Monday, November 5, 2018

VA Assistance

PANAMA CITY, FL – Normal operations are reported at the 120-bed Clifford C. Sims State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Panama City. Gulf Power restored utilities on Oct. 21 but cautions that power may be temporarily disrupted at least through mid-November. Portable generators remain on scene. Services to residents at the home continue. Rotations of health care providers from FDVA continue. Sims’ staff reports its residents are in good health and spirit. An active hiring campaign for local displaced health care professionals is underway. 

The main phone line to the veterans' home has been restored. (850) 747-5401. 

The veterans’ home is not accepting new admissions at this time. For more information, call (850) 487-1533. 

VA Outpatient Clinics in Panama City Beach and Marianna are open to area veterans during normal business hours. All County Veteran Service Offices are open during normal business hours. Contact information for each county office can be found online at 

A toll-free number, 1-800-507-4571, has been established for Florida veterans to get updated information on where to go for care, how to receive prescription drugs or any other concerns they may have about their care. The phone line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Veterans in need of Pharmacy Customer Care may call 1-855-574-7288; the toll-free number is operational 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (EST) to assist veterans with medication. 

Please contact the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits in the areas impacted by Hurricane Michael. Very few veteran students were impacted.

Houses of Worship in Florida may be Eligible for FEMA Public Assistance to Cover Damage from Hurricane Michael

Fact Sheet

What is the Public Assistance grant program?
•  Public Assistance (PA) provides grants to state and local governments and certain types of private non-profit (PNP) organizations so that communities can respond to and recover from presidentially-declared disasters.
•  The program is funded by FEMA on a cost-share basis and administered by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
•  FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance, 75 percent reimbursement of eligible costs for Emergency Work (debris removal and life-saving emergency protective measures) and Permanent Work (repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain non-profit organizations).
o For Eligible PNPs, debris removal is limited to that associated with the property of a facility.
o Emergency protective measures are generally limited to activities associated with preventing damage to a facility and its contents.
•  FEMA does not provide PA funding to PNPs for the costs associated with emergency services such as sheltering and feeding survivors and other governmental services; unless those services were at the request of, and certified by, a legally-responsible government entity.
•  Operating costs are generally not eligible even if the services are emergency services; unless the house of worship performs an emergency service at the request of, and is certified by, the legally-responsible government entity.

Eligibility requirements for houses of worship
•  A house of worship must:
o Be owned or operated by a Private Non-Profit organization.
o Have damage caused by Hurricane Michael that occurred on Oct. 7-19, 2018.
o Provide a non-critical but essential service open to the general public, without regard to their religious or secular nature.
o Provide an IRS current ruling letter granting tax exemption status under Section 501 (c) (d) or (e).
o Documentation from the state substantiating it is a non-revenue producing, nonprofit organization organized or doing business under state law 

Request for Public Assistance (RPA) Application
•  Request for Public Assistance (RPA) by submitting your completed RPA forms to
•  Contact the Florida Division of Emergency Management Public Assistance at or by calling (805) 815-4400 with questions on submission.
•  The deadline to complete the RPA is Dec. 14, 2018. 

SBA disaster loans are a critical part of your application process
•  For all PNPs that provide non-critical services, including houses of worship, FEMA may provide Public Assistance funding for eligible permanent work costs only if an SBA disaster loan does not cover them.
o Like all non-critical PNP facilities under the law, a house of worship must apply to the SBA for a low-interest disaster loan for permanent repair work.
o Visit the SBA website at or contact the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or visit your local DRC by searching at process your application.
o FEMA will provide financial assistance only if the applicant is denied an SBA loan – or if the loan authorized is insufficient to cover repair costs.

Help Us Help You – Stay in Touch With FEMA

News Release

TALLAHASSEE, FL –  Florida homeowners and renters who registered for FEMA disaster assistance following Hurricane Michael are encouraged to notify FEMA of changes to their mailing address, phone number, email address, and if they discover additional damage or receive an insurance settlement

Homeowners and renters can track and update their information by:
•  Accessing Calling 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
•  Visiting a Mobile Registration Intake Center to register for disaster assistance or find more information about the types of help available. MRIC locations may change. A map of MRIC locations can be found at
•  Downloading the FEMA mobile app.
•  Talking face-to-face with a specialist at any Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) location. Go to for a list of DRCs.

Survivors who update their information must provide their nine-digit registration number which is listed on all correspondence from FEMA. 

Survivors seeking a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan should complete the application as soon as possible.  To apply for an SBA loan:
•  Go online to
•  Call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, TTY 800-877-8339 or Video Relay Service (VRS) 800-659-2955. 

If the application is not approved, survivors may qualify for an Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grant through FEMA. ONA may be used for disaster-related child care, medical and dental expenses, automobile repair or replacement, and for damaged household items such as clothing or necessary educational materials. 

To apply for ONA assistance, go to

Friday, November 2, 2018

MARDI GRAS 2019 Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers Presents: “FURRY TAILS DO COME TRUE"


Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers is excited about the 9th Annual Apalachicola Mardi Gras Barkus Parade held on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 1:00 pm.

The theme will be: FURRY TAILS DO COME TRUE… you can expect to see the streets of Apalachicola swarming with Little Red Riding Hood and her wolf, Goldilocks and her 3 little pigs, Mickey Mouse and Pluto, fairy godmothers, charming princes, frogs, and beasts, unicorns, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, Aladdin, Captain Hook, the Mad Hatter and Alice, and all the Disney princesses. I think that our guests will be excited about our choice since there are so many fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and Disney characters that offer lots of possibilities for costumes and decorating. Come join us in celebrating all the childhood magic of fairy tales!

The festivities will start at 11:00 am at Riverfront Park with live entertainment, local food vendors and a variety of craft vendors for you to enjoy while strolling through the park. The King and Queen of Apalachicola’s Mardi Gras parade are always shelter animals who are ready for a forever home. As always, they will have a place of honor in the parade.

The parade starts at Water Street and Avenue E. Lining up on Water Street and will end back at Riverfront Park for the post parade party. You will be dancing in the street with the great music!

Registration for walkers is $5.00 per person, $20 per golf cart or boats, etc. Pets, of course are free! If you would just like to come watch and catch beads well that is free too! The Krewe is accepting new memberships now and on the day of the parade. If you are willing to pitch in and help this great organization then join us early and be part of the planning and the various committees.

In the tradition of the Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers, profits from the parade will be donated to help care for the animals of the Forgotten Coast of Florida. Beneficiaries have included Franklin County Humane Society, the Florida Wild Mammal Association and the Apalachicola Dog Park. We greatly appreciate the support of the local businesses and families who sponsor the Krewe in its tradition of charity and service to the animals.

For additional information contact us at call 850-670-5064 or or check us out on our website or on our Facebook page Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers.

Lassiez Les BON Temps Rouler!

A Thank You Letter From Fox News

A thank you letter received from Neil Cavuto, New Anchor with Fox News after speaking with him on-air during Hurricane Michael.


Beyla Walker and Demetrice Cummings

On behalf of the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners, it is both a privilege and a pleasure to once again welcome our families, friends, and visitors to the City of Apalachicola and to the Annual Florida Seafood Festival.
To say that we are thrilled to have each of you with us, to share and be part of this 55th annual celebration is an understatement. Your presence alone speaks volumes and with many of you traveling great distances just to be here - serves as a reminder to us all just how important our work is here today and moving forward.
Although we didn’t start today with the most agreeable weather for an outdoor celebration. We can all agree that we are truly blessed just to be here. A few short weeks ago we were staring down the eye of a deadly Category 4 hurricane, that claimed the lives of at least 20 Floridians and shattered the lives of countless others as it slammed into the Florida Panhandle. A storm that has since been classified as the third strongest storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. and the first storm on record to come ashore in the Florida Panhandle with a projected path that stretched from Florida all the way north - to Maryland.
The chaos left behind by Hurricane Michael summoned the fine group of men and women that make up the all-volunteer board of directors that oversee the annual Florida Seafood Festival with the courage to forge ahead - with making this year’s celebration a reality despite the overwhelming circumstances, that begged them to do otherwise.
A much-needed reality that gives each of us pause to reflect, pray, heal and be of service to each other and to our sister communities to the West and Northwest of us, some still without normalcy in their daily lives.
Although we sometimes have our differences and disagreements, what binds us together is truly greater than what separates us, so to say that we are fortunate is also another understatement. No, we are not fortunate, but we are extremely blessed. Blessed with the fortitude to turn chaos into an opportunity to serve others.
With that, it’s also a privilege and a pleasure for me to introduce this year Florida Seafood Festival Royalty. Our 2018 Miss Florida Seafood Queen, is Miss Beyla Walker. Miss Walker, is a Franklin County High School senior and the daughter of Pastors Harolyn and David Walker all of Apalachicola. Anybody that knows Beyla, can tell you that she is destined for greatness. She’s the president of her senior class, a member of the Student Government Association, a member of the National Honor Society, Captain of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad, a member of the Franklin County Seahawks Varsity Girls Volleyball team and she’s currently dual enrolled in both high school and college where she has maintained a 4.0 weighted GPA and 3.5 unweighted.
Serving as our 2018 King Retsyo is Mr. Demetrice Cummings. Mr. Cummings is a longtime seafood house worker, who knows what it means to work hard every day in an industry that has repeatedly suffered at the hands of both man and nature.
By man, through the continued reduction of freshwater flow down the Apalachicola River that’s vital to a healthy Bay and a productive seafood industry, and by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP oil spills that devastated the region along the Gulf of Mexico. By nature through hurricanes followed by fishery failures after fishery failures.
But we are still here, resilient - because our hope rests upon something great then we are.
Again, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you and to introduce you to our 2018 King Retsyo and his Queen, Beyla.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mardi Gras on BourBone Street: An Event for Dogs and Their People

Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers is excited to present the 8th annual Apalachicola Mardi Gras Barkus Parade on Saturday, February 10, 2018, in downtown Apalachicola at 1:00 pm. This year’s theme is BourBone Street Blues, so we’ll be celebrating all the fun and frolic of traditional Mardi Gras. We invite you to come out and enjoy the furry family-friendly street parade and festival. Be part of the fun - dress up yourself, your dog, even your bicycle or golf cart! You may just want to come and catch beads.

The festivities will start at 11:00 am at Riverfront Park with live entertainment from the Apalachicola Blues Authority, the Lofty Pursuits Marching Band, and other local bands as well as dog agility demonstrations and performances by local dancers and second line groups. There will be a wide variety of hometown food and beverage vendors offering local seafood and Cajun treats. Area artisans will be selling their creations as well as specialty beads, Mardi Gras finery, and homemade dog products. Regional nonprofit organizations will share their missions at the festival in unique ways. You won't want to miss the pair of real, live Baymaids, Doofy, the rescue pelican, and the Fishy Fashion Show preview.

The King and Queen of Apalachicola's Mardi Gras are always shelter animals who are ready for a forever home. As always, they will have a place of honor in the parade.

The parade begins at the intersection of Avenue E and Water Street turning onto Commerce Street then circling back to Water Street, ending at Riverfront Park for the post parade party.

Registration for walkers is $5.00 per person or $25 per golf cart. Pets are free, of course!

Krewe membership is open now and they will be accepting new members on the day of the parade as well.

In the tradition of the Salty Barker Krewe, profits from the parade will be donated to help care for the animals of the Forgotten Coast of Florida. Beneficiaries have included the Franklin County Humane Society, the Florida Wild Mammal Association and the Apalachicola Dog Park. We greatly appreciate the support of the local businesses and families who sponsor the Krewe in its tradition of charity and service to animals.

Lassiez Les BONE Temps Rouler!
For additional information contact us at or call Caroline at 850-670-5064.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Apalachicola Celebrates Arbor Day Saturday, October 14, 2017

Apalachicola will celebrate Arbor Day on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at the Farmers Market at Scipio Creek Boat Basin from 9:00am-12:00pm. The Apalachicola Tree Committee is partnering with the Farmers Market to highlight the city’s magnificent trees and to offer information on the benefits of urban trees.

Trees play a key role in Apalachicola’s landscape. They contribute aesthetically to the city’s overall appeal and our historic landscape. They also keep us cool and protect us from the wind and soil erosion.

Farmers Market vendors will have tree-related merchandise and the Apalachicola Tree Committee will have a booth with information on the benefits trees provide.  The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) will have free information on Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Ed Duke with FAMU will have a display on tree pruning and give demonstrations on how to properly prune trees. Project Impact will also be there with some tree information and things to sell.

Know of a large and or unusual tree? The Tree Committee is creating a map of special trees for the city. To add a tree to the map, bring a photo of the tree, the location and the measurement of the diameter of the trunk, and we will add it to the city-wide map of large or unique trees.

Mayor Van Johnson will give a speech around 10:30am and there will be a tree planting around 11:00 am to commemorate the day. For more information contact Anita Grove at or (850) 670-7708.

9:00 am Farmers Market Booths open
ongoing Ed Duke, FAMU, Pruning Demonstration
ongoing Bay-friendly landscaping techniques
ongoing   Bring Me A Book Franklin 
ongoing Project Impact booth
10:30 am Mayor Van Johnson speaks
11:00 am Plant Community Tree

Monday, September 11, 2017

City Hall to reopen tomorrow after closure due to Hurricane Irma

Apalachicola City Hall will resume normal operating hours from 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Tuesday, September 12, 2017, after briefly closing due to the potential threat imposed by the approach of Hurricane Irma.

Tropical Storm Irma 9/11/2017 12:00 PM Update from Franklin County Emergency Management

9/11/2017 12:00 PM

Tropical Storm Irma Update

Franklin County Emergency Management is activated to a Level 1 Activation Hurricane Weather Update:
  • The County Law Enforcement has been traveling the county roads in Franklin County to report any downed power lines, trees block road ways, etc.  We are working with the utility Companies to get these taken care of to get the roadways cleared.
  • The current wind speed on the coast is 65 mph with sustained winds of up to 45 mph with higher gusts for inland.
  • Surge amount of 4-6 feet is expected to affect Dog Island, Alligator Point and Ball Point.
  • Isolated river flooding and flash flooding is possible.
  • All Franklin County bridges are open at this time.
  • Alligator Point and Bald Point are still closed pending the 4-6 foot surge.
  • Verizon cell service in Carrabelle can only be by text only at this time, this issue has been reported.  Limited access on AT&T cell service.
We have reports of various power outages in Apalachicola and East Point, please report all power outages to Duke Energy at 1-800-700-8744.

Never plug a generator directly into your home wiring due to “back feed” into utility lines potentially injuring a neighbor or utility worker trying to restore power.   Generators should not be used in partially enclosed areas such as garages.

Office Closures
All Franklin County Schools are Closed Friday 9/8/2017 and Monday 9/11/2017 and Tuesday, 9/12/17 due to the evacuations out of Franklin County.

City of Apalachicola Office, Franklin County Offices, and City of Carrabelle will be CLOSED on Monday 9/11/2017, Tuesday, 9/12/17, County offices will be open.

Evacuations are canceled for all areas of Franklin County with the exception of Alligator Point & Bald Point.