Headlines

Navarre man shot and killed in Mary Esther

Navarre man shot and killed in Mary Esther

Christopher Black, age 34 of Navarre, was shot and killed outside a home on Blackstone Road in Mary Esther early Saturday morning. Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Blackstone Road home around 4:43 a.m. in response to a 911 call of shots fired. When they arrived, they found Black on an outside carport. […]

Recycling revived in Santa Rosa County

Recycling revived in Santa Rosa County

Reviving recycling in Santa Rosa County will cost $320,000 a year and could leave the county trapped in contract for at least two years under a proposal from Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA). The Board of County Commissioners approved that agreement July 11, finally reviving the county’s recycling program. Santa Rosa recyclables have been heading […]

TROPICAL UPDATE: System upgraded to Tropical Storm

TROPICAL UPDATE: System upgraded to Tropical Storm

Update 7/11 at 10:57 a.m.: A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect for much of Louisiana’s coast after a system formed into Tropical Storm Barry this morning. While the National Hurricane Center forecast still indicates Barry will head west, locals are advised to use caution over the next several days. Parts of the […]

Lease finally on the table for effluent disposal at Eglin

Lease finally on the table for effluent disposal at Eglin

Santa Rosa County’s elusive deal for moving treated effluent out of Santa Rosa Sound and onto Eglin Air Force Base property took a huge step forward Monday. County Engineer Roger Blaylock presented the Board of County Commissioners with Eglin’s proposed lease agreement for roughly 200 acres to build a Rapid Infiltration Basin System for treatment […]

Navarre incorporation needs 2,600 petition signatures

Navarre incorporation needs 2,600 petition signatures

The rules of engagement are taking shape for revival of the Navarre incorporation effort, even if information on what that will look like is hard to come by. Navarre Area United Political Action Committee (PAC) leader Jonathan Cole went before the Board of County Commissioners Monday to set the parameters for a petition effort.   […]

Whale strands on Opal Beach

Whale strands on Opal Beach

A rare beaked whale species that beached itself along Opal Beach Monday died shortly after being discovered, adding to a rising number of marine mammal deaths along the panhandle. The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR) Marine Mammal Stranding Team responded to Opal Beach, just west of Navarre at around 4:30 p.m. after beachgoers spotted the […]

Bacteria close Mississippi Gulf Coast mainland beaches

Bacteria close Mississippi Gulf Coast mainland beaches

Pascagoula, Mississippi (AP) – People and pets are being warned to stay out of the water along the entire mainland of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as toxic bacteria continue spreading eastward. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality started closing some beaches June 22 and on Sunday closed the last two sections near the Alabama line. […]

Governor slashes funding for local projects

Governor slashes funding for local projects

What initially appeared to be a successful state budget session for Santa Rosa County has taken a disappointing turn, delaying multiple projects. Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 21 released his final list of vetoed items from this year’s $9.1 billion state budget, and all but one of Santa Rosa’s allocations were on the chopping block. […]

If it passes… County sets goals for potential $165 million sales tax revenue

If it passes…  County sets goals for potential $165 million sales tax revenue

Santa Rosa County commissioners have already divvied up most of the $165 million of sales tax revenue expected to come in between 2020 and 2030. But that hinges on voters allowing the tax.   Read the full article in the July 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or click […]

Who’s in charge at Fairpoint?

Who’s in charge at Fairpoint?

South Santa Rosa’s water providers had a bad weekend over the Memorial Day holiday, according to records provided during the Fairpoint Utility board’s meeting June 25. Fairpoint Regional Utility System is a joint venture of south Santa Rosa County water providers to source water from wells in the north end of the county.   Read […]

Waste Pro under scrutiny, recycling in limbo

Waste Pro under scrutiny, recycling in limbo

Continued complaints against south Santa Rosa waste hauling contractor Waste Pro prompted the Board of County Commissioners to call for answers. Division Manager Rick Chancey addressed the commissioners’ concerns June 27 during the board’s regular meeting. He acknowledged that the company had difficulties for several months in serving its 23,001 customers.   Read the full […]

New bridge arch marks milestone

New bridge arch marks milestone

One of the bells and whistles to be part of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge debuted Thursday when workers placed a shiny, 83-foot-tall steel arch atop the eastbound section of the span. The $427 million bridge, under construction since 2017 and delayed by weather and faulty work on its concrete deck, is nevertheless starting to […]

New courthouse taking shape

New courthouse taking shape

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are not yet picking out paint colors or curtains for a new Santa Rosa County Courthouse, but they have selected the shape of the new building. With a large landscaped plaza area to one side, the entrance to the new three-story judicial building would have soaring windows with large pillar-like supports. […]

Santa Rosa recycling headed to the dump

Santa Rosa recycling headed to the dump

Recycling services in Santa Rosa County are likely to end Thursday as Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) prepares to reject the county’s new rate proposal. The Board of County Commissioners weighed the options presented by County Engineer Roger Blaylock during their Monday meeting.   Read the full article in the June 27 issue of Navarre […]

Jay man arrested for alleged child sexual abuse

Jay man arrested for alleged child sexual abuse

A registered sexual offender in Jay arrested June 19 is accused of sexually abusing children as young as 3 years old. According to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, Gleaion Lee Wood, 71, (also known as Jimmy Wood) sexually assaulted and molested three children ages 3, 7 and 8 at his home on […]

Aydelott moved to less restrictive unit

Aydelott moved to less restrictive unit

A Gulf Breeze man who violently murdered his mother due to hallucinations is set to move to a less restrictive care unit at Florida State Hospital. William Brandon Aydelott has been involuntarily institutionalized for the violent murder of his mother since 2016.   Read the full article in the June 27 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Juveniles injured in drug deal gone bad

Juveniles injured in drug deal gone bad

Several juveniles, ranging in age from 12 -17, were injured when their plan to steal drugs from drug dealers went wrong, and they ended up being taken to the hospital. According to a press release by the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, the youths planned the drug robbery over the popular social media app, Snapchat. The […]

Frozen blackberries recalled due to possible Norovirus

Frozen blackberries recalled due to possible Norovirus

A voluntary recall of some frozen blackberries sold in Walmart stores has been issued due to the potential of being contaminated with Norovirus according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Alma Pak of Alma, Georgia is recalling specific lots of product containing frozen blackberries after FDA testing of frozen blackberries was reported to […]

New hotels worry Gulf Breeze residents

New hotels worry Gulf Breeze residents

Only four years after a developer warned Gulf Breeze residents that if the little city didn’t approve his plans for an apartment complex next to a single-family home neighborhood, he might build a hotel there instead. The neighbors didn’t blink, kept up their objections and that developer went away.   Read the full article in […]

K-9 takes down Santa Rosa hit-and-run driver

K-9 takes down Santa Rosa hit-and-run driver

Florida Highway Patrol K-9 Remy took down an Alabama man June 12 after he allegedly fled the scene of a rear-end collision with a motorcyclist in Santa Rosa County. Justin Moorer, 24, of Wilmer, Alabama, is charged with nine different offenses including driving under the influence and resisting arrest.   Read the full article in […]

Parker recognized as FAC Presidential Advocate

Parker recognized as FAC Presidential Advocate

The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) recognized Santa Rosa County Commissioner Sam Parker, District 1, as a presidential advocate for his work during the 2019 legislative session. Commissioner Parker received the designation during an awards ceremony held at the FAC Annual Conference in Orange County.   Read the full article in the June 20 issue […]

Milton man allegedly sexually assaults child

Milton man allegedly sexually assaults child

Santa Rosa Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Mexican immigrant living in Milton on charges of child sexual assault June 13. Jose Brandon Prado Garnica, 21, of Milton allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl for a year and a half after coming to the U.S. in 2017. A witness whose name was redacted from the Santa Rosa […]

Area lawmakers say recreational pot coming

Area lawmakers say recreational pot coming

Recreational marijuana’s legalization in Florida is inevitable and could come within three years, according to Santa Rosa County’s two members of the state House of Representatives. “The whole movement about medical marijuana has really been about recreational use and it’s going in that direction,” said Rep. Alex Andrade, R-Gulf Breeze. Addressing the Gulf Breeze Area […]

Probation officer arrested for child porn

Probation officer arrested for child porn

Updated June 13 at 4:46 p.m. A cyber tip led to the June 12 arrest of a Milton man for allegedly acquiring child porn via Skype. Investigators with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office traced the account back to an IP address tied to Justin Robert Vargo, 23. He was in a temporary residence in Baker […]

Reviving recycling hits snag in Santa Rosa

Reviving recycling hits snag in Santa Rosa

When recycling services were interrupted in Santa Rosa County, it appeared the county would have service restored quickly. But recyclable material is still headed to the dump after Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) failed to approve the processing agreement with the county May 28, leaving the service in limbo for yet another month.   Read […]

School bus driver left scene of accident

School bus driver left scene of accident

A school bus driver apparently left the scene before police arrived after a student trapped in the bus door was dragged along a Navarre street, based on surveillance video of the incident. The Santa Rosa School District denied a public records request for video of the incident, which occurred May 30 on Duncan Ridge Drive […]

Man holds women at gunpoint in Cayo Grande

Man holds women at gunpoint in Cayo Grande

A Navarre man threatened women at gunpoint and said he was “only leaving in a body bag” June 5 at Cayo Grande Apartments. According to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, Payne got into an argument with his girlfriend earlier that day after she asked him to move out of her apartment in […]

Chamber closes on new home

Chamber closes on new home

The Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce signed closing documents on purchase of a new permanent home Friday. The new office building is located at 1804 Prado Street in the heart of Navarre. The Chamber’s new location, totaling approximately 3,000 square feet with about 50 parking spaces, was previously occupied by the Navarre Beach Agency. […]

Chambers of commerce weigh in on signage rules

Chambers of commerce weigh in on signage rules

Representatives of chambers of commerce across Santa Rosa County weighed in on the signage debate May 29 during a joint meeting with county staff with the goal of finding fixes for the Land Development Code. Read the full article in the June 6 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or […]

Navarre man arrested for choking, sexual assault

Navarre man arrested for choking, sexual assault

Santa Rosa Sheriff’s deputies arrested Navarre resident Brandon James Barnes, 34, June 3 for allegedly choking and attempting to sexually assault a woman. Barnes allegedly choked the victim while striking her on the face and body, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s office arrest report. He pulled the victim’s hair and pushed her against […]

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