Gulf Breeze students STEAM through after school

Gulf Breeze students STEAM through after school

Gulf Breeze Middle School students end their school day at 1:35 p.m. leaving a significant gap between the time students are free and the time most parents finish their work shift. This caused a bit of a problem for the compact community said Gulf Breeze Parks and Recreation Director Ron Pulley. “Basically the middle schoolers […]

Songwriters Beach Blast brings songs, stories

Songwriters Beach Blast brings songs, stories

The weekend was melodic at Juana’s Pagodas as 19 music acts took to the stage for the second annual Songwriters Beach Blast. Event organizer Daniele Hall said there were a variety of genres performed including Blues, folk, jazz, pop country, classic country and folk country by artist from all over. “Some are local, but the […]

Students dive into lionfish research

Students dive into lionfish research

Navarre and Gulf Breeze students cut into more than 100 lionfish last week as part of a large dissection research project. The students of Navarre High School, Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, Gulf Breeze High School and others in Escambia County were partnering with the University of West Florida Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation […]

Weekend Food Program keeps on growing

Weekend Food Program keeps on growing

Hundreds of students throughout Navarre qualify for free or reduced-price meals through the school district due to family financial need. The school provides them with breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, but on the weekend they could be facing an empty belly. But starting this week, these students need not fear as they discovered bags […]

Williamson reveals some of $7 million park funding plan

Williamson reveals some of $7 million park funding plan

Any way you slice it, $7 million is a large sum of money. Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman and District 4 representative Rob Williamson acknowledged that, but he said he would like to see that amount allocated to the future of Navarre Park and the Panhandle Butterfly House. The project details were outlined in the […]

School support staff election goes to runoff

School support staff election goes to runoff

Postelection, it remains unclear as to who will be the representative union for the hundreds of educational support staff members of Santa Rosa County School District. Just four votes separated challenger Santa Rosa Education Association (SREA) from the current union, Santa Rosa Professional Educators (SRPE). SREA garnered 115, and SRPE got 111. That was not […]

Two new housing developments planned

Two new housing developments planned

Proposed rezoning requests at last week’s county Zoning Board meeting revealed two more subdivisions planned for the Navarre area. The first is located on Bob Tolbert Road off U.S. Highway 98 down the street behind Holley Hills Pottery. The property is owned by Jimmy Tolbert. While a potential site plan was not included with the […]

Beaches to Woodlands returns early this year

Beaches to Woodlands returns early this year

Labor Day weekend marks the end of the traditional tourism peak season, and that can mean months of fewer visitors and lower profits known as the shoulder season. Bed tax collections, the money paid to the county by visitors for temporary lodging, tend to be lower. Despite July posting 32 percent bed tax growth, many […]

County moves to end lease on dilapidated beach house

County moves to end lease on dilapidated beach house

Santa Rosa County has filed to terminate the lease on a property on Navarre Beach that has been vacant and in disrepair for more than a decade. The brick house located at 7315 Gulf Blvd. was damaged in 2004 and 2005 by Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis. It is leased by Gary and Staci Turner, the […]

Rios rolls up sleeves to squash big tobacco

Rios rolls up sleeves to squash big tobacco

A collection of grade schoolers against a multibillion-dollar national industry: Navarre High School senior Catalina Rios likes those odds. She will be taking on “big tobacco” in the coming school year as one of four representatives of the Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Youth Advocacy Board Region 1. Rios was elected to the board by […]

HNMS students score perfection

HNMS students score perfection

Each year middle school students take Florida Standards Assessment exams to determine their knowledge of course material in subjects such as language arts, science and civics. The results are in, and four Holley Navarre Middle School students scored perfect on FSA subject area tests. The perfect scores were Katlynn Johnson in science, Gerald Cult in […]

Local foster youth takes advocacy statewide

Local foster youth takes advocacy statewide

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade or become the chair of a statewide foster youth advocacy organization. Santa Rosa County resident Chelsea Bramblett took that approach to life. Now 22-years-old, Bramblett entered the foster care system at an early age, and there she discovered many issues. The system failed to […]

Commissioners choose pier shortlist

Commissioners choose pier shortlist

County commissioners selected the shortlist of candidates to run and remodel the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier Thursday during their regular meeting. The county started seeking a new operator to “build up” the pier several months ago in preparation for the end of the current operators contract. The commissioners indicated they would like to see a […]

The man who saved the world, the student who told his story

The man who saved the world, the student who told his story

Though it was the height of the Cold War, it was unbearably hot. Inside a Soviet submarine lurking in the depths of the Caribbean Sea in October 1962, the air conditioning had stopped working and the temperature was more than 120 degrees, said 14-year-old history buff and Gulf Breeze Middle School graduate Max Mateer. He […]

International Coastal Cleanup coming to Navarre

International Coastal Cleanup coming to Navarre

Around the world and on Navarre Beach thousands of volunteers will be picking up trash Sept. 16 as part of the 31st annual International Coastal Cleanup. International Coastal Cleanup is a program of the Ocean Conservancy. Each year the group coordinates with agencies and citizens in countries across the globe to clean up coastal waterways […]

Navarre Master Site plan set to begin

Navarre Master Site plan set to begin

County Commissioners Monday selected the firm that will shape Navarre’s future or at least the plan for it. Matrix Design Group was selected by a three to two vote to create a District 4 Master Plan. District 4 includes Navarre, Holley and Navarre Beach. The firm will be paid approximately $80,000 to $150,000 for the […]

Hotels crammed with Irma evacuees over weekend

Hotels crammed with Irma evacuees over weekend

In the afternoon hours of Sept. 6, uncertain projection models for the future of then category 5 Hurricane Irma began to shift north putting the peninsula of Florida in the direct line of fire. The entire state had been preparing for catastrophe, from the eastern tip of Escambia County to the southernmost Keys. News reports […]

Vandal tags home, car with hate

Vandal tags home, car with hate

“Kill yourself.” Those harsh words in big, black spray painted letters greeted the neighbors along Bahama Street Monday morning in Holley by the Sea. It was sprayed across the garage door of the home of Dylan Bruce, 19. His car parked in the driveway was worse off with white spray painted profanities on all sides. […]

Teachers’ union not settling for salary decision

Teachers’ union not settling for salary decision

Weeks after the Santa Rosa County School Board sided with Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick over the teachers’ union in salary negotiations, some teachers and union leaders are not dropping the issue. They appeared before the school board to make arguments during a public forum Sept. 7. In mid-August the school board voted unanimously to offer the […]

Mutual aid agreements crucial for area fire districts

Mutual aid agreements crucial for area fire districts

When flames peeked out from a dryer in a home in Midway Aug. 31, the resident’s teenaged occupant called 911. She was home alone. Within 60 seconds the dispatcher on the other end of the line had told her to evacuate and released a call to firefighters for help. Over the radio system all Midway […]

Turtle hatching season nears record success

Turtle hatching season nears record success

Despite less than perfect odds, Navarre Beach is having a nearly record-setting sea turtle nesting and hatching season as hundreds of hatchlings have escaped to the Gulf of Mexico. There have been 19 sea turtle nests on Navarre Beach this year. The record is 20, said turtle patroller Cinnamon Holderman. Two of those nests were […]

Blackwater River will offer time travel

Blackwater River will offer time travel

Kayakers drifting down Blackwater River will soon be able to time travel, not with flashy science fiction machines but with their smartphones. From prehistoric yellow pine forests to a prospering industrial mill to Civil War devastation, the Blackwater Maritime Heritage Trail will allow visitors to access information and images of the history and ecology of […]

Dive reef design revealed

Dive reef design revealed

Images of what a new artificial dive reef off the Navarre Beach pier will look like are coming into focus after Taylor Engineering presented the preliminary design to Santa Rosa County officials. Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary President Mike Sandler, along with the Navarre Beach Area Chamber Foundation, has helped to spearhead the project, which will […]

Happy 126th Billory Baptist

Happy 126th Billory Baptist

Before Holley was Holley, Rev. J. E. Holley, the area’s name sake, gathered together a group in the area to worship in 1891. As the story goes, 29 people were saved that day and a church was born. Through 23 U.S. presidents and seven U.S. wars Billory Baptist Church, or Billowery as it was known […]

Navarre offers help to Harvey victims

Navarre offers help to Harvey victims

Hurricane Harvey dumped an estimated 50-plus inches of rain in and around Houston since making landfall in Texas Aug. 25, causing catastrophic flooding and forcing thousands of residents into shelters. Relief and rescue efforts are underway and many people across the country have begun making donations for the areas impacted. Locally, organizations such as the […]

Navigator Communities build character

Navigator Communities build character

Five big black balloons floated in the fingers of West Navarre Intermediate School teachers as hundreds of new third-graders gathered and waited. Each one had been handed a number, one through five, corresponding to the nondescript balloons. This day would define them for the next three years. The first balloon was burst, and colorful confetti […]

New subdivision underway near planned school site

New subdivision underway near planned school site

A new subdivision has broken ground on the western edge of Holley by the Sea, nearly abutting a planned school site. Construction is underway on Heather’s Place, which will have approximately 157 homes, said Mark Bonifay of Santa Rosa County Engineering. The developer, Henry Company Homes, purchased 309 acres in May on the west side […]

UWF entrepreneur program welcomes new director

UWF entrepreneur program welcomes new director

When University of West Florida students have an idea for a new business or product, the Center for Entrepreneurship has resources ready to help them succeed. The new director of the center, Ed Ranelli, said the university is relaunching the program, which began in 2015, making it bigger and better than before. He said entrepreneurship […]

New teacher dives in at science station

New teacher dives in at science station

As schools across Santa Rosa County begin planning their field trips to the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station (NBMSS), a new teacher has jumped on board to help connect these children to the marine world. Biology teacher Sara Taylor has always loved the ocean, even if she has not always been near it she said. […]

SADD and MADD want your shoes

SADD and MADD want your shoes

Whether the sneakers are too small, too big, too dirty or too stinky, Navarre High School SADD wants those shoes to help those impacted by drunken driving. SADD stands for Students Against Destructive Decisions. This national organization has chapters at middle schools, high schools and colleges across the country all working to provide peer-to-peer education […]

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