Public Safety

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

In keeping with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) policy, a bear trap has been removed from the area of Gulf Breeze where a pet dog was attacked and killed. FWC Regional Public Information Director Bekah Nelson said the initial incident occurred July 28 shortly after 10 p.m. Residents of Vestavia Way reported that […]

Navarre Beach first responders ready for the worst

Navarre Beach first responders ready for the worst

If the worst happens on Navarre Beach during the busy summer season, first responders at all stages of the process want to be prepared. With that in mind, agencies came together early June 26 for joint training exercises.   Read the full article in the July 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view […]

Restructured rescue team seeing busy but safe season

Restructured rescue team seeing busy but safe season

Navarre Beach lifeguards and fire rescue personnel were out in full force June 13, scanning the shoreline with binoculars. The rescue wave runner trolled the shore back and forth as a search helicopter flew overhead.   Read the full article in the June 20 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – […]

Greene provided valuable leadership in his time with CERT

Greene provided valuable leadership in his time with CERT

Lou Greene has been the leader of CERT in Navarre for nearly a decade. He stepped down last month. It’s a bittersweet moment for Greene, who was part of the original Community Emergency Response Team in Navarre.   Read the full article in the June 6 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

First responders seek lifesaving CPR device

First responders seek lifesaving CPR device

It is an all too familiar scenario for first responders working along the beach. After dragging a drowning person from the waters, CPR begins. But in those critical seconds of rescue, CPR has to stop for a victim to be transported over the dune line and out to a waiting ambulance. Read the full article […]

Holley Navarre Fire Department Awards

Holley Navarre Fire Department Awards

Holley Navarre Fire District Chief Ron Norton presented three Life Saving Award medals to firefighters who saved the life of Larry Berry. The award recipients were Lt. Shawn Laws, Engineer Johnny Robertson and Firefighter Kailey White. Read the full article in the Jan. 31 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – […]

Lifeguard tryouts push for excellence

Lifeguard tryouts push for excellence

            In roughly nine weeks, a new set of lifeguards will take to the shores of Navarre Beach to protect the ever-growing number of visitors who flock to the Gulf during tourist season. Sunday, people hoping to join this team showed their stuff in a rigorous physical tryout set by […]

Disabled veterans lose ‘fire tax’ exemption

Disabled veterans lose ‘fire tax’ exemption

While veterans with 100 percent disability are exempt from property taxes under Florida law, those living along Navarre Beach will no longer get a free pass when it comes to fire protection. The change could cost these veterans $500 a year under the recently approved increase in the Municipal Service Benefit Unit (MSBU) for Navarre […]

Beach lifeguards close season

Beach lifeguards close season

As lifeguard season along Navarre Beach closed out Oct. 28, records show that the guards have been busier than in the past. Rescues along Navarre Beach more than tripled since last season, and the number of people visiting guarded areas has nearly tripled since 2016 with almost 303,000 visitors between March 3 and Oct. 28 […]

Taxing power for sheriff is coming

Taxing power for sheriff is coming

Santa Rosa Sheriff Bob Johnson has long had the Midas touch when asking county commissioners to boost his budget, but soon they intend to have him send much of his ever-increasing annual bill straight to taxpayers. “The idea is for the sheriff to become a taxing authority all his own, similar to the school district,” […]

Emails show bridge project riddled with missteps

Emails show bridge project riddled with missteps

From poor communication between management and workers to using the wrong formula of concrete, Skanska USA has run into many problems in the current construction of the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, according to inspectors. Within the more than 100 Florida Department of Transportation emails related to the three-mile span—obtained by this newspaper in a public […]

Former bridge worker questions construction cracks

Former bridge worker questions construction cracks

Whistleblowers often start expose quests alone, backed only by personal revelations and their reputations. Motivations are always open to the question: What’s in it for them? Richard William Gibbons Jr. knows he will face scrutiny about speaking to the Navarre Press this week, leveling assertions that the numerous cracks found in newly placed concrete on […]

New fire engines greeted in old tradition

New fire engines greeted in old tradition

Community members and firefighters will come together for a historic tradition Saturday to welcome two new fire engines to the Holley-Navarre Fire District. The fire district will host a push-in and wet down ceremony at 10 a.m. at Fire Station 45, 8618 Esplanade Street, behind McDonald’s in Navarre. Read the full article in the Aug. 23 […]

Bridge monitoring expected for years

Bridge monitoring expected for years

Engineers who testify in legal cases about construction flaws say the thousands of cracks found in the new Pensacola Bay Bridge probably aren’t serious but should be monitored closely to make sure they aren’t spreading. That’s already the plan, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. Read the full article in the Aug. 2 issue […]

Holley Navarre Fire pins two new firefighters

Holley Navarre Fire pins two new firefighters

Holley Navarre Fire District pinned two new firefighters July 13. Mike Ritter and Kailey White started working in the district July 3. Chief Ron Norton said both bring a lot of experience to the table. The two were selected from five applicants based on experience, qualifications and testing. Read the full article in the July […]

FWC active in its approach to dealing with alligator issues

FWC active in its approach to dealing with alligator issues

Alligators are a part of Florida, and as their habitat is reduced because of development near water, more and more conflicts with humans arise. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is doing what it can to combat that problem and keep issues to a minimum. Read the full article in the June 21 issue […]

Fire district welcomes three

Fire district welcomes three

The Holley Navarre Fire District welcomed three new firefighters to the fold, accomplishing part of the additional staff needed to fully staff the district. Read the full article in the Mar. 1 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options. Sign up to receive the online edition of Navarre Press for 30 days […]

Navarre Beach lifeguards return for another season

Navarre Beach lifeguards return for another season

Memorial Day is fast approaching and the Navarre Beach lifeguards will be ready for the summer onslaught of beach visitors. “We currently have 12 guards working and are expecting to hire another three,” lead guard Aaron Wible said. “That is a couple more than we had on staff last year. Read the full article in […]

LOST direction found, committee still directionless

LOST direction found, committee still directionless

County Commissioners seem a little less lost on the LOST (local option sales tax) following Monday’s regular meeting after newly hired assistant county administrator Dan Schebler provided a less structured solution. While the past months have seen project list after project list outlining how the money should be spent each year down to the dime, […]

Fire districts inch toward consolidation

Fire districts inch toward consolidation

A meeting at Midway Fire District was held Thursday to discuss a feasibility study for consolidating Navarre Beach Fire Department, Holley Navarre Fire District and Midway. Midway Commissioner Dave Szymanski called the legislative process for combining the three agencies  “a tedious and daunting task” and laid out a timeline for getting a vote on consolidation […]

Violent crime on the rise

Violent crime on the rise

While the overall crime rate for Santa Rosa County was down 0.3 percent, violent crime skyrocketed 12.7 percent during the same period, according to the most recent data available. Of the 6,015 arrests made in the county, 267 were for violent offenses, according to the 2015 Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s County Profile. Read the […]

School district upgrades security

School district upgrades security

Santa Rosa school security is getting an upgrade thanks to a new camera system that allows school officials and law enforcement to watch remotely in real time. Joey Harrell, assistant superintendent of administrative services, said the new system provides a level of safety previously not available for the district. Read the full article in the […]

Gulf Breeze officials criticize bridge safety

Gulf Breeze officials criticize bridge safety

The more that City of Gulf Breeze leaders see of the planned new Pensacola Bay Bridge, the less they seem to like it. At least that’s true of the latest batch of bridge renderings released by the Florida Department of Transportation. Read the full article in the March 30 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online […]

Showcase puts spotlight on importance of K-9 units

Showcase puts spotlight on importance of K-9 units

Roman Jackson picked up a microphone at Bennett C. Russell Stadium Thursday night and told the crowd that Santa Rosa County Sherriff Bob Johnson was going to take part in one of the many drills K-9 units from across the Southeast practiced during the field trials in Gulf Breeze last week. Read the full article […]

Fire districts talk consolidation

Fire districts talk consolidation

No matter where it occurs from Midway to Navarre Beach, a reported structure fire will bring all engines and personnel available. Read the full article in the March 2 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

LOST committee lost in the weeds

LOST committee lost in the weeds

Debate over what projects will be funded and who decides on those projects left the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) without a clear path forward for the estimated $39.5 million to be collected on the half cent local option sales tax, or LOST, Tuesday following the board’s annual Planning Workshop. Read the full article in […]

Poof! Let there be raises!

Poof!  Let there be raises!

And Commissioner Williamson said, let there be raises, and so it was. We are in full support of giving deputies much needed raises. How can we employ the best when we don’t offer much in the way of pay? When our surrounding counties offer more than we do? When deputies who are loyal to our […]

Deputy raises approved

Deputy raises approved

Santa Rosa Sheriff’s deputies could expect raises as early as Aug. 1 thanks to a reallocation of up to $290,000. Santa Rosa County Commissioners voted to allocate the sum for 2017 as well as up to $1.6 million from the 2018 budget toward one time raises for the sheriff’s deputies. The $290,000 is part of […]

Johnson swears in as new county sheriff

Johnson swears in as new county sheriff

For the first time in 16 years there is a new sheriff in town, or at least in Santa Rosa County. At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Bob Johnson officially took the reins from long time sheriff Wendell Hall who retired. During his official swearing-in ceremony later that day, Johnson said he was lying awake all night […]