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imes TAdvertiser HOLMES COUNTY Wednesday, MAY 1, 2013 For the latest breaking news, visit BONIFAYNOW.COM IN BRIEF Wrestling benefit planned VERNON — There will be an AWF/NHW professional wrestling event on Saturday, May 4, at the old high school gym in Vernon. The event is a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and will feature professional wrestlers Waylon Barley, Dandy Jack, Lane Smart, Mark Justice, Shane Gibson, Nelson Izee, Chris Tighe, Cali Kid and a special appearance by Chic Donovan. The card is subject to change. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and bell time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 and children 5 and under get in for free. For more information, call Dora at 326-8004 or Garry at 904-235-7244. Missionaries help in Honduras B1 Volume 123, Number 3 New HCDC members appointed by BOCC By CECILIA SPEARS 547-9414 | @WCN_HCT BONIFAY — After the recent resignation of two Holmes County Development Commission members, the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners held a special session on April 16 to appoint two more members. The board approved Commissioner Bill Parish’s recommendation of Raymond Thomas and Commissioner David Whitaker’s recommendation of Chuck Dockery. Board Chairman Monty Merchant said there was only one more resignation that needs attending to, which is that of Lenora Campbell. “It’s time to take a serious look at the development commission and get the ball rolling,” said Merchant. “There still isn’t a director yet but there’s a growing concern about the development commission. I’ve had questions to me about the development commission having a lot of money and wondering what they are doing for the county.” Parish said one problem with the development commission is “low attendance, apathy and lack of participation.” “We need to take a stronger look at how we choose those members,” See BOCC A2 Photo by CECILIA SPEARS Holmes County Board of County Commissioners review Proclamation Viva Florida 500, recognizing the 500th anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s landing on Florida’s coast in April 1513 before approving during their April 16 special session. Knights donate $5,000 to ARC Railroad continues roadwork WESTVILLE — CSX By MATTHEW BEATON Photo by RANDAL SEYLER | The News Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 10513 Infant of Prague made a donation of $5,000 to ARC of Washington-Holmes Counties on Monday in Chipley. ARC is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Grand Knight Mike DeRuntz said the donation came from the State Council of the Knights of Columbus. The Knights of Columbus will begin their Tootsie Roll drive on June 1, collecting donations at Walmart. KoC Council 10513 represents the parishes of St. Theresa in Sunny Hills, St. Joseph the Worker in Chipley and Blessed Trinity in Bonifay. See BRIEFS A2 INDEX Arrests ................................. A5 Opinion ................................ A4 Outdoors .............................. A6 Sports .................................. A7 Obituaries ............................ B5 Classifieds ......................... B6-8 Phone: 850-547-9414 Web site: Fax: 850-547-9418 Bill seeks to loosen liquor laws 522-5114 | @matthewbeaton Holmes County Chamber Banquet set for May 6 BONIFAY — Holmes County Chamber of Commerce will be holding their annual banquet entitled Showcase at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6 at the Holmes County High School’s Auditorium. Sampling of food from local restaurants and businesses will be available. Live entertainment will be provided, which includes dramatic performances from schools. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go to students’ art programs. 50¢ Bill aims to help rural communities By VALERIE GARMAN 747-5076 | @valeriegarman PANAMA CITY — The city of Blountstown, located in Northeast Calhoun County, operates on a $3 million per year budget and is struggling to keep up with infrastructure needs. “It’s no cheaper to fix things here than it is in a big city,” said City Manager Emory Pierce. “But in big cities with multi-million dollar budgets, a couple of thousand dollars to fix something is nothing.” The story is similar for rural communities across the Panhandle region, and U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Pana- ma City, is hoping a new bill might help those areas he said “form the backbone of North and Northwest Florida.” Southerland recently introduced the Building Rural Communities Act, a bill aimed at giving rural government officials the necessary tools to plan largescale improvement projects in a more cost-effective manner. Co-sponsored by Rep. Mike McIntyre, D- N.C., the legislation would channel between 3 and 5 percent of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Essential Communities Facilities loan and grant program toward technical assistance and financial planning for rural communities. “Unfortunately, across America many of these bedrock communities are fading away because they can’t match the access to infrastructure and services that larger cities provide,” Southerland said. “Our legislation will make it easier for rural communities to thrive by providing the technical assistance and project planning they need to strengthen public safety, public health, and public access to upgraded services – all at no additional cost to taxpayers.” Pierce said funding issues have halted a project to run a force main sewer line from Altha, a small town to the northwest, to the Blountstown See RURAL A2 BONIFAY — Liquor laws could get looser in several rural Panhandle counties. The Florida Legislature passed a bill last week (HB 347) that could help all restaurants sell liquor, wine and beer in counties where that is not currently allowed, including Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington counties. The bill would affect sales of “by the drink” alcohol, which are beverages consumed where they’re purchased, such as restaurants and bars. But, even if the bill is signed by the governor, which appears likely —it cleared the House 111-4 and the Senate 36-0 —it doesn’t automatically legalize “by the drink” sales throughout the counties. The measure would fall back into the hands of local voters, who would have an easier time getting it on the ballot. Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington currently do not sell liquor by the drink. State Rep. Marti Coley, a Marianna Republican, said twice in recent years there has been an effort to get the issue on the ballot, but it failed. The Legislature’s response was to water down the process. Under current state law, to get an initial election on the sale of alcohol in a county, an application must be presented to the county commission with 25 percent of registered voters’ signatures. If that initial election allows alcohol to be sold only in package stores, then the county residents must again round up 25 percent of voters’ See LIQUOR A2

Holmes County Times-Advertiser May 01

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