of their employment or contract with that Business unless specifically exempted in Section 4 of this Ordinance.
B. Signage. Each Business shall conspicuously post signage at all points of public entry in substantially the form provided by the City, notifying individuals of the requirements of this Ordinance, and encouraging all patrons to abide by CDC guidelines regarding the use of face coverings and social distancing.
SECTON 4. EXCEPTIONS. Section 3B of this Ordinance shall not apply to the following:
A. An individual with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act shall be allowed to request a reasonable modification of this requirement from a Business subject to this Ordinance. Such reasonable accommodation shall include requiring a scarf, looser Face Covering or face shield, allowing curbside pick-up, outdoor service, or removal of the face mask.
B. A person who is communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired who needs to see the mouth of the person speaking to facilitate communication.
C. Public safety, police, fire and other life safety and health care personnel whose use of personal protective equipment requirements are governed by their respective agencies and employers, while engaged in such employment.
D. Business owners, managers, employees and contractors who are in an area of a Business that is not open to customers, patrons, or the public while maintaining social distancing, excluding individuals involved in the preparation and service of food and beverages.
SECTION 5. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS, FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS AND BARS.
Retail Establishments, Food Service Establishments and Bars shall be subject to the following additional standards contained herein:
A. Patron Waiting Procedures. Each Indoor Amusement, Retail Establishment, Food Service Establishment and Bar shall implement procedures designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 transmission through the following means:
1. Placing clearly marked areas for individual groups to congregate spaced at least six feet from other waiting congregations. Businesses may utilize designated parking spaces as a patron waiting area to implement this procedure.
2. Placing clear markers for patrons to maintain at least six feet social distancing in checkout areas.
B. Employee Screening. Retail Establishments, Food Service Establishments and Bars must daily screen each employee to ensure that no employee who is exhibiting symptoms of COPVID-19 is permitted to work. Upon discovering that a current employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the establishment shall immediately close and disinfect the building interior. Businesses must notify the public of such closure and shall be permitted to reopen upon certification by the City’s Code Enforcement Department, by the contractor licensed by the State of Florida in biomedical waste treatment and disposal.
C. 50% Capacity. Indoor Amusements, Restaurants, Retail Establishments and Bars shall operate at 50% of their indoor capacity, excluding employees, as determined by the Fire Inspector. This capacity limitation shall be modified from time to time as the executive orders from the Governor are amended.
SECTION 6. ENFORCEMENT. Any violation of this Ordinance may be enforced by a member of the City’s Policy Department, Fire Department or Code Enforcement Officer as follows:
A. First Offense. An initial violation shall be memorialized by a written warning and staff shall be directed to educate the violator of the substance of this Ordinance. For any first violation of Section 3 of this Ordinance, a violator without a Face Covering shall be supplied one.
B. Second Offense. Punishable by a civil citation of $50.00.
C. Third or Subsequent Offenses are as follows:
1. Punishable by a civil violation of $150.00; or
2. An order to cease operation, as a public nuisance, for twenty-four (24) hours. The Commission specifically finds repeat violations of the provision of this Ordinance to be a threat to the public health, safety and welfare of the City.
SECTION 7. SEVERABILITY.
If any word, phrase, clause, section or portion of this Ordinance shall be held invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this Ordinance shall continue in full force and effect.
SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE.
Upon passage by two-thirds of the members of the City Commission, this Ordinance shall take effect at 5:00 P.M. on September __, 2020, without further reading or publication, to address the real and present public health emergency presented by the spread of the COVID-19 virus and shall remain in effect until 12:00 P. M. on , 2020, unless such date is otherwise extended by resolution of the City Commission.
THIS ORDINANCE shall be effective immediately upon passage.
PASSED by the City Commission of the City of Marianna, Florida, in session on
the ______ day of September, 2020.
CITY OF MARIANNA, FLORIDA
Kimberly Applewhite, CLERK
Monday, July 6, 2020
|Historical Markers and the large temple mound|
at Chattahoochee's River Landing Park.
|River Landing Park as seen from the air.|
Friday, June 12, 2020
|The "Claude Neal" tree in Marianna, Florida|
|The "Claude Neal" tree in Marianna, Florida|
Saturday, June 6, 2020
|The actual "Claude Neal" tree at the Jackson|
County Courthouse faces Madison Street.
|The Jackson County Courthouse as it appeared in|
1934. The structure was later demolished.
|"Cut it Down," and "Claude Neal" signs were|
posted hist week on an oak tree at the Jackson
County Courthouse. The actual tree is visible at
left in the background.
|Aesop Bellamy's trees are seen here about|
20-years after they were planted by the African
|The tree where the "Committee of Six" killed|
Claude Neal was destroyed by Hurricane Michael
in 2018. Only the base of the trunk remains.
- Let's begin by offering the families of Claude Neal and Lola Cannady to place headstones on their graves. Neither grave is marked. If the exact burial spots cannot be identified, then the stones can be placed nearby.
- Jackson County, working with the Florida Division of Historical Resources, should place historical markers near the Neal murder site at Parramore Landing and the Cannady/Smith farm sites near Greenwood to interpret the events of 1934. Independent state historians should develop the text for the markers.
- The Jackson County Commission should convene a hearing to receive public input on the fate of the actual "Claude Neal" tree on the courthouse square. This tree is the second one south of the northeast corner of the square on the Madison Street side. Despite its historical significance, if the commissioners believe after hearing public input that community healing will result from its removal, it should be taken down and proper interpretive signage placed to explain why.
- If the tree is removed, "Aesop Bellamy Trees" rooted from acorns produced by the other oaks on Courthouse Square should be planted each year for 10-years at Jackson Blue Springs and other county parks.
- Regardless of the fate of the "Claude Neal" tree, the County Commission should adopt an ordinance declaring the other live oaks planted by Aesop Bellamy on the courthouse square to be Landmark Trees and providing for their permanent protection and care. The county should work with the Florida Division of Historical Resources to prepare an application for listing the trees (less the Claude Neal tree) on the National Register of Historic Places due to their connection to Aesop Bellamy, an African American entrepreneur of the Reconstruction era. The county should place a marker telling the story of Bellamy's trees.
- Finally, the Jackson County Tourist Development Council is encouraged to work in cooperation with the Jackson County Commission, the Jackson County Branch of the NAACP, the Florida Panhandle Natural and Cultural Resources Association (FPNCRA), and the Chipola Historical Trust to develop a multi-cultural driving tour of Jackson County. This tour should feature historic sites and landmarks of interest to people of all races and cultures, to inspire our young people and show them that it is possible to rise above circumstances to achieve great things.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
|T. Thomas Fortune|
Marianna-born journalist and civil rights leader
He was a significant figure of the late 19th century, but many today do not know his story. Here are the basics:
Timothy Thomas Fortune was born into slavery at Marianna on October 3, 1856, but was destined to demonstrate just how far Americans could rise with education, hard work, inspiration, and determination. He has been called "Tuskegee's Point-Man" for his support of Booker T. Washington and the innovative programs at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University).
Based on Fortune's own memories, much about his childhood has been misrepresented by modern writers. His father, Emanuel Fortune, was enslaved by Joseph W. Russ, a prominent Jackson County resident. Russ not only encouraged Emanuel's education but entrusted him with the management of his large leather tannery. (Note: Russ was the father of the Joseph W. Russ, Jr. who later built Marianna's beautiful Russ House).
Father of T. Thomas Fortune
According to the later writings of T. Thomas Fortune, he and his parents were treated well by Russ and Moore, although they were kept in a condition of slavery. He grew up playing with Moore's four children and later remembered that he was never treated as anything other than a member of the family during the eight years that he lived in slavery.
When the War Between the States (or Civil War) came to an end, Emanuel Fortune enrolled his son in the new public school established in Marianna by the Freedman's Bureau. He excelled in his studies and quickly gained the attention of the publisher of the Marianna Courier newspaper, Frank Baltzell.
|Marianna, as it appeared when T. Thomas Fortune lived there.|
State Archives of Florida/Memory Collection
T. Thomas Fortune went on to work at newspapers in Jacksonville, Washington, D.C., and New York over the years that followed. He enrolled at Howard University but was forced to withdraw after a few semesters due to financial restraints.
|T. Thomas Fortune|
T. Thomas Fortune cultivated the friendship of Booker T. Washington during the 1890s and became a leading advocate of Washington's visionary Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama. He helped with the preparation for publication of Washington's landmark book The Future of the American Negro.
|Home of T. Thomas Fortune in New Jersey|
Courtesy Library of Congress
T. Thomas Fortune died on June 2, 1928, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Signs designating Jackson County as his birthplace stand on U.S. 90 near Sneads and Cottondale, but the county, unfortunately, has no historical marker or monument to tell his story. His home in Red Bank, New Jersey, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remains a landmark to this day.
Read other stories on the history of Jackson County, Florida, by visiting https://twoegg.blogspot.com.
County by County Covid-19 Statistics
Please follow this link for county-by-county information in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama:
Friday, March 20, 2020
Dozens rest in forgotten graves at Chattahoochee, Florida.by Dale Cox
|A surviving wooden grave marker at Florida State Hospital|
Cemetery No. 3 in Chattahoochee, Florida.
|Florida State Hospital as it appeared in 1918. The old brick|
building and its tower were part of the original Apalachicola
Arsenal complex around which the hospital developed.
|The paddlewheel steamboat Amos Hayes at the railroad bridge|
over the Apalachicola at Chattahoochee (River Junction),
Florida. The "relic train" crossed here on Oct. 5, 1918.
|The Administration Building of Florida State Hospital was|
the original officer's quarters of the Apalachicola Arsenal.
Influenza surged again in November-December 1918, bringing even more deaths and more burials.