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Stories by Wendy Victora Rudman

Stories by Wendy Victora Rudman

Keeping history alive: The largest known collection of turpentine industry artifacts is tucked into the backyard of a Holley home.

March 9, 2022

At the end of a dead-end road in Holley, the largest known collection of artifacts from the turpentine industry is kept in a tidy clay-colored building behind Raymond Melvin’s home.

Melvin, whose dad, granddads and great-granddads all trace their roots to the industry, started his collection when he was 22. More than 50 years later, it includes more than 1,000 items ranging from tools and scales to cut trees and cups to hold the sap.

Recycled glass still lights up Milton intersection

February 25, 2022
To a passing motorist, the corner of Hamilton Bridge Road and Glover Lane may look like others in Milton. The city-owned utility easement has patches of scrubby grass and a circle of landscaping near the triangle formed by the intersection.

Setting it straight

February 25, 2022

Milton officials speak out on new facility

After hearing too many statements they say are inaccurate about the location of Milton’s new water reclamation facility, Milton city officials are speaking up.

Navarre Beach has ‘big parking problem’

February 16, 2022
“The cars have tripled. The people have tripled. Everything has just grown … “We don’t have enough spots. The island is only so big.” Julie White, director of the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office.

The past is a gift you have already opened

February 15, 2022
I wish I could go back to the simpler days,” she texted. No, honey. No, you don’t.

Santa Rosa Black History celebration to feature performance by Florida A&M gospel choir

February 14, 2022
Citizens Moving Forward is organizing this year’s Santa Rosa Black History event Feb. 27 at the Milton High School Auditorium. The celebration will feature the gospel choir at Florida A&M University.

‘Unknown’ infants at Milton cemetery honored with headstones

February 13, 2022
The headstones were provided through the City of Milton, with the help of a large donation from Gulf Coast Wilbert, a Crestview company. Private donations also helped.

Milton man pulls Fort Walton mayor out of burning car

February 9, 2022

A Milton tow truck driver is being hailed as “Our Hero – Our Angel” by the mayor of Fort Walton Beach’s family after saving him and his wife from a burning vehicle.

Mayor Dick Rynearson and his wife, Janey, were heading to a gas station off Interstate 10 near Live Oak Jan. 26 when their car was t-boned and burst into flames.

Wise Words: Santa Rosa County Commission could use a few women

February 4, 2022
Many of the “shoulds” of my childhood have been washed away and that is for the better. Women can and need to earn as much as men. Men can and need to be as involved in their children’s lives as women. Leaders of our schools, communities and nation can and need to be people of all genders, nationalities and religions

Three key county employees resign

January 29, 2022

After several months of relative stability, Santa Rosa County is again facing staffing challenges, with three of its top employees resigning in the last few weeks.

James Cook, the interim head of Public Works, Chris Phillips, the head of Development Services, and Erica Grancagnolo, the associate director of the Economic Development agency have all resigned.

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