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Author: Ken Garner

FWC unlikely to authorize bear hunt before 2025

Don’t expect the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to approve bear hunts in the Western Panhandle anytime soon.

David Telesco, FWC Bear Management Program coordinator, said the commission’s 2019 Bear Management Plan did conclude that hunting is “an important tool that can be used to manage the bear population.”

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School board navigates busing changes

The Santa Rosa County School District announced in June that students could have to walk farther to catch the bus beginning this fall.

Last week, it mailed almost 18,000 postcards telling parents the district’s transportation plans for their children.

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Commissioners frustrated by booming bear population

The problem is becoming…unbearable.

“I’m quite tired of hearing FWC tell you as a citizen or me as a citizen that you’ve got to rattle pans, or put up fences, or put your garbage out after a certain time or pay for an expensive bear can” to keep Florida black bears from snooping around people’s homes, Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Bob Cole said Monday.

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County prepares to move into new courthouse

Santa Rosa County will move the Florida First Judicial Circuit Court into a $42-million new facility this summer, but it hasn’t decided what the future holds for the 95-year-old downtown Milton courthouse.

“My preference would be to sell it to the public and hope they can do something useful with it,” Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Bob Cole said last week.

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Board nixes higher density for waterfront development

A developer wants more potential commercial space on a 23-acre parcel between U.S. Highway 98 and Santa Rosa Sound in Navarre without giving up home sites.

“The question for me is, in order to accommodate two more acres of (highway commercial district use), do we go forward with this?” Santa Rosa County Zoning Board member Ed Carson asked at the board’s July 14 meeting.

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School district expects to spend $600 million to improve facilities by 2027

In the classic baseball movie “Field of Dreams,” a voice in the corn famously told Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella “If you build it, he will come.”

Joey Harrell, the Santa Rosa County School District’s assistant superintendent of administrative services, said at a workshop last month that Florida schools are guided by the opposite edict when planning any expansion: “When they come, we can build it.”

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