Saturday, February 25, 2017

Annual Mardi Gras Barkus Parade in Apalachicola a big hit

It was a beautiful day for the annual Mardi Gras Barkus Parade. Hundreds of people lined the streets for the annual parade and then kicked back at Riverfront Park for a day of music, drinks and fun. The theme was "Bark Side of the Moon" so there were plenty of aliens and Princess Leias running around. All of the money will benefit the local humane society and the Florida Wild Mammal Association. Kudos to the Mystic Crewe of Salty Barkers for another great event!

Benjamin Sung and David Kalhous perform this Sunday in Apalachicola

Friday, February 24, 2017

FWC to hold Carrabelle workshop to discuss gag grouper season

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will hold a workshop in Carrabelle in mid-March to get input on possibe changes to the local gag grouper season.

Gag grouper fishing is allowed in state waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties from April 1st to June 30th. 

For the rest of the state and in federal waters the season runs from June 1st through December 31st.

The regional season was created in 2012 to provide fishing opportunities for recreational anglers when gag grouper are closer to shore and can be safely accessed by smaller boats. 

The FWC has now received requests from stakeholders to extend the local season and said they will consider possible changes at a future meeting - but first they want to get more input.

They have scheduled a series of workshops in the area to discuss the issue further.

The workshops will be in Carrabelle on March 13th, in Perry on March 15th, and in Tallahassee on March the 16th.

All of the workshops will run from 6 to 8 PM.

Weekend Events In Apalachicola


Bark Side of The Moon
Saturday, February 25th
The Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers, a parade unit of dogs and their people, invite you to join in
the Apalachicola Mardi Gras Barkus Parade.
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 Riverfront Park in downtown Apalachicola, Florida 1:00pm
This year's theme is BARK SIDE OF THE MOON
so aliens, astronauts, and all kinds of space creatures will be roaming the streets.
Come celebrate Mardi Gras Apalach style! You may walk, ride in golf carts or boats, pull
wagons, push strollers, or come up with any other unique form of transportation or just come
and catch beads and enjoy the fun.
The parade, for the benefit of the animals of Franklin County, begins at 1:00 pm, winds through
town, ending at a free party with live music, dancing, Cajun food, arts and crafts, contests, and
all kinds of lively fun.
Registration for walkers is $5. per person.
Dogs, of course, are free.
For information or to pre-register, call 850-670-5064 or contact us on our website:

Farmers Market
 Saturday, February 25th
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 PMat Scipio Creek at the end of Market Street in Apalachicola. If you or someone you know offers home grown or hand made products, and is interested in becoming a vendor, please email
OYSTERTOWN at the Dixie Theatre
February 253:00 pm & 8:00 pm

Come celebrate the rich history of Apalachicola and The Forgotten Coast in an original evening developed especially for The Dixie Theatre. Oystertown combines storytelling, music and historic archival footage to celebrate and examine the history of this hidden hamlet on the Forgotten Coast of Florida. Apalachicola is a small town that could be anyone's hometown. It is filled with a rich history steeped in Southern tradition and American history. Join Dixie Theatre veterans Cleo Holladay, David Hemsley Caldwell, and many others as they weave tales of how Apalachicola began and where it is going. In the tradition of Dixie Theatre favorites, Leaving Iowa, Smoke on the Mountain and Almost Maine, Oystertown explores what makes us all the same and what makes this forgotten gem on the Gulf Coast so unique. "Oystertown is a postcard to small town Americana".  Call the Dixie Theatre Box Office 850-653-3200 for tickets.

MARDI GRAS 2017 Habitat for Humanity
February 25 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Our annual Mardi Gras and Ball will be held February 25th at the Fort Coombs Armory. The Featured entertainment will be Big Daddy and Red Hot Java.

 For more information call 850-653-3113.

IN Concert: David Kalhous & Ben Sung
February 26 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

THE ILSE NEWELL FUND FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS INCONCERT SERIES 2016-17 presents David Kalhous, piano and Ben Sung, violin beginning at 4:00 PM at Trinity Episcopal Church at 79 Sixth Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320. Admission is $5.

Salty Florida becoming Florida's Forgotten coast

 The Franklin County Tourist Development Council is changing its brand.

The group plans to transition its brand from “Salty Florida” to “Florida's Forgotten Coast.”

The TDC began using the Salty Florida slogan in 2011 to reflect the nature of the area from our salt air and salty oysters to the salt water and the salt on the rim of your margarita glass.

The TDC says the new brand “Florida's Forgotten Coast” reflects the idea that for many people our area is still undiscovered, while for others it is a place to rediscover.

The transition will occur over the next few months and will include a new TDC website:  

The Tourist Development Council was created in 2004 to help increase tourism to Franklin County – its funded through a 2 percent bed tax on hotel rooms and rental homes.

Florida DEP permit activity for Wakulla County

DEP Logo
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

Bob Martinez Center
2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
Rick Scott

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Ryan E. Matthews
Interim Secretary

Permitting Application Subscription Service

Subscriber email address:

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - ERP Noticed General Permit
Project Name: BAYO DOCK
Location Id: 351564
Location Name: BAYO DOCK-36 RIVER CT
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 351564-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300


~ Practice patience when driving on the road~

Beginning today through March 9, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) commercial vehicle enforcement troopers will begin the safety campaign Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT). The campaign seeks to educate motorists about the dangers of aggressive driving around large trucks and reducing commercial motor vehicle related crashes. To keep motorists safe on Florida roads, Troopers will be looking for car and truck drivers who display aggressive driving behaviors such as following too closely, speeding and unsafe lane changes.

Motorists should protect themselves and their passengers by learning how to share the road safely. FHP offers these tips for driving around large trucks:

·        Stay out of the No Zone: Be aware that large trucks have large blind spots (also known as “No Zones”). 
·        Pass trucks with caution: Pass on the left side for maximum visibility and maintain a constant speed.
·        Do not cut trucks off: Be sure to leave plenty of room when you pull in front of a truck. Large trucks simply cannot stop as quickly as cars.
·        Practice patience around larger vehicles that are not traveling at the same speed as your vehicle. 
·        Don’t drive distracted: Anything that takes your full attention off of the road, even for a second, could be deadly. This includes texting, changing the radio station, talking to passengers, and much more.  

For more information about TACT, FHP Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement and No Zones, visit:

Lane Closures on Area Roads

For Immediate Release  
February 24, 2017
Donna Green, 850-330-1661

Lane Closures on Area Roads

Chipley – Drivers are reminded to practice caution while traveling in and around the work zones in Northwest Florida Sunday, Feb. 26 through Saturday, March 4.

Bay County:
·         23rd Street Flyover Project at State Road (S.R.) 30 (U.S. 98)   Beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 and continuing to Saturday, March 4, drivers traveling through the 23rd Street Flyover work zone will encounter intermittent night time lane closures east of the Hathaway Bridge to west of Seaport Drive and near Brown Avenue.  Night time intermittent lane closures will remain in effect as workers connect temporary U.S. 98 to existing U.S. 98.  Traffic control signs and variable message boards will be on site to direct traffic.
·         Intersection improvements are taking place on U.S. 98 at S.R. 79 in Panama City Beach.  Drivers are reminded to use caution while traveling through the work area.
·         A new traffic signal and turn lanes are being installed on S.R. 79 at Bay Parkway in Panama City Beach.  Watch for daytime lane closures.
·         A safety improvement project to install dual left turn lanes on U.S. 98 (S.R. 30) at Richard Jackson Boulevard continues. Watch for temporary lane closures.
·         Construction to replace the Arthur Drive Bridge over Lynn Haven Bayou is underway. The project consists of demolishing the deficient bridge and replacing it with a new structure, reconstruction of the roadway approaches, minor signing and pavement markings. During construction the bridge will be closed, motorists will use Maryland Avenue, west 14th Street, Connecticut Avenue and Arthur Drive as a detour route.
Gulf County:
·         Remain alert on U.S. 98 from Pine Street to Bay County line, as new sidewalk is installed. Work is taking place off the roadway, pedestrians are reminded to use caution.
Jackson County:
·         S.R. 73 from the Calhoun County line to County Road (C.R.) 167 / South Street –Paving continues along the corridor.  Remain alert for day and night work north of I-10. Drivers can expect minor delays and lane closures to continue.
·         I-10 from east of S.R. 71 to east of C.R. 69A –Drivers will encounter alternating lane closures beginning at 8 p.m.Sunday, Feb. 26 and continuing through 6 a.m.Friday, March 3 as workers perform paving work.

All planned construction activities are weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.  Drivers are reminded to pay attention to the reduced speed limit when traveling through the construction area.  For more information, follow the Florida Department of Transportation District Three on Twitter @myfdot_nwfl or like us on Facebook at

KnightEyes Paranormal Investigations to investigate historic Orman house in Apalachicola

 A paranormal investigation group is coming to Franklin County in March to investigate one of Apalachicola's oldest and most historic buildings.

KnightEyes Paranormal Investigations out of Panama City plans to conduct a paranormal investigation at the historic Orman House on March 18th.

The group will spend the night in the 179 year old building to answer the question: Is someone still living in the Orman House?

The house was originally built in 1838 by Thomas Orman, who made his fortune shipping cotton.

He built the house on the bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River so he could keep a close eye on his business.

Local legend holds that some of the Ormans were less than willing to leave the beautiful house on the bluff and there have been claims of footsteps and other strange sounds in the house at night.

The interior of the home contains all original furniture from the family including personal items like the families wedding china and handwritten letters.

The house is now open to the public for guided tours.

And the public will be able to watch the investigation from the safety of their own homes.

KnightEyes Paranormal will broadcast the investigation LIVE on their facebook page from 9 PM to 4 AM.

We have posted the links for the broadcast on this story at and on the Oyster Radio facebook page.

The group is also planning a second investigation in our area.
They plan to head to Sumatra in the near future to check out the “ghost hearse” that reportedly stalks late-night drivers on Highway 65 from the train track crossing to Bloody Bluff Road.
And if you have a ghost story of your own you would like to check out, you can contact KnightEyes Investigations via their facebook page, by email at or by phone at 850-867-8872.

Watch the Orman House investigation live at this link:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Franklin County approves rate increase for Waste Management

It will soon be a little more expensive to haul household and yard trash to the Franklin county landfill.

The Franklin county commission on Tuesday approved a rate increase for Waste Management to operate the transfer station at the Franklin county landfill.

The board approved a 3.6 percent increase which will raise the cost of bringing trash to the landfill from about $60.50 per ton to 62.70 a ton.

The increase is based on the change in the consumer price index.

This is the second rate increase at the landfill in two years.

Commissioners said they know the increase will be passed on to customers but they felt they had no choice because Waste Management has been the only company to show an interest in operating the transfer station.

Commissioner Noh Lockley voted against the increase.

11 Franklin County homes could benefit from Residential Construction Mitigation Program

Franklin County said it may be able to help up to 11 homes thtis year through the county’s Residential Construction Mitigation Program.

The Residential Construction Mitigation Program is a state funded program to help Franklin County Residents mitigate their homes against strong winds.

The program is designed to help lower income residents make their homes more wind resistant through the installation of hurricane resistant doors and shutters.

It also pays to repair roofs or add straps to existing roofs.

Two companies have bid on the work, one company only installs shutters, the other does home repair.

The county will get 194 thousand dollars for the program this year to do work on the 11 homes – but the amount of work still has to be decided.

The county has agreed to waive local permit fees for the projects so all of the money can go to retrofitting.

The final decision as to which jobs are approved falls to the state.

If you are interested in applying or learning more about Residential Construction Mitigation Program, you can find applications and criteria on the Franklin County Emergency Management website at

You can also pick up an application at the Emergency Management Office at the Apalachicola Airport.

WeatherStem weather station now providing information from the Eastpoint fishing pier

 A new weather monitoring station is now installed on the Eastpoint fishing pier.

A company called WeatherStem donated and installed the weather station on the Eastpoint side of the county fishing pier last week.

This system provides real time weather information including temperature, rain levels and wind speed.

It tells you how far away lightning is from the site and provides pictures of current conditions and a video stream showing the status of the bay.

And it provides a daily sunrise picture.

The information from the weather station will be especially useful during strong storms when people are concerned as to whether the winds are strong enough to close the St. George Island bridge.

If you would like to see the information for yourself go on-line to

You can also monitor the information on your phone or tablet by using the weaterstem app from the app store or googleplay.

Don't miss the 1st annual Reefs for Military fund-raiser on February 26th in Mexico Beach

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Franklin County Tourist Development Council news for February

February TDC News
Dear Friends of the Franklin County TDC,
"Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room", Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.
We can collectively agree visitors to Franklin County talk about our unique coastline.  With this mind, the FCTDC board has voted to focus on our top asset by transitioning our brand from “Salty Florida” to “Florida's Forgotten Coast”. To some, it's a rediscovery of our area; but to many more it is still undiscovered. We are proud to be located at the heart of Florida’s Forgotten Coast and welcome the opportunity to utilize the brand in our promotional activities. The FCTDC's new website will be implemented over the next few months as the transition is completed.  
  The FCTDC has dedicated a $250,000 grant match to the development of Camp Gordon Johnston's new facility which is well underway.  This World War II Museum will be the only one of its kind in Florida and will keep alive the history and memory of the heroes who fought for our country. Watch its progress as you pass by on Hwy 98 just west of Carrabelle Beach.
The FCTDC selected a winner for the second of six promotional contests.  Steve Pokorny from Missouri won the Coastal Culinary Getaway contest featuring meals from local area restaurants.  Mr. Pokorny will be, "discovering" our area for the first time and is excited about his trip here.  The next drawing will be in late April for the Coastal Art Getaway. These contests are a very effective way to collect email addresses to build up our guest database (now over 40,000) who receive our event e-newsletters each month.
Tourist Tax collections for November were $46,043.65, up slightly at 3.6% this same time last year.  Our four visitor centers reported over 2,010 guests in January. 
The Eastpoint Visitor Center hosted Riverways South's annual planning session and board meeting.  Sheriff A.J. Smith provided the leadership session for this meeting.  Riverways South and the FCTDC have partnered with Goodwill Industries again this year to offer certified Customer Service Training.  Twenty seats are open for any person looking to increase their customer service skills. Participants from the vacation rental and lodging industry, restaurants, the county and sheriff’s office are taking part  in the program. The course will be offered at the Eastpoint Firehouse on February 28, 2017 from 1p to 4p.  Those attendees who pass will be certified by the American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute.  The cost is $50 and scholarships are available.  For more information call  Jean or Laura at 850-670-3474.  
Visit Florida will host its annual Tourism Day on March 14, 2017. This training session is co-sponsored by Visit Florida and the Florida Hotel and Restaurant Association. Instructions on how to carry the word about Florida’s reliance on the hospitality industry will be highlighted with visits to participant’s local legislators to follow. For more information contact Laura Graham at the FCTDC at 850-670-3474.
There are no FCTDC meetings in March. The next board meeting will be held at the EPVC at 2pm on April 12, 2017.  All meetings are open to the public.  Check out our new website for more information on upcoming area events such as the new Carrabelle Fly In on March 11th at

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

There is now an app to monitor wildfire conditions in Florida

 If you want to keep up with drought, wildfire danger and wildfire activity in Florida, there's now an app for that.

The Florida Forest Service announced the release of “FLBurnTools,” a new mobile app to keep the public informed tabout wildfire wildfire danger and activity statewide.

Wildfire activity is on the rise and wildfire danger is expected to increase greatly in the coming months.

Floridians equipped with the ‘FLBurnTools' app can view the locations of nearby wildfires and see up-to-date drought and wildfire danger information.

The “FLBurnTools” app provides Drought information and Interactive fire maps, Wildfire information and Smoke dispersion models and even Spot weather forecasts.

Prescribed burn practitioners can even use the app to plan and submit burn authorization requests.

The “FLBurnTools” app is now available for free in both Apple's App Store and on Google Play.

Florida DEP permit activity for Gulf County

DEP Logo
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

Bob Martinez Center
2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
Rick Scott

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Ryan E. Matthews
Interim Secretary

Permitting Application Subscription Service

Subscriber email address:

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Stormwater - Small Construction (1-5 AC)
Location Id: FLR10QU73
Location Name: Wetappo Flats Subdvision
County: Gulf
Application Number: FLR10QU73-001

For further information, please contact the Tallahassee Npdes Stormwater permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-7522

Job Opening: Marine Community Ecologist Faculty Position

Job Opening: Marine Community Ecologist Faculty Position 
The Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory (FSUCML) invites applications for a Marine Community Ecologist research faculty position (12 month renewable appointment). We seek a highly motivated coastal ecologist with notable research achievements. The successful applicant will be expected to make a commitment to excellence in scholarship, student mentoring and outreach and have the ability to develop a well-funded, independent research program. Salary will be provided at 100% for the first two years and 75% from the 3rd year forward, with the expectation that the remaining 25% of salary will be met through external funding. A competitive start-up package will be offered. Applicants must have a Ph. D. degree with significant postdoctoral experience.

The FSUCML is committed to research focused on coastal and marine issues of ecological importance that provides the scientific basis for policy decisions. The primary area of interest is in experimental community ecology with a focus on local habitats. The FSUCML is embedded in an area of rich terrestrial and marine biodiversity with an abundance of complex and interconnected estuarine and marine habitats including tidal salt marshes and flats, seagrass meadows, oyster reefs, and hard-bottom reefs dominated by soft coral and sponge communities. It is expected that successful candidates would focus on ecological processes related to these local habitats and environments.
To Apply:    
Applicants are asked to submit a single document in PDF format containing a letter of application, a curriculum vita, a two-page narrative describing their research interests and plans, and a brief graduate student mentoring statement. Applicants are encouraged to present their research in a way that is complementary to, and can form a basis for integrative collaboration with faculty at the FSUCML and on the FSU main campus.

Applications must be sent electronically to Please include a list of names and contact information for three possible references.

Deadline: This position will remain open until filled.

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