Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Drive sober or get pulled over

If it seems like there are more law enforcement vehicles on the roads over the next few weeks – there’s a reason for that.

Over the next two weeks, law enforcement around Florida will be focused on keeping drunk and otherwise impaired drivers off the roads through the national campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

The campaign coincides with the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend which marks the traditional end of the summer travel season.

The campaign uses a combination of targeted enforcement and increased visibility of law enforcement on the roadways.

This will be especially true over the Labor Day holiday when all uniformed Highway patrol personnel, including those normally assigned to administrative duties, will patrol interstates and other major state roads.

In 2015 there were nearly 685 drunk driving deaths in Florida, accounting for over a quarter of all traffic fatalities in the state.

And if you ever see someone driving that you think is impaired, you can call star- FHP from your cellphone to contact the Highway Patrol and report them.


Roberts and Roberts chosen for Bald Point Road work

                The Roberts and Roberts company out of Tallahassee has been selected to widen and resurface Bald Point Road.
The Project will resurface about 3 miles of Bald Point Road from Alligator Drive to end of Bald Point Road.
The project will also include adding paved shoulders so there is more room for bicycles as well as striping the road and adding grass to the roadsides.
Roberts and Roberts was one of three companies to bid on the work their bid came in at just over 1.2 million dollars.

Commissioner Cheryl Sanders said she would like to see the project begin as soon as possible.


Franklin County Tourist Development Council August Tourist Talk


Arrest Made in Cape San Blas Vehicle Burglaries

Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison announces the arrest of a seventeen year old Franklin County juvenile in connection with several vehicle burglaries that occurred in the Cape San Blas area during the weekend of July 16, 2016. It was reported to the GCSO that five firearms were stolen along with a Yeti Cooler, a video camera, and several pairs of Costa Del Mar sunglasses from unsecured vehicles belonging to vacationers.
After receiving a tip from Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) investigators the seventeen year old Franklin County juvenile was developed as a suspect. On July 18, 2016, during the early morning hours the juvenile was subsequently stopped by a GCSO deputy after receiving a suspicious person complaint in the Cape San Blas area.
Through further investigation the juvenile was interviewed by investigators and gave an admission to being involved in the vehicle burglaries at Cape San Blas. A search of the juvenile’s home in Apalachicola was conducted. The search revealed the juvenile was in possession of one of the stolen firearms, the Yeti Cooler, the video camera and two pairs of Costa Del Mar sunglasses. A witness provided information to investigators that the juvenile threw one of the stolen firearms out of the vehicle when pulled over by GCSO on July 18, 2016. A search of that road side area was conducted and a .45 caliber handgun was recovered. The owner of the firearm was identified and confirmed it had been stolen out of their vehicle while vacationing in Cape San Blas.
Investigators obtained pick up orders charging the juvenile with four counts of Burglary of a Conveyance and three counts of Grand Theft.

On Thursday, August 18, 2016, the juvenile surrendered himself to the GCSO. The juvenile was arrested and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). This investigation continues with more charges expected.




Drawing to win a Bayou Classic 2.5 Gallon Portable Fryer

The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce is having a drawing to win a Bayou Classic 2.5 Gallon Portable Fryer donated by Riverside Mercantile.
1 Ticket for $3.00 Donation
6 Tickets for $15.00 Donation 
Drawing will be held August 31, 2016

All proceeds go to Downtown Holiday Celebration onNovember 25th
Tickets are available at the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
122 Commerce St. in Apalachicola


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

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Jonathan P. Steverson

Permitting Application Subscription Service

Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Dredge and Fill Permit
Location Id: 264697
County: Franklin
Application Number: 264697-003

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


“Fish Dip and Candidates” Meet and Greet this Saturday


Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting The Seahorse Too

Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting The Seahorse Too
Today, August 23rd
161 Commerce Street Apalachicola


Corie Cates named Miss Florida Seafood

            The Florida Seafood festival has chosen its queen.

Franklin County High School senior Corie Cates was crowned Miss Florida Seafood Saturday night.

Corie is the daughter of Mike and Carla Cates of Apalachicola.

She was selected from a field of four candidates.

The title comes with a 1000 dollar scholarship.

She will be pretty busy over the next few months publicizing the 53 annual Florida 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 4th and 5th 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 http://www.floridaseafoodfestival.com.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Local unemployment jumps to 4.4 percent in July

Local unemployment took a big jump in July.
Franklin County unemployment was 4.4 percent last month, up from 4 percent the month before.
Franklin County still had one of the lowest unemployment rates in Florida; only 5 counties had lower unemployment rates than Franklin County.
217 people were looking for work in Franklin County in July, 11 more than in June.
The workforce also decreased by 19 people.
Gulf County also saw a big jump in unemployment from 4.2 percent to 4.5 percent.
 279 people were looking for work in Gulf County in July.

Wakulla County unemployment was 4.4 percent last month, in Liberty county unemployment rose to 5.6 percent.


Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Update - August 2016

For Immediate Release
August 22, 2016
Gulf Council Update - August 2016
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council met in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 15 - 18, 2016. The Council welcomed its newest member Dr. Thomas Frazer, Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment for the University of Florida.  In addition, Douglas Boyd (TX) and Leann Bosarge (MS) were each sworn in for an additional 3-year term. The Council elected Leann Bosarge as Council Chair and Johnny Greene as Council Vice Chair for the upcoming year.
Data Collection
The Council reviewed a proposed generic amendment to modify the frequency and method of reporting for federally permitted charter and headboats fishing for reef fish and coastal migratory pelagics in the Gulf of Mexico. The Council selected preferred alternatives for both charter vessels and headboats that would require vessels to declare a trip (hail out); hail in and submit fishing records prior to arriving at the dock; and require vessel operators to use NMFS approved vessel monitoring system hardware/software that provides vessel position. The Council will convene the Data Collection Technical Committee and review their comments along with an updated draft of the Amendment in October.
Coral and Habitat Protection
The Council heard a summary of a recent meeting of the Shrimp and Coral Advisory Panels and the Coral Scientific and Statistical Committee.  The Council agreed to move forward with the development of a scoping document that considers identifying priority areas for Habitat Areas of Particular Concern designation. A scoping document will be presented to the Council in October and the Council expects to host public scoping workshops after the October meeting.
The Council took public comment on the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Expansion Draft Environmental Impact Statement and submitted a comment letter to the Sanctuary on the issue. The Council also plans to make recommendations on appropriate fishing regulations for the proposed expansion areas. 
Modifications to the Commercial Individual Fishing Quota Programs
After hearing a presentation on quota banks and the structure and process of the commercial individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, the Council reviewed Draft Amendment 36A, which includes actions for hail-in requirements, inactivated shareholder accounts, and mid-year quota changes. The Council added an action to consider requiring dealers to provide notification of intent to offload landings of IFQ species.
Gray Triggerfish
The Council reviewed a draft of Amendment 46 - Modify the Gray Triggerfish Rebuilding Plan. A recent stock assessment indicated that the gray triggerfish population remains overfished and the Council's scientific advisors revised the acceptable biological catch levels. The new rebuilding plan for the stock requires changes to recreational bag limit, size limit, and closed season.  The Council is also considering modifying the commercial trip limit. The Council made several modifications to the document and a revised draft will be presented in October.
Federal Reef Fish Headboat Survey Vessel Management
The Council heard a report on the Headboat Collaborative Pilot Project and reviewed a draft of Reef Fish Amendment 42 - Federal Reef Fish Headboat Survey Vessels Management. The Council made modifications to some of the actions and alternatives in the document and staff will present an updated draft in October. The Council will need to define the criteria participants must meet to vote in the referendum to determine if a proposed allocation-based program will be accepted.
Red Snapper Management for Federally Permitted Charter Vessels
The Council heard a preliminary analysis on the potential for split seasons to manage the red snapper harvest by charter vessels and reviewed a draft of Amendment 41 - Red Snapper Management for Federally Permitted Charter Vessels. The Council made numerous revisions to the amendment and the Council will review an updated draft of the document in October.
The Council discussed Coastal Migratory Pelagic Amendment 29, which considers allocation-sharing strategies between the recreational and commercial sectors and recreational accountability measures for Gulf migratory group king mackerel. After making some changes to the document, the Council chose locations for public hearings that will be held sometime after the public hearing draft of the Amendment is reviewed at the October meeting.
Council Wrap-Up Webinar
The Council will host a webinar to review the Council meeting. Please join us at 6 p.m. ESTWednesday, August 24 for a quick presentation followed by a question and answer session. Register for the webinar here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7233203590071678980

More Information
For more information about any of the amendments discussed during the Council meeting, visit http://gulfcouncil.org/fishery_management_plans/scoping-thru-implementation.php and scroll down to the amendment of interest to find the draft document, video, guide, and other information.

About the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.
Submit comments and stay updated on fishery issues:
Check it out! Go to www.gulfcouncil.org and click on the thermometer in the middle of the page. From there you can read up on all the pending actions, watch the video presentations, read comments, and submit comments. All comments submitted through the online form are automatically posted on our web site for Council review. Other comments are manually posted every couple of days. 

There is also a thermometer for each issue that lets you know where the Council is in the process for that particular amendment, whether it's the scoping phase, final action, or implementation.
You can also find information on our Facebook page, blog, and YouTube channel.
 Like us on Facebook  Visit our blog  View our videos on YouTube

The Gulf Council has an APP for that - Download it for free!
Join Our Mailing List
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Outreach Specialist


FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report August 12 through August 18, 2016

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.)

Division of Law Enforcement
 FWC logo and law enforcement badge
 Weekly Report
August 12 through August 18, 2016
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




Officer Baber responded to a complaint on the Chipola River from a group of tubers who claimed that a vessel drove by at a high rate of speed and nearly struck one of the tubers. Officer Baber conducted interviews of everyone involved, presented his findings to the local State Attorney who charged the vessel operator with reckless operation.


Officer Clark observed a motorhome stopped in the middle of the road on south Fairfield Avenue. As the vehicle began moving, the operator was driving erratically. Officer Clark stopped the vehicle, made contact with the driver and smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. The officer also observed an open beer container on the floor. The operator agreed to submit to field alcohol tasks and performed poorly on all tasks. He was arrested for DUI and transported to the Escambia County Intoxilyzer Room where he declined to provide a breath sample. He was then transported to the Escambia County Jail for booking and processing. The driver was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), refusal to submit to a breath test, and knowingly driving without a valid license.


Officer Yates contacted Captive Wildlife Investigator Williams to report that he was responding to Doctors Memorial Hospital regarding a subject bitten by a water moccasin that the subject illegally possessed at his residence. The individual was bitten on his left hand and brought the live venomous snake with him to the hospital for identification purposes. Officer Yates issued the subject a citation for possession of a venomous snake without a permit and multiple warnings for other captive wildlife violations. Investigator Williams followed up with the subject at his residence to complete a bite report and ensure the subject was not housing any other regulated reptile species.


Officer Forehand located four suspects picking palmetto berries on Econfina Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The suspects had picked approximately 1,000 pounds of berries. Officer Forehand interviewed the person that hired the suspects to pick the berries and he admitted the other suspects did not know they were on lands where picking the berries are prohibited. This suspect was charged with removing palmetto berries from state lands and operating an ATV on state lands.

Officer Forehand saw a suspect throwing a cast net near Chattahoochee Landing. He watched the suspect keep game fish from the cast net and place them on a stringer. The suspect was charged with taking freshwater game fish by illegal method.


Lieutenant Hollinhead and Officer Arnette patrolled an area on Eglin Air Force Base WMA after observing signs of a vehicle driving in prohibited areas. Seven subjects checked in the area failed to produce a daily recreational permit and were issued warnings. A warrants check of one of the subjects revealed an active warrant for failure to pay child support. The subject was taken into custody and transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officers P. Rockwell and Jarvis were on land patrol conducting state fisheries and license inspections in the Destin area. As they were traveling over the Marler Bridge, Officer Jarvis saw an individual, underneath the bridge along the shoreline, in possession of what appeared to be a large fish. The officers drove their patrol vehicle underneath the bridge and located the individual. A fisheries inspection revealed a grossly oversized red drum had been harvested and the individual had begun to fillet the fish. The individual was cited and issued a notice to appear.

Officer Corbin was on land patrol conducting state fisheries and license inspections in the Destin area. He observed an individual actively fishing with a rod and reel at a local marina near Crab Island. A fisheries inspection revealed the individual was over the bag limit of gray (mangrove) snapper and was cited and issued a notice to appear.


Officer Pifer and Lieutenant Clark were on land patrol conducting quality control inspections and retail/wholesale license inspections at seafood houses/markets. A local business in the Grayton Beach area was advertising bait for sale. Officer Pifer observed shrimp, cigar minnows, squid, finger mullet, and sand fleas for sale. The employees were unable to provide the required saltwater retail license.



Officers P. Rockwell, Jarvis and Trueblood were dispatched to a boating accident involving a 17‑foot Cape Horn and a kayak near Tom’s Bayou off Boggy Bayou. The operator of the kayak was transported to a local hospital for minor contusions and soreness in the hips. Officer Jarvis interviewed the operator at a local hospital, and the preliminary investigation revealed that the Cape Horn ran over the kayak causing the operator to roll out of the kayak as it was struck. The investigation is ongoing.



Lieutenant Walsingham participated in an outreach event at the Back-To-School Bash at Live Oak Church in New Hope.  Approximately 300 people attended and topics covered included conservation, recruitment, and explanation of FWC rules and regulations.  Numerous public safety organizations were there and events included haircuts, school supplies, informational materials, a dunking booth, a water slide, and a rock wall climb.


Franklin County Veterans' Service Office closed through August 31st

Franklin County’s Veteran Service Office will be closed from August 22nd through the 31st.
The veterans Service office helps veterans and their dependents dealing with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
They provide everything from general information to claims preparation and development.
Veterans Service Officer Charles Elliot will be on vacation, but will be accessible by e-mail at veteransservice@franklincountyflorida.com.

Veterans can also call the VA with emergencies at 1-800-827-1000.


Agenda and information for August 23rd Gulf County Commission meeting


Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency will meet in Wakulla County on August 24th


Franklin County Humane Society Pet of the Week

PRECIOUS is a 3 yr old beagle mix and couldn't be sweeter.  We have many hounds at the shelter waiting for homes.  It is very difficult to re-home our hounds possibly because so many people consider them hunting dogs rather than pets.  Let us assure you, hounds make wonderful pets.  In an effort to increase adoptions in our hound population, we have reduced  the adoption fee from $100.00 to only $50.00.  Come out to see and meet our beautiful hound dogs and choose one of these gentle and social dogs to take home.

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


Gwen Graham Announces 2016 Military Academy Days

August 12, 2016 
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Gwen Graham is inviting North Florida students interested in attending our nation’s military academies to Military Academy Days to learn more about the schools and application process. The Military Academy Days will be held in Panama City on August 23 and in Tallahassee on August 25.
“There is no greater honor than serving in our nation’s military,” Rep. Graham said. “Our military academies educate and train the smartest service members in the world. I encourage all students in North Florida to attend the Military Academy Days and learn more about these exceptional schools.”
The five military academies are the United States Military Academy at West Point; the United States Coast Guard Academy at New London; the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis; the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point; and the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. Students aspiring to attend a military academy must receive a nomination from their representative, senator or by applying directly to the vice president (with the exception of the Coast Guard Academy). Last year, Rep. Graham nominated 11 students from North Florida to attend the academies.
Rep. Graham will attend both Academy Days to speak with students about the importance of serving in our military, and representatives from the academies will be on hand with more information about the schools.
Students interested in learning more or requesting an academy nomination can also visit www.Graham.House.gov/academy, and we encourage your outlets to publish the attached informational flyer.
WHATMilitary Academy Days
WHORep. Gwen Graham; Representatives from military academies
     PANAMA CITY – Bay County Government Building – August 23, 5:00 pm
     TALLAHASSEE -  City Hall – August 25, 5:00 pm


Saturday, August 20, 2016

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

Jonathan P. Steverson

Permitting Application Subscription Service

Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - ERP Noticed General Permit
Location Id: 346787
County: Gulf
Application Number: 346787-001

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


Friday, August 19, 2016

Shortened Bay scallop season opens Monday in the St. Joe Bay

Bay scallop season will open in the St. Joseph Bay area on Monday.

The season will stay open for two week – it will close again on September the 5th.

During the shortened season, the daily bag limit will be 40 scallops per person or 200 per vessel, whichever is less.

This season and bag limit change is for all waters west of St. Vincent Island through to the west bank of Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.
The shortened season and lower bag limit were put in place this year to conserve bay scallops in the St. Joseph Bay area which were hit hard by a red tide outbreak last fall.
The state had planned to completely cancel the bay scallop season this year to give bay scallops some time to come back, but after a lot of feedback from businesses and residents in the area, agreed to the shortened season.
The FWC is currently conducting restoration efforts in the southeast area of the bay south of Black’s Island.
Swimming, boating, fishing or scalloping in the restoration area marked with FWC buoys is prohibited.
 If you do scalloping this year, remember Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net from open areas, and must be landed within the area that is open to harvest.