Archive for February 2013
It was cold that day when Fulford arrived at work at 3 p.m. at the Madison FHP station. He went on a call to the rest area on Interstate 10 where he helped a woman who had locked the keys in her car. He then spotted a car headed west at 85 miles per hour and stopped the Mitsubishi Gallant in Jefferson County.
Fulford discovered that Lester Watson, the man driving the car, did not have a driver’s license. Fulford arrested Watson on charges of driving without a license and Watson was booked into the Jefferson County Jail. Watson’s passenger, Leroy Williams, asked if he could accompany Watson to the jail.
Fulford discovered that the car had been rented to Paul Howell, of Miami. He had the dispatcher call Howell, who said that he had given Watson permission to drive the car but had not told him to head north with it. During the phone call, Howell never told them that the package contained a bomb that he had intended to send to Marianna to silence a witness who could tie him to a murder.
At the Aucilla exit on Interstate 10, Fulford and Jefferson County deputies Wallace Blount and Robert Harrell searched the car.
Fulford looked through the trunk and saw an empty baby’s bottle and a gift-wrapped package. While waiting for the wrecker to come pick up the car, he searched the Mitsubishi again. He opened the package with his penknife and the bomb exploded, killing Jimmy Fulford.
Fulford’s lieutenant, B.J. Tinney noted that when officers were moving the car away from the blaze so that it would not catch fire, that Fulford’s radio was set to WAFT, a Christian music station in Valdosta, Ga. Officers also noted that Fulford’s watch had stopped at 4:34 p.m.
At Fulford’s funeral, a tape was played of him singing gospel music the First Baptist Church in Monticello, where he served as deacon.
Lester Watson was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Patrick Howell was sentenced to 40 years in prison without possibility of parole for 25 years. Other members of the Jamaican drug posse involved in the murder coverup were sentenced to extensive prison terms. Paul Howell was sentenced to die for Fulford’s death.
An additional 6-10” of rainfall fell in the Withlacoochee and Alapaha river basins in the last 5 days, resulting in the potential for flooding on those rivers and further rises on the Suwannee River.
The Alapaha and Withlacoochee Rivers are major tributaries of the Suwannee River. More than half of the watershed contributing to the Suwannee River lies in Georgia. In March and April of 2009, more than 16” of rain fell in Georgia over 10 days, causing major flooding downstream in north Florida. The recent storms were generally not as intense as 2009, and flooding of the severity seen in 2009 in Florida is not expected.
River forecasts are issued by the Southeast River Forecast Center near Atlanta. The Withlacoochee River near Pinetta is expected to crest below flood stage early next week, while the Alapaha River near Statenville should crest near flood stage this weekend .The Suwannee River at Ellaville, downstream of where both rivers flow into Suwannee, is expected to rise at least another 10 feet in the next week, but a rise above flood stage on the Suwannee is not expected at this time. In the longer term, the rising Suwannee should cause the Santa Fe River to back up, as it did in 2008 and 2009. The forecast for the Santa Fe River at Three Rivers Estates calls for a crest below flood stage next week.
Megan Wetherington, the Suwannee River Water Management District’s hydrologist, said that while severe flooding is not expected, people with interests on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee rivers should monitor forecasts closely for the next several days.
“The intensity and timing of local rainfall between river gages can cause unforeseen impacts. It’s best to wait a few days to see how the Georgia gages crest before letting your guard down. Every flood is different,” Wetherington said. “It takes 8 to 10 days for the crest to travel from the Georgia border to Branford, so people farther down the Suwannee have time to watch and make decisions as the forecasts become more definitive.”
Locally, 4 -6” fell in Madison, Hamilton, and Suwannee counties. This rainfall will not impact the rivers significantly, but will improve aquifer conditions. Conditions on the upper Suwannee around White Springs will continue to improve, after falling to extremely low levels in the last month.
Elsewhere, the Aucilla River in Madison and Jefferson counties also received more than 6” of rain. Minor flooding is expected, with a crest above flood stage later this week.
The District provides daily flood forecasts to the public. Visit the District’s webpage www.mysuwanneeriver.com and look for Flooding Information & Updates.
Franklin “Buddy” Carroll, SR, age 75, died Monday, February 25, 2013 at his home in Greenville.
Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Thursday, February 28, 2013 at Beggs Funeral Home with burial at Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, from 5 – 7 PM at Beggs Funeral Home.
He was born in Greenville where he lived all his life. He drove a School Bus for Madison County School System before his retirement. He worked as a Logger and Farmer also. He was a member of Sirmans Baptist Church for 42 years.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years: Ida Louise (Wilson) Carroll; 4 Children: Frankie Carroll (Dela), Brenda Wynn (David), Glenda Sirmon (Johnny), Jamie Carroll (Aimee); 14 Grandchildren;8 Great Grandchildren, 1 Great Great Grandchild and 1 son-in-law Paul Rudloff; 5 siblings: Eunice Blanton, Mary (J.T.) Peterson, Frances (Darrell) Thigpen, Johnny (Jean) Carroll, and Bonnie Vick;
He was preceded in death by his parents: Lee and Mary Carroll and daughter: Rhonda Carroll Rudloff.
Beggs Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements 850-973-2258.
Mr. Donnie T. Newsome age 73 of Pearson, Ga. passed away Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the home of his daughter following an extended illness.
A native of Lee County, Fl., Mr. Newsome was born January 29, l940 son of Russell J. and Ruth Toole Newsome. He had made his home in Douglas for many years before moving to Pearson 7 years ago. He was a retired truck driver from the Savannah Ports Authority. He was a longtime member of the Elks and Moose Lodge. He was preceded in death by his wife, Earlene Dafler Newsome and a daughter, Sandy Jo Courson.
1 Daughter: Margie O’Brien and husband Joey of Pearson, Ga.
1 Son: Donald Wright and wife Annette of Perry, Fl.
1 Brother: Eugene Newsome and wife Lorene of Madison, Fl.
1 Sister: Dot Daniels of Madison, Fl.
9 Grandchildren, 5 Great Grandchildren and several Nieces and Nephews also survive.
Memorial services for Mr. Newsome were held at 6 P. M. Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Relihan Funeral Home in Pearson, Ga. with Rev. Tim Blanton officiating.
Relihan Funeral Home of Pearson, Ga. was in charge of the arrangemewnts.