Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Franklin County signs lease for Eastpoint library location

            County commissioners on Tuesday approved a lease with the Friends of the Franklin County Public Library so the county can continue to use the building and property where the Eastpoint branch of the library is located.
The lease took effect on Tuesday and will automatically renew every year until one of the parties wants to change it.
The previous lease ended earlier this year, and county attorney Michael Shuler said this will clean that problem up.
The county had rejected a lease proposal earlier this summer because of a clause that would have required the county to maintain the road and parking lot for the library.
Under the new lease the friends group will continue to maintain both.

The new lease also lowers the rent from 2700 dollars a month to 2000 dollars a month.

Seahawk Scoop for Thursday, September 3rd

Franklin county signs contracts for emergency debris removal

                County commissioners this week signed contracts with companies to provide debris removal services after a major storm.

The board last month opened qualifications from 6 companies interested in providing the service.

The county has annual contracts with companies that specialize in debris clean-up – to make sure that debris can be removed as quickly as possible after a natural disaster.

The board did make one change to the contracts – they removed the section that would have allowed the companies to clean up private property with county approval.

There were a number of reasons to remove that section, including the fact that that the county doesn’t get reimbursed for cleaning private property.

They were also concerned about liability issues.

The board said that if it becomes necessary to go on private property after a major storm that they can give approval on an emergency basis at that time.

Wakulla County Announces Application Period for FY2014/15 Solid Waste Vacancy Adjustment Program

Crawfordville, Florida – The Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners announces Fiscal Year 2014/15 Vacancy Adjustment Program related to the Solid Waste Assessment.

The Vacancy Adjustment Program allows any property owner to seek a refund of the Solid Waste Assessment for residential property which is vacant from October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015.  The owner shall submit a Vacancy Adjustment Application along with documentation from a utility provider indicating that no electric or other utility services were provided to such property during FY2014/15.  The application and required documentation is due to the County Administrator’s Office by October 15, 2015.   

To obtain the Vacancy Adjustment Application, please visit the County website ( or contact Patty Taylor at (850) 926-0919 ext. 703.

Watch out for horses on Highway 67 in Carrabelle

                If you are driving along Highway 67 in Carrabelle watch out for horses.
The Animal control department says it has been getting some heavy calls recently because of horses along the Highway.
Animal control director Fonda Davis said the county doesn’t have a place to house the horses so they have been doing their best to catch the animals and return them to their owners.
Commissioner Cheryl Sanders said that a recent brush clearing program along the power lines exposed a lot of old fence where the horses are kept and the horses are not able to get loose.
She said the horses have sometimes managed to get as far as Lake Morality and Lanark Village.

Animal control has been in touch with the owners to try to fix the fences, but until that’s done the county has agreed to place some signs along the highway warning drivers to watch out for horses.

Carrabelle City Commission meets Thursday

Carrabelle City Commission Meeting
Tomorrow – Thursday
 September 3, 2015
6:00 p.m. – sharp
Carrabelle City Complex

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Seahawk Scoop for Wednesday, September 2nd

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Monthly Highlights

FWC banner

Greetings from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute!
We hope you enjoy the updates added in August to, new photo albums on the MyFWC Research Flickr account, and new videos added to our YouTube channel. We also invite you to keep up with us on Facebook and our new Instagram page

Loggerhead turtle hatchling
Photo of the Month
A beachgoer called the institute to report a loggerhead hatchling found on Lido Beach in Sarasota County. We immediately called Mote Marine Lab’s Stranding Investigations Program so staff could rescue the hatchling. Mote said the hatchling was about one month old and weak, but was in better shape than most they find. The turtle is recovering at Mote, and it will eventually be taken offshore by boat to Sargassum (seaweed) patches and released. Swift action and teamwork led to a successful rescue of this tired turtle, and we're glad it's getting a second chance at life!

Facebook Highlights of the Month
North Florida Newt

American shad
Flickr Photo Albums

Updates to

Tagging fish

Our mission: Through effective research and technical knowledge, we provide timely information and guidance to protect, conserve, and manage Florida's fish and wildlife resources.

Gulf World Marine Institute gets grants to help stranded sea turtles

The Gulf World Marine Institute in Panama City has been awarded two grants that will help them rehabilitate stranded sea turtles.
The Institute responds to stranded sea turtles across the Florida Panhandle.
It was recently awarded over 8000 dollars from the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate Grants Program to upgrade its digital radiograph processer.
That machine allows them to x-ray the turtle to assess lung health, whether the turtle has swallowed any foreign objects and whether the turtle has any fractures on its skeleton.
 The institute also received over 5400 dollars to purchase a large water proof animal scale which can hold the large loggerhead sea turtles that migrate along our coastline.

The scale not only allows doctors to administer proper drug dosages but also helps monitor the sea turtle’s recovery.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Seahawk Scoop for Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Early voting began today in Apalachicola and Carrabelle City elections

Early voting begins today for Apalachicola and Carrabelle city elections.

Early voting will be held August 31st through September the 4th.

You can early vote at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Apalachicola and at the County annex in Carrabelle.

The offices will be open for early voting from 8:30 to 4:30 each day.

Carrabelle voters will have three races to decide this year.

City Commissioner Brenda La Paz will face Joe Ham in the race for Mayor.

There are also 5 candidates seeking 2 seats on the city commission.

They include Mel Kelly, Frank Mathes, Chester Reese, Gene Spivey and Keith Walden.

Apalachicola voters will have two races to decide.

Current mayor Van Johnson is seeking re-election, he is facing Gregory P. Wynot in that race.

City Commissioner Jimmy Elliot is also seeking re-election to the city commission, he is facing Charles Kienzle in the race for seat 2.

Election Day is Tuesday, September 8th.

Franklin county Commission meets Tuesday in Apalachicola

            Franklin County commissioners will consider site plan approval for a mobile restaurant on St. George Island when the board meets tomorrow in Apalachicola.
The board has been asked for Commercial Site Plan approval for “Loula and Dan”, an 80 seat single service restaurant which would be located in the center of the island.
The dining would be open air patio style because the kitchen, restrooms and cooler would be portable, so the whole restaurant could evacuate during a major storm.
Commissioners will also consider signing a lease with the Friends of the Franklin County Public Library for the Eastpoint branch of the library.
The building and property where the Eastpoint branch of the library is located is owned by the Friends group – the county pays 2000 dollars a month rent.
The county rejected a lease proposal in June but said they would reconsider the issue after getting more information.
You can see the full agenda on-line at oyster radio.ocm

The County Commission meeting begins at 9 tomorrow morning – it will be held at the Franklin county courthouse Annex in Apalachicola.

Trinity Hardy chosen as Miss Florida Seafood


The Florida Seafood festival has chosen its queen.

Franklin County High School senior Trinity Hardy was crowned Miss Florida Seafood Saturday night.

Trinity is the daughter of Rose Griffin and Anthony Hardy.

The title comes with a 1000 dollar scholarship.
She will be pretty busy over the next few months publicizing the seafood festival.

She’ll take part in parades around the region and make appearances on area television and radio stations.

She’ll also stay busy during the festival, which is scheduled for November 6th and 7th this year.

As queen she’ll officially open the event, as well as head up the annual parade.

And along with King Retsyo, she’ll ride in the front boat during the blessing of the fleet, and oversee the oyster shucking and oyster eating contests.

And if you would like to stay up to date on all of the planned festivities and entertainment for this year’s festival – check out the official seafood festival website at

Winter oyster season begins Tuesday in the Apalachicola Bay

                The Winter oyster harvesting season in the Apalachicola Bay begins Tuesday.

The Winter season continues through May 31st.

During the winter season, commercial and recreational oyster harvesting will be allowed Monday through Thursday.

Commercial oyster harvesters will only be allowed to four bags of oysters per person per day.

Recreational harvesters will only be allowed a half bag per person.

Oystermen can harvest from East hole only on Mondays; all other days oyster harvesting is prohibited there.

September Business Luncheon at The Owl Cafe

Please join us for our
September Business Luncheon

September 2nd

Hosted by:
The Owl Café
15 Ave. D


Free hunter safety Internet-completion course offered in Wakulla County

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free hunter safety Internet-completion course in Wakulla County.
The course takes place at Wakulla County Sheriff’s Department Otter Creek Range, 65 Qualify Lane, Crawfordville. Instruction is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. ESTSept. 12.
Students must complete the Internet course before coming to class and bring a copy of the final report from the online portion of the course. The final report form does not have to be notarized.
An adult must accompany children under the age of 16 at all times. Students should bring a pencil and paper with them to take notes.
Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies hunter-safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces.
People interested in attending this course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at or by calling Hunter Safety Coordinator Will Burnett at the FWC’s regional office in Panama City at 850-265-3676.

Applications being accepted for vacant Franklin county commission seat

Applications are now being accepted from people who would like to serve as Franklin County’s Commissioners for District 1 which represents St. George Island and much of Eastpoint.

The seat was vacated by Pinki Jackel on August 21st after she was named to serve as Franklin County’s Supervisor of Elections.

Mrs. Jackel’s replacement will be named by Governor Rick Scott.

To be eligible, you do have to live in District 1.

So far two people have applied, Stephen Lanier and Hank Kozlowsky, both of whom live in Eastpoint.

If you live in District 1 and would like to be considered, you can find more information on-line at

Raffle to benefit Aleta Baker

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Press Office - Press Release


CONTACT: DEP Press Office,


~Public input requested prior to finalizing restoration plan~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will host a public meeting on Aug. 31 to discuss the water quality restoration plan for the Upper Wakulla River and Wakulla Springs. DEP representatives will review the draft restoration plan, the Upper Wakulla and Wakulla Springs Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), and take public comment prior to finalizing and submitting the plan. 
“The department has been working closely with local stakeholders to develop a restoration plan that will improve the water quality from Wakulla Springs,” said Tom Frick, director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. “We appreciate their continued effort and commitment to this natural treasure.”   
Nutrient pollution, or an excess of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous, is one of the biggest water quality challenges facing many of Florida’s spring systems. These nutrients are naturally present in the water and necessary for the healthy growth of plant and animal life; however, an excess of nutrients in the water can lead to complications like rapid algal growth, habitat smothering and oxygen depletion.  
The Upper Wakulla River and Wakulla Springs Basin is located in the Big Bend area of Florida in Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon and Wakulla counties. The greatest source of water to the Wakulla River is Wakulla Springs. The river and springs are a very dynamic ground water and surface water fed system. The Upper Wakulla River and Wakulla Springs are important resources that have been designated as Outstanding Florida Waters.
The meeting announcement, location and other information can be viewed here.

About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. The department enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality, cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires environmentally sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves. Visit the department’s website at


Press Office - Calendar Announcement


CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 


~The public is invited to share input on opportunity maps ~

WHAT:          Public Meeting
WHEN:          Sept. 3, 2015
                      4-6:30 p.m.
WHERE:        Camp Helen State Park
                      23937 Panama City Beach Pkwy
                      Panama City Beach, FL 32413
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways and Trails is hosting a public meeting to update the opportunity maps for the Florida Greenways and Trails System. The opportunity maps are used to direct resources to these priority corridors to help complete the overall system of connected greenways and trails in Florida. This meeting in Panama City Beach is the first of six meetings planned around the state.
During this planning process two opportunity maps will be updated:
  • The Land Trails Opportunity Map represents the existing, planned and conceptual non-motorized trails that form a land-based trail network. The map comprises trail planning efforts by cities, counties, transportation planning organizations and other agencies throughout Florida, focusing on linear trails that form a comprehensive connected system.
  • The Paddling Trails Opportunity Map represents the vision for a comprehensive water-based trails system. It includes waterways that are designated as part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System or are appropriate for future designation. These trails must be scenic, at least three miles in length, and navigable for the majority of the year.
To ensure that the department uses the most accurate, current and comprehensive data for the opportunity maps, the Office of Greenways and Trails conducts reviews and updates of the maps every three years. The finalized maps will be presented to the Florida Greenways and Trails Council for approval at its December meeting.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 48 hours before the meeting by contacting: Samantha Browne at 850-245-2076 or
If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800-955-8770 (Voice).
Additional information can be found here.

September Events and Activities in Franklin County

History Presentation Sept. 12 in Carrabelle
The Carrabelle History Museum will present the second in a series of presentations about the "First People of the Forgotten Coast" onSaturday, September 12 at Carrabelle's Franklin County Senior Center. The presentation, scheduled to begin at  10am, will feature noted history authors and experts Madeline Carr and Joe Knetsch. 
Rock By The Sea Charity Music Fest Sept. 24-26Rock By The Sea & Now I Play Along Too present this charity music festival to benefit Now I Play Along Too and Franklin County Library.
The three-day event, hosted at Harry A's on St. George Island, will eature artists including Melodime, Steve Everett, Stephen Kellogg, Tony Lucca, Paul McDonald, Amy Gerhartz, Brian Fechino, Tim Brantley, Hey Monea!, The Georgia Flood and The Blues Factor. Activities include a Scavenger Hunt and Golf with a Musician.
Celebrate the Bay September 25
It's all about the Bay on Sept 25 as the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) celebrates National Estuaries Day at its Nature/Visitor Center in Eastpoint. The festivities will run from 1:30-6 p.m. and will feature family-friendly activities, touch tanks, fun and educational games.  
ANERR recently expanded its extensive series of trails at the Reserve. Visitors can now enjoy 1,600 feet or nearly 1/3 of a mile of newly built raised wooden boardwalks that traverse the Reserve’s 28 acres plus another 400 feet of trails.  The Visitor Center is located near the St. George Island Bridge at 108 Island Drive, Eastpoint. Feeling like doing more for the environment? Join your neighbors Sept. 19 for Franklin County's annual Coastal Cleanup. There are cleanup locations throughout the county. Click here to learn more. 
ANERR Features Art ExhibitsThe Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve is hosting a series of art exhibits this fall geared towards environmental awareness. Currently on exhibit until mid October at ANERR's Eastpoint Visitor Center is  the exhibit "When Trash Meets the Sea" - an exhibit that explores how everyday trash ends up in the environment.Click here for details.
Art+Science Exhibit by Beth Appleton
Beginning October 23, ANERR will host an exhibit by nationally acclaimed artist Beth Appleton. Appleton's Art+Science exhibit will be on display from October 23, 2015through Februay 23, 2016. There will be an opening reception on Friday, October 23Click here for details.
It's Fall! Go Fish!
Fall means fishing and September is generally recognized as the month that shrimp migrations begin with the young ones moving to deeper bay waters and mature shrimp migrating out the passes to the open gulf to spawn. It's a shrimp feast for the fish and a fish feast for the fishermen! During the cooler fall months, fishing is at its peak in Franklin County.Learn more about professional guide services and eco tours by clicking here.

Red Snapper Season Re-opens on Weekends in September
Red Snapper season (which closed July 12will reopen on weekends in September (including Labor Day), weekends in October and Sunday, Nov.1. In addition, the snook season opens Sept. 1 statewide. 
Fish Free Sept. 5
Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced a saltwater license-free fishing day forSeptember 5. On this day, Florida residents and visitors will not be required to have a license to fish saltwater areas of the state. License-free fishing days, including freshwater days, were held earlier this year. All other regulations still apply.

Apalachicola Riverfront Film Fest Oct. 10

Join us for a unique film festival experience on the majestic Apalachicola River beneath October’s full moon, as we celebrate the art and love of film-making while enjoying the outdoors! This event features independent short films from around the world, local films, documentaries and student films. There is something for everyone to enjoy with film genres ranging from environmental documentaries to comedies, dramas, animation and music videos. Click here for details 
Blues in the Lot Concert Oct. 10
15th annual Blues in the Lot Saturday October 10th 11:30-6:00pm In Downtown Apalachicola in front of the Apalachicola Sponge Company between Commerce and Water Streets on Ave D. This will be the best concert yet, celebrating Blues music in Apalachicola. Click here for details.
Whatever Floats Your Boat Regatta 
Oct. 3 - 2-5 PM (ET)Florida State University Turkey Point Marine Lab. 
If you think you have what it takes to make a boat that floats out of recycled material, then register now!  Click here for details.
Annual Ghostwalk Tour on Halloween This Year!
Ghostwalk in Apalach Hauntings abound  in Apalachicola on Oct. 31 at the Historic Chestnut Street Cemetery. From 7-9 pm local history enthusiasts take on the personna of several of the cemetery's more notable inhabitants to tell their tale of life in Apalachicola more than 100 years ago. Click here for details.
Crooked River Lighthouse Lantern Fest Oct. 24
The Crooked River Lighthouse will host the 2015 Lantern Fest on Oct. 24. The event will feature a lantern making workshop and evening lantern display, music, dance presentations, storytelling and craft exhibits.   Click here for details.
Apalachicola Library Hosts Heritage Dinner Sept. 25
The Apalachicola Muncipal Library and Apalachicola Area Historical Society will host a Heritage Dinner on September 25New York Times Bestelling Author Karen White will be the featured guest. The event will be held at the Robert Lindsley Gallery in Apalachicola. The evening, featuring local cuisine, wine and literature, will feature a special unveiling of Apalachicola's new library design and the kickoff of the project's capital fundraising campaign. 
Apalachicola Farmers Market Fall Schedule
Local seafood, produce, herbs, and honey, homemade breads and pies, along with other regional specialties will be fare offered at the Apalachicola Farmers MarketSeptember 12 and 26 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Mill Pond Pavilion, located at the north end of Market Street in Historic Apalachicola. In October, the farmers market will be Oct. 10 and 24.
Pet Friendly Contest Winner Announced
Linda Hughes from Indianapolis, Indiana is the lucky winner of the Franklin County TDC Pet Friendly Getaway. Ms. Hughes was selected from among the more than 1000 entries. She and her lucky pet will be visiting us soon to be pampered in Apalachicola. Stay tuned here for details on the next getaway contest!
Late Summer Getaways
There's no better way to send summer packing than with a late summer getaway road trip. Many lodging providers are pulling out the stops to offer late summer getaway packages.
Resort Vacation Rentals
features several individual vacation home specials – some perfect for that last minute getaway. 
Fickling & Company of Florida Vacation Rentals is offering several lodging specials including book 4 nights and get 5th free, repeat guest thank you discounts and a 20% Fall discount for select properties. 
Bucaneer Inn Stay 6 consecutive nights and get the 7th one free and a 15% discount for senior over 55 and/or military.
St. George Inn is offering midweek, weekly, monthly and the mother of all deals…$49 per night from the week following Thanksgiving until the week prior to Christmas.

Collins Vacation Rentalscurrently offers a number of specials including last minute fall getaways, AARP discounts, advance booking discounts, first time and repeat guest visit discounts. Collins is also hosting a getaway contest. Visit collinsvacationrentals.

com/specialscat.cfm to learn more.

Suncoast Vacation Properties Save up to 50% off peak rates! value season rates now thru February 2016.
Best Western Apalach Inn
 in Apalachicola is offering guests that stay 2 nights get 20% discount on the 3rd night.
Gibson Inn will host several fall Murder Mystery Weekends this fall on September 18-20,October 30-31 and December 4-6. This weekend package of intrigue for two includes: A room for 2 guests, Friday & Saturday night, cocktails on Friday night, a delicious breakfast on Saturday & Sunday mornings, dinner for 2 on Saturday evening, and lots of entertainment.

Save up to 50% when you book a stay of 2 nights or more with Pickett’s Landing Rentals in Carrabelle. 
At Points To View, PETS STAY FREE! We offer nice discounts on 2 or more weeks and/or 2 or more months of rental.  Cleaning fees are waived on monthly rentals.
Sandy Beach Properties10% discount for guests returning to the same property more than once in any calendar year.
St. James Bay Golf VillaReceive a Great Deal when you Stay & Play! The Stay & Play packages include accommodations at the Residences Condominiums, plus unlimited rounds of golf on our perfectly manicured 18-hole championship course. 
The Old Carrabelle HotelJoin us this fall for some peace and quiet on our “Salty” Forgotten Coast—stay 2 nights and get the 3rd FREE!. Restaurant breakfasts are included, just mention SaltyFall2014.
Carrabelle RV Resort The Carrabelle RV Resort currently offers two vacation packages.Massage Package Let go of all your worries during your 90 minute massage, treat yourself to dinner at a delicious local restaurant, then retire to one of our rejuvenating accommodations. Outdoor Adventure Package During your stay with us, you will experience a vacation packed full of breathtaking hiking trails, beautiful scenery at our local Tate’s Hell State Park, an exciting kayaking trip, and dining at one of our favorite local restaurants. 
Art Workshops
The Apalachicola School of Art continues its series of art exhibits and workshops this summer at The Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art located at 86 Water Street, Apalachicola.
Field Studies to Studio Painting with Hodges Soileau
September 28-30, 2015 9-4PM (ET) This workshop will allow the participants to spend time in the field to create studies which will be used to do a larger studio painting.
Bridging the Field to the Studio: Bill Farnsworth
October 26-28, 2015
Bill will teach a 3 day oil painting workshop in Landscape. Students will paint one day Plein Air and two days in the studio.  They will learn how to get the most out of their field studies and photographs.  Bill emphasizes good shapes, values and color temperature. He welcomes all skill levels. 

SGI Full Moon Climb

Fall Schedule
The September Full Moon Climb at the Cape St. George Lighthouse on St. George Island will be held on Sunday,September 27, 2015.  The Sunset/Full Moon Climb will take place from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will include light hors d'oeuvres and a sparkling cider toast to the full moon.  The October full moon climb is scheduled for Oct. 27.

Paddling Trip
Sept 26

Join the Apalachicola Riverkeepers on their monthly paddling trip on Saturday, September 26 in and around the Apalachicola River and Bay. The trips are free to members and $30 for non-members. In addition to their monthly paddling trips, the Apalachicola Riverkeepers are also hosting longer paddling excursions (10+) miles which are best suited for paddlers with experience. Click here to learn more. 
Events At A Glance
September 5 - Free Fishing Day
September 12 Early People of the Forgotten Coast
September 19 - Coastal Cleanup
September 12, 26 -Apalachicola Farmers' Market
September 25 - Estuary Day, EastpointSeptember 25 - Heritage Dinner
September 26-28 - Hodges Soileau Art Workshop
September 27
 - SGI Full Moon Climb
October 3 FSU Marine Lab Float Your Boat Regatta
October 10 Riverfront Film Festival, ApalachicolaOctober 10 Apalachicola Farmers' Market
October 11 - Oktoberfest, Bowery Station, Apalachicola
October 23 - Fourth Annual Fall Art Show
October 24 - Lantern Fest, Carrabelle Beach
October 24 - Franklin County Senior Center Fall Festival
October 24 - Apalachicola Farmers Market

October 26-28 - Bill Farnsworth Art Workshop
October 27 - Full Moon Climb, SGI
October 31 - Chestnut Street Cemetery Ghostwalk

Franklin County Tourist Development Council • 731 Hwy. 98, Eastpoint, FL 32329 • 866-914-2068