Santa Rosa County

Second chance program for young offenders doubles in size

Second chance program for young offenders doubles in size

Assistance for Santa Rosa County students that have had run-ins with the law has expanded as the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Transition Program launched in February 2018 has more than doubled its reach. From emotional support counseling to academic tutoring to navigating complex transcripts, Student Intervention Specialist Cindy Peaden has expanded the number of […]

PIT Count, U-Count volunteers tackle homelessness

PIT Count, U-Count volunteers tackle homelessness

To tackle a problem requires knowing what the problem is, and fighting local homelessness is no different. In an effort to better understand the struggles faced by hundreds of homeless residents in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Opening Doors Northwest Florida (formerly EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless) will be conducting an annual Point in Time […]

Milton man sentenced 15 years on drug charges

Milton man sentenced 15 years on drug charges

Rodney Eugene Davis, 42, of Milton was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest to Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Sell, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell, Driving While License Suspended pursuant to Habitual Offender and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. According to a statement issued by the […]

Holley Navarre Water System: Past, present, future

Holley Navarre Water System: Past, present, future

As the election of four new members to the Holley Navarre Water System’s board of directors draws near, discussions of the utility have flared on social media, in conversations and even in the Board of County Commissioners’ chambers. The candidates chosen Jan. 15 will act as the leadership entity for a water system that serves […]

My town

My town

I am the Holley Navarre Water System board director who voted against hiring Rob Williamson as CEO of the utility. My friends and family keep asking me, “why don’t you just quit? You have nothing to gain and nothing is going to change.” My answer is because this is my town. I got my first […]

County revising Land Development Code

County revising Land Development Code

After years of complaints and questions from citizens throughout the county about how future growth will be managed, Santa Rosa Planning and Zoning Office officials will be working to update the county’s Land Development Code (LDC). The LDC is the decades-old guiding document for all building in Santa Rosa County, covering issues ranging from the […]

Aldi grocery chain among retailers eyeing Navarre

Aldi grocery chain among retailers eyeing Navarre

New retailers, including Aldi grocery stores, could be coming to Navarre and Pace as the Birmingham-based firm NextSite provides market analysis and retailer courting services for Santa Rosa County. Since April 2018 the firm has been collecting data on population, traffic and demographics in the county’s major areas and then using that data in contacts […]

New Navarre school coming bit by bit

New Navarre school coming bit by bit

The planned K-8 school on Elkhart Drive will open by 2021 with a few missing pieces:  no completed classrooms for middle-schoolers and a cafeteria without cooking equipment. Budget constraints at the Santa Rosa County School District prompted the decision to start building a school that’s affordable in the summer of 2019 and gradually add to […]

Entire pier deck to be replaced

Entire pier deck to be replaced

Walking the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico, visitors may notice a few cracks and even holes in the decking. Those blemishes should be going away soon as Santa Rosa County plans to completely re-deck the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier in 2019. Read the full article in the Jan. 10 issue of Navarre Press. […]

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

Tourism council backs funding for wildlife refuge

After balking at a request for nearly half a million dollars, the county’s Tourist Development Council did agree Jan. 3 to fund $117,000 for animal habitats at the new Holley location of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge (ECWR). While ECWR has steadily been securing donations since December 2016, the timeline for completion of the new […]

Courthouse contractor picked, construction to begin

Courthouse contractor picked, construction to begin

After more than 20 years of debate, construction of a new Santa Rosa County courthouse will begin this year according to county officials. The Santa Rosa County Commission took a huge step in that direction Tuesday, selecting the firm that will design and build a new judicial center complex along Avalon Boulevard in Milton. Read […]

86-year-old woman charged with killing husband

86-year-old woman charged with killing husband

An elderly Pace woman allegedly killed her 89-year-old husband with a cane Saturday, but prosecutors are not sure she is competent to stand trial. Sheriff Bob Johnson said the case is complicated by the age of the individuals and apparent confusion of the suspect involved. Read the full article in the Jan. 10 issue of […]

Santa Rosa warned of state’s tight purse strings

Santa Rosa warned of state’s tight purse strings

We’ll try to help you, but we expect shallow pockets next year. That’s the message that the Santa Rosa County Legislative Delegation brought to local charities, political action groups and other organizations in a pre-Christmas hearing to discuss the 2019 budget and lawmaking session in Tallahassee. Read the full article in the Jan. 3 issue […]

Area housing market on steady growth pace

Area housing market on steady growth pace

The Navarre real estate market isn’t booming quite like sometimes in the past, but it’s on a solid growth trajectory that doesn’t appear to hold a bust in store either. In other words, it may be just right. Read the full article in the Jan. 3 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Wetlands 101

Wetlands 101

In 2018, Navarre Press featured a three-part series on the impacts of developing on wetlands. We present the three-parts here together.   Wetlands 101:Environmental impacts of development Wetlands Part 2: East Bay water quality at risk Continued loss of wetlands jeopardizes East Bay   Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up to […]

Marine Park improvements on schedule for April completion

Marine Park improvements on schedule for April completion

Winter beachgoers at Navarre Beach Marine Park may have noticed black silt fencing, work crews and heavy machinery since early November along their coastline. The work underway is part of new visitor amenities coming to the park, coordinated and paid for by roughly $3 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) grants through the Florida […]

Our hopes for 2019

Our hopes for 2019

We hope Holley Navarre Water System will get their act together and behave like a professional board that controls one of the largest budgets in the county. We wish successful business owners, or at least people with board experience, would seek to become part of the board for no other reason than to serve their […]

Williamson’s hands are tied at the water utility

Williamson’s hands are tied at the water utility

The list of duties that are legally off-limits to the newly minted $100,000-a-year Chief Executive Officer at Holley Navarre Water System keeps growing. Already being held at arm’s length by Santa Rosa County officials, ousted District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson also won’t likely be allowed to handle applications for federal and state grants or loans […]

Penguins, pirates plunging into New Year

Penguins, pirates plunging into New Year

Whether clad in jumpsuits, wetsuits, swimsuits or just plain old suits, Navarre Beach residents and visitors spend the first day of each year sloshing into the frigid waters along the shore in the classic New Year’s tradition of plunging. The start of 2019 will be no exception, with two events coming to Navarre this year. […]

Settlers Colony receives $6.2 million drainage upgrade

Settlers Colony receives $6.2 million drainage upgrade

Construction of $6.2 million of drainage improvements in Settlers Colony Expansion in Gulf Breeze began Dec. 12. The county project includes installation of an improved stormwater collection and conveyance system with new outfall locations and stormwater treatment components. Read the full article in the Dec. 20 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Board rejects Military Trail density increase

Board rejects Military Trail density increase

Plans to build 11 condominiums along Military Trail in Navarre were squashed Dec. 13 when county commissioners refused a request to increase the property’s allowable density. Developer Jimmy Murphy of Homes by Vision LLC was seeking to have a 1.13-acre parcel rezoned to R2 to permit the construction of multi-family homes as opposed to the […]

Gardner reflects on 33 year career before retirement

Gardner reflects on 33 year career before retirement

On an evening in 1995, Paul Gardner and his wife were cresting the top of the Navarre Beach bridge when they spotted a breathtaking view, thousands of lights along the coastal community known as Navarre. The couple were headed home from a celebratory dinner. Gardner had just secured a promotion to Operations Manager at Holley […]

Navarre sergeant charged with child porn possession

Navarre sergeant charged with child porn possession

A Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office sergeant from Navarre has been arrested on multiple counts of child pornography after a search of his phone. Jeffrey Perkins was arrested Monday and charged with eight counts of child pornography following an investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Read the full article in the Dec. 20 issue […]

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

County holds ex-commissioner at arm’s length

Wary of violating a Florida statute about consorting with former colleagues, Santa Rosa officials are carefully avoiding work-related contact with Rob Williamson, the new CEO of Holley Navarre Water System. Keeping Williamson at arm’s length has already required dodging an overture last week to tour Holley Navarre Water’s facilities on Turkey Bluff Road along with […]

Body found in Jay may be missing woman

Body found in Jay may be missing woman

A homicide investigation is underway after Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Deputies said Monday they believe a body found in a shallow grave in Jay is a woman that has been missing since May 28. Felecia Kuswandy, 38, was last seen alive at the same property along Highway 4 where the body was discovered last week according […]

Shy young lady needs loving family

Shy young lady needs loving family

Abigail is a smart and beautiful 15-year-old youth. She can be a little shy and reserved until she gets to know you. Abigail’s favorite subject in school is science, and she is also a member of the color guard. Abigail enjoys shopping and getting her nails done. She would like a home environment where there […]

Adoptable pets at Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter

Adoptable pets at Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter

My name is Baby Cakes (A103217). I am a female, calico domestic shorthair. The shelter staff think I am about 2 years and 1 month old. I have been at the shelter since Nov. 16.           My name is Felix (A103036). I am a male, black and white domestic medium hair. […]

United Methodist Children’s Home more than an orphanage

United Methodist Children’s Home more than an orphanage

What started as an orphanage in Selma, Alabama, in 1890 has grown to a regional assistance program supporting at-risk children and teens throughout Alabama and northwest Florida. While many new programs are on the books for United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH), Florida Executive Director Tracey Williams said many people still think of UMCH as a […]

Bear sightings more likely than ever in Florida

Bear sightings more likely than ever in Florida

Bear sightings have become more common, and it isn’t just people thinking they are seeing bears visible to the public more than ever before. The odds are as good as they have ever been in the last 100 years. “As both the human and bear populations continue to increase in Florida, there are more opportunities […]

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