Half cent sales tax renewal on ballot

Half cent sales tax  renewal on ballot

Santa Rosa County is seeking to renew the existing half cent local option sales tax for another five years on the Nov. 3 ballot. County commissioners approved the ballot measure June 25 during their regular meeting, but not without concerns from the community. The renewal attempt comes on the heels of a failed attempt in […]

Navarre Beach Springhill Suites earns top marks

Navarre Beach Springhill Suites earns top marks

Staff at the Springhill Suites on Navarre Beach are celebrating while keeping their fingers crossed as parent company Marriott prepares to announce their 2019 top award winners around the globe for 2019. As one of only 66 nominations, Navarre’s only gulf front hotel is in the running for four major nods from the company: • […]

Waste Pro rates to increase under new contract

Waste Pro rates to increase under new contract

Navarre residents should expect fewer pickups for a higher price starting in January. Recycling won’t be included in the contract any longer either. The change comes as part of a larger renegotiation of the south end waste hauler’s agreement to expand to cover the entire county. The negotiations were prompted by Emerald Coast Utility Authority’s […]

DeSantis visits Pensacola amid rising COVID-19 cases

DeSantis visits Pensacola amid rising COVID-19 cases

In one day, Santa Rosa County added 110 cases of COVID-19, the largest single day of community spread since community spread began. Within the same week, Florida also reported a record-breaker with more than 9,500 new cases in a single day. More than 40% of known cases of COVID-19 in the county tested positive within […]

UPDATE: Navarre Beach July 4 concert cancelled, fireworks still on

UPDATE: Navarre Beach July 4 concert cancelled, fireworks still on

Out of an abundance of caution, the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has called off their annual Fourth of July concert and food trucks on Navarre Beach.  The concert usually accompanies the Tourist Development Council’s annual fireworks show. The chamber had opted to cancel their children’s parade. Last week the chamber still planned to […]

Five Pace High teachers under investigation

Five Pace High teachers under investigation

It started with a post about race on Facebook and has escalated into a full-blown investigation into potential misconduct by teachers at Pace High School, including the teacher that posted. Santa Rosa County School Board unanimously approved June 18 placing five teachers at Pace High School on administrative leave as an investigation is conducted into […]

Sales tax projected down by $9 million

Sales tax projected down by $9 million

The word of the day when it comes to Santa Rosa County budgets is conservative. While the five-year, half cent local option sales tax (LOST) has allowed the county to be less thrifty with capital improvements since 2017, County Administrator Dan Schebler said those expenditures going forward will be on a tight leash. That’s because, […]

5 things to know: Getting school back in session

5 things to know: Getting school back in session

State officials have published their recommendations for returning to school after COVID-19 pandemic closures, and now Santa Rosa County School District’s task force has published recommendations. The School Board approved the plans June 18, and now the work begins at the individual school level to determine how best to implement these plans. Read the full […]

UPDATE: Navarre incorporation on hold, not dead

UPDATE: Navarre incorporation on hold, not dead

Updated 6/25 at 11 a.m. to include comments from Navarre Area United Political Action Committee head Jonathan Cole. Though the primary ballot is out of reach, Navarre Area United Political Action Committee (PAC) has not halted efforts to incorporate Navarre into a city according PAC leader Jonathan Cole.  “We are still moving forward with the […]

Back to school will be in-person

Back to school will be in-person

State officials issued a plan June 11 to get schools back in session in-person starting in August, and there are some big differences in how schools might operate. Under the plan, cafeterias may close for meals, instead functioning as learning spaces. And school days could be split into two rotations of attendance to allow more […]

Santa Rosa sees $7.7 million revenue shortfall

Santa Rosa sees $7.7 million revenue shortfall

While other local governments are discussing the politically charged idea of reducing funding to law enforcement for community efforts, Santa Rosa County is cutting back the sheriff’s budget for a very different reason. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, shutting down entire sectors of the economy for months and leaving millions unemployed. […]

Incorporation falls short for primary ballot

Incorporation falls short for primary ballot

Efforts to make Navarre its own city failed to meet the ballot threshold for the August primary election this month, putting incorporation one step backward. Navarre Area United Political Action Committee (PAC), led by Jonathan Cole, failed to meet the petition requirements set by county commissioners for inclusion on the Aug. 18 ballot. Cole pointed […]

Balancing budgets: How it works

Balancing budgets:  How it works

When looking at a budget, a $9 million shortfall sounds like fiscal irresponsibility—or like budget math at the federal government level. But when it comes to Santa Rosa County’s annual budget process, starting with $9 million more in requested funds than money to spend is nothing new. But by the time fiscal year 2020-2021 starts […]

Changes coming to waste hauling

Changes coming to waste hauling

Financial penalties for failing to pick up garbage and making recycling a subscription are among the changes that could come with an extension of WastePro’s waste hauling service in Santa Rosa County. The hauler is currently providing service for the south end on an exclusive contract with the county. Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) announced […]

COVID challenge creates virtual opportunities at science station

COVID challenge creates virtual opportunities at science station

Each summer, the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station puts together a host of camps that engage children in hands-on marine lessons. Students fish, paddle, dissect, build robots and more along the coastline. But with COVID-19 looming large in the background, the station’s annual camps were canceled this year. Other casualties included the stations annual Autism […]

Sea turtle center accepting visitors

Sea turtle center accepting visitors

For the first time in nearly three months, a group of visitors entered the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center Tuesday to learn about marine ecosystems. The center closed to visitors back in March due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Center Executive Director Jenn Polus said they are ready to bring in visitors […]

Vacation rentals expand to parts of Louisiana, other states

Vacation rentals expand to parts of Louisiana, other states

Vacation rentals in Santa Rosa County expanded to include parts of Louisiana and other states with higher rates of COVID-19 infection. Quarantine orders for Louisiana visitors have been lifted. State officials cleared the county’s modified plan June 4, allowing rentals to be screened county-by-county rather than statewide. Any county or parish with more than 1,000 […]

Local teen artist creates winning book cover

Local teen artist creates winning book cover

The cliché goes “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but good cover art can make or break a book’s chances of success. Local Kyla Brichetto, 16, demonstrated the impact of a good cover this May after making it to the final round of the All Author’s monthly cover contest. She placed fourth in the […]

Stolen wildlife rescue truck recovered

Stolen wildlife rescue truck recovered

Rescuing marine mammals in Florida’s panhandle got harder, but relief is on the way. The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge’s Marine Mammal Stranding Response Team’s truck was stolen around midnight May 27, leaving the team in a lurch. It has since been recovered by Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. According to refuge executive director Carol “Stormy” Andersen […]

BREAKING: Bars, pubs, movie theaters to re-open Friday

BREAKING: Bars, pubs, movie theaters to re-open Friday

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that bars, pubs and movie theaters will re-open at 50% capacity starting Friday.  He said this is the start of Phase II of the ‘Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step’ plan to re-open after COVID-19 induced statewide closures. The governor made the announcement during a press conference in Orlando at Universal Studios, which […]

The Boulevard plans get thumbs up

The Boulevard plans get thumbs up

The Boulevard, a 34-acre entertainment district planned for the heart of Navarre, has had its fair share of speed bumps. Most recently, COVID-19 government closures put the brakes on the project for nearly three months. The owners of the property were seeking a conditional use approval to allow high end apartment buildings to be included, […]

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