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WEEKEND Washington County News Saturday, JUNE 29, 2013 For the latest breaking news, visit CHIPLEYPAPER.COM IN BRIEF VHS Class of 1978 VERNON — Vernon High School graduating class of 1978 will be meeting to begin making plans for their 35th Class Reunion, at 6 p.m. today, June 29, at Calvary Hill Pentecostal Church fellowship hall located across from Vernon Elementary School. For more information call Jody Calloway Bush at 535-0003. w w w. c h i p l e y p a p e r. c o m Faith events A4 Watermelon Festival ends today Parade, watermelon auction, bluegrass concert highlight event Admission to all the Ag Center events as well as the Dailey & Vincent concert is free. Today’s activities begin with a Pancake Breakfast at 7 a.m. hosted by the Shriner’s Club and the 35th annual Hot Trot 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run at 7:30 a.m. at Washington-Holmes Technical Center. There is a fee for both the breakfast and the run. By Randal Seyler There will also be a Car Show all day at 638-0212 | @WCN_HCT WHTC in conjunction with the festival. The Watermelon Festival Parade is at 10 CHIPLEY — The 57th annual Panhandle Wa- a.m. in downtown Chipley on Saturday, and at termelon Festival concludes today at the Wash- 11 a.m. festivities continue at the Washington ington County Agricultural Center. County Agricultural Center, beginning with a concert by Crossroads at 11 a.m. The Queen Introduction will be at 11:45 and the annual Watermelon Auction begins at noon at the Ag Center. Bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent will perform at 1:30 p.m. to conclude the event. Jamie Dailey was formerly the lead vocalist and guitarist for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver from 1999-2008 and Darrin Vincent was formerly a musician with Ricky Skaggs’ legendary band Kentucky Thunder. Vincent was also part of the famous bluegrass family group The See FESTIVAL A2 County fire chief responds to questions SPARKLE FOR THE CROWN Graceville Mt. Zion holds Saturday Sing GRACEVILLE — The public is invited to the Fifth Saturday Sing, to be held at 6:30 p.m. today, June 29, at the East Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Graceville. Refreshments will be provided and musicians and singers welcome. By RANDAL SEYLER 638-0212 | @WCN_HCT Chipley library holiday hours CHIPLEY — All branches of the Washington County Public Library will be closed on Thursday, July 4th, and Friday, July 5th, in observance of the holiday. We will open to our regularly scheduled hours on Monday, July 8. RANDAL SEYLER | The News Contestants from the 2012 Miss Firecracker Pageant will be on hand to turn over their crowns to new queens when the annual event returns to the Vernon Community Center today at 2 p.m. Firecracker Pageant held today From Staff Reports "" !         VERNON — The annual Miss Firecracker Pageant will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Vernon Community Center. The pageant kicks off the 4th of July holiday season, which the city will also celebrate on Thursday with a parade and fireworks. There will also be food and entertainment provided by Gilley’s Family Opry. The pageant was accepting entries up until today, Mayor Michelle Cook said on Monday. The exception was the Miss Photogenic contest, which required contestants to enter at least 24 hours before the pageant. Sign in will begin at 11 a.m. Attire for this pag- eant is formal please no Heirloom. The following titles will be awarded: Baby Miss birth to walking (must be held), Toddler Miss walking up to 24 months, Tiny Tot ages See PAGEANT A2 Garden club members attend summit Get your free copy now Special to the News INSIDE INDEX Community Events .................A2 Faith .....................................A4 Classifieds .............................A5 Phone: 850-638-0212 Web site: Fax: 850-638-4601 50¢ Volume 90, Number 22 CHIPLEY — Several members of Chipley Garden Club and Panama City Garden Club accompanied Florida Federation of Garden Clubs (FFGC) District II Director/Lynn Haven Garden Club member Carol Garrison on Monday, June 24 to “get the scoopâ€? on District I at their Summer 2013 Summit at Navarre Beach. District I includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties in Northwest Florida. FFGC District I Director Tina Tuttle presided over a very educational and entertaining meeting and many exciting and new ideas were exchanged and shared. Following a review of the objectives, goals and mission of FFGC and National Garden Club, the group SPECIAL TO THE NEWS District II Director Carol Garrison, from left, with Chipley Garden Club members Elaine Melton, Second Vice President Linda Pigott, Gail Exum, Mary Carswell, and Secretary/District II Awards Chair Gweneth Collins. discussed upcoming events, working ties, awards and ways on attracting with youth, horticulture and design and retaining members. programs, community outreach, The group also enjoyed an ice scholarships, educational opportuni- cream social following lunch. CHIPLEY — Washington County Fire Chief Al Gothard got a chance to respond to questions about the operation of the county fire department on June 20 during the Board of County Commissioners meeting in Chipley. “I was surprised to hear recent insinuations and accusations made by Ms. Thompson against the Washington County Fire Department and myself,â€? Gothard said. “These insinuations and accusations clearly have no basis and have cost the taxpayers of this county a considerable amount of money only to be proven false.â€? County resident Nan Thompson came before the board on May 23 with questions about fire department expenditures that she had discovered through a search of public records. “I’ve discovered some discrepancies with the Washington County Fire Department in Sunny Hills,â€? Thompson said, “and they concern me. I feel like this is important to me as a taxpayer.â€? Thompson said the Sunny Hills Fire Department operated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit from 2009 to 2010, even as the department remained under the administration of the Washington County government. “For a couple of years, according to the minutes, the fire department was operating as both a 501(c)3 and as a county department,â€? she said. Thompson also questioned the purchase of personalized equipment for volunteers and the purchase of a computer tablet for the fire department. See FIRE CHIEF A2 Connect with us 24/7 Get breaking news, videos, expanded stories, photo galleries, opinions and more... @WCN_HCT

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