Friday, December 2, 2016

Florida is looking for great student chefs

The search for Florida’s next great student chef has begun with the start of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ “Student Chef Cook-Off.”

Students in 4th through 12th grade can submit snack recipes featuring Florida-grown products for a chance to compete in the regional and state cook-off.

The deadline to enter is February the 2nd.

The recipe must contain one fresh fruit or fresh vegetable grown in Florida.

Recipes will be judged on nutrition, presentation and originality.

Three qualifying round winners from each grade category will be invited to cook their recipes for a panel of judges.

Finalist rounds will be held next March and April.

For more rules and to submit an entry, visit

2016 Hurricane Season is officially over

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended on Wednesday.

This year's season was the most active in 6 years – it also brought the first hurricanes to make landfall in Florida since 2005.

Hurricane Hermine became the first hurricane to hit the Florida coast in over a decade when it made landfall just east of St. Marks in Wakulla County on September 2nd.

Much of Franklin County was spared the brunt of the storm, but Alligator Point and areas to the east were hit hardest with hurricane force winds, high storm surge and inches of rain.

In early October Florida's east coast was sideswiped by Hurricane Matthew which went on to impact much of the Atlantic Coast.

In total, The 2016 hurricane season produced 15 named storms, seven of which became hurricanes.

There were three major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 or higher, this season.

FWC adds more videos to "Living with Black Bears" series

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has released two new videos in the “Living with Florida Black Bears” series, designed to educate the public about how to safely coexist with bears in Florida.

The “Cause for a Call” video outlines when and how people can reduce conflicts with bears by taking simple steps such as securing trash and other attractants.

The “BearWise Communities” video describes how to make a neighborhood “BearWise” by showing residents on when and how to report bear conflicts or sightings, and how to secure food items that attract bears to a neighborhood.

You can see the videos on-line at

And remember, This is the time of year that Florida’s black bears really start eating in preparation of winter.

The bears will eat just about anything from berries, nuts, and fruit to insects.

But since they are trying to fatten up they’d rather have high calorie meals like your dog’s food or just about anything in your trash.

That means there is a much higher chance that a bear might be visiting your yard over the next few months.

You can minimize the chances of bears stopping at your house if you take a few simple steps like feeding your animals in a closed off area and not leaving dog food outside.

Bear proof trash cans are also available from local garbage companies, but if you don’t want to pay the extra cost you just need to keep your trash can in the garage or some other spot that bears can’t reach.

And there are always a few people who think its fun to actively feed bears, but in the long run that bad for the bear.

Bears are naturally shy, but if they lose their fear of humans the state will have to step in and either relocate the bear or in some cases euthanize it.

And it can be bad for the person doing the feeding because its illegal in Florida to leave out food or garbage that will attract bears and cause human-bear conflicts.

And remember if you have a nuisance bear or suspect that someone is feeding or attracting bears, please call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

Join the Christmas Bird Count today!

The Audubon Society is looking for volunteers who want to take part in the annual Apalachicola Christmas Bird Count that will be held on December the 27th and December the 28th in our area.

The Christmas Bird Count is the oldest and largest wildlife survey in the world.

You do NOT need to be an expert on birds and bird identification to take part.

Each team of birders will have a leader that is an expert, and he or she will be responsible for identification of the birds.

There will also be one to three helpers for each team who are responsible for recording data and spotting birds.

If you agree to take part, you may start before sunrise so you can count owls, and end your day around sunset.

But the data you collect will help provide information on the numbers and types of birds in our area and will help with national and international studies on trends in bird populations.

You can get more information and sign up on-line.

We've posted the link on this story at and on the Oyster Radio facebook page.

The bird count is very popular and space is limited so sign up as soon as you can.

Bring the kids for breakfast with Santa this Saturday in Port St. Joe

Thursday, December 1, 2016

FWC releases videos to educate Floridians on how best to avoid conflicts with bears

As part of a continuing effort to reduce conflicts with bears, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is releasing two new videos in the “Living with Florida Black Bears” series, designed to educate the public about how to safely coexist with bears in Florida.
The “Cause for a Call” video outlines when and how people can reduce conflicts with bears by taking simple steps such as securing trash and other attractants.
The “BearWise Communities” video describes how to make a neighborhood “BearWise.” BearWise communities work to coexist with bears. This video educates residents on when and how to report bear conflicts or sightings, and how to secure food items that attract bears to a neighborhood.
Unsecured trash and attractants, such as bird feeders, are the number one cause for bears coming into contact with people. This summer FWC researchers, in partnership with Dr. Joseph Clark, a leading black bear scientist, employed cutting-edge modeling to confirm that Florida’s robust black bear population is estimated to be over 4,000 bears. More bears in Florida means more chances for human-bear interaction, which can be dangerous.
The new videos are being added to the existing “Living with Florida Black Bears” series, which already includes the following videos:
  • How to Make Your Wildlife Feeders Bear-Resistant
  • How FWC Conducts Bear Population Estimates
  • A Day in the Life of a Florida Black Bear
  • How to Protect Pets and Livestock from Bears
The FWC plans to release more bear-related videos in the coming months. The short videos help meet the information needs of a busy public.
To view the “Living with Florida Black Bears” video series, visit and click on “Brochures & Other Materials.”
In addition to educational efforts, the FWC is providing financial assistance to local communities so residents and businesses can take actions to reduce human-bear conflicts. To ensure Floridians have the resources necessary to properly secure their garbage, the FWC is currently working to distribute $825,000 to communities to become more BearWise by funding bear-resistant equipment and other methods to reduce conflicts. These efforts are in addition to our already robust Bear Management Program, which includes over 100 staff working year-round to educate people about bears and respond to human-bear conflicts. Read more at and click on “News Releases,” “Oct. 2016” and scroll to “FWC receives 19 proposals…”
To learn how to become BearWise, visit and click on “BearWise Communities” on the left side of the page.

Wakulla County Tourist Development Council taking applications for TDC Grant program

The Wakulla County Tourist Development Council is now accepting applications for its annual TDC Grant Program.
The program provides limited funding to help groups sponsor and promote tourism activities in Wakulla County.
That can include festivals, projects and other events that help bring people to the area.
You can get a full list of criteria and an application form by contacting Diane Bardhi at the Wakulla County TDC.
The number is 926-0919 ext. 716 or drop an e-mail to
The deadline for applications is January the 6th.

Statement Regarding Franklin Correctional Institution Disturbance

Early Tuesday morning, there was a disturbance involving a number of inmates in a dorm at Franklin Correctional Institution. Due to the deployment of regional FDC response teams, the situation was quickly and effectively resolved and resulted in no injuries to staff or inmates. At this time the facility remains on lockdown. The Department is currently assessing the facility for damages and has placed involved inmates in confinement pending disciplinary review.

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce December Newsletter

December 2016                                                                                                                             Vol 25, No 12
Happy Holiday's from all of us here at the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce
 Monthly Business Luncheon
Wednesday, December 7th
Gormley's at the Gibson
51 Ave C

Business After Hours
Thursday, December 15th
 Betsy's Sunflower South
268 Water St

January Monthly Business Luncheon
Wednesday, January 4th
Tamara's Tapas
71 Market St


Visitor Statistics

October 2002   1,008
October 2003   868
October 2004   748
October 2005   712
October 2006   1,746
October 2007   2,364
October 2008   1,956
October 2009   2,389
October 2010   1,807
October 2011   1,847
October 2012   2,436
October 2013   2,369
October 2014   1,509
October 2015   1,097
October 2016   1,476

Website Stats
October 2016

Pages / Session
Avg. Session Duration
Bounce Rate
% New Sessions

Board of Directors
Donna Duncan 653-8976
Bud Hayes 927-3305
Jerry Hall 653-9510
Kristin Anderson 653-2249
Brenda Ash 653-8805
Bonnie Fulmer 509-5009
Craig Gibson 653-8853
Ginny Griner 653-8853
Beverly Hewitt 653-9510
Mike Koun 653-2191
Michael Shuler 653-1757
Jean Ulrich 653-2900
Sara Ward 653-1399
Debbie Flowers 670-4000
Andrea Duval 653-2512
Executive Director

John C. Solomon

Got Ideas? Suggestions? 

How can the Apalachicola Bay Chamber better serve you? 
Is there something that we can do better to help your business?  
Is there something you would like to see us add or change on the website, at the visitor's center or in the visitors' guide?  
Would like to be a volunteer with the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Ideas and volunteers are always welcome.  Feel free to call or email us with your ideas at 

Business Luncheons and Business After Hours

If you or your business is interested in hosting a Business Luncheon or a Business After Hours in 2015, please feel free to call the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce at 850-653-9419 or email
John C. Solomon at 

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce
Downtown  Holiday Fresh Market
Holiday Fresh Market 
Saturday, December 3rd
Why fight the crowds and traffic at the malls? Come for the day or the weekend and find one-of-a-kind unusual presents. Shop in a relaxed, hassle free environment. Buy hand crafted Apalachicola specialties such as baked goods, artwork, wood carving, pottery, hand knitted goods. Your gift shopping has never been easier! Located in front of the Dixie Theatre Avenue E and Market Street. 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Call (850) 653-9419 for details.

New Members

Selina's Pro Groom

Located at 45 Market St in Apalachicola Selina has been in grooming since 1991. She has experience in all breeds, toys, terriers, poodles, working dogs, non-working dogs, mixed breeds, hounds, and herding dogs. At Selina's Pro Groom they treat each pet with Individual care and compassion.

Dail's Seafood

Owned and operated by Anna & John Carmichael Dail's Seafood is located on Gulf Beach Drive on St. George Island Dail's Seafood is a five generation Florida fishing family offering the freshest & least expensive local seafood in Franklin County.


St. Joe Rent-All / Nursery & Supply

Owned and Operated by Phil Earley, St. Joe Rent-All is located at 706 1st Street in St. Port St. Joe.
St. Joe Rent-All is a Full Service tool & equipment business. They offer outdoor power equipment and Golf Carts for sale and have a complete repair center representing over 20 manufactures.
St. Joe Nursery & Supply has plants, chemicals, bag goods and other products for your lawn & garden.

Member News

Oyster Outfitters is now Oyster Outfitters & Tours

Take a scenic river or estuary tour or a romantic sunset cruise on a historic wooden vessel.

Island Girl Gifts is now Art of Glass by Island Girl

Art of Glass, Formerly known as Island Girl Gifts.  Art of Glass is now featuring more glass art.  The highlight of our work is still kiln fired fused glass. From jewelry, ornaments, dishes, platters and wall art to home d├ęcor such as custom cabinet knobs. We have a little of everything from Jewelry to Tupelo Honey! Check us out Open Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm closed Sunday and Monday

"Cape St. George Light, A Florida Treasure"
The St. George Lighthouse Association is pleased to announce the publication of a full-color, 36-page souvenir booklet entitled, "Cape Saint George Lighthouse, A Florida Treasure."
Association members James Hargrove, Carol Talley, and Terry Kemp compiled text and photographs to recount the role of the lighthouse in over 180 years of Apalachicola's maritime history. The final layout was completed by local graphic designer, Cindy Clark.
The narrative begins with the 1804 Forbes Purchase and describes the need for the lighthouse as an aid to navigation to protect ships engaged in the cotton trade from the shoals around the passes into Apalachicola Bay. The earliest lighthouse was built at West Pass in 1833, and was rebuilt on Cape St. George in 1848. After the great Florida hurricane of 1851, a stronger tower that survived for 153 years was built on the Cape in 1852.
The new booklet describes the earliest lights and the 1857 conversion to the more powerful beam produced by a third-order Fresnel lens. The narrative summarizes events that interrupted commerce during the Civil War and the resumption of trade during Reconstruction.
Also highlighted are the lives of prominent lighthouse keepers and their families, including Edward Porter, Pearl Porter Marshall, and members of the Walter Roberts family. Vintage photographs illustrate keepers' lives and the narrative includes information from current displays and digital archives from the Lighthouse Museum and Gift Shop in Lighthouse Park on St. George Island.
The booklet concludes with the story of the collapse of the lighthouse in 2005 after several hurricanes surged through the area, and its reconstruction through the persistent work of many Franklin County residents and volunteers.
"Cape Saint George Lighthouse, A Florida Treasure" is available at the Lighthouse Gift Shop adjacent to the lighthouse at the center of St. George Island. All proceeds will be used to support ongoing maintenance and updates of the Cape St. George Lighthouse by the non-profit St. George Lighthouse Association.
For more information, please contact the Lighthouse Gift Shop at 850-927-7745.

Ribbon Cutting

Betsy's Sunflower South
Now Hiring
NOW HIRING: Roberson & Associates, PA is seeking a full-time administrative assistant/staff accountant for our Apalachicola office.  Bookkeeping, Word and Excel experience are required, with proficiency and Quickbooks experience being preferred.  Applicants must also display excellent communication skills, professionalism and an understanding of client confidentiality. If you or someone you know might be interested, please call (850) 653-1090 or email your resume and contact information to:

Chamber News

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce
Holiday Light Contest
The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce the Holiday Light Contest. The contest will comprise of two Categories and four areas of competition. The categories are Businesses and Homes. The Four areas are Apalachicola, Eastpoint, St. George Island and Carrabelle. The Businesses and Homes will be judged on December 7-9, the winners will be announced on December 12th. Each winner will receive a small banner to display with their decorations.
Judging criteria will be based on the judge's personnel opinion. There will be multiple judges coming by at random times during the judging time period. The judges will remain anonymous; no one participating in contest will be a judge.
If you wish to enter into the contest or know someone that should be entered into the contest please submit either name of business and address or resident and address. The entrants can be emailed to The entrants will be listed on the list on the chamber website and we will also have copies at the Visitor Centers for people to pick up.
After December 10th the winners will be highlights on the Apalachicola Bay Chamber Website to make it easier for people looking for the locations of the lights. The List will be printable so they can take it with them.
The Apalachicola Bay Chamber has secured two Sponsors for this Contest they are Duke Energy and The Tin Shed. With these sponsors the Chamber will be producing a TV Commercial that will air on cable channels from Bay County to Leon County. Including the Hallmarks Channel, HGTV and others. Let's show our holiday small town spirit.

Franklin County Cook Team Takes 3rd

On Saturday November 19th the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce Cook-Off Team joined forces with the Big top Supermarket Team to compete in the 9th annual "Grill's Gone Wild" Cook-Off in Panama City. The event is sponsored by the Panama City Beach Rotary Club and sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Assoc. The team consisted of John Solomon and Richard Wade. Representing the Apalachicola Rotary Club and Franklin County their combined efforts brought two second place trophies home (Pulled Pork and Brisket). They finished 8th in Chicken and 10th in Ribs. They finished third overall in the entire competition.

The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is a Certified Travel Information Center

Visit Our Website
Island Lights
Friday, December 2, 2016
Greet Santa when he arrives at St. George Island's Lighthouse Park on Friday, December 2 and enjoy the festive illuminating of holiday lights on the Cape St. George Lighthouse, Visitor Center, and along Franklin Boulevard. Hot chocolate, cookies, carolers, and Santa's sleigh full of gifts for the children contribute to the island holiday spirit! Santa
tree lighting will occur about sunset. 1 E. Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island, FL
Annabelle Lyn Live Music
Friday, December 2, 2016
The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn Musical Group begins at 7:30 PM. 102 St James Avenue Carrabelle, FL 32322

Holiday Fresh Market
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Why fight the crowds and traffic at the malls? Come for the day or the weekend and find one-of-a-kind unusual presents. Shop in a relaxed, hassle free environment, Buy hand crafted Apalachicola specialties such as baked goods, artwork, wood carving, pottery, hand knitted goods. Your gift shopping has never been easier! Located in front of the Dixie Theatre Avenue E and Market Street. 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Call (850) 653-9419 for details. Avenue E, Apalachicola, FL 32320

Children's Ornament Making Workshop  
December 3 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm             
Rio Carrabelle, 102 St. James Ave
Carrabelle, Florida 32322
"Artists at Work" Children's workshop for ornament making at 1 PM.
A Barbershop Concert Celebrating the Christmas Story  
December 4 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm             
First Untied Methodist Church, 75 5th St.
Apalachicola, Florida 32320        
Sunday Dec 4th, 4:00pm First United Methodist Church, Apalachicola Enjoy a Festive collection of other holiday favorites as we play on the lighter side of Christmas.

Living Shorelines Workshop
December 6 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Coastal erosion is a natural process caused by currents, wave action, wind, storms and even boat wakes. The traditional methods using to harden the shoreline like seawalls and rip rap can often increase coastal erosion and remove the ability of the shoreline to carry out natural processes. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) will host a workshop on Living Shorelines on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016, 2:00-4:30 pm. The workshop will discuss living shorelines vs. harden shorelines, how to evaluate a shoreline by considering the physical factors such as wave energy, prevailing wind and wave direction, vegetation, and soil type, and present living shoreline methods, materials, permitting, and share success stories of local living shorelines. We will also look at types of plants to plant and visit a local living shoreline. The lecture is free, registration is suggested. For more information, please contact Anita Grove at 850-670-7708

Estuary Class
December 9 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Do you know what an estuary is and why it if so vital our economy and way of life?
Join the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve on Friday, December 9, 2016 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm to learn all about the estuary we depend on. Participants will learn about the habitats and creatures that make up our estuary and how the river and bay are intricately connected. We will see these habitats up close on the Reserve's research vessel the Henry Lee. The workshop will be based out of the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, 108 Island Drive, Eastpoint, FL 32328. The class is $25.00. Please register for in advance. For more information, contact Emily Jackson at 850-670-7743 or send an email to or Anita Grove at (850) 670-7708

Eastpoint Christmas Parade
December 9 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Bring your golf cart, convertible, pick-up truck or boat.
Parade will organize at Seller's Tile beginning at 3 pmand parade departs at 4 pm. The parade route goes up 98 to the Pavilion and then disbands at the Fisherman's Choice parking lot.
Santa will arrive by oyster boat at the Pavilion on Patton Drive, there will be caroling and Santa will listen to children's wishes.

Tocamos Mas LIVE at Rio Carrabelle!  
December 9 @ 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm             
Rio Carrabelle, 102 St. James Ave
Carrabelle, Florida 32322
Come on out for a fun evening of Mambo, Merengue, Bolero and Cha Cha! Tocamos Mas performs traditional Latin arrangements combining keyboards, congas, timbales, bass guitar and vocals. Dancing Optional" Doors open at 7:30 PM with a $15 cover at the door.

Apalachicola Farmers Market
Saturday, December 10th   9am-1pm
Located at the Mill Pond Pavilion at 479 Market St. in Apalachicola come out to get Local seafood, produce, honey, homemade breads, pies, jewelry, art and other regional specialties offered every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 9 AM until 1 PM. If you or someone you know offers home grown or hand made products, and is interested in becoming a vendor, please email


Holiday on the Harbor & Boat Parade of Lights
December 10 @ 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Holiday on the Harbor Street Festival: Join the fun with your family and friends. Live entertainment, holiday shopping, festival food, holidays treats and goodies and visit with Santa, and fireworks. This event is free to attend and enjoy the festivities. Runs from 12 noon until 9 pm. For those interested in being a vendor, please contact us at 850-697-2585
Boat Parade of Lights: Watch the parade of lighted boats. No charge for spectators. Parade starts at 6:30 pm at the mouth of the river and proceeds to the Carrabelle Bridge. Watch from any spot along the riverfront. For those interested in entering your boat there is no fee to enter, please contact us at 850-697-2585

IN Concert: Bay Choral Society Holiday Concert  
December 11 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm           
InConcert, 79 6th St
Apalachicola, FL 32320 United States
IN Concert series presents the Bay Area Choral Society's Holiday Performance beginning at 4pm. Free open reception to follow concert.

Full Moon Climb at the Cape St. George Lighthouse
December 13th  2016 Climb to the top of the lighthouse to see spectacular views of the sunset and full moon. Light refreshments are served. Admission charge. Contact Gift Shop at 850-927-7745 for reservations. 2 East Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island, FL 32328

December Business After Hours  
December 15 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm           
Betsy's Sunflower, 268 Water St
Apalachicola, FL 32320

Gibson Inn's Annual New Year's Eve Party
December 31, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - January 1, 2017 @ 12:30 am
The evening will feature live music with the phenomenal Brian Cairns, Dancing, Drink Special's, Light appetizers served at 9:30pm, Champagne toast at midnight, Countdown and balloon drop!
Semi Formal Attire Requested
$25.00 per person / $40.00 Per Couple
Room Packages available at the Gibson Inn
Please call for reservations (850) 653-2191 or email
Gormley's at the Gibson with be serving a special menu from 5pm until 10pm, available at separate charge, Please call (850) 653-1040 for your dinner reservations.
Dixie Theatre Presents: Del Suggs Saltwater Music  
January 7, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm    
Dixie Theatre, 21 Ave E
Apalachicola, Florida 32320         
January 7 - Del Suggs Saltwater Music 8 PMFlorida's premiere performer returns for his 5th Season and we couldn't be happier! Del is an award-winning singer/songwriter/ of those individuals who may come on stage as a stranger, but leaves it a friend. Call the Dixie Theatre Box Office 850-653-3200 for tickets.

122 Commerce Street
Apalachicola, FL 32320