Okaloosa County

Florida First Sites break ground on first project

Florida First Sites break ground on first project

When President and CEO of boat manufacturer Cape Horn/Fabbro Marine Chris Fabbro realized he needed room for his business to grow, he said he feared he would have to leave Santa Rosa County even going as far away as North Carolina. Fabbro Marine had been doing business in the county for 20 years, and he […]

“Selfie” competition leads to Navarre arrest

“Selfie” competition leads to Navarre arrest

A Navarre woman was arrested Thursday morning, July 21, in connection with a “selfie” competition between her and a co-defendant involving unconscious patients of Okaloosa County EMS, where they both worked. Former Okaloosa County EMS paramedic Kayla Renee Dubois is charged with two counts of third degree felony interception and disclosure of oral communications after […]

Santa Rosa’s Thin Blue Line

Santa Rosa’s Thin Blue Line

State and federal data show, Santa Rosa County law enforcement are understaffed and underpaid. Compared with neighboring Escambia and Okaloosa counties, there are fewer deputy sheriffs in the field getting paid less, but Santa Rosa is not exactly like its neighbors. Escambia and Okaloosa both have significantly higher populations, and those populations have different make […]

Cyberstalker arrested after year passes

Cyberstalker arrested after year passes

A Navarre woman was arrested Wednesday, June 22 on felony cyberstalking charges after more than a year after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Michelle Powell stalked and sent threatening messages via Facebook to the female victim during four months in 2014 according to the police report. In the messages, Powell threatened the victim’s […]

Dillion J

Dillion J

Dillion’s goal has come and gone.  He said he wanted to be adopted by the time school was out this year as he very much wants to be a part of a forever family.   He loves watching television and has a great sense of humor when it comes to the commercials.  He’s very artistic and […]

Roadway collisions with bears on the rise

Roadway collisions with bears on the rise

Drivers are warned to be aware of bears on roadways because it’s not uncommon for an accident to occur that involves a bear being hit by a car. More than 3,200 bears have been killed on roads in the state between 1990 and 2015, with more than 200 being killed in each of the last […]

Teen charged with attempted murder

Teen charged with attempted murder

An Okaloosa County teen, 17-year old Michael Tylor Sharon, is accused of attacking his stepfather with a knife after a fight over an X-box Friday night. Jesus Jimenez suffered eight stab wounds, including four in the back and one in the head.  The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has charged Sharon with domestic violence-related attempted murder. […]

Bioblitz, a science-fantastic hit for all ages

Bioblitz, a  science-fantastic hit for all ages

It didn’t take long for the interest in science to be generated at the inaugural Bioblitz May 21 at Naval Live Oaks, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. “Right before the start, we had a broadhead Gecko sitting there and everyone just started taking pictures,” said Susan Teel, the Chief of Resource […]

The legend of Billy Bowlegs

The legend of Billy Bowlegs

Stories about buried treasure have and always will capture the imagination of those possessing an adventurous spirit. For some, just the thought of buried riches is enough to quicken the pulse. More common perhaps than any other legend however are stories involving pirates and buried treasure. No matter the pirate, Blackbeard, Bellamy, Lafitte or otherwise, […]

All you need is love

All you need is love

Kathleen and Randy are two beautiful, very active children.    Randy is in kindergarten.   He loves animals and playing outside.   He also likes playing with Legos, Sponge Bob and ninja turtles.     Kathleen is a chatty and outgoing little diva.  She loves to dance and sing and be the center of attention.    She loves to have her […]

Treated wastewater disposal could cost $1 million

Treated wastewater disposal could cost $1 million

Meanwhile, Navarre Beach Water dumps in the Sound The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is pressing Holley-Navarre Water System (HNWS) to build additional wastewater disposal capacity, but the utility’s best long-term solution has languished within the Santa Rosa County bureaucracy. Commissioners recently started questioning why an agreement that has been in the works for at […]

Austin looking for family with unconditional love

Austin looking for family with unconditional love

Austin is a charming and challenging young man with the most wonderful grin who is very anxious to have forever adoptive family of his own.  He is polite and considerate of others.  He is shy at first but talkative as he becomes more comfortable in situation.  Austin has missed out on a lot of the […]

Andrews Institute Krutches for Kids Drive needs crutches

Andrews Institute Krutches for Kids Drive needs crutches

Helping athletes have success on their road to recovery from an injury is something the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze does well and its latest effort will aid in that recovery process. It’s called the Krutches for Kids Drive and people are asked to donate any gently used crutches that can be given to athletes […]

HIV awareness campaign urges testing for citizens

HIV awareness campaign urges testing for citizens

Driving through many parts of Escambia County, you might have noticed billboards with advertisements of a different kind. As part of an ongoing HIV awareness campaign, the Florida Department of Health has been putting up these large ads, urging citizens to get tested. Because of elevated numbers for HIV/AIDS cases in the county, the continuance […]

Kohl has special challenges and needs encouraging family

Kohl has special challenges and needs encouraging family

Kohl is a very sweet young man with some big challenges.  He has Autism and some significant cognitive delays.   His speech is somewhat delayed and he is working on about first and second grade level in most areas although he is enrolled in a 7th grade special class.  He receives weekly language therapy and several […]

Florida’s unemployment rate hits 8-year low

Florida’s unemployment rate hits 8-year low

Gov. Rick Scott has announced that Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in February, down from 10.7 percent in December 2010. This milestone marks the state’s lowest unemployment rate in eight years. Florida’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 3.4 percent has consistently exceeded the nation’s for 47-consecutive months. Over the year in February, […]

$47 Million is just too much

$47 Million is just too much

Let me start by saying I am in favor of building a new courthouse.  The current courthouse is obsolete and must be replaced.  But that doesn’t mean I support the plan to build a $47 million courthouse in Downtown Milton.  And no matter how many times Mr. Rob Williamson calls me a knucklehead on his […]

Waiting for a real family

Waiting for a real family

There are more than 500 children in temporary foster homes in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.  They have been abused, neglected or abandoned.  While some may eventually return to their birth families, the rest will need adoptive families. FamiliesFirst Network is a community-based care agency that provides foster care and adoption services for […]

Sheriff’s Office eyes Santa Rosa crime increase

Sheriff’s Office eyes Santa Rosa crime increase

The number of crimes reported in Santa Rosa County last year rose 3.8 percent to 1,717, with non-residents accounting for nearly one in every five arrests. “A lot of our crime comes from people who don’t live here,” Chief Deputy Bob Johnson said. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office force of 256 deputies is stretched more than […]

Santa Rosa Mall makeover planned

Santa Rosa Mall makeover planned

The real estate management company that operates Santa Rosa Mall is planning an exterior facelift, new restaurants, redesigned retail space and the addition of residential development on a 10-acre parcel within the property’s footprint. “It’s still in the conceptual stage,” said Jason Scott, local leasing director for Stirling Properties, the Covington, La., company that oversees […]

Harris earns Firefighter of the Year honor

Harris earns Firefighter of the Year honor

Earner Harris is no stranger to being recognized as the Holley-Navarre Fireman of the Year. This year marks the third time he has received the award. He also earned the honor in 2002 and 2005. “I wasn’t expecting it but it feels special be recognized,” Harris said. “I love this job, the people I work […]

Okaloosa investigator spots fraud suspects in parking lot

Okaloosa investigator spots fraud suspects in parking lot

Two Georgia residents suspected of shopping with credit card numbers stolen from members of Eglin Federal Credit Union are behind bars after an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigator working the crimes spotted them in a parking lot. The compromised credit card and debit accounts were used at locations in Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and […]

2-4-6-8 how do you negotiate?

2-4-6-8 how do you negotiate?

When you buy a house, you negotiate the sales price. When you buy a car, you negotiate the bottom dollar on the car. When you take a new job, you negotiate the salary and terms of your employment. Very few things in life are set in stone – most things are negotiable. Our county seems […]

Tough Mudder eases lodging demands

Tough Mudder eases lodging demands

Tough Mudder Inc. blinked. Under questioning from a prospective lodging “partner” about the company’s recent financial demands in return for promoting Santa Rosa County overnight stays at its event scheduled here next April, a company executive now says its fees are negotiable. A month after sending out controversial contracts to area hotels and condominium managers […]

DNA evidence leads deputies to burglar

DNA evidence leads deputies to burglar

A Navarre man with a 10-year criminal history was arrested for burglary after DNA left at the scene led Okaloosa County deputies to him. Alonzo Borum of Chaparral Street in Navarre is accused of committing a burglary at a Fort Walton Beach residence on Aug. 26, 2014, more than a year ago. The arrest report […]

Gulf Breeze man arrested for sexual assault

Gulf Breeze man arrested for sexual assault

In a harrowing story of sexual assault, Christopher Calamis was arrested Dec. 2 on those charges and more, including felony battery and false imprisonment for an incident that occurred in Fort Walton Beach. According to the arrest report, Fort Walton Beach Police officers responded to a woman screaming in the area of Third Street and […]