Emerald Star News


The BEST LIL’ NEWSPAPER in Walton county - from Freeport, Florida
Volume: 4 Issue: 25

December 13, 2012

bi-weekly Edition


Made possible by your local advertising businesses in this edition.

Shooting Suspects Arrested
The suspects involved in the shooting into a moving vehicle have been located and arrested. Kareem Mitry and his brother, Xavier Mitry, were taken into custody Wednesday by…..….

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FDOT to Remove Directional Signs Along Highway 98
They removed the signs once, the county came up with a solution, now the state is abandoning that and removing the signs again. Before the widening of U.S. 98 in southern Walton County, there were a number of business sings along the old highway. The Department of Transportation removed these signs……...…..

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DFS Looked At For Economic Development Project
A project is looking at DeFuniak Springs and Walton County that could bring in over $5.3 million in economic benefits. In a special meeting Tuesday afternoon, DeFuniak Springs Council member Mac Work said he has been working with Scott Brannon, Sara Commander and the Walton Economic Development Alliance on a project proposed by a well known area resident…..

Real Estate listings inside:

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offered ‘free’ …….from our business Advertisers inside this week
A style of it’s own — a community Based Newspaper

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The Wolfe’s Den


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello to each of you. I heard this story over the problems with having marijuana being legal and would like to share some of it with you. No one wants this kind of news, but here we are. Under-the-radar pot farms in California are having dire consequences on the environment and state law enforcement's hands are tied when it comes to doing anything about it. But it’s a plant! How can it possibly be bad for the earth? In and of itself, it’s not. But as an unregulated industry, some of the techniques used are sucking the life out of our waterways, killing our forests and poisoning our soil. Though growing pot under California state law is legal, under federal law, it is most certainly not. That’s why growers− usually those with substantial harvests− burrow into the forests to grow their crops under cover from federal agents. According to OnEarth, massive amounts of rodenticide are used by forest-dwelling farmers in counties like Humboldt and Mendocino. Because those crops can’t be fenced in or otherwise protected from area wildlife, farmers dump large amounts of rodent and pest-killing poisons around the plants to ensure their safety. Mourad Gabriel, a Northern California wildlife disease ecologist told OnEarth the effects of those chemicals are already having alarming results on area wildlife populations, the nearby Hoopa reservation, and the forest’s ecosystem. Gabriel has discovered abandoned grow sites with as much as 90 pounds of rodenticide left behind, which is almost enough to wipe out about 12,000 deer mice, 1,500 wood rats, and other forest creatures. And that’s not even counting what all that chemical waste is doing to nearby waterways, which are already seeing the effects on fish populations crucial to the area. MotherJones also reports that some farmers are engaging in forest clearing and the illegal diversion of streams. But perhaps most frustrating is that state agencies are caught in a weird bureaucratic purgatory that’s keeping them from doing anything to regulate these farms. State agents can’t shut down marijuana farms because they’re not illegal under state law. But they are illegal under federal law. The feds have already warned state policy makers and law enforcement agents that should they do anything to try to regulate the activity of pot-growers, it would be viewed essentially an act of aiding those farmers who are committing a federal offense. Aiding someone committing a federal offense is serious, and California officials report they were already told they would face personal federal prosecution should it be discovered that they were regulating any pot-farming activity. There is a small avenue of consequence for growers who are caught doing things like altering waterways, but legally, those are only misdemeanors and so serve no real purpose in hindering the activity. It’s glaringly obvious that the situation needs to be ironed out at both state and federal policy levels. Ecofriendly and responsible marijuana growth does happen, but as long as the practice remains a federal offense, the system remains unencumbered, and those who are destroying our environment in the process continue to run wild. In the meantime, for the thousands of Californians who frequent medical dispensaries, they’re not without options. Much like how many of us buy our food today, choosing to purchase locally-sourced marijuana which is grown with organic techniques can make all the difference. We’ll see what more problems occur down the road.

Views expressed in The EMERALD STAR NEWS do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. The staff of The EMERALD STAR NEWS pride ourselves in our efforts to ensure accuracy of the publication contents. However, there is no guarantee of the accuracy of all the Information nor the absence of errors and omissions (especially when sent through a third party); therefore, no responsibility can or will be assumed. 3000 copies printed bi-weekly.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012


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Walton Spending $ On 30-A Safety
As reported by WZEP AM1460

Complaint Against Brannon Not Supported
Another complaint filed against a Walton commissioner in an election time has also been dismissed after the state found no probable cause to proceed. The Florida Commission on Ethics has dismissed allegations of ethical misconduct by former Walton County Commissioner Scott Brannon. The decision followed an investigation by the Commission and report by an Attorney General's Advocate that found no grounds existed to support allegations that Brannon had improperly voted on matters related to Driftwood Estates.

Shooting Suspects Arrested
As reported by WZEP AM1460

In an effort to increase safety along Walton County’s Scenic 30A, the County’s Public Works Department has made a few changes with additional work to be done.

The suspects involved in the shooting into a moving vehicle have been located and arrested. Kareem Mitry and his brother, Xavier Mitry, were taken into custody Wednesday by Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies. The victim called 911 Tuesday while traveling westbound in a vehicle on Highway 90 near Girl Scout Road. Apparently the two suspects were also traveling in a vehicle in the same direction and drove up next to the car. At this point the Sheriff’s Office says Kareem Mitry began shooting at the car with a handgun, striking the victim’s car several times. The victim drove to DeFuniak Springs, refusing to stop and wait for law enforcement and EMS due to still being followed. He and his female passenger eventually made it to the DeFuniak Springs police station. The driver of the car was slightly injured from broken glass. He was treated at the scene by the Walton COunty EMS. Bullet holes could be seen in the car’s door and window. Law enforcement worked into the night and then early morning locating the suspects. Investigators obtained both arrest warrants and search warrants in the case, leading to the arrest of the Mitry brothers. Both Kareem and Xavier Mitry were charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Firing into an Occupied Vehicle. Additional charges are pending further investigation.

The project and processes that are currently being instituted were initially generated by citizen concerns that the area needed some additional safety measures put in place. The Department of Public Works began the planThe Commission on Ethics lists the meeting minning process in early November and is curutes and states, “The Commission also considered a rently working to ensure the safety of this complaint filed against Scott Brannon, former stretch of road. Walton County Commissioner. The meeting minutes say, “No probable cause was found to believe District 5 Commissioner Cindy Meadows says safety is their number one priority. She that he violated the voting conflicts law regarding a says this is a temporary measure instituted by measure that inured to the special private gain or the previous board until they build the bridge loss of a business associate.” over Western Lake. Meadows says they will In a release from Brannon’s attorney, they say that be proposing to the BCC the use of use bed tax revenues to build the bridge and maintain in recommending that no probable cause existed to the paths based on the Florida Attorney Gen- support the allegations, the Attorney General's Aderal recent opinion that bed tax revenues may vocate noted that no evidence supported the allegabe used if deemed tourist related by the gov- tions that Brannon voted on matters that would have benefited a business partner who owned lots in the erning body. subdivision. The report also found that certain votes, which Brannon did not participate in, would The project will include the following imnot have presented a conflict. When the issue of a provements: potential conflict was first raised in April of 2009, 1. Extend the existing 25 mph speed zone that begins west of Watercolor to encompass Brannon recused himself from future votes on the issue. the two Western Lake vehicular bridges. (Complete) Brannon's attorney, Clay B. Adkinson of the Adkin2. Install informational signage to heighten son Law Firm says, "These allegations were comdriver awareness of the close proximity of pletely without merit, and the thorough review of pedestrians and bicyclists on the two this matter by the Commission on Ethics demonbridges. (Complete) strates this." He added that his client "immediately 3. Restripe the entire area and install more took steps to avoid the appearance of impropriety reflectors to heighten driver awareness. (In by recusing himself from the matter, however, alProgress) most three years later the issue was brought back up 4. Install candlesticks (flexible vertical visual/physical barriers) between the eastbound to attack Commissioner Brannon and injure his lane and the multi-use path/paved shoulder. reputation." Adkinson indicated that Brannon will be seeking attorney's fees for the frivolous com(Forthcoming) NFSC Board Meeting plaint. Brannon expressed his agreement with the decision of the Commission on Ethics, saying he was confident he had not acted unethically and says the Commission's decision proved it. Brannon confirmed he believed the complaint was politically motivated and frivolous. He also says he will seek attorney's fees. Brannon says he has instructed Attorney Adkinson to proceed with filing for attorney's fees in this matter. The former commissioner says the process of an ethics complaint is important to the people of the State, but it should not be abused for political purposes or to try to gain an advantage in litigation. He feels the process was clearly abused with these false allegations and those responsible should have consequences for that.

WCSO Meth Lab Drug Arrest
As reported by WZEP AM1460

Thursday, investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/ Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at the residence of Russell “Rusty” Allen Smith (D.O.B 05/18/1964) and Anna Marie Quesenberry (D.O.B. 05/14/1983) in Darlington. The search warrant was obtained following an ongoing investigation for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamines. During the search, Investigator’s located chemicals used in the “Shake and Bake” and “Red Phosphorus” production methods of manufacturing methamphetamines. Investigators also located over 100 grams of methamphetamine and items of paraphernalia commonly used to ingest the illegal drug. Sheriff Adkinson stated “Rusty has been dealing this trash in Walton County way too long and it’s time to pay the piper” Rusty Smith and Anna Quesenberry were present when the warrant was served. Both Smith and Quesenberry were placed under arrest and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamines (2nd Degree Felony), Trafficking in Methamphetamine ( 1st Degree Felony), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (1st Degree Misdemeanor).

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Page 4


Health Post
George Roll P.A.-C Seagrove Medical Clinic Call # 850-231-6200 Walk-ins and Appt.s Send health questions or comments to: P.O.Box 1133 Freeport, Florida 32439


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Freeport Mayor’s Post
Freeport Mayor
Mickey Marse 998 Bay Dr.
Santa Rosa-Beach, Fl.32459 To post a comment or question for the Mayor,
E-mail : Frank@

State Certified-Master Plumber
License # CF-C057978


New research suggests that your hangover will be worse if you smoke when you drink. People who smoke on a day when they have been drinking alcohol heavily are twice as likely to report hangover symptoms as those who only drank. In the study of college students, heavy drinking was defined as about five or six cans of beer in one hour. But substance abuse experts not affiliated with study are quick to point out that binge drinking and smoking -alone and together -- can have far worse consequences than hangover symptoms. Smoking increases the risk for cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and binge drinking can lead to addiction, alcohol poisoning, car accidents, and unprotected sex. “In general, people smoke more when they drink because it counteracts some of the sedative effects of alcohol,” “People also tend to feel better when they smoke while drinking because both increase the release of [the brain chemical] dopamine.” Dopamine is known as the brain’s pleasure chemical. The study included 113 college students from a Midwestern university. They answered an online survey daily for eight weeks. Questions concerned how much they drank or smoked on the day before as well as their currentday hangover symptoms. According to the findings, students smoked about seven cigarettes a day, and this number jumped to more than 10 on heavy or binge-drinking days. Students reported drinking an average of more than two drinks a day, and more than 10 on average on heavy drinking days. “The best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink that much, but if you smoke, it will aggravate it, so this provides another reason to not smoke”.


We reserve the right to refuse publications of any comments or questions for the Mayor. Thank You.

No post this week.

WCSO Solves Freeport Burglaries Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) began investigating a series of commercial burglaries last week in the Freeport area. The Dollar Days Store, the Law Office of Stephen Willis and the Cypress Cattle Company were all reported as broken into on the morning of December 6, 2012. The Sheriff’s Office says deputies and investigators worked diligently on these cases and gathered evidence in the course of the investigation leading to the arrest of 33-year-old Samuel Scott Newman, of Freeport. The investigation resulted in the recovery of stolen items to include an undisclosed amount of currency, a laptop, 2 guns, and over $1100 worth of chicken and beef. Newman was arrested and charged with four counts of Grand Theft of a Firearm, two counts of Grand Theft (more than $300-less than $5000), three counts of Burglary, and two counts of Criminal Mischief (more than $200-less than $1000).

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As Santa came down, The chimney with care. Below was the fire, With a steaming hot flare. As Santa squirmed down, And his bottom was burned. He threw down the presents, And simply turned. His reindeer blew, The fire out. And that's when we heard him, let out a shout. He woke up the neighbors, We saw him leave. That's why there's no fire, On Christmas Eve.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Emerald Star News, Inc.

Page 5

Ignasiak Absconded
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office says they have no report of the death of former Freeport Doctor Robert Ignasiak, know locally as Dr. Bob. Wendy Ammons with the Sheriff’s office says Ignasiak s listed as a missing person. He was last seen on November 1st, at around 10 p.m. but was not reported missing until the third. Ammons says as deputies were taking the initial report, they received a call in reference to a suspicious vehicle in the area of Seagrove Beach. The vehicle matched the description of the vehicle Ignasiak could have been driving. Deputies arrived on scene and located a note inside the vehicle along with what appeared to be blood stains. Crime scene techs searched for and collected possible evidence. No blood was found outside the vehicle. The area was canvassed on several occasions as well as an aerial search. There were no further leads. Statements were also gathered from family and neighbors. Ignasiak won his appeal and was released for some time. He was required to return to trial on Dec. 3rd. According to the US assistant attorney, a motion for status hearing took place. His probation officer filed a statement with the court saying that he had absconded and they believe he has faked his death. They have obtained a warrant for his arrest. The WCSO took the initial report and are assisting in the search for Ignasiak. The case is still ongoing and open.

FDOT to Remove Directional Signs Along Highway 98
As reported by WZEP AM1460

Sentence Reversed
State Attorney Bill Eddins says the First District Court of Appeal has reversed the sentence imposed on Franziska Schroff. Schroff pled nolo contendere to the charge of DUI Manslaughter for the death of Robyn Rogers, a passenger in Schroff’s car when he crashed his vehicle into a utility pole on Highway 98 in Destin. In April of 2011, Judge William F. Stone sentenced Schroff to fifteen years in state prison, with all but thirty months suspended, to be followed by community control and probation. The State of Florida appealed the sentence arguing that it was an illegal sentence because it did not include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of four years. The First District Court of Appeal agreed with the State and has remanded the case for resentencing. Any sentence imposed must include a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison.

They removed the signs once, the county came up with a solution, now the state is abandoning that and removing the signs again. Before the widening of U.S. 98 in southern Walton County, there were a number of business sings along the old highway. The Department of Transportation removed these signs. Businesses complained and when the county commissioners checked, they found the signs were not allowed, but a directional sign with only the business name or type of business was allowed. The commissioners checked with the Department of Transportation and agreed to build sign frames that would support these directional signs pointing people down the side roads to small shops and services. The plain black and white signs with no advertising were looked at as a compromise between the county, state and business owners. Now that the highway has changed the look of the area, the FDOT has been removing some of the directional signs. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, they will move forward with the process of tagging and removing additional directional signs along U.S. Highway 98. According to the FDOT, they will have an inspector placing a second 10 day sticker on all signs that are remaining in the right-of-way. In addition, they will also be mailing out notices to the sign owners, Walton County, listing the locations of the signs that are in the right of way and need to be removed. Following the 10 day period, there will be a crew from maintenance removing any of the signs that remain. The directional signs that are not located on the right-of-way will have a 30 day sticker placed on them and the property owners will also be notified. In the last meeting of the Walton County Board of Commissioners, there were discussions held on the value of signage to small business owners and the Commission pledged to look at proposing replacement signage that meets FDOT criteria. The City of DeFuniak Springs has worked with the FDOT and now has directional signs along the state roads. While this was cited as a long and difficult process with the FDOT making a number of corrections and changes as the city tried to work with them, the city was eventually able to come up with something the state says it allows. As of now, there have been no decisions made, but the Walton County Commission plans to continue to work towards finding a solution. In the interim, any questions in regard to the FDOT’s process can be directed to Mr. Mac Carpenter in the County’s Planning Department at 850-892-8157.

WCSD To Hire For Retiring Ewing
As reported by WZEP AM1460

The Walton County School District has been working through applications for a replacement for the retiring Mark Ewing. Ewing is one of several Curriculum Coordinators, a position title recently approved by the Board to cover a number of job duties. The applications have been received and a three member team will rank them and present the list to Superintendent Carlene Anderson. Anderson should make a recommendation of the topped rank to the Board. Former Okaloosa School Superintendent and principal Alexis Tibbets is one of the applicants. Anderson says she expects to have a recommendation based on the review team to the Board at the December 18th meeting. The pick will be on the personnel recommendations. At this time it is unknown who the top ranked person will be.

Page 6 Book Review By: River Stewart


Thursday, December 13, 2012

On behalf of the Defuniak Springs Library.
The bats are gone - the library is back to normal. At 9 o’clock Monday morning, December 3, 2012, the DeFuniak Springs library opened the front doors of the library for the first time since the beginning of July. The library patrons coming in through the front door were pleased that they did not have to walk all the way around to the back, lower level of the library to get their books and use the computers. Some said it looks just the same as it did when the library closed off the front, and others noted that the second room, the 1894 addition to the library, had better lighting and more space. The library staff took advantage of changes required to seal off the bat droppings in the walls, and had the light fixtures rearranged to provide better lighting in addition to moving some of the shelving and tables to provide better access to the library materials. The Walton Area Chamber of Commerce was on hand to help celebrate with the patrons and library staff the reopening of the front of the library. If anyone has any questions about the library’s hours or the services it offers, please call 892-3624. Obituary for Colin Cuchens Howell Mr. Colin Howell, age 69, passed away December 5, 2012. He was born July 21, 1943 in DeFuniak Springs, Florida to Andrew and Lorene Cuchens Howell. Mr. Howell was a resident of Freeport. He was Assembly of God by faith and a member of the Heritage Church in Freeport. He enjoyed gardening, mowing the lawn and was a avid outdoorsman. He dearly loved people. Mr. Howell is preceded in death by his father Andrew Jackson Howell. Mr. Howell is survived by his loving mother Lorene Cuchens Howell of Freeport, his uncle and aunt Eugene and Mary Belle Cuchens of Freeport and also survived by many cousins and friends. Floral arrangements are being accepted. Burial will follow in the Hatcher Cemetery. You may go online to view obituaries, offer condolences and sign guest book at www.clary-glenn.com. Clary-Glenn Freeport Chapel Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements. Dear Aunt Ruby, My sister and I no longer talk because of something stupid. Several years ago she began flirting with my man. It got so obvious I confronted her and she said she meant no harm and she was sorry. I still didn’t feel as if she meant it. I decided to come home from work early one day and sure enough she was there dressed skimpy and talking with my man. Needless to say, we got into a physical altercation and the police were called. I kicked her a** good. She ended up in jail for two days. During those two days my husband and I kept arguing. I feel he was sticking up for her and defending her actions. His big statement to me that still gets my crawl is It’s all good…...no it’s not. Since she got out of jail I have not spoke to her and word is out that I’ll beat her again if she comes around. Here comes Christmas and we were going to celebrate it together, her kids and mine. As expected my man is all into saying forgiveness and all. I don’t feel good about it. I feel like my man likes the squabbling between us, as if it’s cute or something. What would you do if this was you in my shoes? Holiday Ho-hum Dear Holiday, I would follow my gut when it comes to your husband. Do you think he did cheat with her? Has it been long ago enough for you to be in the same room as each other? That would be tough for me to feel comfortable when we gather we are to be festive and cordial to each other. I had a friend years ago that experienced the same type of thing, flirty sister syndrome. She went 7yrs. Before that day of togetherness came about. She said it was still tough not to feel emotional waves of anger towards her. The sooner you can truly forgive you will never forget, you will be better off. The butterflies will subside eventually. Ruby

Well it is </body> December and Christmas is almost here Another happy Christmas for family and good cheer There will be tables loaded with turkeys, hams and sweets We know there will be more than we could ever eat There will be a big tree shining so bright With beautiful decorations and pretty shiny lights Under that tree there will be present galore So many you would wonder how there could be anything left in the store Christmas now is really so much fun But gosh there is just too much for everyone My thoughts go back to a cold Christmas long ago To a family not blessed with riches and gold Our little tree was kind of skimpy, with some ribbons and a few shiny balls But to us it stood magnificent, the greatest of them all Under that tree was a present for Raye, a present for Sister and a present for me And we could hardly wait as we would open them with glee There was not a lot of fancy food on that table, times were kind of tough But we were all happy and for us it was enough We were so thankful as we thanked the Lord above We knew what we had was paid for with Daddy's hard work and Mamas love I'm thankful that we now have so much and our blessings are many And it is good to live in this great land of plenty But I would gladly give every material thing that I own To have one more Christmas with Mama and Daddy and my two sisters at home

By M. Vreeland If you’re someone who happens to be susceptible to “adorable,” beware! One look into Jacinda’s appealing brown eyes and you may be seriously smitten. A Labrador/Beagle mix, Jacinda is a young lady loaded with energy and eager to socialize with lots of playmates, both canine and human. Her great positive outlook on life will brighten even the gloomiest day and make you smile no matter how dismal your mood. And not only is Jacinda exuberant, affectionate and an all around awesome companion, she would also be the best beach dog ever because she really LOVES the water. But don’t take our word for it, come to Alaqua Animal Refuge and meet her yourself. Jacinda is waiting for that special someone she knows is out there, and that someone could very well be you. "Northwest Florida's Premier Animal Sanctuary and Adoption Center" Alaqua Animal Refuge is a non-profit, no-kill shelter, located at 914 Whitfield Road, Freeport. We welcome you to visit all the adoptable animals at our beautiful ten acre sanctuary any Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. For more information you can call us at 850-880-6399 or check out our website at www.alaquaanimalrefuge.org Go to; theemeraldstarnews.blogspot.com Write it down; this our new web site Check out past editions complete with our advertising customers

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Dear Ruby, I wanted to tell you how much we appreciate your efforts with your column. You are a nice break from the news and we never know who write you. Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Page 7

‘Happenings’ in DeFuniak Springs
DISTRICT 4 COMMISSIONER SARA COMANDER APPOINTED TO SMALL COUNTY COALITION OF FLORIDA EXECUTIVE BOARD FOR NORTH GULF REGION DeFuniak Springs, FL… During a meeting of the Small County Coalition of Florida during the week of November 16, Walton County District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander was named to the Executive Board for the North Gulf Region. According to the Small County Coalition website, they are a non-partisan statewide alliance of county commissions in Florida's small and rural counties. The Small County Coalition's primary mission is to help Florida's small and rural counties address legislative issues from a small county/rural perspective and work effectively with state agencies leadership. The Small County Coalition supports programs that improve the financial viability and fiscal capacity of Florida's local governments in small counties. “I am excited to be able to be a part of a group that helps bring to light the needs and concerns of small counties and their constituents,” said Comander. “I look forward to working with the Board to help institute changes and policies that can help move Walton and other small counties forward.” Ms. Comander will serve alongside fellow Executive Board Member Sheryl Saunders from Franklin County. The current Chairman of the Board is Warren Yeager of Gulf County.

WCSB Meeting
The Walton School Board meeting started with Mark Davis as Chairman and a vote of approval for the Consent Agenda. The School Board approved the Personnel recommendations, with an item about Rick Roberts voted on separately due to a conflict with member Sharon Roberts. The Board considered several student expulsions. One recommendation was for the remaining school year with the student being recommended for expulsion from all public schools including the public charter schools. Sharon Roberts asked about the BP oil claims. She said she wants to make sure that if everyone else is getting a piece, she wants to make sure Walton School District gets its piece of the pie. A workshop will be held on the 18th at 4 pm. The Board cancelled the meeting on New Year’s Day. Member Mark Davis took no time in saying he will not be there. The assumption is there might be a ball game Davis wants to see. The meeting was cancelled for the holiday.

DFS Looked At For Economic Development Project
A project is looking at DeFuniak Springs and Walton County that could bring in over $5.3 million in economic benefits. In a special meeting Tuesday afternoon, DeFuniak Springs Council member Mac Work said he has been working with Scott Brannon, Sara Commander and the Walton Economic Development Alliance on a project proposed by a well known area resident. Work suggested using Baskerville-Donovan to seek the million dollars plus their fee. This will be an inducement to help pay for equipment. The building targeted is the old Microspine complex at the southwest corner of U.S. 331 and I-10. There is a new, but no longer used hotel next to the building. The City is competing with other states and locations as close as Florala, Alabama. Work said he has had favorable contact with Senator Evers, but Senator Gaetz has not returned his call. The money could possibly come from the source recently used to bring in a business for Santa Rosa Beach. This proposal would need about the same amount of incentive to locate here, but would bring in more than four times the jobs. One source of money is through the University of West Florida and allotments from the BP Oil Spill after legislation introduced by Senator Gaetz. Gaetz supported the money for the business bringing in less jobs and is one legislature being tapped to support this higher level project. Work says the company is highly favorable of Walton County and DeFuniak Springs, but has not made the final decision. This is why the incentive is needed. The project will bring in 87 new jobs, but with the economic multiplier it could be 110. Work told the Council, “The project will bring in jobs, something needed.” Mike Standley, with Baskerville-Donovan, said they have a contract with the city and have worked to secure money for governments, including the largest FEMA grant in the state of Florida. Standley said they like to do local and small projects. Standley said they will begin working on the project as soon as they get the task order. One of the first items will be to make sure the project can deliver the promised amount of jobs. Council agreed to have Baskerville-Donovan work on seeking the funds and agreed to have the mayor or city manager sign the work order. Work said he is excited and has made 27 calls to bring the project here. Standley said he has actually began preliminary work and will start as soon as possible. For the city Finance Director position, the Council agreed to have staff narrow down the applicants to the top three. This should be announced at the meeting on the 10th. The Council should make a decision after that.

DFS Council Meeting
As reported by WZEP AM1460


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The DeFuniak Springs City Council has agreed to help the Matrix and the Red Cross operate a cold weather shelter when the temperature falls below freezing. The Shelter will be in the Community Center and will operate overnight to give homeless, those with no heating and those with inadequate heating a place to get out of the cold. The Red Cross will take care of the supplies and the Matrix works the local operations. Taco Bell is coming to DeFuniak Springs. The Council approved a request to waive a fee. There also needs to be a variance request. after that they can get a building permit. The engineer could not give an exact date, but said they will likely start in early 2013 and the restaurant could be in by the end of fall or sooner. The engineer said they appreciate the help of the city staff. The variance request hearing for the site at Oaklawn Square and U.S. 331 will be January 14th. Baskerville-Donovan came back and reported on the proposed project to use Compressed Natural Gas. The need is for a CNG station. The sales of the gas will bring in revenue. Council member Mac Work said they will lose money the first year, but start recouping and making money in the second. The Council was advised to move forward with seeking a Rural Development Loan. They agreed. Mike Sasser, with the gas department, gave a review of his research into marketing gas. He said most use a rebate system for appliances. He also said the CNG could tie into a marketing program. Like they have done with water line expansion, they will look at ways to expand the natural gas system. Work asked about taking credit cards for the city. This to help with billing and and payments for customers. City Manager Sara Bowers said they are looking at options and possibly PayPal. Mayor Carpenter suggested electronic bill pay. Council member Work also told WZEP he has been contacted by Senator Don Gaetz about the possible project for the old medical building south of the interstate. This is a project that is looking at DeFuniak Springs and 6 other sites. With the proper enticements, the city could be the number one pick. Remember the discussion of having the mayor giving up being the person to vote in case of a tie? This seldom happens and limits the Mayor in the ability to take other actions. The way it is set up, the Mayor can not talk to other council members due to the sunshine law. Mayor Carpenter said he supports the effort wholeheartedly and feels he can do more by not being the tie breaker than having to vote once or twice every 6 years. Attorney Adkinson said he already has work done on the needed document. Kermit Wright said this has caused him concerns since he can not talk to the mayor. He says he loves the idea. Wright also said the mayor can act as the mayor and be a better leader if he can talk to the council.

Page 8


Thursday, December 13, 2012



BANK OWNED 3BR/2BA, 1,631 sq. ft. country-styled home. Addtl 500± sq. ft. unfinished attic space. Freshly painted! Stone FP in Great Rm. No carpet - tile floors throughout. Half acre lot with nice oaks. Near Eglin AFB Resv. $139,000

MAGNOLIA BAYE - CORNER LOT Partially cleared .29 ac lot in great location for get-a-way or permanent home. Minimal restrictions. Mobile & manufactured homes allowed. CW available. Close to boat launches-great fishing! Addtl lots available. $24,900

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FREEPORT - Hwy 331 S, commercial/ industrial 1 acre sites available. $169,900 each FREEPORT - White Pines Estates. 4-5 acre tracts, paved road, CW available. TERMS: 1% down, 1% per month. HOLT - 4.2 acres on Hwy 90, near Okaloosa Walton County line, CW available BRUCE - 1.68 acres, manufactured homes (under 4 yrs of age) allowed, well & septic needed. TERMS NEGOTIABLE PANAMA CITY - Waterfront lots on Watson Bayou, protected water, CW&S available, near Bay Medical & close to downtown Panama City


Highway 331 South

Call for more details.


Ph: 850-835-4153


Thursday, December 13, 2012


Page 9 Letter to the :

Help…..Spread the word about this newspaper to everyone you know!
Advertising specials going on NOW!! Please thank those advertisers in this issue, because of them we can continue to promote business in Walton county. Thank you

The 14 day Overview

Aquarius 1/20 – 2/18 Pisces 2/19 – 3/20 Aries 3/21 – 4/19 Taurus 4/20 – 5/20 Gemini 5/21 – 6/21 Cancer 6/22 – 7/22 Leo 7/23 – 8/22 Virgo 8/23 – 9/22

Does that glass look half-empty to you at the beginning of the week? Whether it's work, a relationship or general angst, you're not an optimist right now. Talk to someone you trust, and be active -- endorphins help! You ought to be feeling more upbeat around Wednesday and Thursday, and a connection you make -- whether of the 'aha!' type in your mind You love the people you work with, but Monday through Wednesday they're bad news. It's an energy thing. If a gaggle of them is in a corner whispering, count on the fact that it's something you're not interested in. Everyone else is swimming around in emotional waters this week, but you aren't letting your mind wander. Good move. You have almost no understanding of your friends who are in grumpy moods at the start of the week, what with all the luck and love and athletic spirit that has been defining your days. Monday through Wednesday, you're absolutely scorching. Get as much fun and exercise out of your system as possible, because Thursday and Friday are comparatively ho-hum. Someone taps one domino at the start of the week and sets off a chain reaction, getting a lot more than they bargained for. Alliances are tight Monday through Wednesday -- you and your pals are standing side by side. Make sure they know how much you adore them, and they'll always have your back. Thursday and Friday are pure enjoyment Ideas are spilling out of your ears at the start of the week. You and a pal might sit around debating something, alternately ribbing each other and solving the world's problems. Monday through Wednesday, do what you can to put your ideas into action. Thursday, frustratingly, it becomes a lot harder to communicate, especially if the person on the other end of the interaction is a family member. You may splurge on a piece of art at the start of the week -- a photo of a city you love, an abstract painting that makes you tingle when you look at it. Whatever it is, it's an extravagance -- not the kind of thing you buy every day -- but you consider it both a financial investment and a personal one. You're everyone's favorite friend. You're weightless. Your emails are worthy of awards. Something you say to someone in passing may go on to inspire them for years to come. Nevertheless, being inspiring doesn't pay the bills -- if you could figure out how it could, you'd really be weightless. Thursday and Friday, financial matters require your attention. You're incredibly talented, but there's no chance for you to demonstrate what you're made of at the start of the week, because people give you a hard time everywhere you turn. Monday through Wednesday are wellstocked with overbearing, inflexible braggarts. Weird! You're a tolerant person, so show off your virtues in that department. If you're looking to acquire something as the week begins, make sure the value is real -- and don't overestimate what it'll do for you. The stars can direct your attention to what really matters? Something revives your idealism around Wednesday and Thursday, and it's a good thing. A discussion with someone who understands your hopes

Libra 9/23 – 10/22 Scorpio

Monday through Wednesday, as much as you'd like to wear bright, colorful clothes, you'd be better off taking a black-and-white approach. Flamboyance is a problem the first half of the week, and self-control and profes10/23 –11/21 sionalism are required at work right now. You get to have some more fun the second half of the week. A postcard from overseas arrives at the start of the week. Sometime between Monday and Wednesday, you either buy plane tickets or actually board a plane -- and, if you do board a plane, chances are you get lucky with a great seat. Your cheeks may even hurt from grinning so much. Thursday and Friday are less grinworthy. An authority figure is on your case, and it's driving you nuts. You've got a healthy perspective as the week gets going -- you're engaged but not carried away, and you're able to see where improvements can be made without going overboard about it. While you're in evaluation mode, look within -- your own personal plans and hopes come into play around Wednesday and Thursday. Make a wish list, then translate it into reality -- how can you get started now?

Sagittarius 11/22 – 12/2 Capricorn 12/22 – 1/19

Dear Editor, I am wondering if anyone noticed the amount of yard sales in our area and the clutter they are causing? I see where the FDOT is pulling signage from legitimate businesses who help our county, paying taxes and soforth. They say they are taking up signs along the right of way, isn’t Hwy. 331 part of the FDOT? Thus far we have a couple individuals who have recently placed shipping cargo containers to house their yard sale items. Isn’t that a bit overboard? Goodwill, caring and sharing have their own overhead separate building and as someone who worked for them I don’t see where these people get the right to hold their yard sales every/other week. They place signs all along the right of ways and even cause safety issues with the amount of cars they attract. Same as in Niceville problems. I remember sometime in the past the county desired to have an ordinance drawn up to stop such illegal business taking place. Many counties across the country have even shut down places like this and referred them to flea markets atmosphere. When is someone going to address this issue? We even noticed a sign that said ’indoor yard sale’, wouldn’t that be considered a store? I am asking at this time for one of our county people or commissioners to stand up against this flagrant abuse of the county’s lack of laws and do something about this. Once every 3 mos. or so may seem fair but still with the amount of signage and near accidents we have experienced in this county someone should address this issue. It may appear that those with a yard full of debris full of containers should be under the same guidelines as a business. I know the struggles we have at Goodwill, at least we have ample parking off the right of way to service people too. It doesn’t take a whole lot to see signs everywhere making the place look trashy, so if it must be FDOT then so be it. Just as these other small businesses along Hwy.98 have to endure penalties and fines why wouldn’t someone that is running a business under the false signs of a yard sale? Where I live will only allow you to have a yard sale following a need to move, even then all items need to be removed from public site nightly and only for 3 days. Period. If it weren’t for the fact that I was rearended at one of these locations I wouldn’t be so serious about this issue being not dealt with. To make a sudden section open along a major highway like a flea market should grab one’s attention about safety factors too. Sincerely, J Woodall –VP

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Page 10


Thursday, December 13, 2012
As reported by WZEP AM1460

Santa with NORAD and Local Base Communications
As reported by WZEP AM1460

CIC Finds Angels

Always in frontline of technology, Santa has a big helper, the military, and rest assured our area bases are part of the Jolly One’s team. Locally the men and women of the 96th Communications Squadron will activate Santa’s Hotline December 10th – 14th. They invite children of all ages to call 850-882-NOEL (882-6635) from 5 to 8 p.m. to tell Santa’s Elves their last minute Christmas wishes The North American Aerospace Defense Command is prepared to track Santa’s yuletide journey! The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, is now live. It features a holiday countdown, games and daily activities, video messages from students around the world, and more. Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Windows Store, Apple Store, and Google Play, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets! Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started. Starting at 12:00 a.m. MST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make the preparations for his flight. Then at 5:00 a.m. trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to noradtrackssanta@outlook.com. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will also stream videos as Santa makes his way over various locations. NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct – only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.

Ken Hair, Children In Crisis President & CEO says angels can come in small, brightly colored “packages.” Hair says that over the years CIC has been impressed with the artistic skills of the students at Liza Jackson Preparatory School, however, two years ago, the overwhelming compassion of a fiery red-haired six year old, Landon Baugh, surprised them all. Landon heard about children in his own city who never have had the joy of celebrating their birthday with a birthday party. Feeling blessed to have family and friends who celebrated HIS special day each year; he decided to make a difference. For his 7th birthday, he asked his family and friends to donate money to help other kids have a happier birthday instead of buying toys and gifts for him, he called his idea "Give a Birthday”. After his first donation, the joy spread like wildfire! Now, 10 more children have followed in his footsteps to "Give a Birthday" and have turned their birthday into a chance to do something wonderful for a child who has never had that magical memory of making a wish while blowing out their own birthday cake candles. These birthday parties have raised over $1000 for the birthday boys and girls of Children in Crisis. Landon is so enthusiastic and giving for his 8th birthday he gave even more money to the children of CIC. Hair says that when he asked Landon what he gets out of giving and not receiving toys for his birthday he replied, "You get happiness in your heart that can stick with your heart for a longer time than getting toys can. It can stick for your whole life." Hair says they are proud to see Landon and all of the other students who have cared enough to give! Hair says his example has planted the seed of giving in the hearts of the students of Liza Jackson, and smiles on the faces of the birthday boys and girls of Children in Crisis.

WCTC Christmas Angel Tree
The staff of the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office (WCTC) has once again partnered with FamiliesFirst Network to supply Christmas gifts to area foster children in need. The ages and wish lists of approximately 30 local children were provided to WCTC by FamiliesFirst Network. Angel trees are located in the lobbies of both the DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach Offices. Members of the community are welcome to come into the office and adopt an “angel” and share in the season by providing Christmas gifts for a child. Walton Tax Collector Rhonda Skipper says Christmas is a time of giving and her office enjoys giving back to the community. Skipper notes there are a great number of children in foster care in our area. She says they want those children to experience the same excitement and joy on Christmas as the staff’s own children and grandchildren. Area individuals wishing to participate are encouraged to come by the office to select an angel. The wrapped gifts are due back to the Tax Collector’s Office by Friday, December 14. For individuals who would prefer to donate to the cause rather than shop for a specific child, gift cards to area stores are being accepted by FamiliesFirst Network to fulfill teen gift requests and to address last minute needs that arise. For additional information, please contact the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office at 850.892.8121. And another way you can help this time of year is to give the Walton Education Foundation Clothes Closet. Chairperson Faye Leddon says they are in need of new or good quality cleaned coats, jeans, pants, winter shirts and shoes. Not only can you donate these items to go to students in need, money can be used to help purchase the exact size and style the student needs. While no one wants to spend too much for style, Leddon notes when students have quality clothes that help them fit in, they can concentrate more on school and less on the pressure associated with teen society. Donations can be dropped off at the Walton School District Office, the Tivoli Complex.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


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Page 11

"Erica's Movie Reel"

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An office messenger and cleaner is urgently needed with a good salary, he/ she must have a good qualities to work. Interested applicant should please contact : bendaton@live.com

The littlest Christmas tree, lived in a meadow of green, Among a family, of tall evergreens, He learned how to whisper, the evergreen song, with the slightest of wind, that came gently along. He watched as the birds, made a home out of twigs, and couldn't wait till, he too was big. For all of the trees, offered a home, the maple, the pine, and the oak, who's so strong. "I hate being little", the little tree said, "I can't even turn colors, like the maple turns red", "I can't help the animals, like the mighty old oak", "He shelters them all, in his wide mighty cloak". The older tree said, "Why little tree you don't know? The story of a mighty king, from the land with no snow?" Little tree questioned, "A land with no snow?" "Yes!" said old tree, "A very old story, from so long ago". "A star appeared, giving great light, over a manger, on long winters night. A baby was born, a king of all kings, and with him comes love, over all things." "He lived in a country, all covered in sand, and laid down his life, to save all of man.'

You need to advertise with us! Call today: 850-585-0262
Lake House For Rent 16 W. Renoir Rd., DeFuniak Springs, FL. Like new lakefront 1600 sq. ft. double-wide mobile home on Lake Topaz. 3 lg bedrooms with walk-in closets, 2 baths, range, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, washer, dryer. Large eat-in kitchen with lots of cabinets, large dining area, master bath has tub and sep. shower. 250 sq. ft. of front and back yard decks. Beautiful lake views from 9 windows. $900/mo. + $900 security deposit. 850-267-8448 Winter tops and slacks for winter in sizes 18W, 18P, and 18. Call 850-496-3908.

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The Emerald Star News office # is: 850-585-0262 Located in Freeport Florida

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Volunteers Needed In Walton county,
Handyman-25yrs. Exp. All phases of home repair./remodel Free estimates. Excellent work for a great price. For more information Call: ESN @ 850.585.0262
only 44% of the children in the court system have a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem, Freeport has lots of cases that need volunteers. Please consider volunteering, it only takes a few hours a month after you are trained, and makes a big difference in the life of a local child. Visit www.beaguardian.org fill out the application, save it and send it to nina.stephens@gal.fl.gov you will be so glad you did!!

Bay View House For Rent 3 bedrooms, 2 baths located on first street north of 331 bridge at 2445 Bay Grove Rd. This clean 1260 sq. ft. house provides an additional 200 sq. ft. screened porch for viewing the brilliant sunsets over the bay. House features a large kitchen with many cabinets, newer refrigerator and glass top range, dishwasher, w/d hookup and ceramic floors in kitchen, dining and bathrooms The house has a wooded lot with a shed and open land behind it. $900/mo. + $900 security deposit. 850-267-8448

Yard Work
extremely reasonable rates. Let me help clean up your area. Call ESN: 850-585-0262 for details/times.


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Page 12


Thursday, December 13, 2012

WATERFRONT DEAL - ID# T88494 Almost 1 acre on Mallet Bayou! 3BR/2BA home with 1,514 SF. Dock w/ power & water, fenced yard. $235,900

HEART OF DESTIN 3BR/2BA Brick home-orig owner! 1,430 sq. ft.+FL rm. Well-maintained. Updated baths, kit, flooring & HVAC. Workshop. $209,500

NEAR BLACK CREEK - ID# T616439 3BR/1.5BA, 1,260 sq. ft. brick home on half acre. New roof, interior paint, appliances, tile, windows, blinds, etc. $115,000

NEWLY REMODELED IN DFS 3BR/2BA, 2,026 SF. Kitchen has bar & eat-in area. Bonus computer/craft room. Open back deck. ID# T649357 $122,500

WATERVIEW COVE - ID# T739502 4BR/2.5BA w/lots of curb appeal. Master BR on ground floor. Side load garage. Separate 30’x30’ shop/carport. $249,900

10 ACRES UNRESTRICTED - ID#T530156 Close to Choctawhatchee River, w/easy access to boat launches. Survey completed. Owner Financing Available. $60,000

BACK ON MARKET! - ID# T88485 Protected water with easy access to the Intracoastal & Choctawhatchee Bay. CW&S available. Tremendous potential! $149,000

CUSTOM BRICK LAKEFRONT IN DFS 3BR/2BA w/dock on Lake Opal. Split BR plan. S/S appliances. Tile floors. MBR overlooks lake & covered porch. $189,900

112+ ACRES ON HWY 85 N Owner Financing
up to


Located just over Okaloosa-Walton County line. Small creek on property. Wooded with pines. Call for details! $378,500

THE FLORIDA GOOD LIFE - ID# T305914 3BR/2.5BA, 1,836 SF cottage on LaGrange Bayou. 1st floor Master BR. Open kitchen w/ granite countertops. Dbl garage. $356,900

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY! - ID# T620662 1.37 ac corner lot near Bridge. Brick 3BR/1BA, 1,614 sq. ft. w/new metal roof, paint & kitchen. Fenced yard. $133,500

ESTATE SALE - ID# T756581 Exclusive Bay Harbour! City W&S, underground utilities. Corner lot adjoining nature preserve. Greatly reduced price! $22,500

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NEW LISTING! Magnolia Baye S/D in Black Creek! 0.31 ac wooded lot w/minimal restrictions. CW available. Close to boat launch. $24,900

HWY 20 COMMERCIAL BUILDING Approx. 2,400 sq. ft. retail/office space w/2 restrooms & kitchen. Next to Hammock Bay. OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS! $139,900

NEAR CHOCTAW BEACH Bank owned 4BR/2BA, 1,620 sq. ft. on .43 acre lot. Large kitchen. New carpet, back deck. Private well. NEW PRICE $64,900


Ph: 850-835-4153


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