The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
WCSO seeks informationfrom the public in a 41 year
old “cold case”
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office(WCSO) is asking for the public’s assis-tance in helping solve a “cold case” from
41 years ago.According to Major Bill Chapman,Bobby Ray Jones was 33 years old at thetime he lost his life. The murder oc-curred on Thursday, September 30, 1971at the Longbranch Bar, located on Hwy2 in Darlington, FL. Jones had beenworking at the bar for 3-4 weeks whenhe was killed. Jones often stayed at the bar after hours, due to recent thefts. Onthe night of the murder, Jones and hiswife were there.Jones got up and answered a knock atthe side door of the establishment.
Jones’ wife heard her husband having a
conversation with someone and then sheheard gun shots. Bobby Ray Jones wasfound lying down by the side door, withno signs of struggle and nothing missingfrom the establishment.
“We began reviewing this case in Janu-
ary and have spoken to numerous indi-
viduals,” Chapman said. “We have been
working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to solve this murder;
however, we still need the public’s help.
Some of the witnesses originally inter-
viewed have died.” Chapman said thatthe Sheriff’s Office wants to let the pub-
lic to know that even though the case isold, it is not something that has been
forgotten about. “The family deserves
closure and we hope to help them with
If anyone has information about thiscase, contact Major Bill Chapman at(850) 892-8186.
Walton Commissioners Consider TDC Building
As reported by WZEP AM1460
TDC Director Dawn Moliterno reviewed the process and how the county hascome to the point of planning for moving the TDC Center to south of U.S. 98.She said they have to go through a process with the state to obtain the property inthe State Forest at the intersection of 98 and 331.The ARC process deals with acquiring land. At the last meeting a plan to swapthe current TDC Building and land for land on the south side of the intersectionand make a nature center for the forest trail head was presented. Moliterno pre-sented the timeline of the process and documents. She said the issue of movingthe TDC offices because of changes to the highway, go back to before 2006.As reported on WZEP numerous times, the discussion has taken place ever sincethe plans to widen U.S. 331 south of the bridge were made. Moliterno said one problem is vehicles trying to turn into the TDC facility. Moliterno said they had
looked at separating staff from the visitor’s center, but because of the amount of
interaction decided this was not feasible. They looked at a site on Chat Holleyand decided it was not feasible. The deficiencies needs were looked at. She said adecision was made to build a new building that works with the brand.Moliterno explained that a year ago they presented an update and brought recom-mendations. The strategic plan also had language and was approved. In June of 2011 a resolution was presented by County Administrator Greg Kisela and ap- proved. This began the discussion with Forestry. So far, there has been no signedagreement with Forestry.Cliff Knauer showed the plans they have come up with after a review with For-estry. The area to be developed is about eight acres with the buffer creating about11 acres. Knauer said the review showed the development would not likely im- pact any species. Based on a review by the Division of Forestry, they addedwalks, a trail head connection, the building constructed as fire wise, interactivenature exhibits inside the building and office space for Forestry. Knauer said thelocation is the best location in Walton County as far as terms of traffic. He saidForestry is agreeable to the idea. Knauer said they did look at other Forestry sites
on 98, but called them “very wet.” Forestry would also like about 80 acres of
rights-of-ways dedicated back to the state.Commissioner Sara Comander suggested putting the issue off until after thistourist season. Bonnie McQuiston said the TDC does not need to build displaysof the forest. She said every parcel of land on Highway 98 that is not state land isfor sale. She questioned why the TDC is trying to build a nature center when they just gave back a property designated as a nature center. She said the unique char-acter of south Walton would be changing. Others questioned how many naturecenters are needed in Walton County, why is another trail system needed, why
wasn’t the public told and shown plans earlier, some questioned the stormwater
impact and some questioned why the county does not buy commercial property.Anita Page, with the South Walton Community Council, talked about the settle-
ment agreement from 1999 and preservation. She said the county’s easements for
roads through the forest is not as big of a threat because the county said in thesettlement they were looking for conservation. She also said they are not opposedto the relocation of the TDC building, rather taking from the forest. Page talkedabout the forest protecting the eco system including the long leaf pine. She toldcommissioners, as the area south of the bay continues to grow, there will be more buildings but not more forest. A call was made to protect what we have, if not for now then for the future. Several said the TDC Visitor Center is not needed with
today’s technology; one said it is only needed to provide a restroom break.
One resident said the discussion was ludicrous and called it crazy that they would bring up the complaints. He said with thousands of acres in the forest, the projectwould not impact the environment. He also said this is the perfect spot. He askedwhy they support the Biophilia Center in a sensitive area, but complain aboutthis.After a lengthy time of public input from a packed house, Commissioner LarryJones said one aspect he has not heard from is the Florida Forestry Service. Jonessaid it is something he needs to know. He said they want to use the facility tohelp advance the forest. He said someone from the Forestry Service would have
to stand before him and say, “This is a good thing for the forest.” Jones also said
it is not his intent to do anything that violates the settlement agreement. Jonesmade a motion to continue the public hearing to May 8th to allow for the FloridaForest Service to attend.
WCSO offering AdvancedCivilian Firearms courses
The Walton County Sheriff's Office (WCSO)announces that Advanced Civilian Firearmsclasses will begin on May 12, 2012 at theWalton County Sheriff's Office Firing Range.It is mandatory that civilians attend the BasicCivilian Firearms course through the Sheriff'sOffice before signing up for the advancedtraining. The class will also require the capa- bility of moderate physical activity, such asassuming multiple shooting positions.Those wishing to attend the course must provide their own ammunition (300 rounds),wrap around eye protection and ear protection,3 pistol magazines or 3 speed loaders for re-volvers, and a suitable belt and holster. Proper range clothing must be worn. No tank tops, low cut tops, shorts/skirts, or slick bottom shoes are allowed.The course is 8 hours in length and will cover such topics as mental training to improve oddsof survival as well as engaging multiplethreats and gun sighting under stressful condi-tions. The course is broken up into two ses-sions, with the first session starting at 8 a.m.and lasting until 12 noon. There will be anhour lunch break and the second session willstart at 1 p.m., continuing until 5 p.m. Theclass is limited to 12 individuals.The cost of the course is $100 and onlyonline registration is available. To sign up for the course, visit www.waltonso.org<http://www.waltonso.org>. Click on the Commu-nity tab and then on the Advanced CivilianFirearms tab.Courses are set to occur throughout the year.The classes are scheduled as following:May 12, 2012June 9, 2012September 8, 2012October 13, 2012 November 10, 2012For further information on this training course,as well as the basic civilian firearms course, please contact Sgt. Johnny Jordan at 850-892-8186 or at firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.
Her husband had been slip- ping in and out of a coma for severalmonths yet she stayed by his bedsideevery single day. When he came to,he motioned for her to come nearer.As she sat by him, he said, "Youknow what? You have been with meall through the bad times. When I gotfired, you were there to support me.When my business fell, you werethere. When I got shot, you were bymy side. When we lost the house, yougave me support. When my healthstarted failing, you were still by myside. Well, now that I think about it, Ithink you're a jinx!