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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October 2014
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Photos of the Week 10.16.2014

DONNIE GROSSKOPF of South Walton (22) got loose on a sweep as the Seahawks took advantage of five Cottondale turnovers in the game to run out to a 41-6 halftime lead. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


DONNIE GROSSKOPF of South Walton (22) got loose on a sweep as the Seahawks took advantage of five Cottondale turnovers in the game to run out to a 41-6 halftime lead. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


GEORGE THOMPSON VISITS THE GRAVES of his mother and father in Thompson Cemetery. Thompson recalled the pioneering lifestyle of Santa Rosa childhood in an interview with the Herald Breeze. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


EVERYONE MADE GREAT USE of the lake thanks to participants like
Snaggy Bend Outfitters and Emerald Coast Hydrobikes. Kids of all ages enjoyed Walton Outdoors’ Explore the Outdoors Festival at the lake yard on Oct. 11, as well as St. Agatha’s Sale on the Circle. (Photo by Alicia Leonard)


SHOPPERS SPILLED OVER the sidewalks looking for the perfect
treasure at the Sale on the Circle in DeFuniak Springs on Oct. 11. (Photo by Alicia Leonard)

Photos of the Week 10.09.2014

WALTON COUNTY EXTENSION SERVICE DIRECTOR Mike Goodchild (r) presents members of the Collinsworth/Currid family with the Farm Family of the Year award. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE REVEREND Dr. Sandra Mcleod speaks to the group about the importance St. Francis placed on relationships with all creatures, great and small while chairperson for the event and assistant Carrie Dockery (r-l) looks on as Max waits for his blessing. The annual Blessing of the Pets at St. Agatha’s Episcopal Church took place Oct. 4 in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo by Alicia Leonard)


THE OLDER THE BETTER. Cast iron tools, cookware and kitchen antiques always make shoppers stop for a look. This was part of the stock available for browsing and purchase at Peddler’s Alley, Oct. 4 in DeFuniak Springs. (Photo by Alicia Leonard)


MACHINERY AND test piles for the bridge expansion project. Test piles have been installed in the water in connection with the U.S. 331 bay bridge expansion project in Walton County, according to the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT).


THE WALTON DEFENSE had their toughest test of the regular season on Friday night as Florida High, with 19 seniors on the roster, was too much for the Braves on the road. (Photo by Jennifer Casey)

Photos of the Week 10.02.2014


ZACH SEAY SCORED TWICE FOR FREEPORT, first on a 2-yard hop and then on a longer 17-yard sprint in the fourth quarter. He led the Bulldogs with 143 yards on 24 carries, in Freeport’s 26-13 win over Graceville on Sept. 26. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


WALTON’S Rosheen Blackmon and Krista McQueen were named Homecoming King and Queen on Friday night at halftime of the Braves game with Holmes County. (Photo by Jennifer Casey)


THE BIG GUNS of Fort Clinch. Located on the northern shore of Amelia Island in extreme northeast Florida this park offers something for everyone that enjoys outdoor activities. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE GYM AT WALTON Middle School in the process of being removed to make way for a new and larger gym for students in the future. (Photo by Mark Gardner)


COUNTY COMMISSIONERS at the Sept. 23 regular meeting. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

Photos of the Week 9.25.2014

WALTON COUNTY SCHOOL Board members, staff, and representatives from Lord & Son construction and Architects Elliott, Marshall, Innes P.A. break ground Sept. 18 for the start of construction on the new 158,710 square feet of the new Walton Middle School.


KIKI BOGART, a Walton County SWAT member, and Prince Menckeberg, a Washington County SWAT member, work as a team to clean up a Bay county beach near Gulf Coast State College.


HISTORIAN DALE COX and Freeport Mayor Russ Barley stand next to the newly unveiled historical marker. Approximately 50 Walton County citizens gathered on Sunday, Sept. 24 to witness the unveiling of a historical marker on Four Mile Creek in Freeport. The maker was unveiled 150 years to the day after Union Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth led more than 700 troops to Freeport to begin a reign of terror on the Florida Panhandle. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


FREEPORT TOWN PLANTERS SOCIETY members Judy and Charley Aultman man the group’s booth. Hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors attended the inaugural Freeport Bayfest held on Saturday, Sept. 20. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


THE 2014 HOMECOMING QUEEN KARSIN LAMICA AND KING DAVID GODWIN presided over Freeport’s 30-13 halftime lead over the visiting North Bay Haven Buccaneers. Godwin was the rushing and scoring leader on the night, with three touchdowns and a two-point conversion to his credit. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


SOUTH WALTON earned their first victory against Blountstown in three tries in high school football on Friday night (Sept. 19) as the squad improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in district play. The Seahawks have their open date this week as they prepare to travel to Chipley for another key district contest on October 3. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)

Photos of the Week 9.18.2014

SOUTH WALTON AND WALTON battled in the trenches all night long with the Braves capturing a 27-17 home victory on Friday night. (Photo by Jennifer Casey)


WALTON’S ASHLEY HARPER (17) and Katy Brannon(3) wound up in nearly the same spot on this return during the match against West Florida last week. The Braves had little trouble in dispatching their district foe with a straight set sweep by the count of 25-14, 25-12 and 25-16. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


LARRY THE CRASH DUMMY advised that everyone should wear their seatbelt. For the second year in a row the UF/ IFAS Walton County Extension Service has sponsored their Safety First For All event. This year’s event was held at the Freeport Community Center. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


CAST AND PLAYWRIGHT: (l-r) actress Crystal Tolley, director/playwright Nancy Hasty, actresses Kassie Miller, Cate Campbell and Katie Miller, take questions and comments from the audience following the workshop of the first act of “Nightshade” at No Limits Theatre in DeFuniak Springs.


JOE JOHNSON, President of the Walton County Farm Bureau; First place winner, Matthew Majors (WHS); second place winner, Meredith Ricks (WHS); not pictured: third place winner, Colin Berry (SWHS). Each year, the Florida Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Program sponsors a statewide youth speech contest. The contest has three levels of competition: county, district, and state. This year both South Walton High School(SWHS) and Walton High School(WHS) Youth Leadership classes provided their students the opportunity to participate in the contest.


TEMPORARY FINANCIAL OFFICER Jim Messer wrapped up one of his final duties with the passage of the 2014-15 budget for the WCSB. Messer has helped the district shore up any financial questions, and provided help in acclimating new Chief Financial Officer Debra Locke Noyes to the district’s finances during his temporary stay with the district.

Photos of the Week 9.11.2014

LOVE’S DISTRICT MANAGER BRAD PECK AND DOZENS OF OFFICIALS from local, county and state organizations were on-hand at the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce-hosted ribbon cutting ceremony held on Sept. 5. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


THE NEW MCDONALD’S FRANCHISE LOCATION IN MOSSY HEAD brought what must be the world’s biggest cup of coffee to its own ribbon cutting ceremony. The restaurant gave free lunches to attendees at the Sept. 5 event. (Photo by Reid Tucker)


WALTON COUNTY Finance Manager Melissa Thomason detailed changes to the budget since July at the Sept. 8 budget hearing held by the county commission. (Photo by Dotty Nist)


FREEPORT DEFEATED NORTHVIEW in volleyball on Thursday (Sept. 4) by a score of 25-19, 25-5 and 25-15 to earn a district victory. The Bulldogs host Chipley in a key match on Thursday night with varsity play beginning at 6 p.m. (Photo by Patrick Casey)


JIREH CRITTENDEN, (5) SOUTH WALTON receiver, had a pair of touchdown receptions for the first two scores of the game for the visiting team as the Seahawks led North Bay Haven 20-6 at halftime on Friday night. (Photo by Jeffrey Powell)


WALTON’S CODY PHILLIPS (2) had 97 total yards and a touchdown to go with a key interception on defense as the Braves raced to a 35-7 halftime lead against Freeport last week. (Photo by Reid Tucker)

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)