published: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Quotes of the YEar
A look back at some of the memorable things local people said in 2012
"It's a crime if we don't fix it."
Sebring Mayor George Hensley regarding the dredge hole that closed City beach. Still unfixed a year later. (Jan. 6)
"There has been progress, a new dynamic; if not we would not be standing here today talking."
Kelvin Sheppard, AP CRA board member at MLK Day celebrations (Jan. 18).
"They put you through so much and they beat you down so you want to give up. But that is not going to happen. I'm not giving up."
Gingerlee Mitchelllindo, on her long running conflict with Sebring over her retaining wall (Jan. 20).
"People have to get more involved -- not 10 percent, 100 percent."
Gerald Snell, AP CRA Southside Advisory Board chairman. (Jan. 25)
"All areas need significant improvement," Barbara Stewart about County Administrator Rick Helms' evaluation (Jan. 27).
"We're feisty. Boys can't do what we do."
Ri'coby Jefferson, 14, APMS cheerleader preparing for national competition (Jan. 14).
"There is no sense in wasting more staff time. We have looked at this before. We are spinning our wheels here."
Sheriff Susan Benton to County Commission regarding the need for a new HCSO building (Feb. 5).
"We want to use sweat equity. We have a lot of resources in the community."
Tiffany Green, referring to creating a community center in Highway Park (Feb. 15).
"I don't think the Lake Placid taxpayer should pay for a county person to play a sport. Let those who use the parks help pay for the upkeep."
Town Councilor Steve Bastardi on approving recreation fees for interactive parks (Feb. 17).
"I was almost in tears. I'd rather give my dog away. She's (Our pet pig is) not noisy or anything like that and we love her. She's a part of our family."
Kim McIntyre on her relief at the Sebring City Council's decision to allow up to two pot-bellied pigs per house hold. The council also approved two hens per household (Feb. 24).
"I expect push back. But how can they take taxpayer dollars? I mean they have a private lake. You can't have both ways."
George Hall, former AP city councilor, on offering to sell the city a site for a public park on Lake Isis (March 14).
"We are not animals down here. We come in numbers, but we come in peace. You don't understand the community or the culture, so you want to do away with it and that's not right."
Artero Clark Lamot, Highway Park resident protesting the Sheriff's decision to ban the community's annual Easter party (March 16).
"This is a time to help."
Beth Kelley Gollihue, volunteering at a car wash fund raiser for the family of Matthew Waldrup, who was killed while riding his bicycle (March 21).
"(County officials) all told us that having this kind of (fitness) event was a good idea and that we were to good to go. Based on that government action, we have invested a lot of money and time into this. Now to have them apparently reverse that decision is very frustrating."
Jeff Kennedy, land manager at Swamp Hammock Recreation Park (March 23).
"I have just one question, and no one seems to know the answer. Where's the money?"
Fred Leavitt, president of the Heartland Cultural Alliance, to county commissioners regarding distribution of tourist tax dollars (March 28).
"It's the best thing anyone has ever done for me."
Walter Sanders on donation of prosthetic leg (April 1).
"It got real big real fast."
Witness to one of the many brush fires made worse by drought conditions and high winds during the spring and summer (April 6).
"It's something I think has really hindered the classroom when we took that away."
School board member Andy Tuck regarding the cut back of planning periods for teachers (April 20).
"They're just like ninjas."
Tess Lundy, a student in the Lake Placid High School Leadership class, watching Sheriff S.W.A.T. members work out at the obstacle course (April 25).
"Regardless what some folks say, our goal is to save as many lives as possible."
Darryl Scott, director of the county's animal control, regarding the county's facility (April 29).
"The Sebring Races are in Highlands County, but Okeechobee County fills their hotels during that time. They charge 3 percent for tourism and we just charge 2 percent. It doesn't make sense to me."
Terry Heston, member of the Tourism Development Council and AP city councilor (May 11).
"Two-thirds of the docks are out of the lake. I have lived here for around 45 years and it is the lowest I have ever seen it."
Ron Handley, county commissioner, speaking as a resident on Lake Jackson (May 25).
"All the bids that came in were way north of the $80,000 budget that was set for the budget."
Sebring City Administrator Scott Noethlich explaining the lack of progress on the Lake Jackson dredge hole (June 1).
"When I think of the years here, I think of people. Students so involved in extracurricular activities that they have to schedule a time to go to the restroom." Suzanne Hargaden, SHS class president graduation speech (June 3).
"I don't know if it's the government's place to take tax-dollars and give it to non-profits."
County Commissioner Don Elwell, on the county's support of some non-profit organizations (June 6).
"Hate and anger took Aaron from us and it will not bring him back."
Aaron Doty's father on the murder of his son (June 17).
"Nothing against him personally, but I have not seen improvement over the last five months."
Ron Handley, county commissioner, on his opinion of then County Administrator Rick Helms (June 20).
"She never let go of her child, even in death."
Sheriff Susan Benton praising Heather Town, who saved her daughter AnneMarie when a tornado ripped them both from their Venus home (June 27).
"I'm going to be looking up into the sky from now on."
Kim Setter, Lorida tornado survivor (June 27).
"The odds of being dealt a perfect bridge hand are one in 158 billion."
Kathleen Swain, 91, on being dealt a perfect hand. It was, obviously, her first (June 27).
"I did not hear anything today that would change my evaluation."
County Commissioner Barbara Stewart, prior to joining a 3- vote to fire County Administrator Rick Helms (July 3).
"We ride for causes. It doesn't matter who they are or where they are from. We are all brothers. I put the call out and they came. I didn't do this. They did."
Kip Regnier, organizer of a motorcycle ride benefiting Heather Town's family (July 8).
"I cannot say if there are any other arrests forthcoming immediately, but we are still investigating this horrible crime."
Nell Hayes, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office, on additional arrests in the Aaron Doty murder (July 12).
"We're really tickled. We were happy with a "B", an "A" is icing on the cake."
Dr. Judy Dyer, principal of Lake Country Elementary School, on the school's rapid improvement (July 25).
"It is my recommendation (to the city council) that contracting with the Sheriff would offer an improved level of service and savings to the city of over $2.45 million over the span of a four year contract."
AP City Manager Julian Deleon, on bring in the Sheriff's Office to take over law enforcement services for the city (July 27).
"I was too young to really worry."
Ernest "Bud" Brown, on his W.W.II service in Europe (July 29).
" ... we are truly searching for pennies that make dollars that make thousands ..."
County Commissioner Don Elwell, on looking for savings in county budget (Aug. 1).
"We'd like to have it under the Tree of Knowledge. We want the school board to be a part of placing something there that helps us to never forget the principals and students that were a part of that school."
Robert Saffold, retired teacher, asking for a permanent memorial at the former E. O. Douglas School -- for years the county's "black school" (Aug. 5)
"Lori went out helping someone. She has a ticket to heaven."
Mike Smith, friend of Lori McKenna struck by a vehicle and killed while helping a motorcyclist who had fallen in the road (Aug. 12).
"She wanted her life to have real meaning, and it will."
Scott Pearce, talking about his stepdaughter, Miranda Ming, who was killed in an automobile accident. Her earlier decision to donate her organs after death saved many lives (Aug. 17).
"Needless to say, I was speechless."
Educator Gary Lee on being named to the Florida FFA Hall of Fame (Aug. 29)
"I've sat here for the last eight years and have seen the county be so quick to grab at solutions without getting into deep details. Please, please, do not rush into this."
County Commissioner Barbara Stewart regarding a proposed contract with Green Globe LLC for recycling service (Aug. 31).
"These kids rose to the top, even with a more difficult test."
Becky Fleck, assistant superintendent of curriculum, congratulating the 77 Highlands County elementary and middle school students who produced perfect scores on the FCAT (Sept. 7).
"It's going to be just like it was, only with new ownership."
Tres Stephenson, International Raceway President, on the sale of the Raceway Sept. 7).
"This annexation will benefit the college with inside-city-limits utility rates. This could save the college $40,000 to $50,000 annually."
City manager Julian Deleon, on annexing South Florida State College into Avon Park (Sept. 12).
"There are more states that make it illegal to leave an animal alone in a car than a child."
Jannette Fennell, Kids and Care founder, regarding the death of one-year-old Amelia King when she was accidentally left in a locked car (Sept. 14).
"We used to ski under that bridge at 35 miles an hour. There is no reason that it can't be opened. Get DOT and the Corps of Engineers to do something. We want that bridge, that's all."
Wendell Whitehouse, on the impassable channel from Lake Jackson to Little Lake Jackson (Sept. 19).
"I keep a picture of him in their room between their beds. Every night they say good night to him and kiss him."
Alicia Jetton, whose husband Joshua Jetton was killed in action in Afghanistan, on their twins' first birthday (Sept. 21).
"I brought clippers with me, but (Hill-Gustat Middle School Principal Chris Doty) wouldn't let me use them."
Jessica Jestes, mother of 12-year old who died his hair pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month, despite being warned not to by the school (Oct. 10).
"I will not stop until they leave my property and me alone or until I'm dead."
Ginger Mitchelllindo, on her continuing battle with the city of Sebring over her retaining wall (Nov. 18).
"On Oct. 1 the lake was 98.58 feet above sea level. That's only down two or three tenths (of an inch)."
Clell Ford, county lakes manager, on Lake Jackson (Nov. 21)
"I'm most proud of the culture we've created and our relationship with the community. I hope that's my legacy."
Norm Stephens, president of South Florida State College, on his upcoming retirement (Nov. 28).
"This is not a failure. It is a beginning."
County Commission Chairman Jack Richie, on problems developing new pet regulations (Nov. 30).
"Kids' eyes pop open. I enjoy seeing that and hearing the kids ooh and ahh. The lights turn it into Christmas, even though there's no snow."
Herb Somers I, on why he decorates his home with 40,000 lights every year (Nov. 30).
"I'm absolutely ecstatic. By 10 o'clock this morning the town was in such a buzz."
Harriet Porter, founder of the Mural Society in Lake Placid, regarding the news the Reader's Digest named the town the most interesting in the country (Dec. 7).
"I'm not angry at God, I'm just not sure why God chose me for this."
Lindsey Hammortree, 18, shortly before succumbing to cancer Dec. 10.
"We want to make sure these students are safe."
Rick Kogelschatz, Kindergarten Learning Center dean of students on police presence on campus (Dec. 19).
Blindman quote! (by: Blindman - 12/31/2012)
"Chang was for the worst"!
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