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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May 2015
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Photos of the Week 5.14.15

EMERALD COAST MIDDLE SCHOOL STATE QUALIFIERS, pictured here are: Spencer Burden, Tbar Keepman, Eyin Cole, Bryce Short, Owen Wellborn, Travis Blech, Anthony Bryan, Minh Nguyen, Patrick Hughes, Madison Peele, Mckenna Mears, Hannah Carmichael, Jielle Paul, Elisabeth Connell, Chloe St. Aubin, Maddy Kish, Emma Gibson, Melissa Diciaula, Kate Dargavell, Jacob D’Aleo, Alex Kilpatrick, Tanner Thede, Tyler Mitchum, Tanner Martin, Lindy Arthur, Nylah Timberlake, Kaylah Timberlake, Cameron Montz, Hannah Taylor, Hanna Sumpter, Kayleigh Walker, William Strain, Luke Johnson, Hannah Norton, Luke Rookis, Spencer Wiechman


WALTON HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH LANGUAGE Arts Teacher Tracy Nick accepts a grant from Janet Greeno, executive director of the St. Joe Community Foundation, Inc.


CANCER SURVIVORS take the first lap of the evening. A large group of cancer survivors and Relay for Life participants gathered on Friday evening, May 8, for the annual North of the Bay relay walk. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


MAY DAY FESTIVAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN MARCUS BALDWIN took a ride on Peanut the elephant, who, in her own way, also waved for the camera. The year 2015 marked the ninth-straight iteration of DeFuniak Springs’ May Day Festival, and it was the biggest yet in more ways than one. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


GLADYS MILTON’S DAUGHTER MARIA WORKED ALONGSIDE HER MOTHER FOR 15 YEARS at the Milton Memorial Birthing Center in Flowersview, founded in 1976, and runs the facility to this day. Walton County midwife Gladys Milton was selected as the second DeFuniak Springs Woman’s Club “Woman of Light” for her contributions to local medicine and community advocacy. (Photo by Reid Tucker)

Photos of the Week 5.7.2015

SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE is underway throughout Florida as teams begin to prepare for the upcoming 2015 high school football season. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


SISSI WEDGWOOD looks over a Brugmansia seed pod. This Ponce de Leon woman’s passion is the propagation and preservation of Brugmansia plants and flowers. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


FLORALA INVENTOR WALTER OWENS HAS BEEN PERFECTING the engineering behind his radical static electricity motor for the better part of 10 years, but, at last, he’s very close to getting the invention certified and put into production. (Photo courtesy of Walter Owens)


JOSEPH AND JEREMIAH REGISTER work a bee hive in Freeport. A few years ago the Register family obtained two honeybee colonies to pollinate their personal garden and fruit trees. From those humble beginnings has sprung a 317 colony, and growing, bee farm that keeps the family as busy as their bees. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


AWARD FOR VALOR: On Thursday April 23 at the regular bi-monthly council meeting, Freeport Mayor Russ Barley presented a certificate of valor to city of Freeport employee Addison Parker. On April 8, 2015 during work hours, Parker came opon a severe automobile accident on U.S. 331 at Bay Grove Road. He immediately responded with a fire extinguisher to the burning vehicle, pulled the occupant out to safety and then continued fighting the blaze until help arrived. Mayor Barley commended Parker on his heroic actions stating “Addison Parker saved a life that day.” (Courtesy of Ard Gallery)

GULF CEMETERY ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS and volunteers gathered on Saturday, May 2 for their annual cleanup day. Their efforts are both intended to police the historic cemetery and prepare for Memorial Day. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)



Photos of the Week 4.30.2015

NEWLY ELECTED CITY COUNCILWOMAN JANIE GRIFFITH was sworn in to office by Mayor Bob Campbell at the April 27 meeting of the DeFuniak Springs City Council. Griffith was joined by her daughter and father, as well as numerous other family members and friends. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


THE HISTORIC HOME AT 676 CIRCLE DRIVE, site of the April 25 Pig Roast to benefit the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood. The historic 1910 French Colonial-style home was opened for ticketed tours, and visitors had the chance to view not only the interior but also a display of painted porcelain and art provided by Chautauqua Porcelain Artists and the Walton County Art League. Local craftsman Roy Walker’s dollhouse-sized replica of the Hall of Brotherhood – which was to be raffled off – was on display on the porch.


THE SOUTH WALTON SOFTBALL TEAM captured the District 4, Class A crown with a 10-1 win over Franklin County last week. The Seahawks won their fourth district title in the program’s history and first since the 2010 season. Head coach Bob Hartness’ squad is in the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and, with a win over Chipley, would host the Region 2 Final on Friday. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


THE PAXTON BOBCATS WON THE PROGRAM’S NINTH-STRAIGHT District 1-A championship on the evening of Thursday, April 23, with a 2-1 victory over Central. Paxton won every district title since 2004 other than in the ’05 and ’06 seasons, when the team was the runner-up. (Photo by Reid Tucker)

WALTON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Amante’ (l) and Randi Tolbert with their first book “The Token.” The young ladies and their work were profiled in the April 30 edition of the Herald Breeze. (photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE GOODYEAR BLIMP made a trip past Walton County on Wednesday, April 22. Here the aircraft is proceeding west past the Whale’s Tail restaurant. (photo by Jeffrey Powell)



Photos of the Week 4.23.2015

MORE THAN 400 WALKERS PARTICIPATED AT THE 1ST ANNUAL AUTISM WALK, held Saturday, April 18, at the Wee Care Park in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Casey)


HORSESHOE BEND NATIONAL MILITARY PARK is located 12 miles north of Dadeville, Ala., on the Tallapoosa River. The park’s visitor’s center is very informative and contains many pertinent artifacts from the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE FREEPORT CITY COUNCIL, WALTON COUNTY OFFICIALS, AND DEVELOPERS lined up April 15 to break the ground at the site of Freeport’s forthcoming Publix location, which is set to open next April. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


BOUNCE CASTLES AND THE LIKE WERE A HIT with the kids in the crowd of hundreds in attendance at CHELCO’s 2015 Annual Meeting, the 74th since the co-op launched in 1940. The turnout attested to the importance of the electricity provider’s role in the Walton County community.
(Photo by Reid Tucker)


MARA MORSE, Walton senior, drove in the go-ahead run in the third inning with a slap single over the infield to help the Braves to a 2-1 win over West Florida and a 21-2 record on the year. (Photo by Patrick Casey)

Photos of the Week

CAF PILOT ALAN MILLER PUT THE WORLD WAR II fighter plane through its paces above the airport, enthralling Marvel of Flight (April 11) spectators with displays of the legendary Mustang’s aerobatic capabilities. The Red Tail Squadron’s Mustang is a C-type, which is differentiated from the later D-type planes by its fastback roofline instead of the D’s bubble canopy. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


DEFUNIAK SPRINGS MAYOR BOB CAMPBELL PRESENTED the winning design for the artwork to be featured on the official event shirts of the city’s second annual LakeFest. The event is set to take place May 30. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


ANNIE MYLES CROSSED THE LINE IN SECOND PLACE with a time of 12.77 in the girls’ 100-meter dash. Last week was a busy one for the guys and gals of Walton County’s track teams, as several athletes from each school finished in the top four spots at their respective district meets to qualify for regional-level events.(Photo courtesy of Paxton High School)


THE WALTON BRAVES 2015 softball team won four games on Saturday to capture the Samson Invitational Softball Tournament. Walton edged Wicksburg 1-0 in the finale to move to 19-2 overall on the year entering this week’s District 1, Class 4A tournament in Marianna. (Photo by Cindy Jackson)


SOUTH WALTON SENIOR softball player Ashlyn Sachenbacher signed a scholarship deal this past Friday to play at Enterprise State Community College next season. Pictured are: (Seated): ESCC softball coach King Jones with Ashlyn Sachenbacher. (Standing): Casey and Rhonda Lang and South Walton softball coach Bob Hartness. (Photo courtesy Brandon K. Pierce, ESCC Marketing)

Photos of the Week 4.19.2015

PILOT DAVID MARS WILL OFFER RIDES IN HIS 1929 BIPLANE at the 2015 Marvel of Flight, set to take place at the DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport over the weekend of April 10-11. The event, now in its fifth year, will feature exhibits, demonstrations, and seminars related to aviation as well as a variety of other activities for aviation fans from the casual to the confirmed. (Photo courtesy of David Mars)


STOLTZFUS FAMILY members and a friend and associate at the premiere of “Coastal Dune Lakes, Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast” From left: Nic Stoltzfus, Esther (Mrs. Elam) Stoltzfus, Joey Dickinson, and Elam Stoltzfus. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

SWHS TRACK & FIELD spring break trip March 25-28 to Orlando was a big success. Coach Willie Parker and 22 members traveled by charter bus for four days of training and fun excursions, wrapping up the trip by participating in the Disney High School Track & Field Showcase held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They returned with nine medals, earned by Mattie Fulmer 1st in 3200 and 6th in 400; Ally Woodard 5th in 1600 and 6th in 3200; Haley Anderson 1st in pole vault; Ryan Short 2nd in pole vault; Micah Ryan 5th in 800; Amy Broadt 7th in 100m hurdles; Christian Friis 6th in discus.

THIS EASTER BUNNY jumped from 5,000 feet to join the festivities. The Freeport Regional Sports Complex was awash with the sights, sounds and aromas of this year’s Arts & Crafts Festival, Easter Egg Hunt and Car Show on Saturday morning, April 4. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


HANNAH POOLE WAS THE LINCHPIN OF WALTON’S WINS against district foe Marianna and intra-county rival Ponce de Leon on Friday, April 3, and Monday, April 7. Poole had a combined 24 strikeouts, two walks and three hits in the back-to-back home victories. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


Photos of the Week 4.2.2015

CITY OF DEFUNIAK SPRINGS Facility Coordinator Mike Scharver performs a little spring cleaning on the caboose in downtown DeFuniak Springs. The city is in the process of sprucing up several of their facilities now that the weather is cooperating. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THIS ALABAMA PARTIER WAS LET OFF with a $350 citation and a notice to appear in court to answer charges of underaged possession of alcohol, but he had to pour out his substantial collection of assorted “adult beverages,” as had hundreds of others since Spring Break ’15 began in Walton County. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


MELINDA GATES, coastal resource liaison, speaks with workshop attendees individually at the close of the workshop on available funding for Walton County projects, the result of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


AUSTIN FRANKLIN HAD ANOTHER GOOD NIGHT for the Bobcats against the Walton Braves, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two singles and a walk, and scoring two runs for the team. Team mate Kaleb Newborn, who led Paxton in hitting with a 3-for-4 (two doubles and a triple), looks on. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


JAMIE LAMB (1) Walton sophomore, is dangerous both at the plate and in the field. Lamb had two hits, drove in one and scored a pair of runs, while also starting three double plays from her shortstop position in the field on March 30 in the Braves’ win over Pensacola Catholic. (Photo by Patrick Casey)

Photos of the Week 3.26.2015

READY FOR A SHAKESPEAREAN DUEL. No Limits Theatre Company of DeFuniak Springs did two Shakespeare-themed shows at E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center’s March 21 “Special Needs in Nature,” program, one at 10:30 a.m., and one at 12:45 p.m., for two completely different audiences.


LIFE-SAVING CITIZEN RECOGNIZED: (l-r) C W Roberts President Bob Flowers, Eric Wright, Sheriff Mike Adkinson and C W Roberts Vice-President Darryl Carpenter. Wright helped save the life of a driver whose vehicle drove off the road and into Basin Bayou last January.


RICK PERRY addresses a joint meeting of the Walton Republican Women Federated (WRWF) and the South Walton Republican Club (SWRC) on March 18 at Grand Boulevard. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE extended the run of the play HAMLET to seven total nights – adding three new dates in April to the original run. Shakespeare’s tragedy is produced by the college’s Humanities, Fine & Performing Arts Division. Dylan Garofalo, pictured here, plays Hamlet.


LONGTIME PAXTON BASEBALL COACH JEFF BRADLEY WAS JOINED by family, friends and former players on the evening of March 20, when the Bobcats honored his achievements as head of the program by naming the home diamond after him. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


WINTER OFFICIALLY CAME TO AN END on March 20, at 5:45 p.m. The day ended in spectacular fashion with this sunset over Choctawhatchee Bay. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

Photos of the Week 3.19.2015

MR. CARL is a talented and colorful character that spends most days at the beach. He and his musical compatriots often gather for sunset jam sessions, weather permitting. He plays the ukulele and a recorder flute. “South Walton is not a bad place to retire,” said Carl. “There are blinding white beaches and a new spring break season is under way.” (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


EMERALD COAST MIDDLE SCHOOL has raised $4,000 for the Change for Children Campaign. Students stood behind this worthy cause and were excited to help the children.



THE TEMPORARY new digs for the Friends of the Library book sale in DeFuniak Springs allowed more room for shoppers to peruse the thousands of titles available.


SEVENTH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP Public Relations Officer Capt. Thomas Cieslak recently addressed the DeFuniak Springs Rotary Club. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


TATER MORRISON (l) and Monnie Mixon threw out the first pitches at the Freeport Dixie Youth baseball opening day March 14. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


MICHAELA CAIN, Paxton catcher, had a busy night as the Bobcats pitching staff recorded 14 strikeouts against Ponce de Leon while Cain hit a two-run home run in the first inning to give the host squad a lead they would never relinquish on Monday night. (Photo by Patrick Casey)

Photos of the Week 3.12.2015

COUNTY STAFF, attendees and an attorney at the March 5 meeting on the Redesign of Chateau 30A/Hampton Inn development proposal. David Theriaque, attorney for the project applicants, is shown walking at far left. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


E.O. WILSON Biophilia Center founders/recent Richard Weinstein Conservation Partner Award honorees M.C. and Stella Davis (top center) were joined by Deborah Keller of the Nature Conservancy and children attending the Black Bear Affair event for a picture. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


THIS GROUP OF STUDENTS jumped for joy at the Spring Fling, held at Freeport Middle School. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


A SWFD LIFEGUARD demonstrates proper porpoise-ing procedures. With spring break here, and the summer season soon to follow, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is preparing a new class of lifeguards to protect swimmers along south Walton beaches. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


SOMETIMES A TAG IS WHAT IS CALLED FOR when it’s time to make a clutch out. With young competitors like these, the Paxton Dixie Youth Baseball league got its 2015 season off to a terrific start. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


MONUMENT TO RUBYE BURTON, “The Lady of the Lake.” The DeFuniak Springs Woman’s Club celebrated a “DeFuniak Springs Woman of Light” on March 6, by honoring Rubye Burton with a monument in front of the DeFuniak Springs library. (Photo by Alicia Leonard)