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How a 2-star Army general took charge of a broken city

PANAMA CITY — Mark McQueen’s sand-colored combat boots have walked the ground during many disasters. Afghanistan. Iraq. Florida’s Panama City. The two-star general had no sooner retired from the Army and started his job as city manager for this Gulf Coast community when it was slammed by a category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Michael became the[…]

Crash kills 3 men repairing power lines downed by hurricane

CHIPLEY — A man faces several charges including DUI manslaughter after the Florida Highway Patrol says his pickup truck fatally struck three utility workers as they were repairing lines damaged by Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle. All three men — George Cecil, 52, of Cole Rain, North Carolina; Ryan Barrett, 22, of Roanoke Rapids,[…]

Noose found hanging from tree on state’s Gulf Coast

BELLEAIR — A civil rights organization is calling for a hate crime investigation into a noose found hanging from a tree at a country club on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Wednesday called on law enforcement to investigate as a hate crime the incident at the Belleair[…]

Venomous caterpillar makes seasonal return

SPRING HILL — A venomous caterpillar that masquerades as an adorable ball of fluff is making its way back to the Sunshine State. According to Fox 13, the puss caterpillar can cause severe pain when it comes into contact with humans and animals. It’s most active in the spring and fall. Experts say the sting[…]

DeSantis, Gillum tackle Trump and more in Florida debate

TALLAHASSEE — Democratic candidate for Florida governor Andrew Gillum isn’t a big fan of Donald Trump, but he said during a televised debate that he’d gladly work with the president to bring money to the state for needed projects. “That’s just not the way it works,” said his opponent Ron DeSantis, who won the Republican[…]

Candles, flashlights, no AC in hurricane zone

PANAMA CITY — It’s the greatest need after a hurricane and sometimes the hardest one to fulfill: Electricity. More than a week after Hurricane Michael smashed into the Florida Panhandle on a path of destruction that led all the way to the Georgia border, more than 100,000 Florida customers were still without power, according to[…]

In Mexico Beach after Michael, some coming home find no home

MEXICO BEACH — With stunned faces and tears, residents of hard-hit Mexico Beach returned home for the first time Wednesday about a week after Hurricane Michael hit to find pieces of their lives scattered across the sand and a community altered. Nancy Register sobbed uncontrollably after finding no trace of the large camper where she’d[…]

Powerless victims of Hurricane Michael now suffer looting

PANAMA CITY — Armed looters are targeting homes and businesses that remain without electricity after being ravaged by Hurricane Michael a week ago. Sheriff’s Maj. Jimmy Stanford said deputies have arrested about 10 looters each night since Florida’s Bay County took a direct hit from the strong Category 4 storm last Wednesday. In some parts[…]

Florida reporting 16 deaths after Michael

PANAMA CITY — Hurricane Michael killed at least 16 people in Florida, most of them in the coastal county that took a direct hit from the storm, state emergency authorities said Tuesday. That’s in addition to at least 10 deaths elsewhere across the South. The scope of the storm’s fury became clearer after nearly a[…]

Florida families still seek people missing in the hurricane

PANAMA CITY — Joanne Garone Behnke has replayed every possible scenario in her mind a hundred times. Maybe her 79-year-old aunt sought shelter at the sturdy condo nearby that withstood Hurricane Michael’s devastating winds. Maybe she was rescued and is lying in a hospital bed somewhere. The pile of rubble that was once her Mexico[…]