Freedom Communications, Inc.

The Star
135 W. Highway 98
Port St. Joe, FL  32456
Main:  850-227-1278
Fax:  850-227-7212


Karen Hanes
Phone: 850-747-5001

Rick Martin
Associate Publisher

First Published:

November 1937, became part of Freedom Communications December 2004

The Star
Circulation: 2,858

We are about giving our readers the skinny on the people and events that shape our community.  From politics to the local arts to the students who make our schools stand out, we strongly inject community into our role as a community newspaper.

Special features
As a weekly, we have the opportunity to delve into a broad range of subjects in-depth. We provide our reporters the freedom to go where stories carry them.

The Star, and sister paper Apalachicola/Carrabelle Times, has a long history of award-winning journalism, including multiple state awards for writing and photography.   


Educational Opportunities
The Gulf County School District is comprised of one private school, two elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools, which consistently rank among the highest in graduation rates in Florida, and within the top quartile on standard achievement and college admissions tests.  Port St. Joe is the site for Gulf Coast Community College’s satellite campus, the Gulf-Franklin Center.  Residents may also attend GCCC in nearby Panama City, as well as Florida State University - Panama City, where the institutions collaborate to provide the “Two Plus Two” program, enabling students to earn baccalaureate degrees without having to leave their home communities.

Recreational Opportunities
From the white sand beaches of Cape San Blas to the famous, freshwater Dead Lakes, Gulf County is well known as a recreational paradise. With almost 30 parks and points of interest, there’s plenty to do - including a visit to St. Joe Beach, named the nation’s No. 1 beach by “Dr. Beach”, Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman. Favorite activities also include freshwater and saltwater fishing, boating, scalloping, golfing, and visiting the many historical sites, including the spot where Florida’s first State Constitution was drafted and the home of world-famous Tupelo honey.

Geography & Climate
Gulf County, located in Florida’s northwestern Panhandle, is primarily rural and reminiscent of “Old Florida.” The Gulf of Mexico is along its southern edge, buffered by a peninsula bordered with 17-miles of sugar-white sand. The county also sits along Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway. Gulf County averages 82 degrees in the summer and 54 degrees in the winter. The county is split into two time zones, Central in the north and Eastern in the south.

While tourism is the main industry of Gulf and Franklin counties, it is not just beaches that bring people to Port St. Joe. Eco-tourism, with a myriad of outdoor activities, is as prevalent as beach-based recreation, as well as world-famous fishing, both salt and freshwater. Developments and condominiums along the waterfront abound. A mix of old and new, working fishing villages and massive new housing developments, the Gulf-Franklin Counties area is in continual transition. 


Median Housing Price