Invite-only dining experience in Destin

To: Daily Rundown Readers


You’re invited to be a Taste Tester at Ruby Slipper

Friends of Get the Coast are invited to live their best brunch life at an exclusive Preview Event at Ruby Slipper, Destin where you will help sharpen their skills in anticipation of the grand opening. 

You & up to 3 of your invited guests will receive complimentary meals for this invite-only dining experience.

In lieu of payment the restaurant will ask for a $10 donation to Food for Thought organization to be given at the restaurant. 

Click here to register. You must register to attend.


Get a new or used auto loan with rates as low as 2.29% APR for up to 66 months (some restrictions apply).

Click here to learn more.


Update on the suspension of the Destin nursing home

After we broke the news that the the State of Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration suspended the nursing home license of Destin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, the story has been picked up by nearly every local media outlet in the area.

Now, there have been some changes to the Executive Order that suspended their license operations.

Shortly after the imposition of the Emergency Order, a Manager of LaVie Care Centers LLC, the ultimate parent in the ownership chain of the Facility, called the Agency and relayed that immediate corrective action would be taken.

  • Since the imposition of the Emergency Order, the Agency has monitored the Facility on a daily basis and will continue to conduct monitoring as appropriate.

On April 20, 2022, the Manager met with Agency management where he indicated that the Facility’s CEO had been replaced. At that time, the new Interim CEO and the new Interim Chief Nursing Officer were presented.

  • The Manager maintained that the Facility was addressing the issues of understaffing and was implementing a process to ensure that the understaffing issues at the Facility would not re-occur.

The three representatives emphasized the difficulty the Facility was encountering with the relocation of more than 100 residents from the Destin area and the impact that the discharges would have on the residents and their family members.

  • The information available to the Agency shows that there are approximately 40 to 50 nursing home beds currently available in this county.

Through its daily monitoring process, the Agency has confirmed the increase of temporary agency staff at the Facility. At the moment of this new Executive Order, the Facility is no longer understaffed.

“Whether the staffing issue has been permanently corrected so that the Facility will be in compliance for the long term remains to be determined,” wrote State of Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. “At the current time, however, temporary protective measures have been put in place to at least address the present immediacy of the danger to the point where the suspension date of the license may be briefly extended in order to better accommodate the safe and orderly discharge of the nursing home residents.”

In making this decision, the Agency has taken into consideration:

  • The nature and number of clients
  • The availability and location of acceptable alternative placements
  • The ability of the licensee to continue providing care to the nursing home residents.

Unfortunately, the Facility census has decreased little since the imposition of the Emergency Order. None of the decrease was due to the transfer of a resident to another nursing home. According to the updated Order, the Facility “must act with great urgency and expedite the resident discharge process.”

As a condition of this extension, Destin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center shall expedite the resident discharges and provide the Agency with status reports on a daily basis. They will also have to maintain a log on all residents noting all actions the Facility has taken to discharge each resident.

The State of Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration says they will continue to monitor Destin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center on a regular basis to determine compliance with the regulations governing nursing homes.

The Emergency Suspension Order has been amended so that the effective date of the suspension is May 2, 2022, at 5:00 p.m., with the conditions set forth above.


Old Okaloosa school buses to be surplussed thanks to new buses

SOURCE: Superintendent Marcus Chambers

The Okaloosa County School District now has a much-needed bus replacement program.

In the past, the OCSD purchased school buses when they could no longer fix them (and when they could afford to). This resulted in OCSD’s fleet being labeled the oldest in the state.

“Our School Board Members and I have been working together to create the Bus Replacement Program we now have in place and I thank each of our Board Members for their vision and commitment to modernizing our bus fleet,” said Superintendent Marcus Chambers.

Because of the Half-Cent Sales Tax, funds in the District’s Capital Outlay Project have been freed up, allowing them to purchase 40 new school buses in 2020-2021 and another 20 new school buses in 2021-2022.

Now, the Okaloosa County School District is in the position to actually surplus some of their old buses as the new ones come in. Tonight, the School Board will vote to surplus 22 buses.

“There was time when we couldn’t surplus anything because we needed everything that we could get rolling,” said School Board Member Linda Evanchyk.


Eglin, Hurlburt continue local community partnership with “win-win” projects

By Mike Spaits

Concrete targets from Eglin Air Force Base await transport to become artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. The targets were donated to Okaloosa County, who then deposited them in designated areas to provide divers and fishermen habitat for a variety of undersea life. (Courtesy photo)

Through the Eglin and Hurlburt Community Partnership Program, the two installations have collaborated with Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton County representatives to find solutions to both military and community problems since 2015.

As a result, the collaboration has produced multiple successes for the bases and counties. Now the entities are kickstarting efforts to keep the program moving into the future, with a meeting on April 27 at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville.

“It is very exciting to see the enthusiasm and renewed level of participation in the program,” said Dana McIntyre, 96th Civil Engineer Group deputy director. “With new and continued focus on the common issues like road capacity, housing and childcare shortages, STEM and workforce development, the opportunities to cooperate are inspiring.”

Some recent “win-win” projects include:

  • A Fort Walton Beach neighborhood drainage effort.
  • Concrete to reefs.
  • Okaloosa County adding Eglin beaches to its garbage collection contract.

In response to flood concerns from residents of the Overbrook Subdivision in Fort Walton Beach, Hurlburt Field and Okaloosa County personnel teamed up to develop a storm water runoff control system on adjacent federal property.

  • The collaborative effort received financial support from Florida in the form of a $250,000 allocation towards the development and construction of the project.

In 2015, Okaloosa County built a series of artificial reefs from repurposed concrete material donated by Eglin. The County received over 2,000 tons of clean, durable concrete material, at no-cost and utilized grant funds to pay for material transportation and deployment, according to Eglin AFB.

  • The cost avoidance for Eglin to dispose of the destroyed concrete targets from on-going weapons testing thus far is $104,000.

The benefits to the community includes:

  • Sustainable reefs providing habitat for commercially and recreationally important fish species.
  • Increased tourism (dive and fishing opportunities).
  • Reduced land fill.

This project paved the way for follow-on efforts including additional concrete-to-reefs and decommissioned military vehicles deployed as artificial reefs.

Eglin and Okaloosa County reached an agreement for trash collection on Air Force-owned and operated beaches. Eglin paid $36,000 annually for contracted trash collection on their beaches. The County was simultaneously collecting trash on adjacent beaches.

The County picked up Eglin’s requirement for only $20,000 per year, resulting in $16,000 annual savings. As a result of the partnership, the county, for no additional cost, agreed to run their sand raking machine over the Eglin’s beaches.

Looking ahead, Eglin officials see plenty of room to continue the successes the partnership has developed.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with our local partners in addressing needs that benefit both the Air Force and the local community,” said Eric Rushing, 96th CEG chief of engineering section. “Pooling resources and capabilities helps all parties to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs, and helps the overall quality of life for all.”


Record-breaking $3.8 million raised at Destin Charity Wine Auction

SOURCE: Destin Charity Wine Auction

On Saturday, April 23rd, Destin Charity Wine Auction’s “live auction” took place, benefitting children in need in Northwest Florida.

The Live Auction was held under an air conditioned tent at Grand Boulevard Sandestin Town Center and featured distinctive wines from internationally acclaimed vintners, poured and paired with cuisine created by a selection of the area’s top local restaurants.

  • In their first live auction since 2019, a record-breaking $3.8 MILLION (and counting) was raised.

“What an incredible night of fundraising for children in need in Northwest Florida,” wrote DCWA. “Thank you everyone who joined us.”

Founded in 2005, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) has donated $23 Million to Northwest Florida charities through hosting wine and culinary events. These funds have impacted the lives of over 100,000 youth, including those afflicted by health issues and abuse.

DCWAF has been recognized as one of the Nation’s ‘Top 10 Charity Wine Auction in the U.S.’ by Wine Spectator Magazine for the last eight consecutive years. 

OK, that’s all I have for you this morning! I hope you have a great Monday!

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

Published with ♥ by Get The Coast.

Did someone forward you this email? Subscribe here.

124 Eglin Parkway SE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Unsubscribe here.


Thousands of locals read our newsletter every morning!