Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Apalachicola Oyster Cook-off raised over 55K for Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department

Thousands of people came out Saturday to take part in the 7th annual Oyster Cook-off.
The weather was beutiful so people could sit outside, listen to live music, and enjoy the aromas of the various oyster dishes.
Entiries in the cook-off ranged from soups and casseroles to a number of "in the half-shell" dishes.
No two were the same.

The day went to John Solomon and the Apalachicola Bay chamber of Commerce Team – this is the second year they have won the event.

Second place went to the Florida Seafood Festival team, and third place went to the Owl Cafe'.

The Owl Cafe' also raised the most money at their booth, bringing in 4000 dollars.

The event grossed nearly 56 thousand dollars to help the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department.


The Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners is Seeking a Volunteer to Serve on the Recreation Advisory Committee

Are you a resident of Wakulla County and have an interest in recreational programs? If so, the Board of County Commissioners is seeking a volunteer to fill the Recreation Advisory Committee’s Citizen At Large appointment.

This Committee meets bi-monthly and their primary responsibilities are to advise and make recommendations to the Director regarding recreational programs within the County, assist in determining the needs of the community, and investigate issues as directed relating to recreational activities.

Interested citizens must submit a written statement of interest by January 27, 2017.  Statements of interest can be emailed to Jessica Welch, Communications & Public Services Director at jwelch@mywakulla.com or by fax to 926-0940.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, 850-926-0919 ext. 706


FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report January 6, 2017 through January 12, 2017

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Division of Law Enforcement
FWC logo and law enforcement badge 
Weekly Report
January 6, 2017 through January 12, 2017
This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past two weeks; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.

Patrol, Protect, Preserve




Officer Arnette received information that a man had killed an illegal deer well before daylight. When he went to interview the subject, he saw a deer carcass under a piece of plywood that was partially covering it. The subject was not home at the time, so Officer Arnette went to find the location where the deer was allegedly shot. He located an area along the roadway where a deer was recently killed a short distance from the subject’s residence. After confessing, he was issued a notice to appear for taking an antlerless deer out of season and taking deer before legal shooting hours.


Officers Lewis and Ramos were on patrol when they received information from Officer Hutchinson about a baited area in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area (WMA). They checked the area and found a man hunting over scattered corn concealed behind a blind made of freshly cut vegetation. The subject admitted to cutting various trees in the area to make a shooting lane and a blind. He was also hunting deer without wearing any hunter orange protective clothing. The subject was charged with hunting over bait in a WMA, failure to wear hunter orange, and cutting vegetation within a WMA.

Officer Lewis was on patrol in Blackwater WMA when he saw vehicles that appeared to be setting up a perimeter in a still-hunt area. He had checked hunters the previous day that were setting up for a man-drive in the same area. Officer Lewis saw a subject standing beside a pickup truck that was parked on a paved right-of-way and saw the subject walk to the front of the pickup truck carrying a rifle. Officer Lewis explained to the subject that he could not take wildlife with a gun from the right-of-way. The man initially stated that he was unaware of the road-hunting rule, but finally admitted that he knew the law. He admitted to hunting deer and stated that he would have shot from the roadway if he saw a deer cross the road. The subject was cited accordingly.


Officers Letcher and Tison were patrolling private property for suspected trespassing when they saw a vehicle parked on the property at night. A short time later, the officers heard shots and encountered a hunter returning to his vehicle. The subject had shot at a deer at night from his tree stand. An inspection of the area revealed a motion sensor light at the subject’s feeder so he could shoot deer at night. A records check determined the subject had a prior charge for taking deer at night. While searching the area, it was determined the subject missed the deer. He was charged with attempting to take deer at night with a gun and light and for hunting without a hunting license.


Running for the Differently-Abled to be held in Altha this Saturday


FSU Coastal and Marine Lab Job Opening: Marine Research Technician

Job Opening: Marine Research Technician
The FSUCML seeks a highly motivated and organized individual to serve as a Marine Research Technician to interact with and be readily accessible to the researchers and the support staff to ensure equipment maintenance and function to provide high quality data; and to participate in research in the laboratory and field with resident faculty as needed to fulfill the research mission of the laboratory. Laboratory-based equipment includes but is not limited to compound and stereo microscopes with integrated computers, image analysis software, and high-definition cameras; analytical equipment such as centrifuges, microbalances, and drying ovens, as well as autoclaves; and commercial,  -80°C, and walk-in freezers. Field Equipment includes but is not limited to water quality sondes, a CTD, ROV, data loggers, dredges and corers. The marine technician will also oversee training of new users and will schedule and monitor use of all technical equipment. The position reports to the Assistant Director.
(1)   Minimum education -High school diploma or equivalency and two years experience or a combination of post high school education and experience equal to two years
(2)   Strong communication and organizational skills are essential
(3)   Knowledge of laboratory and field equipment use and maintenance, including compound and stereo microscopes.
(4)   Proficient with computer applications, including Excel, Word, Access, and Powerpoint.
(5)   Preferred candidates will have scuba diving skills and certification, boating experience, experience with database management (using access and other database software), image analysis, and GIS.
(6)   Applicant must be physically capable of conducting rigorous field work and have the flexibility to work long hours.

Undergraduate degree in marine or related science; four years of relevant experience or Masters Degree in marine or related science.
Duties are oultined on the website. 

To Apply, Visit jobs.fsu.edu and search for Job Opening 41225. Submit electronic pdf copies of resume and the names and e-mail addresses of three references.  Please also notify: Dr. Felicia Coleman, Director, fcoleman@fsu.edu.  Review of applicants will begin 20 January 2017 and will continue until a successful candidate is identified.

FSU is an AA/EO employer
Female and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply.




2 arrested after crash at Cape San Blas

The highway patrol says the driver of a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo was high on drugs when she crashed into a tree at Cape San Blas on Saturday.

The Highway patrol arrested Loreal Daniels of Eastpoint and Catherine Martin of Apalachicola after they found drug paraphernalia while investigating the crash of a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo on State Road 30-A and County Road 30-B at Cape San Blas.

According to the highway patrol, Miss Daniels was driving east on State Road 30 at about 8:45 Saturday morning when she ran off the roadway onto the eastbound shoulder of the road.

She over-corrected, crossing both lanes of highway before hitting a tree and overturning the vehicle onto its passenger side.

The two women and two children in the vehicle were taken to Gulf Coast Medical center for treatment of mostly minor injuries.

The Highway patrol said that while investigating the scene they found a glass pipe that tested positive for methamphetamine and were later able to determine that Daniels was under the influence of drugs.

She was charged with DUI, driving with a suspended drivers license, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Miss Martin, who was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash, was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Two children in the vehicle, aged 2 and 9, were placed in the custody of their grandmother after an investigation by the Department of Children and Families.


Monday, January 16, 2017

North Florida senators fight to keep BP money in North Florida

 Three North Florida state Senators have filed legisllation to ensure money received in the settlement of the state’s economic damage claims caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill remain in Northwest Florida’s eight disproportionately affected counties. 
Senator George Gainer of Panama City, Senator Doug Broxson of Pensacola, and Senator Bill Montford who represents our area, filed Senate Bill 364, called The Recovery Fund for the Deepwater Horizon Incident.
The bill is designed to make sure that BP oil spill money stays in the part of Florida that was hardest hit by the oil spill and that the money is appropriated withinn 30 days after they are received by the state.
Under current law, eight disproportionately affected counties in Northwest Florida are to receive 75 percent of all economic damage settlement funds received by the state.
Those eight counties include Franklin, Gulf and Wakulla counties.
The money will be distributed through a 5 member board called the Triumph Gulf Coast board, chaired by former Florida House Speaker Allen Bense.
That board is responsible for utilizing the settlement proceeds to promote job creation through lasting economic development over a period of thirty years.

Triumph Gulf Coast, will also work with local governments to make awards to programs and projects that meet the priorities for economic recovery, and diversification including economic development projects, grants that prepare students for future occupations, as well as infrastructure projects.


the Recollections are coming to the Historic Port Theater


Agenda for January 17th Carrabelle Redevelopment Agency meeting

Regular Meeting of Carrabelle’s
Community Redevelopment Agency
Tomorrow – Tuesday
January 17, 2017
1:30 p.m.
Agenda Attached
For information call:


Sports and events at the Franklin County School this week


Agenda for January 17th Franklin County Commission meeting


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Draft Agenda for January 17th Wakulla County Commission meeting


SGI Snowbird Appreciation Day on February the 7th at Harry A's

Snowbird Appreciation Day, 2017, will be held on Tuesday, February 7th. The event is sponsored by the St. George Island Business Association, who invites all winter visitors in the area to enjoy an evening out on St. George Island. If you consider yourself a visitor to the area, you're welcome to participate! This year Snowbird Day consists of happy hour, dinner and live music.

The event is being held from 4:00pm-6:00pm at Harry A’s Restaurant at 28 West Bayshore Drive. Price is $12 per person. Pre-sale tickets are available at Sometimes it’s Hotter, Sadie’s Seahorse and Island Dog. Tickets will also be available at the door. Happy hour (cash bar) starts at 4:00pm along with live music. Low Country Shrimp Boil dinner will be served at 5:00pm.

If you have any questions, please call Sometimes it’s Hotter 850-927-5039

Historic, Cultural and Ecological Benefits of Trees Part Two

Trees play an important role in Apalachicola’s appeal. They contribute aesthetically to the city’s overall appeal and our historic landscape. Trees also provide shade, add value to our homes, and they have many ecological benefits. Tree experts Stan Rosenthal and Sam Hand will be back to discuss common problems urban trees face and how to solve them on Wednesday, January 18th5:30-7:00 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, Benedict Hall on 6th Street and Avenue D. This workshop is free and is sponsored by the Apalachicola Area Historical Society, the Apalachicola     National Estuarine Research Reserve, Apalachicola Planning and Zoning Board, and the City of Apalachicola.  For more information, call Anita Grove at (850) 670-7708 or Anita.Grove@dep.state.fl.us

 This workshop is sponsored by the Apalachicola Area Historical Society, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, Apalachicola Planning and Zoning Board, and the City of Apalachicola.  For more information, call Anita Grove at (850) 670-7708 or Anita.Grove@dep.state.fl.us


Franklin county School to hold 2nd annual MLK celebration on January 17th


Friday, January 13, 2017

3 students face charges after contraband sweep at the Franklin County School

 Friday the 13th was an unlucky day for three students at the Franklin County School.

Last Friday Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a walkthrough with a K-9 unit to look for possible illegal narcotics and contraband on school grounds.

During the search three vehicles atempted to leave the campus but were stopped by officials.

Deputy T. J. Carroll and Sgt. D. Coulter recovered approximately 4.8 grams of Cannabis along with paraphernalia used to smoke cannabis in the vehicles.

A firearm was also seized along with ammunition and alcohol.

Three juveniles were arrested and transported to the Franklin County Jail.

They were charged with Possession of Cannabis, Possession of Paraphernalia, and possession of an Air Soft Gun as well as Possession of Alcohol by a Person under the age of 21 years of age.

One student was found in possession of a Firearm on School Property – the sheriff's office said it was a shotgun.

Two of the students were released into the custody of their parents.

The student found in possession of the gun was remanded to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Franklin County Sheriff A. J. Smith said this recovery of the narcotics, firearm and alcohol went without incident due to the professionalism of all involved.

He added that this type of joint venture between the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Schools will continue, as the safety of our children, education and keeping drugs off the streets is our priority.


Don't miss the 7th annual Oyster Cook-off this Saturday in Apalachicola

Come out and help raise some money for the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department this weekend at the seventh annual oyster cookoff.

The event raises money for the Apalachicola fire Department by allowing some of the best oyster cooks in the area to compete for trophies and recognition.

In just 6 years it has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help the fire department.

The event kicks off tonight from 6 till 8 with a art auction preview and oyster tasting at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art on Water Street in Apalachicola.

The main event is Saturday from noon to 5 at Riverfront Park.

Besides the oyster cook-off there will also be plenty of other activities including a 5K run at 8 o’clock Saturday morning starting at Riverfront Park.

There will be live music from the John Sutton Band and a show from the Pam Nobles Dancers and every year the fire department does a special dance.

The event also features a silent auction and kids’ activities.

And even if you don’t like oysters there are still plenty of reasons to come out.

They serve up other great food like smoked mullet, fresh shrimp , hot dogs, hamburgers, and locally brewed beer.

You can get more information about the cook-off and see a full list of events on-line at oystercookoff.com



Tallahassee–Senator George Gainer (R-Panama City), Senator Doug Broxson (R-Pensacola), and Senator Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) today filed Senate Bill 364, The Recovery Fund for the Deepwater Horizon Incident, to ensure funds received in the settlement of the state’s economic damage claims caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill remain in Northwest Florida’s eight disproportionately affected counties. 
These funds represent a tremendous opportunity to make long-term investments in Northwest Florida’s economy. By sending settlement funds directly to Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., we can ensure they are allocated in a transparent and accountable manner,” said Senator Gainer.
Under current law, the eight disproportionately affected counties are to receive 75 percent of all economic damage settlement funds received by the state. Senate Bill 364 clarifies that funds are to be directly appropriated to Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. no later than 30 days after they are received by the state.
By clarifying the requirements under current law, this legislation ensures a smooth transfer of funds to Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., not only for the funds the state recently received, but also for any future settlement payments,” said Senator Broxson.
The eight Florida counties disproportionately affected by the Deepwater Horizon Spill include: Bay County, Escambia County, Franklin County, Gulf County, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County and Wakulla County. 
Nearly seven years after the spill began, on a daily basis, we are still hearing from constituents whose families and businesses were drastically impacted,” said Senator Montford. “This legislation affirms our longstanding commitment to keep these critical funds in Northwest Florida to provide for the ongoing economic recovery of our region.”
During the 2013 Legislative Session, under the leadership of then-Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) the Florida Senate developed legislation (Senate Bill 1024) sponsored by current Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart), which created Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. to ensure that economic damage settlement funds coming to the state would both benefit the eight disproportionately affected counties and be properly accounted for. Under this legislation, the five-member Triumph Gulf Coast board, chaired by former Florida House Speaker Allen Bense, is responsible for utilizing the settlement proceeds to promote job creation through lasting economic development over a period of thirty years.
Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. is tasked to work with local governments to make awards to programs and projects that meet the priorities for economic recovery, diversification, and enhancement of the disproportionately affected counties. This includes economic development projects, grants to support programs of excellence that prepare students for future occupations, as well as infrastructure projects.

The corporation is required to abide by the state’s public record laws and public meeting notice requirements. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Chief Financial Officer each appoint one board member. The governing board will be responsible for evaluating the economic benefits provided by each proposed project and will approve or decline funding.


Get your flu shot today - its quick, easy and painless

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- With the 2016-2017 flu season in full swing and influenza activity increasing across the state, it is critical that all Floridians get the flu vaccine to protect against infection and help prevent the spread of seasonal flu to others. It is never too late to get your flu shot. While most cases of flu are mild, there are exceptions.

"Flu vaccines are available by appointment at the Apalachicola and Carrabelle health department locations," said Marsha Lindeman, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Gulf and Franklin Counties. "We encourage you to take this simple step to protect yourself and others from this potentially serious illness. Call today to schedule your appointment, Apalachicola: 850-653-2111, Carrabelle: 850-697-4121."

Flu activity is on the rise in Florida, particularly in groups at high risk for severe illness such as children, pregnant women, people with underlying chronic conditions and people over the age of 65. Visits to emergency departments for influenza are also increasing in these high risk groups. The department continues to urge residents to reduce their risk of severe illness from infection by getting vaccinated against influenza. This is especially important for individuals at high-risk for severe illness.
The annual flu vaccine is safe and is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people get injectable flu shots. Nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for this flu season because of concerns about its effectiveness.
It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands to help prevent the spread of seasonal flu. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office. You can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.
The flu vaccine is offered in many other convenient locations, including doctor's offices, clinics, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers and by many employers and schools. Visit the department's flu shot locater page<http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html> to search for a flu vaccine location near you.
For further information regarding influenza surveillance information, messaging and guidance, visit the influenza homepage at http://www.floridahealth.gov/floridaflu.


FDOT Traffic Alert for Big Bend Area

For Immediate Release  
January 13, 2017
Donna Green, (850) 330-1661

FDOT Traffic Alert for Big Bend Area

Chipley – Drivers are reminded to practice caution while traveling in and around the work zones in Northwest Florida Sunday, Jan. 15 through Saturday, Jan. 21.

Franklin County: 
·         Bridge repair work is underway on State Road (S.R.) 65 over Cash Creek Bridge. All work is being performed under the structure, drivers are reminded to use caution driving through the work zone.
·         Crews will stripe the pedestrian crosswalk on U.S. 98 near 4th StreetTuesday, Jan. 17. Alternating lane closures will take place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Gadsden County:
·         Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 24, the following speed limit changes will take place U.S. 90.  Increase from 25 MPH to 35 MPH from North Love Street to Earnest Street, increase from 45 MPH to 55 MPH from South GF & A Drive to west of the Quincy Bypass, and decrease from 65 MPH to 55 MPH from East Gadsden High School entrance to one-fourth miles west of the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy.
Jefferson County:
·         I-10 resurfacing from Mile Marker (MM) 225 to MM 236. Daytime lane closures are taking place from the Madison County line to U.S. 19.
·         I-10 resurfacing from MM 216 to MM 220. Construction activities are taking place along the corridor. Drivers can expect daytime lane closures along the corridor.
·         I-10 Westbound Rest Area near MM 233 – Rest area closed for renovations.
Leon County:
·         Nighttime work on S.R. 20 (Apalachee Parkway) from Monroe Street to Capital Circle NE.  Workers are paving, installing sidewalk and repairing curb and gutter along the corridor. The Lafayette Street on-ramp to Apalachee Parkway will be closed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12 through Friday, Jan. 20 as crews resurface the ramp and install concrete curb.  Drivers will use Lafayette Street and Myers Park Drive as a detour route.
·         East and westbound lane closures are taking place on S.R. 263 (Capital Circle SW) from west of S.R. 61 (U.S. 319) to north of County Road 2203 (Springhill Road) as workers resurface and add paved shoulders.
·         Temporary lane closures are taking place on Monroe Street from Tharpe Street to 7th Avenue. Pedestrian traffic near Lake Ella will be affected by improvements that include raised medians, a pedestrian signal on Monroe Street, sidewalk replacement, curbing, gutter work, signage, and pavement markings.
·         Sidewalk construction is underway on S.R. 371 (Orange Avenue). Intermittent lane closures will take place in the westbound lanes, Tuesday, Jan. 17 through Friday, Jan. 209 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
·         City of Tallahassee will raise manholes on S.R. 61 (Thomasville Road) near Woodbine DriveSunday, Jan. 15 and Mon. Jan. 16.  Southbound lane closures will remain in effect from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
·         Manhole maintenance work will take place Tuesday, Jan. 17 on Thomasville Road near Tallahassee Drive. The outside northbound travel lane will be closed from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
·         Sewer maintenance work will close the northbound outside lane of North Monroe Street near 3rd AvenueTuesday, Jan. 17 and Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Workers will move to 4th AvenueThursday, Jan. 19. The southbound outside lane will be closed from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
·         Striping work will cause alternating lane closures from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Stadium Drive between Pensacola Street and North lake Bradford Road, from Tuesday, Jan 17 to Thursday, Jan. 19 and from Sunday, Jan. 22 to Thursday, Jan 26.
Wakulla County:
·         Motorists will encounter intermittent lane closures Monday, Jan. 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on U.S. 319 (Crawfordville Highway) from south of Old Crawfordville Highway and U.S. 98 intersection to St. Frances Street as crews are pave the roadway. Workers will also pave driveways on Old Crawfordville Highway from Friendship Church Road to north of Alaska Way, Tuesday, Jan. 17 to Friday, Jan. 20. Lane closures will remain in effect from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Temporary lane closures, delays and shifts may occur as workers perform construction activities. All construction activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. Motorists are reminded to pay attention and use caution when driving through the work zone.

For more information follow the Florida Department of Transportation District Three on Twitter @myfdot_nwfl or like us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/MyFDOTNWFL.


Franklin County Humane Society Pet of the Week

BOGEE is a tall, dark and handsome 1 yr old Lab mix.  He is well mannered and gets along well with other dogs and people.  He has a relaxed and easy going demeanor and will be easy to train.  Bogee is heartworm negative, neutered and ready for his forever home!

Volunteers are desperately needed to socialize all of our dogs and cats. We are always looking for people willing to bring one of our animals into their home to be fostered for various needs. Anytime you can spare would be greatly appreciated.
 Call Karen at 670-8417 for more details or visit the Franklin County Humane Society at 244 State Road 65 in Eastpoint.  You may logon to the website at www.forgottenpets.org to see more of our adoptable pets.