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Stories by Wendy Victora Rudman

Stories by Wendy Victora Rudman

Largest known collection of turpentine industry artifacts tucked into backyard of Holley home

March 23, 2022

At the end of a dead-end road in Holley, the largest known collection of artifacts from the turpentine industry is kept in a tidy clay-colored building behind Raymon Melvin’s home.

Melvin, whose dad, granddads and great-granddads all trace their roots to the industry, started his collection when he was 22.

If you’re reading this, you’re breathing

March 2, 2022

I just returned from a morning walk in the fog. While I hate driving in fog, walking in it is another experience.

The world takes on a soft haze, its edges rounded off and colors dimmed. Sidewalks get shorter. It’s like peering at life through a gauzy curtain.

Everyone welcomed at beachside service

March 2, 2022
What began as an outreach to Navarre United Methodist Church in 1995 has been transformed into a church without walls in a Navarre Beach parking lot.

Michigan man delivers successful produce business to Navarre

March 2, 2022

At 37, Tommy VonAchen is on the young side to be a snowbird.

But the Michigan man spends six months in Florida each year, working in the same business but from slightly different angles.

Aging is a travel adventure

February 16, 2022

When I was younger, I couldn’t believe that I would reach an age where I would be walking in my mom’s orthopedic shoes. I don’t mean literally.

I mean that you can’t understand being old(er) until you get there.

Photographer shares birds-eye view of bridge inspection

February 15, 2022
Drone pilot Arthur Ladd was out and about Tuesday taking photos of the Navarre Beach bridge inspections that began that day.

Milton man pulls Fort Walton mayor out of burning car

February 10, 2022

A Milton tow truck driver is being hailed as “Our Hero – Our Angel” by the mayor of Fort Walton Beach’s family after saving him and his wife from a burning vehicle.

Mayor Dick Rynearson and his wife, Janey, were heading to a gas station off Interstate 10 near Live Oak Jan. 26 when their car was t-boned and burst into flames.

Navarre Beach has ‘big parking problem’

February 8, 2022
Events sponsored by nonprofit groups on Navarre Beach, especially during the high season, came under fire at last week’s Tourist Development Council meeting. Specifically, concerns were expressed about these events taking up parking spaces, a particularly valuable commodity now that tourism has increased threefold in the last half-dozen years.

God speaks in mysterious ways: Pastor Ronnie Beaden serves Crestview church through puppet ministry

February 7, 2022

Pastor Ronnie Bearden’s puppet ministry started with a soft, pastel-colored stuffed glow worm that he snatched off a crib in the church nursey on his way into preschool chapel.

It was the first day of school, the children were crying and whining, and he realized that what he had prepared wasn’t going to fly. So, he improvised, unzipping the toy’s back, ripping out the battery pack and naming him Eddie.

Researcher: Local bottlenose dolphins have complex social patterns

February 7, 2022
For nearly three years, Christina Toms studied the behavior of bottlenose dolphins in local waters. She and other team members crossed back and forth across waterways including the Santa Rosa Sound, East Bay, Escambia Bay and Blackwater Bay.
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