Mel Ponder doesn’t just talk conservative values – he lives them in every walk of life – family, faith, freedom, honor, opportunity, generations and heritage. For Rep. Ponder, faith and family come first: he has raised three children with Mona, his wife of almost 30 years, and helped establish...
By Bob Conrad Today, more than 2.7 million men and women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight on terrorism. “Unfortunately, for many, the rigors of combat and the challenges of military life take a toll on their overall health,” says Dr. Damon Friedman, an Air Force Special...
By Heather Bennett The beauty of The Emerald Coast brings together people from all walks of life, political views, religions, and races. On Independence Day we celebrate the birth of our nation in one of the most beautiful locations in the country. While some of us may disagree over the...
By Larry R. Ashley, Sheriff Beaches in Okaloosa County are open from dawn to dusk and business is booming. Restaurants and bars are re-opened with limited capacities and boosted cleaning procedures. The Okaloosa Island Fishing pier, fishing charters, dolphin cruises and water sports rentals are available again as well. Tens of thousands of...
By Rita L. Sherwood We are truly blessed to live in such a giving community; our local heroes are almost too many to count. In part two of our COVID-19 Hometown Heroes story, Destin Life would like to acknowledge the following people and events: Food insecurity is a nationwide crisis because...
Construction on a $4.7 million project to resurface and improve U.S. 98 between the East Pass (Marler) Bridge and Airport Road in the City of Destin (Okaloosa County) is complete. The project included: • Milling and resurfacing. • Sidewalk improvements. • Access management improvements at median openings. • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades. •...
By Lori Leath Smith Last fall, photographer and philanthropist Zhalman Harris, best known locally behind the camera, returned to his home country Liberia on a mission: to tour schools and orphanages to bring help to under-privileged children plagued by the lack of basic needs, education and other necessities. Zhalman’s passion for...
By Jodell Haverfield, Luxury Travel Consultant ACC Just before our youngest son left for Iraq, he asked me to plan a Freedom Cruise for him, his fellow soldiers and their families so they would have something to look forward to when they returned home. This cruise made such an impact...
By Eddie Bird With an unusual spring semester for the class of 2020, one thing remains the norm, an opportunity to receive a prestigious scholarship named to honor Taylor Haugen’s legacy. Haugen, T as his friends and family called him, passed away from an abdominal injury sustained while playing football...
Changing the Rules of Engagement In Martha LaGuardia-Kotite’s recently-released new audio book, she shares her story of being one of the first female officers to serve aboard two Coast Guard cutters with all male crews, being a woman in the U.S. Coast Guard and, a graduate of the Coast Guard...

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