Brandi Whitehurst

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

No end in sight to effluent pumped into sound

Although county commissioners have said for years that cleaning up Santa Rosa Sound is a top priority, the water utility they control will apparently keep putting treated sewage effluent into the bay indefinitely. The county-owned Navarre Beach Water System has applied for and received tentative approval for a five-year renewal of its state permit to […]

Skylar remembered for bright personality

Skylar remembered for bright personality

Usually in a pair of Chuck Taylors and a tie dye shirt, Skylar Farej, 14, never went anywhere without her headphones. She loved music especially country songs by artists such as Thomas Rhett and Luke Bryan. She also had a soft spot for rap. She could name nearly every song on the radio. “She knew […]

NYSA athletic fields worn out from overuse

NYSA athletic fields worn out from overuse

Worn down from overuse, the NYSA athletic fields aren’t in pristine condition. Many of the soccer fields have spots where there is only dirt. Weeds and stickers have also been a problem at times on fields that see hundreds of games played on them each year. The site’s condition is not uncommon for a city- […]

Eglin nears land lease offer to HNWS

Eglin nears land lease offer to HNWS

The wastewater disposal solution long sought for Holley Navarre Water System (HNWS) at Eglin Air Force Base is now taking shape. In negotiation for years, a lease for spraying on Eglin acreage is considered by HNWS management and Santa Rosa County officials as the best way to satisfy regulators’ requirements for effluent disposal capacity. Read […]

Senior center surprised by announcement of Santa Rosa county funding approval

Senior center surprised by announcement of Santa Rosa county funding approval

T.J. Husser learned late last week that the Holley-Navarre Senior Center received a nice chunk of change in financial assistance from Santa Rosa County. The president of the board of the self-supporting center knew that money had been requested from the county, but no one had informed her that it had been approved. Read the […]

Lucky chain of events saves life of Navarre shopper

Lucky chain of events saves life of Navarre shopper

Randal Leonard of Navarre is a lucky man, in that his wife Janette St. John had him running errands Feb. 22. The 59-year-old was also lucky that he chose to pick up groceries at the Walmart Supercenter in Navarre, where he went into cardiac arrest. Read the full article in the Mar. 29 issue of […]

Local officials tighten cell phone oversight

Local officials tighten cell phone oversight

Big Brother is watching and listening–to itself–more intently. Spurred by a landmark public records law settlement in Tallahassee, governments in our area are among those scrutinizing and upgrading their methods of tracking text messages on the cell phones they furnish to employees and elected officials. Read the full article in the Mar. 1 issue of […]

County administrator out on medical leave

County administrator out on medical leave

Santa Rosa County has been without a county administrator in the office for more than a month. Tony Gomillion has been out of the office since Nov. 13 on a medical leave of absence, according to county Public Information Officer Brandi Whitehurst. Read the full article in the Dec. 21 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe […]

The district 4 Master Plan: a reflection of you

The district 4 Master Plan: a reflection of you

If you have read this paper over the last few months, years or even weeks, you know what issues Navarre is facing. Rapid growth of population, unmanaged stormwater, traffic problems, over taxed infrastructure and a steady disappearance of green spaces are a few. But what do we do about it? For the past five weeks […]

Ghost of planning past

Ghost of planning past

While there has been talk of trying to create a downtown for Navarre, technically a Town Center already exists. Back in 2004, Navarre’s heart was designated as the area east of State Road 87, west of Granada Street, north of U.S. Highway 98 and south of Laredo Street. A panel of citizens volunteered their summer […]

Stakeholders, community leaders weigh in on District 4 Master Plan

Stakeholders, community leaders weigh in on District 4 Master Plan

Planning Navarre’s future is underway, and already several stakeholder groups have had an opportunity to weigh in. But what are they asking for? Navarre Press has previously asked community planning professional and author Quint Studer of Pensacola what methods are used for effectively planned communities, but every community is different. This plan will be primarily […]

Matrix to solidify community vision

Matrix to solidify community vision

   In September, the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners approved roughly $80,000-$150,000 to pay consulting firm Matrix Design Group to create a District 4 Master Plan for the Navarre, Holley and Navarre Beach area. As development of that plan gets underway, the Navarre Press is taking a look at planning the future of Navarre. […]

House Speaker scolds tourism office

House Speaker scolds tourism office

Santa Rosa officials have sidestepped the volunteer Tourist Development Council to revoke the county’s longtime membership in the state’s leisure industry marketing agency–Visit Florida–prompting a warning from state House Speaker Richard Corcoran. Corcoran described the move led by County Tourism Director Julie Morgan as a “futile attempt to shield financial information from public scrutiny” in […]

Commissioners exempt from Facebook oversight

Most Santa Rosa commis­sioners aren’t using the official Facebook pages –offered to them last year by the county— on which their postings could be monitored and archived as public records. Although the commission­ers unanimously approved a new set of social media over­sight guidelines for themselves last August, those rules allow voluntary compliance. Since then, only […]

County officials’ travel expenses vary widely

County officials’ travel expenses vary widely

The work-related travel by certain Santa Rosa County officials at taxpayers’ expense more than doubled during the past year, while some others cut back on business trips. From a New York Times travel trade show in Manhattan to a National Association of Counties annual conference in Los Angeles, the receipts in county records total thousands […]

Tourism Development Office wants more staff

Tourism Development Office wants more staff

After three months of research and a roughly $14,000 tab, a strategic plan presented to and approved by the Tourism Development Committee board Friday would request additional tourism staff be placed on the county’s payroll. Plan creator Bill Geist of Zeitgeist DMOproz said the focus of the plan is to make the TDC a “trusted […]

More firefighters needed for Holley-Navarre

More firefighters needed for Holley-Navarre

Holley-Navarre’s Fire District has grown exponentially since 2010, encompassing nearly 50 square miles with only two fire stations and five firefighters between the two at any given time.  And while the 50 square miles hasn’t expanded, the number of residents has, nearly doubling.  Yet, the district is still staffed at the same level as it […]

Governor to Obama: Fund Zika fight now

Governor to Obama:  Fund Zika fight now

In late January, the first concerns about the Zika virus began to surface in the state of Florida.  By February, the first alert was issued and Santa Rosa County had reported its first and, to date, only case of the mosquito-borne illness which was travel-related.  On Feb. 2, the Florida Department of Health in Santa […]

State Attorney rejects tourist-tax allegations against Gulf Breeze

State Attorney rejects tourist-tax allegations against Gulf Breeze

The falling out between Santa Rosa County and the City of Gulf Breeze over sharing tourism tax money worsened into a criminal complaint filed by Clerk of the Court Don Spencer in December. Read the full article in the Feb. 25 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 per […]

County not tracking officials’ social media use

County not tracking officials’ social media use

Santa Rosa County’s guidelines and record-keeping practices for its officials’ use of social media fall short of the standards recommended by the Florida Bar that have been adopted by some other counties, including Escambia. Read the full article in the Feb. 18 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 […]

County hires new Public Information Officer

County hires new Public Information Officer

Brandi Whitehurst was approved to be the new public information officer for the county at the Jan. 14 Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners’ meeting. The PIO is responsible for promoting awareness of the county’s mission, programs, policies and initiatives to residents of the county and the media. Whitehurst’s employment began Jan. 19. According to […]

Pier pressure relief

Pier pressure relief

Pier managers, Scott Rayner and Stephanie Maddox addressed the county commissioners Monday. Management company, Coastal Concessions, (Coastal) is current on the admission fees owed Santa Rosa County and is seeking equitable relief on portions of their pier maintenance contract with Santa Rosa County. County Commissioner Rob Williamson met with Coastal prior to the Monday meeting […]