Solar Trees come to Destin Harbor

To: Daily Rundown Readers

TOGETHER WITH

Good morning!

Destin has a new interim city council-member and his name is Chatham Morgan. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because Mr. Morgan previously held a city council position for the last 4 years. He did not run again in 2021.

There were a number of applications submitted for the position, and many of the applicants were in attendance at last night’s council meeting.

Council-member Teresa Hebert made an immediate motion to appoint Morgan with Dewey Destin seconding the motion. Council-member Prebble Ramswell briefly argued that there were a number of qualified candidates to choose from, but Hebert stuck to her reasoning: That Chatham Morgan is up to speed on the current issues and would not run for the position in July.

According to Hebert, it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the candidates to appoint someone in the interim, only to have them run later in July. Speaking from experience, she expressed that the pool of candidates would have a hard time beating the interim council-member. Many on the council agreed.

With Skip Overdier’s resignation, the Destin City Council had to appoint one person on an interim basis to fill the Council seat. Mr. Morgan will serve on the Council until a permanent member is elected during a special election on July 20th, 2021.

This Laurel Hill Cafeteria Manager went above and beyond for a student

When I started Get The Coast, part of my goal was to tell stories just like this one.

Meet Christy Hudson. She is the cafeteria manager at Laurel Hill School in the north-end of the county.

During the shutdown, she went above and beyond for an elementary student who had no transportation to get food that the school was handing and had yet to come pick-up the iPad needed to finish school work.

Without hesitation, she took on the role of delivering anything the family needed…every single day! According to Principal Martello, fear of the virus had become a paralyzing agent to the family and they remained in isolation. It was seeing Ms. Christy everyday for a brief period that brought this student so much joy.

Here is her must-watch story!

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Lunch With a Legend

This Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce is hosting a special event: Lunch With A Legend: Will Summers.

Will Summers was a part of the 12-Man Special Forces Team belonging to ODA 595 based out of Fort Campbell, KY. They were one the first of several Special Forces teams sent into Afghanistan to fight the Taliban right after the 9/11 attacks. This mission was known as Task Force Dagger.  

In Afghanistan, the team was faced with unconventional warfare and with enormous operational challenges such as adapting 21st century combat technologies and tactics into age-old models of guerilla and tribal warfare.

Lacking body armor and transportation against Taliban forces, the soldiers used whatever means possible to defeat the enemy, including riding horses provided by the Afghan Northern 29 Alliance to aid them in navigating the Central Asian terrain. This led to them being dubbed “Horse Soldiers”.

With this suitable means of transportation, the Horse Soldiers successfully achieved in weeks what was originally thought to take months or even years.

The Team’s remarkable story was chronicled in the New York Times Bestseller: Horse Soldiers The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan. This became the inspiration for the major motion picture 12 Strong.  

The public is invited to attend a luncheon to get a first-hand account of this remarkable mission this Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at the First Baptist Church FWB Christian Life Center at 21 First St SE, Fort Walton Beach at 11:30AM.

Tickets are $25 per person or you can purchase a special reserve table for $200.  For more information or to purchase tickets visit: www.FWBChamber.com  or contact the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce at (850) 244-8191.

Highway 98 widening project in Walton County

Paving operations are underway for the U.S. 98 widening project in Walton County, between Emerald Bay Drive and Tang-O-Mar Drive.

In the photo above, crews place structural asphalt for the new westbound travel lanes near Forest Shore Drive/Seascape Drive in preparation for an upcoming traffic shift.

Currently, all travel lanes between Forest Shore Drive/Seascape Drive and Tang-O-Mar Drive are shifted to the south side of the roadway. In the near future, crews plan to shift the westbound lanes to the outside of the new westbound roadway to construct the median.

At that time, all travel lanes from Emerald Bay Drive to Tang-O-Mar Drive will be in the same configuration, with a construction zone in the median of the roadway.

“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,” wrote the FDOT in a press release.

Paving is part of the $42 million U.S. 98 widening project intended to relieve congestion and improve traffic flow on U.S. 98 between Emerald Bay Drive and Tang-O-Mar Drive in Walton county.

Solar trees comes to HarborWalk Village

On May 20th, Gulf Power, City of Destin and HarborWalk Village will hold an official “untying” ceremony (not a ribbon cutting) in honor of the new solar trees at HarborWalk Village.

Now part of Florida Power & Light Company, Gulf Power is “increasing ways to harness zero-emissions energy from the sun that keeps costs down for their customers and helps keep the region beautiful”, according to a press release.

The panels on the two solar trees harvest the sun to produce zero-emissions energy. This eye-catching technology is located in the entertainment district at Legendary’s HarborWalk Village.

According to Gulf Power, these trees are generating 7.2 kilowatts of clean, renewable energy that is flowing into the power grid.

“That’s enough energy to power nearly six school classrooms,” said the company.

The trees feature color-changing lights and provide an opportunity for the public to see solar energy technology at work. You can scan each tree’s QR code to access information about the benefits of solar, Gulf Power’s solar trees and canopies, and their large-scale solar energy centers across Northwest Florida. 

To see the trees: Head to the HarborWalk Village Adventures area. The two trees are located under the zipline.

Other Reads

Milton, Niceville fire departments receive funding from state
Several fire departments across the Northwest Florida area are receiving funds from the state. Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis presented $58,695 in pandemic protection funding to eight fire departments in the Panhandle area.
Milton, Niceville fire departments receive funding from state
Several fire departments across the Northwest Florida area are receiving funds from the state. Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis presented $58,695 in pandemic protection funding to eight fire departments in the Panhandle area.
Crestview school for special needs students in need of new van
Vaneesa Harrington is the assistant principal of Richbourg School in Crestview — a school for students who have special needs. Harrington competed on Ellen’s “Game of Games” show Sunday night trying to win a new van for the school. She says the current van has broken down a few times when taking students who have jobs to their job sites.
Crestview school for special needs students in need of new van
Vaneesa Harrington is the assistant principal of Richbourg School in Crestview — a school for students who have special needs. Harrington competed on Ellen’s “Game of Games” show Sunday night trying to win a new van for the school. She says the current van has broken down a few times when taking students who have jobs to their job sites.
FWC continues ongoing goliath grouper rebuilding efforts
At its May meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) listened to a presentation and stakeholder input on goliath grouper in Florida state waters. The commission directed staff to continue ongoing efforts that recognize goliath’s role in the ecosystem and promote stock rebuilding while allowing access to goliath through catch-and-release, ecotourism and dive viewing opportunities.
FWC continues ongoing goliath grouper rebuilding efforts
At its May meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) listened to a presentation and stakeholder input on goliath grouper in Florida state waters. The commission directed staff to continue ongoing efforts that recognize goliath’s role in the ecosystem and promote stock rebuilding while allowing access to goliath through catch-and-release, ecotourism and dive viewing opportunities.
Blessing of the Fleet a community tradition, for fishermen and clergy
It was a great day on the waterfront for one of Destin’s oldest traditions — the Blessing of the Fleet. Sailboats, fishing boats and even pirate ships made their way through the harbor on May 13 for the 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet. 
Blessing of the Fleet a community tradition, for fishermen and clergy
It was a great day on the waterfront for one of Destin’s oldest traditions — the Blessing of the Fleet. Sailboats, fishing boats and even pirate ships made their way through the harbor on May 13 for the 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet. 

Ok, that’s all I have for you this morning. Hope you 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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