Students Rally At Board Meeting In Support Of Flomaton’s Tony Ellis

March 31, 2009

A large number Flomaton students supporting Tony Ellis filed into the most recent meeting of the Escambia County (Ala.) Board of Education.

Tony Ellis, 18, was indicted by an Escambia County (Ala.) grand jury for enticing a minor into a vehicle for immoral purposes, sodomy II, and sexual abuse. The alleged victim is 12-years old. His attorneys have sought youthful offender status in the case.

School officials say Ellis was suspended from his classes at Flomaton High School, including all extracurricular activities, and was moved to the county’s alternative school.

Supporters, many wearing Flomaton High School apparel, filled the library at Flomaton High in support of the Flomaton senior and start football player. They also presented a petition with about 500 signatures in support of returning Ellis to Flomaton High School.

The board took no action on returning Ellis to Flomaton High.

Flood Warnings For Perdido And Escambia Rivers Extended

March 31, 2009


Flood warnings are in effect for the Perdido River near Barrineau Park and the Escambia River near Century.

The warning for the Escambia River near Century continues until further notice. Tuesday morning, the stage was at 18.2 feeet. It is expected to rise to 18.4 feet by midnight Tuesday and then begin falling. At 17 feet, considerable flooding of lowlands occurs until the river drops below 13 feet.

The warning for the Perdido River near Barrineau Park has been extended until Thursday afternoon. Flood stage on the river is 13 feet. Tuesday morning, the stage was 12.5 feet. The river is forecast to rise to 13.5 feet by Thursday morning.

Pictured above: The road to Fischer’s Landing on the Escambia River in Century was flooded Monday morning. The entire landing is underwater. photo, click to enlarge.

Escambia School Board Makes First Move To Close Another Elementary School

March 31, 2009

The Escambia County School Board took the first step toward closing Edgewater Elementary School in west Pensacola.

The board voted Monday afternoon to advertise their intent to delete the attendance zone for Edgewater, a move that will send the approximately 350 students at Edgewater to three other elementary schools — Navy Point, Warrington or West Pensacola –depending on their address.

The school board will make their final redistricting vote on Edgewater at a May 11 meeting. If approved, the school will close at the end of this school year. The closure is expected to save the district about $400,000 per year.

It is the same redistricting method the board followed to close Carver/Century K-8 School.

The school board voted March 17 to close Carver/Century at the end of this school year to save another $600,000 plus. The Carver/Century attendance zone was deleted, sending the students to Bratt Elementary and Ernest Ward Middle School next year.The total savings from the two school closures is expected to top $1 million per year. Thomas said the district must cut about $30 million overall because of a decrease in funding from the state, partially due to economics and  partially due to declining enrollment across the county.

Special Olympics Torch Run Begins In Century (With Photo Gallery)

March 31, 2009

torchrun36.jpgThe 2009 Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics began in Century Monday morning.

torchrun26.jpgThe torch run started at the Florida/Alabama state line in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot just after 7:15 Monday. Employees from Century Correctional Institute escorted the torch down Highway 29 to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Pensacola. From the sheriff’s office, runners continued to the Pensacola Police Department where they were joined by more local law enforcement officials.

The Escambia County leg of the torch run ended at Bartrumn Park were the torch was passed to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department Marine Unit.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an event to raise awareness and support for the Special Olympics. Law Enforcement Agencies from across Florida will participate in the event.

The Torch Run will end on May 15 in Osceola, Fla.

Click here for a photo gallery from the Torch Run as it passed through Century.

Law enforcement officers from over 300 Florida agencies (police departments, sheriff’s offices, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Customs, Air Force Police and Marine Patrol) all participate in the state-wide torch run to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. Each year, over 3,000 officers carry the torch on a 1500-mile relay through more than 60 counties in Florida.

Pictured top:  The Special Olympics Torch Run got underway in Century Monday morning. Pictured inset: The Florida Special Olympics Torch is lit. photos, click to enlarge.

EWMS Cheerleader Tryouts

March 31, 2009

Ernest Ward Middle School cheerleader tryouts will be held Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 in the school gym.

Tryouts are closed to the public. After tryouts, the participants are asked please to leave the area until 7 p.m. when results will be posted by tryout numbers on the glass doors of the gym. The side gate will remain open until 7:30 p.m. If you have questions please contact Mrs. Perry or Mrs. Johnson at 327-4283 ext 226.

The tryouts were scheduled for Saturday but were postponed due to heavy rain and flooded roads.

Meeting Tonight To Discuss New Bratt Park Plan

March 31, 2009

Bratt area residents will have the chance to express their opinion on two possible layouts for the new Bratt Community Park at a meeting tonight.

One option for the new park on Highway 4 near the First Baptist Church of Bratt includes two softball fields, a full basketball court, a covered picnic pavilion and a kid’s playground.

The second option includes more green space, with one softball field, a half-court basketball court, two smaller picnic pavilions and a kid’s playground.

Both options include a paved, 8-foot wide, eight-tenths of a mile walking/biking track around the perimeter of the park. There will also be exercise and rest stations positioned along the track.

The softball fields will not be lit for night play; the park’s hours will follow that of other county parks — sunrise to sunset.

The park will be funded with $200,000 is LOST (local option sales tax) funds set aside to fund the park’s development.

The county will hold a public meeting at 6 pm. today at Shiloh Baptist Church for public input on the park plans.

Click here for a pdf of Option A for the new Bratt Community Park.

Click here for a pdf of Option B for the park.

Last Day To Pay Real Estate, Tangible Taxes

March 31, 2009

Today is the last day to pay your real estate or personal property taxes without a penalty.

Payments will be accepted without penalty if:

  • mailed with a postmark of March 31;
  • left in a 24-hour drop box available at all offices by midnight March 31;
  • made on web site by midnight March 31; or
  • made on after-hours automated telephone (800) 601-1055 by midnight March 31.

Drive thru service is available at all locations except Century.

A late penalty of three percent for real estate and 1.5 percent for tangible taxes will be assessed for tax payments made on or after April 1.

You may check the status of your taxes and pay online at You also may get automated information on TAX TALK at 438-3299. If you have any questions, please call the tax collector’s office at 438-6500, Ext. 252. (TTY users for the hearing impaired call 472-0031.)

Medical Call At Northview High

March 30, 2009

Emergency units including LifeFlight were called to Northview High School  about 7:45 this morning for a medical call.

Officials tell us that the call was a medical emergency, and the school day will go on as normal.

Man, Mules And A Message: On A Cross Country Covered Wagon Journey

March 30, 2009


A trip ends. But a journey goes on forever.

Randy Boehmer is on a four mph, four-mule powered covered wagon journey across the country — a journey to spread the Gospel one person at a time.

Sunday afternoon found  Boehmer camped out alongside Highway 31 east of Atmore, about two miles to the north of North Escambia.

“I’m traveling the country to tell people about Jesus,”  Boehmer told Wednesday marks one year since he pulled out of Bedford, Indiana, with his four Belgium draft mules — Frank, Jesse, Dick and Jack — and his dogs Shep and Proverb.

A man, four mules and two wagons covered with large signs draw a bit of attention as they cross the country. And that’s the point.

“Jesus Saves Ask Him” and “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31″ are painted in large letters on the wagons.

“I intend on doing this the rest of my life; I would not doing anything else,” he said, looking out across the ditch he would call home for the night. “I will go and spread the Word and testify about Jesus.”

randyboehmerjourney13.jpgIt was several painful events that led Boehmer on his year long trip from Indiana to that ditch in Escambia County, Alabama.

The seeds for his spiritual journey were planted in 1990. He met an evangelist  that was traveling the country in a covered wagon. He bought the man lunch so he could talk to him awhile. He found the idea of a simple life with few possessions to be intriguing.

When his mother died in 1991, Boehmer and his siblings were cleaning out the garage, going through the belongings of his deceased father. A relative told them to keep what they wanted and take the rest to the dump.

“The fishing rods. The tools. Everything he had, all of the worldly things, meant nothing anymore,” he said.

The defining time in his life came nearly a decade later when his wife Lois died from cancer in 1998.

Her last words as she died…

“Life here on earth is short compared to eternity.”

He knew that his wife had accepted Jesus and was in heaven.

Boehmer was not saved at the time. He said he knew about God from his upbringing, but he wanted to know more about the God that had his wife’s soul. “I wanted to know how to spend eternity with her.”

He turned to his Bible.

“It said I had to turn away from my sins and accept Jesus. And that is what I did.”

He spent two years in school studying the Bible formally. That, combined with the chance meeting with the traveling evangelist and the garage revelation that worldly possessions mean nothing compared to treasures in heaven, led him to his mission. He was going to spend his life traveling the country in a covered wagon telling the story of salvation.

Gone were his 15 hour days at his 40 year career as a taxidermist. He found his first two mules — Frank and Jesse — in a two-year old issue of Mules and More magazine. They were still for sale in Bedford, Indiana. He drove his Geo Metro from his home in Arizona to Indiana. The car carried his remaining possessions in life, including his two dogs Shep and Proverb.

He spent time working and learning to shoe mules and horses, earning little money along the way. But he learned a wealth of experience and respect for the huge animals that can weigh 1,500 pounds each.

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He pulled out of Indiana on April 1, 2008, on his journey south to Alabama, spreading the Gospel to anyone that would listen along the way.

“I am just a simple man with a simple message,” Boehmer said. “There is no other name than Jesus by which a person can be saved.”

His simple wagon has a gas stove, a small wood burning heater, and solar panels on top, charging batteries in the wagon. He uses the solar power for a few modern conveniences — to charge his cell phone, a light, a TV and a radio. He’s quick to admit, however, that he has not watched the TV in some time.

“I do know that Obama is the president now,” he said. Other than that, the news of the world has pretty much passed him by during the last year.

As people pass Boehmer on America’s highways, he knows that his hand painted Bible verses on the wagons reach people. But, people often stop and talk, giving him more of a chance to witness.

Sunday afternoon, several people stopped during’s visit with Boehmer. Three teens from Brewton were the first.

He chatted with them about the wagon and the mules. Then, like a good preacher, he slipped in the question.

“Do you know about Jesus?” he asked.

The teens replied that they did. He pulled neatly folded copies of a newspaper article about a trip from his pocket for each teen.

“That will tell you more about me and my trip.” he said. “And search for my name on the Internet. You will find lots of stories about me.”

He paused for a moment before digging around in a compartment on the wagon.

“Here you go. It’s a genuine worn-out horse shoe. It’s got a lot miles on it, and isn’t worth anything. But I want you to keep it to remember me and remember the message about Jesus.”

He passes out the newspaper clipping copies to everyone that he meets. Often, he hands out coins with Bible messages on them. And he’s always spreading the Gospel.

His presentation of the Message is low-key. It’s not a high pressure sell, but a laid back approach from a friendly man in cowboy hat. There’s no loudspeaker, no large group, no speaking engagements in front of church congregations.


It’s just Randy Boehmer in a ditch alongside a road somewhere in America spreading the story of Jesus Christ.

And people respond.

“I’ve had a grown man come to me crying, telling me that he wants to learn more about Jesus. People always ask me questions about the wagons, the mules. That makes it easier for them to ask that question about Jesus.”

He moves just a few miles each day, about three to four miles per hour. Boehmer never knows where he will spend the night. He just prays, and he says the Lord always provides.

He does receive a small amount of support from his church back in Arizona. Otherwise, he has found that the people in his path provide.

Bags of oats. A load of hay. Bags of food. They were all donated to  Boehmer along Highway 31 Sunday afternoon.

“God provides,” he said. “Everyday I thank God for the day before, and pray without ceasing for the day to come.”

Boehmer plans to remain camped through Tuesday alongside Highway 31. If you want to visit him, you should find him in ditch near Dugout Lane, that’s just east of the bridge over the railroad tracks between Canoe and Flomaton.

Wednesday morning, he plans to hitch up the mules and head through Atmore and on toward Jackson, Mississippi. It won’t be a continuation of his trip, but a continuation of his journey.

“A trip ends. But a journey goes on forever,” Boehmer said. “It’s all about an eternity with Jesus. I will continue this journey until I die, telling other people about Jesus.”

“I’ll make a lot of friends along the way. That’s the hard part about all of this, having to leave those friends behind when I pull out. But we will all be one big happy family in heaven one day.”

That’s Randy Boehmer’s message. Jesus Saves. Ask Him.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Pictured top: Randy Boehmer is crossing the country on a lifelong journey to spread the Gospel. Pictured middle: Boehmer and his wagon. Pictured lower inset: Boehmer shares the story of Jesus Christ with a couple that stopped along Highway 31 Sunday afternoon. Pictured below: Boehmer and his mules Frank and Jessie. photos, click to enlarge.


Funeral Services Held For Murdered North Escambia Woman

March 30, 2009

Funeral services were held Monday for the North Escambia woman who was found murdered last week.

cain.jpgServices for Cheryl Cain, 29, were held Monday morning at Faith Chapel Funeral Home North in Cantonment. Burial was at Clear Springs Ceme­tery in Clear Springs, Alabama. She is survived by her parents  Danny and Peggy Cain, sister Cindy (Jeremy) Jarvis, brother Daniel (Stacey) Cain, grandmother Annette Cain and grandparents Bill and Ann Helms.

Escambia Deputies are still investigating Cain’s death. Her body was found in a dumpster at an abandoned gas station at the corner of Burgess Road and Highway 29 Wednesday afternoon. Read more….

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