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A Better Bay forums to tackle post-Michael military, housing, mental health questions

News Herald - 4/17/2019

April 17-- Apr. 17--PANAMA CITY -- Six months after Hurricane Michael, Bay County is still facing serious issues and the future of the community is still in flux.

Many residents, and even officials, still have questions about what lies ahead, particularly as we head into the next hurricane season. And as the local newspaper, we believe it's our job to get you answers.

Next week -- April 22, 23 and 25 -- The News Herald will be hosting a series of forums on major issues in our community. Similar to our A Better Bay forum held last December, all questions will be submitted in advance through our Bay Asked, We Answered series.

All events will start at 6 p.m. and will end at 7:30 p.m. They will be held at the Bay County Government Center, and streamed live on The News Herald's Facebook page. The event is free, but we ask those who wish to attend to obtain a ticket in advance.

On April 22, we'll hold an event focused on the future of the military in Bay County. We'll have Col. Brian Laidlaw of Tyndall Air Force Base, Cmdr. Kevin Christenson of the Naval Support Activity Panama City, members of the Bay Defense Alliance and others to talk about the challenges Michael created and the rebuilding plan.

On April 23, we'll tackle housing, one of the most complicated, and dire needs in the community. We'll be joined by Ida Hargarary with the Central Panhandle Association of Realtors, Michael Johnson chairman of the housing branch of the long-term recovery task force, Rebuild Bay board member Yvonne Petrasovits, and Housing Authority Director Teri Henry to talk about the housing crisis, how to find housing and how it will be rebuilt.

Then on April 25, we'll dig into coping, mental health and how to stay sane through everything that's happened, and will happen. We'll have experts from Life Management, Big Bend Community Based Care, private practice and Bay District Schools to take questions on how a disaster impacts mental health, what services are available, and how can you help yourself and your children cope.

Questions can be submitted in advance at https://www.newsherald.com/bay-asked-we-answered. Please give your email address and note which topic your question relates to.

Free tickets for the event are available on Eventbrite.

Military: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-better-bay-military-forum-tickets-60496202771

Housing: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-better-bay-housing-tickets-60496403371

Coping: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-better-bay-coping-mental-health-tickets-60497380293

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