Big tobacco is gunning for your kids. If you doubt it, peruse the selections of tobacco products available in stores across the county. With many candy-flavored selections, it’s clear the tobacco industry is on the prowl for new, younger customers.
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Over in Altha, there is no need for an election this year. Mayor Wes Johnson has been re-elected after running unopposed. Three Council seats were vacant and only three qualified - Lee Alday and Tammy Gable (both incumbents), as well as Martha Glory. Rick Watson did not seek re-election.
Three new candidates stepped forward in Liberty County this week, qualifying by the fee method.
Dewayne “Bubba” Branch and Stafford Stanley Dawson have both entered the District 1 County Commission race. The pair, both democrats, will face Albert “Butch” Butcher (incumbent) in the democratic primary Aug. 14.
Michael Wright qualified to run for the School Board District 1 post. He will go up against Logan Kever (incumbent) and Sidney Beckwith Aug 14. This race is non-partisan.
There’s a new mayor in town. Tony Shoemake, who has held a seat on the Blountstown City Council for several years, ran unopposed for the mayor’s post. Qualifying ended at noon today with no other candidates in that race.
Mayor Winston Deason opted not to seek re-election. Shoemake will be sworn in as mayor in January.
James Griffin, the Ward 3 Councilman, also ran unopposed and is automatically re-elected to his seat.
Running for Shoemake’s Ward 4 post are David Blair, who previously served on the Council, and Beverly Veress. The race will be on the ballot Aug. 14.
One arrest has been made and warrants have been issued for three other suspects in two recent burglary cases.
Christopher Ryan Barton, 18, of Altha, has been charged with being a principal in the first degree to burglary and petit theft.
As previously reported by The County Record, BPD Ofc. Leo Marlowe was dispatched May 8 to the Gas Mart across from Harvey’s on SR 71 around 3:19 a.m. Ofc. Marlowe found the front door to the business smashed. Video surveillance revealed a suspect going behind the counter and removing some synthetic marijuana, dropping two packages in the process.
Two 16-year-olds and another 18-year-old are being sought in connection with the case. In addition, the four are suspected of burglarizing Sunny Hill Pentecostal Holiness Church on Hwy. 274 and taking a safe and laptop computer.
Barton is being held in the Calhoun County Jail on a $6000 bond.
Check out the next print edition of The County Record for the full story.
The high cost of doing business in the sunshine state, those evil standardized tests for students and program cuts were all up for discussion Monday when Governor Rick Scott hosted a roundtable forum at the Blountstown library.
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The Leon County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate two runaway juveniles suspected of being in the Blountstown area. Julia Francine Hayes and Angelique Brown were both last seen in the area of Roberts Avenue at approximately 11:30 pm on
May 30, 2012.
Hayes is 16 years old. She stands 5’-2” inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. Hayes has shoulder length
brown hair and brown eyes. Due to a medical condition, Hayes is classified as a missing and
Brown is 16 years old. She stands 4’-9” inches tall and weighs 115 pounds. Brown has shoulder length
black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hayes or Brown is urged to contact the Leon County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 922-3300.
Tonight the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce will launch their new “Brush Up & Wine Down” series with a community reception and social. The new series offers hands-on art experiences in the casual setting of the gallery, led by local watercolor artist Anna Layton.
The reception and social will be held at the gallery and in the adjacent outdoor area tonight, May 25th, from 6 to 8 p.m. During the event, guests will have the opportunity to “brush up” on their art skills while enjoying music, refreshments, and socializing.
More information and sign up for upcoming “Brush Up” classes will be offered at the May kickoff event. The art experiences are ideal for a “girls night out”, baby showers, wedding showers, or even birthday parties!
Tickets for the kickoff event are $10 each for adults, $5 for children, and include the reception and art. Tickets can be purchased at Blountstown Drugs or at the event.
A Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) bridge maintenance crew will repair the north and south approach slabs of the Sweetwater Creek Bridge on State Road (S.R.) 71 three miles north of Wewahitchka, just inside Calhoun County. Work will take place Thursday, May 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. One lane of traffic will be maintained, flaggers will direct motorists through the work zone. Drivers are reminded to pay attention and use caution when driving through the work zone.
For more Florida Department of Transportation District Three information follow us on twitter @myfdot_nwfl.
Heavy fog was to blame for a crash this morning on Hwy. 69, just south of Blountstown High School. Marilyn Russell of Blountstown was behind the wheel of a Ford pickup and said the fog was so thick, she could not see the vehicle in front of her that was stopped in the road. Russell's truck rear-ended the car driven by Agnes Malone of Blountstown. Fortunately, no one was injured. The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office and EMS were both at the scene.
A crash in Liberty County Friday night landed a local man behind bars and blocked traffic following the spring jamboree between Blountstown and Bristol.
Jimmy Allen O’Bryan, 49, of Bristol, was charged with DUI, careless driving, and open container.
According to Trooper Jason King of the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash occurred just after 9:30 p.m. on SR 20 about a half mile west of the traffic light at the intersection of CR 12. Tpr. King found a small white pickup in both the outside and inside east bound lanes blocking traffic. O’Bryan was still behind the wheel with an opened, spilled can of beer in the driver's floorboard. The driver, later identified as O’Bryan, stated, “Please, Trooper King, you know me, please don't do this to me, I am sorry, I only drank a little.”
Tpr. King informed the driver he was still conducting his crash investigation, to relax and allow EMS to check him out.
The report indicates O’Bryan was attempting to negotiate a slight uphill curve when he failed to maintain control of the vehicle and struck a guardrail. The truck rotated clockwise, landing across both lanes.
O’Bryan refused medical treatment and, once Tpr. King completed the crash investigation, he switched gears to a criminal investigation for DUI. Tpr. King noted in his report he could detect a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from O’Bryan’s mouth and face area as he spoke. He also noticed his eyes to be very bloodshot and his speech was slurred.
After failing a field sobriety test, O’Bryan was booked into the Liberty County Jail.
Three Florida Forest Service tractor-plow units (fire suppression bulldozers pulling fireline plows) and one ‘brush truck’ are currently on the scene of a 35-plus acre wildfire right on the Bay County-Calhoun County line near the end of McGill Road/County Road 109 south of Scott’s Ferry Road.
According to the Florida Forest Service, the wildfire was discovered and reported earlier today around 10:30 a.m. by a Florida Forest Service tower person from a Calhoun County firetower (Smith Tower). A fixed-wing aircraft pilot was dispatched to fly over the blaze. He then reported that it is growing and spotting—meaning that embers are being blown by the wind ahead of the actual fire itself causing new smaller fires to start.
"I do believe that this area is, for the most part, remote meaning no homes appear to be immediately threatened," Brian Goddin, a spokesperson for the Florida Forest Service, reports.
The County Record will provide updates as they become available.