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WEEKEND Washington County News Saturday, DECEMBER 14, 2013 For the latest breaking news, visit CHIPLEYPAPER.COM IN BRIEF Breakfast with Santa! VERNON — Santa will be at Vernon Elementary School from 8-10 a.m. today. Join us in the lunchroom and dine on pancakes and sausage with milk, juice, or coffee. Admission is $2 and includes breakfast. You can also get your picture taken with Santa for an additional $2. Christmas Concert in Sunny Hills SUNNY HILLS — Harmony Shores Chorus, the Panama City Chapter of Sweet Adelines International, will present its annual Christmas show, “The Sounds of Christmasâ€? at 6:30 at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Sunny Hills. Join us for an evening of song, four-part a cappella harmony style. This year’s show will also feature the Gulf Tones, Panama City’s men’s barbershop chorus, as well as Mixed Company. All the musicians work hard and would love to share some beautiful Christmas music with you. Refreshments will be served after the show, and admission is free (donations welcome). Mark your calendars, and come join us at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Sunny Hills, 2056 Sunny Hills Blvd. "" !         Get your free copy now INSIDE INDEX Faith .....................................A4 Classifieds .............................A5 w w w. c h i p l e y p a p e r. c o m 50¢ Volume 89, Number 70 Citizens support nativity scene Mayor recognized for 25 years of service By CHRIS OLWELL 747-5079 | @PCNHchriso CHIPLEY — Tuesday’s city council meeting was a full house as local citizens came to support city leaders’ pledge to keep the city-owned nativity scene on site. They also shared in Mayor Linda Cain’s recognition by the League of Cities for 25 years of service. About a hundred people crammed into city hall to hear community members voice their support for the council members, who vowed not to remove the city-owned nativity scene from city property. Last week, an attorney representing Wisconsinbased Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote Mayor Linda Cain suggest- ing that the display was illegal because it amounted to an endorsement of a single religion, thus violating the 1st Amendment. In attempt to bring the display into compliance with the law, the city has added a decorated tree. “It’s about time that communities, church leaders just all get together and start taking our country back,â€? said council member Karen Rustin, who pointed out that she placed her hand a Bible when she took the oath of office. “First it started with the schools. You can’t pray in schools. You can’t say this, you know, the pledge of allegiance. Now they’re up here, you know, you can’t have a bible. Well here’s my Bible.â€? News editor Randal Seyler had called the Wisconsin-based organization as well as others while researching what is permissible for displays on public property. Cain issued a prepared statement questioning whether Seyler’s action had generated the inquiry from FFRF. BOCC expands Enterprise Zones for Ebro and Vernon By CECILIA SPEARS Seyler responded by publishing a column in which he explained that he was simply trying to find out the rules governing such displays when he contacted the group; it was not an attempt to have the display removed nor did he make such a request. “I am sorry that the letter from FFRF was generated after I contacted them for an interview, and I am sorry that the FFRF letter was construed as an attempt by myself and the See COUNCIL A2 3 charged in synthetic narcotic ring 547-9414 | @WCN_HCT Staff Reports CHIPLEY — Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved of County Planning Director Mike DeRuntz’ request to expand the Enterprise Zones for Ebro and Vernon during its regular meeting on Thursday. “This has nothing to do with taxes or land use,â€? Executive Director of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Ted Everett said. “It is just an imaginary boundary to help business owners. Enterprise Zones are a state incentive for new businesses create full time jobs in those areas.â€? After a public hearing, the board approved of a Small Scale Future Land Use Map Amendment from a Public/Semi-Public to a General Commercial designation for property at 3319 Court Ave. in Vernon. “It is just a future land use amendment,â€? DeRuntz said. “It is not for development.â€? Chair Alan Bush assured everyone if there was a need for a turn lane for that future business that it would be discussed during the development stage. The board held the first of four public hearings before applying for a $750,000 Community CECELIA SPEARS | The News Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved of County Planning Director Mike DeRuntz’ request to expand the Enterprise Zones for Ebro and Vernon during their regular meeting on Thursday. Block Development Grant to pave Orange Hill Highway from where the pavement ends to Quail Hallow. “This is the first of four public hearings we have advertised for in case anyone from the community wants to attend and speak about it,â€? County Engineer Cliff Knauer said. “Under the board’s direction, we are ready to move forward. We’ve had to push from January to February, but we have surveying and design done and permitting must be submitted; we’re still on schedule.â€? DeRuntz was asked to give an update on the Rhythm Project. “They are applying for permits and are still interested in developing in that area,â€? DeRuntz said. “They’re still meeting the requirements for the Department of Environmental See BOCC A2 POPLAR SPRINGS — Holmes County Sheriff ’s Office reported there were three people arrested in connection to a synthetic narcotic ring on Dec. 6 at a residence in the Poplar Springs Community. The Holmes County Sheriff ’s Office served a search warrant at the residence ,and deputies discovered 150 pounds of synthetic marijuana, along with parapherFREDERICK nalia, firearms and GORDON cash, according to the FONDO report. Owner of the residence, Frederick Gordon Fondo, 48, was arrested along with his wife, Shelia Marie Fondo, 45, and son, Frederick Tyler Fondo, 37, as a FREDERICK result of a month long TYLER FONDO investigation into complaints of suspected illegal activity at the residence by the Holmes County Sheriff ’s Office, with the assistance of the Washington County Drug Task Force, according to the report. SHELIA MARIE FONDO See SYNTHETIC A2 Musician tours Panhandle promoting ‘Dixie Phonics’ From Staff Reports Phone: 850-638-0212 Website: Fax: 850-638-4601 Garden Club winds down 2013 with celebration, gifts A3 Herbert “H.J. Kuntryâ€? Carter has been a fixture at area city council meetings the past few months as he travels the Panhandle seeking recognition of his version of country music, known as “Dixie Phonics.â€? Carter, 72, appealed to the Chipley, Vernon and Bonifay city councils in November, seeking proclamations recognizing “Dixie Phonicsâ€? as a “cultural and artistic manifestion of music unique to the Panhandle Region of Florida and South Georgia area.â€? Carter told the Vernon council he was working to promote Southern music for our area. “Other parts of the country have their types of music, Delta blues, New Orleans Jazz — the Panhandle also has its own sound,â€? Carter said. Gulf, Leon and Wakulla counties have also signed the proclamation as have a number of cities in the area. Carter describes the “Dixie Phonicsâ€? sound has having a slowed-down Herbert Carter has been visiting area city councils to promote “Dixie Phonics.â€? The Vernon City Council reviewed the finalized version of a proclamation recognizing Dixie Phonics during Monday’s council workshop. See DIXIE A2 SPECIAL TO THE NEWS Connect with us 24/7 Get breaking news, videos, expanded stories, photo galleries, opinions and more... We bring it home! @WCN_HCT 5018964 CHipleypaper.Com

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