Walton County Heritage Museum

Learn more about the history of Walton County

Train Depot Museum

Walton County Courthouse

Growing to meet the needs of the community


Lake DeFuniak

One of only two perfectly round lakes in the world

Fun and relaxation

Hotel DeFuniak

Built in 1920, completely restored, the perfect place to stay!

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September 2014
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Photos of the Week 8.28.2014

WALTON COUNTY Commissioners Bill Imfeld and Kenneth Pridgen, along with County Administrator Larry Jones, accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Aug. 26. The ice bucket in this case was on a county front-end loader. County Commission Chairman Bill Chapman didn’t participate because he had already responded after being challenged by the DeFuniak Springs Mayor Bob Campbell. All three are sending contribution checks to ALS.


ABIGAIL MELTON is the Historic Pensacola Village lead docent. Here she is leading a tour of the village. “Nowhere else in the United States can you come into a community that was founded in 1559,” said Historic Pensacola Village Chief Operating Officer Robert Overton. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


PRESENTING $100,000 CHECK to Angel Flight Soars Executive Director Jeanine Chambers are 723 Whiskey Bravo owners Skip and Victoria Moore.


LAURA ANDREWS had her serve working on Monday night as South Walton volleyball defeated Port St. Joe 25-16, 25-11, 21-25 and 25-18 to begin the 2014 season. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


JOHNATHAN ORTNER (15) South Walton senior quarterback, kept the offense churning despite some costly turnovers by the team as the Seahawks threw for 205 yards and scored three touchdowns in the second quarter of their exhibition game against Walton on Friday night. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

Photos of the Week 8.21.2014

WALTON HIGH SCHOOL held their Media Day for the 2014 Walton Braves football team on Aug. 15, as both the junior varsity and varsity teams posed in front of the press box at Everette Yates Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL held their Media Day for the Freeport football team on AUG. 15, as the Bulldogs prepare for the 2014 season. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


SWFD PERSONNEL tend to the “injured,” part of a simulated bus accident recently staged as a training exercise at South Walton High School. Walton County School District Transportation Department in conjunction with South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and Sacred Heart Hospital held the drill, part of the annual bus driver training program to refresh drivers as to what to do in case of an accident. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE WALTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE recruited an undead horde and some stalwart zombie apocalypse survivors to shoot a promo video for its Jail Break Zombie Fun Run, set for Nov. 1. This is no ordinary obstacle course race, as the event will have a storyline inspired by the popular “The Walking Dead” franchise. (Photo courtesy of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office)


“FLORALA FLASH” DAVID WINDHAM RETAINED SECOND-PLACE in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series street stock class points standings despite a 10th-spot finish on Aug. 16. Windham is a long-time circle track racer and now competes in the NeSmith championship series, in which he goes up against the best dirt-trackers from around the Southeast. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Windham)

Photos of the Week 8.14.2014

JIM BAGBY speaks to attendees at the Aug. 5 beach nourishment workshop. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


DEFUNIAK SPRINGS MAYOR BOB CAMPBELL and the DeFuniak Springs Senior Softball State champions at City Hall (Photo by Teresa Bogart)


THE GIRLS GOT TOGETHER FOR A TEAM PICTURE before heading out onto the field. The 2014 Florida State Championship team is composed of (back row) Laken Hadley, Sadie Varnum, Bergan Armstrong, Megan Davis, Mercedes Goldsmith, (middle) Afton Adams, Kyrsten Head, Paiyton Perry, Haley Mitchell, (back row) Caylor Dixon, Hailee Bryan, and Camryn Brazile. The team made it to the national quarterfinals. (Photo courtesy of Donna Smith)


ALL THREE Walton County high school football teams will take part in Kickoff Classics on August 22 with the 2014 regular season beginning on August 29. The DeFuniak Herald/Beach Breeze will publish this year’s football tab on August 28. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


DALE DEAN (l) WITH Embry-Riddle University and Walton High School Principal Russell Hughes (r) spoke to the board about providing an opportunity for local students to become dual-enrolled in an aeronautics curriculum, paving the way for students to get a head start in the technology and science job market. The new program was passed by a unanimous vote from the board.

Photos of the Week 8.7.2014

SOUTH WALTON’S CHRISTIAN FRIIS GRABBED GOLD in the decathlon at the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games, held over the weekend of July 26-27 in Des Moines, Iowa. His score of 6,276 is a personal record, as are his marks of 42-08 feet in the shot put and 5-10.75 in the high jump. (Photo courtesy of Christian Friis)


BOY SCOUT EVAN COWIE PRESENTED THIS TABLE AND BENCH SET, complete with inlaid chess board, to the city of DeFuniak Springs at a dedication ceremony at the Walton County Library on July 31. The construction project on the concrete table took a year’s worth of preparation and 277 hours of work to complete. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


WHERE IN THE HERALD were Herald/Breeze editor Bruce Collier and his daughter Grace? Bruce, his wife Kim and Grace spent a day last week at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, along with Bruce’s sister, brother-in-law and nephew. This photo was snapped at the entrance gate of the fair, in front of a large statue of a cardinal, the Ohio state bird. (Photo by Kim Collier)


A BRIGHT-COLORED summer visitor to a backyard near a coastal dune lake. Found around lakes, ponds, streams, wetlands and marshes, dragonflies are among the fastest and most agile flying insects. They dine on mosquitoes, flies, ants, and wasps. There are more than 5,900 dragonfly species. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


WILLIAM “BILL” ELLIS POSES NEXT TO his family’s portraits and memorabilia. Ellis recounted some of his World War II experiences as a seaman aboard the famous carrier U.S.S. Hornet, including the Doolittle Tokyo Raid and the Battle of Midway. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

Photos of the Week 7.31.2014

GABE MOORE THREW A PERSONAL BEST in the javelin event, setting a mark of 52.25 meters. He had PRs in three other events, elevating him to an eight place overall finish at the 2014 World Junior Championships’ decathlon, held July 22-23 in Eugene, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Gabe Moore)


MOST OF THE 38 Kids Catfish Tournament participants pose for a post awards ceremony photo. (photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE MULLET TOSS COMPETITION is a very popular event at Nick’s Kids Catfish Tournament. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

Photos of the Week 7.24.2014

STATE CHAMPIONS from DFS Little League – first time ever for DFS Little League.


THIS GROUP OF CAMPERS is receiving pre-snorkeling briefing. More than 100 4-H campers from Walton, Santa Rosa and Franklin counties in Florida and Covington County, Ala., converged on Camp Timpoochee in July for the organization’s summer camp. Campers spent the week participating in a variety of activities which kept both them and camp counselors busy. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


FIREFIGHTERS taking instruction in the use of the thermal imaging camera.
Thermal imaging cameras provide firefighters with the ability to see through smoke and darkness, allowing them to locate potential victims much quicker than searching without them. Walton Fire-Rescue, in coordination with DeFuniak Springs Fire, began field testing various cameras that are currently available on the market.


GROUP picture with NCA coaches. The WHS cheerleaders are getting ready for 2014 Cheer season and the Aug. 22 Kick-off Classic at South Walton High and the 2013-2014 Cheer Competition Season.


TEMPORARY FINANCIAL MANAGER Jim Messer went over the upcoming budget for the 2014-2015 school fiscal year during a series of budget workshops held at the district office as well as at South Walton High School.

Photos of the Week 7.17.2014

SUMMER at the Grayton Beach Store, a scene from the 2014 production of Grit & Grace: A Dreaming Place. (Photo by Mary Jo Odom, Florida Nuptials)


WCSO SUMMER CAMP ATTENDEES take a break from playing board games. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office held two weeks of summer camp in July. More than 25 young people attended the camp, which was based out of Maude Saunders Elementary School in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


FORMER FLORIDA LEGISLATOR DURRELL PEADEN, now a member of the Lake Erie School of Osteopathic Medicine’s Board of Directors (r) introduced Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek and her staff. The secretary was on a tour in July of the Panhandle’s medical facilities, and they stopped by to see the progress of the construction project at the forthcoming dental school. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


THE PAXTON DIXIE YOUTH PONYTAILS fast pitch softball team traveled to Okeechobee, Fla. in July to participate in the Florida state tournament and came away with the first-ever state title for the organization. The girls went undefeated and held their opponents scoreless throughout tournament play. They defeated Wauneta 14-0, and Altha 10-0 and 12-0 to claim the state title.

THESE MARKERS ARE DEDICATED to both the fallen and survivors of both parties, who took part in a battle in 1813 at Fort Mims, Alabama. Today Fort Mims is a five-acre state historic site consisting of a partially rebuilt stockade, with many informative markers. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

Photos of the Week 7.10.2014

FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE GABE MOORE and Team USA team mate Harrison Williams were the highest-scoring participants in this year’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships decathlon competition, qualifying both young men for a spot on Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Championships. (Photo courtesy of Gabe Moore)


OH, I’M SUPPOSED TO THROW THE CANDY? Small rider on His Kids Pre-School float samples the goods, one of many floats on display in the DeFuniak Springs Fourth of July parade. (Photo by Bruce Collier)


“PRIVATE PROPERTY” signs to the west of the Fort Panic/Dune Allen Regional Beach Access. Brian Kellenberger, director of beach operations for the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC), said TDC beach personnel have seen many more of these signs go up since last year. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


THE TWIRLING AMERICAN BEAUTIES were well represented at the Fourth of July parade and festivities at Seaside. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

GIGI’S PARTICIPANTS, also at the Seaside July 4 parade, always put on a good show.

Photos of the Week 7.3.2014

UNSCENIC OVERFLOWING trash cans on Scenic Gulf Drive have been a complaint for residents. County commissioners have taken action to remedy conditions like this on two county roads where many homes are rented to tourists, allowing 10 weeks of Sunday garbage collection on Scenic Gulf Drive and CR-30A(Photo courtesy of Bob Sullivan)


THE YOUNG NIECE OF a fallen officer helps place a wreath in their
memory. The Cops on Top, Summit for Heroes held in Lakewood, Fla. honored those who lost their life in the line of duty during the 2013-2014 year.


FREEPORT CITY POOL LIFEGUARDS keep a close eye on these happy swimmers. The Freeport Town Planters Society has planned an Independence Day celebration at the Freeport city pool. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

U.S. OLYMPIAN ALICE SCHMIDT AND PAN-AM GAMES CHAMP Andrew Adkison attended the opening ceremonies of the Boys & Girls Club of DeFuniak Springs’ Olympics Week 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Club of DeFuniak Springs)


ANDREWS POSES WITH THE $145,411 CHECK he and his team mates brought home after the conclusion of the tournament, which runs from Wednesday, June 18, through Sunday, June 22, in Destin. The 2014 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, ranked among the 10 top-paying tournaments in the country, had a total purse in excess of $1.68 million. (Photo courtesy of Luke Andrews)

Photos of the Week 6.26.2014

WALTON COUNTY SHERIFF AND STATE ATTORNEY BILL EDDINS held a press conference at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 18, in which the lawmen revealed what details they can about the ongoing investigation into a county-wide methamphetamine production and drug distribution ring. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


JENNY LONG DARGAVELL (left), a speaker at the June 20 meeting, is joined by Karen McGee, Walton County Democratic Women’s Club president. Dargavell is also a club member. Topics at the meeting included the school superintendent referendum and Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

Walton Republican Women Federated (WRWF) members and guests listen to Rep Marti Coley’s presentation at Cuvee Catering June 18 in Miramar Beach. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


AN UNUSUAL SIGHT, seeing this many boats out on the lake in DeFuniak Springs. This photo was captured by the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce early in the Lakefest schedule of activities on June 21. (Photo by Walton Area Chamber of Commerce.)


CAR LOVERS were in for a treat with a chance to see many classics and some unusual autos lining the street for a classic cars show during Lakefest, June 21 in DeFuniak Springs.


AREA ATHLETES stay busy in the summer as they work on their game. Mara Morse, who will be a senior next year at Walton, had to work to avoid an inside pitch for the Dingerz recently. (Photo by Teresa Bogart)