BREAKING: Bridge contractor to replace concrete

BREAKING: Bridge contractor to replace concrete

After months of downplaying the seriousness of cracks found in construction of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, the contractor will tear out and replace several sections, Ian Satter, a Florida Department of Transportation official, wrote to the Navarre Press in an email on Thursday that Skanska USA, the agency’s general contractor on the $400 million […]

Pensacola bridge builder also faces Orlando cracks

Pensacola bridge builder also faces Orlando cracks

Another Skanska USA bridge in progress, another span dealing with cracks in new concrete construction. As the New Jersey-based contractor works to solve cracks that have appeared in the new $400 million Pensacola Bay Bridge, it has also been confronted with similar flaws in its new bridge on Interstate 4 in Orlando. Read the full […]

Gulf Breeze race for mayor ramping up

Gulf Breeze race for mayor ramping up

The first two candidates for mayor in the City of Gulf Breeze in a decade to actually put up yard signs and knock on doors have already spent many times the $1 a year that the job pays, and their campaigns are just now gearing up. “I was thinking I could do this campaign without […]

Santa Rosa budget to rise 5 percent

Santa Rosa budget to rise 5 percent

In a Tuesday night meeting notable mainly for its brevity and levity, Santa Rosa County Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve a budget increase of about 5 percent to $175.3 million for fiscal 2018-2019. Before adjourning after less than 10 minutes the board kept ad valorem tax millage rate where it has been since 2007—at 6.095 […]

Gulf Breeze grapples with stormwater costs

Gulf Breeze grapples with stormwater costs

Raising the monthly stormwater utility fee by more than 80 percent to $9.20 is being proposed for City of Gulf Breeze homeowners. But even that increase won’t be enough to cover the utility’s long-term costs and pay off debt, according to documents provided by City Manager Samantha Abell. Read the full article in the Sept. […]

School district will hire bus liaisons

School district will hire bus liaisons

Let’s talk about it. Beleaguered by parents who are frustrated over poor bus service as the school year starts, Santa Rosa District Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick will hire two new officials to listen and better communicate what’s being done in response. Read the full article in the Sept. 13 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to […]

Emails show bridge project riddled with missteps

Emails show bridge project riddled with missteps

From poor communication between management and workers to using the wrong formula of concrete, Skanska USA has run into many problems in the current construction of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, according to inspectors. Within the more than 100 Florida Department of Transportation emails related to the three-mile span—obtained by this newspaper in a public […]

Agencies stonewalling on bridge flaws

Agencies stonewalling on bridge flaws

Sen. Bill Nelson’s office is warning that thousands of cracks found in construction on the Pensacola Bay Bridge, among others, “may involve inadequate supervision.” But both Nelson’s office and the Navarre Press have been blocked by government agencies in requests for details on the construction of bridges in Florida. Read the full article in the […]

New school board seeks harmony with teachers

New school board seeks harmony with teachers

With two teachers union-backed candidates winning seats on the Santa Rosa School Board, some members foresee more cooperation on the lingering pay dispute that could ease contention with District Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick. “We need to look at our priorities, which include instructional salaries,” said Wei Ueberschaer. She defeated District 5 board incumbent Scott Peden, winning […]

Former bridge worker questions construction cracks

Former bridge worker questions construction cracks

Whistleblowers often start expose quests alone, backed only by personal revelations and their reputations. Motivations are always open to the question: What’s in it for them? Richard William Gibbons Jr. knows he will face scrutiny about speaking to the Navarre Press this week, leveling assertions that the numerous cracks found in newly placed concrete on […]

Election could turn school board topsy-turvy

Election could turn school board topsy-turvy

Some critics of the Santa Rosa County school board say the five-member panel often wields a rubber stamp for District Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick. But others wonder if the Aug. 28 election could create an imbalance of influence with a new majority that favors the Santa Rosa Professional Educators (SRPE) teachers union, which is locked in […]

School nurse ranks thin in Santa Rosa

School nurse ranks thin in Santa Rosa

By most measures the quality of health care in Santa Rosa public schools is high, but that’s despite a relatively low ratio of registered nurses to the rising student population. In a diplomatically worded report to the county school board earlier this month, Leslie Adams, the district’s nursing coordinator under the Florida Department of Health, […]

School budget makes for an eternal impasse

School budget makes for an eternal impasse

The proposed $366 million budget for Santa Rosa County’s public schools in 2018-2019 is ground zero in a labor-management battle between teachers and district Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick that underscores the frustration on both sides. To the teachers’ Santa Rosa Professional Educators (SRPE) union, the most unsatisfying part of the budget is the sometimes misunderstood “general […]

Darkened school may have bright future

Darkened school may have bright future

Although some Munson area residents have criticized the Santa Rosa School District’s recent sale of the vacant Munson Elementary School at an apparent bargain price, the deal may have a silver lining. The 40-acre property—which still has several buildings that have been largely unmaintained since the school closed in 2010–is apparently destined to become a […]

Rising property values boost school budget

Rising property values boost school budget

The tax rate that Santa Rosa property owners pay to fund the county’s public schools won’t rise next year, although their total tab will. That’s because property values keep going up in a rebounding economy and a housing market that has largely recovered from the “bubble” that burst during the Great Recession of a decade […]

Bridge monitoring expected for years

Bridge monitoring expected for years

Engineers who testify in legal cases about construction flaws say the thousands of cracks found in the new Pensacola Bay Bridge probably aren’t serious but should be monitored closely to make sure they aren’t spreading. That’s already the plan, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. Read the full article in the Aug. 2 issue […]

Water experts lose bids for utility board

Water experts lose bids for utility board

Based on their many years of professional experience in water operations, Charles “Buddy” Ingram and Elisa Bailey appeared to be the most qualified of 11 candidates who recently ran for election to the Holley Navarre Water System board. Yet they came in 9th and 10th respectively—far behind the straw poll’s top four vote getters, all […]

Update from FDOT: New bridge has at least 3,000 cracks

Update from FDOT: New bridge has at least 3,000 cracks

With construction of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge less than half completed, inspectors have found at least 3,000 cracks in newly placed concrete on the span’s decks. First disclosed by the Navarre Press last week, the cracks were described as “superficial” by a Florida Department of Transportation official in a media conference called by the […]

Bridge cracks go unrepaired while under scrutiny

Bridge cracks go unrepaired while under scrutiny

Since cracks in portions of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge were disclosed last week after a Navarre Press query, engineers have continued to look for the best way to fix them as work on the three-mile span continues. Tanya Branton, a Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman, responded to follow-up questions about the cracks. She said […]

Hometown lawyer won’t get Gulf Breeze city attorney job

Hometown lawyer won’t get Gulf Breeze city attorney job

Ben Zimmern is popular in Gulf Breeze but his law firm’s losing record in a controversial property rights case has now played a role in his defeated bid to win the lucrative contract as the beachy community’s city attorney. Read the full article in the July 19 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

BREAKING: Cracks in bridge construction raise questions

BREAKING: Cracks in bridge construction raise questions

Cracks in newly placed concrete during the current construction of the Pensacola Bay Bridge recently caused two temporary halts to work on the deck of the $400 million span, state officials told the Navarre Press Wednesday. “Cracks were identified in some of the newly placed concrete…,” said Tanya Branton in an email. “Work on this […]

Contaminants minimal in Gulf Breeze tap water

Contaminants minimal in Gulf Breeze tap water

Let’s get this part out of the way: the drinking water provided by the City of Gulf Breeze through its two utilities to customers all the way from the city itself to Tiger Point isn’t perfect. But it isn’t likely to make you sick either. Read the full article in the July 12 issue of […]

Water board lifts veil of secrecy on poll at 11th hour

Water board lifts veil of secrecy on poll at 11th hour

So many candidates, so little time. In most elections, the days right before the casting of ballots are the time when undecided voters can make up their minds or change them. Read the full article in the July 12 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to receive the online […]

County pursues lease-fee laggards

County pursues lease-fee laggards

Three years after county commissioners agreed to cap the annual lease fees on Navarre Beach residential property at $250 a year, about 150 leaseholder accounts are still overdue with total delinquencies of $215,258. Some of the lease accounts have had overdue balances that started long before the county capped the fees in 2015, and a […]

Sharp divides surface in Gulf Breeze mayor’s race

Sharp divides surface in Gulf Breeze mayor’s race

The long quiet political landscape in the City of Gulf Breeze is rumbling. For the first time since 2008, candidates for the mayor’s seat on the city council are putting out yard signs, knocking on doors and airing their differences in a political campaign of the sort many residents can’t recall witnessing before. Read the […]

Gulf Breeze attorney search sparks doubts

Gulf Breeze attorney search sparks doubts

One law firm vying to be the next Gulf Breeze City Attorney has years of experience representing its would-be employer in a controversial case that’s causing concern among some City Council members and other residents. Losing round after round in the long-running property rights fight with two Gulf Breeze homeowners is a track record that […]

Calkins’ legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

Calkins’  legacy of ‘chaos’ and political future

James Calkins is moving on with an eye on moving up. The 32-year-old real estate investor resigned as president of the Holley Navarre Water System board last Thursday. He capped off the day by being named to the county-wide Santa Rosa Zoning Board. Read the full article in the June 21 issue of Navarre Press. Click […]

Sanborn supporters lament his exit from TDC

Sanborn supporters lament his exit from TDC

Jack Sanborn’s forced resignation from the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council last week came so suddenly that some of his supporters missed their chance to send letters backing him. “I was preparing a letter but he resigned before I could send it,” said Milton City Councilman Alan Lowery, who also sits on the volunteer […]

New chapter begins in water board tumult

New chapter begins in water board tumult

Going full circle in reorganizing for the second time since January, what’s left of the Holley Navarre Water System board seems to be right where it was early this year: promising transparency and better management. But the new era being touted by freshly minted President Will Goulet began with a purge this week. Goulet loyalists […]

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