This week in Destin history: A firebombing at DWU

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Jan. 12 - 18

40 years ago — 1974

The Destin Log advertised bags of home-grown Destin oranges for sale.

The Log welcomed Ida Calhoun as its first volunteer editor.

After the U.S. Corps of Engineers worked around the clock for five weeks to clear the channel in East Pass, a severe storm closed the pass in 24 hours.

The Destin Water Users office was firebombed, causing $3,000 in damage.

35 years ago — 1979

At the Destin Community Center’s general membership meeting, Fire Chief Terry Watkins reported the Destin Volunteer Fire Department responded to 51 fire calls in 1978.

Community Center members voiced strong opposition to the new setback line on the beach east of Destin and voted to write state and county officials urging the land be purchased by the state.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Frankie Mills told the Destin Alliance that most of Destin’s calls involved vandalism, breaking and entering of parked cars and increasing drug-related cases, committed primarily by people who live here.

30 years ago — 1984

The Northwest Florida Water Management District and the state Department of Environmental Regulation were studying DWU’s percolation ponds to determine if waste material was entering Old Pass Lagoon.

The Department of Environmental Regulation halted the county’s $60,000 drainage system on Airport Road because the county had no stormwater drainage permit.

25 years ago — 1989

The illegal dumping of residential garbage and construction debris in Destin was called “the worst in the county.” Larry Ballard, Destin’s code enforcement officer, said the solution was to have mandatory garbage and trash pickup in the city.

A committee of Destin boat captains tried to establish a fuel co-op to lower fuel bills by at least 25 percent for members.

A barge accident that closed the Pensacola Bay Bridge created concern for Destin officials, as a similar accident at Brooks Bridge in Fort Walton Beach could isolate the city. The incident emphasized the need for the proposed Mid-Bay bridge.

20 years ago — 1994

Destin’s mayor, Walt Thomas, announced his resignation effective immediately, citing “personal reasons” behind a move to a golfing suburb of Maryville, Tenn.

More than 300 pounds of debris, including a transmission motor, were pulled from the Destin harbor by Team Encrusted Objects’ first dive of 1994.

The 2-year-old Rottweiler, Liz, that survived the New Year’s Day place crash that killed her owners, died of complications from her injuries.

More than 100 donors showed up for a Red Cross Blood Drive at St. Andrews By-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

Total of Destin snowbirds climbs to 1,654.

City Council members broke ground at new Destin City Hall site on Two Trees Road.

10 years ago — 2004

Independently owned restaurants in Destin and South Walton contribute more to the community than do chains as they buy local foods, use local banks and advertising.