Stabbing investigation complete, still no arrests

Stabbing investigation complete, still no arrests

More than a month after the stabbing occurred, the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit has completed it’s investigation into the death of 19 year old Daniel Jebadiah Bubanas. Yet officers have still yet to name a culprit, and no arrests have been made. Bubanas was stabbed during a night of partying at a popular […]

Teacher of the Year announced

Teacher of the Year announced

East Milton Elementary kindergarten teacher Kristen White was announced Friday as the Santa Rosa Teacher of the Year 2018 during a surprise visit to her classroom. White is a graduate of the University of West Florida and has taught kindergarten, STEAM Lab (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and Reading Intervention during her 11 years […]

Santa Rosa’s only family homeless shelter gives hope

Santa Rosa’s only family homeless shelter gives hope

For Santa Rosa families struggling with the daily necessities such as food and shelter, there is only one homeless shelter in the whole county, Family Promise. Milton- based Family Promise provides several individual houses for families to stay in at little to no cost. The group is an outpost of a larger national effort to […]

Beachfront Springhill Suites nears completion

Beachfront Springhill Suites nears completion

Finishing touches are underway at the Springhill Suites by Marriott on Navarre Beach as construction winds to a close. Ben Harris is the project manager with Alabama-based general contractor Stewart Contracting Company, Inc. Harris said though it still does not look like much from the outside, the next two weeks will bring quite the transformation. […]

WeatherSTEM brings real world data to the classroom

WeatherSTEM brings real world data to the classroom

For students of Santa Rosa County, complex weather data are at their fingertips thanks to four WeatherSTEM units posted at schools in the south end of the county. Though these poles sticking out of the dirt covered in electronics might not seem interesting, they are bursting with information on temperature, wind, barometric pressure, rainfall, lightning […]

Microplastics: Hidden source of beach pollution

Microplastics: Hidden source of beach pollution

Residents of Navarre and Gulf Breeze have been dumping pounds of plastic into the Gulf of Mexico for years without knowing it. Every time they go through their morning routine there is plastic slipping down the drain in the form of microbeads. These tiny balls of polyethylene are used as exfoliators and found in everyday […]

Six Santa Rosa schools receive Five Star Award

Six Santa Rosa schools receive Five Star Award

Six Santa Rosa County schools were received the Five Star School Award this year from the Florida Department of Education. The award focuses on community involvement through business partnerships, volunteerism, family involvement, student community service and school advisory councils. To receive a five star ranking the school must meet 100 percent of the criteria and […]

Florida’s minimum wage on the rise again

Florida’s minimum wage on the rise again

Florida’s minimum wage went up to $8.10 an hour and $5.08 an hour for tipped employees as of Jan. 1. While not the $15 wage some groups have petitioned for, the increase brings the state 85 cents above the federal minimum wage. Florida is among 29 states and the District of Columbia that have a […]

Stronger IRS security to delay millions of tax returns

Stronger IRS security to delay millions of tax returns

New Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations could delay tax returns to millions of middle- and low-income tax payers until at least mid-February regardless of early filing. Last year, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. The law which went into effect Jan. 1 requires any tax return filed claiming Earned Income Tax Credit […]

County’s homeless population hiding in plain sight

County’s homeless population hiding in plain sight

Santa Rosa County has a homeless problem. They may not be asking for change on every street corner or sleeping on benches in every public park, but there is a problem. The problem is they are invisible. That is how Escarosa Coalition on the Homeless marketing director Serene Keiek describes it. The coalition provides support […]

Cost of deputy raises $1.8 million

Cost of deputy raises $1.8 million

On Jan. 23, Santa Rosa’s new sheriff Bob Johnson will go before the board to ask for nearly $1.8 million in raises for his deputies trying to fulfill the promise he made to his officers at his swearing in ceremony. The reasoning Johnson says is the stark difference in pay between Santa Rosa and other […]

First Tee teaches life lessons one golfer at a time

First Tee teaches life lessons one golfer at a time

For Golf Instructor Luticia Boozer, golf is more than a sport. Golf is the vehicle through which life lessons are learned and futures are built. Golf is an opportunity to shape young minds and build up the community. That is her mission as an instructor with First Tee of Northwest Florida, a junior golf instruction […]

Snowbirds flock to Navarre Beach

Snowbirds flock to Navarre Beach

Though the nesting birds have long since left Navarre’s shores, a new flock of featherless birds have begun to arrive. It’s snowbird season. “Snowbird” is the affectionate term for seniors that travel to beaches along the Gulf Coast during the winter months. T.J. Goulet of the Navarre Beach Snowbirds Club said these visitors come from […]

ICU nurse fights off infection, set to start rehab care

ICU nurse fights off infection, set to start rehab care

The future looks promising for a Sacred Heart Hospital intensive care nurse turned patient as she recovers from a life-threatening infection. Navarre resident Christa Gibson could be checking out of the same floor she once treated patients on and be checking into rehabilitation therapy as her strength continues to build. Gibson, 36, is mother to […]

Nominees for sales tax oversight committee named

Nominees for sales tax oversight committee named

Collection of a half penny sales tax is underway and county commissioners made their final recommendations Monday for the Infrastructure Surtax Committee, a citizen oversight group. The tax, passed by Santa Rosa voters, is expected to net roughly $35 million over its five year lifetime. These dollars are limited to infrastructure uses including transportation and […]

Mardi Gras season lets the good times roll

Mardi Gras season lets the good times roll

As the Navarre Krewe of Jesters crowns their 2017 royalty and big box stores begin to carry bead necklaces and king cakes, it can only mean one thing; Mardi Gras season is here. Mardi Gras, also known as fat Tuesday, is historically a time for plenty and parties. For New Orleans, arguably the Mardi Gras […]

Tourism Development Office wants more staff

Tourism Development Office wants more staff

After three months of research and a roughly $14,000 tab, a strategic plan presented to and approved by the Tourism Development Committee board Friday would request additional tourism staff be placed on the county’s payroll. Plan creator Bill Geist of Zeitgeist DMOproz said the focus of the plan is to make the TDC a “trusted […]

Teen cough syrup abuse leads to new regulations

Teen cough syrup abuse leads to new regulations

As 2016 said farewell, states across the country said hello to new regulations and laws. Florida was no exception. One important law that hit the books at the first of the year is SB 938 which prohibits the sale of certain cough medicines to minors. This piece of legislation makes it a civil violation for […]

Santa Rosa offers free adult high school program

Santa Rosa offers free adult high school program

For Santa Rosa County residents looking to complete their high school diploma the county library system offers a free solution that can be completed in under a year. Career High School Online is an accredited online classroom through Cengage company designed to allow adults to complete their diploma without having to repeat courses they have […]

ARC of Santa Rosa loses facilities

ARC of Santa Rosa loses facilities

The final nail in the coffin was delivered to Santa Rosa’s only adult day training program for exceptional adults Tuesday morning after a court ruling gave their facilities to the state. Circuit Judge John F. Simon ruled to allow the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to repossess the now defunct Arc of Santa […]

Navarre in need of more child care providers

Navarre in need of more child care providers

Statistics show that a fast-growing Navarre has fewer child care providers per child than the rest of Santa Rosa County. Nearly 40 percent of Santa Rosa’s minors, roughly 15,000, hail from Navarre according to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and Neilson Company analytics. Though some of these minors are old enough to take […]

Holley-Navarre Water updates election protocol

Holley-Navarre Water updates election protocol

The election of two members to the Holley-Navarre Water System (HNWS) board of directors will be held Jan. 17, and the rules regarding how to vote have changed. The 2015 and 2016 elections led to accusations of candidates and even HNWS employees manipulating proxies. The addition of absentee ballots and PIN numbers is the utility’s […]

Santa Rosa’s only exceptional adult training center set to shut doors

Santa Rosa’s only exceptional adult training center set to shut doors

A decision by the Santa Rosa County Circuit Court that could doom the efforts of ARC of the Emerald Coast to support adults with special needs in Santa Rosa County has been pushed back to Jan. 6. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has moved to seize the building and vehicles owned by […]

Candidates for Holley Navarre Water board talk rates, transparency

Candidates for Holley Navarre Water board talk rates, transparency

Holley Navarre Water System will hold an election for two of the seven seats on its board of directors Jan. 17. Four candidates have thrown their hat into the ring for the election: incumbent Brian Kelly, Ricki DeSantis, Shane Kahl and George “Geo” Mayer. Candidates must be an HNWS member, reside within the franchise area, […]

Plunges net thousands for local charities

Plunges net thousands for local charities

Historically, new year’s day plunges take place in frigid waters and cold temperatures making it a challenge to complete. But when you live in Florida, it isn’t such a challenge, especially this winter. With temperatures in the 70s, weather conditions were favorable as hundreds of locals and visitors plunged into Navarre Beach’s waters new year’s […]

Emerald Coast Kite Flyers spread joy of flying

Emerald Coast Kite Flyers spread joy of flying

American kites have come a long way from diamond-shaped children’s toys. Kite flying has become a nationwide, thousand dollar hobby for many as kites continue to be built bigger, stronger and more beautifully. Getting more people engaged in that hobby is the mission of the Emerald Coast Kite Flyers Club. Read the full article in […]

High schoolers prep for tests to determine college future

High schoolers prep for tests to determine college future

As the second half of the school year looms on the horizon, many high school juniors are gearing up for college preparation while seniors finalize their plans for post-graduation. For many students, part of that planning involves taking the ACT or SAT. Most universities and colleges require a score on at least one of these […]

Visit Florida scrutinized for clandestine contracts

Visit Florida scrutinized for clandestine contracts

Florida’s contracted tourism agency Visit Florida came under fire just months before the legislature would meet to decide whether to approve a $76 million budget for the organization. The criticism has resulted in the resignation of the company’s President and CEO Will Seccombe. The drama centered on a supposedly privileged $1 million contract between Visit […]

Getting medical marijuana no easy task

Getting medical marijuana no easy task

After more than 70 percent of Florida’s voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution broadening allowable use of medical marijuana, law makers at the state and local level were scrambling to put regulations in place and sort out fact from fiction as Amendment 2 went into effect Jan. 3. As the Florida Senate Health […]

Johnson swears in as new county sheriff

Johnson swears in as new county sheriff

For the first time in 16 years there is a new sheriff in town, or at least in Santa Rosa County. At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Bob Johnson officially took the reins from long time sheriff Wendell Hall who retired. During his official swearing-in ceremony later that day, Johnson said he was lying awake all night […]