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A Look Back on 2016

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017

Each year brings new possibilities and a fresh start. We are a month in now and we thought we would take a stroll down memory lane and remember how good 2016 was for Destin . We all have our own reasons for loving this beautiful beach area but it’s always nice seeing the love from all over.   The popular travel site TripAdvisor named Destin in the top 10 list of “Destinations on the Rise in the U.S.” Our little town has come a long way in recent years and continues to grow each year. With...
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Alaqua Animal Refuge Prepares for Expansion

Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We know that animal adoption saves lives. Destin is full of animal lovers and we see people around town all hours of the day walking with their pups. With some restaurants and  Destin condos being dog-friendly, it’s not uncommon to see four-legged friends at select stops along the beach. Alaqua Animal Refuge was founded in 2007 and has helped find homes for over 11,000 animals. We say “animals” because it’s not just the usual cats and dogs like many shelters. Alaqua also rescues and rehabilitates...
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Red Bar Owner to Open Destin Diner

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Destin Diner has been sitting vacant near Airport Road in Destin, Florida for the past six years. We were happy to find out that the memorable retro-style restaurant was purchased by Oliver Petit, owner of the popular restaurant Red Bar. The Petit family is well loved around the country for bringing us the Grayton Beach hot spot as well as Louis Louis and most recently, Bric a Brac .   Petit says there were many renovations to be made inside but has left the exterior to keep the same...
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Fodor’s Names the Florida Panhandle on 2015 Go List

Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fodor’s released their top 25 can’t-miss travel spots and the Florida Panhandle is #5! This coveted list also includes Norway, Barbados, Singapore, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fodor’s says the soft quartz beaches are more beautiful than what is found on most Caribbean islands and undoubtedly among the best in the United States.   Across the Emerald Coast, the beaches are the biggest attraction but there is much more to enjoy. Championship golf courses, premium shopping malls, fishing, and...
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Travel + Leisure Names Santa Rosa Beach a Top Town for the Holidays

Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Emerald Coast is one of the top vacation and fishing destinations in the country. With the ultimate Destin vacation  rental selection as well as charming cottages in Seaside, visitors come year-round to enjoy our incomparable scenery. Now we can add more to the resume!   Travel + Leisure Magazine has recognized Santa Rosa Beach as one of America’s Best Towns for the Holidays. Coming in at #11, the quiet town joins the ranks of popular winter spots Park City, Utah and Breckenridge...
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Whole Foods Market is Coming!

Posted on Thursday, November 6, 2014

It’s about time! Locals have asked for years and our wish is finally coming true: Whole Foods is coming to Destin. We love the Fresh Market but this area lacks in organic and natural markets. Construction will begin in 2015 at the Destin Commons and the store will be located next to Bass Pro Shops. Bob Perry, General Manager of Destin Commons, says, “It’s another significant step in the evolution of our shopping center, one that will positively impact the region’s residents, visitors...
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Winter at the Beach

Posted on Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Temperatures are cooling off in the evenings and winter will be here before we know it. As much as we hate to admit it, this usually means less time at the beach. We are lucky to have mild winters around here but a lot of us just aren’t made for being outside in the cold. Does this mean we should hibernate until it’s springtime and just look through beach photos to hold us over? No way! Whale’s Tail restaurant on Old 98 has a downstairs bar area with heaters. One of the longest running of Destin restaurants...
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Help Our Animal Friends Beat the Heat

Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

With record temperatures along the Emerald Coast lately, the last thing we want to do is go outside for extended lengths of time. Since our four-legged friends don’t always have the luxury of hanging out in the air condition, let’s not forget about them during our heat wave. We all know the danger of leaving them in our car even for a short amount of time. If they are outdoors, make sure they have shade to lay in or an overhang to protect them from direct sun. Refill their water bowls so they...
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Shark Week

Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jaws, Sharknado, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week – we can’t deny we love a good shark show. Living by the beach along the Gulf of Mexico could either enhance this or very well terrify us. How common are shark sightings in our area? What are the odds of a shark attack while you are on vacation? According to the International Shark Attack File website, the odds of a shark attack are 1 in 11.5 million. Compared to other recorded fatalities, a dog attack is 33 times more common, lightning strike...
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The New Orleans Saintsations

The Saintsations in Sandestin

Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This week in Sandestin, the New Orleans Saints Cheerleaders will be visiting for their annual calendar photo shoot. The Saintsations are known for their performances at football games and their community outreach. Since many  travel to the area from Louisiana to vacation, it’s the perfect location to host the cheerleaders. There will be photo sessions around the resort to be included in the next calendar. What a great start for the summer! ...
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The Flooding Aftermath

Posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Last week, Northwest Florida got a real downpour. Between tornado watches and flood warnings, residents tried to prepare for what was to come. Many were surprised at just how much rain our area got. By Wednesday morning, Mid-Bay Bridge and Brooks Bridge were closed, parts of Highway 393 and 30A were under water, and neighborhoods received unwanted swimming pools. Thankfully, the majority of local residents avoided flood damage but some areas still require attention. The rapid rate of rainfall...
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Destin on Ice

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

They said it was coming. Many of us were skeptical about seeing snow this week but low and behold, people around Destin woke up to a light snow and icy roads. Over the past few years, we have been used to temperatures getting to the high sixties in January. While we do see our warm days, it doesn’t surprise us to feel the low twenties at night. Thankfully, it will be back up for Superbowl weekend. Where will you be watching the big game? Many have planned their parties months in advance and...
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Grayton Beer Co.

Local Brewery Unveils New Beer Line

Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014

This month, Grayton Beer Company launched a new range of their locally brewed beer. Based in South Walton, the brewery has announced four new beers and updated their packaging and branding with styles familiar to the Gulf Coast. Martin Liptrot, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, says their “designs incorporate images well known to locals and connect with the strong South Walton identity we are so proud of.” Feedback from the locals has been great so far and soon the brewery will be open...
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Destination on the Rise!

Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014

Destin was ranked number 3 on TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Destinations on the Rise for 2013. The list is based on TripAdvisor users’ reviews and feedback and Destin placed right below locations in Hawaii and Alaska. TripAdvisor is one of the leading travel websites and their annual top 10 list ranks top locations that receive the greatest increase in positive traveler feedback and interest. It looks like the rest of the world is coming to see what we already know: The Emerald Coast with its sugar white...
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Hear it First in South Walton

Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011

South Walton Beach has a brand new hot spot for your next Friday and Saturday night out, First Note! True to its name, First Note is a trendy little music hall that provides a stage to up and coming artists looking to showcase their talent. These artists can practice their performance to a smaller crowd and we can enjoy the show!   What a great concept! In the next year or so you may have to travel and pay a small fortune to see these artists. Right now, however, you can take in their talent...
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IMAX is coming to The Grand Theatre in Pier Park Panama City Beach July 15th, 2011.

Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011

Now Pier Park is not only home to over 80 stores and 25 restaurants but come midnight on July 15th The Grand Theatre Pier Park will open the first IMAX Theatre in the area. At the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 visitors of Pier Park and The Grand Theatre will get to experience Image Maximum. This Image Maximum or ‘IMAX’ technology has been hailed by both critics and viewers as the “next step” in movies. This new film technology allows the display of far larger images...
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Vision Airlines Announces Low-Fare Flight Service to Northwest Florida

Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vision Airlines announces today the expansion of it’s low-fare air service from 17 new markets to the Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) beginning Mar. 25 and April 1, 2011, with rates starting at $79/one way. To celebrate the largest expansion of a commercial airline in more than a decade, travelers may book flights from Northwest Florida to any of the new markets for a low $49/one way introductory fare, when booked between Jan. 18 – 23, 2011. Vision Airlines will operate flights seven...
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BP Oil Spill Dollars Flow into Destin

Posted on Saturday, September 4, 2010

There’s a flow coming into Destin from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But it’s not oil sheen or tar balls, it’s a flow of money coming from BP’s relief fund. In an effort to resurrect a tourist season cut short by the disaster, Okaloosa County is giving away a $200 Visa® Gift Card to anyone who books and stays between September 17 and October 31, 2010. The only restrictions include a 2-night minimum stay and that the vacation home, condo or hotel is located in Okaloosa County, including Destin...
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Gulf Oil Spill Update for Florida

Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If you are planning a vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast and are concerned about the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, we encourage you to check with the local destination for the most up-to-date information. Currently, there are no impacts to Florida beaches due to the Gulf Oil Spill. Along the Northwest Florida beaches, visitors are taking advantage of the warm weather and clear skies we're currently enjoying. The following is a summary of state and BP response actions to...
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Frommers Names Florida Gulf Coast a Top Ten World Destination for 2010

Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast and its quaint beach towns are no longer best kept secrets – they are international hot spots thanks to a recently-published top ten destination list by Frommer’s Travel Guide. Frommer’s named the beaches of the Florida Panhandle as one of its top ten destinations for 2010. The Gulf Coast , along with Hawaii’s big island, represented the only two North American destinations to make the list. Other locations included Melbourne in Australia, Vietnam’s capital Hanoi...
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Mako My Day

Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Afunny thing happened on the way to fish for grouper for the 2007 Destin Fishing Rodeo. Capt. Robert Hill hauled in the largest fish ever caught in the 59-year history of the Rodeo — an 844.4-pound short fin mako shark. His boat, Twilight, hauled the monster back to the dock some 70 miles and still enjoys the Destin history-making buzz a year later. Hill’s friend Adlee Bruner, who caught the shark, has the head and jaws mounted in his hunting lodge in Bruce — so he sees it quite often. This year...
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Destin Supports Beach Restoration

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2008

“If you could get 34 percent to turn out for an election in the county, you’d say we’d set some kind of record,” Destin homeowner Terry Trojan says. Trojan told the Destin City Council Monday that by that standard it’s great news that 34 percent of the beachfront homeowners contacted by Citizens for Healthy Beaches have signed petitions supporting a special tax assessment to pay for beach renourishment. Assessments require support from more than 50 percent of affected property owners, but Trojan...
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Emerald Coast Honored for Restoring Its Beaches

Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Everyone knows that the Emerald Coast has great beaches, but now the area has an award to prove it. The seven miles of nourished shoreline in western Walton County and the City of Destin won the 2008 Best Restored Beaches Award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. Tracy Louthain, spokeswoman for the Walton County Tourist Development Council, said she is happy the area got the nod. "This is a huge, huge recognition," she said. According to an ASBPA news release, communities...
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New Miss Destin Crowned

Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Irony was definitely in the air on Saturday night at the Destin Community Center. “She looks like Jackie O!” one of the contestants exclaimed as Leah Stuart strutted around backstage in a canary yellow trenchcoat and dark sunglasses. Who knew that before the evening was over she would be given the responsibility of being Destin’s own little Jackie Onassis. Chosen for her Jackie-like qualities, such as community involvement, ambition, poise and intelligence, Stuart was the judges’ choice for Miss...
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Business and community leaders declare it ‘The Beach’

Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2008

After 13 months of planning, the previously unknown Coastal Vision 3000 Committee unveiled a plan to unify and strengthen the identity of Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties. Committee chairman Buddy Runnels presented the committee’s proposal for “The Beach” at the Feb. 6 Walton Area Chamber’s Power of Business luncheon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Runnels is founder and chairman of the board of Sterling Companies and Cornerstone Development. Last year, he said, business leaders...
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Marina Plans on Norriego Point

Posted on Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It will be at least six months before the Destin City Council can hold development hearings on a proposed Norriego Point marina, City Manager Greg Kisela says. Kisela told the council Monday that Pointe One LLC’s proposal for a 53-slip marina might receive approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida cabinet within six months, though it would more likely be six to 18 months. After that, Kisela said, it would return to Destin...
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Rudy Giuliani to barnstorm through Destin

Posted on Wednesday, January 16, 2008

For the second time in less than a month, a GOP candidate for president will make a stop in Destin. Thursday morning, Republican presidential hopeful and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will make a short stop at Destin’s The Donut Hole restaurant to meet with supporters. Giuliani,who gave the keynote address at the Walton County Chamber of Commerce’s 80th Anniversary Dinner in September 2006, is expected to arrive at the Destin eatery at around 9 a.m. before heading off to a campaign...
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Bay County Airport & Industrial District Completes $312 Million Package for Airport Construction

Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Panama City – Bay County International Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) announced that documents were finalized today that complete the Airport Authority’s $312 million financial package for the new airport in western Bay County. With the financing complete, the airport now holds all permits, approvals and funding to start construction, which would have begun this week but for the temporary stay recently issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit...
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Voted Best Destination in the Southeast

Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome to the most celebrated town in Northwest Florida. Welcome to Destin! Located along the panhandle of Florida, Destin is quickly becoming one of the top vacation locations in the world. Once you have walked through our powder-white sand, taken a swim in our emerald-colored waters, and experienced our breath-taking sunsets you will fall in love. It’s to no surprise that the readers of Southern Living voted Destin the best destination in the southeast....
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Federal, State & Local Leaders Voice Strong Support for Airport Relocation

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007

The Panama City – Bay County International Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) announced today that it had received expressions of strong support for its airport relocation project from federal, state and local officials. The new airport will be located in western Bay County north of County Road 388 and east of State Road 79 on land being donated by The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE). Earlier the Airport Authority announced the project was entering the construction phase after the...
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One Special Turtle

Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007

Even for turtle lovers, some turtle nests are more exciting than others. “This is a very big deal,” Sharon Maxwell of South Walton Turtle Watch said of a nest of Kemp’s ridley turtles that hatched in July in Walton County.“In the years 1998-2006, there have only been 26 (Kemp’s ridley) nests in the state ... This is a very rare thing.” By comparison, loggerhead turtles made an estimated 29,000 to 60,000 nests a year from 1989-2006, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Web site...
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Bay County International Airport Receives Final Approval

Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Panama City - Bay County International Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) announced today that its airport relocation project is entering the construction phase now that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued the final necessary federal permit, completing the permitting process. The new airport will be located in western Bay County north of County Road 388 and east of State Road 79 on land being donated by The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE). "With the permitting process...
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Destin Gets Voted Best Destination

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2007

While we know that Destin is a fantastic vacation destination and home-town, it seems everyone else is catching on too! The June issue of the Birmingham Parent magazine awarded Destin the winner of the favorite "Out of State Destination" category, beating out Walt Disney World, which was voted runner-up. We are very excited to be the recipients of this designation. Destin has so much to offer -- world-renowned golf courses that keep even the pros coming back, award winning restaurants with fabulous...
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Beach Restoration Begins this Weekend

Posted on Saturday, May 5, 2007

At long last, beach restoration in Destin is ready to begin. City engineer Chuck Meister said that after a Wednesday morning meeting with Great Lakes Dock and Dredge — the contractor of the $28 million Destin/Walton beach restoration project — he was told dredging would begin this weekend. The dredge Liberty Island arrived in Destin on Friday afternoon and Meister said dredging was expected to begin immediately, maybe as early as Friday evening. The project will start at the eastern Destin city...
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Destin City Beach Restoration Days Away

Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007

Relief for a stretch of Destin’s beaches is on the way. Greg Kisela, Destin city manager, met Wednesday with representatives from Great Lakes Dock and Dredge, the Chicago-area contractor of the $28 million Destin/Walton County beach restoration project, to discuss when restoration would begin on 2 miles of Destin beach east of Henderson Beach State Park. Kisela said Great Lakes has told the city that the dredge Liberty Island would arrive in Destin on Friday or Saturday of next week and that...
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Nine Hope to Be Miss Destin

Posted on Saturday, April 7, 2007

Rachael Williams isn’t perfect. And she’ll be the first one to tell you that. “I’m always making mistakes and tripping all the time,” the 16-year-old junior at Fort Walton Beach High School says. Yet she knows how to pick up the broken pieces and make the best of any situation. It’s what makes Rachael different from many girls her age, and it’s what makes her a great candidate for Miss Destin 2007, she believes. That, along with her love of the area, her love of fishing and... “I don’t get grossed...
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Shark Tournament Uncertain

Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A shark tournament in Destin in 2007 is not a done deal and the director of the event’s sponsor said its future is “uncertain.” On Tuesday, South Walton businessman and conservationist M.C. Davis, representatives of the regional and national offices of the Humane Society of the United States met with members of the Destin History and Fishing Museum’s board to discuss the future of the tournament. John Grandy, senior vice president of the Humane Society, said the meeting at the museum was aimed...
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Wildlife Team Examines Whale on Holiday Isle

Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007

It’s been a busy couple of months for the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge’s Marine Stranding Team. In early November, a 17-foot bryde’s whale beached itself in Walton County. A week later, a dolphin was found floating dead in the waters around Joe’s Bayou. This time it was a 10-foot pygmy sperm whale that had beached itself on Holiday Isle Thursday morning. Amanda Wilkerson, executive director of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, said the whale, estimate to be an adult or close to an adult, was...
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Anglers spot fin whales 50 miles south of Destin

Posted on Monday, June 12, 2006

Lance Caine was on a three-day fishing trip with some friends from Atlanta when he noticed a puff of water coming from the water. They were about 50 miles south of Destin in the Gulf of Mexico and they went to investigate the sight. “I don’t think that’s a porpoise,” Caine told his friends. And, sure enough, it wasn’t. Out swimming leisurely were about half-dozen fin whales. “It was pretty amazing actually,” Caine said. “They were just out there. I thought you would have to go to California to...
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World's Largest Artificial Reef 33 Miles from Destin

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006

AT THE USS ORISKANY -- Boys became men on this aircraft carrier. Men died on it. Forty-four of them were taken when a fire raced through the ship on Oct. 26, 1966. Some of the Oriskany’s pilots didn’t come home either, having gone down during missions that originated on its flight deck. Other pilots were shot down and taken prisoner of war, including U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Some who served on the Oriskany are still listed as MIA. Some men went overboard, never to be found again. Today...
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FAA Delivers Final Environmental Impact

Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006

FAA Selects West Bay Site 8,400-foot Runway as Preferred Alternative Panama City, FL (May XX, 2006) - The Panama City - Bay County Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) announced Monday that it had received the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the proposed relocation of the Panama City - Bay County International Airport. According to the FAA's FEIS: "The FAA selects the West Bay Site 8,400-foot Alternative as its preferred alternative...
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Beach Restoration Restarts

Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2006

On May 7th at approximately 2am, a second Kemp's Ridley sea turtle was taken by the dredge. The project was initially suspended on Monday to October 1, 2006. After additional coordination and discussion by numerous agencies, the Mobile District of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) loaned the Jacksonville District a Kemp's Ridley turtle take to allow the project to restart. On Monday, May 15th, representatives from USACE will be conducting a risk assessment to determine additional safeguards...
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Beach Restoration Project Timetable

Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006

The Western Walton County Beach Restoration Project is continuing through the mobilization process. Numerous pieces of equipment and onshore pipe have been delivered and are being moved into the Sandestin area. Unfortunately, weather has impacted the delivery date of the offshore submerged pipeline for more than a week. The tugboat with the pipeline attempted to leave Tampa two times last week, but due to rough seas had to return to port. The tugboat left Tampa on Sunday and is expected...
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Beach Restoration Project Is Underway

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2006

After six years in the making, the TDC is delighted to announce the implementation of the Western Walton County beach restoration project. We have already begun receiving questions regarding the project and will be working diligently to keep you informed as the project progresses. We will also provide properties in affected areas the tools and information to communicate effectively to your guests. You and your staff can use www.protectwaltoncountybeaches.com as the primary source of up-to-date...
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Federal Permit Passed for Beach Restoration in Destin

Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005

For years miles of Destin’s beaches have been declared ‘critically eroded’. After every storm, the coastline erodes more and more, leaving less sand for beach lovers to enjoy and more room for beach property owners to worry! Hurricane Dennis alone washed away 12 million dollars of sand. Even more regrettable is the fact that our ‘pretty’ white sand is also ‘pretty’ expensive to replace. Surveyors estimate that it will cost 25 dollars a cubic yard to replace all the sand that was lost. Since...
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Destin Rotary inducts the first three women

Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005

It's no longer a man's world at Destin Rotary By: Robin Brooks Staff Writer The Destin Log The implied "no girls allowed" sign has been removed from the Destin Rotary Club as three women are a step away from becoming full members. Sam Seevers, a longtime local resident and first-term member of the Destin City Council; Marcial Hull, executive director of the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation; and Jeanne Dailey, owner of Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, will add three more to the estimated 145,000 women...
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