Memorial Service Held For Former Century Police Officer

February 26, 2009

A memorial service was held Thursday night for a long time Century police officer.

sutton.jpgEdward Gregory (Greg) Sutton, 47, a native and former resident of Century died unexpectedly in Hernando, Mississippi, on Monday February 16.

Greg was born in Century on March 22, 1961. His family left the area shortly afterward then moved back to Century when Greg was 13 years old. He attended Century High School.

He worked for the town of Atmore before enrolling in Pensacola Junior College’s Law Enforcement Program at the age of 18. After graduation he worked for the Century Police Department before going to work for the Flomaton Police Department. He eventually came back to his home town and worked as a police officer for the next 16 years.

When Century’s police department was disbanded he went to work for Prevention Services in Century as a data collector at the then Jefferson Smurfit Paper mill in Brewton. He attended training classes and became a level one analyst. He worked there until he was forced to retire because of health issues.

During his off time he could be found fishing on Escambia River, a hobby he dearly loved. He is survived by a wife, Susie of Bryneville; four sons, Edward Brandon, Michael Dustin, Dakota Douglas and Aaron Lee; one daughter Aimee JoLynn and several grandchildren. He is also survived by his mother Vicki (Doug) Hussey of Hernando, Mississippi, and a brother Mike (Terry) Sutton also of Hernando, Mississippi.

A memorial service for Edward Gregory (Greg) Sutton was held at the Byrneville United Methodist Church Thursday night.

Lawsuit Stops Organized Baccalaureate Services At Northview; School Turns To Community For Help

February 26, 2009

For the first time in the history of Northview High School, the school will not sponsor a Baccalaureate service. The change is due to decisions made by the Escambia County School District following a judge’s decision in favor of the the ACLU in a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School District.

A federal judge issued preliminary injunction against any policy or practice that promotes prayer or religion in the Santa Rosa County School District. The American Civil Liberties Union  has also requested documents concerning prayer from Escambia County Schools.

“As part of a district-wide change in procedure, to be implemented with the graduating class of 2009, high schools will neither sponsor, direct, nor organize future  Baccalaureate services for graduation,” Northview High Principal Gayle Weaver said.

But the policy does not necessarily mean an end to Baccalaureate services for Northview Seniors.

Baccalaureate services may still be organized and sponsored by the members of the senior class, parents, community leaders, pastors or other interested persons. The school itself is not allowed to organize  the service.

Luke Killam, the NHS senior class president, and other class officers met with Northview administrators Wednesday morning to hear about the district’s decision and to begin planning initial steps to assume responsibility for Baccalaureate.

After that initial between administrators and class officers, a meeting of the entire senior class was called Wednesday to explain the situation and ask for assistance.

“Northview High School is very optimistic that the parents, community leaders, pastors, etc. will come together and will work with the officers and their Baccalaureate committee to make decisions relative to a place to hold the services, when to hold the services and who will be a part of the program,” Weaver said.

“The administration, faculty, and staff of Northview High School have been proud to sponsor all of the Baccalaureate services since the school’s inaugural 1996 graduating class.  It is believed that the Senior Class of 2009 will rise to the challenge of  having an off-campus Baccalaureate services and will not only have a wonderful service but also one which may serve as a model for future years,” Weaver said.

Supporters of Baccalaureate in Santa Rosa County have launched a website to assist in the understanding of their efforts.  The site is  and may be of assistance and guidance  to  individuals, Weaver added.

Pictured above: The Class of 2008 Baccalaureate service at Northview High School. Pictured inset: First Baptist Church of Bratt Pastor Gary Wieborg delivers the address at last year’s Northview Baccalaureate service. file photos, click to enlarge.

Exclusive: Escambia Sheriff’s Bike Patrol Hits The Streets Of Century

February 26, 2009


The November night David Morgan found out he was elected as Escambia County’s new sheriff, he put Century criminals on notice. Wednesday night, they noticed something they did not expect…three uniformed officers riding Century’s neighborhoods on bicycles.

Down Salter’s Lake Road and along the railroad tracks to Jefferson Avenue and the community center, was there as the Sheriff’s Department bike patrol hit the streets of Century.

“Who’s that? The police?” a young man playing basketball with a group of friends at the community center said after the deputies circled the basketball court. “Man, it’s the cops. They on a bicycle. You ain’t going to hear them coming,” another young man said to his friends.

On an ordinary night, Deputy Scott Rivkin patrols the Century district in a cruiser. But Wednesday night he led the way for the bike patrol and deputies James Navton and Ted Roy. Roy serves as Morgan’s public information officer.

“It’s one promise that the sheriff made…to have more deputies on the streets,” Roy said. “People notice the police presence when you are on a bicycle.”

While the thought of a few deputies on bicycles might not seem like such an impressive crime fighting tool, it’s really very effective according to Roy.

“We are going to get them. When you are on a bike, you can get close to people on the streets before they even know that you are there. You can hear things like glass breaking. You can smell things. It’s a lot different than being in a car.”

The bike patrol was formed five years ago. In their first year, they were responsible for 525 arrests. That number jumped to 1,000 arrests last year.

“Century is on the scope,” Morgan told “Century has a whole host of problems. But we have a pretty good plan.”

The biggest problem plaguing Century, Morgan said, is prescription drug abuse. But Morgan’s plan will take most of those drugs off the street. As for when it will happen, the sheriff would not say. It’s all part of his plan.

We do know the bike patrol will return to Century’s streets. “We’ll be back,” Roy said.

From Jefferson Avenue, the bike patrol headed toward Ramar Street.

“What are they doing?” one of the boys on the basketball court asked our reporter. “Man, they are going to get somebody. Who are they looking for?”

“I bet they get…” another basketball player said, mentioning a name. “I told him they were going to get him.”

A noticeable police presence in Century. That’s what Morgan said was part one of his plan for Century. Wednesday night, that plan began to fall into place as people took notice.

“I hope they clean up this place,” a nearby adult said. “Write that down. Tell that sheriff we want him to clean up this place.”

Pictured above: The Escambia County Sheriff’s Department bike patrol hit the streets of Century Wednesday evening. exclusive photo, click to enlarge.

Ernest Ward FFA Holds Breakfast

February 26, 2009


FFA students at Ernest Ward Middle School did their part to celebrate National FFA Week with a Wednesday morning breakfast for faculty and staff.

ewmsffa13.jpg“Step Up, Stand Out” is the theme of National FFA Week this year as more than half a million members around the nation are participating  in National FFA Week activities at the local and state levels. Stepping up and standing out is not only a way of life for FFA members, but it’s also a call to action for others. FFA members set a positive example with their leadership, work ethic and community service activities

Students cooked a breakfast of eggs, grits, biscuits, bacon, sausage and more for the EWMS faculty and staff.

Click here for a photo gallery from the breakfast.

Pictured above: FFA members at Ernest Ward Middle School served breakfast to school staff Wednesday morning as part of their National FFA Week activities. photos, click to enlarge.

Bratt Church Donates Bears To Atmore Police

February 26, 2009


brattfirstbears13.jpgRomeo’s little bear Sam will provide a little bit of joy for a child that might have experienced the worst day of their life.

Sam  is one of 10 Build-A-Bear stuffed animals presented to the Atmore Police Department Wednesday morning by the Senior Adults at the First Baptist Church of Bratt. Sam was the creation of Bratt member Romeo Coleman.

The First Baptist Church of Bratt Senior Adults donated the stuffed animals to Atmore Police Chief Jason Dean. Dean said the bears will be given to children that are experiencing a crisis such as a violent event or a house fire.

“A lot of times it will give them something they can hold on to and hug,” Dean said. “That can make them feel better where there is something bad going on.”

Each stuffed animal’s box contains the phone number for Bratt Pastor Gary Wieborg. That way, church member Marcella Wilson said, a family in need has an easy way to contact a pastor to help them in their time of need.

“A lot of people in the department have a tender heart for the kids,” Dean said. “These bears are a very good thing for the kids.”

The Bratt Senior Adults have plans to purchase more bears to be presented to the Escambia County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department.

Click here for more photos.

Pictured top: The Senior Adults from the First Baptist Church of Bratt presented Build-A-Bear stuffed animals to the Atmore Police Department Wednesday morning. Pictured are (L-R) Barbara Posey, Robery Bartley, Nina Bartley, Marcella Wilson, Atmore Police Chief Jason Dean, Romeo Coleman, Winnie Hollingsworth and Pastor Gary Wieborg. Pictured inset: Romeo Coleman and his bear Sam. photos, click to enlarge.

Cat Country Wins Radio Station, Personality Of The Year Awards

February 26, 2009

Popular area radio station Cat Country 98.7 has won the Academy of Country Music Association (ACM) Radio Station of the Year and Radio On-Air Personality of the Year.

In each category, the station and The Cat Pak Morning Show with Brent Lane and Dana Cervantes were one of five nationwide nominees in the small market division, which includes all markets other than the Top100.

Kevin King, operations manager for Cat Country 98.7 (WYCT-FM) said, “We are all very excited and honored to win this prestigious award for the second time in three years.” CatCountry 98.7 also won this honor in 2007.

“It’s truly an honor to be able to represent Pensacola at the ACM’s in Las Vegas and to be recognized for doing what we love to do in Pensacola,” Dana Cervantes said.

Winners including Brent Lane will be featured during the live telecast as an announcer for “bumpers” leading into commercials for the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Brent Lane and Dana Cervantes, the Cat Pak, care about Pensacola. From MC duties at charity events, toy drives, reading to elementary kids, and dressing in a turkey costume…there is nothing the Cat Pak won’t do. The Cat Pak helped raise $985,564 for various charities, aired more than 3000 minutes of PSAs, and donated more than 700 hours of community service.

The Cat Pak supports their military. Florida Congressman Jeff Miller asked Brent and Dana to help when he started the Emerald Coast Honor Flight to fly World War II Veterans to Washington, DC free of charge to visit the WWII Memorial. Brent and Dana helped raise $300,000 for 3 trips and Brent served as a Guardian on the first flight. The Cat Pak also supports local troops on the ground in Iraq and Kuwait. At Thanksgiving, morning show co-host, Dana Cervantes embedded with the local 146th Army National Guard and traveled to Iraq for the second year. Dana delivered 21,000 Letters from Home and broadcast live around the clock and fed video reports to the local ABC TV affiliate via satellite.

Christmas Wishes is an award-winning station-originated campaign that helps those less fortunate during the holidays. Country star, Craig Morgan joined the Cat Pak Morning Show live in early December to grant a down-on-their-luck couple a fly away to Nashville. Brent and Dana partnered with Toys for Tots to fulfill thousands of dollars of “wishes for toys” this year. The Cat Pak helped raise over $70,000 for home make over wish of a family in need.

Manna Food Bank of Pensacola counts on Brent and Dana to help raise awareness. This is the third year for the “Manna Hat,” a cowboy hat signed by every Country Star to visit Cat Country this year. This year Alan Jackson, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and more helped the Cat Pak raise $850 for Manna. Brent dressed up in a turkey costume to help “Fill the Mayflower for Manna” raising more than 14,000 pounds of food!

Pictured top: Cat Pak morning show hosts  Brent Lane and Dana Cervantes from Cat Country 98.7. Submitted photo for

Black History Program To Be Held Today

February 26, 2009

There will be two Black History Month programs open to the public at Northview High School today.

The first program begins at noon and the second begins at 1:15 this afternoon.

Both programs will be the same. They are sponsored by Northview’s Minority Culture Club.

Refreshments will be served after the second program in the gym lobby for program participates and guests.

While both programs are open to the public, all visitors are asked to check in at the attendance office prior to going to the school theater.

Fire In The Sky

February 26, 2009


Several large control burns around the area have led to lots of smoke in North Escambia the past few days, creating a unique sunset Wednesday evening.

Winds will be light from the southeast today, allowing the smoke to settle in some areas. It will be warm through Saturday, with afternoon high expected to top out around 75.

Rain creeps in to the forecast by Friday night at 30 percent. The rain chance jumps to 60 percent for Saturday and continues at 40 percent for Saturday night.

By Sunday, the rain will clear and it will be cooler with a high of just 58 degrees.

Pictured above: Drifting smoke led to an interesting sunset Wednesday afternoon. The sun can be seen through a drifting cloud of smoke. photo, click to enlarge.

Lloyd Barrow And Scott Hammond Named Chamber Citizens Of The Year

February 25, 2009


The Flomaton and Century Joint Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet was held Tuesday night in Flomaton with the chambers naming their respective Citizens of the Year.

Flomaton High School Principal Scott Hammond  was named the Flomaton Citizen of the Year. Ernest Lloyd Barrow was name the Century Citizen of the Year.

Ernest Lloyd Barrow

“Rain or shine, he is always ready and willing to help in any activity and never meets a stranger,” is how Benny Barnes of the Century Chamber of Commerce described Century Citizen of the Year Ernest Lloyd Barrow Tuesday night.

Barrow spent four years in the U.S. Army and worked at St. Regis Paper Company for 44 years. During his free time, he was always busy will activities to benefit the community.

For years, he managed the Century Little League Park, a park that now bears his name. He coached, cleaned up the park…anything that needed to be done so that the children could play ball.

He has been active in the Century Lions Club since 1962, and he was recognized for 40 years of perfect attendance.

Barrow is active in the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society and the Century First Baptist Church.

He loves cooking for family and friends, and even cooks for special events like class reunions and church activities. He also enjoys spending time with his wife Deanie, their four children and three great-grandchildren. There is a fourth grandchild on the way.

Scott Hammond

Scott Hammond has lived in Flomaton all of his life, except for one year when he taught in Montgomery. He graduated from Flomaton High School as salutatorian in 1988. He lettered in football, baseball and basketball. He was on the 1988 state championship baseball team.

He attended Jefferson Davis Junior College where he played baseball for two years. He played baseball two more years for Faulkner University in Montgomery where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He obtained his master’s degree while teaching, taking night classes. He taught math for one year at a Montgomery school.

He returned home to Flomaton High as a math teacher and coach. He has coached football, baseball and softball, including a state championship girls softball team.

When named principal at Floamton High School, Hammond’s goals were to restore school pride, reduce drugs in school, raise academic levels to exceed state levels and prepare students for the next level of education or work force.

Hammond’s wife Jacqui teaches and coaches girls softball and volleyball at Flomaton High.

“Scott has dedicated his life to making Flomaton a better place to live both today and training our children to be our future leaders,” Bo Brantley of the Flomaton Chamber of Commerce said when presenting the Citizen of the Year award to Hammond.

“Scott was asked recently when he would have children,” Brantley said. “His reply was that he didn’t need them because he’s already got 300 to tend to. And believe me he is as concerned about every one as he would be his own.”

Pictured above: Flomaton Citizen of the Year Scott Hammond (left) and Century Citizen of the Year Ernest Lloyd Barrow. photo, click to enlarge.

Businesses, Students Of The Year Named

February 25, 2009

Awards for outstanding students and outstanding businesses were handed out Tuesday night at the Flomaton and Century Joint Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet.

Scroll down for award winners and photos.


Bud’s Refrigeration Service was named the Flomaton Business of the Year, and Whataburger was named as the Century Business of the Year. Pictured are (L-R) Buddy and Maxine Smith from Bud’s Refrigeration Service and Jeff Jennings, manager of the Century Whataburger.


Flomaton High School student Kaitlyn Hambrick  was named the Flomaton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Student. Northview High School senior Luke Killam was named as the Century Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Student. photos, click to enlarge.

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