Leave fireworks to professionals

Leave fireworks to professionals

Families across the state will shoot off fireworks and light up roman candles in celebration of the birth of our nation this weekend. And they will break the law. Sgt. Rich Alloy, public information officer for the Santa Rosa County Sherriff’s Office said the state law is relatively limiting in what is and is not […]

One way or another, courthouse paid by tax payers

One way or another, courthouse paid by tax payers

Funding for county infrastructure needs and a new county courthouse will be decided by voters this August as the two separate half cent local option sales taxes (LOST) have been finalized for the primary ballot by the Board of County Commissioners. If approved by voters, both of these taxes would add half a cent each […]

Free book program opens doors for inmates

Free book program opens doors for inmates

Entering into Open Books second-hand bookstore is a risk Wednesday nights, when volunteers swarm for the weekly book packing. The converted single family home on 1040 N Guillemard St. houses more than just second-hand Shakespeare at a discounted price. It offers a chance for personal growth for Florida inmates by providing them with free books […]

Beach renourishment completed under budget

Beach renourishment completed under budget

Dredging and grading for the Navarre Beach renourishment project came to a close Sunday, June 19, at $1.8 million under the expected price. The last of the estimated 1.3 million-cubic yards of sand dredged from the Gulf was piped to the fourth and final segment of the shoreline. Dredging began back in March. “We are […]

Take a walk through history at Bagdad Mill Site Park

Take a walk through history at Bagdad Mill Site Park

The Bagdad Mill Site Park, a grassy space on the bank of Blackwater River and Pond Creek, has been named a Florida Heritage Site, an honor awarded to only six locations in Santa Rosa County. A large, black plaque describing the birth of this lumber mill community and its significance during the Civil War stands […]

Rescues on the rise, again

Rescues on the rise, again

Navarre Beach lifeguards have added two new guards after a record 94 rescues last year in anticipation of another high-traffic beach season. This season has already seen 52 water rescues between March 1 and June 9. To put that in perspective, the season totals for 2012-2014 average less than 44 rescues between March 1 and […]

Foster youth get a helping hand

Foster youth get a helping hand

Many 17-year-olds ‘aging out’ of the foster care system face uncertainty. Some of these young adults are still finishing high school. Most lack a family support system to fall back on. “On their 18th birthday, they would just age out of the system,” Young Adult Services Team Manager Melody Kohr said. “They would be solely […]

County gives go ahead for new private-school campus

County gives go ahead for new private-school campus

A rezoning to allow a private school to be built in Navarre was passed to roaring applause at the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners’ rezoning meeting May 26. The school to be built on East Bay Boulevard is a relocation of the Christian private school Gulf Pointe Academy. The new location will combine […]

Middle schools get an upgrade

Middle schools get an upgrade

Middle-school students will be returning to updated kitchens and cafeterias this August thanks to a roughly $1 million renovation at Holley-Navarre and Gulf Breeze middle schools. The updates include new equipment, floors, ceilings, paint and LED lighting as well as an expansion of space. Holley-Navarre Middle School Assistant Principal Robert Trigg said feeding the schools […]

Workers’ comp rates take another hit

Workers’ comp rates take another hit

The Florida Supreme Court has struck down yet another pillar of workers’ compensation law, threatening to drive business costs even higher to an estimated 20 percent according to the National Federation of Independent Business in Florida (NFIB). The ruling in Westphal v City of St. Petersburg states the current two year cap on temporary disability […]

County eyes Panama City pier restroom as model

County eyes Panama City pier restroom as model

The Panama City Beach restrooms on Bay County’s pier that could be a model for future facilities at Navarre Beach’s promenade feature self-contained toilets and sinks at a cost of about $25,000. Santa Rosa County commissioners have directed staffers to explore options for installing restrooms at the Navarre Beach pier and mentioned Panama City’s facilities […]

World Giraffe Day

World Giraffe Day

Children visiting the Gulf Breeze Zoo fed treats to the zoo’s three giraffes in honor of World Giraffe Day, June 21. Zoo curator Katy Rich gave a special giraffe talk describing facts about the animals and raising awareness about dropping reticulated giraffe populations. “We call them quiet giants,” Rich said. “When people can see them […]

Foster Grandparent Program needs Navarre volunteers

Foster Grandparent Program needs Navarre volunteers

The Santa Rosa County School Board renewed its agreement Thursday, June 9 to continue allowing seniors in the Foster Grandparent Program to assist in county school classrooms. The agreement through the Council on Aging of West Florida allows low income seniors, age 55 and up, to volunteer as mentors and assistants in schools, Head Start […]

Emergency responders converge for beach training

Emergency responders converge for beach training

Ambulances, a firetruck, Jet Skis and even a Lifeguard helicopter crowded Navarre Beach Friday morning, June 10, as first responders participated in annual training The training was a joint effort by the Navarre Beach Lifeguards, Santa Rosa County Emergency Management, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Navarre Beach Fire Department. Participating first responders ran […]

Grant money brings big entertainment to Santa Rosa for 2016-17

Grant money brings big entertainment to Santa Rosa for 2016-17

The Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Committee (TDC) approved $61,225 in grants Tuesday, June 7 to fund 18 events such as festivals, 5Ks, concerts, parades and even butterfly tagging in the county. The funds are part of the bed-tax budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal years. Bed taxes are collected on visitors to the county who […]

Middle-schoolers score high on ACT, SAT

Middle-schoolers score high on ACT, SAT

The Santa Rosa County School Board honored 39 seventh-grade students Thursday, June 10, for achieving state recognition in the 2016 Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP). The program invites academically qualified seventh-grade students to take the ACT or SAT college examination. Students that score at or above the national average for recent high-school graduates on […]

Days Inn receives national recognition

Days Inn receives national recognition

A complete renovation paid off for Days Inn and Suites Navarre Conference Center this May when it received the 2015 Days Inn Chairman’s Award of Excellence. This distinction is given by Days Inn Worldwide to hotels within the company based on visitor feedback, inspection scores and staff performance. Read the full article in the June […]

Sea lice reports fail to deter beach visitors

Sea lice reports fail to deter beach visitors

Visitors packed the Navarre Beach Gulf shore last week despite reports of sea lice. The Navarre Beach Lifeguards flew the purple flag to warn bathers of the critters and the rash they can cause. Sea lice are actually not lice at all. They are tiny, pepper-like jellyfish larvae that float in clouds in the Gulf […]

Get to know the Zoning Board

Get to know the Zoning Board

Created in 2011, the Santa Rosa County Zoning Board governs how land is used in Santa Rosa County. Whether building a grocery store in a neighborhood or digging a pit in the backyard, you will likely have to fill out a request with the Zoning Board. The board consists of two members for each district […]

Summer vacation means child-care stress for many parents

Summer vacation means child-care stress for many parents

Primary and intermediate schools in the Navarre area let out June 1, and for many parents with children ages 5-12, this means finding somebody to look after the little ones. This is even more difficult for the 46 percent of families with both parents working full time according to the Pew Research Center in 2015. […]

Eagle Scout leaves legacy at Sea Turtle Center

Eagle Scout leaves legacy at Sea Turtle Center

Eagle Scout Lucas Pallone’s love of sea turtles was sparked as he watched hundreds of little hatchlings make a mad dash for the Gulf one evening when he was 14. Thanks to that spark Pallone has helped the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center by building two educational displays as part of his final project […]

Tropical Storm Colin puts break on beach dredging

Tropical Storm Colin puts break on beach dredging

Dredging for the Navarre Beach nourishment project came to a halt Monday night, June 6 as Tropical Storm Colin caused rough waters out in the Gulf of Mexico. The project’s two dredges had to stop work and seek shelter in Pensacola Bay. On shore, the storm has caused some flooding on the lower beach berm. […]

Median beautification to wrap up by July 4th holiday

Median beautification to wrap up by July 4th holiday

Work to give a 1.6-mile stretch of Navarre Parkway a face-lift is coming to a close this month. The road median beautification project is proceeding on schedule to be completed by the June 30 deadline, just in time for the July 4th weekend. The project is a joint effort by Santa Rosa County and the […]

Court ruling could increase workers’ compensation costs for businesses

Court ruling could increase workers’ compensation costs for businesses

The Florida Chamber of Commerce met with the Workers’ Comp Task Force via webinar Friday, May 27, to discuss legislation to be proposed to the Florida Legislature to prevent a workers’ compensation rate increase. The increase of 17.1 percent recommended by the National Council on Compensation (NCCI) would raise the amount across the state including […]

Community Life Center honors Navarre High Graduates

Community Life Center honors Navarre High Graduates

Navarre High School seniors, their families and mentors filed in Thursday, May 26, for the annual baccalaureate service at Community Life Center. The service included prayers and appreciations from students as well as a short performance by the Navarre High School Concert Chorus. Youth Pastor Clint Jernigan spoke to the graduates, emphasizing that they should […]

Karsyn is a scream

Karsyn is a scream

Most 7-year-olds are looking forward to summer vacation this week, but Karsyn Darby, 7, is looking forward to something much bigger, her TV debut on the MTV series “Scream.” Karsyn got her start in acting after attending the American Talent Show/ Modeling Jam of America convention. The competition offers models, actors and entertainers of all […]

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