Local

Water utilities to gamble on more debt

Failing to set aside funds for emergencies has previously meant a financing scramble for the utility collective that provides water to south Santa Rosa, and now officials think they see a solution: take on about $4 million in long-term debt. Though perhaps unlikely at first glance, the strategy of Holley Navarre Water System and the […]

136-pound transformation

136-pound transformation

“If you would’ve asked me five years ago if this would be possible, I never would’ve thought it was,” Keshia Perry says of her amazing 136-pound transformation. For the last year and a half, Perry has been diligently plugging away at making progress on her goal, outlining a very inspiring story along the way. It […]

Pinktober Fest improves outcomes for local women

Pinktober Fest improves outcomes for local women

Navarre Park turned pink Saturday during the Pink Pirates of Navarre’s annual Pinktober Fest. Vendors, games, music, raffle prizes and even grown men in colorfully decorated bras filled the park to fight breast cancer. Event coordinator Christin Stephens said this event improves outcomes for local women’s lives. Read the full article in the Oct. 19 […]

Young Brien Carter maintains positive attitude as he battles leukemia

Young Brien Carter maintains positive attitude as he battles leukemia

Brien Carter’s dad points to a photo on the wall of their Navarre home. It’s a picture of Brien decked out in wrestling gear, and a medal hangs over it. A photo of Brien wearing his football uniform is next to it. Brien looks happy. He looks healthy. He looks like any other kid his […]

Beach restaurant to open Friday

Beach restaurant to open Friday

Broussard’s Bayou Grill and Cajun Specialty Meats opened their doors Sunday night on Navarre Beach for an invite-only preview of the soon-to-be open eatery. Co-owner Carl Broussard said he was excited to finally have people eating at their tables. The restaurant site sat vacant for years before the company signed a sublease in July. “It […]

Fort Pickens Road to remain closed until December

Fort Pickens Road to remain closed until December

The structural engineering assessments of Fort Pickens Road through the Fort Pickens Are and Highway 399 through the Santa Rosa are finished and neither is expected to reopen until at least December. All reservations at the campground in Fort Pickens have been canceled through Dec. 3. That could be extended if more time to repair […]

FWC officer honored for efforts to protect sea turtles

FWC officer honored for efforts to protect sea turtles

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Phil Stone grew up in North Dakota, where summers are beautiful but winters are a downright brutal mixture of bone-chilling wind, air that makes your face hurt and up to 50 inches of snow a year. A friend of his who already lived in Florida inspired him to […]

Look for the red perch

Look for the red perch

If you happen to see a birdhouse with a red perch, there is a good chance Marilyn Rector built it. “Where I came up with that idea, I can’t tell you,” Rector said. “I wanted to have something special about my birdhouses and so I painted all of the perches red.” Rector’s birdhouses are a […]

Dream of research center languishes

Dream of research center languishes

The planned 26,000-square-foot teaching lab at Gulf Islands National Seashore, announced with great fanfare in 2014, has stalled. “I don’t say it’s dead. It’s still out there,” National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown said in a recent interview. The envisioned Research and Education Center was to be a joint endeavor of the National Park Service and […]

Ceramic artists seek grant to expand outreach

Ceramic artists seek grant to expand outreach

Fire and art go hand in hand. For more than 15,000 years humans have been bending fire to their will to create beauty through ceramics. Spreading that tradition and history is one of the main purposes of the Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Society Inc. (Kiln Walk) of Navarre. Expanding that mission could be within reach. […]

Sheriff looking for half-cent ‘justice’ sales tax

Sheriff looking for half-cent ‘justice’ sales tax

At the Oct. 9 Board of County Commissioner’s committee meeting, Sheriff Bob Johnson stood before the board with the message the jail is past capacity. “We have inmates sleeping on the floor on air mattresses,” Johnson told commissioners. “Every corner is taken.” In a presentation to the board, Johnson said he had already directed his […]

Legal-fee squabble roils Gulf Breeze

Legal-fee squabble roils Gulf Breeze

If William Shakespeare wrote today about the City of Gulf Breeze’s long-running legal fight in the so-called Catawba Street “Land Grab” case, he might well tweak his famous line in Henry VI thusly: “Let’s pay all the lawyers.” In fact, before anything else gets decided in a 30-year-old case that won’t die, opposing attorneys are […]

Good news for exceptional adults in south county

Good news for exceptional adults in south county

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Gulf Breeze and Navarre could have a day facility as early as January after The Arc Gateway approved funding in its 2018 budget to open and operate such a program. The Arc Gateway CEO Missy Rogers confirmed the plans. “With great excitement, I can confirm that The Arc […]

Voters can now register online

Voters can now register online

Santa Rosa County residents can now register to vote from the comfort of home with the launch of online registration. Florida is the 36th state to offer this option. Residents of Florida can go to registertovoteflorida.gov to input their information and complete registration. Users may also update their registration information, such as a change of […]

Area firefighters take part in important training sessions

Area firefighters take part in important training sessions

Holley-Navarre Fire District Battalion Chief Howie Rounsaville has been waiting quite some time to hold a large-scale extrication training session. It came to fruition Thursday and Friday as firefighters from Pensacola to Marianna were in town for training that will prove vital to them in doing their job successfully and safely. The training was a […]

New satellite will be launched in November and aid in management of fisheries

New satellite will be launched in November and aid in management of fisheries

In early November, the first of four advanced polar-orbiting satellites known as the Joint Polar Satellite System will be launched from California, the result of a collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA. Its purpose will be to collect data that will prove beneficial to the management of fisheries and other protected […]

One Warm Coat Drive seeking donations

One Warm Coat Drive seeking donations

One Warm Coat Drive will be collecting gently used and new winter coats in the area through October. There are numerous sites to donate coats and jackets to those who need them. The Missions Anglican Church has been the local sponsor for this drive for the past six years, and thousands of coats have been […]

Generator mandate puts nursing homes in a bind

Generator mandate puts nursing homes in a bind

Nursing home operators are raising concerns about their ability to comply with a 60-day deadline requiring facilities to install generators that can provide electrical power for at least 96 hours in the event of an outage. Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued the emergency order last month in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The storm is […]

More residents pay property taxes on time

More residents pay property taxes on time

In yet another sign of the area’s economic recovery, the number of Santa Rosa property tax delinquencies continues to fall. County records show that the percentage of property taxes collected after the annual March 31 delinquency deadline—when the levy for 2016 was due–fell to 5 percent this year. Read the full article in the Oct. […]

God’s big work done in a tiny place

God’s big work done in a tiny place

Belgium is known for three Cs: coffee, chocolate and cheese. Christ is not high on the list, said Navarre First Assembly of God Pastor John Skipper. Church member Fred Aylstock said the area is devoid of evangelical worship. “You have heard of Europe being the ‘Dark Continent,’” he said. “Well statistically they say there are […]

Jubilee land plans faintly rekindled

Jubilee land plans faintly rekindled

The Atlanta developer who last year stopped his partners’ proposed donation to Santa Rosa County of the 2,718-acre property known as Jubilee is still working behind the scenes to create a huge residential community there. Ronald Reeser met with several county officials in July, according to Shawn Ward, Santa Rosa’s interim planning and zoning director, […]

Encompass launches with technology twist

Encompass launches with technology twist

Worship songs filled the cafeteria of West Navarre Primary School Sunday as Encompass Church found their new home for weekly services. Pastor Lance Whorton told the gathered congregation that they should be excited to be part of the church’s first big step: launching weekly Sunday worship. “We are excited to be here and start getting […]

Irma evacuees now home from Santa Rosa

Irma evacuees now home from Santa Rosa

A day after Irma had cleared south Florida, Teresa Focaracci, her son, his girlfriend and their friends headed back home from the Springhill Suites on Navarre Beach. They were six people, five large dogs and a cat crammed into two cars, and rode out the storm in the hotel. For roughly 14 hours they made […]

Living the Pink Pirate way

Living the Pink Pirate way

Tomorrow is Pink Day! The Pink Pirates of Navarre have celebrated Pink Day for the last three years with the help of county commissioners and other local support. The mission of the pirates is to encourage women to get mammograms. As part of that goal, each year they celebrate Pinktoberfest and host a 5K run, […]

Avid walker collects lunch – and love

Avid walker collects lunch – and love

In the early morning hours on Navarre Beach, many sights can be seen. The shorebirds begin to accumulate as the sun rises and small fish swim in the waves. A few people take advantage of the early hour to get in a morning jog or take a quick ride on a surf board. But among […]

Threats at Navarre High School investigated

Threats at Navarre High School investigated

For the second time in two weeks, a student at Navarre High School has made threats on social media against students at the school. The first was on Sept. 23 from a student on Instagram threatening several students under the guise of Memento.mori.mer which translated means “remember you must die.” The threat began with “To […]

Planners try to steer clear of overlaps

Planners try to steer clear of overlaps

Jay Garner didn’t know when he was awarded a $120,000 contract earlier this month for economic consulting with Santa Rosa that on the same day another company won a separate county contract to plan for the Navarre area’s future. But having learned about Niceville-based Matrix Design Group’s assignment, and its contract for up to $150,000 […]

Cajun eatery readies for opening

Cajun eatery readies for opening

The wait is nearly over for a new restaurant at Navarre Beach’s long-vacant property. Broussard’s Bayou Grill and Cajun Specialty Meats will likely open its doors in mid-October, said owner Carl Broussard. He and his brother signed a lease for the spot in July. They currently operate a restaurant of the same name in downtown […]

Families wait for call from Puerto Rico

Families wait for call from Puerto Rico

Although Hurricane Maria was more than a thousand miles away, when the storm took aim at the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico it hit close to home for some residents of Navarre. It was the second category 5 hurricane to strike the area in the span of two weeks. Power outages were widespread. The communities […]

Downtown Gulf Breeze targeted by developers

Downtown Gulf Breeze targeted by developers

The commercial building boomlet underway in the City of Gulf Breeze is speeding up with plans being revealed for a fourth hotel and a third ice cream shop. No biggie by the standards of larger cities maybe, but the two proposed projects represent welcome growth and a tax base boost in this city of 5,800 […]

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