White Sands Inn & Suites Renovation Complete
Destin Lodging, LLC is pleased to announce the completion of its 1-million-dollar renovation project of the White Sands Inn & Suites. The newly remodeled hotel, located at 4415 Commons Dr. E., is an 83-room hotel property, featuring a variety of room types. Each guest room features free high-speed Internet access, cable television with HBO®, a microwave, and a refrigerator. The hotel offers a complimentary full hot breakfast and features a heated outdoor pool and spa, exercise room, and an onsite laundry facility. The hotel is just a 5 minute drive to the sugar sand beaches and emerald waters of the Emerald Coast. The convenience of our location offers each guest easy access to local attractions and many outdoor activities. Hotel guests will be close to a variety of restaurants (Longhorn Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, and many more) all within walking distance of the property. The White Sands Inn & Suites is located adjacent to the Shoppes of Paradise Key, just .5 miles from Destin Commons, 5 miles from the Silver Sands Premium Outlets, and 5 miles from the Destin Harbor.
Tax Deadline Approaching
Okaloosa County Tax Collector Ben Anderson would like to remind citizens that March 31 is the deadline to pay their 2014 Real Estate Property Taxes and Tangible Personal Property Taxes. Property taxes not paid by March 31 become delinquent and will be subject to delinquency interest and advertising fees, which are added to the gross amount due. Visit OkaloosaTax.com to pay online.
Another payment option for tax payers to consider is the Property Tax Installment Plan. This option is now available for the 2015 tax year. The Installment Plan divides the annual taxes into four (4) payments – due June, September, December, and March. The Installment Plan provides for 3.3% discount and adds the convenience of spreading out payments instead of one lump sum payment. Applications for the Installment Plan are accepted until April 30, 2015, and may be found in the “Forms Center” at OkaloosaTax.com.
dressbarn introduces the DRESSBAR
Introducing the DRESSBAR at dressbarn. Since 1962, dressbarn has been the not-so-secret weapon of women who look for value in what they wear, as much as they do fit and style and… fun! With the debut of the DRESSBAR at dressbarn, a chicly curated collection of dresses, we’ve upped the ante on style and designer fashion, without lowering our 50+ year standard on value. Visit dressbarn.com.
Destin Water Users Honored with Excellence Award for Fourth Consecutive Year
Destin Water Users (DWU) was honored with the 2014 Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Plant Operations Excellence Award for Drinking Water at the Annual Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) Focus On Change Seminar in Panama City on Feb. 19. The annual Plant Excellence Awards program is one of the ways the DEP recognizes public drinking water and domestic wastewater facilities that demonstrate excellence in operation, maintenance, compliance, innovative treatment, waste reduction, pollution prevention, conservation, recycling, and other special achievements. This was the fourth consecutive year Destin Water Users was recognized with this award, and the 12th time overall.
ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals® Participates as Official Lodging Sponsor of South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
Wyndham Vacation Rentals® announced that its ResortQuest brand will serve as the Official Lodging Sponsor of the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival taking place from April 23 - 26, at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The festival includes numerous events throughout the weekend, such as a charity wine auction, culinary village, wine and food tastings, and seminars, as well as a Nashville Songwriters Showcase. There will be more than 800 wines available for tasting and purchase in addition to celebrity winemaker, chef and craft brew master appearances.
As a proud sponsor of the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is offering 20 percent off select properties at TOPS’L Beach & Racquet Resort. In addition, ResortQuest guests can enjoy discounted festival tickets and are encouraged to take advantage of complimentary shuttle service, which will be available throughout the weekend. Book online using Promo Code VINO.
Okaloosa County EMT Recipient of a HERO Award
Tim Busby, Okaloosa County emergency medical technician (EMT), was transporting a patient to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center when he witnessed a near head on collision. He was presented with the HERO award at the March 17 County Commission Meeting for his care of the patient he was transporting, along with four patients from the accident. By keeping a calm demeanor and thinking clearly, Busby was able to request the proper resources to respond, assists the two medical helicopters and two ground units responding to the scene, pass on an excellent report to the local incident command, and care for the patients. He provided vital information needed to facilitate transport of the patients to trauma centers in the area.
The Humanitarian Efforts Recognized by Okaloosa County (HERO) award recognizes employees who not only go beyond the scope of what his or her job entails, but has done something of a humanitarian or heroic nature. The HERO Award can include acts occurring outside work hours and submissions by people outside Okaloosa County staff. Above and Beyond forms are available online at OkaloosaFL.com or you may contact 311 Citizen Information Line for more information or to recognize an Okaloosa County employee.
Okaloosa Beach Safety Selected Beach Patrol of the Year
Okaloosa County Beach Safety was presented the 2014 Beach Patrol of the Year award by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association and the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA)-Southeast Region. The award was presented at the 21st Annual Florida State Surf Lifesaving Awards Banquet recently held on Okaloosa Island. The process looks for a Beach Patrol that sets themselves apart through their programs and statistics, competing with larger organizations from Miami, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale to name a few.
McDaniel Elected Florida Emergency Preparedness Association Area One Governor
Okaloosa County Emergency Management Chief Randy McDaniel has been elected as the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA), Area One Governor. Area One consists of 10 counties from Escambia to the Apalachicola River. McDaniel will serve on the FEPA Board of Directors for a two-year period representing area one, as well as serve on the FEPA Membership and Awards Committee and the Public Private Partnership Committee. FEPA was created in 1957 to help professional Emergency Managers work to protect the people of Florida.
Borcyk Earns Certified Infection Control Credential
The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC®) has announced that Wendy Borcyk, infection control nurse at Twin Cities Hospital, has earned the Certified in Infection Control (CIC®) credential and has demonstrated a mastery of infection prevention and control knowledge by taking and passing this comprehensive examination. Certification is maintained through successful completion of a recertification examination every five years.
Okaloosa County Interim HR Director Receives Certification
GinNeal McVay recently became the interim human resources director for Okaloosa County, replacing Kay Godwin who accepted the position as deputy administrator. McVay also became a Certified Professional by the Society of Human Resources Management, (SHRM-CP), in addition to her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification that she already possesses. She was also to serve as the 2015 Accreditation Chair of the Emerald Coast Chapter of SHRM.
“Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” begins March 30 on WSRE
WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, will air “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” the three-part, six-hour documentary series directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman and executive produced by Ken Burns, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, March 30 through April 1, at 8 p.m. The series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” (Simon & Schuster 2010) by Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D.
Sacred Heart to Host an Evening with the Spine Experts
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast will host an evening with the experts event featuring spine health on Monday, April 13, at 6 p.m., at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse in Miramar Beach. Guest speakers include Dr. Kornelis Poelstra, Dr. Charles Wingo, and Dr. John Britt, board certified orthopedic spine surgeons. Attendees will learn about the latest advancements in spine surgery and meet the team from Sacred Heart’s comprehensive Spine Center. Attendees will also learn about Sacred Heart’s new, robotic guidance system for spine surgery. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Seating is limited. Call (850) 278-3600 to register.
Okaloosa County Launches New Website
Okaloosa County’s new, improved website is now live. “It has been almost 10 years since the web site has been updated, and is designed to make it easier to find what you are looking for through navigation buttons and additional links on the home page,” said Commission Chairman Nathan Boyles.
“We expedited publishing the site so that RESTORE applications could be submitted from the web site; therefore, the site is still “under construction,” said Kathy Newby, public information officer. “We do expect a few “glitches,” and requests your patience – it will get a little more streamlined and improve each day.” The web address hasn’t changed, visit OkaloosaFL.com.
L3 Communications designed the new web site for Okaloosa County, with a content management system to allow the county to do a lot of the work, as well as continue to update the website. L3 Communications provided technical expertise and experience in networking, networking equipment, fiber connections, web site design, VoIP, routing, switching, administration, analysis, installation, security, storage, virtual environments and email to handle the large, secure site of the county.
Air Force Enlisted Village Mourns the Passing of President and CEO, CMSAF James C. Binnicker, USAF, Ret.
A memorial service for CMASF James C. Binnicker, USAF, Ret., will be held on Saturday, March 28, at 2 p.m., at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. See below for the Air Force Enlisted Village’s (AFEV) official press release about Binnicker’s passing and his leadership of the AFEV.
Great sadness is felt throughout the Air Force Enlisted Village today as we announce the passing of our President and CEO, CMSAF James C. Binnicker, USAF, Ret. this morning on March 21. Our prayers are with the Chief’s family.
Binnicker has served as AFEV’s president and CEO for the past 15 years ensuring a meaningful quality of life for more than 500 residents at Bob Hope Village, Teresa Village, and our assisted living and memory care community, the Hawthorn House.
“Chief was loved and admired by people around the world, and he was able to connect across every generation,” AFEV Board of Directors Chairman SMSgt Dennis “Nick” Nicholson, USAF, Ret. said. “He exhibited grace, poise, and class in every situation. His enduring memory will be one of service to his nation and his community.”
Binnicker’s dream for Bob Hope Village included construction of an assisted living community, which opened under his tenure in 2005, and also the development of modern independent living units at Bob Hope Village, which is currently under construction.
Mentor to staff and employees, dear friend and caretaker to our residents at Bob Hope Village, Teresa Village, and Hawthorn House, Binnicker will be remembered for his kind heart and his caring spirit. As AFEV PCEO, he instituted a philosophy, which became our core values, known as The Mom Rule. The Mom Rule ensured that staff and employees treated all residents with dignity and respect as they would treat their own moms.
Binnicker also served 33 years in the United States Air Force. During his career, he served in many locations including Oklahoma, Hawaii, North Dakota, Vietnam, Taiwan, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and the Pentagon. He was a life support specialist, air operations superintendent, Vietnamese linguist, First Sergeant, and Command Chief Master Sergeant. He was Chief of Enlisted Retention and later appointed Assistant for Chief Master Sergeant Matters, Air Force Personnel Center. He served on the President’s Commission on Military Compensation; Senior Enlisted Advisor for the 4th Fighter Wing, 12th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces and Tactical Air Command. His three decades of service culminated in his selection as the Ninth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force where he served as the advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force/Air Force Chief of Staff on matters concerning welfare, effective utilization, and progress of the enlisted members of the USAF.