Niceville grad makes it to NFL

To: Daily Rundown Readers


City of Crestview to Host 2nd Annual “Blessing of the City”

Screenshot via Okaloosa County Public Information

In conjunction with the National Day of Prayer, May 5, the City of Crestview will be hosting a multi-denominational prayer service at Old Spanish Trail Park Amphitheater beginning at 6 pm.

  • “It’s going to be a good event,” Mayor Whitten said. “In the past, before COVID, we always had a great turnout, and it would be wonderful to see that again this year.”

This year’s ceremony will feature faith leaders from the Crestview area praying for first responders, city employees, military personnel, our schools, and many other entities from our community.

This event is free and open to the public and is expected to last an hour. Attendees requiring seating will need to bring their own.


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Okaloosa Arts Alliance’s 13th Annual Poster Contest winners

(left) First Place, Kayla Watson, 10th Grade, Crestview High School, (middle) First Place, Sarah Hood, 8th Grade, Rocky Bayou Christian School, (right) First Place, Norah Hall, 3rd Grade, Northwest FL Ballet AcadĂ©mie

The Okaloosa Arts Alliance has wrapped up their 13th annual OAA Okaloosa County School Poster Contest. This year the theme was “Sparking the Arts”.  

This year’s contest saw 218 entries from 17 schools from around the county. The artwork is now on display at Enlightened Studios (Grades 5th-12th) and the FWB Library (K-4th) through May 20, 2022.

  • Enlightened is located at 142 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, FWB
  • FWB Library is located at 185 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, FWB

Eglin Federal Credit Union donated gift cards. Each 1st place prize was a $75 gift card, each 2nd place prize was a $50 gift card, and each 3rd place prize was a $25 gift card.  The winners and honorable mentions are as follows: 

Elementary (K5-4)

  • First Place, Norah Hall, 3rd Grade, Northwest FL Ballet AcadĂ©mie
  • Second Place, Chandler Fife-3rd Grade, Edge Elementary School
  • Third Place, Linley Chilcoat, 3rd Grade, Edge Elementary School
  • Third Place, Mariah Tindall, 3rd Grade, Kenwood Elementary School

Middle (5-8)

  • First Place, Sarah Hood, 8th Grade, Rocky Bayou Christian School
  • Second Place, Jenessa Laemmel, 7th Grade, Rocky Bayou Christian School
  • Third Place, Brodie Laconlac, 7th grade, Ruckel Middle School

High (9-12)

  • First Place, Kayla Watson, 10th Grade, Crestview High School
  • Second Place, Julia Partain, 9th Grade, Crestview High School
  • Third Place, Laura Hill, 9th grade, Fort Walton Beach High School

Eglin’s 35th Annual Gate to Gate Memorial Day Run/Walk

After a two-year hiatus, the tradition returns with Eglin’s 35th Annual Gate to Gate Memorial Day Run/Walk!

  • This year’s 4.4-mile event will take place on Monday, May 30 at 7 a.m. and is one of Northwest Florida’s greatest traditions.

Registration is open to the public now through Tuesday, May 24 for those who wish to participate as runners, walkers or wheelchair participants. All registered participants can enjoy a post-race party at Unity Park and a FREE kids’ race at 8:30 a.m.

Eglin Federal Credit Union and Step One Automotive Group are sponsoring this year’s event!


Ruby Slipper opens on May 4th, first 50 people get free coffee for a year

The new brunch on the blockRuby Slipper will open to the public on May 4th. The first 50 people to dine-in on May 4th will get free coffee for the rest of the year!

  • Guests can expect inspired and playful twists on traditional Southern brunch favorites, including Eggs Benedicts, Beignets, Bananas Foster Pain Perdu and White Chocolate Bread Pudding Pancakes, as well as eye-opening cocktails.

Open seven days a week because there’s no bad time to brunch! Monday-Friday: 7:30am-2pm and until 3pm on weekends at 34902 Emerald Coast Pkwy.

Pro-tip: Join the day-of online waitlist and arrive when your table is ready!


Grand opening of the newest hotel in Destin

The Hilton brand has been making a splash since the beginning of the year from new hotels to acquisitions.

  • Now, Destin’s newest hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton Destin, is set to open with a ribbon cutting ceremony, live music and tours of the hotel.

The five-story property is located next to Joe’s Crab Shack and is one mile from Henderson Beach State Park. It includes 95 pet-friendly studio and one-bedroom suites each with separate living and sleeping areas and a fully equipped kitchen.

The hotel offers:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • Free breakfast
  • Complimentary evening social
  • Outdoor pool
  • Pirate Cove Splash Pad

The ribbon cutting will take place on Thursday, May 19 from 4:00-7:00pm at 14051 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin, Florida


Road work you can expect this week

Drivers will encounter traffic disruptions on the following state roads in Okaloosa and Walton counties as crews perform construction and maintenance activities.

Okaloosa County:

  • State Road (S.R.) 85 (South Ferdon Boulevard) Bridge Rehabilitation over FG&A Railroad – There will be intermittent lane closures from 9pm to 5:30am Sunday, May 1 through Friday, May 6 as crews clean, repair, and seal areas of the bridge.
  • S.R. 20 Routine Maintenance from Wise Avenue and Tamarack Avenue – Motorist will encounter intermittent eastbound lane closures from 9am to 3pm Monday, May 2 through Wednesday, May 4 as crews perform tree trimming operations.
  • S.R. 397 (W John Sims Parkway) Routine Utility Maintenance in Valparaiso â€“ Motorists can expect lane closures from 9am to 3pm Monday, May 2 through Thursday, June 2 as crews perform utility maintenance.

Walton County:

  • U.S. 331 Routine Utility Maintenance near the Clyde B. Wells Bridge – Motorists can expect lane closures from 8:30am to 3pm Monday, May 2 through Thursday, May 5 as crews inspect water lines.

Drivers are reminded to use caution, especially at night, when traveling through a work zone and to watch for construction workers and equipment entering and exiting the roadway.


Niceville High alum Juanyeh Thomas signs with Dallas Cowboys

Juanyeh Thomas at the All Sports Banquet 2022

On Saturday, Niceville-native Juanyeh Thomas signed as an undrafted free-agent with the Dallas Cowboys following the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • Thomas graduated from Niceville High School in 2018.
  • He has played the past four seasons at Georgia Tech.

Thomas was named True Freshman All-American from 247Sports as a kick returner in 2018, in addition to an honorable-mention all-ACC performer as a defensive back in 2021, according to Georgia Tech Athletics. He was also named the All Sports Association Male Collegiate Award winner this year.

Thomas played 47 games in four seasons at Georgia Tech (2018-21) and made 33 starts at safety, including 27-straight to close his collegiate career. Additionally, he set five school records after returning two kickoffs for touchdowns as a freshman.

He finished his career with:

  • 215 tackles
  • 8 tackles for loss
  • A sack
  • 4 interceptions
  • 16 passes defended
  • 5 forced fumbles

“God planted my feet where he wanted me to be,” said Thomas on Saturday evening. “And that’s all that matters.”

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!

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