YEAR IN REVIEW: A Look back at the year that was 2015 (October-December) (PHOTOS)

Pam Griffin


• More than 225 construction workers worked on The Henderson project and were honored with a lunch at a Topping Off party where they signed their names to the upper beam as is tradition for many building projects.

• Turnberry Associates has announced plans to build a 150-room select service hotel in Destin connected to Destin Commons.

• When it comes to taxi cabs in Destin, part of the complaints city leaders have heard dealt with a lack of meters in the vehicles. The city is currently reaching out to Okaloosa County officials about a countywide plan.

• City leaders agreed to put its garbage collection service out to bid, saying "It's only fair, that from time to time, we put this out for bid."

• In an effort to better serve our readers, the team at The Destin Log joined its colleagues at its sister paper, the Northwest Florida Daily News.

• Thousands of dead fish washed ashore in Destin in mid-October. Deaths were caused by red tide.

• The remnants of Hurricane Patricia brought wind, rain and high seas to Destin and Waterworld Destin saw the worst of the storm as it began to sink on Crab Island.

• A Dunkin Donuts and an American Family Care are in the works for a 1.42-acre parcel of land at 1018 Hwy. 98 East.


• City officials in Destin will not allow car dealerships to operate in the Commercial General (CG) zoning district. They are allowed as permitted uses in the Industrial (IN) zoning district and as a conditional use in the Town Center Mixed Use (TCMU) and North Harbor Mixed Use (NHMU) zoning districts.

• Local artist Deano Minton took home top prize in the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Best Graphic Design division for the CD jacket art he designed for bluegrass band Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice.

• The Destin Fire Control District was gifted with two hydraulic extrication tools known as the Hurst Jaws of Life thanks to a grant from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

• Okaloosa County Commissioners have unanimously backed a plan to spend $3 million over the next three years to bring a new airline carrier to the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.

• Gordon and Linda West, living on Joe's Bayou for 25 years, said vessels left in the bayou are not uncommon and the danger is imminent for waterside residents and their property.

• Destin Middle School announced that Courtney Murie has been chosen by her peers as the DMS Teacher of the Year for the 2015-16 school year.

• Santa arrived in style at Destin Commons Nov. 20.

• Destin City Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell was served with a cease and desist order by local attorney Dana Matthews on behalf of his client Peter Bos. She vowed not to be bullied or threatened.

• This year the teachers of Destin Elementary School nominated Pam Creel as teacher of the year, a title well deserved and surprisingly one she has only been awarded one other time in her 36 year teaching career.

• More than 500 volunteers participated in the annual Crop Drop at Destin United Methodist Church where men, women and children sorted and bagged a variety of produce, from potatoes and corn to cucumbers. A total of 51 agencies received food donations through the Crop Drop this year.

• A purple potty will appear in lawns throughout the region through May 20, 2016, in support of the Emerald Coast Relay for Life. The project is a call to action for the non-profit that raises money for cancer research and their slogan is, “Help us Flush Out Cancer!”

• City leaders agreed to have city staff draw up a plan for a paid parking pilot program at the Marler Street parking lot.

• At the World Food Championships held in Kissimmee, Executive Chef Jim Shirah at Dewey Destin's Seafood Restaurant was invited by state program, Fresh from Florida and local company Ariel Seafoods Inc. to present the proper way to filet and prepare American red snapper.

• Pet owners living at Harbor Landing in Destin said they received a strange request from their condominium home owners association — doggie DNA testing to help prevent unwanted pet waste in public areas.


• Through a partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and The Trust for Public Land, the city will see a 3.42-acre parcel of land on the Choctawhatchee Bay. at 101 Calhoun Avenue, transformed into a park, complete with a kayak launch, a fruit tree grove, restrooms with outdoor showers, a splash pad, playground, parking for 30 cars, a full-sized historical seine boat, and a large picnic pavilion.

• Jean Melvin, just retired from the Destin History and Fishing Museum, will be one of Grand Marshals at Christmas Parade. A living legend in Destin, Samuel Lombardo, a World War II veteran, will be co-grand marshal.

• Mayor Mel Ponder will officially resign his post Jan. 15, as he prepares to run for a seat in the State House of Representatives.

• Given the resignation of Mayor Mel Ponder, current Destin City Councilman Jim Wood has thrown his name into the hat to replace Ponder.

• Parks and Recreation Supervisor Nicholas Coleman was named city of Destin’s 2015 employee of the year.

• The city of Destin and Dewey Destin, on behalf of BI, Inc., are currently debating who has usage rights for an access road/easement that runs long the city's harbor-front property, which will be home to Capt. Royal Melvin Heritage Park.

• The Overall Best Entry at the Boat Parade was SWOOP II captained by Captain Matt Wheeler and the City of Destin Harbor Heritage Award went to BUCCANEER captained by Captain Cannonball.

• A new thrift store in Destin, Path of Grace II, means a second chance for 24 women currently living at the Path of Grace Recovery Homes program based in Miramar Beach.

• The Destin Area Chamber of Commerce selected retired Chief Master Sgt. Skip Overdier as its 2015 Retired Military Person of the Year.

• Winner of Best Home in the Holiday Decorating Contest was 83 Country Club Drive and Best of Holiday was 610 Fifth Street.

• Billy Claus, Santa's brother who lives in the Caribbean, arrived at LuLu's Destin via sea plane.

• The blue and white single pedestal water tower at the intersection of Benning Drive and Azalea Drive, erected by Destin Water Users (DWU) in 1964 has been recognized as a water landmark by the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

• HarborWalk Charters captain David Nettles had to jump out of his boat, Gulf Ranger, on Choctawhatchee Bay after it burst into flames as it was returning to HarborWalk from dry dock.