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Texting and driving primary traffic offense

Texting and driving primary traffic offense

Texting while driving became a primary traffic offense today after Governor Ron DeSantis signed CS/HB 107: Wireless Communications While Driving. Additionally, the bill says that a person may not use a handheld wireless communications device while driving in a designated sensitive area such as a school crossing, school zone or work area while workers are […]

Thompson fraud fallout spreads

Thompson fraud fallout spreads

Concerns about former Milton Mayor Guy Thompson’s guilty plea on charges of looting the United Way of Santa Rosa County may prompt an in-depth audit aimed at uncovering whether financial fraud occurred within the city government he ran for 20 years. Although current Milton Mayor Heather Lindsay doubts that Thompson could have stolen municipal funds, […]

Ambulance involved in fatal crash

Ambulance involved in fatal crash

A 74-year-old Navarre woman was killed May 15 after her car collided with an ambulance along East Bay Boulevard. Passenger Karen Leonard was killed after her vehicle was flipped on its side according to a Florida Highway Patrol accident report. According to the report, the ambulance was traveling southbound along Robedal Drive approaching East Bay […]

Pier patches to get a touch up

Pier patches to get a touch up

While the actual redecking of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is potentially months away, replacing 121 bright orange plywood patches could be underway soon. County Commissioners said they were opposed to the current patches May 9 during their regular meeting at Tiger Point Community Center.   Read the full article in the May 16 issue […]

Milton mother retains custody in neglect case

Milton mother retains custody in neglect case

A Milton woman accused of felony neglect of her five children, ages 5, 7, 11, 12 and 14, will not lose custody of her children according to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). DCF closed their investigation April 30 said representative David Fierro. Read the full article in the May 16 issue of Navarre […]

How Thompson looted United Way

How Thompson looted United Way

Hubris and a lack of financial oversight are at the center of how junior college dropout Guy Thompson fooled dozens of high-profile community leaders in stealing $652,000 over seven years from the United Way of Santa Rosa County. Thompson, who pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzlement and tax evasion last week, conducted “hundreds of […]

GUILTY! Fired United Way chief admits fraud

GUILTY!  Fired United Way chief admits fraud

Guy Thompson’s long career of leadership in community sharing turned to shame on Thursday when he pleaded guilty to 23 counts of embezzling money from Santa Rosa’s now-defunct United Way chapter and evading taxes on his illegal income. In the wake of a joint probe by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service that began […]

‘Filthy’ home leads to Milton child neglect arrest

‘Filthy’ home leads to Milton child neglect arrest

A Milton woman was arrested for child neglect after deputies found her children living in filthy, roach-infested conditions. Jessica Nicole Stevenson, 33, was arrested April 18 on charges of child neglect for allegedly allowing her children to live in “extremely filthy” conditions and failing to provide clean clothes and food. One of the children’s teachers […]

Parents attacked by son expected to make full recovery

Parents attacked by son expected to make full recovery

A Midway couple stabbed multiple times inside their home last week are doing well and expected to make a full recovery after being hospitalized said Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Sgt. Rich Aloy in a phone call Tuesday. The April 30 altercation ended with a father shooting his adult son, Erich Reitz, 29, to death […]

Escambia United Way steps in for defunct Santa Rosa charity

Escambia United Way steps in for defunct Santa Rosa charity

Laura Gilliam is trying to pick up the pieces left by the shattered and scandalized United Way of Santa Rosa County. “We are reaching out to the donors who have supported United Way of Santa Rosa and to the organizations that relied on it for financial help,” said Gilliam, the United Way of Escambia County […]

Feather flags are safe for now

Feather flags are safe for now

Feather flags in Santa Rosa County may be legal, at least for the time being. After a County Code enforcement crackdown resulted in more than 100 warnings and 20 citations in three weeks, the Board of County Commissioners was seeking leniency in enforcement of sign ordinances Monday during its regular meeting.   Read the full […]

Florida House passes school, hurricane tax holidays

Florida House passes school, hurricane tax holidays

Tallahassee (AP) — Floridians would once again enjoy sales tax holidays this year for back-to-school and hurricane supplies under legislation sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis by lawmakers. The holidays are part of a $121 million tax cut bill that passed the House 81-25 and the Senate 23-17 on Friday night. The House measure creates a […]

Bicyclists struck by car killed on 98

Bicyclists struck by car killed on 98

A bicyclist was fatally struck by a car early Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 98 in Midway. The incident occurred near the cross street of Overdown Drive at approximately 1:45 a.m. According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, a Honda CRV was traveling east on 98 when the bicyclist cut across the eastbound lanes turning […]

Santa Rosa to get county flag

Santa Rosa to get county flag

Members of Leadership Santa Rosa class 33 have proposed creating an official county flag as their community project. Magen Norwood of Santa Rosa Medical Center spoke on behalf of the class. “An idea that has been circulating through our class has been to create a county flag. We would like your input on it,” she […]

School Board unanimously supports impact fees

School Board unanimously supports impact fees

Citizens advocating for impact fees got a boost April 25 as the Santa Rosa County School Board unanimously voted in support of charging $5,000 on all newly built single-family homes. The vote came after a study into the feasibility of the fees showed that the district could reasonably charge up to $9,474 on each new […]

Recycling services halted; county working new contract

Recycling services halted; county working new contract

Recycling for Santa Rosa County has come to a temporary stop because of a cancellation of services by Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, the county’s hauler for recyclables. While the county’s waste collection franchises, Waste Pro in south county and ECUA in the north end, will still collect recyclables, they will be taken to Central Landfill […]

Son stabs parents; shot to death in Midway

Son stabs parents; shot to death in Midway

A father shot his adult son, Erich Reitz, 29, to death in Midway Tuesday after Reitz allegedly stabbed his parents multiple times inside their residence on Blair Circle. During a press conference Wednesday morning, Sheriff Bob Johnson said Reitz resided at the home with his parents. The incident occurred at approximately 3:43 p.m. Tuesday. According […]

Symposium shines economic light on Northwest Florida

Symposium shines economic light on Northwest Florida

Movers and shakers of Northwest Florida convened in Miramar Beach April 17-18 with the intent of growing economic success in the region during the 22nd Gulf Power Economic Symposium, held at Baytowne Conference Center at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. This year’s theme was Our Time. Our Place. Our Now! Read the full article in the […]

Holley Navarre Water misses deadline for state funds

Holley Navarre Water misses deadline for state funds

When Rob Williamson was hired for the CEO position at Holley Navarre Water System last November, one of the big factors discussed by the board of directors was his history in government. As a previous county commissioner, Williamson made many trips to both Tallahassee and Washington D.C. Read the full article in the April 25 […]

County code crackdown targets ‘feather flags’

County code crackdown targets ‘feather flags’

County Code Enforcement is cracking down on “feather flags,” especially in Navarre. These tall, narrow banners typically bear commercial messages. They are popular along U.S. Highway 98 and Highway 87. Read the full article in the April 25 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – or sign up to receive a […]

Midway mystery continues to confound Fairpoint

Midway mystery continues to confound Fairpoint

On average, 250,000 gallons of the 850,000 gallons pumped daily from Fairpoint Utility to Midway Water is not making it to customers. Midway’s average daily usage is 1.3 million gallons total. Read the full article in the April 25 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options – or sign up to receive […]

Narcotics Unit busts meth, heroin in Milton

Narcotics Unit busts meth, heroin in Milton

Narcotics officers with Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office recovered heroin, meth and oxycodone at a home in Milton April 23 during a search on Cherub Circle. One of the residences of the home, Jennifer Holly Campbell, was arrested on drug trafficking charges. According to arrest reports, the Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at Campbell’s […]

Recycling service to be interrupted

Recycling service to be interrupted

Effective April 30, ECUA will terminate their contract with Santa Rosa County for the transportation and processing of recyclables. The county is working with ECUA on a new contract for processing and seeking to replace the transportation services within the next few weeks. Recyclable material degrades if not sorted and stored properly, therefore recycling will […]

Navarre woman arrested for child sexual assault

Navarre woman arrested for child sexual assault

A Navarre woman is being held on a bond of $1 million for allegedly sexually assaulting a child on video. Brandy Howard, 33, of Raider Lane in Navarre was arrested April 18 after video and images involving children were recovered by law enforcement. An investigation was prompted by information sent by the National Center for […]

Highway 87 widening nears completion

Highway 87 widening nears completion

The reconstruction and widening of State Road 87 will be wrapping up in the upcoming weeks as the road becomes a four-lane highway. Construction has been underway since October 2015 following years of calls for the highway to be widened. Read the full article in the April 18 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to […]

Bridge work update leaves questions

Bridge work update leaves questions

Although the inspection supervisor on the new Pensacola Bay Bridge and a spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation aren’t quite in sync, both have made new assurances of an impressive, eventual construction result. The $427 million project began in spring 2017 but has been beset by weather delays and faulty work on the concrete […]

What does it take to build a new school?

What does it take to build a new school?

During hearings on redistricting Gulf Breeze and Midway elementary schools, parents called the school board to task April 11. They questioned how the district got to a point where 10 schools are over their capacity numbers, requiring placement of portables and reshuffling of students. Read the full article in the April 18 issue of Navarre […]

South Santa Rosa Arc celebrates one year

South Santa Rosa Arc celebrates one year

The Arc Gateway’s south Santa Rosa program celebrated their first anniversary Tuesday, commemorating the expansion of services for an underserved population. The facility at 5668 Gulf Breeze Parkway offers south Santa Rosa’s first day program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Read the full article in the April 11 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

China’s fentanyl crackdown could curb overdoses here

China’s fentanyl crackdown could curb overdoses here

A crackdown on production of the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl half a world away could be good news for drug enforcement officers on the streets of Navarre. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in a press conference April 1 that the country would be outlawing the production of all types of fentanyl. Read the full article […]

Five things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Five things to know: Board of County Commissioners

Santa Rosa County Commissioners spent their Monday meeting balancing potential projects against infrastructure needs. Discovery Center dream dashed? Concerns over water quality trumped conservation education efforts Monday as commissioners weighed how to spend millions of RESTORE dollars over the next 12 years. Read the full article in the April 11 issue of Navarre Press. Visit […]

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