Lasagna Mama!

Local resident Michelle Jannazo pulls into a Publix parking lot near her home in Freeport. “This is the third time I’ve been here in two days!” The shopping list for her lasagna is memorized. She hustles down the aisles. This is something she does often. Michelle is a volunteer...
By Mary Chris Murray Her belief that “every abused, neglected and homeless animal deserves a second chance” is what makes Laurie Hood, Freeport resident and founder and president of Alaqua Animal Refuge, a Hometown Hero. A true visionary and passionate animal lover since childhood, Laurie founded Alaqua in Freeport, the Southeast’s...
A draw for residents and tourists alike, the diverse natural areas of Walton County, including waterways, wetlands and shorelines are especially unique and critically important. In an effort to restore a footprint of 6.71 acres of oyster, saltmarsh, seagrass, dune and coastal dune lake wetland habitat, the Choctawhatchee Basin...
A champion for Northwest Florida State College, Dottie Blacker’s first gift nearly 21 years ago was a $100,000 “challenge” to encourage raising funds to build a visual arts center. Since that time, Dotty has provided nearly $800,000 in support for various programs at the College. From visual arts, to...

Knives for a Cause

Recently, U.S. Navy veteran and former first responder, Michael Olson, crafted a dagger that was on display at Copeland’s in Freeport. It was then raffled off for the sheriff’s K-9 Unit Saturday, March 13, for National Service Dog Appreciation Day. “I had the privilege to hand over $750 to...
Feeding the Gulf Coast is partnering with local community organizations to offer free meals to children, ages 18 and younger, through a nutrition program supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “We know that parents do not always have the resources to provide healthy meals for their kids,”...
Sometimes it is easy to forget that the common mockingbird and not the mosquito is Florida’s state bird, especially when more than 80 mosquito species occur throughout the state. From Spring to Fall (and year-round in some counties), mosquito control districts battle with these bloodsuckers so that outdoor activities...
Free Federal income tax preparation is being offered in three Walton County locations in 2020 for low to middle-income families and individuals, with special attention to senior citizens. This service is sponsored by the AARP Foundation and the IRS. According to Joe Perry, Tax-Aide District Coordinator, “There are no age...
“One thing I’ve always learned is that I’m gonna get up!” — Herschel Walker By M. Shaye Smith On Saturday, February 20th, athletes, fans and supporters of the All Sports Association gathered at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center located at Northwest Florida State College for the 52nd annual awards ceremony featuring...
By Sheriff Eric Aden Spring break 2020 was anything but normal, as the covid-19 pandemic sparked a ban on short-term rentals and limits on bars and restaurants. This year’s spring break runs from March 6th through April 25th, and although Okaloosa County doesn’t market itself as a college spring break destination,...

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