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WEEKEND Washington County News For the latest breaking news, visit CHIPLEYPAPER.COM IN BRIEF Vernon Fireworks Celebration today VERNON — The city of Vernon will hold its Fireworks Celebration today. Events begin at 5 p.m. with food, music and bounce houses for children. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. Admission to the event is free and the public is invited to attend. Chamber holds ‘Wings Tailgate Take-Out’ CHIPLEY — The Chamber Chicken Wings Tailgate TakeOut will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Building at 672 5th Street in Chipley. Wings will be available while supplies last. Each order of 24 Fresh Wings is $20 and available in Plain, Barbecue or Hot-Sauced. Tickets are available from: The Washington County Chamber of Commerce — 672 5th Street, Chipley, 638–4157 or Pippin Appraisal Services — 831 Kirkland Road, Chipley, 638–7700 or See BRIEFS A2 "" !         Get your free copy now INSIDE INDEX Community Events .................A3 Faith .....................................A4 Classifieds .............................A5 Phone: 850-638-0212 Web site: Fax: 850-638-4601 w w w. c h i p l e y p a p e r. c o m 50¢ Volume 90, Number 40 Community Center damaged by flood County awaiting insurance adjuster’s report Wednesday for the first time since floodwater from the lake swept into the building and across Highway 77 two weeks ago. “It’s not good news. From looking at the watermarks on the walls, it looks like the water was 12-14 inches deep in the building,â€? By RANDAL SEYLER Corbin said. “The floors are slick 638-0212 | @WCN_HCT and there are worms all over the floor.â€? CHIPLEY — County Coordinator Corbin said he was able to get David Corbin was able to enter the into the building only by backing Blue Lake Community Center on his pickup to the building then jumping from the tailgate to the doorway. “The water is still knee deep around the building, and inside, the paneling is buckling, and so are all the cabinets,â€? Corbin said. There are also possibly snakes in the building as well, he added. The flooding that started on Aug. 16 was the second round of torrential rains Washington County had received in a month, and Blue Lake was already full due to the month-long rains of July. FOOD DISTRIBUTION Rain totals for the weekend of Aug. 16 were reported at 15 inches, and that deluge swamped the Community Center and closed Highway 77 just south of Interstate 10, which was still closed to through traffic until Thursday afternoon. The Community Center also has a septic tank, and the flooding has resulted in the state putting up “No Fishingâ€? and “No Swimmingâ€? signs at the lake due to possible See FLOOD A2 Rep. Gaetz visits area By CECILIA SPEARS 547-9414 | @WCN_HCT RANDAL SEYLER | The News Volunteers from the United Way, Hammers and Hearts and the United Methodist Disaster Response team, along with Mayor Michelle Cook and an inmate work crew, were on hand Friday to unload and distribute 45 pounds of food to 20 or so families in Vernon as part of the relief effort following the devastating flooding in Washington County that has occurred over the past two months. The food was provided by the Bay Area Food Bank. The church groups, along with Catholic Charities, have been working to provide assistance to residents in Vernon who have suffered damage to their homes. Catholic Charities Begins Case Management Efforts in Response to Washington County Flooding Special to the News VERNON — In response to the extensive damage caused by record rainfall in Washington County since early July, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida has begun case management services to residents who were affected by severe flooding. Between July 2 and Aug. 20, the city of Vernon received more than 40 inches of rainfall. Washington County Emergency Management officials report that 105 homes have been affected, and 44 roads have been closed due to high water. As a member of the Washington County Long Term Recovery Organization, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida has joined forces with other faith-based non-profits to provide emergency disaster relief. “Catholic Charities has been instrumental in organizing the community to respond,â€? said Gabe Tischler, emergency management specialist for the Florida Catholic Conference. “The focus for Catholic Charities’ case managers at this point will be the elderly, the disabled, and families with small children. Almost all of the homes I have seen have some sort of water damage, and mold is growing in the houses. Some of the homes have buckets in bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens to catch rain water. A few people I have talked with are developing health issues due to the mold problem.â€? Washington County has received a FEMA Public Assistance Declaration to help defray the cost of infrastructure repairs. The federal dollars will help the county repair roads, but this declaration does not provide federal dollars to help homeowners with repairs. Immediately after the federal government issued a disaster order for Washington, Holmes, and Walton counties in July, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida applied for a disaster relief grant from Catholic Charities USA. The grant funds will be used to provide emergency financial assistance to families who have suffered serious damage to their homes. “While Catholic Charities is not considered a ‘first responder,’ we are a leader in helping families recover from a disaster, especially those who are poor and vulnerable and often overlooked in a response effort,â€? added Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida Executive Director Mark Dufva. “We believe in restoring the dignity of the human person through comprehensive case management, and make every attempt to not only help our clients recover from a disaster, but to look at and solve the fundamental reason why they remain poor and vulnerable.â€? The Washington County Emergency Management Office has provided office space in the county emergency management center to allow Catholic Charities’ case managers to meet with clients. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. on Wednesdays by appointment only. To make an appointment, call the Catholic Charities office in Panama City at 763-0475. “We cannot do this alone; resources and finances are limited,â€? Tischler explained. “It takes partnerships from all faith-based organizations working together to help people in need, as well as the financial support of the community.â€? If you would like to help by donating funds or volunteering to help repair homes, please contact Washington County Emergency Management at 638-6203, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida at 763-0475, or visit Catholic Charities’ website at BONIFAY — District 4 Representative Matt Gaetz gave the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce a visit during the chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting on Aug. 22 and spoke on multiple topics. “Senator Don Gaetz, my father, sends his regards,â€? said Gaetz, who is an attorney with the Fort Walton Beach law firm Keefe, Anchors, Gordon and Moyle. “I thought I’d talk about how far the state has come over the past few years and where we’re going.â€? See GAETZ A2 Harvest Festival Pageant rescheduled Special to the News GRACEVILLE — The 32nd Annual Harvest Festival Pageant has been rescheduled to on Sept. 27 and 28, according to pageant director Teresa Bush. The pageant will be held Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Graceville Civic Center in Graceville. The entry fee is $60 with all proceeds going to the Graceville Harvest Day Celebration. Contestants may participate in photogenic for an additional $10. Photogenic entries will be See PAGEANT A2 From the Associates of Store 2114 Chipley • 638-2243 5017404 Saturday, AUGUST 31, 2013 Faith Events A4

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