Thursday, May 25, 2017

NWFWMD to Hold Public Workshops on Apalachicola River & Bay Surface Water Improvement & Management Plan

The Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) will host public workshops to support development of an update to the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) plan for the Apalachicola River and Bay watershed at the dates, times, and locations listed below. These meetings will feature presentations about current challenges, proposed plan objectives, and project options. An opportunity to submit comments and recommendations that will be used in the development of the plan will also be provided. The draft plan will be released for further public review and comment later this year. All interested parties are encouraged to attend and participate.

June 5, 2017
Marianna – Citizen’s Park Lodge, 4574 Lodge Drive, Marianna, Florida 32446
5:30 pm Central Time

June 7, 2017
Apalachicola – Apalachicola Community Center at Battery Park, 1 Bay Ave, Apalachicola, Florida 32320 (in Battery Park, adjacent to Gorrie Bridge)
2:00 pm Eastern Time

Note - each workshop will cover the same information; there is no need to attend both meetings.

More information, including a meeting agenda, will be made available at the District’s website at:

If you have any questions and for more information, please contact Paul Thorpe at (850) 539-5999 or via email at

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sen. Bill Nelson Vows to Fight Executive Order Expanding Oil Drilling off Florida’s Coast

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) wages war Wednesday on senate floor against
an executive order expanding oil drilling off Florida's Coast 

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) took to the Senate floor Wednesday, April 26, 2017, vowing to fight any attempt by the administration to open up additional areas around Florida to offshore oil drilling.

“Drilling off of Florida's neighboring states poses a real threat to our state's environment and our multibillion-dollar tourism industry,” Nelson said. “That’s because a spill off the coast of Louisiana can end up on the beaches of Northwest Florida just like a spill off the coast of Virginia or South Carolina can affect the entire Atlantic coast.”

Nelson’s remarks come as the president is expected to sign an executive order Friday expanding offshore oil drilling.

“This announcement by the president will be like a big present for the oil companies,” Nelson said. “I hope the president thinks twice before putting Florida’s economy at such a risk. I hope he refrains from issuing this executive order, but if he doesn't, this senator and a bipartisan delegation from Florida will fight this order.”

Watch video of Senator Nelson’s remarks below:

Public Service Announcement from the Florida Forest Service

In the wake of the recent wildfire on St George Island, there is a Homeowner/Community Wildfire Awareness meeting scheduled for May 8th @ 6pm in the Media Center at the Franklin County School located at 1250 Hwy 98, in Eastpoint, Florida 32328. We will be presenting Fire wise information highlighting things residents can do to reduce the risk of losing their homes to wildfire, and increase their awareness of wildfire conditions.

For more information, please contact Todd W. Schroeder at (850) 681-5960 or via Twitter @FFS_Leon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thurs, May 4th National Day of Prayer 2017

National Day of Prayer 2017 will be observed in Apalachicola Thursday, May 4th from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Historic Holy Family Senior Citizens Center located at 203 Dr. Frederick S. Humphries Street.

The theme for this year is “For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us... Forgive Us...Heal Us!” Taken from the Book of Daniel 9:19, which says, “O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act! For Your Sake, O My God...”.  

As National Day of Prayer 2017 approaches, thousands of individuals, churches, and communities from around the country will be working to rally millions to once again heed this call! Locally, the event is being sponsored by the Love Center Church Outreach Ministry in Apalachicola, Bishop Sheila Martin, Pastor and is open and free to the public.

The origin of National Day of Prayer beginned on April 17, 1952, with President Harry S. Truman sigining into law a bill passed by Congress, that require the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.

For more information about the local observance of National Day of Prayer 2017, please contact Evangelist Alma Pugh, Event Coordinator at (850)370-6465.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Apalachicola resident, Patrick J. Balthrop Sr., Appointed Chairman of Agendia

Patrick J. Balthrop, Sr.
Photo courtesy of  Linkedln

IRVINE, CA and AMSTERDAM – 12 April 2017
- Agendia, Inc., a world leader in personalized medicine and molecular cancer diagnostics, today announces the appointment of Patrick J. Balthrop Sr., former CEO of Luminex, as Non-Executive Chairman.

“Patrick’s knowledge and experience in driving rapid growth in technology-led companies is exceptional, and will bolster Agendia’s position in the sector,” said Mark R. Straley, CEO of Agendia. “Agendia is committed to improving the quality of life for cancer patients through molecular diagnostics, one patient at a time, and we are convinced that Patrick’s expertise will help us to achieve this. We warmly welcome him to the role of Chairman.” 

Agendia’s primary focus is expanding the adoption of clinically useful genetic signatures as an aid to personalizing breast cancer treatment by increasing the geographic reach and reimbursement of these panels, such as its proven MammaPrint® 70-Gene Breast Cancer Risk-of-Recurrence Test. MammaPrint is available globally through many major hospitals to provide physicians and patients access to this essential breast cancer screening test to enable more informed decision-making and more individualized treatment.

“Agendia’s strong vision for transforming breast cancer treatment is inspiring and I look forward to working with the team at this pivotal time for the Company,” said Patrick J. Balthrop.

Patrick J. Balthrop is currently a Director at Oxford Immunotec Global, Personalis, Inc. and Concert Genetics. He is an advisor to Water Street Healthcare Partners and the Founding Principal of Apalachee Ventures, an investment and advisory firm. Patrick previously held positions of CEO, President and Director at Luminex, and President at Fisher Healthcare (then Fisher Scientific).  He has also held a number of positions within Abbott Laboratories, including President of Abbott Vascular and Corporate VP, Worldwide Commercial Operations. Patrick has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a BS in Biology from Spring Hill College.

Patrick joins Christoph Waer (Korys), Jan Willem Nieuwenhuize (ING Corporate Investments), Erik Leeuwaarden (advisor), Peter Stein (Norgine) and Eric Esveld (Van Herk Groep) on the Board.

MammaPrint is a FDA-cleared in vitro diagnostic test, performed in a central laboratory, using the gene expression profile of breast cancer tissue samples to assess a patients’ risk for distant metastasis within 5 years. MammaPrint also carries the CE Mark which certifies that the test complies with the quality standards set by the European In Vitro Diagnostic Directive, enabling the use of the test in the European Union. MammaPrint is indicated for use by physicians as a prognostic marker only, along with other clinical-pathological factors. The test is not intended to determine the outcome of disease, nor to suggest or infer an individual patient’s response to therapy.

Agendia is a privately held, leading molecular diagnostics company that develops and markets genomic diagnostic products, which help support physicians with their complex treatment decisions. Agendia’s breast cancer tests were developed using an unbiased gene selection by analyzing the complete human genome. Our offerings include MammaPrint®, a 70-Gene Breast Cancer Risk-of-Recurrence test, and BluePrint®, a molecular subtyping assay that provides deeper insight leading to more clinically actionable breast cancer biology.

In addition, Agendia has a pipeline of other genomic products in development. The company collaborates with pharmaceutical companies, leading cancer centers and academic groups to develop companion diagnostic tests in the area of oncology. For more information, visit

For more information on Agendia or the MammaPrint and BluePrint tests, you can visit Agendia’s patient site at or the corporate site at

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Florida Residents Advised to Remain Alert As Second Front Brings Potential For Severe Weather

Tallahassee - State and local emergency management officials are recommending residents and visitors remain aware, as conditions favorable for severe weather continue throughout North Florida and into Central Florida today and tonight. This weather system will have the potential to produce large hail, damaging wind gusts and tornadoes. Have a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio in your home of office to receive warnings from the National Weather and follow all instructions from local officials.

Governor Scott said, “It is incredibly important that Floridians and visitors in North and Central Florida pay close attention to local news throughout the day and ensure they are fully prepared ahead of any potentially damaging weather, such as tornadoes or flash floods. While we are glad that the weather from earlier this week did not cause significant damage, we must take every case of potentially severe weather seriously and take action to keep our families and communities safe. The Florida Division of Emergency Management and their local partners are continuing to work together to monitor the weather and provide updates to families across North and Central Florida.”

State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said, “Much of North Florida and parts of Central Florida have been placed at high risk of severe weather throughout the day and overnight. Those in the affected areas should monitor this storm system and have a plan of action if warnings are issued.”

Tornado watches may be issued throughout the day. Residents and visitors to the state should monitor local media outlets and ensure that their NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio alert settings are turned on. A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been reported as sighted, or has appeared on radar in the area.

If severe weather threatens your area, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
  • Ensure your NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio is on and programmed for your area or stay tuned to a trusted local media outlet for the most current weather situation.
  • Ensure your disaster supply kit is prepared and heed all instructions from local officials.
  • Know what you would do in the event of a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch or warning.
  • If a tornado warning is issued for your area seek shelter immediately in an interior room, away from windows.  
  • If thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning and should seek shelter immediately.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
  • NEVER drive through flooded roadways as road beds may be washed out under flood waters, and just one foot of fast-moving flood water can move most cars off the road.
For more information about the Florida Division of Emergency Management, visit or follow the Division on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at

Monday, April 3, 2017

Apalachicola City Commission Meets on Tuesday This Week

The Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners will hold its regular scheduled monthly meeting at 6:00 P.M. EDT, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, inside the Battery Park Community Center at 1 Bay Avenue - Apalachicola. The restructured Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), which is now composed of the Apalachicola City Commission, the former CRA Chair and Vice-Chair and a non-voting Ex-Officio member will hold its first meeting prior to the regular city meeting at 5:00 P.M.

On the agenda is the final Public Hearing to adopt Ordinance No. 2017-04 (Building Height) and Ordinance No. 2017-05 (Non-conforming Structures) along with a resolution proclaiming April 23rd through April 29th as National Volunteer Week in the City of Apalachicola and the monthly report to the commission from Falan Goff, FAMU Job Incubator/Accelerator Program Coordinator.

You can view the full agenda along with meeting documents by visit the official website of the City of Apalachicola at or by clicking the link below.

As always, the public is invited and encouraged to attend all meetings of the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners to stay informed concerning the operation of your city government.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

News From Save Our Shotguns

presents PEARLS (Preserving and Embracing Apalachicola's Rich Legacy of Shotguns)

Celebrating our city's historic shotgun houses throughout the month of April.

"Orange Street" by Beth Appleton 2017© 
THIS SATURDAY April 1      
PEARLS Launch Party at the Center for History, Culture and Art
6 - 8 p.m.  Free and open to all; wine & hors d'oeuvres
Art Exhibit & Sale
An eclectic art show featuring paintings, photographs, birdhouses, models and more – over 200 artworks all with shotgun houses as their motif.                                           
Interactive Map
Introducing the Save Our Shotguns on-line neighborhood map. Click a location to learn more about it; OR tell what you know about it. 
Walking Tour Guide
Release of the Self-Guided Walking Tour Guide highlighting 17 structures on the Hill.

Photography & History Exhibit
Holy Family Senior Center, 7th Street & Avenue L
Reception at 4 p.m.  PEARLS Celebration Talent Show at 5 p.m.
Refreshments; Free & Open to the Public

The unknown photographer behind these photos taken between 1959 and 1968 had a good eye, and captured community life at the Holy Family School with sensitivity and heart.  Many people pictured are still alive today, and they are especially invited to come find themselves and their friends in these old photographs.

This exhibit is made possible thanks to the Society of Saint Edmund Archives located in Vermont, which has preserved over 100 photographs from the time the school was run by the Edmundite priests.  It remains on display throughout the month of April.

Gallery open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 2 to 5 PM with the exception of Sundays April 2, 16, and 30.

next SATURDAY  April 8
from 9 - 5 p.m.
Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art, 86 Water Street
Participate in all or any part of this free day-long conversation about recent advances in ways to create affordable housing and livable neighborhoods through historic preservation.

Symposium and Ideas Exchange

9:00  Doors open

9:30 – 10:45
When 'What's Old Is New Again'
The Challenges of Tailoring Land Use Regulation and Tapping Technology
Ryan Rowberry is a tenured associate professor and the co-director for the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth. He teaches Property Law, Natural Resources Law, and Environmental Law.
John Travis Marshall is an assistant professor at the Georgia State University College of Law, where he teaches and serves as associate director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth.

11:00 – 12:00
Finding, Fitting and Funding: Preserving the Old and Building the New
in a Historic Southern Neighborhood
Carey Shea is the founder and executive director of Home by Hand a nonprofit housing development and advocacy organization headquartered in New Orleans. Prior to launching Home by Hand, Carey led Project Home Again, building over 170 homes for families that had lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina.
12:00 – 1:00    Lunch at any of Apalachicola's fine restaurants.

1:00 – 2:00
Ten Lessons for Designing and Preserving Small Towns
Educated in anthropology, city planning and architecture at the Universities of Arkansas and Pennsylvania, Richard Dagenhart is now Emeritus Professor of Architecture at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.  Dagenhart’s  current teaching focuses on urban design, urban history and environmental issues with studies including neighborhood preservation and redevelopment in Savannah, Georgia.

2:15 – 3:15
The Hill: Past, Present and Future
Ruffin Rhodes, AIA is a Florida Registered Architect and owner/partner of Rhodes+Brito Architects located in Orlando, Florida.  Ruffin was born in Apalachicola and is the oldest of four children.  His father was the late Air Force Chief Master Sargent Ruffin L. Rhodes and his mother is Bertha Croom.  As a teenager, Ruffin worked with his grandfather to build and repair many of the homes on the Hill.

3:15 – 4:00  What's Next for Apalachicola?
Panel discussion with all our presenters and q&a

Get Involved! Save Our Shotguns

no amount is too big or too small; donations in the form of a building or lot are welcome. 

there are all sorts of opportunities to pitch in.

to find out more. 

We appreciate your support!

Save Our Shotguns Apalachicola is a non-profit 501(c)(3) working to preserve the historic structures of Apalachicola for the purpose of affordable housing.  We are an all-volunteer organization dedicated to our mission: to preserve historic structures, to create housing for low and moderate income people, and to create training and jobs for local residents.

Apalachicola Reserve Hosts Workshop On Bay-Friendly Landscaping

~Learn tips to help you create a Bay-Friendly yard~
Bay-friendly yards use native shrubs and trees in place of large lawns which means less maintenance and more habitat for wildlife.

WHAT:     Bay-Friendly Landscaping Workshop

WHEN:    Saturday, April 8, 2017
               1:00 pm-3:30 pm

WHERE:  Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
               108 Island Dr.
               Eastpoint, FL 32328

HOW:       Workshop is free. $20 per barrel (Limit one barrel per house)
                Please click HERE to register for the class in advance.

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) will be hosting a bay-friendly landscaping workshop on Saturday, April 8, 2017, from 1:00-3:30 pm. Yard design and maintenance can have a big impact on adjacent water bodies. Learn how you can transform your yard into a luscious bay-conscious landscape. The class will also feature innovative Green Infrastructure techniques such as rain gardens and bio-swales to filter storm water.

Following the discussion participants will have the option, for a small fee, to assemble their own rain barrel that they can take home. Rain barrels are made conveniently from locally available materials. The workshop will be held at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. The class is free, but rain barrels are $20.00 per barrel. Please click HERE to register for the class in advance. Rain barrels must be paid for in advance at the ANERR Visitor Center, Tues-Sat 9:00am to 4:00pm. 

For more information contact Emily Jackson at 850-670-7743 or send an email to

Monday, March 27, 2017

Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson guest on Internet Radio Talk Show

Show Talk with Angela Butler

Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson was interviewed today March 27, 2017, by Angela Butler, owner and host of “Show Talk with Angela Butler”, an internet radio show located at

The Mayor shared a wealth of information during the hour-long interview with Butler, which included aspects of his mayoral administration, his health and his faith.  CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN