Sunken boats in Okaloosa County

To: Daily Rundown Readers

TOGETHER WITH

Good morning!

This morning, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners will have an exciting meeting as the agenda is packed with hot topics.

The county will be discussing the future of helicopter tours in Destin, an alternative beach renourishment project using “porous groins” (weird name but ok), next steps to acquire a third property at The Shore at Crystal Beach, AND implement a countywide bed tax. (Currently, only parts of FWB, Okaloosa Island and Destin pay the tourist bed tax.)

It is going to be an interesting morning seeing as though the City of Destin held a special meeting last night to discuss this countywide bed tax. I’ll keep you updated on everything that happens 🙂

WEATHER: Watching the tropics in the Gulf of Mexico

Disorganized showers and thunderstorms continue over the Bay of Campeche in association with a broad low pressure area. Gradual development of this disturbance is possible during the next couple of days while it “meanders near the coast of Mexico”, according to the National Weather Service.

  • There is now a 70% chance that a tropical depression will form within the next 5 days.  

“The system should begin to move northward by midweek, and a tropical depression is likely to form late in the week when the low moves across the central or northwestern Gulf of Mexico,” wrote the NWS in a morning update.

“Regardless of development, there is still a good signal that deep moisture associated with this system will lift northward across the Gulf and into our area by this weekend,” said Patrick Maddox, Okaloosa Public Safety Director. “Heavy rainfall may be possible this weekend and we will continue to monitor trends closely over the next several days.” 

According to Maddox, numerous and frequent rip currents may develop late this week and into this weekend. 

SPONSORED

Wherever the road leads, Eglin Federal Credit Union can help you get there!

Current auto rates are as low as 2.99% APR for up to 66 months on new or used vehicles (some restrictions apply).

Click here to learn more!

Local officials appointed to League of Cities Committees

(Left) Mayor Dick Rynearson, Council Member Nathan Kelley, Council Member MG Moran, (Right) City Manager Michael Beedie

The Florida League of Citiesthe united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, announced the following four appointments from the City of Fort Walton Beach to serve on the Florida League of Cities 2021-2022 Legislative Policy Committees:

  • Mayor Dick Rynearson – Transportation & Intergovernmental Relations Committee
  • Council Member Nathan Kelley – Finance, Taxation & Personnel Committee
  • Council Member MG Moran – Land Use & Economic Development Committee
  • City Manager Michael Beedie – Municipal Administration Committee

“I am extremely proud of our city’s continued commitment to advocate for legislation and state-level decisions that benefit local government. These appointments are an excellent example of this commitment,” said Rynearson. “Through the Florida League of Cities, we will be able to provide ideas and local perspective for our legislators as they plan for the future and make decisions that affect municipalities.”

The Florida League of Cities also announced on Monday that Destin City Councilmember Prebble Ramswell was also appointed to serve on the Florida League of Cities 2021-2022 Municipal Administration Committee.

  • Legislative Policy Committee chairs, vice chairs and members were appointed by the League’s incoming President, City of Lakeland Commissioner Phillip Walker.

Legislative Policy Committee members help develop the League’s Legislative Action Agenda.

  • This agenda details priority issues that are most likely to affect daily municipal governance and local decision-making during the upcoming legislative session
  • It also helps League staff understand the real-world implications of proposed legislation.

Committee members are also asked to serve as advocates for local decision-making throughout the legislative process.

SPORTS: Andy Thigpen named Choctaw’s new Athletic Director

On Monday night, the Okaloosa County School Board approved Andy Thigpen as the new Athletic Director at Choctawhatchee High School.

The approval comes after a recommendation from Superintendent Marcus Chambers.

Coach Thigpen is a product of the Okaloosa County school system where he attended Mary Esther Elementary, Bruner Middle School, and graduated from Fort Walton Beach High School. During his high school athletic career, Andy played football, basketball and baseball.

Upon graduating college, he decided to come back home to help run the family business before deciding to pursue his passions: education and sports.

It has now been 13 years since Thigpen started at Choctawhatchee High School as a math teacher and assistant basketball coach under Marc Tisza. This past season marked his 10th season as the head boys basketball coach at CHS.

As head coach, Thigpen has accumulated a record of 217 wins and 75 loses. His teams have:

  • Made nine playoff appearances
  • Won five District Championships
  • Made six Sweet 16 appearances
  • Three Elite 8 appearances
  • Won two Regional Championships
  • Made two Final Four appearances
  • 2x State Runner-up

“I definitely want to thank Superintendent Chambers for just his support and faith in me,” said Thigpen on Monday night. “I want to thank Mr. Horton, along with the School Board here this evening for just allowing me to pursue my dream and my passion for being an athletic director. Hopefully I can do Choctaw proud and also the school district.”

“As a long time head coach of the highly successful Choctaw Boys Basketball program, Andy Thigpen is stepping into his dream job,” said Principal Michele Heck. “Taking over the helm of Big Green Athletics is a huge responsibility and he couldn’t be more ready as well as excited!”

Thigpen officially starts the new position on July 1, 2021.

Derelict (Sunken) Vessels in Okaloosa County

Last week, Alex Fogg (Okaloosa), Michael Norberg (Okaloosa) and myself hopped on an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office boat to go check out a few of the derelict vessels around Okaloosa County.

Derelict vessels (or sunken vessels) are an issue that we have throughout Okaloosa county. According to Fogg, a lot of times after a strong storm or a real bad winter, there are a number of vessels that people end up neglecting. The vessels end up sinking to the bottom and become the county’s responsibility to remove them to clean up the waterways.

However, there is more to it than just “removing the vessel.”

“There is a long process and it takes a minimum of 45 days after Florida Fish and Wildlife has been informed of the issue,” said Fogg. “Then FWC or Florida Fish and Wildlife gives us the authority to go ahead and remove that vessel. We hire a contractor, they take it out, bring it to the dump and it’s good to go.”

“It’s really important to make sure that you don’t puncture your fuel tanks or cause any of the fiberglass to break off,” Fogg continued. “We definitely don’t want to pollute the waterways any more than what these vessels were already causing.”

Over the last month, Alex and his team have worked with a local contractor to remove about a half-dozen derelict vessels from across Okaloosa County. And while a few more are still going through the review process, one vessel near the Brooks Bridge on Okaloosa Island is getting ready to be removed after catching fire.

“If we don’t know about the vessel, we can’t do anything about it,” said Fogg. “If there are some vessels that have sunk and they are exposed and causing a hazard to navigation or a potential environmental issue, please let us know.”

Watch the video above or click here to watch.

Other Reads

Austin Music Co. in Miramar Beach is open and ready to catch the wave of music things to come
From picks, sticks to electric keyboards and everything in between, Austin Music Co. in Miramar Beach has it all. Located on Emerald Coast Parkway just west of Holiday Road across from Culver’s, Austin Music opened its doors Dec. 14, 2020.
Austin Music Co. in Miramar Beach is open and ready to catch the wave of music things to come
From picks, sticks to electric keyboards and everything in between, Austin Music Co. in Miramar Beach has it all. Located on Emerald Coast Parkway just west of Holiday Road across from Culver’s, Austin Music opened its doors Dec. 14, 2020.
Walton County gets large federal grant for Northwest Florida Commerce Park at Woodlawn
A nearly $500,000 federal grant has been awarded to the Walton County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) for infrastructure improvements at the county’s 251-acre Northwest Florida Commerce Park at Woodlawn. 
Walton County gets large federal grant for Northwest Florida Commerce Park at Woodlawn
A nearly $500,000 federal grant has been awarded to the Walton County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) for infrastructure improvements at the county’s 251-acre Northwest Florida Commerce Park at Woodlawn. 
Destin Food Truck Fest coming to Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village
Twenty one food trucks will gather at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village for the Destin Food Truck Fest on June 20. Here’s a quick list of the food truck vendors that will be participating.
Destin Food Truck Fest coming to Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village
Twenty one food trucks will gather at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village for the Destin Food Truck Fest on June 20. Here’s a quick list of the food truck vendors that will be participating.
Special Ops Captain Saves Navarre Newborn’s Life –
The Acquisitions Officer knew emergency medical procedures through Air Force and local fire department training to include infant CPR, but hadn’t used them in a real-life situation. The child was non-responsive to the CPR.  The 911 attendant told Mavron to tilt the child’s head back more to force her airway open.
Special Ops Captain Saves Navarre Newborn’s Life –
The Acquisitions Officer knew emergency medical procedures through Air Force and local fire department training to include infant CPR, but hadn’t used them in a real-life situation. The child was non-responsive to the CPR.  The 911 attendant told Mavron to tilt the child’s head back more to force her airway open.

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!

THE BEST LOCAL NEWSLETTER

Thousands of locals read our newsletter every morning!