Walton Bus Accident
Wednesday morning a school bus, was backing out of a private driveway located at the end of Billy Joe Godwin Road in Walton County. The driver, 36-year-old Avis Boon-Paul, failed to see a large pine tree behind the bus and the bus’s right rear struck the tree.There were 15 children and two with minor injuries were released to their parents. The driver was charged with improper backing.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Fort Walton Beach man with attempted murder, one day after he was served with a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence by the victim.
Deputies were called to Kathy Court in Mary Esther around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning for a battery in progress. They found 58-year-old Mary Strange of that address inside on the couch, with blood on her face and head. One of her children says he had found her on the ground near a car and saw her boyfriend, 46-year-old Arnold Jerome Knight, standing nearby with a dark metal object in his hand. Strange was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola by medical helicopter for treatment of her injuries.
The previous day Arnold had been served with a Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence which stated he was to have no contact with Strange.
During a search near the crime scene Wednesday morning, deputies found a 12 to 16 inch steel pipe in a drainage ditch. It was tested and showed a positive presumptive test for the presence of blood.
The City of DeFuniak Springs will have to advertise for a tax increase after agreeing to move the millage back to the rate it has been for many years. Last year the Council decided to give a break and reduce the millage from its historic rate, creating an additional tax savings. This year they decided to move it back to the 4.50 mills.
The operating millage for the city is 4.5000 mills. This is slightly greater than the rolled-back rate of 4.0533 mills by 11.02%. The rolled-back rate is the amount, based on the Property Appraiser’s certified tax value, it would take to bring in the same tax amount as last year.
The budget for DeFuniak Springs is at $23.8 million. Less than a million of this comes in from the ad valorem property taxes.