• A chance to visit her grandmother and explore the sights in Canada.

    This was the wish of 17-year-old Rachel Smith, of Crawfordville, who has faced many challenges in her life.

    Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, her wish was granted.

    Rachel was born with Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome, which is a deletion of a certain chromosome.

    According to the VCF Educational Foundation’s website, VCF syndrome is typically characterized by cleft palate, heart abnormalities, learning disabilities and over 180 other clinical findings.

  • Special to The News

    The Solar Knights Team from South Plantation High School in Broward County made an overnight stop in Wakulla County on their way home from their participation in the 2010 Hunt-Winston Solar Car Challenge.

    The students built their solar car under the direction of Allan Phipps who teaches advanced placement environmental science and solar energy at South Plantation High School. He is the son of Rick and Barbara Phipps of Wakulla Station and the grandson of the late Nelton and Thelma Jerrnigan of Wakulla Station.


    If you saw a large group of teenagers in July picking up trash along the road, eating at local restaurants, or visiting the county’s natural wonders, you probably saw this year’s SEEK students.

    SEEK, an acronym for Save the Earth’s Environment through Knowledge, is an annual environmental conference for high school students that is sponsored by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs.

    Teenagers from across Florida traveled to Wakulla Springs State Park in July for the third SEEK Conference held in Wakulla County.

  • After working at Shell Island Fish Camp for most of his life, Allen Hobbs has decided to hand over the reigns to another member of the family.

    “I’ve sent people fishing for 40 years and I’m going to do some myself,” Hobbs said.

    His last day will be Aug. 1.

    On that day, his nephew, Jimmy Bevis, and his wife, Sherie, will take over.

    “He don’t mind working and that’s what it takes,” Hobbs said. “It’s going to continue to be a success like it is now.”

  • A new theater company has started up in Crawfordville with the focus on local talent and local stories.

    The Palaver Tree Theater Company was created by Wakulla native Herb Donaldson, who is also the artistic director for the company.

    The company held its first meeting on June 26 and had about nine students attend, as well as three adults.

    “It was a small group, but it was more than I expected,” Donaldson said.

  • An old black and white photograph of a young woman standing in a field with the Sopchoppy train depot off in the background was given to the Wakulla County Historical Society recently.

    It’s one of only a few pictures found featuring the train depot.

    The young woman in the photograph is Sopchoppy resident Myrtle Langston, who was then known by her maiden name of Roddenberry.


    Special to The News

    The Fourth Annual Green Home Hour Tour, sponsored by Sustainable Big Bend, was developed four years ago to showcase how local homeowners and builders were incorporating energy efficient technologies, water-wise landscape practices and practical low-cost activities to conserve energy, reduce utility costs and leave our planet healthy for those who follow.


    WCSO Public Information

    The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office relies on volunteers, but when volunteers like Capt. Harris Johnson are called to duty they bring along their four-legged friends.

    Capt. Johnson is the leader of the WCSO Mounted Posse, a group of volunteers who are not just hanging around for a ride and showing off during special events and parades.

    Johnson and the posse have given the sheriff’s office volunteer service in search and rescue as well as providing additional manpower when needed.

  • Woodville author Doug Alderson is no stranger to the outdoors.

    It has been a love of his since he was young and his books typically focus on the environment that he treasures, including the history and culture of the specific area.

    “To get to know an area well, you have to get to know its history,” Alderson said.

    He was born in Illinois, near Chicago, and remembers having to drive several hours to make it to the wilderness.

    “We didn’t have much in the ways of outdoors,” he said.

  • The Florida Wild Mammal Association held a volunteer work day on June 12 and had a large amount of people there to lend a helping hand.

    Chris Beatty, director of FWMA, said about 80 people showed up to offer their help.

    “The response was phenomenal,” she said.

    The volunteers were there to renovate current sea bird enclosures, as well as build new ones.

    Beatty said they got halfway done with taking down the current structures that are in need of repair, as well as pools inside the enclosures.


    Special to The News

    Crawfordville resident Dick Snyder was dressed in a U.S. Marine Corps hat and camouflage jacket when nearby neighbor and friend Victor Pandolfi asked him to help lay the first cement block for Pandolfi’s new home.

    Snyder’s three sons, Rick, Jim and Bill “Spud” Snyder were working on Pandolfi’s home as part of a Gene Cutchin construction project. Pandolfi, a former Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, said Dick Snyder is one of the best and well-known masons in the area.

  • Aaron Wiggins unveiled his Eagle Scout project recently – a deck that looks out over the field and sinkhole at YMCA’s Camp Indian Springs.

    He was praised by his scoutmasters for his hard work and dedication at a ribbon-cutting held at the camp on a recent Saturday afternoon, as fellow scouts and family members watched.

    Wiggins, 15, said the camp’s old deck was in bad shape and needed to be rebuilt. He and fellow scouts constructed the new platform and railing.

    “We all built it,” he said. “Everybody pitched in.”

  • As the cabbage continued to grow, Carla Dickens and her daughter Morgan questioned if it in fact was a cabbage at all.

    Morgan grew the plant for the Bonnie Plant's Third Grade Cabbage Program which gives away cabbage plants to third graders all over the United States.

    Then out of the participants, one student in each state is randomly selected to receive a $1,000 savings bond.

    Morgan didn't win the prize, but she did grow her plant up to 4.5 feet wide and it's not done yet.

    One of the leaves is two feet wide, Carla Dickens said.




    The Florida Wild Mammal Association is bracing itself for the anticipated arrival of oil to the area. The association plans to have a hand in the clean up of wildlife in the area.

    "It's way more than we can comprehend," said Chris Beatty, FWMA director. "It's heart breaking."

  • Gadsden Arts Center in Quincy will feature "Transparent Spectrum" with Don Taylor watercolors and Cheryl Sattler glass from June 11 to Aug. 14 in the Sara May Love Gallery, and "American Imagery"  with Trudy Wheeler photographs on exhibit from June 11 to Aug. 15 in the Zoe Golloway Exhibit Hall.

    The gallery, located on the square in Quincy, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

  • The Limpkin riverboat made it's first trip along the Wakulla River on Tuesday, April 27, since it's overhaul.

    The riverboat is one of four used at the Wakulla Springs and Lodge State Park that takes visitors along the Wakulla River and allows them to view all the wildlife that call the area home.

    The boat was refurbished with donations garnered by The Friends of Wakulla Springs' Make Your Visit Last Forever program.

  • Education and information – a powerful combination, effective at tackling almost any issue facing the individual and the community. It is education and information that is the purpose of the 4th Annual Green Living Expo. A joint effort of Sustainable Big Bend, Inc., the Wakulla County School District, and the Wakulla County Extension Office, the Green Living Expo will be held at Riversprings Middle School on Saturday, May 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • This year’s Relay for Life was held at the Wakulla High School track on Friday, April 16, through Saturday, April 17, The event, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, featured music and activities for participants, who kept walkers on the track throughout the night.  This year’s honorary survivor was WHS wrestler Travis Hinsey. (Photos by Brandon Brooks)


    By Mays Leroy Gray


    In 1991 I was the author of five historical articles about the towns, commerce, activities and life which occurred along the old Georgia, Florida and Alabama Railroad, including the town of Sopchoppy, which was published in The Wakulla News from October 24, 1991 to September 17, 1992, all of which are on file at the Wakulla County Public Library.

    For those who would like to read the articles, the titles and published dates are as follows:


  • It was a celebration of the lowly worm, or at least of the tradition of grunting – using a hasp and staub to produce a vibration in the ground that makes a worm bolt from its lair and go above ground where it can easily be picked up and dropped into a bait can. The Worm Gruntin’ Festival, held Saturday, April 10, in Sopchoppy was a chance to celebrate Florida heritage and that thoroughbred of the lowly worm – the red wiggler.