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From The Herald Archives: March 29, 2018


Havana’s Town Council heard from Tom Ruff of the Hatch, McDonald engineering firm at a meeting at which Ruff brought forward a draft proposal for a police station addition to Town Hall. The building would hold about 12,000 additional square feet of space for police operations; would be one-story like Town Hall; and trees would be retained. “The idea was to get the facility on this site and complement what’s already here,” said Ruff.

Johnny Carlton Brandon, 49, of Quincy, died after he and a friend were ejected from their vessel on Lake Iamonia, north of Tallahassee. According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, Brandon was transported by LifeFlight to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, but did not survive. Aaron Dienger, 37, of Tallahassee, also was on the vessel, but was pulled from the water unharmed. Brandon was operating the 12-foot homemade boat from the front using stick steering. At one point, Brandon turned abruptly, throwing both him and Dienger overboard.


In 1947 there was one area code in Florida (305) from Key West to Pensacola. Rapid growth ultimately resulted in nine area codes, the newest being 850 in the Panhandle area. Mandatory dialing for the new 850 area code, including Gadsden County, began March 23.

Gadsden officials met with Tallahassee investor DeVoe Moore to discuss the possibility of a baseball stadium being built in the 10/90 Park near Midway. County Manager Howard McKinnon and Commissioner Hentz Fletcher were in attendance. Moore wanted to lure the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Double-A minor league baseball team to Tallahassee. The team was also considering Montgomery, Alabama.


Two Havana schools announced their Teacher of the Year recipients. Mathella McGriff was chosen at Havana Elementary School and Betty White was chosen by Havana Middle School.

LaVerne Hiers was appointed Gadsden County Tax Collector after the death of former Tax Collector W.A. “Bill” Summerford, Gov. Bob Martinez announced. Hiers, of Greensboro, served as Assistant Tax Collector for 38 years.


Havana High School was recommended for a half-million-dollar facelift during the March school board meeting. Proposed was the addition of a lobby to the gymnasium; alteration and addition to the shower and locker facilities; and an enlarged music suite.

Norman McMillan, a member of the Board of Directors of the Gadsden County Chapter of the American Red Cross, was selected to serve on the Suwannee Division Council of the American Red Cross for a two-year term. The Suwannee Division covered all the way from Jacksonville to Pensacola.


Announcing for political office in Gadsden County were Wendell Ridlehoover, Superintendent of Public Instruction; Hal Davis, State House of Representatives in District 10; H.Y. Reynolds, re-election as County Judge; DeVane Mason, re-election as Tax Assessor; and Tom Maxwell, re-election as County Commissioner in District 5.

Lewis Albert Ward, son of Mr., and Mrs. John Ward of Havana, was among those who received degrees at winter quarter exercises at Auburn University. He received a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and was headed to Washington, D.C. for Navy duty.


Havana High School’s high-scoring guard, Larry Stephens, was accorded the double honor in Big Bend basketball all-star selections as being named to the Second All-Big Bend team and selected as “Player of the Year” on the First Team, Class C Division.

Dr. R.H. Bennett of the Florida Livestock Board presented to Gadsden County a certificate for the county’s efforts toward control of disease in cattle. County Agent John Russell and his assistant, Bernard Clark, accepted the award.


The five supervising principals serving Gadsden County public schools were unanimously renominated by the Board of School Trustees. They were James A. Shanks, Quincy; D.F. Burns, Havana; E.L. Bowers, Greensboro; M.C. Sanders, Chattahoochee; and Mary F. Hubbard, Mt. Pleasant.

At a special meeting at the Havana school, Aubrey Butler, Bennie McFarland, Cecil Butler and the county superintendent, G.H. Mears, met with Tallahassee architect Robert Maybin to discuss plans for a proposed $60,000 gymnasium and lunchroom at the school.