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Dec 3, 2020

Voters approved the sales tax, now what?

Santa Rosa County voters handed local officials $45 million of revenue when they approved extending the half cent local option sales tax for another five years.

Now those officials must decide what they’re going to do with cash as it starts to roll in. In a lot of ways, the answer is the same as it was for the last five years of sales tax revenue, said County Administrator Dan Schebler.

Dec 3, 2020

Blackwater inmate kills cellmate to secure death penalty

A circuit court judge sentenced a Blackwater Correctional inmate to death Nov. 24 after he strangled his cellmate to death in hopes of receiving the death penalty.

Thomas Fletcher, 53, was serving a life sentence in Blackwater State Prison for a prior murder in 2018 when he strangled Kenneth Davis to death in their cell in the early morning hours. Fletcher confessed to the crime and plead guilty, waiving his rights to hearings in the hopes that he would secure death.

Dec 3, 2020

Second waste hauler approved for county

Waste Pro’s monopoly of Santa Rosa County trash collection ended before it could begin as county commissioners Nov. 24 unanimously approved another hauler’s permit appeal.

Waste Pro was set to take over as the only collector in Santa Rosa County Jan. 1 thanks to a contract with the county, but with the approval, Adams Sanitation will be scooping up about 3,000 of their roughly 26,000 would-be customers.

Dec 3, 2020

Property appraiser’s office to change hands

The story of 20 years of service line the walls of Gregory Brown senior’s office at the Santa Rosa County Property Appraisers.

Achievements share the walls of his office with photos of his family, including pictures of his son, Gregory Brown, Jr., who will take over as property appraiser in January from a no-contest election.

Nov 25, 2020

Ferry out, Skanska called to “fix your mess”

After months of evaluation, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced Friday that a ferry service along the busted Pensacola Bay Bridge route is not feasible.

Nov 25, 2020

Noack bids farewell to Navarre High

Games, pep rallies, signing days and even photos with the homecoming court. If there is something going on at Navarre High School, Brian Noack is usually there.

For more than a decade he’s been the principal of the school and now he’s moving on, taking over as the Santa Rosa County Director of High Schools starting Dec. 1.

Nov 25, 2020

Summerwind evacuated after rooftop fire

Residents of the Inn at Summerwind Resort’s eastern tower evacuated around 4 p.m. Nov. 19 due to a roof fire, visible from the beach below.

The blaze broke out on the northeastern corner of the roof sending a pillar of smoke over the beach. Petra Francis of Navarre Properties, whose office is located in the tower, said work crews have been making repairs to the roof area after Hurricane Sally caused damage in September.

Nov 25, 2020

Shining light on solar: Harnessing the sun can be complicated

The sun is rising on home solar panels in Santa Rosa County with 80 to 100 applications a week for permits estimates county Development Services Coordinator Jennifer Tilden.

Nov 12, 2020

Salter leaves lasting legacy

For 20 years, District 3 County Commissioner Don Salter has been a force moving Santa Rosa County forward. Nov. 12 will be the last time he takes a seat at the Board of County Commissioners long table.

The swearing in of new commissioners midmonth will also mark the end of his fifth term as chairman of the board.

Nov 12, 2020

Election Wrap-up: What does it all mean?

Nearly three in every four Santa Rosa County voters cast a ballot in the Nov. 3 election, the highest voter turnout in the county since 1976. This year’s ballot had no shortage of hot button topics, including local taxes, state constitution changes and, of course, deciding the president of the United States. Here’s a breakdown of what the results mean.
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