Emerald Star News

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The BEST LIL’ NEWSPAPER in Walton county - from Freeport, Florida
Volume: 4 Issue: 26

December 27, 2012

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Walton Talks School Security
Walton Superintendent of Schools, a longtime educator and elementary principal, Carlene Anderson said when she was told of the school shooting tragedy she cried and it affected her very personally…...….

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Armed Assault
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) responded to County Hwy 1883 in the early morning hours Sunday in reference to armed individuals shooting into the dwelling, kicking in the door to the home, pointing guns at the two victims and hitting the female victim in the mouth with one of the firearms. The suspects …….…...

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Synthetic Drugs
Deputies with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office have been delivering letters from Sheriff Larry Ashley to area businesses which sell compounds known as synthetic drugs. The message is that ... ….

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Editorial
The Wolfe’s Den

The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays! This season has been one of mixed emotions, from shootings and storms there has been plenty to find yourself being thankful for. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families. As you may have noticed the world did not end on the 21st as had been predicted for numerous decades. Doesn’t that give you a reason to celebrate? I’ve got the same feelings as most of you do about the upcoming year. Keyword will be ‘prepared’. Learn about the massive amount of changes coming. From the top to the bottom we will all feel some part of these changes. The president’s decisions are coming at an alarming pace. It has always been a trial and error time of our lives. So many of us living from paycheck to paycheck. For the stress levels of living in today’s world are ever rising. It will be an interesting 2013 to say the least. When the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza may have tried to sabotage his own computer before going on a murderous rampage that claimed the lives of 20 children, but experienced investigators said today that law enforcement forensic experts could still recover critical evidence from the damaged drives. Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance revealed Monday that a computer crimes unit was working in conjunction with a forensics laboratory to "dissect" any evidence relevant to the case, but he declined to comment further on what type of evidence was involved and in what condition it was in. Later that day, law enforcement officials told ABC News that police recovered a badly damaged computer from Lanza's home that appeared to have been attacked by a hammer or screwdriver. Sources said if they can still read the computer's hard drive, they hope to find critical clues that may help explain Lanza's motives in the killing. of course they are not certain what they may find on his computer. There can be habitual emotions on the computer that can lead up to someone doing something like this. Maybe a sign somewhere. Here in Walton county, parents got a phone call from the school board superintendent stating of the safety factors that are being considered for our schools. I do like the idea I heard of veteran’s volunteering to be a school resource officer for entrance into schools. Provided substantial background checks are in place I think it will have a safer role for the students. It’s a dam shame when society has to readjust it’s habits for school children. In this case it was an Elementary school. I feel that a lot of the insensitivity of killing comes from the amount of time people are playing video games. With 3D effects and lifelike features of being in war, some people are maybe having trouble with separating fact from fiction. They probably think they would be able to hit the reset button and try it all again but with bigger ammo and destruction. Isn’t that what most of the games are designed today are like? I am not a ‘gamer’ but I have witnessed for a long time the commercials even looking so realistic. Back when I was a kid they tried to say that music was making people act a certain way, cop killer songs and defiance was almost stopped in recordings. At least for the common radio stations, they will not air such nonsense. It’s time for parents to become more in tune with their children. What are they playing? How long have they been playing it? Moderation to keep them grounded into reality. What are your kids ’into’? For the time it takes to connect to your children every second is worth it’s weight in gold. Get to know their friends and maybe you can help prevent dangerous situations for us all.

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 27, 2012

WC BCC Meeting
As reported by WZEP AM1460

The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc. High School Grades Walton Talks School Security
As reported by WZEP AM1460

Page 3

Much later than other grade levels, the state has released the high school grades. The number of Florida high schools and combination high schools getting an A grade for 2012 rose to 231, up from 148 last year, in preliminary results released today by the Florida Department of Education. The DOE says that while the results are encouraging given the move to more rigorous standards, they The Public Information Manager for the County gave a include measures approved by the presentation on the County website. He said there are State Board of Education to ease already changes and the launch is to be February 4th. Commissioners were told there will be more video capa- the transition for the 2011-12 bilities and they will be keeping some of the older feaschool year.
In a special session so they would not have to meet at Christmas, the Walton Commissioners held their second December meeting Tuesday morning. Commissioners were asked to short list the seven they want to interview for county administrator. Clerk of Courts Martha Ingle tallied the commissioner’s selection. The top seven were extended to the top eight after a tie. The list includes: George Barwick, Lyndon Bonner, Gerry Demers, Cory Godwin, Robert Halfhill, Steve Howard, Larry Jones, Ted Lackey. The interviews will take place in both north Walton and at commissioner Meadows office. This after a request by Meadows where she said she wants the candidates to also see south Walton. tures. Commissioners were told the hope is the public will find it more of a valuable resource.

In addition to higher achievement levels this year, the state moved With the county lobbyist contract coming up, commissioners Meadows and Imfeld asked to have a review of to a more rigorous graduation rate the accomplishments before extending the contract. The formula for high schools and exlobbyist firm, Heffley and Associates, said they will panded the basis for college readiextend at the same rate. Cindy Meadows will chair the ness measures, focusing on all onTDC Board. time graduates. Next year, high Apparently several lots in Eagle’s Landing are in a situa- school grades will include biology and geometry end-of-course tion through code enforcement. The original developer had legal issues. Commissioners agreed to a release of assessments.
lien but anyone buying lot 6 will have to pay a $1500 fine and bring the property into compliance. The lot is valued at $21,000. The $1500 fine is much less than the original fine which was more than the lot’s value. Commissioner Meadows said they want to stand behind the Code Enforcement Board, but by doing this they can help the property become productive. Commissioner Meadows said this is one of many such incidents where money was lost in the economy fall. She said the fines should never have been able to get as high as they did and moved to release the lien.

An increase in the number of A high schools and combination high schools is good news for districts. High school grades determine school recognition funds, which reward schools that have sustained high student performance or have shown substantial student performance improveMeadows renewed the call to secure the Courthouse ment. The Legislature approved Annex in south Walton. Comander said it is not only the $134,582,877 for that purpose for commissioners, but the staff also has security needs. 2012-2013.
Major Joe Preston with the sheriff’s office said there will be a cost with a new metal detector and they are working on total costs for securing the building.

Walton Superintendent of Schools, a longtime educator and elementary principal, Carlene Anderson said when she was told of the school shooting tragedy she cried and it affected her very personally. She said the children were expecting Santa Clause, not a bullet. At the end of the Walton County School Board meeting, Board member Mark Davis asked to review other district’s policies about uniforms. He said, in light of the recent tragedy, he feels uniforms might lend to security, especially in open campus schools like Paxton. He also suggested the possibility of approaching the union about uniforms for teachers. He said if someone is on the campus, they would know they are not staff. Davis also asked to have a private entity become a third set of eyes to look for safety holes they might miss. Anderson said they did convene advisors from the safety committee Monday to come up with ideas of what they need to do different. She said they work on school safety each year. Anderson asked the advisors for a timeline for the week, by the end of the year then for long range improvements for school safety and security. She also wants a line item for security in the next budget. Anderson said schools are required to have monthly drills for fire, chemical spills, intruders and other emergencies. Anderson showed a draft document they have already put together and told the Board she wants to make sure it becomes a living document, not just something that gets put into a drawer. Each School has a safety committee as well as the district’s safety team. Anderson says they have been planning for safe schools and will continue to plan. She will be meeting with the Sheriff Adkinson and City Marshal Weeks after the holidays. She also talked about School Resource Deputies in the elementary schools. She said it is time to re-address not having them. With tears, Board member Faye Leddon said she was watching the young students at Paxton and realized how easy it would be for someone to come to them. Board member Sharon Roberts asked that Anderson ask the Sheriff where he could help with additional costs for security. She said you can not put a cost on human life. Anderson confirmed that after the shooting the sheriff put SRD’s in the elementary schools and they will stay until the break. Anderson said law enforcement has been good to work with. She also said the school where the shooting happened, had a secure system. Anderson said she can not guarantee nothing will happen.

In Okaloosa, Crestview took it up a notch from a B to an A, Sara Comander asked to put her name in as secretary/ treasurer of the Gulf Consortium. She said the eight dis- Laurel Hill went down from a B portionate counties met recently and they have come up to a C, Ft. Walton Beach High, with a formula for spending the 80% coming to them. Niceville and the Collegiate Walton, Okaloosa and Bay agreed to take a little less to High all stayed at an A. help some of the smaller counties. She used the oyster
beds and giving up 1% for additional help as an example. Meadows said she feels this was a good compromise and showed the panhandle counties are willing to work together. Commissioners adopted a resolution. Commissioner Imfeld said they were in DC at an Army Corps of Engineers meeting on beach nourishing. He said Dawn Moliterno and the TDC gave a good presentation. Comander agreed and gave recognition to beach scientist Brad Pickle. She also said they are very close after 13 years of trying for the nourishment approval.

In Walton County, Paxton School stayed at an A, Freeport and Walton Senior Highs both stayed at a B, South Walton moved it up from a B to a A and Seaside stayed an an A.

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The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.

Health Post
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The

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Freeport Mayor’s Post
Freeport Mayor
Mickey Marse 998 Bay Dr.
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E-mail : Frank@

850-231-1473
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License # CF-C057978

Emeraldstarnews.com

The U.S. flu season is here -- the earliest start since the "moderately severe" season of 2003. Just as in 2003, the nasty H3N2 flu bug is causing most cases so far.

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

No post this week. WCSO Reports Arrest After Battery Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies responded to Kimberly Ann Drive, Santa Rosa Beach, in the late night hours Thursday in reference to a 911 call for assistance. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with a male subject who reported he was attacked with a baseball bat by his roommate. EMS was called to the scene, treated the victim’s injuries and transported him to Sacred Heart hospital for further treatment and observation. The suspect, 38-year-old Jason Robert Nichols, of Santa Rosa Beach, was still inside the residence when deputies arrived and he cooperated with law enforcement without incident. According to statements gathered, an argument ensued between the two roommates over rent and household bills. The victim went to his bedroom and shut the door. Nichols entered the victim’s bedroom with an aluminum baseball bat and struck him several times. Nichols was charged with Aggravated Battery, a second degree felony. Nichols was transported and booked into the Walton County Department of Corrections.

Flu Vaccine Supply
Vaccination remains the best way to avoid the flu. So far this year, the CDC estimates that 112 million Americans already got their flu shots (or sniffs of the nose-spray vaccine). That would be about 37% of the vaccine-eligible U.S. population over age 6 months. Manufacturers have shipped 123 million of this year's expected 135 million doses of flu vaccine. So far, the CDC says nobody who wants flu vaccine is having trouble finding it. "We are similar in vaccine [supply and demand] to last year," Frieden said. "We did not have a shortage last year, and expect no shortage this year."Drink plenty of fluids or use a
cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer to soothe an irritated throat and loosen mucus. Prop your head up on extra pillows at night and have a little honey before bed. Studies show honey can help ease a cough. Don’t give honey to children under 12 months. You may get a dry cough with a cold or the flu or if you breathe in something irritating like dust or smoke. A cough "suppressant" helps stop your urge to cough. Plus, it can help you sleep better. Cough drops -- or even hard candy -can stop that tickle in the back of your throat. Don’t give cough drops to children younger than 4. Never give cough medicine to children younger than 4 because it can have serious side effects. For children 4 to 6 years old, ask your doctor before giving any cough and cold medicines. They're safe after age 6. For children 1 and up, try 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey to help them cough up mucus.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Emerald Star News, Inc.

Page 5

The FREEPORT POST
Firewood Buying
As reported by WZEP AM1460

Armed Assault

As reported by WZEP AM1460

If you don’t want to see your money go up in smoke, then you might need to use a little knowledge when buying firewood. A local resident tells First News he feels he was taken advantage of when he recently purchased firewood. A few tips and you can save yourself money by knowing what you are getting. Some states in colder climates require firewood to be sold by standard units such as a cord. A full cord is 8 feet, by 4 feet by four feet high. This is basically a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood stacked four feet up. there are other units such as half cords, ricks and face cords. A face cord is one third of a regular cord, or a stack at least 16 inches wide, eight feet long and four feet high. Florida does not have a law dictating what measurement unit firewood should be sold. Sometimes someone selling wood around here will simply sell a truck or trailer load. Steven Holloway lives in Oakwood Hills and says he heats his home on colder days with wood. He says he recently found a company in Laurel Hill and called them for a load of firewood. Holloway says he usually buys local, but his normal supplier was booked up for deliveries. Holloway says he asked for 2 cords of red or white oak seasoned and ready to use. He says the owner of the business called, discussed the price of $150 per cord, a total of $300 for two cords. He says the owner agreed to stack the wood on delivery. Holloway says two men arrived and began throwing firewood on the the ground not stacking it and he says it was not good quality. Holloway says the two men made him uncomfortable after they finished and confronted him for the money. He says he told them it was not the two cords he had ordered and was not the hardwood he asked for. He says they told him it was good wood and continued to ask for the money. He agreed to pay half, the $150. Eventually the two men left. Holloway says the two returned and asked for the rest of their money. Fearing for his safety, Holloway says he gave them the other $150. He called the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and a Deputy came and contacted the Laurel Hill tree service, eventually getting through to the owner. He says the person on the phone did not tell the truth. The Deputy advised him to stack wood and take measurements. He says the wood measures to half a cord, though he paid for two full cords. Holloway says he is out $300 for wood that is 90% unusable and only a quarter of the amount he agreed to. He feels the company from Laurel Hill has scammed him out of the money by pressuring him for payment, even when he protested the quality and amount. When buying wood, make sure you understand the quality you are buying. Wood can be a hardwood such as oak or can be other trees that are softer, leave more ash and burn quicker. Also check to see how seasoned your wood is. Some like a more green wood, but usually you want wood that is dried to a low moisture content. You should also check on how the wood is stacked and measured. Wood tossed into a truck bed is not packed as dense at stacked wood. There should be minimal air gaps. You also want to make sure you know if the price you are paying is for pick up or for delivery and if it includes stacking or loading. You can view us online at:

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) responded to County Hwy 1883 in the early morning hours Sunday in reference to armed individuals shooting into the dwelling, kicking in the door to the home, pointing guns at the two victims and hitting the female victim in the mouth with one of the firearms. The suspects left the home after assaulting and battering the victims. The female victim stated that she knew the suspects, William Curry and Shawn Holloway. Holloway is the father of the child they have in common. WCSO worked in conjunction with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and Washington County Sheriff’s Office in attempting to locate the suspects. At approximately 11 a.m., deputies were able to locate the suspects in Holmes County. HCSO arrested both individuals on Walton County charges. William Howard Curry, 25, of Ponce De Leon has been charged with Armed Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling, Burglary with Assault or Battery, and two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Shawn Bradley Holloway, 26, of Westville has been charged with Firing a Missile into a Dwelling, Burglary with Assault or Battery, Battery Touch or Strike, Armed Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling, and two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Both individuals will be extradited to Walton County to face the charges .

Man Sentenced After DNA Evidence Links Him To Molestation
William Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, says Kevin William Phillips was convicted on Thursday by a Walton County jury in DeFuniak Springs on the charges of Sexual Battery on a Child under the Age of 12. The charges arose from an incident which occurred in May of 2010 where the defendant placed himself in a sexual position and left physical evidence. DNA evidence matching the defendant was found on the victim’s clothing. The child reported the crime in Thomasville, GA. The defendant was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Alabama in 2011. Circuit Judge Howard LaPorte presided over the trial and upon the jury’s verdict, classified the defendant as a Sexual Predator and imposed a mandatory life prison sentence. The case was investigated by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Thomas County, GA Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Lieb.

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Page 6 Book Review By: River Stewart

The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tax Collector Employee
As reported by WZEP AM1460

Walton Might Buy Property
As reported by WZEP AM 1460

James Hallford was honored Saturday night as the Employee of the Year for If you need to buy property, now can be the Walton County Tax Collector’s Ofa good time. But when you are a govern- fice during their annual Christmas party. ment, the word need is for many a must. Hallford was selected for this distinThe Walton Commissioners considered guished honor by his peers. The honor five parcels being offered. They looked was especially telling to the contribuat each one to determine if it was some- tions of Hallford as he has only been thing they not only wanted, but also if it employed with the Tax Collector’s Ofwas something they could use. fice since June. Real property acquisitions, five of them, were presented. Resident Mary Nelson asked if the commissioners have knowledge of the land they already have and the uses. She also asked them to do any needed homework. Commissioners said they do have lists and will review the needs. Hallford serves as the Driver License Administrator in the Tax Collector’s Office. He joined the office in June after 26 years employment with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In his position, Hallford provides training to staff on driver license and identity card transactions as well as serves as the point of knowledge Some of the properties were said to not for any unusual or difficult situations be of immediate use to the county, one involving the issuance of a driver license was already sold. One parcell could be or identity card. used for land mitigation. That is where \The Employee of the Year Award is an the state requires the county to place honor selected by all of the employees of land in permanent conservation when the Tax Collector’s Office. Employees they disturb other land. Staff said there is nominate co-workers based on their a change to use land banks and the miti- overall performance, demonstration of gation land might not be as needed as the organization’s commitment to serbefore. vice, and efforts to exemplify the core values of the organization. Another possible purchase was what is known as the Triangle Chevrolet prop“Our entire team is thankful to have erty, the lots near Thriftway and on 7th James and the knowledge and experience Street in DeFuniak Springs. The comhe brings to our office,“ said Tax Collecpany said they want to give the County tor Rhonda Skipper. After 26 years with first choice of purchasing. This property an agency, many individuals would be is on Highway 90 and joins other county apprehensive about starting over with property. Commissioner Comander said new bosses, new co-workers, a new enthere is a possible use as climate convironment and new expectations, but trolled storage. Commissioners agreed to James has embraced the change. He look at the Triangle property. works very hard and is dedicated to helping both his co-workers as well as our Triangle's Taylor Lathinghouse said citizens to the best of his ability.” when GM was making changes through bankruptcy and chose dealers to be invited back, they had to agree to undergo a facility evaluation. This gave GM the right to come in and point out opportunities to upgrade to the new image. GM wants a new image for dealerships. Triangle was one of the last on the list and GM is now getting to them. Lathinghouse says the automaker came here and did an evaluation of the current building and says nothing looks like what they have in mind. He says after looking at a remodel or a new build on the 13 acres they own on 331, the numbers were not far apart. The current location also has a problem with the lot being split inventory across street and the service can not grow. He says as they plan for the future they have to find the ability to grow the service department, taking it to the next step. Lathinghouse said the County had contacted them in the past about a need for space and parking. He says the property is near the courthouse and a purchase will work for Triangle and the County. Lathinghouse confirmed the business is growing and there is need for more space. He says a new facility will likely mean more jobs. Another parcel they will look at is near Morrison Springs. Clerk of Court Martha Ingle suggested they also check with the other constitutional officers about their property needs.

Aunt Ruby wishes you all the very best of the holiday season and will see you all next year.

   PENELOPE By M. Vreeland
If you’re looking for a dog that’s not too big and not too small, we’re sure you’ll find that Penelope is “just right.” A Rat Terrier/Italian Greyhound mix, Penelope seems a bit shy at first, but once she’s been properly introduced she is a real sweetheart. Penelope is very thankful to be at Alaqua Animal Refuge, especially when it’s her turn to romp around in the play area. That’s when she gets to chase her favorite playtime pal, a larger Boxer mix, around the yard. Watching them, you’re sure to think they’re training to go for the gold in the next Olympics. This energetic little girl also enjoys less strenuous activities like going for a walk, and is proud to show off her excellent skills on a leash. Sweet, petite and hoping for a loving forever home for the holidays, Penelope is looking forward to making your acquaintance.

Use soap and water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds.

Get in the habit of washing your hands before eating or preparing food and after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.

If you're taking care of a sick person, wash your hands before and after being with him. Use hand sanitizer. If you can't get to a sink, the next best thing is an alcoholbased hand sanitizer. Buy one with at least 60% alcohol. Rub it all over your hands and keep rubbing until it evaporates and your hands are dry. Keep small bottles of hand sanitizer with you -- at work, in your car, and in your purse. Cover your nose and mouth. It's one of the most effective ways to keep from spreading germs. If you can, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw it out promptly. If you're empty-handed, don't cough into your hand. You'll just smear germs on the next thing you touch. Instead, cough into the crook of your elbow. Disinfectyour space. You don't need to spend all day spraying disinfectant on every surface of your house. Still, if someone in your family is sick, use a household disinfectant to wipe down hightraffic areas -- computers, phones, doorknobs, and remotes. Use disposables. Cold and flu germs can cling to fabric. So when someone in your house is sick, replace hand towels and dishrags with paper towels. Remove water glasses and add cardboard cups in the bathroom, too. Get a flu vaccine. It is safe for anyone over the age of 6 months. If you or someone in your family is in any of the following high-risk groups, your doctor will encourage every family member to get one:

"Northwest Florida's Premier Animal Sanctuary and Adoption Center" Alaqua Animal Refuge is a nonprofit, 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 850-8806399 or check out our website at www.alaquaanimalrefulge.org.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.

Page 7

‘Happenings’ in DeFuniak Springs
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Sara Laird Finds Christmas Memories in the Attic

Will 2013 Be the Year You Quit Tobacco for Good? - Services Offered by the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Double Your Chances of Quitting -

You are hereby notified of a Public Hearing to be As the kids move on and life grows older, many held January 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM, or soon thereafter, find they will simply leave the Christmas decorato consider: tions in the attic. For one DeFuniak Springs woman, a young helper brought down more than AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF just sparkling decorations, Christmas memories COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF were unpacked. In this case simple candy canes WALTON COUNTY, FLORIDA, she and her husband Howard bought for their first AMENDING THE CURRENT CHAPTER Christmas together in 1946 began the search for 22, ARTICLE I, II, III, AND IV; COR- Christmas memories. RECTING INTERNAL INCONSISTENCIES, INCLUDING DEFINITIONS; Octogenarian Sara Laird still works part time at CLARIFYING LANGUAGE OF PROVI- The Prescription Place Pharmacy. She lost her SIONS REGARDING THE CONDUCT husband several years ago and lives alone, east of AND PERMITTING OF ACTIVITIES, the Historic Lakeyard. Needing some raking VENDORS AND VEHICLES ON THE done, she hired a local youth and asked him to BEACH; REPEALING SECTION 5-34, pull a few boxes out of the attic and look for a set DOGS ON THE BEACH, WALTON of candy canes she and her husband bought for CUONTY CODE, AND INCORPORAT- their first Christmas after being married in June of ING THOSE PROVISIONS 1946. While she thought she would not get out HEREIN;AND PROVIDING FOR SEV- many decorations this year, once the boxes started ERABILITY, CONFLICTS AND RE- coming down, so did the memories. PEAL OF CERTAIN ORDINANCE; AND SETTING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Mrs. Laird also talked about other Christmas memories in DeFuniak Springs. She worked at the former Lakeside Hospital and in pharmacies. The Meeting will be held at the Walton County She says the days there with Dr. Spires and Dr. Courthouse Annex located at 31 Coastal Centre Meyers were very good and she learned to love Blvd., Santa Rosa Beach, FL many people. She says they had their Christmas parties there. She also remembers the houses If anyone decides to appeal a decision of the Board around the lake being decorated and has enjoyed with respect to this meeting that person must ensure the Hometown Christmas in recent years. that a verbatim record of the meeting is made. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing a special accommodation to participate in this proceeding should contact the Board of County Commissioners of Walton County no later than seven days prior to the proceeding at the address given in this notice or phone (850) 8928155. While she knows there are sad events, she says it is the joy from people that she looks to. Today she says Christmas songs at church still bring a tear to her eyes. Mrs. Laird talked about a Christmas card from her paperboy who offered to help her if needed. She says people helping each other is important in these times. While her husband’s name was Howard Laird, she called him Butch. He was Smokey Bear and says many children knew him as Smokey. After the loss of her husband, she got a small dog and named him Smokey. the little dog is still her companion. Theemeraldstarnews.blogspot.com Sara Laird says the love of Christ all around is what keeps her going. The thought of family getting together and friends dropping by are good memories for today. Working at the pharmacy is another way she still makes new memories. Mrs. Lard says meeting and helping all the good people helps to keep her going. Photos of Sara Laird and her Candy Canes as well as the full audio interview are on our website news page: http://www.wzep1460.com.

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida is encouraging tobacco users to create a comprehensive quit plan with the help of the Florida Quitline, Web Coach or Area Health Education Centers’ in-person services. A quit plan is the first step for a successful quit attempt. For those who use tobacco, the most important step you can take for a healthier and longer life is to quit. Tobacco users who quit can double their chances at success by using the state’s free and convenient quit services. “If you are resolving to quit tobacco for the New Year, there are resources available to help you,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Counseling and medication are very effective and greatly increase your chances of quitting and staying tobacco free for good.” Tobacco Free Florida’s evidence-based resources include consultation from a certified and trained Quit Coach as well as FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), when appropriate. This combined approach of counseling and NRT can double or triple a tobacco user’s chance of quitting. Seven out of 10 adult smokers report that they want to quit completely. Those who have tried to quit but relapsed in the past should try again because most former smokers made several attempts before quitting permanently. Quitting tobacco is hard, but it is not impossible. In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers in the state. However, not having a plan can make quitting more difficult. Tobacco Free Florida offers three ways to quit: ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA DOH’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to use one of the state’s three ways to quit. To learn about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla. DOH works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

This is our new web site
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Page 8

The EMERALD STAR NEWS, Inc.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

PORTLAND

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.

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

Synthetic Drugs
Deputies with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office have been delivering letters from Sheriff Larry Ashley to area businesses which sell compounds known as synthetic drugs. The message is that the Florida Attorney General’s Office has adopted an emergency rule outlawing yet another lengthy list of psychoactive substances that are potentially harmful. Sheriff Ashley is asking business owners and operators to immediately cease and desist the possession, manufacture, distribution, and sale of these compounds and surrender forthwith any such compounds to the Deputy who presented the letter. At a news conference attended by Representative Matt Gaetz, Sheriff Ashley said after the businesses are notified, individuals found to be violating the emergency rule will face arrest and criminal prosecution as well as civil forfeiture actions. Representative Gaetz said that enacting the emergency rule as law will be one of the Florida Legislature’s top priorities when the general session begins in March. Sheriff Ashley said the public needs to be aware of the ongoing potentially deadly effects of these synthetic drugs, most of which are being manufactured overseas. Many of the packages now feature brightly colored cartoon figures and carry names like “Scooby Snax” which the Sheriff called a blatant and alarming effort to market these dangerous substances directly to young people. Beginning in January of 2011, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office launched what has become an ongoing campaign to educate the public to the dangers of synthetic drugs, which led to an estimated 11,000 emergency room visits in Florida last year alone. Law enforcement officers say the substances can cause violence, delirium, paranoia, hallucinations, and other dangerous psychotic effects. Medical professionals say it can also produce extreme sweating, rapid heart rates, unexplained strength and endurance, severe agitation, suicidal thoughts and cardiovascular collapse.

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

You might get a call or letter from someone you haven't heard from in ages as the week begins -- it's a good time to reflect on your past. It's easier than ever for you to make connections on Tuesday and Wednesday, and if you're looking for love, this is the time to go for it! You may meet someone in a rather unorthodox fashion. For the most part, this is a pretty sweet week, filled with good, creative energy. Take time out to make a nice dinner on Monday, if you can -- it should be a big hit with family or housemates. You might feel a little edgy midweek, but can certainly take away some great ideas from your peering into the void. Enjoy the surge of great emotional power on Thursday and Friday, Try to think big on Tuesday and Wednesday -- tiny details just get confusing and distract you from the big picture, which is more important than anything else. The home front is the scene of all the drama later in the week, some of it good, some of it not so much. Try to sort it all out with a big smile on your face. Your amazing energy this weekend demands a physical outlet of some sort, You are feeling great on Monday, and are much more likely to let folks get away with little infractions or even indulge your own impulses. Why not? Stick to the present during the middle of the week, as big plans may have fatal flaws. Once you get more information, you should be able to set it all out. You are quite busy midweek, and most of your activities are fun and engaging, so it's good to have busywork behind you. After that, it's easier to become disappointed on Thursday and Friday, especially if things don't go exactly the way you want them to. Try to keep an open mind. You may not always dazzle folks with your crazy ideas, but something you say on Monday gets a lot of them thinking about how they might make changes. They may start to pester you with their own ideas and challenges -- so much so that you start to get pretty irritable later in the week The legal system has a role in your day on Monday, though most likely it's not like something out of a cop drama. You may just need to deal with City Hall, which is considerably easier to handle. Throw around big ideas in the middle of the week, especially around the workplace but anywhere you get to interact with peers. Once you've got a good-sized list of options You feel cool and smart and detached on Monday, and ought to be able to get to the bottom of any questions that are still unresolved in your life -- those with hard and fast answers, anyway! The middle part of the week is still up in the air and could work out quite well for you, as long as you do everything that you know you need to do. take a second look at how your friends or coworkers are behaving. There may be some clues to feelings moving under the surface. You've got to make sure that you're not just dealing with people who are singleminded midweek -- your good energy helps you see all sides of every question. You might start to get a little overwhelmed

Libra 9/23 – 10/22 Scorpio

You may want more than you can realistically get on Monday, but that never stopped you from trying before! It's a good time for you to try to get more folks on your side. During the middle of the week, you may 10/23 –11/21 feel like a detective, snooping out clues in unusual places. Take time to build a thorough case Whether you're at work or dealing with chores at home, the details really matter early this week! Make sure you focus on one small thing at a time if you want to get anything done. Life gets pretty interesting on Tuesday and Wednesday, though you may not be doing what you had hoped to be doing. Let someone else take the lead. Your good energy helps you bring projects to completion on Monday with your usual diligence and attention to detail. Show off a little! The middle part of the week is great for clearing out closets, attics or anything else that you use to store things you don't really need any more. Something small may blow up into something really huge on Thursday or Friday when a friend or family member overreacts to something you say.

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

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Page 10 NOTICE OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

The EMERALD STAR NEWS, Inc. Charter School Audit Report At the recent Walton School Board meeting, the Financial Audit of the Chautauqua Learn and Serve at The ARC of Walton County, Inc. was presented. Several Board members commented on the report, saying it was not good. The Charter school was opened just last year to help students with mental disabilities between 18 and 22 with getting a special diploma. The Walton School Board oversees the Charter Schools, though the setup of a charter school allows for a vast difference from the regular public schools and they have very little oversight other than a monitoring type role by the District School Board. The Management Letter from the accounting firm Carr, Riggs & Ingram cites a number of findings. The school failed to pay payroll taxes and file related payroll tax returns with the Florida Department of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service. The amount of unreported taxes withheld and related matching contributions totaled $5,872. There are also penalties and interest totalling $2,615. The accountant recommends filing and paying immediately and implementing policies and procedures for the future reporting. The school failed to adopt a budget as required by state statutes. The auditor also recommends policies and procedures to ensure timeliness of the completion and adoption of an annual budget and amendments. The school’s executive director is responsible for all accounting functions. The auditor would recommend segregation of these functions, but they say they understand the small size of the organization. They recommend a Board member monitor ongoing operations including systematic reviews of monthly financial activities and reporting. They also recommend a strong accounting system be put into place. They report an accounting system was not maintained. Other problems include not having a written fixed asset management policy, the school has yet to obtain a letter or file a return of organization exempt from Income Tax Form 990, and the school lacks personnel with government accounting knowledge. Superintendent Carlene Anderson said they will be working with the new charter school as an oversight and to offer help in correcting the items. It was also noted that the deficiencies have to be addressed. If the school does not make the corrections, the Walton School Board could pull the charter. With both the auditor and Superintendent recognizing the small school just starting and the unique service they provide, the feeling was the matters would be addressed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 Scammers may be looking to cash in on the public's generosity following the Sandy Hook massacre, the Better Business Bureau warned. "It is a challenge to be on guard because public sympathy and emotions are running high," said Bennett Weiner, chief operating officer of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a group that helps charitable donors make informed decisions. Weiner said it's difficult for scams to be detected in the first week following every national tragedy, however he suspects unscrupulous people are already out there, eager to cash in on the massacre. How to Help Newtown Families False websites or phone calls soliciting help for the victims' families are two of the easiest and most common scams Weiner said he sees. "They're hard to identify because people don't know they've been taken and they're not going to know until down the road," he said .After the Sandy Hook massacre, countless Facebook pages for the victims, listings on crowdfunding sites and community drives have been established to solicit donations. Timeline: Tragedy At Sandy Hook While many of them may be legitimate, Weiner warns people to do their research. "You really have to be watching out for newly created things. There may be some well-intended effort, but you have no way to look at their track record," he said. "I can tell you from experience there are some cautions associated with it." Any fundraising effort that makes vague statements, such as "we're going to help the victims and families," is another red flag to watch out for, Weiner said. Whether it's fundraising for the Aurora theater victims or a local terminally ill child, Weiner said the BBB sees these kinds of scams "time and time again" and actively investigates them. "It is a challenge to be on guard after a tragedy," he said. "But you shouldn't give to any organization without checking them out first."

Take notice that the Walton County Board of County Commissioners will hold a closed EXECUTIVE SESSION on January 8, 2013, beginning at 3:00 p.m., or as soon as possible to that time, at the South Walton Courthouse Annex located at 36 Coastal Centre Blvd., Santa Rosa Beach, Florida to discuss the following case: Kebby Hall vs. Walton County Board of County Commissioners Case No. 3:12-cv-00338-MCR-EMT The Board of County Commissioners, Kenneth Pridgen, Sara Comander, William Chapman, William Imfeld, and Cindy Meadows; Interim County Administrator, Gerry Demers; County Attorney, Toni L. Craig; and Special Counsel for the County in this case, Timothy Warner and William Warner will attend this meeting and it will be recorded by a certified court reporter.

Any person who decides to appeal any decision made with respect to any matter considered at a meeting of the Board will need a record of the proceedings, and for such purpose, may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, including the testimony and evidence upon which an appeal may be based. Walton County adheres to the American with Disabilities Act and will make reasonable modifications for access to the meetings upon request. Please call (850) 892-8115 to make a request. For hearing impaired, please call 1-800-955-8771 (TDD), 1-800-955-8770 (VOICE). Requests must be received at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting to allow time to provide the requested services.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.

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Page 11

"Erica's Movie Reel"

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You need to advertise with us! Murder Case Concludes
And in another case, Daryl Mayatte was convicted on Thursday in DeFuniak Springs after a 4 day jury trial on the charges of 2nd Degree Murder with a Firearm and Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm. The charges arose from an incident that occurred on March 12, 2011 on Country Club Road in South Walton County. After meeting at PF Chang’s, the defendant followed Mr. Rojas and Mr. Pacheco back to Mr. Rojas’ home. Throughout the day, the defendant had sent threatening text messages to Mr. Rojas and sent text messages to others that he had a gun and planned to “jack these Mexicans”. At Mr. Rojas’ home, there was a brief argument and the defendant opened fire shooting each victim 4 times. Mr. Pacheco died at the scene from his injuries which included 3 gunshot wounds in the back. Mr. Rojas was able to get to safety in his home after being shot in the leg, abdomen, arm and mouth. 911 was called and officers responded within minutes.

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

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excellent opportunity-call now!! Positions available with little to no exp.

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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. Testimony from the doctor who treated Mr. This clean 1260 sq. ft. house provides an additional 200 sq. ft. screened porch for Rojas indicated he would have died viewing the brilliant sunsets over the bay. “within an hour” if not for the swift reHouse features a large kitchen with many sponse of the South Walton Fire District cabinets, newer refrigerator and glass top and Walton County Sheriff’s Office. range, dishwasher, w/d hookup and ceramic floors in kitchen, dining and bathrooms The The defendant fled to a friend’s home in house has a wooded lot with a shed and open Mississippi and disposed of the weapon land behind it. $900/mo. + $900 security along the way. The defendant ultimately deposit. turned himself in 2 days later. The case 850-267-8448 was investigated by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office led by lead investigator Rome Garrett and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason.

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December 28-31st is the Christmas Basketball Tournament at Freeport. Both boys and girls will play.

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Page 12

The EMERALD STAR NEWS Inc.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

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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

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FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS - TEXT PROPERTY ID# TO 85377

Ph: 850-835-4153

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