The star

Material Information

The star
Uniform Title:
Star (Port Saint Joe, Fla.)
Place of Publication:
Port St. Joe, FL
Halifax Media Group,Tim Thompson - Publisher
Creation Date:
December 30, 2004
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Newspapers -- Port Saint Joe (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Gulf County (Fla.) ( lcsh )
newspaper ( marcgt )
newspaper ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Gulf -- Port Saint Joe
29.814722 x -85.297222 ( Place of Publication )


Additional Physical Form:
Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1937.
General Note:
Editor: Wesley R. Ramsey, <1970>.
General Note:
Publisher: The Star Pub. Co., <1970>.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 7 (Dec. 2, 1938).
Funded in part by the University of Florida, the Library Services and Technology Assistance granting program of Florida, the State Library and Archives of Florida, and other institutions and individuals.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Star, W.S. Smith, Publisher. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000358020 ( ALEPH )
33602057 ( OCLC )
ABZ6320 ( NOTIS )
sn 95047323 ( LCCN )

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Florida Digital Newspaper Library


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** Volume 81 Number 3 Subscribe to The Star Phone: 800-345-8688 Opinion .................... A4 Relief Info .................. A2 Outdoors ................. A10 Sports...................... A11 Society ...................... B2 School News .............. B3 Faith ........................ B4 Classifieds ................ B6 A4Phoenix will riseA5-6Images from Michael NEED HELP? SEE RELIEF RESOURCES, A2 Thursday, November 1, 2018YOUR HOMETOWN NEWSPAPER SINCE 1937 @PSJ_Star ¢ For breaking news, visit star” .com TURNS CLOCKS BACK By Tim CroftThe Port St. Joe Star | 850-227-7827 @PSJ_Star | tcroft@starfl.comThree weeks ago, on the evening of the catastrophe that was Hurricane Michael, anybody predicting that most of the county would have major services within a month might have been considered hurricane-shocked.Nonetheless, three weeks following the unwelcome arrival of the third-most intense storm to hit the con-tinental U.S., more than 80 percent of the county has power and a higher percent-age has water.Internet is still an issue and phone communication conjures remembrances of once upon on time calling from the dead zone called St. Joseph Peninsula, but overall the progress, given the sever-ity of the storm, has been remarkable.Looking at the big picture, everything is going great, things are moving at warp speed,Ž said county Emer-gency Management Director Marshall Nelson.We are way ahead of the best schedule we could have asked, but we are always County approved for disaster housingThe county was declared eligible for disaster housing this week. [TIM CROFT | THE STAR] Power on north end, the displaced immediate hurdlesBy Tim CroftThe Port St. Joe Star | 850-227-7827 @PSJ_Star | tcroft@starfl.comThe historic Port Theatre has sur-vived prior hurricanes.Hurricane Michael, members of the Port Theatre Arts and Com-munity Center (PTACC) said, isnt going to be the death knell to the building, which is on the Florida and National Historic Registries.One important aspect to remem-ber, said Natalie Shoaf of the PTAAC, is that while the theater was hosting concerts and other events, full renovation had yet to get started due to a lack of funding.And after muckingŽ out the mud We did it once, well do it again Top left: Plenty of debris and mud had to be mucked outŽ of the theater with producer Rick Ott lending a big hand. Right: The Port Theatre roof lost its battle with Michaels winds. Bottom left: Artists have expressed support for renovating the theater. [PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE STAR] By Tim CroftThe Port St. Joe Star | 850-227-7827 @PSJ_Star | tcroft@starfl.comGiven the destruction from Hurricane Michael, Supervi-sor of Elections John Hanlon was concerned about voter turnout for Tuesdays federal, state and local elections. Michael, after all, had ren-dered most of his precinct stations unusable.Some were damaged; others were being used as dis-tribution points for supplies.In short, a new plan was needed and that was creat-ing Super CentersŽ from the existing early voting sites.And though hours and days for voting were extended, 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. ET (6 a.m. until 6 p.m. CT) through Tuesday, Hanlon still expressed concern that voter turnout would take a hit.The concern may have been misplaced.As of Tuesday morning, after just three days of early voting, 1,707 voters had cast ballots, roughly 17 percent of the 10,193 eligible voters.Sunday afternoon, two voters figured it would be quick and easy to stop off at 401 Long Ave., the Port St. Joe Super CenterŽ and cast their ballots.And found there was a line.Election Day TuesdayVoting daily through 7 p.m. Nov. 6By Tim CroftThe Port St. Joe Star | 850-227-7827 @PSJ_Star | tcroft@starfl.comWhen it came to the subject of getting students back to the classrooms as soon as possible after Hurricane Michael, Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton did some delegating.Each school, each principal, each administrative staff, each community had its unique challenges.So Norton said act accordingly.I just asked them to do what they need to do for their school,Ž Norton said. This was home rule, right down to the Wewahitchka schools and the Port St. Joe schools.I have a strong administrative staff and I told them to do what they needed to do to get the school house going again.ŽThis is the second week of half-days, but the first with the district again providing transportation and the increase in student numbers reflect that.Principal Jay Bidwell said roughly 70 percent of students were in school at Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School. At Port St. Joe Elementary, Joni Mock reported a jump of 100 students between Schools slowly returning to normal Supporters say Port Theatre to shine again See THEATRE, A3 See HOUSING, A9 See ELECTION, A9 See SCHOOLS, A8


** A2 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The Star Star Staff ReportA citizen fuel depot is available at the Health Department building at 2475 Garrison Ave., Port St. Joe. Both unleaded and diesel are available. Hours of operation are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. ET. STAC House Clothing Bank (610 8th St, Port St Joe)Open 9 a.m until 5 p.m 7 days a week. Volunteers are needed. NEW sock, underwear and tennis shoe donations are greatly needed. Meals at First BaptistFirst Baptist Church (102 3rd St., Port St. Joe) will be serving lunch and dinner daily. FEMA Disaster Recovery CenterTwo FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers are open from 8 a.m until 6 p.m. ET in Gulf County and located at:€ Gulf County Public Library at 110 Library Drive, Port St. Joe.€ Wewahitchka Information Center, 211 N SR 71, Wewahitchka.Representatives from the State of Florida, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and other organizations are at the centers to explain available assis-tance programs and help connect survivors with resources that best match their recovery needs.To apply for assistance, you will need the following:€ Social Security number€ Daytime telephone number€ Current mailing address and address and zip code of the damaged property€ Insurance information, if available. Insurance is not required to receive assistance.Applicants can visit or call 800-621-3362.D-SNAP Food assistance availableDisaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) is available to communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. Families are encouraged to pre-register and take advantage of the phone application option by calling 855-278-7136. For Gulf County, pre-registration dates are Oct. 26-Nov. 4. Phone appli-cations will be accepted Oct. 27-Oct. 30. You can apply in person Oct. 31-Nov. 4 at Gulf Coast State College (3800 Gar-rison Ave. Port St. Joe.). Visit the D-SNAP website for more information on pre-registration, site locations, and hours of operation. Donation distribution centersResidents needing tarps and supplies may go to the following distribution centers:€ Wewahitchka Gym (852 S. Hwy. 71, Wewahi-tchka), Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. noon€ Centennial Building (2201 Centennial Dr., Port St. Joe), Mon. Fri. 2 p.m. … 5 p.m.€ Washington Rec Center (401 Peters Rd., Port St. Joe), Mon.-Fri. 2 p.m. … 5 p.m.These centers are no longer accepting dona-tions. All future donations will be directed to the state distribution center. For more information on getting supplies to the state center, please call 850-227-2349. To make cash contributions, please visit Red Cross/Salvation Armymeals, suppliesThe American Red Cross is providing shelter and meals to clients at the Honeyville Community Center (240 Honeyville Park Dr.) and the St. James Episcopal Church (800 22nd St., Port St. Joe). Mobile feeding and clean-ing kits are also available to neighborhoods in Gulf County including Wewa-hitchka, Port St. Joe, St. Joe Beach, White City and the Gulf Coast vicin-ity. The Salvation Army is providing mobile feeding throughout Gulf County, as well. They have two fixed sites at the Dollar General (8250 W. Highway 98, Port St. Joe) and the AME Church (146 Ave. C, Port St. Joe). Voting locationsSuper Center Voting Stations will be open daily through November 6, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST:€ Gulf County Supervisor of Elections Office (401 Long Ave, Port St Joe)€ Wewahitchka Public Library (314 N. 2nd Street, Wewahitchka)For more information, contact the Supervisor of Elections at 850-229-6117 or C urfew, boil water, burn banA curfew remains in effect for Gulf County from midnight to 5 a.m. EST and 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. CST. The boil water notice for White City, Wewahitchka and Port St. Joe has been lifted. Burn ban remains in effect for all of Gulf County. Tetanus and u shotsThe Florida Department of Health is offering free tetanus and flu shots in Wewahitchka (807 High-way 22) and Port St. Joe (2475 Garrison Ave.). Open Monday Friday during regular business hours. Crisis clean upResidents can call 800-451-1954 for help with home cleanup through November 2. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed because of the overwhelming need. This hotline CANNOT assist with social services such as food, clothing, shelter, insurance, or questions about FEMA registration.Operation Blue RoofFor Army Corps of Engineers help with roof tarping, visit or call 888-466-3258. Electric updatesDuke Energy customers without restored power should check your electrical box. A black check mark or green dot means it has been inspected, Duke Energy has your address and will be reconnecting you to the grid soon. If you see a red x on your box, you will need to have it repaired by a certified electrician. Once it has been repaired, please call 850-229-8944 and leave your name and address so that inspectors may come and check your box to be sure it is safe. GCECs phone system is now working. Wewahitchka office: (850) 639-2216.The Wewahitchka office lobby is open for regular business hours: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The online bill pay system at is oper-ational and no late fees are currently being assessed.RELIEF RESOURCES Special to The StarStill waiting for your insurance company to pay what you deserve for your hurricane damage?Two attorneys from the Panhandle whose families have had significant hurricane property damage, have joined forces in an effort to help you get the most from your insurance policy.J. Patrick Floyd, of Law Offices J. Patrick Floyd, Chartered, in Port St. Joe, and Ryan Hobbs of Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster, Gwartney, P.A., who have teamed up to represent Eastpoint fire victims, are now working together in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.Floyd said that if they assist you in recovering from the insurance company they will be paid from either a percentage of what they help you recover, or they will make the insurance company pay their fees.If they do not help you recover from the insur-ance company, then you do not owe them any-thing, he said.He said they have brought on board con-sulting disaster damage analysts who have lengthy experience dealing with hurricane claims and insurance companies, such as with Hurricanes Katrina and Irma.It is a benefit to the home or business owner to have your claim analyzed and is a winwin situation for the insured,Ž Floyd said. Before you accept the adjusters estimate and insurance companys offer, simply get a full copy of your entire insurance policy; what you have submitted to your insurer and, what you have been sent by them in return and get it to us.ŽPat Floyd, raised in Apalachicola and lives in Port St. Joe, can be reached at 227-7413 or Hobbs, raised in Marianna, can be reached at 850222-2000 or Call them to see how they can help you with your claims.Problems with insurance after hurricane?It is a bene t to the home or business owner to have your claim analyzed and is a win-win situation for the insured.ŽJ. Patrick Floyd, Law Of“ ces J. Patrick Floyd


** The Star | Thursday, November 1, 2018 A3The nonpro“ t PTAAC will seek grant funds to restore the roof. [SPECIAL TO THE STAR] The inside took water, but came out without signi“ cant structural damage. [SPECIAL TO THE STAR] and debris storm surge brought into the theater, the facility looks much like it did, a little rougher around the edges, maybe.It was not in pristine shape to begin with,Ž Shoaf said. So it doesnt look that much different.We have no roof. We need to get a roof up there so it does not deteriorate any further and we need a little more (improvements), such as fixing a window which is high up.ŽThe PTAAC, Shoaf said, will go back to FEMA as a non-profit and seek the funding to repair the roof, having secured letters from a pair of structural engineers.In addition, the theater remains on the list of projects seeking a state historical preservation grant, though the theater and Centennial Building, top 10 projects last year, have dropped on the funding list.At least two shows scheduled for the theater have already been lost, Shoaf said, but art-ists, both those who have performed in the theater and those who have not, have shown support for the facilitys rebirth.They have told us when you are ready we will come back, whether its playing outside or whatever, and do whatever you want us to do,Ž Shoaf said.Their support has been amazing.ŽAnd while the members of the PTACC have professional and personal hardships to dig out of, Shoaf has little doubt the theater will do just that and thrive.I think the community needs that theater,Ž Shoaf said. We (brought it back) once and we will do it again, working together.This community has come together; it has been amazing to see.Ž THEATREFrom Page A1They have told us when you are ready we will come back, whether its playing outside or whatever, and do whatever you want us to do. Their support has been amazing.ŽNatalie Shoaf, PTAAC


** A4 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The Star OPINION Published every Thursday at 135 W. U.S. 98, Port St. Joe, FL 32456 Publisher: Tim Thompson Editor: Tim Croft Circulation: 850-522-5197 SUBSCRIPTIONS In county Out of county 1 Year: $24.15 $34.65 6 Months: $15.75 $21 Home delivery subscribers may be charged a higher rate for holiday editions. TO ALL ADVERTISERS In case of error or omissions in advertisements, the publishers do not hold themselves liable for damage further than the amount received for such advertisement. The spoken word is given scant attention; the printed word is thoughtfully weighed. The spoken word barely asserts; the printed word thoroughly convinces. The spoken word is lost; the printed word remains. By Lee H. HamiltonSpecial to The StarRight now, with the elections almost upon us, the nations attention is understandably drawn to what happens in the voting booth. Yet as crucial as voting may be to making our representative democracy work, what happens outside the voting booth is just as crucial. So Id like to take a step back from the politics of the moment, and consider five essentials to living in a democratic country that youre unlikely to see mentioned in the next few weeks news coverage. The first is transparency. Without it, voters cannot do the work our Constitution entrusts to them. With very few exceptions „ mostly related to national security „ information generated or gathered by the government should be public. Why? Because if citizens do not know whats being done in their name, and so are unable to pass informed judgment on the elected officials and administrations who govern on their behalf, then you cannot have a representative democracy worthy of the name. Government needs daylight, and citizens have to be able to weigh decisions and assess the decision-makers. It is all too common for public officials to want to hold information to themselves; it makes them feel more important and makes policy-making easier. But be suspicious of those who do so. Surely the burden is on them to persuade us that keeping us in the dark is to our benefit. The second essential follows naturally from transparency: accountability. It is part of democracys bedrock„ and is vital to good governance. Officials have to be held accountable for their actions and their decisions, especially if they choose not to adhere to their obligations or to follow the law. This is not as rigorous as it ought to be. Officials seldom step up and say, Im responsible for this.Ž Within government, there needs to be a clear command and control structure that promotes accountability, with clean lines of authority. Decision-makers have to take responsibility for what they are charged to do. Few things in government frustrated me more than my often unsuccessful efforts to learn who was in charge. Our system was created to encourage accountability by balancing power „ among the three branches, between the House and Senate, between the federal government and the states, between elected officials and voters. The Founders set up a system of elaborate checks and balances to prevent abuse and the concentration of power, because they believed that the accumulation of power in any person or institution diminished accountability and could lead to tyranny. At the same time, however, our system demands cooperation: between branches, parties, political leaders„ really, all of us. Were all in this together, and in the end, government cannot function if we do not work in a cooperative manner. Thats why people like bipartisanship: its a key sign of cooperation. Polarization and extreme partisanship rightly irritate Americans because they exacerbate the differences among us. They make it much harder to govern. Trying to get all hands to work together for the common good is right at the core of representative democracy. Which means that inclusivity is also key. People don't want to be shut out or to be voiceless. Being shunted aside by those in power only builds resentment and anger. The fourth essential is actually a matched set: accuracy, integrity, fairness „ these are traditional values that ought never to go out of style, even if sometimes they appear to be in eclipse. If those who operate our system speak untruths, lack basic honesty, and show bias, it will surely fail. Finally, democracy rests on pragmatism. Strong institutions to carry out policy, highly competent government officials, realistic expectations on what can and cannot be achieved, civility, compromise, and respect for all views „ these are the necessary ingredients to make progress in a complex, divided country. Pragmatism does, however, need to be leavened with a little optimism. Governing effectively requires a mindset that progress is possible, that we can understand the problem, look at proposed solutions, make rational judgments about what should be done, and then get them enacted into law and implemented. Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar of the IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies; and a Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.Theres more to democracy than voting"Don't give up ... you've got a reason to live; Can't forget ... we only get what we give." "You Get What You Give" as performed by The New RadicalsIn the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, dozens of volunteer contractors, laborers and concerned citizens converge on affected areas in and around Panama City, FL each day. They donate money and supplies, chainsaw trees and pull limbs from homes, haul away debris and carry water and gas to grateful residents. Many of us like to help others when we can. That is why one change in the new tax law may deserve some scrutiny. The new $24,000 standard deduction (for married filing jointly taxpayers) might cause some taxpayers to be less charitable going forward. Lets say you traditionally itemize and you claim $10,000 in home mortgage interest and $5,000 in medical expenses. And lets also presume that you gave $5,000 to your favorite charities. Thats a total of $20,000 in itemized deductions. As of this year, youre better off taking the standard $24,000 deduction and no longer itemizing at all. And this would be true whether you gave $5,000 to charities or not. Speaking purely from a taxation perspective, we may see fewer Americans giving to charitable causes, as more taxpayers will simply take the standard deduction. Call it an unintended consequence of the new tax laws. Say you're in a 24 percent tax bracket, are filing jointly and your combined income is between $165,000 and $315,000. And let's just say you had a combined $15,000 in itemized deductions. Your taxable income will not be affected by your charitable contributions unless you donate over $9,000. Admittedly, tax planning and preparation can be trickier for higher net worth taxpayers and we suggest that readers should always rely on their tax professional for personal advice. So while there is some fear that the average American may cut back on charitable contributions, many will still give generously to church coffers and to other charitable causes, even without the tax break. Americans are big-hearted in this regard. But many might be more inclined to give if their taxable income was also lowered by virtue of their charitable contributions. It makes sense for our laws to reward American taxpayers for their altruism. These charitable contributions make for better, safer communities; they support causes that relieve suffering and promote high ideals; they assist churches and schools and other organizations which enhance the quality of life for all of us. Thus, if we can create tax laws that dovetail with the generous spirit harbored by many Americans, we'll be doing ourselves a service. Margaret R. McDowell, ChFC, AIF, author of the syndicated economic column Arbor Outlook,Ž is the founder of Arbor Wealth Management, LLC, (850.608.6121 … www., a fiduciary, fee-onlyŽ registered investment advisory firm located near Destin, FL. This column should not be considered personalized investment advice and provides no assurance that any specific strategy or investment will be suitable or profitable for an investor.Creating tax law that re ects the American spiritRoger Thomas drove by early Thursday morningƒ. the day after Michaels visit. Coach, water flooded my house, Ive lost most everything. Im just thankful we are all safe. And it could have been worse. I really feel for those people that got hit harder than we did.Ž Dont nobody out there worry about Port St. Joe! Ive known Roger since he was a young boy. And Ive watched him grow into one of the most stand-up, honest, good peopleŽ that Ive ever known. He is sincere as a heartbeat. And when he leans out the window of that old truck and tells you, as the Gulf of Mexico is still receding from his home, that he is more concerned about his less fortunate neighbors than he is himself„he means it to the very core of his body! Listen carefully here, we have a town full of Roger Thomases! Sure, you can see the trees down in every yard on every street. You can see tall pines and giant oaks sticking through roofs. You can see tin ripped up, shingles missing, boats overturned, windows busted, fences laid flat, debris scattered from here to eternity. And you can also see homes (and that is way different than a house) that have been destroyed. Totally. The combination of wind and water did their number on them. Those are the hit harderŽ friends that Roger has on his mind. That we all have on our hearts and prayers. Trust me, you dont want to see our First Baptist Church; or our beautiful Methodist Church down by the bay; or the Long Avenue Baptist Church„three of my favorite places in town! All sustained bone crushing damage. Its what hurricanes do. And Michael came and went in a ball of fury. But dont you worry about Port St. Joe! The few neighbors that stayed were in my yard near bout before sun up on the day afterwards. They had no electricity. No running water. Most had a fair amount more damage than I sustained. They came with rakes, wheelbarrows, chainsaws and a smile. And a will to helpŽ planted deep in the American spirit that is alive and well in our little town. The overriding thought, and the first words you heard from everyones lips were, Are yall all right?Ž Do you know of anyone who is injured?Ž Who needs help?Ž Not one person stopped by with a discouraging word! Nor have I heard one in the ensuing days. Heavy hearts for sure. We had looked around. The loss was terrific and evident in every direction. We were dazed maybe, even stunned at the lick we had taken, but I can tell you as an eye witness, concern for others was the order of the day! We knew help was on its way. But we were not waiting on it. The roar of chainsaw music displaced Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks. Someone said we were down but not out.Ž As I looked around town I thought up and atemŽ might be more appropriate. Folks were sharing what food and water they hadƒ..and everything else. Im telling you, cooperation abounded on every front. As did the hugs and well wishes. We discovered there are things in life way more important than iPods, TiVos, footballƒ..even electricity. You know how people joke about their small city government being like Mayberry. Its inept, over costly, maybe even backwards thinkingƒ..everybody that ought to be working is over at the barber shopƒ.. Let me tell you about ours, ONE DAY after the worst hurricane in the history of the Florida Panhandle ripped right through us, the city had the water back on! You would have had to have been here to understand what a gift that was. Here might be the most telling trait of the whole situation. And I may not be a good enough writer for you to fully understandƒ. We had many folks who sustained only minimal damage. For whatever reasons, luck, fate, Divine Providence, they escaped the mass carnage. They were happy of course. Thankful. Understood to the fullest how blessed they were. BUT they were not overjoyed! They werent celebrating their good fortune. Too many friends and neighbors were sufferingƒ.. They were, however, lending a hand. They were checking on the needs around them. They were pulling tree limbs and saltwater soaked dressers, sofas and beds out to the road. You talk about a group effort! Ive heard way more laughter than Ive seen tears. And Ive never been prouder to be a part of the human race. If only the world could catch just a whiff of what weve got here in our little town today. Dont you worry about Port St. Joe! Respectfully, KesHUNKER DOWNWatch this Phoenix rise! Kesley Colbert Margaret McDowell




** A6 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The Star ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF RICH GRAULICH OF THE PALM BEACH POSTHurricane Michael: IMAGES FROM ST. JOE, MEXICO BEACHA damaged home in Highland View, Florida, after damage from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24. Fire“ ghters from Putnam County and West Manatee Fire Rescue departments pose with Air Force veteran Sam Anttila in Port St. Joe Beach, Florida, after helping repair damage to his home from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24. Moacir Jose Dutra, with MJ Dutra Pavers, cuts away cracked concrete surrounding a pool in Port St. Joe, Florida, after damage from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24. Homes and debris litter a canal bank in Mexico Beach, Florida, after damage from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24. [RICHARD GRAULICH/PBPOST.COM] Stacy and Kaye Harbin salvage items from around the foundation of their home near 42nd Street in Mexico Beach, Florida, after damage from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24. Empty foundations, looking south from the El Governor Motel on Mexico Beach, Florida, after damage from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24. Boats are strewn on the shore outside Canal Park in Mexico Beach after damage from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24. Stacy Harbin salvages special bricks he used around his home imported from St. Joe, Missouri, from around his ” attened property in Mexico Beach, Florida, after damage from Hurricane Michael on Oct. 24.


** The Star | Thursday, November 1, 2018 A7


** A8 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The StarMonday and Tuesday, with roughly 434 students in class Tuesday.That is out of an enrollment of nearly 600.Principal Josh Dailey said enrollment at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School, about 504 prior to Michael, was about 330 on Tuesday.The students are in good spirits and weve been working on providing them any needed counseling,Ž Dailey said. After a week of review, we are moving forward in classes.ŽDailey added that the biggest game-changerŽ was moving back to the high school last week after it was deemed structurally safe.High school students were splitting use of Port St. Joe Elementary School the first week.The district will remain half-days, Norton said, adding he had no date in mind for the resumption of full days with after-school programs and other extracurricular activities. Those half days are in the morning, in large measure to allow teachers and other staff to set-up appointments with insurance adjusters and FEMA.There are others who have a greater need than being in school,Ž Dailey said.Norton said district administrators will consult with state officials before determining a full resumption of school.Norton added that some of the damage to schools, particularly Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School, may render that building unable to be fully opened until after Thanksgiving.But regardless of a timetable, to say teachers and students are showing eagerness, a determination, to return to school, is evident, principals said.The students seem excited to be back and they are doing good,Ž Bidwell said. I have all my teachers, but one is commuting from Destin and another is commuting from Tallahassee.Another teacher is here but doesnt have a house. We are getting there.ŽAnd that school has had the most work to do in preparation for students, given classroom destruction, forcing Bidwell and staff into some creative spacing.ŽThe junior-senior high school lost at least seven classrooms, so high school and middle school students are sharing the Oscar Redd wing of the school nor-mally used exclusively by the middle school.Daileys staff is also fully back, save one teacher who could not secure housing locally, while Mock said she was lacking just three teachers still dealing with displacement.And all said that teaching was taking place and forward momentum occur-ring on curriculum. School is going great,Ž Mock said. We are excited about the number of students that have returned. Its been awesome.Ž SCHOOLSFrom Page A1Principal Joni Mock reads to students at Port St. Joe Elementary as they had a “ eld tripŽ to the pumpkin patch. [SPECIAL TO THE STAR]


** The Star | Thursday, November 1, 2018 A9Additional trucks and laydown yards should speed debris pickup. [TIM CROFT | THE STAR] going to have some hiccups.ŽRight now, the biggest challenges are restoring power to the countys entire north end and providing hous-ing for those displaced and left without a home by Michael.The latter is obviously a significant issue in a county where 1,146 homes were completely destroyed, 1,826 structures sustained major damage and 3,524 sustained what is considered minor damage.This week the county was notified that it qualified for disaster housing.Nelson said that would likely mean the FEMA trailer program that was dis-banded after Hurricane Katrina.Most of the rental housing in the county is coastal,Ž Nelson noted.Much of that, he added, was damaged or will be rented to those who already reserved their space for a future visit.Our housing market is gone (after Michael). We dont have places to rent,Ž Nelson added.The FEMA process, as explained by state officials during a meeting on housing last week, considers the popu-lation impacted by a natural disaster as something of an inverted triangle.At the top of that pyramid are home-owners who through insurance or some other mechanism, SBA loan, FEMA reimbursement, will qualify for assistance through other programs.As FEMA works down that pyramid, as those eligible for other programs are made whole and drop away from the process, what is left are those not eli-gible for other programs.Those are the displaced people emer-gency housing aims to assist, starting with those still in shelters in Honeyville and Oak Grove Church.And, Nelson said, a significant number of those who lost their homes will ultimately be found at the bottom of that pyramid.I know the process, but what we need is to expedite the process,Ž Nelson said. We know, because in this county everybody knows everybody, that there are going to be people who need that housing.The next steps are disaster housing and the displaced.ŽCounty Administrator Michael Hammond said during a special meet-ing last week that there are no county ordinances, rules or regulations which prevent the deployment of FEMA trail-ers in the county.Further, Hammond said the city of Port St. Joe had relaxed certain rules to allow FEMA trailers within the city.Contrary to rumors on social media, Hammond emphasized, there are no local restrictions to the FEMA trailers.And, Commissioner Ward McDan-iel emphasized, it was important for residents to register with the FEMA disaster recovery center at the public library.FEMA, McDaniel and Nelson said, can only address needs it can quantify and that is what the FEMA and SBA application processes accomplish.On the power front, Gulf Coast Elec-tric Cooperative continues to work on the north end issues, with about 18 per-cent of its customers in the county still without power as of press time.The issue is damage to main transmission lines coming out of Georgia, but Nelson noted the Co-Op stepped up and deployed generators widely to bring power back up for most of the north end.On the south end, the fact that nearly the entire area had power less than 10 days after the storm was, Nelson said, remarkable.Duke Energy, they deserve a gold star,Ž he said.As for water to north of the Stump Hole on St. Joseph Peninsula, replace-ment of nearly a mile of sewer line has been completed by the city of Port St. Joe and replacement of water line the same distance was near completion by Lighthouse Utilities. The city of Port St. Joe and (Lighthouse) really jumped on that,Ž Nelson said. The only thing holding them up was getting the (Florida Department of Transportation) to mark the new right-of-way.ŽOther than those with wells and no power, that area is the last major sec-tion of the county without running water.Debris removal in some areas was not going as fast as hoped, or as in other areas, but Nelson said contrac-tor Ash Britt had added more trucks and established additional lay down yards to facilitate faster, more efficient removal. HOUSINGFrom Page A1Between here and Wewahitchka, I have had the busiest Sunday we have ever had,Ž Hanlon said.For each typical election cycle, there is one Sunday of early voting.It is usually pretty slow, but this year, we have been very busy,Ž Hanlon said.Of the 1,700 or so ballots cast, 995, just short of 10 percent of eligible voters, had voted during just the three days of early voting. I was worried about voter turnout, but if it continues like this we may have one of our highest turnouts ever,Ž Hanlon said. I am amazed, but that is Gulf County voters. Our voters vote.ŽThe Wewahitchka Super CenterŽ is located at the Wewahitchka Public Library on N. 2nd Street.Regardless of a voters precinct number, they can vote at either Super Center.ŽFor this election cycle, Hanlon is also rolling out an electronic voting system in which a voters drivers license or photo ID is placed in a reader and a ballot appropriate to that voter is printed.Voters are asked to consider state races for governor, attorney general, agricultural commissioner and insur-ance commissioner as well as a federal race for the Congressional District 2 seat.There are 13 proposed amendments to the state constitution to be considered as well as the retention of a handful of appellate judges.Voters in county Districts 1, 2 and 4 will also be asked to decide their rep-resentative to the Board of County Commissioners.There are three candidates in each race.In District 1, incumbent Commissioner David Rich is challenged by William Lawson and John Nagy.Incumbent Commissioner Ward McDaniel is challenged by Tom Semmes and Josh Taunton in District 2,And in District 4, Commissioner Sandy Quinn, Jr., the incumbent, faces challenges from Ronald Pickett and Amy Rogers. ELECTIONFrom Page A1


** A10 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The Star OUTDOORSCONTACT USEmail outdoor news to FISHING REPORTA little fisherman with the Shane Allen party caught his Trout off Indian Pass while fishing with Captain Joey and St. Vincent Island Shuttle.First bite[SPECIAL TO THE STAR] Special to The StarIn fall, Florida black bear activity increases as bears begin a natural process of putting on fat for the winter. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds people to be BearWise to help prevent conflicts with Floridas largest land mammal.To be prepared for winter, bears require around 20,000 calories a day and will eat anything thats convenient. Getting food from a garbage can often provide bears with more calories in a shorter amount of time than foraging in the woods. This easy source of calories draws more bears into areas where people live and work, which can be poten-tially dangerous for both people and bears.Keeping garbage secure not only helps keep people safe but also helps bears.We are assisting local governments with advice and funding to help them be more BearWise,Ž said Dave Telesco, head of the FWCs Bear Management Program. But everyone has a role. The best way people can help is by keeping trash secure from bears.ŽSince 2007, a total of $2.1 million of BearWise fund-ing has been provided to local governments, includ-ing in Gulf County. Over $1.4 million of this was provided with support from the Legislature and Gov. Scott, and $680,000 from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida using proceeds of the Con-serve Wildlife license plate.To keep bears wild and away from your home, follow these simple tips:€ Secure household garbage in a sturdy shed, garage or a wildlife-resis-tant container.€ Put household garbage out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before.€ Secure commercial garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters.€ Protect gardens, bee yards, compost and live-stock with electric fencing.€ Encourage your home-owners association or local government to institute ordinances to require trash be secured from bears.€ Feed pets indoors or bring in dishes after feeding.€ Clean grills and store them in a secure place.€ Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.€ Pick ripe fruit from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground.It is illegal in Florida to intentionally feed bears or leave out food or garbage that will attract bears and cause human-bear con-flicts. If you see or suspect that someone is feeding or attracting bears, call the FWCs Wildlife Alert Hot-line at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).You can also help people and bears stay safe by remembering to watch for bears while driving. This time of year, bears are traveling across more roads in search of food, which results in more bear-vehicle collisions. Every year over 230 bears are killed on Florida road-ways. The FWC advises drivers to be aware of their surroundings as they drive in bear country, especially around dusk and dawn, and when there is forest on both sides of the road. The FWC works with Florida Department of Transpor-tation to post bear crossing signs in areas that receive particularly high levels of vehicle-bear collisions.For more information on Florida black bears, includ-ing how to reduce conflicts with them, visit MyFWC. com/Bear and click on Live BearWise.Ž There you can click on brochures and other materialsŽ to view Vehicle Collisions with BearsŽ one in a series of FWCs Living with Flor-ida Black Bears videos.FWC: Bears more active this time of year[SPECIAL TO THE STAR] Special to The StarHurricane Michael impacted St. Vincent Island on Oct. 10, resulting in significant damage, both due to storm surge and winds. Much of the islands infrastructure was damaged, and many of the islands roads have been washed out. After careful examination of the island, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined today that the Archery Hunt for white-tailed deer to be held on Nov. 15-17 and the Sambar Deer hunt to be held on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 will be cancelled. The Jan. 17-19, 2019 Muz-zleloader Hunt will still be held.For anyone who has purchased a permit for the Archery or Sambar hunts, you will be able to use your permit for next years hunts. Unfortunately, there is no other way to reimburse you for your purchased permit.Thank you for your understanding.For more information, please call 850 /925-6121Archery, Sambar hunts on St. Vincent National Island cancelled BE SAFE OUT THERE Bluewater Outriggers


** The Star | Thursday, November 1, 2018 A11 SPORTSBy David AdlersteinGatehouse MediaIt was an ironic home-coming for Franklin County Friday night.Wewahitchkas 8-6 win broke the Seahawks hearts, but the home team left the field knowing they had won their opponents hearts.In an emotional halftime ceremony, the Seahawk homecoming court, led by newly crowned Queen Alexus Johnson and King Mikalin Huckeba, the cheer-leadeing squads and scores of fans presented their opponents with a giant wooden Gator mascot, symbolic of their love and support for the Gulf County community clotheslined by Hurricane Michaels fury.The Franklin County kids then sang the Katy Perry hit Fight SongŽ to their rivals, and the two sides embraced at midfield.On the field of play, the embrace was less cordial, as the two teams resumed play after a three-week hurricane hiatus.The rustiness was evident from the opening drive, when Bobby Johns squad, led on the ground by senior fullback Trevor Nunnery, and junior Tyreeq Thomas, drove down to the Seahawk 25, only to be stopped cold on a fourth-and-four.On the Seahawks opening play, the usually sure-handed sophomore Lamarius Martin coughed up the ball and sophomore line-backer Harley Redd pounced.Led by two tackles for loss by senior defensive end Tonnor Segree, the Seahawks stopped the Gators on downsFreshman quarterback Colin Amison connected with Martin on a 30-yard strike, but on the next play, Martin caught, and then fumbled, the pass and Gator senior linebacker Alex Edwards was there to recover.The game stayed score-less until 3:31 left in the half, when, on a fourth and four at the Seahawk 16, Nunnery ran it to the one, and fumbled the ball into the end zone, where senior teammate Truman Green jumped on it for the score.A quarterback keeper by sophomore Creed Pariera accounted for the two-point conversion that would spell the difference in the game.The Seahawks came out strong in their opening drive of the second half, and led by senior wingback Colton Evans, drove to a first and 10 on the Gator 35. On a sweep, Martin rambled in for the score, but the twopoint conversion pass was thwarted.Johns turned to quarter-back keepers on first downs, hoping to avoid getting set back on his heels against a pesky Seahawk defense.We played pretty well on defense,Ž said Coach Tony Yeomans, whose 2-5 squad hosts Lighthouse Charter on Tuesday afternoon, and wraps up its season at home Friday against Munroe.We had too many turn-overs,Ž he said. Well be back. Well be all right.ŽThe Seahawks earned a final chance at winning when with 1:08 left in the game, on a fourth-and-one at midfield, their defense stopped the Gator run to force a turnover.Amison managed a first-down completion to junior Javan Pride, but a spirited Gator effort forced a pair of incompletions and a sack as time ran out.Our community needed this, our fans need this and our team needed this,Ž said Johns afterwards, his team improved to 5-3. Im proud of our defense. We played better than we expected.ŽIn addition to the win, the Gators returned home with a trailer filled with water and other donations collected by the Seahawks before the game.Gators edge Franklin County in return to actionBy Greg JordanHead Football Coach/Athletic Director Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School Special to The StarThe Sharks, through the grace of God and a lot of hard work from a lot of people, were able to get back to football this past Friday afternoon. It was a beautiful afgternoon to play with an unusual kickoff time of 4 p.m.We waived admission charges and a church group out of South Georgia cooked meals for all the fans also at no charge.This was a chance for our football team to give back a little in a time of need to a community that has given so much to our athletic program over the years.This game was about a lot more than winning or losing.It was about being able to play again at our home field in front of our fans. We just hope we were able to pro-vide a little enjoyment to our community in an otherwise desperate situation.The Sharks won the game 34-14 to improve to 7-0 on th season. We are back at our school this week trying to resume a sense of normalcy for our kids. Things will take time but get a little better each day.This week the Sharks travel to Tallahassee to take on a very talented North Florida Christian team. It will be a great test for our kids before the playoffs begin next week.A big thank you to all the fans that came out last week to support us. Thanks again and hope to see you in Tallahassee this week. Go Sharks.Coachs Corner On behalf of the Franklin County Schools, Seahawk Duncan Whaley presents Wewahitchka fans with a Gator from off their senior ” oat, a sign of support for that ravaged Gulf County community. [ DAVID ADLERSTEIN | APALACHICOLA TIMES ] By Tim CroftThe Port St. Joe Star 850-227-7827 | @PSJ_Star tcroft@starfl.comLess than a minute into the second period last Friday after-noon Arnold became just the second team to score on Port St. Joe this season.With zero time on the clock after four quarters at Shark Stadium, the Tiger Sharks remained unbeaten after roll-ing past the Marlins (4-3) 34-14 behind a series of big plays and key second-half drive.But, in reality, which team won, which lost, and final scores meant little; just over two weeks after Hurricane Michael laid waste to Gulf County, Friday football was back.It was good to get back out there,Ž said Port St. Joe coach Greg Jordan. Today was about more than wins and losses for the kids, the school and the community.We represented well. Over-all, I was pleased with how we played.ŽThe Tiger Sharks practiced the Tuesday before the storm and did not come back together until eight days after Michael, for a dinner of grilled hamburgers just to see who had evacuated and whether num-bers were sufficient for a team.And after missing two games, the kickoff for Friday was moved to 4 p.m. to accom-modate safe travel for the Marlins and admission was waived.We had 35 on the varsity roster and we have 33 kids who are here and want to play,Ž Jordan said. They wanted to be out here representing their school and community.ŽWhile there were mistakes borne of inactivity and lack of game action, the Tiger Sharks (7-0 with a trip to North Flor-ida Christian remaining in the regular season) did what needed doing for victory.They rushed for over 300 yards and ended with 374 total offensive yards.The defense allowed a touchdown for just the second time this season, and though they limited the Marlins to 240 yards, it was the most yardage Port St. Joe has allowed this season.Port St. Joe was first on the scoreboard, which was up and running just five min-utes before kickoff after rapid repairs, when Josh Butts completed the teams second possession with a winding 21-yard run.Butts had a game-high 113 yards rushing and was 3 for 6 for 74 yards with an intercep-tion passing.Joel Bogaert kicked the extra point to make it 7-0 but Arnold responded with a 13-play, 66-yard drive, quarterback Cade Ledman sneaking over from the 1.An extra point kick knotted the score at 7-7.It was the last time Arnold sniffed the lead as Cameron Harmon, with two nifty moves to elude tacklers, took the ensuing kickoff back 95 yards for a touchdown.Bogaerts extra-point was blocked and it was 13-7.Arnold answered again, driving from its 14 to the Port St. Joe 33 before the drive stalled, resulting in a 4-yard punt.Butts carried for 21 yards, Kelvin Griffin 25 yards, Butts added 10 more and two plays later Griffin went 13 yards on a sweep right for the score and Bogaert made it 20-7 just before intermission.Early in the third quarter, Arnold received the benefit of a short punt, taking over at the Port St. Joe 48.After a 27-yard pass from Ledman to Thomas Risalvato the Marlins appeared poised to score.But Risalvato took the ball on an end-around pass play and his pass to Ledman leaking out of the backfield was intercepted by Harmon.Port St. Joe took over at its 5 and salted away the remain-ing eight minutes of the third quarter, marching 95 yards in 14 plays.The touchdown came on a gorgeous misdirection from the 37, the play movement and defense going right while Butts, with no one within 15 yards, sprinting left and scor-ing easily.Bogaert made it 27-7 less than a minute into the fourth quarter.After holding Arnold three-and-out, the Tiger Sharks took over at midfield and needed only five plays to add more points on Khayyan Zacarros 2-yard run, the key play a 46-yard pass from Butts to Jataevion Reed. Bogaert made it 34-7.Arnold scored a meaning-less touchdown in the final two minutes, recovering a Port St. Joe fumble in the end zone.Port St. Joe handles Arnold 3414Cameron Harmon (7) returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and had a key interception.[COURTESY OF WAYNE TAYLOR] Star Staff ReportAs the final week of the regular season unfolds Friday, Port St. Joe is atop the region football playoff rankings with Wewahitchka within striking distance of one of the four postseason spots.Port St. Joe, which faces North Florida Christian in Tallahassee on Friday, has 39.14 points to lead the Region 2 power rankings, according to the Florida High School Athlet-ics Association.The 7-0 Tiger Sharks appear all but guaranteed a playoff spot win or lose, and would clinch home field for at least the first round with a win over NFC.Sneads is in second place with 38.50 points and Jefferson County, which has been sitting on top for weeks, is in third with 38.13. Blountstown rounds out the top four with 37.50 points.The top four teams earn spots in the playoff, the top two as host schools in the first round.Wewahitchka, 5-3 and host-ing Florida A&M Friday, is in sixth with 34.50 points and if three points appears a large chasm to cross to reach fourth-place, it should be noted that Port St. Joe added two points after beating Arnold last Friday.Blountstown hosts Vernon, Sneads visits Liberty County and Jefferson County visits Wakulla Friday.Tiger Sharks sit atop playo rankings


** A12 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The Star SCENE AROUNDA St. Joe Beach sunset [COURTESY OF MARGE SCOTT] The north end of Cape San Blas, overlooking St. Joseph Bay, at sunset [COURTESY OF BRANDON THRON] A baby box turtle [COURTESY OF KAREN AND GRIFF GAINNIE] A majestic Great Blue Heron walks casually along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico [COURTESY OF CAROL AND PHIL DOHMEN] Moonset over Port St. Joe [COURTESY OF RON RUDOLPH] Birds congregate on the tip of St. Joseph Peninsula, which is now an island [COURTESY OF TERRY LIND] Sunset over St. Joseph Bay [COURTESY OF KENNY MOORE] Send us your photos that spotlight the best that Gulf Coast has to offer. This page is for photos submitted to The Star by readers. Please submit your photos to tcroft@star” .com .


** The Star | Thursday, November 1, 2018 B1 TRIVIA FUN COMMUNITY Wilson Casey One of nine honored by Florida TaxWatch By Tim CroftThe Port St. Joe Star 850-227-7827 | @PSJ_Star tcroft@starfl.comTracy Bowers, who last year was the principal at Wewahi-tchka Elementary School, was among nine principals recog-nized by Florida TaxWatch with its Leadership Award.ŽBowers, who moved to the district offices to oversee testing for the current school year after three years as principal at Wewahitchka Elementary, was one of just two Northwest Florida teach-ers honored and hailed from by far the smallest county of any of the recognized teachers.The Principal Leadership Awards (PLA), given out since 2013, aims to recognize the states most effective prin-cipals in at-risk K-12 public schools, where success can truly be transformative,Ž according to a release from Florida TaxWatch.The nine winners will be recognized May 23 during a ceremony in Orlando.Three principals will take home top honors and an addi-tional cash prize.In addition, each winning principal will have the opportunity to select a stu-dent in their school to receive a two-year Florida College Plan Scholarship as part of a program sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Foun-dation and Florida TaxWatch.PLA winners are determined based on an analysis of student achievement gains in reading and mathematics in schools that have a high percentage of students with disabilities, students eligible for free or reduced lunch and students designated as English as a second language learners.WESs Bowers recognized as outstanding principalTracy Bowers, here with Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton, was county Teacher of the Year in 2014. [FILE PHOTO] Trivia FunŽ with Wilson Casey, Guinness World Record Holder from Woodruff, S.C., is published in more than 500 newspapers across the country. Comments, questions or sug-gestions? 1. From studies, men are more likely to do what household chore in the morning, while women are more likely to do it at night?Take out trash, Sweep, Wash dishes, Laundry2. Who was the first woman pilot to break the sound barrier (1953)?Jackie Cochran, Catherine Thompson, Cheryl Monson, Amelia Earhart3. When did the U.S. Government drop old ageŽ as an official cause of death?Havent, 1951, 1988, 20064. Whats the head of foam found on a shot of espresso called?Beema, Crema, Derby, Shingle5. Which is nicknamed the Valley IslandŽ of Hawaii?Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Oahu6. Who was the first president of all 50 states?FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK ANSWERS: 1. Wash dishes, 2. Jackie Cochran, 3. 1951, 4. Crema, 5. Maui, 6. EisenhowerIf anyone believed that Hurricane Michael would provide too much of an obsta-cle for the local pickleball players, they have not been paying attention.The fastest-growing sport in the nation has a firm toehold in Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, with new courts to be built in Veterans Memorial Park at Beacon Hill.And so it was, despite their individual personal hardships, that members of the local Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach pickleball leagues gathered after the storm.Raising a racket after MichaelLike most property along the bay, Frank Pate Park was swamped by Michael. [PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE STAR] Broken fencing, sand on the courts, debris all around See BOWERS, B5 See MICHAEL, B5By Tim CroftThe Port St. Joe Star 850-227-7827 | @PSJ_Star tcroft@starfl.comPure happenstance put Capt. Paul Weir and his East Manatee County Fire and Rescue engine company on Cape San Blas.Luck of the draw put his team, four among the 28 mem-bers of the Manatee County strike team assembled to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, in Gulf County.But just as tales of bonds forged in war are part of the history books, the experi-ences of Weir and his company during more than two weeks in Gulf County are indelible and long-lasting.We definitely feel like we accomplished a lot, but what I remember most are the personal connections,Ž Weir said by phone. That will be the thing that for me will last forever.Their faces, their stories, and the connections we made. I will remember that forever.ŽThe Manatee County strike team was assembled from per-sonnel who volunteered for the mission, along with the required compliment of officers.From across all three of our shifts we had an overwhelmingly positive response for volunteers,Ž Weir said. It is an honor to serve and it is an adventure.Some guys were a little upset they didnt get to go.ŽWeir and engine Co. 641 originally staged in Tallahas-see before Michaels arrival and moved to Marianna in the days immediately following land-fall, clearing roads, assisting in search and rescue missions and supporting basic fire and rescue services.They were relieved by another company and by the Monday after Michael, six days after landfall, they arrived at South Gulf Fire and Rescue Sta-tion No. 1.Their orders to assist in fire and rescue in the south end of the county.It was Weirs first visit to the area and it was clear the company, which includes four firefighters and an engine, would be here for a bit.We were originally told it would be a 7-14 day deployment,Ž Weir said. When we got there and saw the destruc-tion we knew it was going to be at least a 14-day deployment.ŽForging connection in chaosEast Manatee Engine Company 641 was stationed in South Gulf County for two weeks after Hurricane Michael. [COURTESY OF PAUL WEIR] See CHAOS, B5


** B2 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The StarI kept w riting, and rewriting, this column in my mind as I pondered what I could possibly say to add to the chorus of voices talking about what Hurricane Michael has done to our beloved Northwest Florida. What came to my mind is an old saying that seems to apply right now more than ever. Many a farmer has said the words, Ive got a long row to hoe,Ž looking at the hard work ahead of him. He didnt say he wasnt going to do it, of course. He just acknowledged it, and probably said a prayer for strength to do what was before him. Likewise, all our beloved communities affected by that awful storm have a long row to hoeŽ to regain any semblance of normalcy, and as I drove through some of them on my way to St. Joe Beach after the storm, I was brought to tears by the enormity of the job. The thousands upon thousands of trees, broken in half like toothpicks, or lying on the ground. The tents pitched in front of now unlivable homes, popping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm. The utility poles, tossed to the ground as if they were nothing more than pieces of driftwood. The homes. The boats. The cars. The businesses. The churches; so many smashed, damaged or gone altogether. It is, indeed, a daunting task. But like the farmer, we Northwest Floridians arent giving up. I immediately saw people reaching out to their neighbors, making sure they were safe, and helping them when they could. Businesses, damaged themselves, were opening their doors when safe to do so, for anyone who needed food or a place to just sit for awhile. Churches and fire stations became central safe places for hurting, hungry people, which is so appropriate it doesnt even need to be explained, really. Strangers from around the country suddenly showed up en masse, feeding, washing, working alongside us, working for us. The power trucks seen around the area bore the names of companies from cities far and wide, all there to help restore what Michael temporarily took away. The people bringing food trucks and trailers and feeding people without charge are not only feeding bellies, they are feeding hearts and souls. Theres no way to adequately express the depth of emotions e veryone feels right now. The nearly complete devastation of our beloved towns breaks our hearts. The longing for what we had beforeƒ.light switches that actually turned on a light, faucets that offered clean water to drink and wash with, streets that had no huge piles of debris along their lengthƒthose are things that we will never take for granted again, even years after this is all over. So while we grieve for what is no longer, I know that so many of you are out there, hoe in hand, doing the hard work. I see you. I appreciate you, and I am praying for your stamina, resolve, and protection. People like you will make Northwest Florida even better, even stronger, than it was before.WHAT SOUTHERN FOLKS EAT A long, sandy row to hoe[PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE STAR] A Club members perspective of Hurricane Michael Special to The StarHurricane Michael brought major devastation to our community and surrounding areas. Many lost their homes and some lost their lives. The one thing I noticed was the outpouring of help and support from so many. No one had to go without a meal, or a place to sleep. I personally went 10 hot days with no power until I was loaned genera-tor. That came with a few problems too. I was unable to pull the cord to start it but, several firemen from Palm Beach, Parrish and Boynton Beach came to my rescue.We had locals, Florida residents from our south and many people from out of the state of Florida arrive with help, food, cleaning supplies and so much more. Thanks to Dixie County District 5 Commissioner David OSteen, William Sikes with Poorboys Performance and Lola Butler for bringing much needed supplies and a hot meal. We had an out-pouring of care that gave many hope that things will get back to normal. From firemen to linemen (from 16 states), State troopers to other county and city police officers and lots of FWC Officers. These guys left their homes to sleep in tents, or even on the floor to be available to give aide to the people affected by this storm. GFWC Wewahitchka Womans Club members were busy bees Even though our homes were affected we still got out and helped give out supplies, give comfort and hope to those who had no one to turn to. Now that things are starting to get back to normal, I have realized what a great bunch of people our community is filled with. Thanks to all who provided meals to the community. A hot meal was appreciated more than you will ever know.GFWC Wewahitchka Womans Club News [PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE STAR] Stephanie Hill-Fraizer


** The Star | Thursday, November 1, 2018 B3Principal Joni Mock fig-ured not many days have gone by that she has not been up at Port St. Joe Ele-mentary School unloading donations.Since Hurricane Michael the school has seen an outpouring of donations of supplies, backpacks, pencils, papers and a host of other items.Much of it has come from a group known as the Fairy GodparentsŽ on Facebook, organized in the wake of Hurricane Irma to provide needed supplies to schools in disaster areas.We have just been blessed,Ž Mock said. People are being so nice.ŽAmong the donations, replacing, as much as pos-sible, a planned field trip for grades pre-K through 3 to the First United Methodist Churchs Pumpkin PatchŽ which had been cancelled.A manager from a Bay County Publix carried a donation of pumpkins, as it turned out exactly one for every pre-K through third-grade student, from the store.And Mock did some storytelling outside, tell-ing Halloween-themed stories to replicate another part of a trip to the Patch.ŽIt was a lot of fun and the students really enjoyed it,Ž Mock said.The donations of supplies has become so bounteous that the elementary school is reaching out to other schools and other districts to gauge whether they could use some of the supplies donated to Port St. Joe Elementary. Tim CroftOutpouring of donations to PSJES FLORIDA STATE we are FSU Panama CitySmall campus. Major university. FSU Panama City is poised and ready to prepare todays students for tomorrows careers. We invite you to help our communitys students pursue a nationally recognized FSU degree by supporting the Campaign for Our Communitys University. Gifts to the campaign support student scholarships, enhance and expand academic programs, improve community outreach, and provide equipment and technology. For more information, contact Mary Beth Lovingood, Director of Development, at (850) 770-2108 or $10 MILLION CAMPAIGN GOAL [ ]66% NF-1091654


** B4 Thursday, November 1, 2018 | The Star FAITHSpecial to The StarRecovery, now theres a word that has many connotations, depending on the situation. Here in Port St. Joe it now has a massive new meaning for the people who are trying to reestablish a life that makes sense and has meaning. A people now tasked with finding a way to recover. Im decidedly not one of those who thinks that such things as this are Gods judgment. That is just bad theology. We do though, still live in a world where sin exists, which is why bad things still happen to good people.Ž It is not Gods will to send a hurricane or anything else to punish us„ though we might actually deserve it. God has this thing about him that is part of his character and is called his permissive will. Remember all those recent readings from Job? Why is it that Job, a man considered by God to be upright, was afflicted in such a manner as he was? Job was a man who ultimately lost even more than we have lost. Do you remember what God said to Satan about Job? Consider this point of view: the Lord God Almighty allowed Satan to do all those things to Job, because God trusted Job and knew him to be a man of integrity, a man of faith that would not turn against him. In other words God permitted it because God already knew that Job would not fail. That tells me that God already had a plan to restore Job to his former self and even more. God would provide such that Job would recover. Now this leaves us with a choice. We can sink into disparity and depression, crying out about why God has done this or we can lean on him who has, always has had, and will always continue to have our collective back. What has taken place here is nothing short of horrendous. Every one of us has been touched by the hurricane called Michael. Some of us lost much more than others, others have lost everything, and still others have lost life. Some seem to be blessed while others were not. Well, that is also bad theology. As a community, as a family I challenge us all, maybe myself the most, to continue to stand with integrity in our faith. That faith is rooted in the belief of Gods grace that will help us to recover. One of the most telling statements (to me) that is in the Book of Job comes when Job answers his wife who suggested he curse God and die. Part of what Job said was a question for us all. Shall we accept the good from Gods hand and not accept the bad?Ž This particular bad is indeed horrendous, but it does not define us, nor our faith. Look vertical, not horizontal, and we will RECOVER with Gods help. God bless you and keep you, and hold you always in the palm of his hand,Fr. TommyDear People of God,Typically this page is filled with the ads from local churches regarding service times and the like, but Hurricane Michael has added a twist. Many of those churches, if not the overwhelming majority, suffered significant damage; First Baptist lost a roof, First United Methodist suffered significant flooding from storm surge. But matters of faith defy restrictions or conventions and over the past few Sundays, local church leaders have found a variety of pulpits from which to provide a message and sing. Port St. Joe Elementary served as the sanctuary during the first two Sundays, filled to standing-room-only the second Sunday. Scallop Republic on Cape San Blas was the site of a service led by Pastor Geoffrey Lentz. Last week, the tents came out, one courtesy of the Southern Baptist Convention, and packed services were held around the community. Tim Croft Rallying around faith[COURTESY OF DEBBIE CROFT] Ronald George Kelly went to be with his Lord and Savior and his beloved Joanie on Oct. 18, 2018. Ron was born in Manhattan, New York on March 7, 1933 to Robert and Anna Kelly. Ron was preceded in death by his soulmate, Joanie, his sisters, Doris, Roberta (Birtie), Patricia (Tishie), brothers, John, Jim, Bobby, Billy and Kenneth. Ron graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx in 1952. Ron enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at the start of the Korean War, after training at Keesler AFB, Griffiss AFB and Sampson AFB. He was sent to Taegu, Korea as an Air Traffic Controller. Ron finished his tour of duty in 1956. Ron came back to the States and started a long career with CitiCorp which started prior to his military service. Ron was a parishioner and member of the St. Vincent De Paul Society at St. Joachins Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus Past Grand Knight, Trinity Council 445, Beacon, New York. Ron was also a member of BPOE Elks Lodge. Ron and Joan left New York in 1994 and retired to Carrabelle, Florida where they lived until Joan passed in 2014. Ron lived in Port St. Joe, Florida until his death. Ron is survived by his brother, Alfred (Fum Fum) Kelly, Hawley, PA; sisterin-law, Carol Thomas, New York; sister-in-law, Josephine Covais, New York; and brothers-inlaw, Richard Helms, New York and John McGovern, New York; children, Ron (Mary), St. Joe Beach, FL, Thomas (Johnna), Beacon, NY, Christopher (Marie), Fishkill, NY, Steven (Suzy), Port St. Joe, FL and Mariann (William), Port St. Joe, FL, who cared for her Dad these last four years; Grandchildren, Melissa Hytinen, Danica Kelly, Aidan Brown, Dana Kelly, Emma Brown; and great-grandchild Christan Hytinen. Memorial services will be at St. Josephs Catholic Church in Port St. Joe at 7 p.m. ET Nov. 7. The family requests in lieu of flowers please donate to your local hospice organization.RONALD GEORGE KELLY


** The Star | Thursday, November 1, 2018 B5The PLA are data driven, based on performance and results; nominations for the award are not accepted.This years nine outstand-ing principals have dedicated their lives to assure that their students are successful, both in and out of the classroom,Ž said Dominic Calabro, Pres-ident and CEO of Florida TaxWatch.Florida TaxWatch is hon-ored to partner with great public and private groups to promote solid learning envi-ronments that will guarantee a bright future for the state of Florida and its next genera-tion of leaders.ŽThe PLA honorees for 2018-19 are: Bowers, Kris-tina Alvarez of Hillsborough County, Rhonda Williams of Miami-Dade County, Mike Fantaski of Okaloosa County, Karen French of Hillsborough County, Mason Clark of Collier County, Bill McEl-roy of Alachua County, Paula Evans of Osceola County and Victoriano Rodriguez of Miami-Dade County. I would like to thank each of these award-winning prin-cipals for their innovative leadership and commitment to grooming tomorrows business leaders,Ž said David Mann, Chairman of Florida TaxWatch and SunTrust Regional CRE banking exec-utive. It is imperative for Floridas economy that stu-dents be prepared to excel in and beyond the classroom.ŽBetween managing teach-ers and administrative staff, being a role model to students and serving as a representative in the community, principals have their work cut out for them, according to the Florida TaxWatch release.Those that go above and beyond to assure their stu-dents have successful futures deserve to be recognized and rewarded,Ž the release continued.Chair of the Florida State Board of Education Marva Johnson added, "It gives me great pleasure to see that these excellent principals are being recognized on the basis of real, tangible results for our students. Their trans-formational work can help ensure a commitment to life-long learning from their students, and open doors to opportunities once out of reach for communities across our great state."Florida TaxWatch is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit public policy research institute. It has been awarding the PLA since 2013.Sponsors of the PLA program including the Florida Lottery, Florida PrePaid Col-lege Foundation, Bright Star Credit Union, J.M. Rubin Foundation, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Maximus, Charter Communications, Gulf Power, Universal Orlando, AAA, Kyra Solutions, Ajax Building Corporation, Tampa Bay Times, SunTrust Bank and Helios Education Foundation. BOWERSFrom Page B1 The goal, to clean the courts at Frank Pate Park, particularly important given the destruction in Mexico Beach.And to say cleanŽ does not provide sufficient justice, because they folks had to disburse wood, debris and a thick coat of sand and dirt covering the courts.But after a day of intense work, the job was completed.Thanks to the heroic efforts of several of our local pickleball players, the (Frank) Pate Park courts are now playable,Ž said Rod Riegle, the president of the Mexico Beach pickleball league.And last Saturday, play picked up again for the first time after the storm, followed by a "Welcome Back" party at the Haughty Heron Tim Croft MICHAELFrom Page B1Volunteers took to the courts for the hard work of clearing. [SPECIAL TO THE STAR PHOTOS] The courts had several inches of sand on top. They arrived at Station No. 1 and got immediately to work.When we got there we found everything was pretty much in order except all the sand and mud in the fire house from storm surge,Ž Weir said. They were still trying to clean the station.With their volunteers we cleaned the floors, sprayed and sprayed them and got the station clean and functional, rid of all that nastiness.Ž The floors of those newly-cleaned bays became their sleeping quarters for the first few nights.But, as they became famil-iar sights around the south end, those who had remained during the storm, who were clawing out a survival mode without power and water, took those visiting firefight-ers in.One homeowner invited the four to stay one night in their home and another homeowner soon followed.There was no power or water, but it sure beat the station house floors.Even with all the destruc-tion I could see it is a beautiful place and will be again,Ž Weir said. Moreso, the people, and the personal connections we made. Ill never forget it.We all happily agreed to serve. Our hearts were pouring out for all of Gulf County.Ž And, for Weir and his men it was also an opportunity to serve beside volunteers and what Weir called the purest form of service.ŽToday, roughly 70 percent of fire departments nationwide remain at least partially, if not fully, volunteer; people, Weir noted, who de vote their time, energies and, yes, lives, to serving and protecting the community.Its a beautiful thing to see,Ž Weir said. I was honored to serve with those people.ŽThe company even extended its deployment an additional day, delayed returning home, to allow the South Gulf department members to attend the funeral of county Fire Coor-dinator Brad Price.We were honored and blessed to be able to help that way,Ž Weir said.The experience of watch-ing these strangers sum comrades also left an indel-ible mark for the firefighters left behind.I was humbled and honored just to serve with them,Ž said Mike Barrett, Assistant Chief for South Gulf Fire and Rescue. CHAOSFrom Page B1It was an honor to serve with them,Ž Weir said of the South Gulf volunteers. [COURTESY OF PAUL WEIR] The “ re“ ghters and the families that took them in while they were deployed here. [COURTESY OF PAUL WEIR]


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