Monday, May 22, 2017

Franklin County Humane Society Pet of the Week

ADAM is a beautiful Kelpie mix (google it).  Well, he looks like one but what are the odds?  No matter his heritage, he is a great looking dog with a sweet temperament.  He has been around children and other dogs and does well with both.  Adam is a nice medium size, smart and friendly.  He is heartworm negative and will be neutered soon.

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.



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Atlantic Hurricane season begins next week

The 2016 Hurricane season officially begins on June the 1st, so if you haven't started preparing for a major storm yet, this is the time to do so.

You should have an evacuation route already planned, and if you have pets you should also have plans for what you are going to do with them since many Hurricane shelters don’t accept pets.

It is also helpful to set up a meeting point in case you are separated from family during an evacuation.

This is also a good time to put together a hurricane survival kit if you haven’t already done so.

Make sure your kit includes canned food, fresh water, blankets and first aid equipment, as well as important papers and documents and some extra money.

Don't forget a manual can opener and battery powered radio along with some extra batteries for your radio and flashlight.

You can get more information about surviving a hurricane on-line at haveahurricaneplan.com


And Remember, Oyster Radio is Franklin County's official emergency broadcast network, so in the case of a major storm this season, make sure to tune in to 100.5 FM.


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Events at the Franklin County School 5/22/17 - 5/26/17




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Local unemployment fell again in April

Local unemployment fell substantially between March and April.
Franklin County unemployment fell from 3.9 percent in March to 3.5 percent last month.
170 people were looking for work in Franklin County, down from 188 people the month before.
The workforce also increased by 58 people.
9 counties had lower unemployment rates than Franklin County's in April including one of Franklin County's neighbors.
Gulf County's unemployment was 3.6 percent last month, Wakulla County's was 3.2 percent.

Liberty County also saw a big drop in unemployment in April from 5 percent to 4.5 percent.


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Agenda and information for May 23rd Gulf County Commission meeting







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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Go Wild at Golf Gone Wild on June the 9th in Tallahassee




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Nature Conservancy to discuss Apalachicola Oyster Reefs on Monday





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Florida DEP permit activity for Franklin County

DEP Logo
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

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

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Ryan E. Matthews
Interim Secretary


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Project Name: DOCK REPAIRS
Location Id: 177217
Location Name: 2215 COQUINA DRIVE
County: Franklin
Application Number: 177217-002

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


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Friday, May 19, 2017

Feeding wild dolphins is illegal in Florida

Feeding wild dolphins is illegal in Florida, but the dolphins are unaware of that and apparently so are some boaters.
Feeding and harassing wild dolphins can cause serious harm and injury to both dolphins and people.
Dolphins learn to associate people with food and free handouts, bringing them dangerously close to boat propellers and fishing line.
Some dolphins will even steal bait and catch from the lines of recreational fishermen.
And though wild dolphins may exhibit passive or ‘friendly’ behavior, it’s important to remember they are wild animals and their behavior can change quickly and unpredictably.
The general rule of thumb when on the water is to stay at least 50 yards away from wild dolphin,
Avoid fishing in an area where dolphins are actively feeding and Recycle your fishing line.

If you are caught feeding or harassing dolphins you could face fines up to $20,000 and one year in jail.


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Black bears are busy in Florida this time of year

This is an active time of year for Florida’s black bears.
During this time of year the bears are searching for a variety of berries and other seasonal foods that grow throughout their range.
The woods provide bears with all the food they need, but as most locals know – bears will also eat food from dog bowls, garbage cans and anything else that is easy pickings.
This is also breeding season so the bears are wandering further than they normally would looking for mates.
All of those factors can bring bears into populated areas where they normally would not venture.
To minimize the chances of black bears wandering into your yard the best thing to do is remove or secure anything that might attract animals, such as garbage cans, pet food, birdseed, outdoor grills and compost bins.
If a bear continues to come into an area after all attractants have been removed then its time to call the FWC to trap the bear.
You can do that by calling the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.
Florida’s Black bears do not generally pose a danger to people, but they are wild animals so if you do encounter a black bear at close range, the FWC recommends following precautions:

Remain standing straight up; back up slowly; speak in a calm, assertive voice; do not run or play dead; and leave the bear a clear escape route.

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Alligator harvest permits – Just a few days left to apply!


Only a few days left to apply for an alligator harvest permit during Phase 1

2017 Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida
May 22 is the last day you can apply for one of 6,000 alligator harvest permits during the phase 1 application period. Hunters can submit their application for a permit that allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated harvest unit or county during the statewide Aug. 15 to Nov. 1 season. You must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15 and have a valid credit or debit card to apply. Apply at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or at county tax collector’s offices and any license agent.
Don’t forget to check out the 2017 Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida. The handy new guide provides more information about the application process, the hunt structure and hunting rules and regulations. It also provides tips on how to safely and responsibly hunt alligators as well as tips on how to process, store and cook the meat, and preserve the hide.
Since 1988, Florida's statewide alligator harvest has been nationally and internationally recognized as a model program for the sustainable use of a renewable natural resource.



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TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN ARREST





Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison announces the arrest of William “Frankie” Stanley, Jr. (31) of Wewahitchka. Stanley was arrested on several charges that resulted from a traffic stop conducted by Deputy C. Smith in the area of Texas Street and State Road 71 just north of Wewahitchka.



Deputy Smith conducted the traffic stop due to an expired tag on the vehicle. Stanley, the driver of the vehicle, was asked for his driver’s license and told Deputy Smith his license was suspended. Stanley was placed under arrest for Driving While License Suspended/Revoked (DWLS/R). At the time of his arrest Deputy Smith determined that Stanley was in possession of a concealed firearm without a conceal carry permit and a plastic baggie that contained approximately two grams of a crystal-like substance that field tested positive for Methamphetamine. An inventory of the vehicle revealed an additional small baggie that contained a residual amount of meth and drug paraphernalia, which included digital scales and multiple small plastic baggies. Four additional firearms were located in the vehicle.

Stanley was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Concealed Firearm, DWLS/R, Expired Tag more than Six Months, and No Vehicle Insurance. He was transported to the Gulf County Detention Facility and held for first appearance.


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Faith Sapp chosen to attend Sunshine State Scholars Program in Orlando



Some of Florida’s best high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics students will be honored this week during the 2017 Sunshine State Scholars program.

The two-day awards and recruitment event will be held in Orlando May 19th and 20th.

The annual event recognizes Florida’s elite students for their hard work and gives the students a chance to meet with some of Florida’s colleges and universities where they might continue their educations after high school.

Each school district selects the top eleventh-grade STEM scholar to participate in the program.

For Franklin county that is Faith Sapp of Apalachicola who attends the Franklin County School.

Sydnee O'Donnell, who goes to Port St. Joe High School will represent Gulf County.

Mary Beth Brown will attend from Liberty County and J. Daniel Sullivan III was chosen from Wakulla County.


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Franklin County received 80K in payment in lieu of taxes

Franklin County has received just under 80 thousand dollars from the state for payments in lieu of taxes.

Franklin County tax collector Rick Watson said the county received the 78 thousand dollar check from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Payments in lieu of taxes are paid on property purchased by the state and taken off the county tax rolls.

The majority of the property now state owned is in the Tate's Hell forest in the northern portion of Franklin County though there are some sites along the water like Bald Point.

The state owns about 188,000 acres or about 54 percent of the entire county.

The state owned property is used mainly for conservation and animal habitat.

The payment in lieu of taxes program only continues for 10 years after a property is purchased, and then the payments stop.

The county began receiving payments in lieu of taxes in 1994. 


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Franklin County commissioners continue to discuss mandatory garbage service



Franklin County commissioners have asked county staff to investigate the best way to implement mandatory garbage service for Franklin county residents.

The illegal dumping of household garbage has become a major problem in Franklin County.

Because garbage pickup is not mandatory, many residents choose not to pay for the service and instead find other ways to dispose of their trash.

That includes dumping their trash in other peoples cans, dumping it in county recycling bins, or just leaving it on public property where the county or city has to remove it.

Commissioner William Massey said that in Carrabelle some people have resorted to leaving their trash in the cemetery because the city will have to pick it up.

The problem has gotten so bad that the county has been forced to close down a number of recycling sites and are now discussing whether they should just end the recycling program altogether.

And the problem is not necessarily rich versus poor.

It was pointed out that there are even some homeowners in the Plantation on St. George Island who don't pay for trash pickup and instead take advantage of their neighbors.

The county commission came very close to voting on mandatory trash pickup this week – there was a motion and a second.

The motion was withdrawn after commission chairman Smokey Parrish voiced concerns that the county could become liable for paying for people's trash bills if the process was not set up properly – though it was pointed out that the county is already paying the cost of people's trash disposal because in the end all of the illegally dumped trash winds up at the county landfill.

Parrish also raised concerns that if the trash bill is put on people's tax bills that the county could find itself putting liens on people's property just because they didn't pay for trash pickup.

The commission instead decided to investigate the various ways mandatory trash pickup could be funded to see which one would work best locally.

As for the future of the recycling program, county commissioners say they will address that issue during budget negotiations this summer – and will consider either scaling the program back to only accept the items that are most profitable or doing away with county recycling completely.




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GULF COUNTY, FLORIDA HELPS VISITORS `DISCOVER SCUBA’

Gulf County, Florida. Live Unpacked.


GULF COUNTY, FLORIDA HELPS VISITORS `DISCOVER SCUBA’

Local Adventure Guides turn reluctant divers into enthusiasts

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (May 18, 2017) – Gulf County, Florida, is gearing up for summer adventures, including one that might surprise some visitors: scuba diving.

While travelers no doubt expect to find diving in an area that boasts 244 miles of shoreline, they might be surprised to learn that even those who aren’t scuba certified can dive in Gulf County. Daly's Watersports is one of a few select dive shops across the country that is certified in and approved to offer “Discover Scuba Diving,” a program that lets inexperienced divers as young as 10 plunge as far as 40 feet into the water.

“There’s great diving for everyone in Gulf County,” says Jennifer Adams, executive director of the Gulf County Tourist Development Council. “Divers of all ages and experience levels will appreciate swimming with fish and exploring wrecks in crystal clear waters. Plus, with shallow dives no more than 15 minutes off shore, you don’t spend half the day on the boat.”

Certified divers can strike out on their own adventures or charter a boat. Many charter captains and Gulf County Adventure Guides like father-son team Bobby Guilford and Wade Guilford enjoy showing divers their favorite spots.

But inexperienced and reluctant divers are the ones Ann Marie Daly, another of Gulf County’s 23 Adventure Guides, loves getting in the water. After all, the North Dakota native was once tepid about getting wet, much less diving. These days Daly’s business, Daly's Watersports, sees more visitors each season take part in “Discover Scuba,” which it’s offered for 14 years.

“Diving changed my life, and I see it change the lives and outlooks of those we take on the water,” Daly says. “It’s an experience you’ll never forget.”

Daly, Guilford and fellow Adventure Guides share their stories of unexpected adventures with travelers online,www.visitgulf.com/adventure-guides. The Gulf County concierge team (1-800-482-GULF, www.visitgulf.com) connects visitors who want to book adventures, including diving for beginners and experts alike.

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Commissioner Putnam Seeks Nominations for Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame





TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced that the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for the class of 2018. The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honors men and women who have made lasting contributions to Florida agriculture. More information, nomination forms and a list of past inductees are available atFloridaAgHallofFame.org. Nominations must be submitted by September 1, 2017.



The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services partners with the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation each year to recognize outstanding individuals nominated by Florida’s agricultural community. Inductees will be honored at the annual banquet during the Florida State Fair in February.



Nominations should be mailed to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame at 100 South Mulrennan Rd., Valrico, Fla. 33594; Phone 813-230-1918.


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June Events and Activities in Franklin County

Let's Camp At The Beach!
Many visitors think of the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park as just a secluded beach perfect for a quiet weekend stroll. However, this 1,962 acre park offers a full facility family campground that would rival some of the best campgrounds in the region. The park features 60 campsites, a playground, electricity, water hookups and dump station nearby. Two buildings provide hot showers and restrooms. The park also has a youth camp available for group camping. Two primitive campsites can be accessed by a 2.5-mile trail or by canoe or kayak. A group camp area is available for scouts and other organized groups.  There are three camping areas within the park. Click here to learn more.
Camping Elsewhere in the County
Whether it be primitive camping in the State or National Forest, beach camping or full service RV park lodging, Franklin County offers unsurpassed beauty and wildness vista not found elsewhere in the State.  
There are more than 40 camping areas and campgrounds in Franklin County ranging from luxury waterfront RV parks to primitive woods sites. Many feature boat launches and nearby hiking opportunities. Most of the wilderness camping areas are located within either the Tate’s Hell State Forest, the Apalachicola National Forest or the Florida State Park system.  
There are a growing number of campgrounds in the county. Click here for a link to all.
Turtle Season Begins 
Sea turtle nesting season 2017 is off to a great start in Franklin County. Staff from ANERR and volunteers throughout the county are already finding and marking nests along Franklin County beaches. Visitors interested in learning about sea turtle nesting can visit the St. George Island Visitor’s Center (at the St. George Island Lighthouse Park) to pick up turtle information.
Please note that Franklin County recently adopted a Leave No Trace Ordinance that requires chairs, umbrellas and equipment to removed nightly from the public beaches in order to help mama turtles more easily navigate the beaches to nest and allow hatchlings a clear path back to the water from their nests in the dunes.
Want to learn more? The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve will host weekly "turtle talks" beginning in June at the ANERR's Eastpoint Visitor Center each Wednesday from 2-3 pm to educate visitors about the nesting sea turtles. 
June Event Glance
Fish Free in June!
You can fish free in state saltwater areas June 3-4. The State’s free fishing days in June for freshwater areas is June 10-11. Free fishing days provide an excellent opportunity for parents who don’t yet have licenses to take youth fishing, or avid anglers to introduce a friend to fishing without having to purchase a license. On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers (residents and non-residents). 
Saltwater Fishing 
Whether you’re ready to head offshore in search of grouper, snapper or shark or you’re more into shallow skinny water fly-fishing,  saltwater fishing in Franklin County is all about the action. There are four fishing piers here and more than 40 boat ramps and kayak/canoes launches that will help you get there fast! 
Freshwater Fishing
Franklin County is a freshwater fisherman’s paradise. Miles of freshwater creeks, sloughs and rivers flow through the North Florida wilds and empty into nutrient-rich Apalachicola Bay and surrounding waters. Depending on the time of year, tide and weather, fishermen trolling the fresh and brackish backwaters here can expect to land redfish, trout, largemouth bass, bream, snook and catfish. 
Hiring a guide is probably the best way to safely enjoy this high-energy saltwater fishing experience. Need some dockage, tackle, guide or advice? There are  several marinas and boat rentals, fishing guides and bait and tackle shops just waiting to help. Click here to connect.
Ladies Let's Go Fishing!
A free Womens' Fishing Clinic will be held at the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park on Saturday, June 10 from 9-5 pm. Hosted by the Florida Wildlife Commission, the day-long clinic will teach basic angling skills, safety, ethics and conservation stewardship in a fun laid-back atmosphere. Participants will learn knot tying, cast netting rod and reel rigging, fish and habitat identification and catch-and-release techniques. All participants must have a valid recreational fishing license. Registration is limited; click here for details.
Fishing Tourneys
Here are a few of the upcoming fishing tournaments scheduled throughout the county.
June 10 - The Tallahassee Builders Association 29th Annual Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held at C-Quarters Marina. There will be cash prizes for In-Shore and Off-Shore Grand Slams and the largest fish of various species. 
June 10 – Annual Fisherman's Choice Youth Fishing Tournament. Kids 16 and under will fish for fresh and saltwater species. Entry is free. 
June 16-17 Annual Big Bend Saltwater Classic
The Moorings of Carrabelle will serve as a weigh-in station for the 29th Annual Big Bend Classic on Father's Day Weekend, June 16-17, 2017
July 22 - C-Quarters Youth Fishing Tournament
Kids from all over the South are invited to attend the 13th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament. Open to all kids 16 and younger. Registration is required on-site. 

August 5-6, 2017
 - 14th Annual Kingfish Shootout. This weekend event gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy themselves while advocating a wonderful cause that helps so many.  
Independence Day Festivities Planned
From Alligator Point to Apalachicola, almost every community is planning Independence Day festivities. 


Apalachicola
In Apalachicola, the Apalachicola Main Street group presents Apalachicola’s Independence Eve Celebration on Monday, July 3featuring an all-American cook-out in the park, parade, ice cream social, veterans’ tribute, music and fireworks. Leading up to the fireworks display, Main Street provides live music, great food, and beverages starting at 5 p.m. at Riverfront Park. This year’s featured entertainment will be the Johnny & The Loveseats.  The Red, White and Blue Parade coordinated by Franklin’s Promise Coalition, starts at Lafayette Park at 6:30. It’s an Apalachicola tradition that welcomes golf carts, people on bicycles, and even dogs to get decked out in patriotic colors and form a parade. Free ice cream brings everyone together at Riverfront Park at the end of the parade.  
St. George Island
On St. George Island, everyone is welcome to join in the annual July 4th celebration. Stick around all day and enjoy festivities and fireworks on the beach behind the Blue Parrot Grill about dark-thirty. 
Carrabelle
The Carrabelle Boat Club will host the First Annual Carrabelle Boat Show July 4 from noon - 5 pm at the Carrabelle Boat Club. Local boat dealers will be on hand and there will be popular models displayed such as Grady White, Boston Whaler, Black Jack, Twin Vee, Chapparal and Robalo. Exhibit booths, vendors and live music is planned. 
Lodging Providers Offer Online Specials
Many lodging providers in Franklin County are offering Summer vacation deals.  Click here
 for a complete listing of accommodations.
Full Moon Climb
The St. George Lighthouse will host a full moon climb June 9from 8:30-10 pm. Climb to the top of the Cape St. George Light to watch the sunset and the rise of the full moon. The Sunset/Full Moon Climb includes light hors d'oeuvres and a sparkling cider toast to the full moon.  Cost is $15.00 for the general public and $10.00 for members of the St. George Lighthouse Association.
 
SGI Mullet Toss June 10
The St. George Island Mullet Toss will take place Saturday, June 10from 10 a.m till 5 p.m on the beach in front of Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe on St. George Island. This annual  event is sponsored by The Blue Parrot for the benefit of the Apalachicola bay Charter School. For a nominal entry fee you get a unique Mullet Toss T Shirt, and 2 mullet to throw. Visitors and Locals compete for prizes and bragging rights. There are prizes for the longest throws in the men’s, women’s and kids divisions. 
Franklin County Tourist Development Council • 731 Hwy. 98, Eastpoint, FL 32329 • 866-914-2068


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