Dempsey cites drunken juror

A juror summoned for jury duty in Leon County on Monday, April 15, was found in criminal contempt by Circuit Judge Angela C. Dempsey and sentenced to 30 days in the Leon County jail.

The juror was intoxicated when he arrived at the Leon County courthouse. Initially, the court believed his strange behavior was a ploy to avoid duty, but several other jurors alerted the court that he smelled like alcohol.

Dempsey ordered the juror to take a breathalyzer, which resulted in a finding of .11 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. The juror was unable to provide an explanation for his disrespectful and disruptive behavior.

“Jurors are an essential part of the justice system,” said court administrator Grant Slayden, “The court values jurors who treat the process seriously, but cannot tolerate this type of behavior.”


Lighthouse Association annual meeting May 11

The annual meeting of the St. George Lighthouse Association will be held Saturday, May 11, on the lawn at St. George Island’s Lighthouse Park. The business meeting will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the traditional hot dog lunch. Bring a folding chair and come visit the lighthouse, museum, and gift shop.


Photographer seeks wooden shrimp boats

Fine art photographer John E Adams is planning to visit Franklin County as part of his latest project, “Evanescent Trawlers of the South,” a photography study of the rapidly disappearing hand crafted wooden shrimp fishing trawlers. Adams is an award-winning fine art photographer from Fernandina Beach.

“Northern Florida used to have some of the largest trawler building ports in the Southeast for many years, now those skills have long passed and the only reminder remaining of this amazing heritage are a small scattering of rapidly declining vessels spread throughout the Southern shrimping regions and ports,” said Adams.

“Evanescent Trawlers of the South,” will consist of future exhibits and a book featuring as many of the remaining handmade wooden shrimping trawlers as can be located. The project plans include traveling over 4,400 miles from the Carolinas to Louisiana to try and capture and preserve images of remaining wooden trawlers. Adams expects to capture process the final prints and book before the end of the August.

To learn more about the project, please contact Adams at (904) 729-8175 or at or visit


Armory restoration needs a little more

County commissioners unanimously approved the final payment on the first phase of the Armory restoration project on April 16. County Planner Alan Pierce said, after a change order amending the contract, an additional $10,271 worth of wood rot was repaired.

 “The budget from The Tourist Development Council (TDC) for repairs at the Armory was $248,000 and the construction costs, including the change order, is $186,771,” he said. “There were architectural fees in addition to the construction fees so the total cost of the current renovations was about $230,000.  Therefore, there is still some $18,000 in funds available for other repairs.” 

He said Parks and Recreation Director Nikki Millender requested the remaining money be used to hire an electrician to fix the outside light that shines over the entrance door, and clean up the kitchen area. 

Commissioners approved the request and instructed Millender to get three bids for work on the kitchen.

Chairman Cheryl Sanders instructed Pierce to send a letter to the TDC asking when the next allocation of funds for the Armory project will be available.