The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Freeport Council Meeting
As reported by WZEP AM1460
It was a horse of another color as manure wason the discussion list for the Freeport City Coun-cil. City Planner Latilda Henninger said she hasresearched for an ordinance concerning horsemanure. Mayor Mickey Marse said he has re-ceived complaints of people riding horses in thecity, along the roads, sidewalks and bike pathsand the manure being dropped. He talked to oneman and said he needs to carry some sort of dis- posal bag. Marse said his intention is not to stop people from riding horses, rather to make themresponsible.Henninger said there are two parts, equine on property and off. If the horse, mule or donkey ison your property, you need to make sure theaccumulation of manure does not cause prob-lems with your neighbors. Passing near streams,nuisance complaints, disease and health con-cerns were listed.She also talked about proper citation and work-
ing with the sheriff’s office. She said the in-
creasing fines would be based on the rider of thehorse, not the horse itself.How should the waste problem be handled?Should they simply carry some sort of disposal bag or should the horse be equipped with a typeof catch bag like used in the cities. Henninger said if the manure hits the ground then they can be cited and fined.City Clerk Robin Haynes said she is hearingcomplaints about horse kept near an apartmentcomplex. Earl King said trying to regulate pickup on an agricultural site can be a problem.He said it could be tied to the size of parcel thehorses are on. He also asked when does the re-moval requirement start and if 24 hours to pick up is right. He said he is not trying to be restric-tive, but wants people riding horses in the city to be responsible.He said they probably would not have had anycomplaints if the riders did not ride down the bike path and sidewalk or highway and wouldhave just stayed on the right of way. King saidthe ordinance reads that the horse needs to beequipped with some sort of bag if they are ridingin the city.Attorney Adkinson agreed and further said if something happens, they should have to clean itup.The discussion turned to the ordinances on keep-ing animals. There is a requirement to have anacre for a horse and two acres for more horses.Some suggested it should be two acres for onehorse. Freeport has updated their ordinance toallow the keeping of horses. The Council sug-gested they should put something in the ordi-nance that limits the amount of horses to the sizeof land. King said they could also have require-ments for the amount of waste. The ordinance being proposed also has a part talking about ahorse or waste being a nuisance.Mayor Marse said he would like the issues to be worked on so they can make a decision after the holidays. Staff will return with updates.
DFS Council Meeting
As reported by WZEP AM1460
Staff said the City’s Christmas decorations
are so worn they did not want to put them upthis year. There has been discussions aboutthe need and the city budgeted $8000, but itwas taken out due to cash flow. Councilmember Wayne Graham asked to pick outthe best they have and put them up. Christ-mas Reflections might be tapped to helpcome up with new decorations.Mayor Carpenter appointed Council Member Mac Work to the Economic DevelopmentAlliance Board. Work has questioned the
Alliance’s work and has been attempting to
bring more businesses into the city. Mr. Tuittwill be moving to Delaware and has resignedfrom the Planning Board. A new water utilityworker, Mr. Gibson, was hired. Another util-ity worker still in a probation period did notwork out and was terminated. They cancelledthe regular December 24th meeting.Work asked about accreditation for the Po-lice Department. Chief Mark Weeks said it isa long process and will take someone to han-dle the process. He agreed it is somethingthey want to get and want to strive for. The
Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the
Walton Department of Corrections have bothreceived accreditation. Weeks noted it took the SO about three years to complete the process. Weeks said there is a cost and itreally takes someone working full time. TheChief said he is not sure they can pass the process at this time. He said a new facilitywill help and when they build it features can be installed to meet standards. Work askedabout the Fire Department. Chief Coley saidthere is an accreditation process, though dif-ferent for the Fire. He said one cost might bea ladder truck, a cost of $700,000.The city is spending $870 for pine straw.Council Member Kermit Wright asked if they rake up straw. Staff said yes, but this is bales for the right of way landscaping. BIllHolloway said they do use inmate labor torake as much as they can, but it takes a lot of straw. Council paid the bills. The Councilagreed to possibly help 62 families with anadditional tax exemption. This is for lowincome elderly families who meet certaincriteria.
Bonifay Police Make Meth Arrest
As reported by WZEP AM1460
On November 23 a month long investigation into the illegal manu-facture of methamphetamine ended with the execution of a searchwarrant at a residence located West Wisconsin Avenue in Bonifay.Bonifay Police located over 28 grams of suspected methampheta-mine in both oil and powder form. Also located was the materialscommonly used to manufacture and ingest methamphetamine.Some of these chemicals were disguised and/or concealed in foodcontainers within reach of children in the home.Bonifay Police arrested three individuals in connection to thesearch: Deanna Kay Weeks, white female, age 34 of Bonifay. Weeksis charged with trafficking in amphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of listed chemicals, possession of drug paraphernalia, child neglect and criminal conspiracy. RubyNicole Hatcher, white female, age 29 of Bonifay. Hatcher is chargedwith trafficking in amphetamine, manufacture of methampheta-mine, possession of listed chemicals, possession of drug parapherna-lia, child neglect and criminal conspiracy. Hatcher had an existingwarrant for retail sale/purchase of ephedrine as well. Cary Hood,white male, age 58 of Bonifay. Hood is charged with possession of methamphetamine.All three defendants were first appeared before Circuit Judge AllenRegister. Weeks is being held on $75,000 bond, Hatcher received abond totaling $77,000 and Hood received a $5,000 bond.
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The Walton County Health Department continues its mosquito-borneillness alert for Walton County, Florida. The fourth human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) has been confirmed in Walton County. The possibil-ity that others may become infected with the virus remains extremelyhigh, and the health department strongly encourages the public to con-tinue to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.Mosquitoes infected with WNV can bite and infect humans. About onein 150 people infected with WNV will develop serious illness. Symp-toms of West Nile Virus may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizzi-ness, weakness and confusion. Those individuals who develop a fever or other signs of illness following a mosquito bite should consult with their healthcare provider. Health care providers should contact either healthdepartment if they suspect an individual may be infected with a mos-quito-borne illness.