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

Courthouse

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!

Awesome
Weather Forecast
July 2016
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

EDC asks: How to breathe life into downtown DeFuniak Springs?

Jul 26th, 2016 | Comments Off on EDC asks: How to breathe life into downtown DeFuniak Springs?

 

By ALICIA LEONARD

 
DeFUNIAK SPRINGS – Representatives from Florida Division of Historical Resources Main Street program as well as the West Florida Regional Planning Council (WFRPC) visited the DeFuniak Springs Economic Development Committee during its regularly scheduled monthly meeting July 14, 2016 with news of revitalization, support, and possible grant funds, to breathe new life into the historic district, and support downtown merchants.

 COORDINATOR FOR THE Florida Department of State Main-Street program, Ronnie Wood, speaks with the DeFuniak EDC as well as Mayor Bob Campbell and city Council members about the economic draw of having city hall in the downtown area during this July 14, 2016 meeting.

COORDINATOR FOR THE Florida Department of State Main-Street program, Ronnie Wood, speaks with the DeFuniak EDC as well as Mayor Bob Campbell and city Council members about the economic draw of having city hall in the downtown area during this July 14, 2016 meeting.

read more » »

Expansion of WaterColor Publix, other proposals, clear Planning Commission with favorable vote  

Jul 26th, 2016 | Comments Off on Expansion of WaterColor Publix, other proposals, clear Planning Commission with favorable vote  

By DOTTY NIST

 
Walton County, Fla— Among items before the Walton County Planning Commission on July 14 were a proposal for the expansion of the WaterColor Crossings Publix in Seagrove and associated amendment.
The meeting took place at the South Walton Annex.-_Publix_Super_Market_
A staff report provided to the planning commissioners outlined the PUD/DRI amendment as a proposal “to amend the WaterColor PUD/DRI Commercial Allocation by adding 7,800 sq. feet of shopping center and 1,698 sq. ft. of commercial to cover the difference between the current as built survey of the existing buildings and the allowed amount permitted by development order 1468 (WaterColor Crossing Development), for a revised total addition of 9,498 sq. ft. to bring the commercial entitlements (not including office) to 89,498 sq. ft. for the total proposed commercial amendment to the WaterColor PUD/DRI.” read more » »

Gulf Place development gets final go-ahead, Driftwood homeowners object to letters

Jul 25th, 2016 | Comments Off on Gulf Place development gets final go-ahead, Driftwood homeowners object to letters

 
By DOTTY NIST
Walton County, Fla—  Among business taken up by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) at its July 12 regular meeting was now-familiar but revised proposal for condominium and commercial development within the Gulf Place Planned Unit Development (PUD). The commissioners also heard from some Driftwood Estates residents about a letter recently sent out by Walton County Public Works, among other public comment.

WALTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS at the July 12 meeting. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

WALTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS at the July 12 meeting. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

read more » »

WCSO TO HOLD 2ND ANNUAL BACKPACK DRIVE

Jul 25th, 2016 | Comments Off on WCSO TO HOLD 2ND ANNUAL BACKPACK DRIVE

WCSO Backpack Drive

Walton County, Fla— For the second year in a row the Walton County Sheriff’s Office is preparing for kids to head back to school by holding a backpack drive benefiting those in need in our community.

Through August 5th WCSO will be collecting back packs and other school supplies needed for Walton County students to attend classes. We encourage citizens to drop off any donations to our north and south end offices in Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Springs. WCSO will also be participating inner agency.

On the day of August 5th WCSO will hold two separate pick-up events at the Boys & Girls Clubs in the north and south end of the county. The first will be at the DeFuniak Springs Boys & Girls Club at 9am Friday August 5th and the second will be at the Santa Rosa Beach Boys & Girls Club at 2pm.

DeFuniak Springs Teen Club South Walton Youth Club
850-892-3752 850-622-0602
435 N 9th St. 427 Greenway Trail
DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32549

“We look forward to giving kids a boost of confidence as they hit the books for the new school year,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “Let’s make this the best year yet.”

All donations will be accepted during our normal office hours.

New release per WCSO. Not edited for form or content. For Immediate Release
July 25, 2016

GAETZ CONTINUES MULLING BID FOR UWF PRESIDENCY

Jul 22nd, 2016 | Comments Off on GAETZ CONTINUES MULLING BID FOR UWF PRESIDENCY
Senator Gaetz

Senator Gaetz

By MARGIE MENZEL
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

 

THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, July 22, 2016………. As the University of West Florida searches for a new president — and the Aug. 15 application deadline approaches — former state Senate President Don Gaetz says he’ll likely wait until then to decide whether to pursue the top job at the Pensacola school.

“I am taking counsel with people I respect,” said Gaetz, a Niceville Republican who cannot run again for the Senate this year because of term limits. “But I expect I’ll make a decision by mid-August.”

University of West Florida President Judith Bense is retiring at the end of the year, and the university’s board of trustees will vote on her successor Sept. 15.

If Gaetz pursues the job, he could follow in the footsteps of another powerful political figure, former House Speaker John Thrasher, who became president of Florida State University after a contentious process in 2014.

But by waiting, Gaetz also could avoid the controversy that surrounded Thrasher’s bid for the Florida State presidency. That controversy included the Florida State search committee pausing the process to interview only Thrasher. Committee members said Thrasher’s desire for the job had kept other potential candidates from applying.

At the University of West Florida, however, where the search committee met Friday, 60 candidates have already submitted applications, with more expected — including that of Provost Martha Saunders, who told the Pensacola News Journal this month that she intended to apply.

What’s more, said former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense, a longtime ally of both Gaetz and Thrasher, the latter’s performance as Florida State president could smooth Gaetz’s path to the top job at the University of West Florida.

“With (Thrasher’s) success, I think it makes it a bit easier for Don Gaetz, if in fact the search committee and the trustees select him,” said Bense, who is Judith Bense’s brother and was chairman of Florida State’s Board of Trustees when it tapped Thrasher for the top job. “It makes his ride a little smoother than John’s was.”

University of West Florida Board of Trustees Chairman Lewis Bear, Jr., said the school has an open selection process, with emphasis placed on advancing its 10-year goal of achieving what’s known as “emerging preeminence” status within the state system. That would require hitting six of 12 benchmarks dealing with research and other aspects of faculty and student achievement. It also would garner additional state funding.

“It’s a pretty far reach for us, but the administration was willing to work towards it,” Bear said. “So I think that anybody who applies for this position needs to understand that we’re very serious about changing our — what’s considered a small-town university — into a major university in the state of Florida.”

Given that Gaetz authored the “emerging preeminence” legislation that passed in 2016, “he probably has a better understanding of what that means in Florida” than an out-of-state candidate, Bear said. “But creating the law that establishes something does not, I don’t think, give you a leg up in meeting the challenge.”

Gaetz — who as Senate president appointed Bear to the Enterprise Florida board of directors in 2013 — said it’s up to the university to decide “whether they need to continue with an inside focus and an inside candidate or whether they need to broaden the leadership base.”

He acknowledged he did not have experience in higher education but added that he went into other jobs in the past without experience in the fields. That included his former role as superintendent of the Okaloosa County schools.

“I am sort of the quintessential non-traditional candidate for every job I’ve ever had,” he said. “What I’ve tried to do is build teams and manage teams that could exceed expectations.”

Allan Bense also pointed out — as have members of the search committee — that Gaetz would likely find a ready ear at the state Capitol.

As to the question of hiring another powerful politician to steer a state university, Jennifer Proffitt, president of the United Faculty of Florida, said the union simply wanted the process to be open and transparent.

“My concern during the whole FSU search process — and what I said in front of the board (of trustees) many times — was that the search was not open and transparent,” said Proffitt, who was president of the union’s Florida State chapter when Thrasher was selected. “I think that is critical. … Higher education folks care about process.”

Bense, who said the Florida State search committee ultimately heard many hours of public testimony, agreed.

“If I were the (UWF) selection committee, I’d keep my eyes wide open and take a look at all of the applicants — all of them,” he said.

©2016 The News Service of Florida. All rights reserved. Posting or forwarding this material without permission is prohibited. You can view the Terms of Use on our website.

DeFuniak Herald Beach Breeze in this week’s edition

Jul 20th, 2016 | Comments Off on DeFuniak Herald Beach Breeze in this week’s edition
In this Week's Edition

In this Week’s Edition

DeFuniak EDC discuss main street revitalization

Jul 19th, 2016 | Comments Off on DeFuniak EDC discuss main street revitalization

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, FLORIDA – Coordinator for the Florida Department of State Main-Street program, Ronnie Wood, speaks with the DeFuniak EDC as well as Mayor Bob Campbell and city Council members about the economic draw of having city hall in the downtown area during this July 14, 2016 meeting. Read more in this week’s edition. 

First United Methodist Women offering Back to School Supplies

Jul 18th, 2016 | Comments Off on First United Methodist Women offering Back to School Supplies

 

download (1)

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, Florida – School supplies for children in need from grades K-12 are available through the School Supply Ministry sponsored by the United Methodist Women of the First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs.

Families needing help with back to school items can complete an application at the First United methodist Church at 88 Circle Drive (across from the Chautauqua Building) in DeFuniak Springs starting Wednesday, June 22. Church office hours are from 8 a.m. til noon and 1:30 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Application deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

The supplies are free but families must complete an application to receive them. Also, children must be present when supplies are picked up. Pick-up days are Friday, July 29 from 3 until 6 p.m. and Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. – noon in the Fellowship Hall at the church.

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS POLICE RECEIVES COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Jul 18th, 2016 | Comments Off on DEFUNIAK SPRINGS POLICE RECEIVES COMMUNITY SUPPORT

13680048_10153854737668719_3136472543304013898_o

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Florida – With the recent tragedy in Dallas and other shootings shedding a negative light on law enforcement, it is comforting to know our community supports what we do. Chief Mark Weeks has received several phone calls from community members and flowers expressing their gratitude and support for the agency and the tough job of law enforcement. “We could not do it without our citizens backing what we do. Our jobs depend on the support and approval of our community, said Chief Weeks.”

DeFuniak Springs Police believe in community service and being partners with our community for protecting and serving. This nation was founded on government being for the people and by the people. “We have not gotten away from that, said Chief Weeks. The people we serve have a major voice in the business of law enforcement. I would like to personally thank our citizens and businesses for their support during these trying times.”

Press release per DFSPS. Not edited for form or content. 

Walton County eyes new fiscal year budget with no millage increase

Jul 18th, 2016 | Comments Off on Walton County eyes new fiscal year budget with no millage increase

By DOTTY NIST

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS at the July 11 budget workshop. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

WALTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS at the July 11 budget workshop. (Photo by Dotty Nist)

 

WALTON COUNTY, FLORIDA  – No millage rate increase is envisioned for Walton County’s budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) held two budget workshops in early July, the first of those on July 7 at the Walton County Courthouse, the second on July 11 at the South Walton Annex. On both occasions county staff received direction read more » »