Area Hospital Gets New Leader

July 29, 2008

billperkins.jpgAn area hospital that serves North Escambia has named a new administrator.

Bill Perkins has been promoted to Atmore Community Hospital administrator and Baptist Health Care vice president.

Perkins joined Baptist Health Care in April 1990 and has held a number of management and administrative positions, most recently serving as corporate director of decision support.

Perkins earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of West Florida and master’s in health services administration from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill.

During much of 2008, Perkins has worked closely with current administrator Bob Gowing and the hospital’s board of directors to identify and implement service and growth initiatives at Atmore Community Hospital.

Gowing, a 38-year Baptist Health Care employee, will be returning to the Baptist Hospital campus to join the leadership team preparing for the West Florida Hospital acquisition.

He will be integral in the planning and implementation of incorporating the new location and its services into the Baptist Health Care Corporation. Gowing has served as  administrator at the affiliated Atmore hospital for more than nine years.

Low Pressure Forms Over Gulf

July 29, 2008

An area of low pressure forming over the Gulf of Mexico is expected to change our weather here in North Escambia over the next few days.

The National Weather Service says the low pressure area just south of Pensacola is not expected to become tropical in nature. But it is suppose to increase our rain chances the next several days.

The rain chance for today is up to 70 percent, with some storms this afternoon producing heavy rainfall. The overnight rain chance drops back to 30 percent; the rain chance for Wednesday will be back up at 70 percent. The chance of rain will remain at 60 percent on Thursday, 50 percent on Friday and 50 percent on Sunday. Overnight rain chances will fall to about 40 percent.

The chance of rain will lower our temperatures just a bit; the high the next several days is forecast to be in the upper 80’s to low 90’s.

Three Of Four District 5 School Board Candidates Raise Almost Even Money

July 29, 2008


If the amount of money raised by a candidate directly translated into votes or a measure of popularity, the race for the District 5 seat on the Escambia County School board will be an interesting one.

Three of the four candidates for the seat are within $500 of each other in the amount of money raised by their campaign through July 18.

Tom Harrell had received $5,925.00 in monetary contributions to lead the pack…but financially, it’s a very small lead. Incumbent Peter R. Gindl, Sr. had raised $5,704.56, and Bill Slayton had received $5,455 in monetary contributions by the last reporting deadline on July 18. The fourth candidate in the race, Robert Tegenkamp had received a $1,500 from himself.

All four candidates had spent most of the their campaign accounts by July 18.

Tom Harrell had spent $4,873.10 for a balance of $1,051.09 in cash remaining. Most of the funds Harrell spent in the last reporting period were for printing, mailing and screen printing.

Peter Gindl had spent $4,271.78 for a $1,432.78 in cash remaining. He spent over $3,000 on campaign signs, and also purchased t-shirts as his larger campaign expenses.

Bill Slayton had $1,246.79 cash remaining after spending $4,208.21.  In the last reporting period, most of the money Slayton spent was for stamps and signs.

Tegenkamp had just $62.48 in his campaign account on July 18.  He one campaign contribution of $1,500 was from himself. He spent $1,437.52 in fees to the county to qualify for the election. Unlike the other three candidates, Tegenkamp paid the qualifying fee rather than getting at least 369 registered voter signatures from District 5 to qualify at no charge.

School board elections in Escambia County are nonpartisan. The primary election is August 26.

Pictured above: District 5 Escambia County School Board candidates (L-R) Bill Slayton, Tom Harrell and Peter Gindl. graphic.

Atmores Visit Atmore From Across The Pond; He’s The Former Queen’s Bodyguard (Yes, THAT Queen)

July 29, 2008


North Escambia’s neighbors to the north recently had a few visitors from across the big pond. The Atmore family from England recently paid Atmore a visit on their tour of North America.

Kenneth and Ann Atmore of Bexleyheath, England, toured portions of Canada and the United States recently. She is a dental nurse. He’s a retired police officer, retired from the job of The Queen’s Police Officer. That’s right…he was the personal bodyguard for the Queen.

The Atmores hit several local restaurants, the library, city hall and more as they were treated with almost celebrity status in Atmore.

For the complete story of the Atmores visit to Atmore from the Atmore News, click here.

Molino Polling Place Moved From VFD To Barrineau Park

July 29, 2008

barrparkschool.jpgVoters in Molino will no longer be voting at the Molino Volunteer Fire Department.

Molino’s Precinct 19 has been moved from the fire department to the Barrineau Park Community Center at 6055 Barrineau Park School Road. The new polling location is about four miles from the fire department on Molino Road.

The change was made to better accommodate the large number of voters in the precinct, according the the office of David Stafford, Escambia elections supervisor. There are 3,372 voters in the precinct.

Each voter in Molino’s Precinct 19 has been mailed a letter explaining the change and providing a map of the new location. Each voter in the precinct will also receive a new voter registration card with the updated polling location.

Voters with questions or who would like additional information should contact the Elections Office at 850-595-3900 or, or visit file photo.

Gulf Power Donates To Local Chapter Of American Red Cross

July 29, 2008

The Gulf Power Foundation has donated $20,000 to the Northwest Florida chapter of the American Red Cross.

“Red Cross continues its work, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, responding to local disasters,” said Lynn Erickson, spokeswoman for Gulf Power. “There always will be people in need, and the Red Cross always has been there to help.”

Unfortunately, Red Cross is in need of financial support after providing emergency assistance in 2008 to more than 1,300 people during 353 local disasters including house fires, tornadoes and flooding. They also have provided emergency communications for 2,185 military members and their families this year.

The Rev. Lonnie Wesley from Little Rock Baptist Church and Sheri Frost, Chief Executive Officer of the Northwest Florida Chapter of Red Cross, were on hand at a news conference Monday at Gulf Power’s Corporate Office in downtown Pensacola.

Rev. Wesley shared how the Red Cross helped his church and families after a direct hit from a tornado last year. Frost provided details of other assistance provided locally by Red Cross and the dire needs of the agency.

After recent hurricanes ravaged the region, Gulf Power and the Red Cross had their hands full meeting people’s basic needs for food, shelter and power.

“In the past, when disaster has hit, Gulf Power and the Red Cross both have worked restoring people’s lives and offering hope,” Erickson said. “And right now the Red Cross needs our help-so they can continue providing much needed assistance when people need it the most.”

Those who want to give to the local Red Cross chapter can go to , or call (800)773-7620.

Gulf Power is the electric utility in North Escambia for customers in Century, south through Molino and into Pensacola.

Walnut Hill Church Holding Revival, Homecoming Services

July 28, 2008

Walnut Hill Baptist Church will continue their revival this week, and the church will hold Homecoming services Sunday.

Services will be at 6:00 Monday through Wednesday evenings with the Rev. Gene Pickern, a former missionary in the Caribbean.

The church will hold their annual Homecoming service this Sunday morning at 10:30 with the Rev. Jerry Peebles as the guest speaker.

Walnut Hill Baptist is located at 5741 Arthur Brown Road in Walnut Hill, about a mile and a half from the caution light at Ernest Ward Middle School. would love to help you spread the word about your church or civic organization event. Email

Man Shoots Into Trailer With Children Inside; He Faces Long List Of Charges

July 28, 2008


A Flomaton man remained in jail Monday after shots were fired into a trailer near Bratt with three children inside Friday night. The children and adults in the trailer on Wawbeek Road were not injured.

Joshua Jackson Grimes , 25,  of Flomaton was arrested in connection with the incident. He faces a long list of charges, including six counts of aggravated assault, two counts of battery, one count of shooting deadly missiles into a dwelling, one count of criminal mischief and one count of resisting an officer without violence. His total bond was set at $422,000.

The incident occurred in the northeast corner of Wawbeek Road north of Highway 168, just a few feet south of the Alabama state line. It all began about 6:00 Friday evening when Grimes got into a verbal altercation with the resident of the trailer, according to Sgt. Steve Smith of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department.. Deputies say he then left before returning armed with a shotgun about 6:40.

wawbeek10.jpgGrimes drove up to the trailer, firing several shots into the trailer busting out windows (pictured left, click to enlarge). He also shot out the windows of two vehicles according to deputies. Three children and two adults inside the trailer at the time of the shooting were not injured.

Grimes and a female friend, identified as Terri Leann Stabler, were stopped by deputies on the long driveway leading away from the residence. Grimes was taken into custody. Stabler was not charged with any crime Friday night. She was briefly taken into custody when she refused to follow orders from officers to stay away from the sheriff’s cruiser with Grimes inside, but she was later released.

Escambia County EMS responded to evaluate Grimes, who suffered a cut on his arm. He refused treatment.

The first court date for Grimes has been set for August 15.

For more photos from the scene, click here.

Pictured top of page: Grimes is evaluated by Escambia County EMS after being arrested for firing into a trailer on Wawbeek Road Friday evening. Pictured above, inset: Windows in the trailer were blown out. Pictured below: An Escambia County Deputy orders Terri Leann Stabler to not approach the cruiser containing Grimes. Pictured bottom: Stabler being taken into custody after ignoring the deputy’s orders. She was not charged with any crime Friday evening. photos, click to enlarge.



Today Is Last Day To Register To Vote In August Primaries

July 28, 2008

Today, is the last day to register to vote or change party affiliation for those who wish to cast a ballot in the August 26 primary election.

Florida law mandates that registration books close 29 days before an election. New registrations and party changes must be completed on or before July 28th in order for them to be effective for the August 26 election, according to Supervisor of Elections David Stafford.. Updates to a voter’s address, name, and signature are permitted after the book closing deadline.

Escambia County citizens have several ways to register or update their record.

Visit and complete, print, and sign the online application. Be sure to include a valid Florida Driver’s License number, a valid Florida ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number in the appropriate space. Mail the completed application no later than July today to: Escambia County Supervisor of Elections, PO Box 12601, Pensacola, FL 32591-2601. Or, take the completed application to the Elections Office at 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor, in downtown Pensacola.

You can register in person at the Elections Office at 213 Palafox Place, 2nd Floor, in downtown Pensacola, at any Florida Driver’s License Office, and several other governmental
offices and public assistance centers. Registration forms are also available to pick up at many locations countywide. For a complete list of locations throughout Escambia County, visit or call or e-mail the Elections Office.

Locations that you can register to vote in North Escambia include:

  • Public Library, Century Branch – 7991 N Century Blvd.
  • Tax Collector Office, Century Courthouse
  • Crossroads Service Center – 6470 Highway 29 N Molino
  • Mitchells Grocery & Seafood – 8221 N Century Blvd.
  • Florida Department of Motor Vehicles – 7500 N. Century Blvd.

The Century Library, while listed as a place to register to vote, is not open on Mondays.

County Won’t Hire Smokers Under New Policy; Insurance Changes Coming

July 27, 2008

nosmoking.jpgNo smoking…that’s the word from the Escambia County Commission. If you smoke, don’t expect to get an Escambia County job.

The county has adopted a strict no smoking policy effective October 1. The mandatory drug test will include a test for tobacco usage after that date. If a person tests positive for tobacco, they will not be hired for any county position.

The no smoking policies adopted by the commission go even further. Effective October 1, there will be no smoking within 50 feet of an entrance or exit of any county building. That ban will be expanded in 2010 to include all county property…no county employee may smoke anywhere on county property.

The no smoking rules are part of a sweeping change to the county’s health benefits, all designed to improved employee health and save money.

County employee health insurance will be going up on October 1 by an average of almost 25 percent. An employee that participates in the top-tier plan with single coverage will see their rates jump for $60 a month to almost $80 a month.

Almost 200 Medicare-eligible retirees that are on the county’s health plan will face a $50 a month increase or be forced to switch plans to one called BlueMedicare at an increase of $16 per month.

Other parts of the county’s health plan changes include:

  • Consolidate life insurance coverage under a single provider, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, in exchange for which BCBS will donate $250,000 for the construction of wellness centers in the county, with the wellness centers to be equipped with funding from the Employee Morale & Wellness Fund.
  • Attempt to increase the size of the health insurance pool through alliances with other entities such as the School Board and the City of Pensacola.
  • Investigate consolidating the health and dental Insurances under a single carrier.
  • Make mandatory the pre-taxing of employee deductions for health, life, dental, and vision (insurance), which means the deductions can only be changed during open enrollment or for a qualifying event; all other forms of benefit deductions will remain voluntary.
  • In fiscal year 2009-2010, offer employees a tobacco-free discount of 5% on the employees’ portion of the health insurance, with employees to sign an affidavit attesting to their commitment to remain tobacco free to receive the discount, with the county to randomly drug-test employees to ensure compliance, and with employees found in non-compliance to lose their discount.
  • In fiscal year 2009-2010, drop the county-sponsored Long-Term Disability Program and develop an optional program for employees to buy into. If possible, this program will be discontinued in fiscal year 2008-2009, at a cost savings to the county of approximately $70,000.

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