Buy Video Games As Gifts? Attorney General Says Be Careful

November 28, 2008

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum today urged parents and other consumers to check the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings before purchasing computer or video games as gifts.

According to industry statistics, more than 50 percent of computer and video games are sold during the holiday shopping season, making it critical that shoppers ensure the games they give to young people are age and content appropriate.

“Though the holiday season is one of the busiest times of year, it is also perhaps the most important time of the year for consumers to make sure they know what they’re buying for their loved ones,” said Attorney General McCollum. “The ESRB rating system provides parents and others with age and content information which can be informative tools when purchasing games for family and friends.”

ESRB ratings are designed to provide information about computer and video game content so consumers can make informed purchase decisions. As part of the rating system, rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game, and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and may be of

“More than 40 percent of Americans expect to purchase a computer or video game this year and a majority of those games are purchased during the holiday shopping season,” said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “As parents choose titles from the broad range of entertainment choices our industry offers, we urge them to use the ESRB ratings system to ensure the games they purchase for their children are appropriate.”

“As a parent, I know it can sometimes feel overwhelming trying to manage the media that our children consume, but video games are actually among the easiest to control,” said Patricia Vance, president of the ESRB. “The ESRB ratings are easy to understand, and provide valuable guidance about the age appropriateness and content of video games so parents can determine which games are appropriate for their children. I strongly encourage parents to remember to check the ratings each time they buy or rent a game for their child.”

The ESRB recently supplemented its rating system by launching new ratings summaries. The summaries, released for all games rated since July 1, 2008, provide brief, objective descriptions of the content and surrounding context that factored into a video game’s rating assignment. Parents and other interested individuals may access these summaries on
the ESRB website,, via a new mobile address,, or through ESRB’s rating search widget.

Thanksgiving Night Accident Critically Injures Walnut Hill Man

November 27, 2008


A 21-year old Walnut Hill man was critically injured in a single vehicle accident Thanksgiving night.

The Florida Highway Patrol says Jarod Evan Jones, 21, was ejected from his GMC Sierra pickup on Highway 97A near Walnut Hill about 9:00 Thursday night.

The pickup left Highway 97A, hit a culvert at Corley Road and rolled multiple times over a distance of almost a tenth of a mile in the ditch alongside Highway 97A. Speed was an apparent factor in the accident.

Jones was transported by LifeFlight to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola in critical condition.

The accident is still under investigation by the FHP. The Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Atmore Fire Department and Atmore Ambulance responded to the call.

Pictured above and below: Scenes from an accident on Highway 97A in Walnut Hill Thanksgiving night. Scroll down for multiple photos. exclusive photos, click to enlarge.





One Person Injured In Early Morning Walnut Hill Accident

November 27, 2008


One person was injured in an single vehicle accident early Thanksgiving morning in Walnut Hill.

The accident occurred just after 12:00 a.m. Thursday on Highway 97 near the Walnut Hill Community Center. The driver of a  Z28 Camaro lost control while traveling southbound on Highway 97. The vehicle left the roadway, hit several trees and a culvert before flipping around and landing nearly over on the driver’s side. The first people on the scene said the driver was trapped, but then crawled partial out of the vehicle.

The first firemen on the scene had to use a chainsaw to cut some of the brush away from the car to reach the driver. The unidentified man stated that he was from Pensacola.

The person that found the accident stated that the driver of the Camaro had passed him a bit further north on Highway 97 at “about 100 mph”.

The driver of the vehicle was transported by LifeFlight to a Pensacola hospital. His injures, which included a broken leg or hip, were not believed to be immediately life threatening.

The accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Escambia Fire-Rescue units from Walnut Hill, Molino and Century responded to the call, along with Atmore Ambulance.

Pictured above: The driver of this Camaro lost control at a high rate of speed early Thursday morning in Walnut Hill. Pictured below: Emergency personnel work to reach the driver of the car. photos, click to enlarge.


Told That There Was No Hope, She’s Thankful To Be Alive Today

November 27, 2008


Rebecca Jones, 2, ran into the Century Branch Library Wednesday afternoon and hugged her Nana. It was a simple thing, but it’s those simple moments with her grandchildren that Nadine McCaw is so thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Rebecca is almost three. When she was born, it was grandchild number eight for Nadine and Eddie, her husband of 37 years. It was a happy time with a new life in the world. But within a matter of days, Nadine was told that her life was about to be over.

While visiting with Rebecca, Nadine got sick. Five doctors and two weeks later, she had been told five times that she was not likely to survive the invasive cervical cancer that doctors found. She even saw one of the top cancer doctors in the South at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

“All of them gave me really no hope,” she said. “The head doctor at UAB told me the same thing. He said that if I survived the surgery, I might have six months to live.”

Nadine knew the possibility of dying from cancer was very real. When Nadine was three, her mother died from cancer at age 21.  Her brother-in-law died from colon cancer. The list of relatives in her family that died from cancer is a long one.

Her family, her friends, her church…they all prayed. And prayed.

Prayer worked.

“They got all of the cancer. It was all there together, and it had not spread,” Nadine said. “They were surprised. It was not in any lymph node; it was not anywhere.”

She went from doctors telling her she had six months to live, to being one of the most important words in the world of cancer — survivor.

“The Lord is the only one that got me through all of this,” she said. “When five doctors tell you that you don’t have a chance, it was only the prayers of people and the Lord.”

“I don’t know what I do without her,” daughter Felicia Jones (Rebecca’s mother) said. “She’s special to me.”

nadine11.jpg“I love you Nana,” Rebecca said. “I’m so happy to see you.”

Nadine smiled. “I’m so thankful to be here, she said.

Rebecca, along with brothers Jordan, 5, and Joshua, 8, are in town this weekend from Arab, Alabama, to spend time with the McCaws. Nadine’s other daughter, Juanita Watson, lives in the Washington, D.C. area with Nadine’s other five grandchildren — Eli, 3; Luke, 4; Casey, 6; Mari, 13; and Joseph, 14.

Nadine works at the Century Branch Library and is a Century Town Council member. She also does her part to help others with cancer. She’s an active part of the Century Relay for Life, working to raise funds for the Century Branch Library’s team and signing up survivors for the Survivor’s Lap, dinner and other recognition during the Century Relay. For more information on the Century Relay, or to register as a survivor, visit

Pictured above top: Cancer survivor Nadine McCaw gives hugs and kisses to her youngest granddaughter, Rebecca Jones, 2. Pictured above middle: Nadine helps three of her grandchildren with the computers at the Century Branch Library where she works. Pictured below (front, L-R): Rebecca, Joshua and Jordan Jones; and (back L-R): Nadine McCaw and her daughter Felicia Jones. photos, click to enlarge.


Thanksgiving Meals Provided For Three Area Families By Rotary Club

November 27, 2008


The Tri-City Rotary Club delivered Thanksgiving meals to three needy families in the area on Wednesday.

A deserving family was chosen in Century, Jay and Flomaton to receive the meals, which included a smoked turkey from Archie’s Catering Smokehouse in Molino and the Northview High School FFA. The club also provided each family with a variety of staple foods to help them with their grocery budgets.

“We picked three deserving families,” Bo Brantley, club president, said. “A member of each family is employed, but they have just fallen on hard times and needed a little help.”

The Century family included a mother and three children. Their house was destroyed by fire Monday night. The Jay family was a mother and four children, and the Flomaton family included a grandmother that is raising her two grandchildren.

Pictured above: Tri-City Rotary Club members (L-R) Don Ripley, Bo Brantley, Bill Cox, Terri Sanders and Dietrich Bondurant prepare food boxes Wednesday afternoon for needy families in Century, Flomaton and Jay. photo.

FHP Out In Force For Holiday Weekend

November 27, 2008

The Thanksgiving holiday is a peak travel period for families joining together, but far too often the holiday celebration turns to tragedy because of failure to drive carefully and wear
seatbelts. Since Thanksgiving always produces a high volume of traffic, the Florida Highway Patrol will increase its presence on Florida roadways during the upcoming five-day holiday period. All sworn personnel on the patrol normally assigned to administrative duties will be reassigned to patrol duties on high volume roadways. In addition, Auxiliary and Reserve troopers will volunteer to assist regular troopers during the heightened holiday enforcement period.

“The Thanksgiving holidays are typically times of heavy traffic as people travel to spend time with their families, so we urge everyone driving on our highways during the holiday period to drive carefully,” said Colonel John Czernis, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination safely, drive sober and buckle up on each and every trip. The holidays are a time for celebration, but we cannot forget safety behind the wheel.”

The Florida Highway Patrol reminds motorists of Florida’s Move Over Law. The law requires motorists to move over when a patrol car, emergency vehicle or tow truck/wrecker is stopped on the side of the road with lights flashing. Motorists are required to change lanes away from authorized emergency vehicles if able to move over safely or slow down while maintaining a safe speed. Violators of the Move Over law will be issued a citation.

Motorists are encouraged to use their cellular telephones safely. FHP urges all drivers to call *FHP (*347) to report drunk or aggressive drivers. They can also use this number if their vehicle breaks down or they need assistance. Motorists needing immediate emergency services should dial 911.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles encourages anyone with a valid Florida driver license or identification card to go online to and enter their emergency contact information. This vital information gives law enforcement immediate access to this information in cases of an emergency, which makes it easier for them to contact a family member or friend.

Clerk Of The Courts Faces Financial Troubles

November 27, 2008

A budget shortfall is causing the Escambia Clerk of the Courts to ask employees to voluntarily take time off without pay and will layoff 20 part-time workers a few days before Christmas.

Clerk of the Court Ernie Lee Magaha has asked each of 196 employees to voluntarily take off one day without pay per month for the next ten months of the fiscal year. He’s also told the 20 part-time student employees that they will be laid off on December 19.

The clerk’s office says the budget problems stem from lower than anticipated fee revenue. A portion of that revenue drop comes from lower real estate transaction recording revenue.

Magaha will ask the Escambia County Commission for another $400,000 at their December 11 meeting to help the clerk’s office stay afloat. He’s also imposed a hiring and purchasing freeze in the department.

Children And Families Employees Use Can Art In Food Drive

November 27, 2008


The Department of Children and Families employees is serious when it comes to helping others.  Employees in the Pensacola office carefully thought of an innovative way to encourage co-workers to give to their less fortunate neighbors during the holiday season.  They were given an opportunity to participate in a Can Construction Art and
Giving Contest to help families in need of food and supplies.

“All of the art projects were wonderful and the amount of food collected reflects a generosity of our staff that reflects caring hearts,” said Patricia Franklin, Operations Manger.  Canned goods and other non-perishable items are being donated to the following four local non profit organizations: Caring and Sharing, Act Ministries in Navarre, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, First Assembly of God Church in Crestview and Manna Food Bank.

“The economy is bad and people are loosing their jobs; they are hurting and may have to rely on other sources to help put food on the table.   We are hopeful that this initiative helps local food banks replenish their pantries,” said Janice Thomas, Circuit Administrator.

In addition to this effort Circuit 1 ACCESS Florida staff decided to forgo having large holiday luncheons as they have done in past; instead they donated food.

Pictured above: Department of Children and Families can art with the word “Integrity”. Submitted photo.

Thanksgiving Holiday Closings, Trash Schedule

November 27, 2008

The following will be closed both Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • All Century, Jay, Flomaton and Pensacola city offices
  • Florida and Alabama state offices
  • All West Florida Public Libraries, including the Century Branch Library
  • UWF & PJC
  • Santa Rosa County Schools

Escambia County Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday for Fall Break and Thanksgiving. All post offices will be closed Thursday, and there will be no ECAT bus service Thursday.

Allied Waste trash normally picked up on Thursday will be picked up on Friday, and Friday routes will be picked up on Saturday.

Falling Gas Prices Mean Cheaper Holiday Travel

November 26, 2008


Gas prices continue to fall slightly across North Escambia, making for cheaper holiday travel.

On Tuesday, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded was at $1.75 in Molino at two stations. Compared to $4 a gallon in July, that means a 600  mile round  trip from Molino to Atlanta for Thanksgiving would be over $50 cheaper.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Pensacola metro was $1.79 Tuesday. It was $3.04 a year ago. The lowest price in Escambia County Tuesday night was $1.69 at a couple of stations on New Warrington Road in Pensacola.

In Century Tuesday, that gallon of gas ranged from $1.89 to $1.92. In Davisville, it was $1.87, and it Atmore it was $1.89. In nearby Bay Minette, Alabama, one station was selling gas for $1.62 a gallon Tuesday afternoon.

The national average is down to $1.885, the lowest since February 2005.

AAA says 41 million Americans will hit the highways for a 50 plus mile trip over this four day weekend, down about a half million from a year ago.

Pictured above: A gallon of regular unleaded gas in Molino was at $1.75 on Tuesday. photo.

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