COVID-19

Navarre ready for return to the football field

Navarre ready for return to the football field

A strange couple of weeks for Navarre’s football team are finally over. The Raiders return to the field tonight. They take on Andalusia in a 7:30 p.m. home game at Bennett C. Russell Stadium. Navarre hasn’t played since Oct. 8 when it rolled past Choctaw 50-21 in its first home game of the year. The […]

More uncertainty looms for Navarre football team

More uncertainty looms for Navarre football team

A season of uncertainty just got a little more uncertain. The Navarre Raiders will not play Fort Walton Beach Friday night at home but are seeking out another opponent. 🚨 ATTENTION ALL HS FOOTBALL COACHES 🚨 Navarre high school is looking for a game on 23 October. If you have a open date or cancellation […]

Comorbidities common in COVID-19 deaths

Comorbidities common in COVID-19 deaths

Of the more than 200,000 COVID-19 infected Americans who died through Oct. 7, about 12,000 died solely from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That is a far cry from the annual death toll of diseases like influenza and heart attacks, but those 12,000 deaths are the exception, not the […]

District flexible, students flip flopping

District flexible, students flip flopping

Roughly 500 Santa Rosa students have transitioned back from remote learning to brick and mortar schools since the beginning of the semester, according to Mike Thorpe, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. Thorpe said they have also seen some students transition the other way, leaving physical schools for the remote option. “Not many have […]

5 things to know: fundraising post-COVID

5 things to know: fundraising post-COVID

It’s hard to run massive fundraisers standing 6 feet apart with fewer than 50 people. As COVID-19 health advisories drag into the final months of 2020, nonprofits of all sizes have had to face some tough questions on how to financially meet their missions. Organized Occasions Concierge owner Gretchen Carter spent years assisting nonprofits in […]

Restaurants cleared to fully reopen

Restaurants cleared to fully reopen

Local restaurants can fully reopen today as Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state is entering “Phase III” of reopening. In a press conference, DeSantis announced signing of an executive order to pre-empt any local regulations that hold restaurants to 50% of capacity or less. By extension, restaurants without any local restrictions will be able […]

Sally removes courthouse roof, delays proceedings

Sally removes courthouse roof, delays proceedings

Santa Rosa court proceedings took another hit this week as Hurricane Sally peeled the roof off the courthouse Sept. 16. After COVID-19 stopped many court procedures for months, the storm damage has completely shut down operations through at least Sept. 29. Clerk of Courts Don Spencer said the roof of the east wing collapsed, damaging […]

Santa Rosa offers additional small business grants

Santa Rosa offers additional small business grants

Santa Rosa small businesses in need of additional COVID-19 relief have another grant opportunity starting Sept. 28.  Santa Rosa County allocated $1.9 million of CARES Act funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to eligible small businesses. In partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center, applications will be reviewed on a first come, […]

DeSantis issues order on evictions, foreclosures

DeSantis issues order on evictions, foreclosures

Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday issued an executive order that extended until Oct. 1 a measure to prevent foreclosures and evictions involving residents “adversely” affected by COVID-19. But the order makes clear that foreclosures and evictions can move forward in circumstances unrelated to the pandemic, such as for non-payment of rent. “For purposes of this […]

80 teachers laid off due to lower enrollment

80 teachers laid off due to lower enrollment

More than 160 teachers in Santa Rosa County have been displaced from the traditional classroom by COVID-19. Of those brick and mortar layoffs, 80 will no longer be employed by the district at all. The rest are being reassigned for virtual and remote learning assignments, allowing students to be educated outside the traditional classroom. “My […]

Sheriff Johnson tests positive for COVID-19

Sheriff Johnson tests positive for COVID-19

Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release issued Wednesday.  “Sheriff Johnson is doing extremely well and is currently quarantined at his residence,” Public Information Officer Sgt. Rich Aloy wrote.  Johnson is one of the more than 3,600 positive cases in the county and 510,000 in the state […]

After record year, Pink Pirates challenged by COVID-19

After record year, Pink Pirates challenged by COVID-19

Last year was a record breaker for the Pink Pirates of Navarre, raking in roughly $25,000 to help fight breast cancer through early detection. In the organization’s eight-year history, they have donated more than $93,000 toward providing no-cost mammograms to detect breast cancer. Board members like Frankie Gibbs were excited for the success and eager […]

Santa Rosa County coach Joe Austin loses battle with COVID-19

Santa Rosa County coach Joe Austin loses battle with COVID-19

Milton High School track and field coach Joe Austin passed away Sunday night, after his intensive battle with COVID-19. Austin was currently the Dean of Students at Martin Luther King Middle School in Milton and will be dearly missed by all his students and athletes. Known for his dedication and big heart for his students, […]

COVID-19 treatment drug arriving to Florida hospitals

COVID-19 treatment drug arriving to Florida hospitals

Within the next two days, hospitals across Florida will receive 30,000 more vials of Remdesivir, a drug that has shown some effectiveness in treating COVID-19 according Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis provided an update on the state’s efforts Saturday during a press conference in St. Augustine. He said the new drug supplies equate to 5,000 to […]

Walmart announces required face masks at all stores

Walmart announces required face masks at all stores

Starting July 20, Walmart will require all customers to wear face masks while shopping. The nation’s largest retailer, which has more than 5,000 stores nationwide, made an announcement Wednesday requiring masks at all Walmart and Sam’s Club stores to limit the spread of COVID-19. “To best serve our communities and protect the health and safety […]

UPDATE: UWF worker suspension email an error

UPDATE: UWF worker suspension email an error

UPDATE: An email issued to the employees of a University of West Florida department stating work, and pay, would be suspended for a month has been called an error by the university.  News and Publicity Director Tom St. Myer issued an email statement July 14 that reads: “The University of West Florida has not established […]

No end in sight to shutdown of bars in Florida

No end in sight to shutdown of bars in Florida

Buying alcohol will remain a to-go-only option at Florida bars for the foreseeable future as coronavirus cases continue to spike. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday the state isn’t changing a decision last month to reimpose a ban on bars selling alcohol for on-site consumption because of widespread non-compliance with coronavirus safety measures. “So, right now, […]

County services, libraries cutback due to COVID spike

County services, libraries cutback due to COVID spike

Due to increasing COVID-19 cases in Santa Rosa County, County Administrator Dan Schebler announced July 9 the county is cutting back face-to-face interactions where feasible. In the last week, Santa Rosa County added 341 new cases, bringing the total cases to more than 1,000.   County departments will coordinate customer service and citizen interactions by appointment […]

DeSantis vows there will be safe environment for RNC

DeSantis vows there will be safe environment for RNC

Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Thursday that the Republican National Convention next month in Jacksonville will be “a safe environment,” despite widespread concerns about increasing coronavirus cases across Florida,   DeSantis, during an appearance in Jacksonville, said he wasn’t surprised about talk of moving some of the four-night event from inside the 15,000-seat VyStar Veterans Memorial […]

65th annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival cancelled

65th annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival cancelled

Due to health and safety concerns posed by COVID-19, Krewe of Bowlegs and Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce have cancelled the 2020 Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival and Torchlight Parade.  The announcement was made via press release Wednesday. The festivities had already been rescheduled from the last weekend of June to July 31-Aug. 3. […]

Florida schools ordered to reopen in August

Florida schools ordered to reopen in August

Ana Ceballos News Service of Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Monday ordered public schools to reopen in August and offer “the full panoply of services” to students and families.  As COVID-19 outbreaks spike in Florida, Corcoran’s mandate said that extending school closures can impede students’ educational success and prevent parents and guardians from returning […]

UPDATE: Blue Angels show cancelled for July 8-11

UPDATE: Blue Angels show cancelled for July 8-11

The 2020 Pensacola Beach Air Show, originally scheduled for July 8-11, has been cancelled according to a press release. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels team informed the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA) of their decision to cancel their performance on Thursday afternoon. In a statement from the Blue Angels: “After much discussion and consideration regarding […]

Sales tax projected down by $9 million

Sales tax projected down by $9 million

The word of the day when it comes to Santa Rosa County budgets is conservative. While the five-year, half cent local option sales tax (LOST) has allowed the county to be less thrifty with capital improvements since 2017, County Administrator Dan Schebler said those expenditures going forward will be on a tight leash. That’s because, […]

NHS football reacts quickly to potential COVID exposure

NHS football reacts quickly to potential COVID exposure

Navarre’s football team quickly dealt with a situation involving a handful of players that were at a gathering with someone outside the program displaying COVID-19 symptoms. As a precaution, all six players were sent home prior to the team’s summer workout Wednesday. None showed signs of the virus. They did not attend Thursday’s workout either. […]

The view from the press box

The view from the press box

The new normal is here for high school athletics. How long it lasts remains to be seen. But at least for the next four weeks, social distancing, temperature checks and hand sanitizer will all be part of the equation when it comes to summer workouts. It’s great athletes are getting a chance to get out […]

Vacation rentals expand to parts of Louisiana, other states

Vacation rentals expand to parts of Louisiana, other states

Vacation rentals in Santa Rosa County expanded to include parts of Louisiana and other states with higher rates of COVID-19 infection. Quarantine orders for Louisiana visitors have been lifted. State officials cleared the county’s modified plan June 4, allowing rentals to be screened county-by-county rather than statewide. Any county or parish with more than 1,000 […]

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