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Stories by Ken Garner

Stories by Ken Garner

BoCC picks Pensacola firm to conduct feasibility study for aquatic center

November 15, 2023
The Santa Rosa County Commission last week picked Pensacola-based Baskerville-Donovan, Inc., to study the feasibility of building an aquatic center – or centers.

“This is all part of a process, and we’re on our way” then-Commission Chairman Colten Wright said after commissioners directed staff to begin contract negotiations with BDI.

BoCC selects Parker, Calkins as chairman and vice-chairman for coming year

November 9, 2023
The Santa Rosa County Commission unanimously approved the appointment of Sam Parker and James Calkins as chairman and vice chairman at its meeting Monday, Nov. 6.

Commissioner Colten Wright, the outgoing chairman, resumed the tradition of passing the gavel to the vice chairman; a year ago, Parker prevented Calkins – then the vice chairman – from his turn as chairman by nominating Wright for the job.

Bills would create water authority, limit fire fees

October 30, 2023
Last week, Florida Sen. Doug Broxson, Gulf Breeze-R, told Santa Rosa County residents that he will sponsor a bill creating an authority to oversee water-related utilities north of the Yellow River and bills to reform how county fire districts are funded.

Smith considers defamation suit against builder Henry

October 30, 2023
Santa Rosa County Commissioner Kerry Smith is expected to file a defamation lawsuit against local builder Edwin Henry after learning Henry bankrolled a campaign mailer in 2022 claiming Smith had been convicted of domestic violence “several” times.

“Yes, I want to go after him,” Smith told Navarre Press on Thursday, Oct. 19. “I know Edwin Henry; he knows me. He knew this wasn’t true.”

Butterflies move into their new home at the Panhandle Butterfly House

October 28, 2023
The Panhandle Butterfly House and Nature Center celebrated the grand opening of its new butterfly vivarium Saturday during its Third Annual Monarch Madness event.

County adds noncompliance penalties to Lifeguard Ambulance pact

October 27, 2023
The Santa Rosa County Commission last week voted to change how it tracks Lifeguard Ambulance Service’s contract compliance, going back to a time-on-scene metric but adding fines of up to $20,000 for months that fall below 85 percent compliance.

Preserve Navarre incorporation effort at ‘halftime’

October 26, 2023
Preserve Navarre has reached “halftime” of its fight to incorporate southeastern Santa Rosa County, according to its president, Wes Siler.

“Think of it like football,” Siler said at a meeting Monday, Oct. 23, at Best Western. “At halftime, you review tactics, make adjustments, and try to come out with new energy and better effort. That’s what we’ve got to do now.”

Legislators hear residents’ concerns

October 25, 2023
Florida Sen. Doug Broxson and Reps. Alex Andrade and Joel Rudman met with Santa Rosa County residents Tuesday at St. Sylvester Catholic Church in Navarre to preview key bills and hear public concerns before the 2024 legislative session.

State invests in faith-based organizations to help communities

October 23, 2023
The Northwest Florida Health Network told church and faith-based nonprofit leaders last week that it can fund their community-based social services without interfering in how those services are provided.

“Governor DeSantis has had his people do all the legal work,” the Rev. Rick Hazelip of First City Church said Thursday, Oct. 19, at a “Faith Summit” at Brownsville Church. “All we have to do is open up our services to anybody, regardless of their beliefs. And then we do what we do.”

Legends and Lore Tour returns to Bagdad Cemetery

October 17, 2023
Meet prominent residents from Bagdad’s past and learn their stories during the Bagdad Cemetery Association’s free Legends and Lore Tour. The event was suspended because of COVID, but volunteers have revived the educational two-hour presentation, which takes place between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday at the cemetery, 6800 Pooley Street in Bagdad.
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