County weighs company for reef expansion project

County weighs company for reef expansion project

Expansion of Navarre Beach’s two artificial reefs could be a step closer if the Board of County Commissioners votes Thursday to select Taylor Engineering to guide the project toward completion. Paid for in part by a Deepwater Horizon Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) grant, the reef expansion would add 60 modules to the existing snorkel […]

Shaver says preaching takes all kinds

Shaver says preaching takes all kinds

Earning a Master of Divinity and become an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church can take 10 years of study, work, paper writing and scrutiny. St. Paul United Methodist Church Pastor Christina Shaver says it was worth every minute to fulfill a calling from God. Shaver is the only female Methodist pastor in this […]

Free health care clinic serves hundreds of residents

Free health care clinic serves hundreds of residents

While temperatures fell low enough to open cold weather shelters, residents in and around Santa Rosa County bundled up to wait outside Milton High School Friday night and into the wee hours of Saturday morning. They were in line to get one of 628 tickets passed out during a Gulf Coast Remote Area Medical (RAM) […]

Strumeyer sets sights on assisting all students

Strumeyer sets sights on assisting all students

For Teacher of the Year Jeff Strumeyer, Holley-Navarre Middle School (HNMS) is home. In the 18 years he has been teaching, the majority has been spent educating the minds of HNMS. “It’s just one big family. It’s a big community,” he said. “The administration is totally 100 percent whatever you need, they are there for […]

Education Foundation awards teachers $68,000 in grants

Education Foundation awards teachers $68,000 in grants

Of the 68 Santa Rosa teachers who received $1,000 grants from the Santa Rosa Education Foundation, 26 hail from schools in Navarre and Gulf Breeze. The grants are awarded each year to help teachers implement ideas in the areas of Artistic Literacy, Literacy, Career/Technical Education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education with the […]

National Traffic Safety Board pushes for partial autonomy in vehicles

National Traffic Safety Board pushes for partial autonomy in vehicles

Public opinion of fully self-driving cars, known as autonomous vehicles, is varied, but the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) would like to put at least partial autonomy in all new vehicles on the road. The NTSB released its 2017-2018 Most Wanted List of safety features in transportation and topping the list was requiring collision avoidance […]

Meth, heroin the drug of choice for Santa Rosa

Meth, heroin the drug of choice for Santa Rosa

In Santa Rosa County, the flavor of the month is crystal methamphetamine. Narcotics officers here face an ever-changing industry of illegally trafficked drugs; shifting preferences by the addicts who use it; and a litany of other crimes all revolving around those controlled substances. The Dec. 8 issue of Navarre Press has a compilation of articles […]

ICU nurse remains in intensive care

ICU nurse remains in intensive care

After spending years saving the lives of others – and just days after giving birth to her second daughter – a Navarre nurse ended up fighting for her life at the same hospital where she works. Christa Gibson, 36, is mother to two girls, two-year-old Jessie Blu and 22-day-old Jessie Belle. She is battling a […]

Reef camera install underway despite rough seas

Reef camera install underway despite rough seas

After three years of waiting, the Gulf of Mexico’s only underwater live feed camera is being installed this week at Navarre Beach’s artificial snorkel reef. The 360-degree camera created by View into the Blue (VITB) is part of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station’s (NBMSS) expansion, the interpretive center Gulf Coast Discovery Center. The reef […]

Sunday benefit to help ill beach firefighter

Sunday benefit to help ill beach firefighter

Navarre Beach firefighter Chris Jines, 42, was hospitalized earlier this month with a serious brain infection likely contracted while responding to a cardiac arrest. To help pay for his medical bills and to help keep him, his wife and two young children afloat, the Navarre Beach Fire Department will be hosting a fundraising benefit Sunday […]

Florida growth projections hazardous for land, water use

Florida growth projections hazardous for land, water use

A recent report by state agencies paints a disconcerting picture of the future land and water use in Florida by the year 2070. Created by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 1000 Friends of Florida, and University of Florida GeoPlan Center “Florida 2070” and “Water 2070” indicates that current population growth trends in the […]

Farm to City feeds 800 families for Thanksgiving

Farm to City feeds 800 families for Thanksgiving

As part of National Farm to City week, Nov. 18-24, the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Service partnered with Feeding the Gulf Coast and other area organizations to provide a complete holiday meal to 800 food insecure families in Santa Rosa and Escambia county Tuesday, Nov. 22. The event distributed roughly 52,400 pounds of food to […]

Beachfront church defies cool weather

Beachfront church defies cool weather

Despite colder temperatures, members of the self-proclaimed “church without walls” bundled up and came out to sing worship songs, pray and hear sermon in the parking lot of Navarre Beach Pier Sunday, Nov. 27. Navarre Beachside Church is celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, and for all 22 of those years Pastor John Kern has […]

Flight to freedom: Rehabilitated pelicans form new forever flock

Flight to freedom: Rehabilitated pelicans form new forever flock

As the sun set over a silent stretch of East Bay in Holley, three juvenile pelicans took flight toward freedom for the first time in months Wednesday, Nov. 16, during a hard release by the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. The trio came to the refuge roughly two months ago, each in a less than healthy […]

Landfill tipping fees going up in January

Landfill tipping fees going up in January

An annual increase in Class I and Class III Tipping Fees at the Central Landfill is being moved ahead by one quarter. Rather than an April increase, garbage collection companies will see an increase in January. The Board of County Commissioners approved moving the date to January. Previously the fees were scheduled to go up […]

Crop Drop feeds body and soul

Crop Drop feeds body and soul

Volunteers with Navarre First Assembly of God handed out more than 28,000 pounds of produce and 35 turkeys with all the fixings Monday, Nov. 20, during the church’s seventh annual Crop Drop. People from all walks of life, poor or rich, unemployed or gainfully employed, were invited to take grocery bags loaded down with farm […]

Local hotel GM gains national recognition

Local hotel GM gains national recognition

General Manager for Hampton Inn and Suites of Navarre Andy Peterson received national recognition in the November issue of Hotel Management Magazine as one of its “33 GMs to Watch.” Hotel Management Magazine is recognized as a national leading publication for the hotel industry, and their annual “GMs to Watch” list pulls together 33 of […]

Wolfe leads her pack to learning success

Wolfe leads her pack to learning success

For teacher Debbie Wolfe, success is defined by whether her students, affectionately referred to as Wolfe’s wolf pups, believe in themselves. She said for her, it is all about making them feel their worth. “If the kids believe in themselves, then it is a successful day for me,” she said. “It’s all about how they […]

Car burglaries up in Navarre

Car burglaries up in Navarre

Several cars were burglarized in the past week in the Navarre area, according to Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Rich Aloy. Five vehicles were involved in the crimes, in the neighborhood behind Publix at Shoppes of Navarre, and in the Days Inn Area and Ortega St. Aloy said this represents a slight increase. Additional thefts […]

Woman in hospital after Thanksgiving fire

Woman in hospital after Thanksgiving fire

One woman and two Santa Rosa Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation Thursday night, Nov. 24, after a fire engulfed a home on Hidden Estates Circle in Navarre. According to a press release from the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, deputies James Moye and Joshua Hargitt responded at approximately 11:30 p.m. to […]

Finally, 3 siblings find their forever home

Finally, 3 siblings find their forever home

A local family became whole Friday, Nov. 18. Dawn and Paul, parents to Lance, 14, Landyn, 10 and Lukus, 7, became parents of six as they finalized the adoption of 7-year-old Natalye, 3-year-old Carter and 2-year-old Gabrielle. For the family, it was a momentous occasion and the culmination of roughly five years of waiting and […]

County seeks builder for beach right-turn lane

County seeks builder for beach right-turn lane

The design phase is complete and bids are now being accepted for a dedicated right-turn lane on southbound Navarre Causeway onto Gulf Boulevard on Navarre Beach. The hope is that this turn lane will reduce traffic backup that frequently occurs at the intersection during the tourist season, especially on holiday weekends County Engineer Roger Blaylock […]

First responders demonstrate rescue skills

First responders demonstrate rescue skills

Santa Rosa County first responders participated in a mock response to a three-car accident Thursday, Nov. 17, on Avalon Boulevard to show off techniques to the Leadership Santa Rosa Class 30 and other members of the public during their annual Mock Catastrophic Vehicle Accident (MVA). Read the full article in the Nov. 24 issue of […]

Hinote steps into Santa Rosa County District 2 school board

Hinote steps into Santa Rosa County District 2 school board

Newly appointed District 2 School Board Member Buddy Hinote took the oath of office Thursday, Nov. 17, in front of a crowd of students, school personnel, family and community members. He steps into a seat that has been held by the same man since 1992, previous member Hugh Winkles. Earlier in the day, the board […]

Property appraiser’s innovative approach returns thousands to county

Property appraiser’s innovative approach returns thousands to county

The Property Appraiser’s Office handed back a check for more than $231,000 to Santa Rosa County Tuesday, Nov. 7, after it came in under its allotted budget for 2015-16. The amount of taxpayer dollars that were not spent by the appraiser’s office accounts for roughly 12 percent of the office’s overall budget Chief Deputy Bubba […]

U.S. court halts overtime rule change

U.S. court halts overtime rule change

A ruling by the U.S. District Courts put the brakes on changes to overtime pay laws Tuesday, Nov. 22, that would have gone into effect Dec. 1 after 21 states and other business groups filed suit against the change. Currently, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are required to pay time and a half […]

School Board moves to extend life of half-cent tax

School Board moves to extend life of half-cent tax

A third of the Santa Rosa School District’s capital outlay budget will be on the line March 28, 2017, with a special election to decide if a half-cent capital outlay sales tax will continue in the county. The tax, which brings in an estimated $7.5 million a year, has been in place since 1998. “This […]

Potential county park fees in limbo

Potential county park fees in limbo

Decisions by the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners on the fees charged for use of county parks and recreational facilities have been postponed to the second set of meetings in January due to concerns of how these fees would affect Navarre community events. Proposed fees for Navarre Park and Navarre Beach would cost […]

Shoreline setback could shorten for Santa Rosa

Shoreline setback could shorten for Santa Rosa

Discussion of shoreline setback regulations for Santa Rosa County by the Zoning Board Thursday, Nov. 10 may result in changes to the law regarding the 50-foot regulation to limit just how far construction can encroach toward the water. Data provided by the planning and development office showed that the board generally approves most requests. Between […]

Tourists and locals alike responsible for beach litter

Tourists and locals alike responsible for beach litter

Approximately 2,000 pounds of garbage were collected off Navarre Beach this year by volunteers each month, and despite tourist season coming to an end the garbage bag loads keep coming. Those collecting that garbage and reporting the numbers are the volunteers behind the monthly Trash Bash, a spinoff of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation […]