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Dwight C

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  1. Democrats boycott another White House meeting on border security as thousands of federal employees are forced to work without pay. One America's Rachel Ribaudo breaks down the six-figure salaries congressional leaders are earning during this record shutdown.
  2. This Information is from my inside FEMA Source. FEMA Reps are still here. FEMA Mitigation reps are performing Community Education Outreach; visit fema.gov/disaster/4399Applicants can appeal their decision within 60 days of receiving the letter. Appeal must be in writing and sent by mail or fax. Fax: 18008278112Mail: FEMA— Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville MD, 20782Hotline: 18006213362www.disasterlegalaid.org/femaapealsHaven’t used it and can’t vouch for it or endorse it, but it claims to guide applicants through an appeal letter Text DRC and your zip code to 43362 to locate an open disaster recovery center near you FEMA has not left the area, there’s roughly 1500 employees deployed here nowThere are 2 open bay county disaster recovery centers:Bay County Public Library898 W. 11th streetPanama City FL 32401Callaway Community Center599 Beulah AvenueCallaway, FL 32404Both open Monday through Friday 9-6, Saturday’s 9-1All of this information and more is available to the public at fema.gov/disaster/4399
  3. Dwight C

    We Build The Wall

    ‘We Build The Wall’ Team Looks To Buy Land Near U.S.-Mexico Border The veteran behind the ‘We Build the Wall’ GoFundMe page is pushing a new strategy to get the wall built. How do you feel about this new Strategy?
  4. Spinnaker Beach Club to become "Spinnaker Beachside Grill" Spinnaker Beach Club is set to re-brand as a family-friendly destination and will now be called Spinnaker Beachside Grill. The company made the announcement on their website saying, "our night club days are over, but this news is just the beginning." According to a press release, the club found that transitioning to a family-friendly atmosphere is not optional, and that Spinnaker must adapt. According to Spinnaker's website, it will re-open as the "Beachside Grill" in Spring 2019. Spinnaker says it ain't about that beach club life anymore. The nightclub opened in 1972 and competed with its neighbor, Club La Vela for decades to bring in Spring Breakers for alcohol and celebrity-fueled parties. However, now that Spring Break is dead, thanks to laws that sent most of the Spring Break tourists to other party hardy locations, the business says it is innovating into something new. “I subscribed to a theory advanced years ago by a silicone valley magnate that said if it ain't broke, fix it!” owner/operator Sparky Sparkman explains, “The beach has changed dramatically over the past decade. The old days of being a party destination were fun while they lasted, but transitioning into a family-friendly destination is not optional. Spinnaker must and will adapt. But not to worry, we’re still going to be the best place on the beach for a burger and a beer, and our live music is enshrined in our roots - we just think it is time to get serious about our food.” He added that they can't wait for customers to experience Spinnaker's food which features a paradise burger, fish tacos, and seafood.
  5. Jackson County deputy recovering from accidental Fentanyl overdose A Jackson County deputy is recovering after an accidental Fentanyl overdose Tuesday. Sheriff's officials say the deputy responded to a call about a shoplifter at the Goodwill on Highway 71 in Marianna when it happened. When deputies approached the suspect, Wanda Mercer of Greenwood, they say they found what appeared to be meth on her. When the deputy field tested the suspected meth, they say he immediately began to show signs of Fentanyl exposure and radioed for help. Other deputies arrived and administered Narcan to the deputy. He was taken to a local hospital where he remains for observation. Mercer was arrested and taken to the Jackson County Jail where officials say they found more drugs on her. She's facing charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance (Xanax), introduction of contraband into a correctional facility, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  6. Breaking down FEMA's appeals process FEMA's Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides both Financial Housing Assistance and Direct Housing Assistance to meet transitional, temporary, and permanent housing needs that result from a disaster. As of January 14, 2019, FEMA has obligated more than $130.5 million in IHP assistance, with more than $106.9 million in housing assistance for survivors of Hurricane Michael. Appeals Applicants who disagree with a FEMA eligibility decision may appeal the decision. Appeals must be made in writing and sent by mail or fax to FEMA within 60 days of receiving the letter. FEMA reviews the applicant’s written appeal and documentation received. Upon review, FEMA either provides a written decision or requests more information from the applicant. If FEMA upholds a decision on an appeal, FEMA’s decision is considered final and will generally not be reconsidered. However, if new information is submitted, the case will be reviewed and a new decision will be determine. FEMA does not capture the occurrence of how often appeals are submitted since applicants can appeal as often as they feel they have unmet needs or disagrees with a FEMA eligibility decision. However, FEMA does not accept multiple appeals for the same reason, but may have to request additional information and conduct additional reviews as new information is received. Why did FEMA say I wasn’t eligible? You may need to submit additional information for FEMA to continue to process your application. Examples of missing documentation may include: Proof of insurance coverage Settlement of insurance claims Proof of identity Proof of occupancy Proof of ownership Proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster If you have questions about the letter, you may go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov; call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or VRS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY); or visit a disaster recovery center. To find center locations and hours, go online to www.fema.gov/DRC or download the FEMA mobile app. What happens if I disagree with FEMA’s decision? You may appeal FEMA’s decision. For example, if you feel the amount or type of assistance is incorrect, you may submit an appeal letter and any documents needed to support your claim, such as a contractor’s estimate for home repairs. FEMA cannot duplicate assistance provided to you by another source, such as insurance settlements or another program. However, if you are underinsured you may receive further assistance for unmet needs after insurance claims have been settled by submitting insurance settlement or denial documents to FEMA. Please see Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) Locations for Bay and Gulf County: Bay County Public Library 898 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401 Sunday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Callaway Community Center 599 Beulah Avenue, Callaway, FL 32404 Sunday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wewahitchka Branch Library 314 N. 2nd St. Wewahitchka, FL 32465 Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday noon to 5
  7. Dwight C

    Monday, December 31st, 2018

    Because we are here for you...With information and fun...If you play your cards right Kramer may just sing a little today
  8. Audrey Geisel, Widow Of Dr. Seuss, Dies At Age 97 December 21, 2018 LOS ANGELES – Audrey Geisel, the widow of beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss and an avid promoter of his legacy, died this week at her California home at age 97, a representative confirmed on Friday. Geisel married the writer, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, in 1968. After his death in 1991, she founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises to license the characters he created and protect their use outside of his books. Audrey Geisel served as an executive producer on film adaptations of Dr. Seuss books including the current hit, “The Grinch,” which has earned more than $380 million at global box offices since its release in theaters last month. Talent and literary agency ICM Partners, which represents Dr. Seuss Enterprises, confirmed that Audrey Geisel died on Wednesday. No cause of death was revealed. “Audrey lived a life of extraordinary philanthropy and was the artistic and entrepreneurial force behind Dr. Seuss Enterprises,” ICM said in a statement. “Her creativity and devotion to her husband’s work are indelibly linked with his legacy.” Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated more than 45 books, including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” before his death at the age of 87.
  9. Background checks for gun buyers TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Newly-proposed legislation filed by Democratic state lawmakers wants to close loopholes that exempt private gun sales from background checks. The NRA says the Legislation would put law-abiding gun owners at risk of being charged with a third-degree felony. In Florida, online and private gun sales are exempt from background checks. New Legislation aims to change that by requiring sellers to go through licensed dealers, which would conduct background checks on the purchaser. “Eighty percent of guns used in violent crimes, were purchased without a background check,” said Representative Margaret Good. The bill includes some exemptions for a list of situations including the sale of antique firearms and guns left to family members in wills, but the NRA says there are still issues. “Because it requires a background check on the transfer,” said former NRA President Marion Hammer. Transfer means the sale of, giving, lending, renting, or simply handing another person a firearm. Making a mistake could result in a third-degree felony.
  10. Nearly half a million dollars in U.S. currency and more than 34,000 oxycodone pills are discovered following a traffic stop near Wewahitchka. Just before midnight, Wednesday Gulf County Sheriff’s Deputies were running radar along Brian Setterich Road. A motorist in a blue Kia van passed the deputies driving 40 miles per hour in a posted 25 mile an hour zone. In addition to the speed, the van also had a brake light out on the driver’s side. Deputies attempted a traffic stop, but the van turned on Highway 71 and continued north. Once on Highway 71, the vehicle passed over into the southbound lane and eventually drove onto the shoulder. Once on the shoulder, the driver opened the door of the van, jumped from the vehicle and ran into the woods. A foot pursuit ensued and deputies were able to detain the suspect. When deputies approached the vehicle to look for some form of identification they noticed the smell of marijuana. A search was conducted and the following items were located inside the vehicle: • $470,640 in U.S. Currency • 32 plastic bags containing approximately 1,000 15mg oxycodone pills labeled “M 15” • 2 plastic bags containing approximately 1,000 30 mg oxycodone pills labeled “M 30” • Plastic vacuum sealed bag containing black tar heroin weighing 7.8 ounces • Plastic bag containing crack cocaine weighing 25.5 grams • Plastic bag containing powdered cocaine weighing 20.8 grams • Ten plastic bags of marijuana weighing 2 pounds 9 ounces • A fully loaded 9mm handgun with additional ammunition located beside the driver’s seat The approximate street value of all illegal substances confiscated during this incident is $540,000. The suspect, later identified as Storm Cinque Sims, 29, of Callaway, Florida was charged with possession of a cocaine with intent to sell, trafficking in oxycodone, possession of heroin, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing and eluding, and driving with a suspended license. Sims was transported and booked into the Gulf County Detention Facility where he is being held on a $374,000 bond.
  11. Microsoft Programmer Teaches Southport Elementary Students to Code SOUTHPORT, Fla. - Each year Bay District Schools celebrate 'Hour of Code.' It's a week long initiative to get students excited about about technology and coding. On Thursday Southport students learned from a coding expert. Chris Donlan visited the school. He is a partner technical strategist at Microsoft. He led the students through various coding activities using the software Minecraft including basic coding principals such as loops and functions to complete a series of puzzles. "I think it's jobs of the future in technology. People are going to have to know how to code and it's going to be a requirement for a lot of careers within and even not in technology," said Donlan. Each grade at Southport rotated through activities for an hour at a time.
  12. Dwight C

    Tiss The Season Of Meth

    WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. - Three people have been arrested for drugs in unrelated traffic stops. On November 29th, a Washington County Sheriff's Deputy stopped a vehicle near the intersection of Highway 79 and Douglas Ferry Road. Authorities said that 37-year-old Summer Tankersley was in possession of hyperdermic needles and admitted to a concealed bag of meth and a glass pipe. Shortly after, Deputies stopped another vehicle on Highway 77 near Houston road. A search led to Deputies locating several bags of methamphetamine and a glass pipe. 46-year -old mark sisson was taken into custody. Early the next morning, deputies stopped a vehicle on Highway 77 near i-10. The driver, Joseph Worley, 32 of chipley was arrested for having marijuana and meth. All three subjects were arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and transported to the Washington County Jail for booking. Sisson and Tankersley were additionally charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Worley also faces an additional charge of possession of marijuana less than 20 grams.
  13. BOARDMAN, Ohio - (WKBN) - An Austintown woman is in jail again after police said she tried to shoplift from the Boardman Walmart and officers found drugs on her. Boardman police responded to the store on Doral Drive around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. A Walmart employee said a woman stole a bag on her way out. Police arrested 27-year-old Alyssa Zebrasky, of Austintown, on a charge of theft. Officers said they also found a hypodermic needle, methamphetamine and a Suboxone pill in her purse. Zebrasky had a warrant for her arrest because she didn't show up in court for charges out of Austintown, police said. Last month, she was arrested because police said she would not cooperate with officers. Police were looking for a chase suspect and told several people on a home's front porch to get off for their own safety. They said Zebrasky refused to do so and claimed to have a knife on her. In addition to the theft charge, Zebrasky faces charges of possession of drugs, possessing drug abuse instruments and obstructing official business.
  14. Lynn Haven, Fla. - Nearly two months after Hurricane Michael every Lynn Haven residents should have internet service from WOW!, company officials said Tuesday. "The WOW! network servicing Lynn Haven has been restored as of last night," WOW! officials wrote in a news release. "If WOW! customers in Lynn Haven are still experiencing service issues, they should contact us immediately so we can troubleshoot their particular situation." WOW! Customers in Lynn Haven who do not have service are encouraged to call 1-855-4-WOW-WAY. As for other Bay County customers WOW! said they are still working to restore service. "These are best effort dates and may changed due to inclement weather and other circumstances outside WOW!’s control," officials wrote. City Zip Code Estimated Restoration Completion Date Lynn Haven 32444 Dec. 3 Cedar Grove 32405 Dec. 7 Panama City 32405 Dec. 6 Cedar Grove 32401 Dec. 7 Panama City 32404 Dec. 7 Panama City 32401 Dec. 8 Parker 32404 Dec. 14 Callaway 32404 Dec. 14
  15. Around 800 Employees Laid Off from Bay Medical Sacred Heart Due to Hurricane Damage Panama City, Fla. - Prior to Hurricane Michael, Bay Medical Center operated 323 bed and now the first phase of the re-opening in the beginning of January will only include 75. The downsize is due to the damage the facility received from Hurricane Michael. With the smaller facility comes less jobs. "It's all levels, from physicians all the way down to the maintenance staff," said Griff Griffitts, Bay County Commissioner. The number of employees being laid off from the hospital is around 800. Laid off employees will be paid through the first week of February and their insurance will carry on until the end of February. "This is just some very difficult decisions we have to face as a county, and the hospital is facing one of those right now with the devastation they faced with Hurricane Michael," said Commissioner Griffitts. The hurricane impacting all health care in Bay County. "It is going to be a challenge, gulf coast and bay med are probably going to have to work together, people are being shipped out of town everyday for serious medical issues and that will continue until they get to full medical service," said Commissioner Griffitts. Bay Medical aims to get back to a full service facility. "The next year will be very busy for bay med, a lot of construction will take place," said Commissioner Griffitts.
  16. Dwight C

    Ban on Greyhound Racing

    Greyhound Racing Vote The vote will be on the Ballot Nov 6th Greyhound racing is an organized, competitive sport in which greyhound dogs are raced around a track. There are two forms of greyhound racing, track racing and coursing. Track racing uses an artificial lure that travels ahead of the dogs on a rail until the greyhounds cross the finish line From Website http://noto13.com/ ...The amendment is to ban WAGERING on greyhound racing which in turn if passed, would back door eliminate greyhound racing. If the authors of this amendment (Senator Tom Lee and Animal activists Grey2k) were so concerned about gambling, WHY is simulcast wagering still to be allowed at the shut down race tracks????????? The main theme that people in favor of this amendment use is the welfare of the dogs. Well if the welfare of the dogs is so important, why are there NO PROVISIONS in this amendment to TAKE CARE OF THE DOGS DISPLACED BY THIS AMENDMENT?????? NONE. Not one penny or one line of the amendment mentions taking care of the DISPLACED DOGS? Another Website they are running... https://grey2kscam.com/wp/ Here is what Peta is saying when it comes to Greyhound racing https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/cruel-sports/greyhound-racing/ ......The greyhound racing industry treats dogs like machines. For the few minutes that they spend on a track during a race, they will spend many hours a day confined to a cramped cage or kennel. Countless numbers of greyhounds die each year—some in the name of “selective breeding”—before they ever touch a racetrack. Dogs start racing at 18 months old, and many don’t make it to the nominal “retirement” age of 4 or 5.
  17. Black Friday gun background checks down 10 percent after 2017 broke records The number of background checks run by the FBI for firearm purchases this Black Friday saw a 10 percent drop after last year's shopping day set a new single-day record. The bureau told USA TODAY it ran 182,093 background checks for firearms, the lowest number since 2014. Last year, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 in 2016 and 185,345 in 2015. The checks, run through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, are not a measure of actual gun sales. The number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer. The background checks are required at all federally licensed firearm stores. Black Friday has consistently been one of the largest days for gun sales and the FBI's background check systems. Other large days for checks have occurred after high-profile shootings. This year's numbers would make it the fourth highest day for background checks, slightly higher than the number of checks done in the days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012. The FBI told USA TODAY its peak hour for background checks this year was between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. where there were about 4.76 transactions per second and more than 17,000 requests poured in. The massive surge in gun checks last year came directly after a number of mass shootings. In October, 58 people were killed in Las Vegas during the Route 91 concert festival, and in November, 25 died after being shot inside a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church. This year, the mass shootings continued but the number of gun sales appears to have possibly dipped. The mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February started a new nationwide movement dedicated to ending mass shootings and calling for changes to gun laws. Survivors of the shooting planned the March for Our Lives events, including a massive march in Washington, D.C., dedicated to pushing for stricter gun laws. Since the February shooting, mass attacks have happened in a Texas high school, a Pittsburgh synagogue and a California college bar.
  18. U.S., Allies Fear Conflict With China Following Maritime Changes Chinese naval marines participate in a training exercise in Zhanjiang, China, in January. China has reorganized its coast guard to serve as a military branch. A LITTLE NOTICED organizational change in China's maritime patrols is causing increasing anxiety among Western military officials and their allies in the region, who fear Beijing is seeking new leverage to advance its goals and raising the likelihood that an accidental encounter could escalate into conflict. The U.S. confirmed earlier this year that China has reorganized its coast guard to serve as a military branch rather than answer to law enforcement authorities. Militarizing the formerly civilian organization provides China with the firepower to harass and intimidate vessels from other countries who dispute China's claims to waterways. The change, which Beijing denies, signals not only that China wishes to further its ambitions for its neighborhood, including seizing contested disputed territory and access to natural resources in East and South China seas but that it is becoming a more potent foe internationally. "China still remains very adventurous, and [it is] expanding its actions into the East China Sea and South China Sea," a senior Japanese government official told U.S. News on the condition of anonymity. "We are still carefully studying the changes of the Chinese coast guard status." The reorganization comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping has consolidated his power and positioned himself as the singular head of that chain of command. China has also begun mirroring how the U.S. military organizes itself through what it calls "joint operations" – or service branches working together in exercises or military activities – making it more effective across a broader swathe of regions and missions. The Japanese defense ministry is focusing on coordinating better with its allies and partners to prepare for a potential confrontation, the official said, a task made more complicated now by the likelihood of a dispute over whether a vessel is operating under law enforcement rules or as an arm of the military. Other countries, including the U.S., regularly employ their coast guards under military auspices but clearly spell out whether it is operating under wartime or civilian law. Tokyo has not yet seen any specific changes yet in the posture or frequency of how China employs its coast guard fleet in that region, but it shares broader concerns about how it now could. A new report from a congressionally formed U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission assessed that China's use of its coast guard around contested islands and reefs "makes the sea force a more effective tool for Chinese coercion campaigns under the guise of 'maritime law enforcement' or 'maritime rights protection.'" The annual report, released this month, adds that China denies any changes to the status of these forces, "creating a situation that increases the chance for miscalculation." "They're on a journey of learning," says U.S. Navy Adm. Philip Davidson, commander of the headquarters that oversees all American military activity in the Pacific and East Asia. "I don't think we've seen everything we've wanted to see just yet." Davidson described China as "moving quite perniciously with their money in the region." He shared concerns expressed by Vice President Mike Pence during a contentious summit with Asian leaders last weekend that Beijing's economic development and trading policy known as "One Belt, One Road" – or "Belt and Road" in the original Mandarin – would interfere in other countries' abilities to transit international shipping lanes freely. "The key isn't two destroyers passing close to one another," Davidson said, referring to an incident in October in which a Chinese navy ship challenged a U.S. counterpart by passing within 135 feet of it. "It's the strategic threat that the closure of … freedom of navigation presents to trade." He cited not only sea lanes but also the ability of citizens to travel by commercial airline, countries' ability to lay undersea cables and broader ability to communicate. By contrast, a state-run newspaper in China printed a commentary this week calling for a greater civilian presence in its reclaimed islands in order to tamp down international concerns about China's ambitions. A report in Reuters quoted China's influential Study Times, which noted the "potential risk of war" in the region. "Facilities on the reefs and islands of the South China Sea should be more civilian and less military," according to the paper.
  19. Northern California Camp Fire Contained After more than two weeks, the Camp Fire of Northern California is 100 percent contained. It was both the deadliest and most destructive fire in California's history. California fire authorities tweeted the news on Sunday morning. The Camp Fire has killed at least 85 people since it started on Thursday, Nov. 8. As of Sunday, 271 people remained unaccounted for, according to the Butte County Sheriff's Office. Names are gradually coming off that list, as relatives and loved ones contact each other — but many likely won't come off. Search and rescue teams continue their efforts. Rain hit the area last week, helping to contain the fire, but adding to challenges in recovery efforts. The blaze burned nearly 154,000 acres in Northern California. According to the latest incident update from California fire authorities, the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Nearly 14,000 homes have been destroyed. "It's like being in a war zone," Chuck Williams, who handles dogs searching for remains in the town of Paradise, Calif., Residents in Southern California received welcome news last week that the Woolsey Fire was contained. That fire killed at least three people. We need to ensure we have evacuation routes and that we have other infrastructure that's hardened that can ... be resilient or at least resist this intensity of fires," California Fire Chief Ken Pimlott.
  20. LYNN HAVEN, Fla. - FEMA trailers are slowly but surely making their way into Bay County. "They will continue to come in as needed," Renee Bafalis, a FEMA public information officer, said. She said there have been some obstacles along the way. "As you can see, debris is a big issue. We have to make sure that the properties are viable to get the units on and get the debris off the properties," she said. Bafalis told News 13 on Monday that upwards of 1,200 people in the area have been approved for temporary housing assistance. Jodi Dillon and her husband evacuated during Michael and returned four days later to see their community and home devastated. "I don't get upset real easy but I was hyperventilating," she said. Michael ripped their home's entire chimney and fireplace off. "We had a big hole in our house and our house had been open to mother nature," she said. After applying for FEMA aid, Dillon said the closest place to stay was with her daughter, 70 miles away. They commuted back and forth to and from Lynn Haven each day. "It was anywhere from two and a half hours to five hours one way," she said. That was until a FEMA trailer arrived last week. The family is one of the first in Bay County to receive a FEMA trailer since Hurricane Michael six weeks ago. "Being here on our property actually gives us more hope because now we have the whole day to continue to rebuild and work on the home itself," she said, adding that they could stay in the trailer for up to a year out of the allowed 18 months."We basically have to gut our entire home and rebuild it from the inside out." However, Dillion is blessed to be living at home again, even if it means sleeping in her front yard. "It's a little cramped but we will make do and we're blessed to have it," she said. FEMA will continue placing trailers in Bay, Gulf, Gadsden, Jackson, and Calhoun counties. Bafalis said FEMA has already placed some people in other forms of temporary housing like apartments and houses.
  21. More than $250 Million Granted in Disaster Relief Loans More than $258,441,200 in disaster loans have been approved by the U. S. Small Business Administration for 5,268 businesses and residents with losses resulting from Hurricane Michael in Florida on Oct. 7-19, 2018. Also, the SBA Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) in Florida will close on Thursday, November 22 in recognition of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. The BRCs located in Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington counties will resume normal operations on Friday, Nov. 23, the BRC located in Bay County on Saturday, Nov. 24; BRCs in Calhoun and Taylor counties on Monday, Nov. 26. The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for physical damage and working capital. SBA representatives at the Centers will provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses with completing the SBA application. Laurie Dana with the SBA says, "We really encourage people not to wait for their insurance to settle before they apply. In some cases, they can get funds to start their repairs and then when their insurance settles, they can use those funds to pay down the loan." If you're applying with FEMA, still apply for a SBA loan. FEMA may require you to apply for SBA during your process. The deadline to apply is Monday, December 10th. You can apply online or at one of the local Disaster Recovery Centers in the area. Learn more about the application process by clicking Click---> HERE You can fill out a SBA Loan application Click---> HERE Find a Disaster Recovery Center near you Click---> HERE
  22. There is no shortage of complaints against insurance companies over Hurricane Michael claims, reaching numbers the state has never seen before. "Right now, we have more complaints per capita regarding Hurricane Michael than we did all of Hurricane Irma," says Partonis. To put that into perspective, Hurricane Irma impacted 40 counties in Florida in 2017. Hurricane Michael only impacted 12. Patronis says some of those issues can be resolved quickly with one phone call. Patronis said, "Just by calling our office and saying, I've got a problem with my claim, can you help me with it? Or this is how much the carriers offered me, we put almost 10 million dollars more in the policy holder's pocket." As CFO Patronis oversees insurance coverage in Florida and on Tuesday, he held a conference call with more than 200 insurance carriers, telling them they need to do a better job. "I'm going to be vigilant on this, I'm going to thump the insurance companies when they don't respond. They don't need to have an enemy in me, they need to have a working ally in me so I'm pushing them," Patronis said. Patronis also warns residents about fraud, especially a document titled, "Assignment of Benefits." Signing this document means you're assigning your claim, your benefit, over to another party that may not even be in the state. If you have questions about your claim, call the CFO Insurance Free Helpline at 1-877- MY F-L-C-F-O.
  23. Now that Thanksgiving day is wrapping up, the Christmas shopping is beginning. Starting with Black Friday. Local law enforcement encourages everyone to be safe as they head out to catch the Black Friday deals. They also suggest shopping with a plan. Even having a buddy system. They remind everyone, do not leave items visible in cars. Either cover them or put them in your trunk. Also, do not walk away from valuables like a purse or a wallet while in stores. But, most importantly, be mindful of others. "Look, we've been through enough here in Jackson County and the surrounding counties," said Capt. Scott Edwards, Jackson County sheriff's office. "Let's treat people like they need to be treated and let's get along." Captain Edwards also said, remember, it's not worth going to jail over a shopping trip.
  24. Panama City Mall Sears Closed Permanently In the chaos following Hurricane Michael, one Panama City store will not be coming back. The Sears at the Panama City mall is closed for good. Not only did the store suffer heavy damage to the roof, but the company also announced days after the hurricane that they were declaring bankruptcy. They will be closing 142 stores nationwide by the end of the year. 6 of those stores are in Florida, including the Panama City mall location and the Sears off Mary Esther Boulevard in Fort Walton Beach.