Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dunn Appointed Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee Chair



WASHINGTON, DC – Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) was appointed by House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe to lead the Subcommittee on Health. In his capacity as Subcommittee Chairman, Dr. Dunn will oversee the Veterans Health Administration, which includes medical services, research, facilities, and compliance. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has oversight over the Department of Veterans Affairs. In recent years, the committee has tried to streamline the VA, hold officials accountable, and improve the performance level to ensure veterans are receiving the best care available.

“I am honored to continue to serve America’s heroes in this leadership role on the Health Subcommittee. As a doctor and Army veteran, I have seen firsthand the red tape our veterans face on a daily basis. From problems getting treatment at local facilities to traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to qualify and receive organ transplants – our servicemembers return from war only to find they have to fight government bureaucracy. These men and women gave their all for love of country. We must now give our all to ensure they are receiving the care they have earned,” said Dr. Dunn. “Thank you Chairman Roe for entrusting me with this leadership role and for your resolute commitment to our veterans.”

“I’m grateful Rep. Dunn has agreed to serve as chairman of our Health Subcommittee. This subcommittee will be even more important as the VA MISSION Act is implemented, and Neal has proven time and time again his commitment to ensuring veterans have timely access to quality care,” said House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman, Dr. Phil Roe (TN-01).

Dr. Dunn spent 11 years serving as a surgeon in the U.S. Army and has advocated for improving veterans health services since coming to Congress.



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Florida Forest Service Accepting Applications to Help Landowners Combat Devastating Southern Pine Beetle

Florida Forest Service Accepting Applications to Help Landowners Combat Devastating Southern Pine Beetle

2014 Eligible Counties
Eligible counties for Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –To help combat the invasive Southern Pine Beetle, which is currently present in 52 infestation sites throughout six Florida counties, the Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the 2018 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program from non-industrial, private forest landowners through June 29, 2018.  The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties, the known range of the southern pine beetle.

The southern pine beetle is one of the most economically devastating forest pests of the southeast, with periodic outbreaks leading to deaths of millions of pine trees. In 2017, 260 SPB infestations were reported in Florida, killing trees on 1,768 acres. This pales in comparison to the last major outbreaks between 1999 and 2002, which caused an estimated $59 million in timber losses. Since it was first offered in 2005, the program has been implemented on more than 183,000 acres and helped thousands of landowners. 

“These small infestations average less than an acre now, but they have the ability to expand rapidly this time of year,” said Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service. “It’s imperative that we remain vigilant to keep this invasive pest at bay.”

The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, supported through a grant by the United States Forest Service, provides incentive payments for landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning and offers partial cost reimbursement for activities, such as prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments, and the planting of longleaf or slash pine rather than the loblolly pine, the beetle’s preferred species. Qualified landowners can apply for up to two different practices per year, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. All qualifying applications received during the submission period will be evaluated and ranked for approval.

To obtain an application or to learn more about the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, visit FreshFromFlorida.com/SouthernPineBeetle/Prevention.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more atFloridaForestService.com.


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Carrabelle seeks grant funds to install elevator in historic City Hall

The City of Carrabelle is looking for money to install a elevator in the Marvin N. Justiss Carrabelle City Hall.
 
The Old City Hall currently houses the Carrabelle History Museum; city offices have long been moved into the old Carrabelle High School.

The 2 story building was built in 1933 it was used by the city for nearly 75 years and became a museum in 2009.

But usage for the building is limited by the fact that there is no elevator to the second floor.

The City has tried in the past to get grants to install an elevator but so far their request has not been funded.
 
The Franklin County Commission has issued a letter of support for the grant application.



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Some of Florida’s best high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics students will be honored this week during the 2018 Sunshine State Scholars program

Some of Florida’s best high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics students will be honored this week during the 2018 Sunshine State Scholars program.
The two-day awards and recruitment event will be held in Orlando May 17th and 18th.
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 Mikalin Huckeba of Apalachicola who attends the Franklin County School.
Bailey Lake, who goes to Port St. Joe High School will represent Gulf County.

Trinton Kain Pullam will attend from Liberty County and Faith Carolyne Joiner was chosen from Wakulla County.


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Monday, May 21, 2018

Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan is now available for review

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Florida's Wildlife Legacy Initiative Banner

Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan is now available for review
Good afternoon,
You are invited to review, submit comments, and provide feedback on the 2018 draft of Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan. The Action Plan is a comprehensive, statewide plan for conserving the state's wildlife and vital natural areas for future generations. It outlines Florida’s native Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), essential habitat types State Wildlife Action Planneeded to support those species, and identifies a series of priority actions to help conserve SGCN. Having an approved State Wildlife Action Plan qualifies each state and territory for federal funding through the State Wildlife Grants ProgramThis is the second revision of the Action Plan since development in 2005 and once approved, will be implemented through 2025, the next scheduled revision date.
The Action Plan will be available for public review untilJune 10th, 2018. The draft is available to download to your computer or device by using the link below.
  
All comments, questions, and edits must be submitted online using the link below.

Please note, reviewers are not limited in the number of comments submitted and may submit multiple review forms from a single device. Please re-enter at least your email address on the first page of the comment form to ensure your contact information is linked to all of your comments.
For any questions regarding the State Wildlife Action Plan, contact Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator, Allie McCue at Allie.McCue@MyFWC.com.


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Franklin County unemployment rate fell in April.

Franklin County unemployment rate fell in April.
Franklin County unemployment was 2.8 percent last month, down from 3.2 percent the month before.
Only 2 of Florida's 67 counties had lower unemployment rates than Franklin County's in April.
134 people were looking for work in Franklin County in April, down from 150 people the month before while the workforce increased by 58 people.
Gulf County's unemployment also fell last month to 3.2 percent – there were 195 people looking for work in Gulf County in April.
Wakulla County's unemplyment rate was 2.9 percent.

Liberty County unemployment was 3.8 percent.


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Hinds named to oversee local health department

 Long time Gulf County health department worker Sarah Hinds has been chosen to lead the health departments in Franklin and Gulf Counties.

Hinds' selection was announced last week by outgoing director Marsha Linderman who is retiring with her husband to Tallahassee.

Hinds has spent much of the past 10 years with the health department in Gulf County and was promoted to assistant director last year.

While she was working she also earned her masters degree in public health from the University of South Florida.


Franklin County commissioners were unanimous in their support for Hinds' selection and said they look forward to working with her.


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The Franklin County school district will be able to pay for the school resource officers that work at local schools, taking the expense off the county

The Franklin County school district will be able to pay for the school resource officers that work at local schools, taking the expense off the county.

School superintendent Traci Moses said the district will receive about 307 thousand dollars in additional state funding this year earmarked for increased school security.

The money is being made available through the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act which was signed by the governor in early March after a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.

The money will allow the Franklin County school district to pay the salaries for the three sheriff's deputies who work at the schools.

In the past the county commission has covered almost all of the cost as part of the sheriff's department budget.

Moses told commissioners that she appreciates the support that the county has given keeping our school safe and secure but she is also happy to give some money back.

With the next school year there will be officers at the Franklin county School, the Apalachicola Bay Charter School and at the old Browne Elementary school which houses the alternative school and soon the pre-kindergarten program.


Moses said some of the money will also have to fund some new positions required by the state including a district safety officer and a safety specialist.


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Community group hopes to work with school district to save streets and roads in Apalachicola


A newly formed community group called Happi hopes to make a deal with the Franklin County school board to protect a number of streets and alleys in the city of Apalachicola from development.

The Historic Apalachicola Plat Preservation, Inc. is offering to trade a a small house or piece of property in Apalachicola in exchange for 1.6 acres of streets and alleys that run through a proposed development called Denton Cove.

Denton Cove is a 52 unit complex proposed for more than a city block along 17th street and Avenue L near the old Apalachicola High school.

The school board is being asked to vacate streets and alleyways for the development to move forward.

The group said the school district can use the house for affordable teacher housing while HAPPI would preserve the streets and alleys as part of the historic grid of Apalachicola.

HAPPI believes the deal will help protect the historic nature of Apalachicola by protecting the City’s historic grid that was laid out in 1835 and is still mostly intact.

The proposal will be brought before the school board for the first time today during a special meeting at 5:45.

The meeting is open to the public – it will be held a the Franklin County School Board meeting room in Eastpoint.

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Senator Rubio's staff to hold office hours in Wakulla County on May 22nd




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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Status of Stocks 2017 Report to Congress--Number of overfished stocks hit all time low

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May 17, 2018

 

Status of Stocks 2017 Report to Congress--Number of overfished stocks hit all time low

 

NOAA Fisheries is pleased to release the annual report to congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries, which summarizes the progress the nation has made in ending overfishing, rebuilding historically overfished stocks, and helping our fishing communities succeed. The report and supporting materials are available onlineon the NOAA Fisheries' website, along with a message from Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries.
Briefly, the 2017 Status of U.S. Fisheries reflects the collective and continuing progress in rebuilding stocks. It also finds that the number of stocks on the overfished list is at an all-time low, and stocks on the overfishing list remain near all-time lows. In 2017, 91 percent of stocks were not subject to overfishing and 87 percent of stocks were not overfished. We are also pleased to report that last year, three additional stocks were rebuilt: bocaccio (Southern Pacific Coast), darkblotched rockfish (Pacific Coast), and Pacific ocean perch (Pacific Coast). This brings the total stocks rebuilt since 2000 to 44. 
This report continues to highlight the success that can be achieved using sound science, innovative management approaches, effective enforcement, meaningful partnerships, and robust public participation. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the United States has become an international leader in fisheries management. Our dynamic, science-based management process is proving successful in ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks, and in helping us attain significant benefits to the U.S. economy. 


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Agenda and Documents for May 22nd Gulf County Commission meeting








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Agenda for May 21st Wakulla County commission meeting




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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Florida DEP permit activity for Franklin and Wakulla Counties

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

Noah Valenstein
Secretary


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Stormwater - Large Construction (>= 5 AC)
Project Name: SR-30/SR-61 FROM THE FRANKLIN
Location Id: FLR10RW63
Location Name: SR-30/SR-61 from the Franklin County to Shadeville
County: Wakulla
Application Number: FLR10RW63-001

For further information, please contact the Tallahassee Npdes Stormwater permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-7522
Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Project Name: WELIN BOARDWALK AND PIER
Location Id: 364638
Location Name: 698 ALLIGATOR DRIVE
County: Franklin
Application Number: 364638-001

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


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Friday, May 18, 2018

Before you get on a boat this summer, remember to put on a life jacket – it can save your life.

Before you get on a boat this summer, remember to put on a life jacket – it can save your life.

Florida has the largest number of registered boats in the nation – it also leads the nation in the number of boating accidents, injuries and deaths.

There were 766 reportable boating accidents in Florida last year – 52 more than in 2016.

Collisions with other vessels was the leading type of accident with a total of 220.

67 people were killed in boating accidents in the Sunshine State in 2017, that's the same number as the year before.

That’s also the highest number of boating fatalities of any state.

Eighty-one percent of boating fatalities were not wearing a life jacket.

Falls overboard have been the leading type of fatal accident in Florida since 2003, with drowning as the leading cause of death.
Alcohol or drug-use is reported to have played a role in 24% boating fatalities.

And remember, If you forget your life jacket the next time you go boating you can borrow one from the loaner stand in Port St. Joe.

There are life jacket loaner stands at the Port St. Joe Yacht Club in Port St. Joe – there is also one at the public boat ramp at Frank Pate Park and one at the boat ramp in Mexico beach.


The loaner stands let boaters who need a life jacket borrow one or more free of charge for the day to help keep themselves and their passengers safer on the water.


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The Franklin County High school class of 2018 will graduate tonight

The Franklin County High school class of 2018 will graduate tonight.

In all 60 seniors will get their diplomas.

This year’s valedictorian is Madison Burt.

Salutatorian is Faith Sapp.

Some of the seniors are not only graduating with their high school diplomas, but 7 of them have also received their Associates degree from Gulf Coast State College.

Graduation is open to the public.


Graduation will begin at 7PM and will be held at the Franklin County School football field – in case of bad weather it will be moved to the gym. 


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The nest offers free fun and education all summer long




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Florida DEP permit activity for Franklin and Wakulla Counties

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

Noah Valenstein
Secretary


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Project Name: MYSTERIOUS WATERS EXCAVATION
Location Id: 364557
Location Name: UGA WAKULLA MYSTERIOUS WATERS
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 364557-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Stormwater - Small Construction (1-5 AC)
Project Name: AVENUE B
Location Id: FLR10RW40
Location Name: Avenue B
County: Franklin
Application Number: FLR10RW40-001

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


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

The new interim CEO for Weems Memorial Hospital will start work on Monday

 The new interim CEO for Weems Memorial Hospital will start work next week.

Mr. HD Cannington will begin work as the interim CEO on May 21st.

County Coordinator Michael Moron said Mr. Cannington has extensive background in Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Hospitals.

He has over 30 years experience working with rural hospital and most recently worked at the Pineville community Hospital in Pineville, Kentucky.

During a meeting with the new interim CEO on Tuesday, County Commission chairman smokey Parrish said the county has “high expectations” for him.

Mr. Cannington said the county should have high expectation for him, for the hospital and for health care in the community and that's what he is here to help with.

He added that he looks forward to working with the county, community leaders and health care providers so that he can see what needs to be done and start working on it.

Commissioner Cheryl Sanders said Cannington comes to Franklin County well qualified and well recommended.


Mr. Cannington replaces Mike Cooper, who is leaving the position after over 4 years in the job.


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FWC: Safe boating saves lives



photo
FWC photo.

Although Florida’s boating season never really ends, the traditional start is marked by National Safe Boating Week – a time for boaters to focus on simple and effective steps that make boating safer. Leading the nation with nearly 1 million registered vessels across the state, Florida is the boating capital of the world and is world-renowned as a prime boating spot for residents and visitors. Each year, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers respond to far too many tragic and preventable boating accidents, so they want all boaters to remember to boat safely.

“Florida is an incredible boating destination,” said Maj. Rob Rowe, leader of the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section. “The upcoming Memorial Day holiday and National Safe Boating Week,May 19-25, present an opportunity to emphasize the importance of remaining safe while boating.

“Our officers are committed to keeping people as safe as possible, but we need the public’s help,” Rowe said. “We want to reach as many boaters as we can to help them understand that most boating accidents are preventable.”

Boaters can enjoy their time on the water even more by taking a few safety precautions such aswearing a life jacket, using an engine cut-off switch lanyard, designating a sober boat operator, paying attention and keeping a proper lookout, having an emergency locator beacon, filing a float plan, and taking a boating safety class.

The FWC’s 2017 Boating Accident Statistical Report indicates there were 766 reportable boating accidents in Florida last year, resulting in 67 fatalities. This represents a 7 percent increase in the number of accidents, but the same number of fatalities as compared to 2016. The leading cause attributed to boating accidents in 2017 was the operator's inattention or lack of a proper lookout (24 percent). Falls overboard has been the leading type of fatal accident since 2003, with drowning as the leading cause of death.

Accidents can often be prevented if boat operators pay attention to everything going on around their vessel, maintain a proper lookout and if everyone on board is wearing a life jacket. Fifty-two percent of boating-related deaths last year were attributed to drowning, which life jackets are designed to prevent.

“A lot of people say they don’t wear life jackets because they are uncomfortable,” said Rowe. “But with newer inflatable models that are belt packs or suspenders, you hardly know you’re wearing one. FWC officers wear inflatable life jackets all the time while on the water.”

The FWC has released compelling life jacket testimonials from three north Florida families whose lives have been changed by wearing – or not wearing – a life jacket when things went wrong on the water. These dramatic accounts provide vital information and a call to action for every boater to enjoy Florida’s beautiful waters safely while wearing a life jacket.

An engine cut-off switch lanyard is a safety device that is attached from the boat operator to the ignition. If it is disconnected, the engine will shut down, potentially preventing a boater who has fallen overboard from being injured by the moving propeller of a runaway boat.

Boating education is critical. In 2017, 67 percent of boat operators involved in fatal accidents had no formal boater education. Florida’s current boating safety education law applies to boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, and who operate a vessel of 10 horsepower or greater.

“Safe boating is really the key to enjoying your time on the water, and education is a major component.” said Rowe. “2018 marks the year that if a boater is age 30 or younger, they are required to have a boating safety education card in order to operate a vessel of 10 horsepower or greater.”

FWC officers patrol our waterways in an effort to keep all boaters safe by checking that they have the required equipment and are operating safely. Ensure your encounters with FWC officers are positive ones by planning ahead and paying attention while on the water.

To report people who are operating boats dangerously, call 888-404-FWCC (3922) or textTip@MyFWC.com. More information can be found by visiting MyFWC.com/Boating. You can even search there for the Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder to help you find a great place to launch your boat.


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FWC Law Enforcement Weekly Report April 27, 2018 through May 3, 2018

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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FWC
FWC logo and law enforcement badge 
Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report
April 27, 2018 through May 3, 2018

This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week;
however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.

Patrol, Protect, Preserve


NORTHWEST REGION

CASES

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officers Allgood and Manning responded to a call regarding two subjects fishing from a vessel in a restricted no motor zone near Fort McRee. While approaching, they noticed there was a tent set up in the area near the vessel. They approached the tent and spoke to the two subjects who were present. While speaking to them, they noticed drug paraphernalia lying in the tent and one of the subjects had a methamphetamine pipe in his front pocket. Both subjects were found to be in possession of cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Both subjects were arrested and transported to the Escambia County Jail.

While on patrol, Officer Cushing saw a vessel near the 17th Avenue Boat Ramp without any navigational lights on not making way. A second vessel inbound was hauled by the first vessel to assist getting to the boat ramp. When both vessels neared the boat ramp, Officer Cushing contacted the disabled vessel as the assisting vessel was idling away. Cushing projected his voice several times to get the attention of the assisting vessel operator. The operator seemed hesitant to respond, but the officer eventually contacted him. When questioned about having any fish, he indicated that he only had white trout. When asked to see the fish, the individual was slow to reveal the contents of the live well. Officer Cushing directed him to move a tackle bag and open the lid fully. Inside the live well was a 33-inch redfish. Officer Cushing initiated a fisheries inspection with the other vessel. The operator stated that he had two redfish and a red snapper and some other miscellaneous fish. Officer Cushing inspected the catch. One of the redfish was oversized. Citations were issued to both subjects for the oversized redfish violations and several warnings for the other resource and boating safety violations.

Department of Agriculture Criminal Investigator Shaw advised Environmental Investigator Hughes his agency had received a complaint regarding the storage and disposal of yard trash debris (land clearing debris) on private property in Escambia County. Investigator Shaw stated the yard trash debris had been placed on the property by the complainant’s daughter’s previous boyfriend who operated a commercial stump and tree removal business. After a month-long investigation, an Escambia County Circuit Judge reviewed and issued a warrant for the arrest of a defendant for violation of Section 403.161(1)(b) pursuant to Florida Administrative Code 62-701.300(1)(a) that states “(1) General Prohibition. (a) No person shall store, process, or dispose of solid waste except as authorized at a permitted solid waste management facility or a facility exempt from permitting under this chapter” (1st degree misdemeanor).

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Richardson and Sauls were inspecting recreational fishermen under the Apalachicola Bridge. During the inspection, Officer Richardson found a subject in possession of three undersized sheepshead. Officer Sauls asked another subject in the group if he had any fish and he stated they were in a cooler. Officer Sauls inspected the cooler and found one undersized seatrout. Both subjects were cited for the violations.

Officer Travis received a complaint in early March about a bait site on the Tate’s Hell Wildlife Management Area. Officer Travis monitored the site for several weeks. Officer Travis returned and found that someone had rebaited the site. He tracked the all-terrain tire sign to a nearby residence. After a short interview with the resident, he admitted to placing the bait in the management area. The subject was cited for placing bait on the management area and issued a written warning for operating his UTV in a closed area.

Officer Travis was on water patrol in federal waters south of Carrabelle. He checked multiple vessels engaged in bottom fishing. During his patrol, he issued three citations for possession of gag grouper during closed season.

Officer Sauls was conducting an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. She saw a boat returning from harvesting oysters and stopped it to complete a resource inspection. There were three subjects on the vessel and two bags of oysters. Officer Sauls counted and measured every oyster in one of the bags. The bag contained 70% undersized oysters. Officer Sauls cited one subject and seized 288 undersized oysters. The undersized oysters were returned to the water alive.

LEON COUNTY

While on resource patrol in the Apalachicola National Forest, Officer Pekerol saw two vehicles driving on a designated trail. After a few moments, both vehicles started doing “donuts” in the road causing damage to the road. Officer Pekerol stopped both vehicles and issued citations to both drivers for damage to state lands.

Officer Johnson was on water patrol on the Ochlockonee River when he stopped a vessel to conduct a resource and boating safety inspection. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the vessel owner had failed to change his registration numbers from Georgia to Florida and had knowingly attached a registration sticker from a different vessel onto his boat. Officer Johnson issued the vessel owner/operator a citation for the unauthorized sticker.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Pifer was conducting saltwater fisheries and license inspections at the Destin East Jetty when he contacted a commercial fisherman. During the fisheries inspection, Officer Pifer could smell the distinct odor of cannabis coming from the individual. Officer Pifer also noticed the individual kept trying to position himself downwind. Officer Pifer noticed a bulge in the individuals pants pocket with a shape consistent of a device commonly used to smoke cannabis. When asked, the individual stated he had a pipe and cannabis. The pipe and cannabis was seized and the individual was cited for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officers Jernigan and Arnette responded to a single vessel accident on the Blackwater River. The lone occupant lost control of his 13-foot boat and was thrown from it in a curve of the river. The vessel continued around the curve and ran up into the brush along the riverbank. The man luckily suffered only minor abrasions. The man was issued a citation for violation of a navigation rule.

Officer Ramos conducted a fisheries inspection on three subjects at a boat ramp. The officer found an oversized red drum located in a cooler next to the subjects. One of the subjects admitted to catching the oversized red drum. Officer Ramos continued his investigation and located multiple white baggies with white substances which were field tested and identified as powder and crack cocaine. The subjects were also in possession of crushed Xanax without a prescription. The subject was placed under arrest and transported to the county jail for possession of a controlled substance. He was also issued a warning for the oversized red drum.

SEARCH AND RESCUE

LEON COUNTY

Officer Hildebrand was on water patrol at Lake Talquin. He pulled his vessel up to the dock at Coe’s Landing to check vessels returning to the boat ramp. A citizen ran towards him saying that a man fell out of his truck, hit his head on the pavement, did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Officer Hildebrand grabbed his first aid equipment and ran towards the scene. Upon arrival, he saw a person on the phone with Leon County Sheriff’s Office dispatch and a person giving CPR to the injured man. Officer Hildebrand advised he would give compressions and continued the compressions until Emergency Medical Services arrived approximately three minutes later at which time the injured man was transported to the hospital.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officers have been receiving many complaints about subjects on the Navarre Pier catching their daily bag limit for pompano, taking it home, and then returning to the pier to catch more pompano exceeding their daily bag limit. Santa Rosa County officers formed a targeted enforcement detail to address the violations in which multiple subjects were seen catching pompano, departing the area and returning hours later to catch more pompano. Several subjects were issued notice to appear citations for taking over the daily bag limit of pompano.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

HOLMES COUNTY

Officers Yates, Greene, Gore and Lieutenant Walsingham assisted with a 4-H Youth Fishing event where approximately 27 Holmes County Middle School students (grades 5-8) put their classroom skills to the test on a 2-day fishing excursion. While not many fish were caught, the students still had a great time and three of them experienced their first time fishing.

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Officers Wilcox and Anderson (with K-9 Scout) and Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in the 11th Annual Outdoor Experience at the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center. They brought an airboat and several small alligators and set up a display along with Sam Yuan from the Invasive Plant Management Section. Lieutenant Russel, Captain Pate, and Major Duval helped at the shooting ranges and Captain Wood helped at the fishing pond. There were approximately 900 people of all ages in attendance throughout the day.

LEON COUNTY

Officer Anderson, K-9 Scout, and Captain Shaw conducted an outreach event at Celebration Baptist Church in Tallahassee for approximately 50 kids.

Officer Miller conducted an outreach event with the Boy Scouts of America. Officer Miller brought an alligator and talked about the agency mission. There were approximately 45 people in attendance.

Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in a fishing clinic at Piney Z Lake which was sponsored by Conner Hughes, the FWC Fisheries Communications Coordinator. Approximately 19 participants attended from a local seniors group. Lieutenant Wass de Czege spoke to the group about freshwater fishing regulations and boating safety. While very few fish were caught, the participants enjoyed the wonderful weather and expressed interest in future fishing events.

Officers Brookes and Korade conducted an outreach for Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day event at the Florida Department of Transportation Headquarters in Tallahassee. The officers brought an airboat and alligator. Approximately 100 employees and their children were in attendance.

Officer Anderson and K-9 Scout conducted an outreach for Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day event at the FWC Headquarters in Tallahassee. FWC employees and their children got to meet K-9 Scout and learn about the mission of a FWC K-9.

Lieutenant Wass de Czege taught the laws portion of the Hunter Safety course which was held at the Bryant Building in Tallahassee. There were 16 students in attendance.

Officers Brookes, Pekerol and Miller attended an outreach event at Lake Jackson. It was the 1st Annual Lake Jackson Aquatic Preserve Fun Paddle hosted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It was attended by approximately 150 participants who got to take a paddle trip through the preserve. The officers set up a static display with an airboat and alligators. They talked about boating safety and the importance of the aquatic preserve.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Brooks and Rockwell attended two outdoor education classes at Crestview High School. The officers brought a vessel and simulated a vessel stop using students as participants. The officers talked to the students about boating safety related events they dealt with and explained to the students how the required safety equipment is important in a successful rescue. There was a total of 60 students in attendance.

Officer Jarvis participated in an outreach event called “Construction Junction,” presented by the Community Police Officers of Fort Walton Beach. This is a community event where kids interact with construction equipment, military, and law enforcement vehicles and personnel in a safe environment. Approximately 2,000 kids participated in this year’s event. Officer Jarvis provided informational brochures and coloring books about black bears, snakes and general wildlife for the kids. Also, boating safety information was provided to the boating public.


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