Sebastian Daily® is the official newspaper in Sebastian, Florida, serving Sebastian, Barefoot Bay, Grant, Micco, Vero Lake Estates, Sebastian River, and Wabasso. We are an online publication since most of our readers get their news from computer tablets, mobile phones, and personal computers.
We publish news and obituaries in the local area including Indian River County and South Brevard County. We are located just a few miles from the Sebastian Inlet to provide accurate weather, boating, and fishing information.
While most of our readers prefer to read local news from our website, we also distribute our news to Apple News, Facebook, and our newsletter.
Sebastian Daily® began publishing national news in 2005. In 2015, we began publishing local content in Indian River County and South Brevard. We focus on proximity, keeping readers engaged in everything we publish.
We always knew there was a gap in local news coverage, leaving Sebastian out of media coverage unless there was a hurricane. Since our start, our news coverage was popular during Hurricane Mathew in 2017, and again when the Red Tide phenomenon that hit our beaches in 2018. Our report and camera footage has also been seen on CNN.
Our news team is made up of motivated journalists to cover our local town. We love the City of Sebastian and dedicate our work towards excellence in all news stories and encourage our readers to share their ideas. We strive for integrity and trust.
In 2017, we were the only media outlet filming live after Hurricane Mathew, which was appreciated by many who vacated and tuned in to watch our coverage. We showed that the storm didn’t have a large impact in our area and most of the roads were re-opened.
Another example of honest reporting was when Red Tide hit our beaches. Sebastian Daily® was the first media outlet to be in Vero Beach filming live as Red Tide was moving towards the Sebastian Inlet. Our staff visited the beaches on and off for approximately 10 days. We were honest about the Red Tide, providing accurate reports. We informed residents that although Red Tide was in the Indian River Lagoon, no fish or other wildlife died. Also, we were the first to suggest that the beaches would re-open soon, which happened 24 hours later.
If it wasn’t for our honest reports, many of the snowbirds that visit Sebastian would have stayed up north. That would have been devastating to our local economy.
Tourists don’t call this part of Florida “paradise” for nothing.
Andy Hodges – Editor in Chief
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, but was raised in Jupiter, Florida. He got an early start in radio and television for over a decade. Andy would later make a career change to computer programming and spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Sebastian in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily® in 2016 as our editor in chief.
Scott Lee – Columnist and Reporter
Scott Lee is a columnist and reporter for Sebastian Daily®. Scott moved to Indian River County in 2015 and has been writing for various publications for approximately 30 years. Lee covers Vero Beach and Florida news. Currently, he writes part-time for Sebastian Daily® and will be writing a weekly featured column about local businesses in the fall.
Tina Hodges – VP of Marketing
Tina Hodges moved to Sebastian with her family from Miami in 1980 and has lived in the Sebastian area ever since. After graduating from Sebastian River High School in 1997, she studied at Indian River State College College where she studied Business Management & Marketing. Tina worked for Dooney & Bourke for many years before she became a full-time travel writer. Tina began with Sebastian Daily® in 2016.
Jennifer Balakrishnan – Reporter
Jennifer Balakrishnan lives in Vero Beach, Florida. She moved to Indian River County when she was 6-years-old. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree at Florida State University. She writes our crime stories and is one of our food/restaurant critics.
Brian LaPersonerie – Photographer & Food Critic
Born and raised around New York’s diverse culture and cuisine, it’s no surprise that Brian inherited a palate for great food. His background – German, Welsh, English, French, Irish and even Sicilian – has exposed him to all styles of cooking; whether at holiday gatherings or from his talented mom in their family kitchen. Brian says, “we eat with our eyes first” so capturing and presenting the deep colors of food is an art and an important part of Brian’s reviews. Being a life-long foodie, with experience in and out of the kitchen has taught Brian the more technical parts of cooking and hospitality. But in theory, he’s just a regular person, like you and I, who loves food and wants to help further your culinary adventures!
Roy Garton – Contributor
Roy Garton is the owner of FDMC Media. He is also an actor who has played in several movies. Roy is also a broadcaster and journalist. As a television news journalist in a very popular resort area, Roy has had the opportunity to cover Statesmen, Presidents, and Russian Diplomats as they passed through the area on political missions. He has also worked with the White House Press Corps.
Roy left Wyoming in 1992 and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma again working in television before settling down in Florida where lives in Palm Bay and is married to former Sebastian resident Mary Myers-Garton. He continues to act in films and television.
Zoe McNeely – Contributor
Zoe McNeely is contributor for Sebastian Daily® keeping us informed with the Summer Sunday Reggae Series at Capt. Hiram’s Resort.