The fire at Alvin’s Island in Destin

To: Daily Rundown Readers

Happy Friday!

Yesterday, a massive fire broke out at the Alvin’s Island location in Destin around 3pm. Firefighters from all over the south end, along with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, were on hand.

As you can imagine, traffic was shutdown for quite some time in both directions on Highway 98.

According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, the flames “began to burst through the front of the building, with glass popping and breaking” around 4pm.

According to reports, it’s been determined that there was no foul play suspected and that the investigation has determined the cause of the fire was electrical.

Unfortunately, the entire building is a loss.

New apartments in Fort Walton Beach

Okaloosa County Commissioner Trey Goodwin (District 4) will host a Town Hall Meeting on April 1, 2021, to discuss the proposed Shoreline Villas apartment complex within the Sylvania Heights neighborhood, that also includes stormwater improvements.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss HTG Shoreline LTD’s intent to acquire certain properties located on the north side of Dates Avenue NW to develop a planned 72-unit residential apartment complex project.

  • Documents indicate that this complex will be an Elderly, Non-Assisted Living Facility

The road: Dates Avenue NW is a dead-end street and has an existing T-turnaround instead of the required cul-de-sac. Per county documents, “improvements to the existing stormwater management system in the adjoining areas of Dates Avenue NW is essential to the County.”

According to the county, HTG Shoreline LTD is willing to grant a 225’ x 175’ drainage easement for the County’s use or to accommodate future County-funded stormwater management project or drainage facilities.

The Developer has agreed to grant a perpetual, non-exclusive easement for vehicular access over and across the front twenty-five (25) feet of the proposed driveways from the north right-of-way line of Dates Avenue NW. The access easement areas will allow turning around vehicles from, and to, Dates Avenue NW, provided the access does not interfere with access to and from Shoreline Villas project by its tenants, invitees, and guests.

Dates Avenue NW is located at the most northern part of Sylvania Heights. As you can see in the image above, it’s mainly wooded areas on the north side of the road, and comes to a dead-end with woods to the west. It backs up to homes on Echo Circle in the Northgate Community.

“The town hall is designed to allow neighbors a chance to voice concerns and input as well as provide an opportunity to share information,” said Commissioner Trey Goodwin. “The county will also be able to outline the limits of county discretion as well as highlight potential stormwater opportunities that may be achieved via negotiation with the developers. Lastly it is an open opportunity for the developers to talk to concerned residents.”

The meeting will be held at New Hope Christian Center, located at 311 Lovejoy Road NW, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548, beginning at 6pm.

The property is currently owned by City Plaza LLC.

Trash at the Shalimar Bridge leads to a cleanup event happening this Sunday

Trash at the foot of the Shalimar Bridge – SOURCE: Jason Harwell

After being notified of trash piling up around the Shalimar Bridge, Jason Harwell went out to see for himself. The area in question is across the street from Eglin Federal Credit Union and next to the Marriott Hotel.

“The condition at the foot of the Shalimar Bridge was brought to the attention of one of our members, Katrina Jaramillo,” said Harwell. “After receiving this information, I drove over there to investigate. Upon arriving, you can see garbage everywhere.”

Harwell runs the “Erase The Trace Okaloosa” Facebook page which is a social and community group organized to “combat pollution, litter and discarded waste left by individuals on the Emerald Coast.”

After seeing the trash, this prompted Harwell to post pictures of what he saw on Facebook and invited residents to join him this Sunday, March 28th at 8am to cleanup the area.

The Town of Shalimar’s Mayor Mark Franks commented on the situation saying that he contacted the state and county and was able to speak to the owner of the property earlier in the week. The property in question is private and resides in the county.

“The owner has tried many things to get people to stop dumping trash, such as spending $3,000 for a fence that trespassers tore down,” said Franks. “The state owns part of the property closest to Eglin Parkway, so her options are limited.”

According to Franks, the woman who owns the property isn’t in the best health and says that if she was, “she would go out there herself and clean it up.”

“I told her that a group of people were coming out on Sunday to help clean up the property and she said thank you, and for those who come out to feel free to park wherever they would like,” continued Franks.

Franks said that the property owner has asked him to work with her in seeing if there’s something they can do together to find a more permanent solution to the ongoing trash issue.

“I walked over there and looked around. It’s sad but we will find a solution,” said Franks.

For those looking to attend and help, Harwell says that parking is limited but that he spoke with the General Manager at the Marriott Hotel that is right next door to the cleanup. The hotel as agreed to allow attendees to park in their parking lot for overflow parking.

In addition to help from the hotel, Waste Management has also stepped up to the plate and will be delivering a 30 yard dumpster to the cleanup site on Saturday.

According to Harwell, not only are they going to deliver it but they are going to haul it off free of charge.

“This is one of the reasons I love this community and the people who make it so special and unique,” said Harwell. “Coming together for a common goal while making a difference and meeting great people makes everything that we’re doing worth it. The awareness that is being brought to this issue not only within our County but all across this great country is amazing.”

Click here to find out more on the event

More Reads

Click on any image or title below to read more on each story…

Walton County hosting groundbreaking for Inlet Beach pedestrian underpass
There will be a groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday for a new $5.6 million pedestrian underpass at Inlet Beach. Per the Walton Sun, the project will be the first pedestrian and cyclist underpass to be constructed in the county and will be located at the corners of U.S. Highway 98 and County Road 30A, both designated scenic corridors. 
Walton County hosting groundbreaking for Inlet Beach pedestrian underpass
There will be a groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday for a new $5.6 million pedestrian underpass at Inlet Beach. Per the Walton Sun, the project will be the first pedestrian and cyclist underpass to be constructed in the county and will be located at the corners of U.S. Highway 98 and County Road 30A, both designated scenic corridors. 
Hundreds of spring breakers arrested will return home with misdemeanors and $500 fines
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office along with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office have made good on their no tolerance policy for underage drinking. According to the Walton Sun, more than 400 spring breakers will be returning from vacation with hefty fines of up to $500 and a second-degree misdemeanor on their record this year. This is all since the beginning of March!
Hundreds of spring breakers arrested will return home with misdemeanors and $500 fines
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office along with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office have made good on their no tolerance policy for underage drinking. According to the Walton Sun, more than 400 spring breakers will be returning from vacation with hefty fines of up to $500 and a second-degree misdemeanor on their record this year. This is all since the beginning of March!
Large boat blocks traffic on Interstate 10 in Crestview after pickup looses control of trailer
A large boat being hauled by a pickup truck rolled off a trailer and blocked westbound traffic on Interstate 10 in Crestview for hours Thursday. A 64-year-old Pensacola man was hauling the 38-foot boat west on Interstate 10 at around 6:50 p.m. when he lost control of the trailer, according to the Crestview Bulletin.
Large boat blocks traffic on Interstate 10 in Crestview after pickup looses control of trailer
A large boat being hauled by a pickup truck rolled off a trailer and blocked westbound traffic on Interstate 10 in Crestview for hours Thursday. A 64-year-old Pensacola man was hauling the 38-foot boat west on Interstate 10 at around 6:50 p.m. when he lost control of the trailer, according to the Crestview Bulletin.
Shalimar Elementary School wins third consecutive state archery championship
Shalimar Elementary School archery wins third NASP state championship tournament alongside other high performing Okaloosa County teams.
Shalimar Elementary School wins third consecutive state archery championship
Shalimar Elementary School archery wins third NASP state championship tournament alongside other high performing Okaloosa County teams.
Tom’s Bayou Bridge work in Valparaiso delayed due to emergency repairs on Pensacola bridge
In addition to causing headaches in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, adverse effects of the closure of the Pensacola Bay Bridge are being felt as far away as Valparaiso. Started in November 2018, the Florida Department of Transportation-led Tom’s Bayou Bridge reconstruction project in Valparaiso initially was expected to be completed last November. The completion date now is anticipated to be sometime late this summer, according to the Crestview Bulletin. 
Tom’s Bayou Bridge work in Valparaiso delayed due to emergency repairs on Pensacola bridge
In addition to causing headaches in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, adverse effects of the closure of the Pensacola Bay Bridge are being felt as far away as Valparaiso. Started in November 2018, the Florida Department of Transportation-led Tom’s Bayou Bridge reconstruction project in Valparaiso initially was expected to be completed last November. The completion date now is anticipated to be sometime late this summer, according to the Crestview Bulletin. 

Ok, that’s all I have for you this Friday! Have a great weekend!

Jared

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