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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July 2015
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Photos of the Week 7.30.15

IT’S GOOD TO BE DA KING (AND QUEEN), as the newly crowned Mardi Gras royalty found out at the 2015 RHD Values Day party on Thursday, July 23, held in conjunction with the Krewe de Yak. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Hinson)
AS THE CONFEDERATE FLAG ISSUE was being discussed on Tuesday, July 28, within the Walton County Courthouse members of both factions gathered outside. A few words were exchanged between the camps but there was no disorder. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)
NINETY-NINE golfers teed up golf balls on Saturday at the DeFuniak Springs Country Club to take part in the first Alex Brack Foundation Golf Tournament. Thirty-three teams battled it out in four separate flights to help raise money will be used to assist families with special needs children with over 250 hours of professional ABA therapy that these kids deserve.







Photos of the Week 6.18.2015

DRONE PHOTO OF WALTON MIDDLE SCHOOL. (Photo by Ryan Newell, Lord & Son Construction)


DE FUNIAK SPRINGS HAD TWO TEAMS entered into last week’s 7-8-9 year old tourney in Shalimar with the White squad posting a 4-0 mark to win the event. Pictured are: Jaden Stevenson, Graison Dorr, Haley Reddick, Makayla Hogg, Nicole Foushee, Mayah Barrineau, Grace Harrington, Shaechaniah Tucker, Alionna Jones, Alaysha Jones and Landry Carroll along with Coach Brady Beardon, Manager Craig Stevenson, Coach Vernon Jones.


NEWLY HIRED DEFUNIAK SPRINGS FINANCE DIRECTOR JOE BROWN (l), seen here with City Manager Sara Bowers and Mayor Bob Campbell, was selected for the job by the DeFuniak Springs City Council at a special meeting on the evening of Monday, June 15. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


ROY BROWN PERFORMS “You Can’t Take You Out of My Heart” for Freeport library employees Debbie Peeper and Dollie Jones. Brown enjoys playing with others and is a prolific songwriter. He performs at Casey’s Gospel Barn in Ebro on the first Saturday of the month and participates in Picking on the Porch in Freeport. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


WALTON WINNERS at Tropicana District II Speech Contest. Pictured here are Elissa Rodriguez-Lombardo, Catherine Coble and Ellie Wilder.

Photos of the Week 6.4.2015

ROY WALKER, KAREN MCDONALD, SHARON GRENET, JO ANN CROOK and Mayor Bob Campbell gathered recently at the Walton County Heritage Museum to accept the loan of Walker’s Chautauqua house of brotherhood replica. Grenet won the 1/33 scale replica at the recent pig roast fundraiser.


ONE OF THE COOLEST ATTRACTIONS AT LAKEFEST was the sky board – basically a jet ski-powered hover board that allows its rider to soar high into the air. The second annual Lakefest event was held May 30 in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


A SEMI-TRAILER HAULER CARRYING A LARGE WELL-DRILLING MACHINE OVERTURNED at the intersection of U.S. 331 and U.S. 90 in the early afternoon of Friday, May 29. Traffic needed to be redirected around the crash for several hours while crews worked to aright the toppled equipment and trailer and repair the damaged asphalt. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


THE NEW 50-percent rule for vending is seen here in operation at Blue Mountain Beach Regional Beach Access, with vendor set-ups limited to the eastern 50 percent of the public beach access property. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


JAKE HILL, South Walton senior, signed a scholarship offer last week to continue his golfing career at Martin Methodist this fall. Pictured are: (Back Row) Josh McClendon (brother-in-law), Jimmy Ross, Matt Rackley (golf coach), Scott Michie and Bert Hill (Dad). (Front Row) Judah McClendon (Nephew), Valerie McClendon (sister), Mira McClendon (niece), Stephanie Hill (mom), Jake Hill and Amy Mathes (Step-mom).

Photos of the Week 5.29.15

A VIEW OF Alligator Lake, one of Walton County’s coastal dune lakes. After hearing from county staff and 22 members of the public at a two-hour special meeting on May 18, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) opted to put off a decision on proposed changes to county regulations for lots within the Coastal Dune Lake Protection Zone (CDLPZ).(Photo by Dotty Nist)


WALTON HIGH SCHOOL BAND MEMBER BLAINE STAPP played the haunting notes of “Taps” at the conclusion of the Memorial Day observances at Gum Creek Cemetery. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


EMERALD COAST YOUNG MARINES assist World War II veteran Vernon Bishop in laying a memorial wreath Gulf Cemetery. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

LT. DANNY GARNER (center) is congratulated for his years of service by Walton County Posse members Chuck Ebbecke (l) and Joe Stanko (r). Garner is the longest-serving Walton County Sheriff’s officer in the history of Walton County.

AZENDE REY Walton running back, had a 10-yard touchdown run to help the Braves to an early 7-0 lead against Chipley on Friday night (May 22). (Photo by Reid Tucker)

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)