Candidate search extended

Candidate search extended

The search to hire a new country administrator has been extended by 30 days following a 3-2 vote by the board of county commissioners. The committee tasked with creating a short list of candidates made the suggestion Aug. 12 during a public meeting via conference call. County Administrator Hunter Walker brought the suggestion commissioners at […]

Bride shares wedding date with Country on the Sound

Bride shares wedding date with Country on the Sound

Ranee Roberts was looking forward to her quiet wedding on Navarre Beach next month. The Alabama resident and her fiancé, Chris Phillips, invited around 30 people to the Sept. 26 ceremony. So when she received a call from the county a few weeks ago, before she even knew the reason, she told the man on […]

Marine Sgt. receives hero’s welcome

Marine Sgt. receives hero’s welcome

  The Navarre community rallied together Saturday morning to welcome Marine Sgt. Anthony McDaniel and his family to their new home in Navarre. McDaniel, who lost both legs and his left hand serving in Kajaki, Afghanistan, received a newly built house from Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit that builds mortgage-free, specially adapted homes to […]

Donation a morale booster for Raider Band

Donation a morale booster for Raider Band

The Navarre High School Raider Band had plenty to celebrate last week when Dr. Joel Rudman, of Holley Navarre Medical Clinic, donated $10,000 toward new uniforms. Band Director Dean Barrow said the current uniforms – which are nine years old – have seen better days, and he and his students kicked off a fundraiser to purchase […]

Construction project won’t hamper school year

Construction project won’t hamper school year

With just days before students return to the classroom, Holley-Navarre Middle School is undergoing major construction. Principal Joie DeStefano and Assistant Principal Robert Trigg are prepared for the inconvenience. The drop-off area has changed temporarily this year, so parents will use the “rainy day” drop-off in the back of the building. DeStefano said once parents […]

Committee hopes to extend candidate search

Committee hopes to extend candidate search

Hoping to find a more qualified talent pool, the committee tasked with creating a short list of candidates for the county’s new administrator suggested extending the search by 30 days. “I feel the pool is not as strong as we’d hoped for, especially if the county has a desire for Florida experience,” Chris Holley, a member of […]

Economic development group makes hard sell

Economic development group makes hard sell

It’s not easy selling a community to outside businesses and investors. Despite incentives, such as tax breaks and free land, recruiting industry is a challenge, especially when other states are wooing the same companies. Competition can be fierce. Cliff Krut, a certified economic development representative for Gulf Power, explained how Northwest Florida, specifically Santa Rosa […]

Tourism numbers continue to increase

Tourism numbers continue to increase

Tourism is booming in Santa Rosa County, Tourist Development Director Julie Morgan said at the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast July 31. “We are flying higher than we ever have been,” she told the audience. “So we really need to be proud of ourselves.” Morgan’s office is responsible for promoting Santa Rosa […]

Eglin clinic cares for four-legged friends

Eglin clinic cares for four-legged friends

  Eglin Air Force Base – home to more than 2,000 families –operates like a city. Medical care, shopping, a day care center and more are available within the base’s borders. But not all of its residents are of the two-legged variety. The base includes a full-service veterinary clinic for the military working dogs living […]

Vibrio-related death confirmed in Escambia County

Vibrio-related death confirmed in Escambia County

One person has died in Escambia County from Vibrio vulnificus, a naturally occurring bacteria that thrives in warm, brackish seawater. According to Tiffany Cowie, communications director with the state Department of Health, the details of exposure are unknown at this time. The department would not release any additional information, including the age of the person […]

Firefighters receive Distinguished Service Medals

Firefighters receive Distinguished Service Medals

Holley-Navarre Fire District Battalion Chief Howie Rounsaville, Lt. Dan Davidson and Firefighter Richie Frank were honored Tuesday night with the district’s Distinguished Service Medal for their work during the March 10 Blackhawk helicopter crash in the Santa Rosa Sound. “I can truly say that these mend performed well above and beyond anyone’s expectations,” Chief Ron […]

Looking back: 50 years since the Navarre pass

Looking back: 50 years since the Navarre pass

It’s been 50 years since a pass connected the Santa Rosa Sound to the Gulf of Mexico. And with it, 50 years of hoping for a second chance. To hear Phil Babiak tell the story, the building of Navarre’s pass was somewhat serendipitous. “Rumor has it there was a dredge company in New Orleans owned […]

13-year-old CEO riding the wave of success

13-year-old CEO riding the wave of success

Sage Offutt is a familiar face on Navarre Beach, driving her golf cart with the blue fin on top, towing paddleboards and kayaks back and forth between renters and her family’s summer home on White Sands Boulevard. When the Offutts bought their house last year, they couldn’t wait to get their paddleboards in the Gulf, […]

Santa Rosa Sound on ‘impaired’ list

Santa Rosa Sound on ‘impaired’ list

Santa Rosa Sound is always bubbling with activity, including swimming, kayaking, jet skiing or fishing. So it may come as a surprise to some that the Sound does not meet water quality standards set forth by the state Department of Environmental Protection. In fact, the Sound has been on the DEP’s “impaired” list for more […]

Boat, vehicle destroyed in Cowen Road fire

Boat, vehicle destroyed in Cowen Road fire

Firefighters responded to a report of a large pop at 1856 Cowen Road, an industrial park off of Gulf Breeze Parkway, at 1:42 p.m. Monday. Witnesses said a boat caught fire in a warehouse attached to the building, and spread to a vehicle. In addition to Gulf Breeze, Midway, Holley-Navarre, Navarre Beach and Escambia departments responded to […]

Coastline Calvary celebrates new Navarre location

Coastline Calvary celebrates new Navarre location

It was standing room only Sunday morning at the grand opening of the new Coastline Calvary Chapel on Highway 87 in Navarre. “I wasn’t quite expecting that,” Pastor Randy Pitman said. “It went well.” While guests squeezed into the pews and stood along the walls, worship team leader Josiah Arceo welcomed them with uplifting music. […]

Zoo’s vet never saw signs of abuse

Zoo’s vet never saw signs of abuse

In the wake of allegations that the Gulf Breeze Zoo CEO and his daughter willfully violated the Animal Welfare Act, Dr. Natalie Dyson, the zoo’s veterinarian, said she’s never seen any signs of misconduct at the zoo. “I go out at least once a month for monthly rounds, and anytime someone is sick they’ll call […]

Egg prices on the rise thanks to avian flu

Egg prices on the rise thanks to avian flu

Some local restaurants and grocery stores are increasing prices of egg dishes or discontinuing certain items as a result of the recent avian flu virus outbreak. Signs announcing a $1 surcharge on egg breakfasts, including pancakes and French toast, greet diners at Sailors’ Grill at Juana’s Pagodas. “It’s killed two-thirds of the laying hens,” Manager […]

Kids build robots at marine science station

Kids build robots at marine science station

As if summer camp on the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t enough, throw in a robot, and it becomes a kid’s dream come true. More than 50 students participated in Reefs & Robotics Camp at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station last week. Separated into two groups – third through fifth and sixth through eighth grades […]

Officials: Child accidentally started house fire

Officials: Child accidentally started house fire

Officials will not press charges against a child they say accidentally set fire to the family’s garage June 6. The home, located at 2610 Hidden Creek Drive, was destroyed in the fire, which started around 9 a.m. while the family was getting ready for church. According to Holley-Navarre Fire Chief Ron Norton, the fire spread […]

Red flag conditions lead to increased rescues

Red flag conditions lead to increased rescues

  Last weekend’s beach conditions proved to be dangerous when the Navarre Beach Volunteer Fire Department had to rescue two lifeguards caught in a rip current while rescuing a swimmer. Chief Mike Howard said the lifeguards gave the “help” sign, alerting firefighters that they “were tired,” and the firefighters launched their jet skis to assist […]

Man drowns at Navarre Beach

Man drowns at Navarre Beach

One man drowned and four others were sent to the hospital after lifeguards and Navarre Beach firefighters pulled eight people from a rip current Wednesday afternoon. The Navarre Beach Fire Department responded to a call at a little after 2 p.m. behind 7909 Gulf Blvd., according to Chief Mike Howard. “It was chaos when we […]

Overall, assessment scores remain steady

Overall, assessment scores remain steady

Santa Rosa County students had a decent showing in the Florida End-of-Course Assessments this year. The district saw its highest improvement in Civics, which is measured for grades six through eight, with 77 percent passing compared to 71 percent in 2014. The overall state average went from a 61 percent passing rate to 65 percent. […]

Touring Pensacola on a Segway

Touring Pensacola on a Segway

In addition to its cosmopolitan downtown and top-rated beaches, Pensacola is also rich in history. Founded by Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano in 1559, it was the first European settlement in the continental United States; however, it failed to thrive under Spain’s rule. The country abandoned it only to return in 1698. France, which settled New Orleans, began […]

Dog Days brings communities together

Dog Days brings communities together

As Jojo dipped her head in the kiddie pool to cool off from Saturday’s 90-something degree day, her mom, Margaret Wallek, considered bringing home a brother or sister. The 60-pound Lab/golden retriever mix took a liking to Brutus, a 167-pound black Great Dane, and the two made an interesting pair. Brutus wasn’t the only dog […]

Department battles two major fires in six hours

Department battles two major fires in six hours

Darrell Watkins and his wife, Jean, were getting the family ready for church Sunday morning when the smoke alarm went off. “It’s a brand new home,” Watkins said, “so I thought maybe it was the batteries. I didn’t think it was a real fire.” He didn’t smell any smoke, but when they checked the garage, […]

Musician’s second chance at stardom

Musician’s second chance at stardom

About a month ago, Cortni Bird was enjoying Jazz Fest in New Orleans, watching fellow musicians and wondering when it would be her time to shine. Little did she know a few days later she’d get a call that would give her singing career the push it needed. The 24-year-old, who works in staffing and […]

Valedictorian not wasting any time

Valedictorian not wasting any time

    While most of Navarre’s graduating seniors will spend the summer soaking up the final months with their friends before heading off to college, Savannah Bifulco will be hanging out in a chem lab at the University of West Florida synthesizing molecules. Not every senior graduates with an invitation to a paid internship – […]

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