NEWS

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

Pam Griffin

APRIL

• U.S. Sen. Rand Paul hosted a fundraising event at Mama Clemenza’s restaurant in Destin.

• New non-profit organization, Trees Destin in collaboration with Valley Crest Landscaping, completed its first planting at the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s Cultural Arts Village with five Mary Nell Hollies and plentiful petunias and purple fountain grasses planted near the MKAF’s iconic sculpture.

• New Destin business Hydroxy offers a relaxing ambiance with calming music, low lighting and colorful bubbling oxygen tanks.

• Boats anchored in Joe’s Bayou caught the attention of local residents and officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who labeled it a public eye-sore.

• This year six girls vied for the title of Miss Destin 2015 and a chance to represent Destin.

• City leaders agreed to help offset cost of roof replacement at History and Fishing Museum.

• Oil containment apparatus, a common sight along the beaches and bayous of Destin after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20, 2010, was remembered five years later as a time of uncertainty and panic.

• Roughly 46 pounds of cocaine, with a street value of $600,000, washed up on the shore behind Sandpiper Cove on Holiday Isle.

• Proposed 1900 Ninety Eight condominium project east of back Porch restaurant breaks ground.

• City Council discusses issue of open containers being allowed on the harbor district.

• Alyssa Bettinger was crowned Miss Destin 2015.

• City celebrates Arbor Day by planting a Live Oak tree at Buck Destin Park in honor of the late Evelyn Drowne and Paul Ratzel.

MAY

• The seine boat Primrose, fully restored and re-christened, was moved across Stalhman Ave. from beside the Destin Community Center to the new historical complex near the Destin History and Fishing Museum. First Destin Post Office was also moved.

• Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) celebrated the 10th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction, raising more than $2.3 million for children in need in Northwest Florida.

• Destin's Week of Blessings in 12th year as Blessing of the Fleet celebrates its 58-year-old tradition.

• The exterior and roofing are almost complete at Lulu’s new location in Destin, as restaurant is scheduled to open in June.

• City leaders are seeking input as it relates to growth in four planning areas — Crystal beach, Harbor District, Town Center and Holiday Isle.

• A group of 15 business professionals graduated from the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Destin Forward program, with Heather Pike of Destin Commons honored with the program’s Leadership Award.

• Trash and parking issues were part of the problem the city tried to address as they related to short term rental properties in the city.

• The former Club Overboard/Twisted Palm site was sold and a new project combining retail and restaurant space is in the works.

• The Destin Log building is under new ownership, purchased by Hargroder Holdings LLC., for $2,150,000 in March, and improvements will be made to the exterior and interior.

• With $3.2 million in grant funding available, the city of Destin has received three qualification packages from engineering firms for the design of stormwater improvements.

• Nearly a year after being hit by a boat while snorkeling in the Choctawhatchee Bay, Drew Barefield was named the official 2015 ambassador for Boating Safety Week in Destin.

• A derelict houseboat has finally been removed from Joe’s Bayou and was transported to the city’s maintenance facility where it was demolished.

• Buck’s Smokehouse made national news as the Destin restaurant placed 8th on TripAdvisor’s list of best barbeque joints in the country.

• A 1.7-mile restoration project in Destin has been recognized by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association as one of 2015's Best Restored Beaches.

• A new pirate ship, the Barefoot Bounty, will offer fun, interactive cruises of the harbor for families with small children.

• As the Kelly Street project wraps up, significant changes can be seen along the 0.77-mile project area, such as repaved roadways, new sidewalks and bicycle lanes.

• Every beer crafted at the new Destin Brewery will have a Destin specific name such as East Pass IPA.

• Father Mike Hesse stepped down as senior pastor at Immanuel Anglican Church, but he and his wife will remain in Destin and pursue other ministries.

JUNE

• DMS saw 53 students gain 160 certificates to earn the title of Microsoft Office Specialists in programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SharePoint, OneNote and Access.

• It’s sea turtle nesting season and one nest was found between the Crystal Beach public access and Hutchinson Street access.

• Beginning on Facebook, the ever-growing sisterhood Secondhand Sisterhood Destin Meetups now has 800 members.

• The Hobby Lobby store in Destin, next to Target, opened June 22.

• Lulu's restaurant opened along the Choctawhatchee Bay at the base of the Mid-Bay Bridge with a sandy beach, a fountain for children to play in, face painting, hair wraps, pails, shovels and toys galore sure to entertain children.

• Rock'n Bingo, played with music instead of numbers, is big hit at Landshark’s Pizza and Mama Sherry’s Pizza Wings & Things.

• Non-profit organization Trees Destin, working in a public/private partnership with the city of Destin, planted 16 Sabal Palms and one Date Palm along the medians of Main Street.