The ongoing issue of trash on the beaches

To: Daily Rundown Readers

👋 Good morning! Let’s get right to it!

Water tower in Fort Walton Beach is being refurbished

The water tower on Denton Blvd, next to the golf course, is getting a facelift and scheduled maintenance. This is part of the city of Fort Walton Beach’s 10-year maintenance program where the tank is cleaned (inside and out) to remove corrosion to make sure the drinking water stays clean and safe.

“These water towers are on a maintenance plan,” said Doud Rainer, City of Fort Walton Beach Public Information. “There are no issues with it and no one is going to lose water service because of the refurbishing.”

According to Rainer, the city has some state regulations that they have to be in compliance with.

As for the outside of the tank, it will get some love too. It will be repainted and feature a new Fort Walton Beach logo.

“Clean drinking is really an essential thing for anybody,” continued Rainer. “The city provides that for our residents and also for some people who live outside of the city, like some County residents in Cinco Bayou.”

The process to clean the tower is estimated to take roughly a week.

Here’s how a museum has a garage sale

Did you know that the Heritage Park & Cultural Center in Fort Walton Beach has an annual “garage sale” fundraiser?

I didn’t either.

But basically, they solicit anyone who wants to get rid of stuff. This could be part of your Spring cleaning where you’re going through stuff in your house and finally getting rid of items that you don’t need anymore.

The museum will take it! (As long as it’s in decent condition.)

The Heritage Park & Cultural Center will then sell those items at a garage sale at the museum and keep the money as a fundraiser.

The Museum did a garage sale back in February and made about $500,” said Doug Rainer, City of Fort Walton Beach. “It was a really good fundraiser for them so they decided to do it again on March 27th. So if you have anything laying around that you would like to donate to the museum that they can sell and keep the money for a fundraiser, please get in touch with them.”

The ongoing issue of keeping the beaches cleaned

Destin and Okaloosa Island have experienced exponential growth in the amount of people who come to the area and enjoy our resources. As Spring Break continues to bring an influx of visitors to the area, the question of trash pick-up, along with beach raking, has been a hot topic between the City of Destin and Okaloosa County.

“The issue of beach clean-up is an issue that you have to tackle,” said Parker Destin, legal/political correspondent. “In at least the last 5-7years, it’s estimated that the amount of tourists that are coming to our local areas in Fort Walton Beach and Destin has almost doubled.”

And with that, there is more traffic, but really more garbage, explains Parker.

“And where does it go after a day on the beach?,” he asked. “A lot of it gets left, unfortunately, by some irresponsible visitors. It’ll get left on the beaches. It’ll get left in piles on the right-of-way where the trash cans overflow due to the fact that the County and our local governmental entities struggled to keep up with the amount of garbage that gets deposited and left in these garbage cans.”

So the County and the City of Destin had a meeting after last week’s influx of tourists and their leftover garbage.

“Okaloosa County and the City of Destin had a meeting of the minds at the last Council meeting and have committed to one another to dedicate all resources that are available to them to address this issue,” continued Parker. “And it’s one that we’re going to have to face long-term because the reason people come here is because of the beaches. If they are not pretty or pristine, it degrades the brand. Not to mention the environmental consequences of simply just having this trash out there.”

According to Parker, the city of Destin and Okaloosa County are “getting on the same sheet of music” in being able to have that trash picked up seven days a week, along with the beach being raked almost seven days a week.

“I know that’s a passionate issue for a lot of locals because everybody that was brought here in the first place, a lot of times it was because of the beach,” continued Parker. “And to see it degraded, I know it hurts the feelings of a lot of our local folks, but it also hurts the tourism brand.”

“I believe that they’re going to end up reassessing how much progress has been made after Spring Break,” said Parker. “Probably around the late-April early-May time period before Memorial Day where the real 90-120 days of summer starts to make sure that we’re ready when the big influx of tourists show up.”

Road rage shooting on Okaloosa Island

A road rage encounter on Highway 98 across Okaloosa Island turned violent Sunday when one of the individuals involved was shot in the roadway.

A Mary Esther man has been charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.

41-year old Mario Aguirre Lopez was taken into custody in the parking lot of a Fort Walton Beach car dealership after a witness to the shooting followed the suspect’s white Ram pickup truck westbound on 98 and called 9-1-1 with information.

Lopez denied any involvement, however the ammunition in a loaded Glock handgun found in his truck with one missing round in the magazine matched the casing found at the crime scene, containing the imprint “WMA 14” and a NATO head stamp as well as a red primer seal.

Witnesses say the two vehicles had been passing and aggressively “brake checking ” each other as they drove across Okaloosa Island. The 38 year-old victim from Mississippi is undergoing treatment at an area hospital for a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Other reads

Update: Local man arrested after fatal shooting involving two minors
Two minors were shot in a fatal shooting overnight in Panama City Beach. Panama City Beach Police say the incident happened at the Shores of Panama on Thomas Drive sometime around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. PCBPD Chief Drew Whitman says two juvenile males between the ages of 12 and 16 were shot.
Update: Local man arrested after fatal shooting involving two minors
Two minors were shot in a fatal shooting overnight in Panama City Beach. Panama City Beach Police say the incident happened at the Shores of Panama on Thomas Drive sometime around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. PCBPD Chief Drew Whitman says two juvenile males between the ages of 12 and 16 were shot.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office increases patrol as teenagers get ‘rowdy’ in South Walton
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has increased patrol in areas where local residents say teenage spring breakers are running amok. Residents living in the small gated community of Longue Vue between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach reportedly advised the Sheriff’s Office that the problem had become “really bad” last weekend and earlier in the week. 
Walton County Sheriff’s Office increases patrol as teenagers get ‘rowdy’ in South Walton
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has increased patrol in areas where local residents say teenage spring breakers are running amok. Residents living in the small gated community of Longue Vue between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach reportedly advised the Sheriff’s Office that the problem had become “really bad” last weekend and earlier in the week. 
Okaloosa commissioners: ‘Taj Mahal’ is not suitable for new offices
A Pensacola company will develop a multi-pronged field offices project next to the Okaloosa County Water and Sewer Department administration building, which still is jokingly referred to as the “Taj Mahal” decades after its construction.
Okaloosa commissioners: ‘Taj Mahal’ is not suitable for new offices
A Pensacola company will develop a multi-pronged field offices project next to the Okaloosa County Water and Sewer Department administration building, which still is jokingly referred to as the “Taj Mahal” decades after its construction.

Ok, that’s all I have for you this morning! Have a great Tuesday!

Jared

p.s. What did you think of this morning’s newsletter? Hit the reply button and let me know!

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