Florida

Dementia initiative crucial in combating disease expected to become more prevalent in state

Dementia initiative crucial in combating disease expected to become more prevalent in state

In 10 years, Florida will be the home to more than 720,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in Americans 65 and older. The state is prepared to battle, though, through the Dementia Care & Cure Initiative. “As the number of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Florida continued […]

Citizens insurance cleared for rate increases

Citizens insurance cleared for rate increases

After Hurricane Irma delayed any decisions, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) decided Dec. 6 to approve an increase in rates across all policy types for Citizens Property Insurance. The average rate increase across the board amounts to roughly 6.8 percent. Citizens is a state-run program to help insure those who cannot find coverage […]

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Blackwater State Park popular destination for outdoor lovers

Mention Florida and sunshine and sandy beaches come to mind. But the Blackwater River State Park is far from a hidden treasure. Contrary to what some may think, it’s a destination hot spot. “We get quite a bit of attention,” especially in the hot, summer months,” Park Services Specialist Darryl Hatfield said.  “At the state […]

Team aims to determine true numbers of red snapper population

Team aims to determine true numbers of red snapper population

No one knows for sure how many red snapper are out in the Gulf of Mexico. Fishermen believe there are more than the numbers calculated in stock assessments. A team of 21 scientists from state and federal agencies and universities in the Gulf Coast region, including Florida, are determined to paint a better picture of […]

When bears come calling

When bears come calling

The situation we have in Navarre with bears is unfortunate. Scroll through Facebook and you will see both sides of the issue with neither side willing to bend on their opinion. The bears must go…don’t harm the bears…we moved into their territory…protect your children and family from bears. This all came to a head when […]

Refuge for Women receives $10,000 pledge

Refuge for Women receives $10,000 pledge

An anonymous donor has come forward to offer local victims of sex trafficking a safe place to heal. He has pledged to match every dollar donated in November to Refuge for Women of the Emerald Coast, up to $10,000. Refuge City Director Michelle Jones said she is thrilled. “This donor says there is a huge […]

Manatee population continues to recover

Manatee population continues to recover

November is Manatee Awareness Month and the state of the species is far better than it used to be, with Florida manatees now listed as threatened rather than endangered. The change in status of the species, which was made in March due to increased population counts, is the result of effective protection measures. The manatee […]

Veteran Profile: Tracy Bennett

Veteran Profile: Tracy Bennett

MSgt Tracy Bennett has had four jobs in her 21 year career in the Air Force. Beginning in medical administration, Bennett also worked in personnel and manpower. Her career has taken her all over the world including Texas, Korea, Florida and Hawaii. Now back in Florida, Bennett has completed her fourth mini-career in the Air […]

Sales tax shuffle

Sales tax shuffle

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are once again seeking to raise sales tax in the county while leaving ad valorem property taxes at their current rate. The new sales tax would levy a half-cent on every dollar spent in the county for items and some services, pushing the sales tax rate in Santa Rosa County to […]

Sunshine Law complaint may go to trial

Sunshine Law complaint may go to trial

Jack Sanborn wants some light shed on allegations that he violated Florida’s Sunshine Law last June by speaking to another volunteer member of the Tourist Development Council. “I’d like to face my accuser and hear exactly what I said that supposedly violated the law,” Sanborn told the Navarre Press this week after State Attorney Bill […]

Unemployment low in Santa Rosa County

Unemployment low in Santa Rosa County

Unemployment is on a downward spiral. For several months now the United States and the state of Florida have been seeing a trend downward in the unemployment rate. And, according to a report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Santa Rosa County is ahead of the curve. The local rate, 3 percent, is more […]

South county in line for concealed-carry permit office

South county in line for concealed-carry permit office

The Santa Rosa County Tax Collector’s Office started taking appointments Oct. 13 for concealed weapons carry applications and renewals at the Pace branch. Tax Collector Stan Colie Nichols said the service was initially offered in Pace due to logistic requirements, but plans are in the works to bring it to the agency’s Midway location. “Our […]

State considers decrease in workers’ comp rates

State considers decrease in workers’ comp rates

Actuaries with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation are reviewing with a fine-tooth comb a proposed 9.6 percent decrease to workers’ compensation insurance rates put forth by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). NCCI made an official presentation to the state’s insurance regulatory agency and the public Oct. 18 in Tallahassee. NCCI is an […]

FWC investigating death of bear in Navarre

FWC investigating death of bear in Navarre

A black bear was found dead near a home on Casa de Oro Street in Navarre around 2 p.m. Wednesday. Elizabeth Garrett found the bear when she came home that afternoon. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident at this time. FWC believes the bear was shot. Anyone with information is […]

Hunting creates memories, aids wildlife conservation

Hunting creates memories, aids wildlife conservation

Hunting season begins this week for deer and turkey in this part of Florida, and there is no shortage of opportunities for those who love to hunt. “Florida is blessed to have nearly 6 million acres of public hunting land, and even if you don’t have a quota hunt permit, there are still wildlife management […]

Sunshine scrutiny of tourist panel lingers

Sunshine scrutiny of tourist panel lingers

Even the most seemingly innocent phone call between two members of a volunteer group such as the Tourist Development Council can cause suspicion and trigger legal questions that last for months. Such a phone call in August from council member Jack Sanborn to panel colleague Kyle Holley apparently prompted a complaint from an undisclosed source […]

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 […]

Contest challenges students to devise software apps

Contest challenges students to devise software apps

For the first time in the contest’s history, the Congressional App Challenge is open to students in Florida’s 1st Congressional District. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents the district, has signed on for this year’s competition. His participation means that northwest Florida students in high school or earlier grades are eligible. Established in 2013, the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is Santa Rosa County business friendly?

Is Santa Rosa County business friendly?

When online retail giant Amazon announced they were looking for a spot to build their second headquarters (and to bring thousands of jobs to go with it), economic development offices for cities and counties across the country scrambled to get their applications ready. Florida areas were no exception. The “business friendliness” of a location often […]

Navarre bypassed

Navarre bypassed

Roundabouts, raised roadways and removed businesses are a few of the features outlined by renderings of U.S. Highway 98 released by the Florida Department of Transportation in advance of its next public hearing on the widening of the highway. FDOT last year placed the expansion of Highway 98 from four lanes to six on its […]

Santa Rosa voter rolls shrinking

Santa Rosa voter rolls shrinking

  Although Republican voters hold a 3-1 edge over Democrats in Santa Rosa, they lost some of that lead this year. In the biennial updating that state law requires county Elections Supervisor Tappie Villane to do in every odd-numbered year, her staff has moved 4,874 Republicans to “inactive” status, compared with 2,066 Democrats. The trend […]

Freese steps up her game during sophomore season

Freese steps up her game during sophomore season

Shelby Freese plays with emotion and energy. She plays with heart, too, and leaves everything she has on the floor for the Gulf Coast State volleyball team. So when the team comes up short, it’s not an easy pill to swallow. And that much was evident in an interview after a midweek match against Pensacola […]

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 […]

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 […]

Gulf Islands National Seashore closing all areas ahead of storm

Gulf Islands National Seashore closing all areas ahead of storm

Due to the threat of a Tropical Storm Nate becoming a hurricane this weekend, Gulf Islands National Seashore will close all areas of the park, including Fort Pickens and all of the Mississippi Islands. The national seashore areas will close tonight. All campers at Fort Pickens and the Davis Bayou Campgrounds must evacuate by noon […]

Five Things to Know in Florida for Oct. 5

Five Things to Know in Florida for Oct. 5

5 FORMER PRESIDENTS TO ATTEND HURRICANE RELIEF CONCERT All five living former U.S. presidents will attend a hurricane relief concert at Texas A&M University later this month to help storm recoveries in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean. George H.W Bush would be joined by his son, former President George W. Bush, and former presidents Barack […]

Arcadia shares Santa Rosa’s Civil War heritage

Arcadia shares Santa Rosa’s Civil War heritage

Visitors to Arcadia Mill, a historical site in Milton, got a lesson in Santa Rosa’s Civil War heritage Saturday during the annual Sawmills and Skirmishes Tour. Tour guides dressed in period attire led groups along the raised boardwalk that twists its way through the Arcadia Mill archeological site. The site still bears some of the […]

Florida prisoners hold little hope for parole

Florida prisoners hold little hope for parole

Parole in Florida is nearly extinct. Of the approximately 100,000 inmates incarcerated in Florida, only 4,545 are eligible for parole. And even fewer are approved. That is because the state has almost abolished parole across the board. Parole is the release of a prisoner before the completion of a sentence with conditions that a person […]

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