Jingle Bell Run 2020
Dec 7, 2020

Jingle Bell Run brings joy for good cause

Snow women in sparkling snowflake tutus, Santa in camouflage and reindeer antlered dogs lined up in 40-degree weather Saturday to dash for a cause in the Jingle Bell Run at Holley Navarre Fire Station 45.

Florida Snow Days
Dec 4, 2020

2020 marked by weather extremes; snow unlikely

With overnight lows predicted to hover in the 40s this weekend, Northwest Florida residents might be feeling a bit chillier than usual. But those temperatures, which will rise into the 60s during the day, are more than 10 degrees warmer than they were in the beginning of the week. Pensacola recorded a low of 30 degrees on Dec. 1, according to Jack Cullen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mobile.

Thankful tourists flock to Navarre Beach
Dec 4, 2020

Tourism sees strong shoulder season

The numbers are in, and it was a strong October for tourism, according to Santa Rosa County data.

October’s tourist development tax collections were up by nearly 27% from last year, about $340,000 compared to about $268,000 for the past two Octobers. October is the most recent month of data available.

Voters approved the sales tax, now what
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.

Blackwater prisoner kills cellmate to secure death penalty
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.

Second waste hauler approved for county
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.

Brown reflects on legacy, passes torch to son
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.

Ferry out, Skanska called to fix your mess
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.

Noack bids farewell
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.

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