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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March 2015
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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)

Photos of the Week 3.5.2015

FREEPORT HIGH SCHOOL girls championship basketball team was recognized by the City Council at its Feb. 26 meeting.


MORE THAN 200 well-wishers showed up to enjoy the celebration honoring the Freeport Lady Bulldogs in their recent state championship. Held on the grounds of Freeport City Hall, the event was sponsored by Freeport Mayor Russ Barley and hosted by the Freeport City Council and the Town Planters Society. (Ard Gallery photo)


TUCK STAFFORD, South Walton pitcher, earned the win with six innings of work in a 10-3 decision over Port St. Joe on Friday night (Feb. 27). (Photo by Patrick Casey)


DESPITE RADIOSHACK’S BANKRUPTCY FILING, S&S ELECTRONICS, the national retailer’s DeFuniak Springs location, will remain open. Business, especially in cell phones and accessories, is better than ever at the store, which was founded in 1986. Pictured here are Dean, Sue, Adam and Doug Shaw, the S&S Electronics family. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


BOTH SWCC FORUMS providing information on potential efforts to incorporate a possible new city south of Choctawhatchee Bay, were well attended, the first filling the venue to capacity with 85 present and the second drawing about 40 people. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

THE WALTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE received official re-accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA).

Photos of the Week 2.26.2015

FREEPORT FANS FROM NEAR AND FAR CONVERGED on the school’s auditorium on Feb. 19 and 20 to watch the internet broadcast of the Lady Bulldogs’ Final Four appearances. The roar from the crowd was deafening as Freeport surged ahead in the fourth quarter to take the 46-36 win over Wildwood for the title. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


A Community Celebration honoring the 2015 Girls Basketball State Champions, the Freeport Lady Bulldogs was held Saturday Feb. 28 at the Freeport City Hall. Freeport claimed its first girls basketball state championship with a 46-36 victory over Wildwood at Lakeland Canter. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


PONCE DE LEON opened their 2015 softball season with a 7-6 win at home over Laurel Hill as the Pirates had to score four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally from a 6-3 deficit. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


TIM ARD of Emerald Coast Flowers made a floral arrangement using the camellia. Hundreds of visitors from throughout the eastern United States and Canada flocked to Eden Gardens State Park on Feb. 21, for the Friends of Eden sponsored Camellia Festival. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


MISS TIVOLI 1950, Norma Jean Goodson, was part of the Feb. 21 Black History Month parade and celebration held in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo by Bruce Collier)

Photos of the Week 2.19.2015

THE PAXTON LADY CATS EARNED A RETURN TRIP TO STATE with their 38-33 win over 2012 state champ Ponce De Leon in the Region 1-Class A final. Joining the Lady Cats in their post-game celebration was Sarah Infinger, wife of late assistant coach Randy Infinger, who suffered a fatal heart attack days after Paxton won last year’s championship. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


KATIE O’NEAL of Freeport scored 30 points to lead the Bulldogs past Port St. Joe 49-40 last week in a Class A road playoff contest. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


TERRY L. RAFFIELD of the Freeport Fire Department at Freeport Middle School’s Career Day. He was one of more than a dozen different career speakers on hand to address students’ questions during the Friday, Feb. 13 morning event. Students rotated between speakers in three organized sessions. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

MARIAH BARLEY (l), COURTNEY EDWARDS AND BUNNIE MCMULLEN are keeping Lily’s Cafe’ operating in the absence of their owner and friend. (photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE FEB. 10 BCC meeting plaque presentation. The presentation kicked off a busy Feb. 10 Walton County Board of County Commissioners meeting at the South Walton Annex. From left: Walton County Planning and Development Services Director Wayne Dyess, CRS Coordinator Danny Hinson, and Walton County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Bill Imfeld. (Photo courtesy of Walton County Public Information)


Photos of the Week 2.12.1015

TABITHA GAYDOS, South Walton senior softball player, signed a scholarship deal with Gulf Coast State College last week. Gaydos is pictured with her parents, Edward and Tammy Gaydos, as well as Athletic Director Phil Tisa, South Walton softball coach Bob Hartness and Gulf Coast State College softball coach Beth Wade. (Photo by Barb Stratton)


KRISTA MCQUEEN Walton senior center, (33) hit 8-of-9 free throws and scored 27 points in her final game for the Lady Braves. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


THIS 1948 TUCKER TORPEDO was used in the Francis Ford Coppola movie Tucker. The automobile is part of the collection at Tallahassee Automobile Museum. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


BRAD PICKEL, (l) coastal management consultant for Walton County and the TDC, was recognized for his almost-15-years’ service at the Feb. 3 tourism council meeting. (Photo courtesy of the Walton County TDC).

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from Eleanor and Roger Frick, who are celebrating 70 years since their first (blind) date, on Valentine’s Day. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

Photos of the Week 2.5.2015

FIRST CHRISTIAN ACADEMY PRINCIPAL LISA TUCKER gives Oliver a smooch. Tucker made good on a promise. That promise was to kiss a pig if students could raise $1,000 by saving and submitting box tops. Not only did the students reach their goal, they exceeded the mark. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE KREWE DE YAK was the guiding spirit behind the Mardi Gras Parade this past Saturday in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo by Bruce Collier)


THE DEFUNIAK SPRINGS WOMAN’S CLUB STILL USES the original clubhouse on 6th Street in DeFuniak Springs, which was purchased in 1922. The Woman’s Club is celebrating 100 years of service.


DELILAH BASS, Ponce de Leon senior guard (11) scored 18 points as the Pirates pulled away for a 64-49 home victory over Poplar Springs in a District 1, Class A semi-final on Thursday night. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


CRETE ZORN (3) of Ponce de Leon scored 13 points in a 63-53 win over Holmes County in Bonifay on Jan. 27. The Pirates won their first game against their rivals in Bonifay since December of 2006. (Photo by Patrick Casey)

Photos of the Week 1.29.2015

APOLLO 13 ASTRONAUT FRED HAISE (l) was introduced by Florida Chautauqua Assembly President Chris Mitchell. Haise was keynote speaker at the 2015 Florida Chautauqua Assembly, held in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


L to R School Superintendent Carlene Anderson Winner TOY Carla Griffith FHS Principal Tripp Hope.JPG
TEACHER OF THE YEAR (l-r) Superintendent Carlene Anderson, Teacher of the Year Carla Griffith, FHS Principal Tripp Hope


WHERE IN THE HERALD are Herald-Breeze editor Bruce Collier and his daughter Grace? Bruce and his wife Kim took Grace on a surprise trip to Disney World to celebrate her fourth birthday last weekend. They stopped to take a photo with The Three Caballeros – Jose Carioca, Panchito Pistoles and Donald Duck – at Coronado Springs resort. (Photo by Kim Collier)


FREEPORT’S WIN IN THE 2015 DISTRICT 1-2A TOURNAMENT on Jan. 23 is the first soccer title in school history.


DELILAH BASS Ponce de Leon senior (11) scored 20 points as the Pirates beat Freeport for the first time in three meetings this season with a 78-59 decision. (Photo by Patrick Casey)

Photos of the Week 1.22.15

SUSAN GIBLIN’S “Great Blue Heron” is a very colorful oil painting. The Arts and Design Society (ADSO) of Fort Walton Beach, is currently presenting their 23rd Southeast Regional juried fine arts exhibition in the McIlory Gallery at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing arts center galleries in Niceville. This annual competitive exhibition regularly attracts many top artists and their varied talents and media from throughout the Southeastern United States. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


CHAUTAUQUA HISTORY ON DISPLAY will be seen at the 2015 Florida Chautauqua Assembly. The 4-day educational and cultural program for families begins on Thursday, Jan. 22 and lasts through Sunday, Jan. 25.


STANDING ROOM ONLY was an understatement at the Jan. 14 special meeting of the Planning Commission. Following much commentary and legal argument, the commission voted 3-2 to recommend approval of a 90-room Hampton Inn proposed for CR-30A in Seagrove. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


NITRO GEE Walton junior forward (22) had 11 points as the Braves earned their seventh win of the year on Friday night in a home victory over Marianna. (Photo by Jennifer Casey)


AMANDA PASCHAL, (12), Chipley senior guard, scored 26 points against Freeport last week but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs avenged one of their two losses on the year with a 61-53 win over the Tigers in overtime to take the top seed in the upcoming District 3 girls basketball tournament. (Photo by Patrick Casey)