Gulf County~recreational bay scallop season~August 16th – September 15th

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced recreational bay scallop season for Gulf County is opening Friday, August 16th and will remain open through September 15th. The region includes waters from the Mexico Beach Canal to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Inland. The FWC says that swimming, boating, fishing and scalloping in the restoration marked areas south of Black’s Island is prohibited.

Scallops can be harvested by hand or with a net. The limits are two (2) gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or one pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a max of ten gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a half gallon bay scallop meat per vessel. Continuous transit of scallops is allowed through closed areas as long as the boat does not stop in areas closed to harvest.

Recreational harvesters need a Florida saltwater fishing license to harvest bay scallops unless they are 1. except from needing a license or 2. have a no-cost shoreline fishing license and are wading from shore to collect scallops(ex. feet do not leave bottom), and harvesters do not use a vessel to reach or return from the harvest location.

For more information be sure to check out the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation commission website by clicking on this link

The Final Table~Watch Party~August 24th~RSVP by August 31st

Join the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Marianna in congratulating Chef Nick & Carrie Rickman on Saturday, August 24th from 10:30am to 12:30pm at the Historic First Nation Bank and help Nick & Carrie give back to Operation BBQ Relief.

Last year our community was devastated by Hurricane Michael. With the help of Operation BBQ Relief, our very own Local Chef Nick Rickman, his wife Carrie, and countless friends & volunteers were able to feed thousands in our community. Nick credits his piece of mind to be able to move forward, compete, and win the title of 2018 World Chef Champion merely weeks after the devastation of his home and community to Operation BBQ Relief. Since then Nick has advanced as a Top 3 Finalist at The Final Table New Orleans for a shot at $100,000.

The Salt Block will be providing a BBQ lunch with light desserts and a Mimosa Table. Donations to Operation BBQ Relief will be accepted at the door. Doors will open at 10:30am with The Final Table airing at 11am. Please RSVP to the Chamber, Main Street, or the Salt Block by Wednesday, August 21st.

Good luck Chef Nick!

August 16th~Meet & Greet at First National Bank

Meet & Greet in Marianna on Friday, August 16th from 4pm to 6pm at the Historic First National Bank at 2873 Caledonia St. Please join the staff and board for refreshments, door prizes, and program updates.

Apalachicola Riverkeeper is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and stewardship of the Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay. As part of the Waterkeeper Alliance and with the support of their 1400+ members, Apalachicola Riverkeeper is voice of the River. They focus public and political attention on the importance of saving this truly unique resource. They are a 501(C) 3 organization, which means that your donations to Apalachicola Riverkeeper are fully tax deductible. For more information be sure to click on the link below.

The mission of the Apalachicola Riverkeeper is to provide stewardship and advocacy for the protection of the Apalachicola River and Bay, its tributaries and watersheds, in order to improve and maintain its environmental integrity and to preserve the natural, scenic, recreational, and commercial fishing character of these waterways. The mission also includes working to preserve the ways of living, and ways of making a living, that depend upon a healthy River and Bay. From the catfishermen of Chattahoochee, to the paddling outfitters of Blountstown, to the fishing guides, beekeepers and honey merchants of Wewahitchka, to the oyster harvesters and seafood workers of Apalachicola and Eastpoint, thousands of people depend upon the health of the Apalachicola River and Bay for their livelihoods. Working to ensure that these ways continue is an essential part of what we do.

*This information came from the website listed below:


Come see me and have great pizza at Fat John’s Pizza~Friday 8/16 from 3:30pm to 8pm

Guess where you can find Debbie Roney Smith this Friday, August 16th? If you guessed Fat John’s Pizza in Marianna you would be right! Fat John’s Pizza is located at 4527 Lafayette St and the phone number is 850-372-4600. Normal hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday 10:30am to 8pm and closed on Sunday and Monday’s.

I am offering a $5 gift certificate for you to use toward your meal if you come see me. My first 10 friends will receive this $5 gift certificate.  I will be there from 3:30pm to 8pm. All you have to do is like and follow my FB page and tell me one (1) thing that has been on my blog in August. Life gets so busy we don’t have as much time as we would all like to see each other, I’m looking forward to seeing you! My friend Elisabeth who writes most of my blogs will also be there and you will get a chance to tell her things you would like to see mentioned on my blog.

Fat John’s Pizza is authentic stone cooked pizza, they do accept credit cards. You can order pizza to go or enjoy it there. They offer pizza, calzones, salads, breadsticks, wings, and Stromboli, to name a few menu items.



Welcome back to school~safety tips

Welcome Back to School~2019/2020 is going to be a great year!  Here are a few reminders about driving safely especially during morning and afternoon school times.

School bus safety reminders~ Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended. Check out the different scenarios in the bus photo below to help understand the rules. Be alert! The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Children walking to and from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings and more likely to take risks, ignore hazards, or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.

~Slow down in residential areas. Watch for children crossing the street and congregating near bus stops.

~Always stop when directed to do so by a school patrol sign, school patrol officer, or designated crossing guard.

~Parents please also talk to your kids about safe walking, bike riding, and bus riding safety.

~According to the Transportation Research Board, a division or the National Academy of Sciences, every year nearly 100 children are killed walking to or from school. The afternoon hours being especially dangerous, nearly 1 in 4 child pedestrian deaths have happened before 3pm and 7pm.

~For more tips on school safety check out the National Safety Council’s Back to School Safety Checklist.

Watch your speed in school zones! Be aware that school zone speed limits may vary in hours and speeds. Be sure to follow what is posted.
Do not pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. Traffic in both directions on undivided highways must stop when students are entering or exiting a school bus. On a divided roadway, all traffic behind the school bus must stop.


811~Call before you dig

Celebrating 8/11~August 11th, which serves as a reminder for homeowners and professionals alike to ALWAYS call 811 before digging to avoid injury, damages, and service interruptions. Please be sure to share this info with neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends to keep our communities safe.

8/11 is a reminder to natural gas, propane and electric customers as well as all contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked prior to digging. A survey conducted earlier this year by the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices, projected that 42 percent of homeowners who planned to dig this year for various projects, were likely to put themselves and their communities at risk by not calling 811 prior to digging.

Dialing 811 at least 3 days prior to digging in Florida you will get Sunshine811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the locations of underground lines with flags, stakes and/or spray paint. Once lines are located, customers and excavators must understand the markings and look for evidence of unmarked lines, such as water and sewer lines on private property. Sewer clean-outs and water valve covers are examples of equipment that can indicate the presence of underground lines.

Jackson County Senior Center

Jackson County Senior Center is locate at 2931 Optimist Drive. The phone number is 850-482-5028. They also have a Facebook page, to follow them and get updates be sure to click the like button. They have a monthly calendar as seen in the photo attached. They do movie days, art classes, games, bingo, exercise classes, and health checks to name a few activities. They also offer in home services and you need to call for that information and the number for that is 800-963-5337. The hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

The mission at Jackson County Senior Citizens is to provide an opportunity for the senior citizen population to participate in various functions offered on a regular basis. They are a non-profit organization that promotes and provides activities, entertainment, trips, and special workshops that are planned specifically with seniors in mind. It was founded in 1975. They also have a location in Graceville located at 5400 Cliff Street.

Saturday~August 10th

Hope you have a fun and safe weekend. Here are a few things happening Saturday, August 10th. Details under each photo. It will be hot tomorrow, in the 90’s, so remember sun screen and water!

The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge has set a date for their Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Celebration. The doors will open at 9am and Ribbon cutting will be at 10am. This event is in Holley,
Take the whole family to this free family matinee on the big screen, free lunch, and free school clothes and shoes(while they last!) The movie starts at 11am at the NorthStar Callaway Campus 162 N. Tyndall Pkwy.
Sunshine’s Flea Market of NW Florida located at 3310 US HWY 231 in Cottondale. They are open Friday to Sunday from 8am to 5pm.


Ice Cream Social~August 9th

Who doesn’t love ice cream? Panhandle Pioneer Settlement is hosting an ice cream social on August 9th from 6pm to 8pm. They invite everyone to join them for a sweet treat. Admission is free and they will have games, homemade ice cream, and other refreshments. They will have all you can eat ice cream for $5. They plan to have more flavors and more ice cream then they did last year. For more information please contact the settlement at 850-674-2777. The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement is located at 17869 NW Pioneer Settlement Road in Blountstown.

This is a 5 acre historical living history museum located in Calhoun County.

Shoebox filling for Operation Christmas Child ~Thursdays

Christmas is still 5 months away however it will take that long to try and reach this year’s goal of 3,000 shoeboxes bought, filled, and shipped. Eastside Baptist Church in Marianna took on local management of Samaritan’s Purse, “Operation Christmas Child” about a decade ago. This year would be a record if they are able to collect the goal. They have a core group of volunteers. They started collecting as soon as they were finished with 2018 boxes. They are taking donations and volunteers to help fill the boxes. Each box costs $9 to ship. Each box has a few hygiene items, a stuffed loveable animal, school supplies, socks, and a toy. The boxes are for ages ranging from 2 to 14 years old.

The packers meet on Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. For more information please call the church at 850-536-2004.