Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mandatory Evacuation Notice Franklin County Residents and Non-Residents

Mandatory Evacuation began at 5:00 p.m. for Franklin County.  All Residents who plan to shelter in Place, please have all preparations and plans completed by 10:00 a.m. on 09/01/16.

The Mandatory Evacuation issued is for the following areas:
St. George Island
Dog Island
Alligator Point
Bald Point
All Low Lying Areas
All Residents who live along the Coastline or are Prone to Surge Flooding
All Residents who live in Mobile Homes or RV’s

Storm Surge will be a concern with inundation values predicted to be at 3-6 feet above normal. Franklin County is in the Cone of Uncertainty.  We are asking that all Residents who live along the coastline or are prone to surge flooding to start making preparations.  This includes but is not limited to:
1. Secure yard items such as chairs, umbrellas, etc.
2. Secure Boats and Vehicles – This includes moving vehicles to higher ground.
3. Make sure your disaster kit is ready and accessible.

Crawfordville Elementary will open as a shelter open today at 5:00 p.m., however we recommend to relocate to a hotel rather than a shelter. Please monitor the weather closely for the next several days. 

There is an elevated risk of Rip Current for the next several days.  Please Use Caution! 

Sand Bags are available at the Franklin County EOC, 28 Airport Road, Apalachicola.  Sand bags are limited to 10 bags per household and only if you are prone to coastal flooding or your house is on ground level.

Franklin County Emergency Management continues to monitor this storm closely.  If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website at  Be sure to LIKE our Facebook page for update.  You are also welcome to contact us at 850-653-8977.

Pamela Brownell
Franklin County Emergency Management Director

Monday, August 29, 2016

Construction Activities Suspended for Labor Day Weekend

Chipley – To promote safety and reduce congestion over the Labor Day weekend, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is suspending normal road construction activities on all major roads in Northwest Florida.  There will be no lane closures on the state road system from 12 p.m. (noon) Thursday, Sept. 1 through 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6.  All major roads will be open to normal traffic.

If an emergency situation occurs during the upcoming holiday weekend requires a lane closure, repairs will continue until that lane is reopened to the traveling public and all safety issues related to the traveling public have been addressed.

FDOT is encouraging drivers to allow extra travel time and to use extra caution in existing work zones along state highways. Drivers are urged to make sure they buckle up, along with their passengers. FDOT and other safety agencies also ask drivers to obey speed limits, get adequate rest before traveling, avoid distractions and never drink and drive.

Drivers also are urged to be prepared for unscheduled highway closures due to accidents, disabled vehicles or other events. Motorists should be alert to changing weather conditions while traveling.

Travelers can access Florida’s 511 service from cell phones, landlines, and online at to receive updates on travel in the area.  For more information, follow the Florida Department of Transportation District Three on Twitter @myfdot_nwfl or like us on Facebook at

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Possible Tropical Cyclone Development Later This Week

From Franklin County Emergency Management: Tropical Atlantic becoming more active, development possible near Bahamas in a few days; intensity uncertain.
  • Tropical disturbance will move west into the Bahamas late in the week, possibly approaching Florida late in the weekend.
  • Development into a tropical cyclone possible, but highly uncertain.
  • Too early to determine potential impacts to Florida.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Early morning house fire ruled arson in Apalachicola

Fire at 214 9th Street home in Apalachicola ruled work on an arsonist

An arsonist is to blame for setting a vacant Apalachicola home a blaze before day Tuesday morning, said Apalachicola Police Chief Bobby Varnes.

Detective Bryant from the State Fire Marshal office is now investigating the fire at 214 9th Street and is offering rewards of up to $5,000 and more from a fund by the Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention for information leading to the identification of persons responsible for the fire.

Apalachicola Assistant Fire Chief Fonda Davis, Sr., said that crews from the Apalachicola All Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the one-story home around 3:40 a.m., Tuesday and had the blaze under control by 4:30 a.m.  Which started in the rear of the structure.

Shortly afterwards the State Fire Marshal office were contacted to investigate the origin of the fire, ruled to be the work of an arsonist.

Anyone with information that will lead to the identification of the persons responsible can contact Detective Bryant directly at (850)413-3903 or call the Arson Control toll free number at (877)662-7766.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Florida Health Promotes Breastfeeding Month

Apalachicola, FL - The Florida Department of Health in Franklin County is highlighting the importance of breastfeeding during National Breastfeeding Month. Breastfeeding plays a critical role in healthy development from the very beginning of a child's life.

"One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant is to breastfeed," said Marsha Lindeman, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Franklin and Gulf Counties. "The health department has Certified Lactation Counselors available to assist pregnant mothers as well as breastfeeding support services offered through our Healthy Start program. Additionally, the Healthy Start program continues to provide free breastfeeding classes in Apalachicola."

Earlier this year, the department launched the Florida Healthy Babies initiative and has invested nearly two million dollars in helping hospitals around the state promote "Baby Steps to Baby Friendly" in order to support mothers in practicing exclusive breastfeeding for their infants. Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses.

DOH-Franklin recognizes that the success rate among mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, and employers. Franklin County Community Health Improvement Partners have incorporated breastfeeding support strategies into the county's three-year plan. Additionally, a Healthy Moms and Babies meeting was held in June and open to the community to identify opportunities to enhance prenatal support and connect pregnant mothers to local breastfeeding resources.

To reach the goal of exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months, mothers need supportive maternity leave policies, flexible work hours, infant and child-care at or near the workplace, and private facilities for expressing and storing breastmilk. It takes time and practice to learn how to breastfeed, both for mother and baby, and to establish a good milk supply.

For more information about the Florida WIC program call 1-800-342-3556 or visit To learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding visit or

For more information about Baby Steps to Baby Friendly visit the Florida Healthiest Weight website. For resources on breastfeeding and print outs for working moms, visit our activity page HERE

Monday, August 15, 2016

Local Park Ranger set to launch book about Apalachicola

Park Ranger and Author Michael Kinnett holding
a copy of his first novel Apalachicola Pearl
Photo courtesy of Michael Kinnett Facebook Page

Michael Kinnett, a Park Ranger at the Orman House Historic State Park in Apalachicola and a new author is set to release his first novel, “Apalachicola Pearl” with a book launching party to be held at the Apalachicola Center for History Culture and Art located at 86 Water Street in Apalachicola. The event is scheduled to take place August 20, 2016, from 4:00-6:00 P.M., and will include refreshments, a presentation, a reading and book signing by Kinnett.

Excerpts from Apalachicola Pearl 

Apalachicola, Florida, the cotton shipping boomtown lay under siege. It was here in the backwater, during The Civil War, where women, children, and old struggled to survive. The real threat looming over them did not come from Union blockaders in the Gulf waters or from Confederates with river fortifications to the North. The dark shadow over the town came from a gathering of ruffians calling themselves the Rebel Guard. These so called patriots, without conscience, pillaged and murdered on the backs of a devastated people. It would be two men, Michael Kohler and Stillman Smith, brothers forged in the fires of war, who rose up to stop the Rebel Guard. What chance did they have against an overwhelming force? Someone was going to die.

Meet, LaRela Retsyo Agnusdei, a precocious seven-year-old known as Pearl. Learn of her remarkable life and courageous efforts to alter a world torn apart. Enjoy reading as Pearl moves the players around the board.

The event was called “The Marr, Smith Affair,” a documented event that shook the governments of both the Confederacy and the Union. It remains a mystery today. What happened? Perhaps the recently discovered journal of Michael Brandon Kohler offers an answer.”

The book published by Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) Publishing out of Tallahassee, is listed at $14.95 on the company's website. However, there's a $3.00 discount if ordered before August 18th.

For more information about the event, please contact Paulette Moss, Director Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art Apalachicola School of Art at 1-855-APALACH (855-272-5224) or visit their website at

Sunday, August 14, 2016

CHIP's Health and Wellness Calendar of Events

The Community Health Improvement Partners (C.H.I.P.) Healthy Weight Subcommittee has created a community Health and Wellness Calendar of Events. The calendar highlights local physical activity and nutrition opportunities throughout Franklin County for the month of August 2016.

Click the link below to view the calendar or for more information, please contact Mrs. Talitha Robinson, Closing the Gap Program Coordinator at the Florida Department of Health in Franklin/Gulf County.  You can contact Mrs. Robinson either via telephone at (850) 653-2111 ext. 0102 or email at

Apalachicola City Commission to hold Special Meeting and Budget Workshop

The Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting followed by a Budget Workshop at 6:00 P.M. EST on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 inside the Battery Park Community Center located at 1 Bay Avenue in Apalachicola.

The purpose of the Special Meeting is to finalize the consultant agreement between the City of Apalachicola and BTW Services, Inc. The Budget Workshop is the first of several scheduled in the process of adopting the city’s annual operating budget for Fiscal Year 2016/2017.

The full agenda, including BTW Services, Inc, consultant agreement along with the FY 16/17 budget worksheets can be viewed on the official website of the City of Apalachicola or by clicking the link below. 

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

Monday, August 1, 2016

City of Apalachicola Notice of Special Meeting and Executive Attorney-Client Session


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to Section 286.011(8), Florida Statutes, the City Commission of the City of Apalachicola will hold a Special Meeting and closed Executive Session Meeting on Thursday, August 4, 2016 immediately following the Special Meeting of the Planning and Zoning Board which is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. EDT, or as soon thereafter as the issue may be heard, at the Apalachicola Community Center, #1 Bay Avenue, Apalachicola, Florida 32320, concerning the following pending litigation:

Denton Cove, LTD.; Denton Cove Developer, Inc.; Wendover Management, LLC; Jonathan L. Wolf; Jeffrey Sharkey; Denton Cove GP, LLC; and Wendover Housing Partners, LLC v. City of Apalachicola, Florida

Case No. 4:15-cv-00413-RH-CAS, in the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida.

The following individuals will be in attendance:

Van W. Johnson, Sr., Mayor
Jimmy Elliott, Commissioner
Brenda Ash, Commissioner
Mitchell Bartley, Commissioner
Frank Cook, Commissioner
J. Patrick Floyd, City Attorney
Lee Mathes, City Administrator
Deborah Guillotte, City Clerk
William G. Warner, Attorney for City
A certified Court Reporter

The entire Executive Session will be transcribed by a certified Court Reporter and filed with the City Clerk. The transcript of the Executive Session will be made part of the public record upon conclusion of the above-referenced litigation.

Any person requiring a special accommodation at this meeting because of a disability should contact Apalachicola City Hall, 1 Avenue E, Apalachicola, FL 32320, (850) 653-9319 or (850) 653-8715, at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. If you are hearing or speech impaired, you may contact City Hall using the Florida Dual Party Relay System, which can be reached at 1-800-955-8771 (TDD) or 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE). 

The City of Apalachicola Planning & Zoning Board Will Hold Special Meeting on Thursday