Okaloosa County

Jason Blitzer with his Lionfish Challenge submission.
Jason Blitzer

Labor Day is the last day to participate in the Lionfish Challenge.

Niceville High School

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies are warning Niceville residents to be aware of a scam. Scofflaws are pretending to fundraise on behalf of an area high school.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office wants area residents to “Think Before They Dive.” It’s part of an initiative to promote safety on local waterways.

Greg Evers facebook

The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that includes designating a highway after a former North Florida Republican Senator who died last year.

Greg Evers facebook

Two state lawmakers are seeking to honor a fallen former colleague, who died last month in a single car wreck near his North Florida home.


Okaloosa County Health Department received a national award for best practices in working to prevent HIV infections.

Florida Department of Corrections youtube

Housing inmates within county jails can be expensive, and one local sheriff is hoping to partner with other agencies around the Panhandle to not only drive cost down, but help reduce recidivism as well.

Storm Causes Damage To Okaloosa County

Jun 21, 2017
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office

Okaloosa County experienced heavy rain and damage early Wednesday morning in what officials believe could be a tornado.

Volunteer Florida

Volunteer Florida is awarding 22 organizations across the state some significant matching funds to increase their volunteer base.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's office facebook

Family, friends, and co-workers gathered together Thursday to honor Bill Myers. He’s the longtime Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty a year ago.

Okaloosa County Website

In an effort to save funds, officials want residents to switch to Alert Okaloosa. 

MGN Online

It’s World Breastfeeding Week, and Okaloosa County Health officials are recognizing area businesses and hospitals for their efforts in trying to make the county breastfeeding-friendly.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

Governor Rick Scott and, Attorney General Pam Bondi along with hundreds of law enforcement and community members honored a fallen sheriff’s deputy during his Memorial Service Monday in Niceville.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

A memorial service will be held Monday for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy who recently lost his life.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

A longtime Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy is dead, following a shooting outside a local law office Tuesday. The suspect is also dead, after authorities engaged him in a standoff at a nearby hotel.

A North Florida correctional officer is facing a felony charge for alleged smuggling, following her Wednesday arrest. It’s the latest in a slew of arrests this week within the Florida Department of Corrections.

MGN Online

Could Florida do a better job at helping veterans who have mental health issues? Some experts seem think so, like Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Steve Leifman. He’s the chairman of the Florida Supreme Court Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court.

Some Florida Panhandle counties will soon receive a more than $900,000 grant for flood recovery efforts.

In a release, Volunteer Florida—which links to federal help—announced the approval of the about $905,000 FEMA grant to provide disaster relief and assist Panhandle victims of last year’s flooding in the Spring.

The grant targets residents in Okaloosa, Walton, Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

MGN Online

Starting Monday, Okaloosa County residents and those from other nearby counties can submit concealed weapons permit applications at the Okaloosa County’s Tax Collector office.

In addition to the eight regional offices of the Florida Department of Agriculture, Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson says he’s excited to provide another source for applying for a permit.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

A debate over delaying the start of the school day for Florida’s high school students is headed for the state Legislature this session. A bill filed by Panhandle Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) would prohibit high schools from starting earlier than 8 a.m.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The number of bear sightings is on the rise in the Florida Panhandle.  State wildlife officials are holding a workshop to teach residents how to safely cohabitate with the bears.

It’s peak tourism season in the Gulf Coast, and in Destin, the Harbor is bustling with people sipping rum drinks, taking pirate cruises and lounging on the decks of a giant waterfront restaurant, A-J’s Seafood and Oyster House.

“I personally don’t think I saw enough oil to fill up a one-gallon bucket,” said Alan Laird, the business’ owner. “But [it was the] worst year and only year in 26 years of business that I did less than the year prior, so financially it was devastating.”

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

A visitor center open for less than four months in the tourism hot spot of Destin may soon have

to close. The center’s lease came into question during an investigation into spending by the former director of the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council, who died of an apparent suicide in May.

Fla. Could Get Billions if RESTORE Act Passes

Jun 11, 2012
Gulf Coast Restoration Summit Attendees
Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

Congress could soon pass legislation dividing fines from the 2010 BP oil spill among the five affected Gulf Coast states. Lawmakers, business owners and scientists discussed what to do with the billions of dollars Florida could stand to receive under the RESTORE Act at the Gulf Coast Restoration Summit in Destin on June 11.

More than two years after the Deep Horizon oil rig disaster, relief money for Florida and other Gulf Coast states is on the table in Congress. The Senate passed the RESTORE Act earlier this year.