Veterans host annual reunion Saturday

The Franklin County Veterans will have their 22nd annual reunion Saturday, Sept 14 at the Armory in Apalachicola.

They will start cooking around 7 a.m. A grilled chicken dinner, with sides, will be served at noon. Ladies, please bring a dessert if you can.

“This reunion is for all the Franklin County veterans, of all wars or campaigns,” said organizers Charles Wilson and John Sack. “We invite all of our veterans to come join us for good food and fellowship, and veterans, bring your families. We have hats for all veterans who are present.”

“We are expecting a visit from a representative of Cong. Steve Southerland office, or perhaps the congressman himself, on Saturday,” said Wilson who plans to step down this after 23 years of working on the reunion. “This will be a good opportunity for veterans to be able to voice their concerns, about the VA, how it handles their cases, and ideas that the congressman might could do to expedite things.“

An invitation is extended to anyone interested in sponsoring the veterans dinner. All donations are welcome

For more information, call Wilson at 653-6482 or John Sack at 670-8375 or email to


Small business expo next week

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Want to expand, change focus or need to resolve old issues that are holding you back? Join us for the Small Business Resource Expo on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 16-17.

Presented by the Small Business Development Center at FAMU, and the Apalachicola Bay and Carrabelle Area chambers of commerce, Small Business Development Center Gulf Coast State College Veteran’s Outreach Center, the expo is toi help small business owners discover resources to expand or refocus their business, bring business owners together to meet and share issues and ideas, and aid potential small business owners in getting started.

Technical assistance is available in the areas of social media, business planning, disaster planning, and one-to-one business counseling.

Hours are Monday. Sept. 16 from noon to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Environmental Education and Training Center in Eastpoint.

On Monday the discussion classes offered include from 12:30 -1:30 p.m. “Ideas for Being Self Employed,” led by Christine Urban; from 1:30- 2:30 p.m. “Business Disaster Planning,” and from 3-5 p.m. “ Facebook for Business,” with attendees asked to bring their laptops.

One-on-one appointments are from 12:30-5 p.m. There will also be a representative from the Small Business Development Center Veteran’s Outreach Center, and tours available of the MAC, a self-contained RV decked out with the latest technology to help get a business running after a disaster.

From 6 8 p.m., a meet and greet with other local business area owners and entrepreneurs will be held at the Gibson Inn

On Tuesday, , Small Business Development experts Christine and Keith will be available to come to a business on location for one-on-one appointments. To schedule one-to-one sessions on Monday or Tuesday, call the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce 653-9419 or the Carrabelle Chamber of Commerce 697-2585.


Gulf-Franklin offers correctional officer training

A new correctional officer training program will be starting at the Gulf/Franklin Campus of Gulf Coast State College in Port St. Joe on Jan. 22, 2014. This program is designed to prepare students for the state officer certification exam. Individuals who pass this exam are eligible for employment in any state, county or privately run correctional facility in Florida.

The program, conducted using the new shorter curriculum and lasting about three months, will run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily, Monday through Thursday. For more information, please call Brenda Burkett at 227-9670 ext. 5507 or email her at .

The application deadline for Pell Grants and financial aid is fast approaching, so please call today or come by the Gulf/Franklin Campus to pick up your application packet.


Arbor Wealth offers Sept. 17 seminars

Arbor Wealth Management, a “fee-only” registered investment advisory firm, will host two “How To Make Your Portfolio Pay Monthly” seminars at the Panama Country Club on Tuesday, Sept. 17, one at 10 a.m. and another at 4 p.m..

Firm Founder and Principal Margaret R. McDowell, ChFC, AIF, a Panama City News Herald and syndicated economic columnist, will lead a presentation on generating income through stock dividends and bond yields. Arbor Wealth sells no products, accepts no commissions from any source and serves as a fiduciary to its clients.

The presentation includes two distinct client strategies: “Growth with Income” or “Income with Growth.”

Refreshments will be served. Please call 850-608-6121 to reserve seating. The Panama Country Club is located at 100 Country Club Drive, Lynn Haven, 32444.

Arbor Wealth specializes in portfolio management for investors with $250,000 or more of investable assets Minimum asset level for new clients will increase to $500,000 as of Jan. 1, 2014.


Full moon climb at lighthouse Sept. 19

The September Full Moon Climb at the Cape St. George Lighthouse on St. George Island will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19. The Sunset/Full Moon Climb will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and will include light hors d'oeuvres and a sparkling cider toast to the full moon. Cost is $15 for the general public and $10 for members of the St. George Lighthouse Association.

The sun will set at 7:39 p.m. and the moon will rise at 7:44 p.m.

After sunset, people are invited to climb to the top of the lighthouse for a breathtaking view of the full moon, as space and time permit. Cost is $10 for the general public and $5 for SGLA members.

The Cape St. George Light is located in St. George Lighthouse Park at the center of St. George Island, where Island Drive (the road off the bridge) ends at Gulf Beach Drive. Parking is available in lots at either side of the park.

Because space is limited, reservations are recommended. For reservations or more information, please contact the Lighthouse Gift Shop at 927-7745.


NWFWMD announces water supply grants

The Northwest Florida Water Management District has launched a grant program to help local governments and utilities across the Panhandle address important local water supply challenges and meet regional water supply protection and management needs.

The District’s tentative Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget includes $10 million to provide assistance for water supply development projects.

“Ensuring a clean and sustainable supply of water for the citizens and natural resources of Northwest Florida is one of the District’s top priorities,” said District Executive Director Jon Steverson. “We look forward to working with our local communities to help them address local and regional water supply needs through this grant program.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, approximately 30 representatives from local governments and utilities attended an informational workshop to learn more about the grant application process and the type of projects eligible to receive funding.

“The district is excited both about the development of this water supply grant program and the positive turnout at our workshop,” said Paul Thorpe, the district’s resource planning director. “We encourage local governments and utilities across our 16-county area to learn more about the program and submit the water supply projects, both large and small, that will achieve the goals of their region and the district.”

Grant applications are due by Oct. 31, 2013. Eligible projects include both traditional and alternative water supply development projects, as well as water reuse projects and conservation projects that result in quantifiable water savings. Projects that demonstrate new or innovative techniques are encouraged, as well.

District staff will evaluate grant applications based on criteria that include support of the district’s core missions and statutory water supply priorities, environmental benefits, readiness for implementation, financial need, and the ability to operate and maintain funded facilities, among others. Staff will present their recommendations to the District’s Governing Board, who will vote on the final project selections in late 2013.

The information presented at the workshop, along with application materials and guidelines, are available on the District’s website at . Interested applicants can contact the District at (850) 539-5999 or for more information or assistance.


GUIC awarded boat ramp repairs

County commissioners voted Aug. 20 to award Gulf Coast Utility Contractors the contract to repair the revetment and road leading to the St. George Island boat ramp damaged last year during Tropical Storm Debby.

Gulf Coast offered the low bid for the work, $434,511. FEMA reimbursed the county for the cost of the project. The deadline for completing this work is Jan. 2, 2014.

Commissioner Pinki Jackel asked that the deadline for the project be moved up to Nov. 30, 2013. “I don’t want to get in a mess like the pier project,” she said.


RESTORE Council adopts comprehensive plan

On August 28, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council held a public meeting and officially adopted the Initial Comprehensive Plan that will guide regional restoration for the foreseeable future. The plan was broadly circulated in draft form throughout most of the summer, receiving over 41,000 comments from the public meetings as well as written input.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal opened the meeting and noted the importance of building on existing efforts in a coordinated and intentional way. "Ecosystem restoration and resilience is important and must be coordinated. We must focus on planning and management as well as projects," Jindal said.

After other council representatives echoed the need for coordination, Secretary of Commerce and Council Chair Penny Pritzker noted that the Council's goal is to begin selecting and funding projects within the next 12 months.

Russ Beard of NOAA's RESTORE Act Science Program noted, "The goal at the end of all this is a robust Gulf economy and a sustainable Gulf ecosystem."

To download a copy of the Initial Comprehensive Plan and other related documents, go to 



Recent Fraudulent Activity Targeted at Duke Energy Customers

Duke Energy reminds you to protect yourself by contacting Duke and local law enforcement if you suspect or experience fraudulent activity.

Based on current events, Duke Energy has formed this list of fraud prevention tips to protect customers:

Occasionally, Duke Energy may call you to discuss your account. If they do, they will provide you with information that only you and Duke Energy would know in order to validate that our call is legitimate. If, after receiving the information, you are uncomfortable providing personal information by phone, or if you believe the call is a scam, hang up and call the company directly at 1-800-700-8744.

Do not accept offers from anyone, including those claiming to be Duke Energy employees, to pay your bill or provide any other service for a fee.

Duke Energy only charges convenience fees for payments using its automated phone system, one-time payments made through its website and at select authorized pay agents. The company does not charge extra fees for paying bills by mail or through customers’ online banking services.

Duke Energy customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from the company over the course of several weeks prior to electric service disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before disconnection.

Duke Energy never asks or requires customers who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid electric service disconnection. Customers can make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, by mail or in person.

If you or someone you know has a question about whether someone is a legitimate representative of Duke Energy, call the company at 1-800-700-8744. Call police immediately if you believe the person is an imposter.

Guard against fraud – never share your personal information, including birthday, Social Security number or banking account information.