February 2023


February 27, 2023 WALTON COUNTY, Fla— A traffic stop for passing on double yellow lines leads to the arrest of a wanted suspect from a 2007 homicide in south Florida. Just before 6 pm Sunday, February 26th, a Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy patrolling northbound County Road 393 N witnessed a white Nissan Altima pass another vehicle on a double yellow line. A traffic stop was conducted, and the driver identified himself as Jose Wilson Padilla-Padilla, 41. During the stop, dispatch notified the deputy Padilla had a warrant out of Broward County for First Degree Murder from a Fort Lauderdale homicide under the alias Wilson “El Tigre” Padilla-Diaz. Padilla’s wife came to the scene to take possession of the vehicle and said the two met in Mexico 12 years ago and had been living in Santa Rosa Beach less than a year. Padilla was placed under arrest on the out-of-county warrant, for driving without a license (never issued). He was transported and booked into the Walton County Jail and is awaiting extradition to Broward County. In addition, an active ICE detainer was placed on Padilla that will carry over into his extradition. Please direct any questions regarding the homicide to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.      The post TRAFFIC STOP FOR PASSING ON DOUBLE YELLOW NETS 2007 FORT LAUDERDALE HOMICIDE SUSPECT first appeared on Walton County Sheriff’s Office, FL.  https://waltonso.org/news/feed/ Read More

Fatal water rescue incident near Miramar Beach Regional Beach Access

South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to a fatal water rescue incident near Miramar Beach Regional Beach Access on Saturday at approximately 1:56 p.m. https://30a-tv.com/30a/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/dji-30secs-miramar-beach.mp4 The original 9-1-1 caller reported to SWFD Dispatchers that multiple swimmers were in distress near 2375 Scenic Gulf Drive. SWFD’s Surf 5 lifeguard responded to the caller’s location, then entered the water and made contact with several swimmers who were approximately 150 yards offshore. These swimmers stated a male of approximately 20 years of age was in distress and then submerged. They said they had lost sight of the individual and had been searching for them while lifeguards were enroute. At that time, two more lifeguards and SWFD Advanced Life Support arrived on-scene. The lifeguard signaled back to shore of a “Code X” at 2:04 p.m., which initiates the search for a missing swimmer. The three lifeguards began searching in a pattern to the east based on the direction of the current and located the victim at 2:16 p.m. Lifeguards then brought the victim back to shore, where the individual was pronounced deceased at the scene. Single red flags were flying at the time the incident occurred, which indicate high surf hazards and the presence of dangerous rip currents. SWFD would like to remind the public that the 2023 Beach Safety Season will begin on Wednesday, March 1, with the staffing of lifeguard towers and full-scale beach safety operations. Until that date, lifeguards are patrolling 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day in accordance with... Read More


February 23, 2023 WALTON COUNTY, Fla— A Freeport man is arrested after it’s found he violated his probation and attempted to hide fentanyl up his anal cavity during his arrest. Information obtained in search warrants done by Walton County Sheriff’s Office VICE/Narcotics Unit earlier this month prompted investigators to contact probation to inform them of their findings. On Wednesday, February 22nd, State Probation Officers with the Florida Department of Corrections conducted a probation search of Robert Seth Whittaker and his house on Power Line Road in Freeport where they discovered traces of fentanyl and other paraphernalia and immediately contacted Walton County Sheriff’s Office. A search warrant was obtained by VICE/Narcotics which revealed numerous items of drug paraphernalia including digital scales, packaging material, syringes, items to conceal drugs, and other items used to take controlled substances throughout the home. Investigators arrested Robert Seth Whittaker, Travis Weidenhaft, and Danea Harris as a result. Following his arrest, Whittaker was found to have a purple powder which he tried to conceal in his anal cavity while being booked at the Walton County Jail. That substance tested positive for fentanyl. Whittaker is charged with possession of a controlled substance, the introduction of contraband into a county detention facility, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation. At the time of his arrest, Whittaker was already serving three years probation because of a narcotics search warrant in July 2022 where he was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of fentanyl, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Weidenhaft... Read More

Holi Festival of Colors March 20th

Spring is quickly approaching and Holi Indian Restaurants will be ringing it in with the traditional Festival of Colors! The community is invited to participate in this joyous holiday on March 20, 2023, at the Fort Walton Beach Landing, from 1 to 7 p.m. Media Alert WHO: Holi Indian Restaurants WHAT: Holi Festival of Colors WHEN: Monday, March 20, 2023 | 1 – 7 p.m. WHERE: Fort Walton Beach Landing Park  139 Brooks Street SE   Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547 DESCRIPTION: Holi Indian Restaurants brings the Indian tradition of Holi to the Emerald Coast with Florida’s largest Holi Festival of Colors. In celebration of spirituality, community, love, and diversity, the festival boasts live music, multi-cuisine food trucks, drinks, and family activities. The community is invited to take part in the Holi Festival of Colors from 1 to 7 p.m. on March 20, 2023, at the Fort Walton Beach Landing. Admission is free and attendees are encouraged to wear white, as all are welcome to throw gulal, the traditional colored powder, on one another. The powder comes in many colors, each carrying a special meaning, to include red, symbolizing love and passion; yellow, symbolizing happiness and peace; and blue, symbolizing calm and serenity. The gulal is non-toxic and will wash out of most clothing. Those interested in becoming a vendor can request more information by emailing info@holirestaurants.com. For updates and additional event information, visit the Holi Festival of Colors Facebook event. ABOUT HOLI: Holi Indian Restaurants feature the flavors of... Read More


Luxe Life Discovered LIVE Artist Matt Miller

An emerging, innovative live painter, specializing in a unique genre that he calls “plein air sports art.” Recent efforts have been focused on Ironman triathlons, wherehe capture athletes in motion against the iconic scenery of the race course. Other favorite subjects to paint include live bands, festival scenes, and the majestic trees of North Florida. In four years as a professional artist, he has completed over 500 paintings, including more than 100 live painting performances.When he is not painting he is playing outside or trying to finish Philosophy dissertation. Read More