Larry White Seeks Re-election To Commission

March 30, 2010

Larry White of Flomaton has announced that he will seek reelection to his Escambia County (Ala.) Commission seat. White has served on the commission for 15½ years with nine of those years as commission chairman.

He currently serves as president of the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama, and vice-chair of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee for the National Association of Counties.

White issued the following statement:

larrywhite101.jpg“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as County Commissioner from District 3 for the past 15½ years. Through innovative planning, sound business management, and focused initiative we have Escambia County moving forward.

“We have made major progress in infrastructure improvements. Many of our structurally deficient bridges have been replaced with modern structures and most of our major arteries (FAS Projects) have been resurfaced. We have been able to resurface many of our other farm-to-market roads and rural community streets.

“Major improvements have been completed to the County Courthouse, County Detention Center and the County Work-release Center. Our budgets are balanced and our county has continued to reduce its long term debt since 1994.

“Team efforts have led to the removal of a logjam, a four-lane Highway 113, a newly constructed County Road 31.

“The County Commission continues to support financially and involve themselves in economic development activities.

“Yet there is much more that needs to be done. We need to continue to search for funds to resurface our worn paved roads and to address the paving of our dirt roads that are becoming more populated and more traveled. We still have bridges that are deficient for heavy loads and need to be replaced. We need to continue to improve our county infrastructure to support our current businesses and industries as well as position ourselves to attract new economic development.

“Eighty-four percent of road and bridge funding for Escambia County last year came from State and Federal resources. FEMA funds, Justice Grants, CDBG grants and others have been very important to Escambia. For that reason, I have chosen to become an active participant in the activities of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama and the National Association of Counties. The efforts of these organizations have been successful in protecting county revenue as well as bringing additional funds to counties. Escambia County has benefited greatly from the work of the associations. As a permanent member of the ACCA Board of Directors and a senior member of a NACo Steering Committee, I am positioned to maintain a strong voice for Escambia County in these organizations that influence legislation and policy on the State and Federal level that will affect county government and services.

“I feel that my experience and knowledge of county government are most valuable assets as we endeavor to continue the progress of our county. I ask for the opportunity to continue to work for the good people of District 3 and Escambia County.”

Man Wanted For Shooting AT FHP Trooper

March 29, 2010


The Florida High Patrol is asking the public statewide to be on the lookout for an armed and dangerous man that shot at two Florida Highway Patrol officers in Sumter County.

Brody James Whitaker, 37, is  a white male, 150 pounds and 5-foot, 8-inches tall. He was last seen wearing no shirt, no shoes and camouflage cargo pants. He has dirty brown or strawberry hair and blue eyes.

On March 25, two FHP troopers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Brody’s Whitaker’s vehicle. He opened fire and let troopers on a short pursuit that ended in a traffic crash.  He fled on foot. After a two-day manhunt, authorities received information that Whitaker has escaped the 8,600 acre perimeter.

The suspect has been in contact with friends and family and could be heading to Arkansas, according to the FHP.

Whitaker has been in contact with friends and family and could be heading to Arkansas, according to the FHP. The suspect has a criminal history in several different states which include Michigan, Virginia, California, Florida, and Ohio. Brody James Whitaker has an arrest warrant out of Michigan for possession of marijuana and Florida for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief, fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers.

He is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached, the FHP said. If you see Whitaker, call 911.

Pictured above: Three different photos of  Brody James Whitaker provided by the FHP. Click to enlarge.

Some Farm Hill Utilities Customers Without Water

March 29, 2010

Some Farm Hill Utilities water customers were without water from just after midnight due to a water main break.

Once water is restored, Farm Hill Utilities customers in the community near Cantonment are advised that for the next two days to boil any water used for drinking or cooking.

Rolling Roadblocks On Highway 29 In Century Today

March 29, 2010

Expect traffic delays on Highway 29 in Century today with rolling roadblocks.

Crews from Transfield Services will be working on curbs and sidewalks along Highway 29 between East Highway 4 and the Alabama state line. A rolling roadblock will be utilized between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to maintain traffic.

A rolling roadblock is when traffic is paced at a safe speed to provide a gap in traffic and allow the work activities to be performed.

Drivers are reminded to use caution and to drive the speed limit when traveling through the work zone.

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

March 29, 2010


The 2010 Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Florida Special Olympics began in Century Monday morning.

torch-run111.jpgThe torch run started at the Florida/Alabama state line in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot about 7:15 Monday. Employees from Century Correctional  Institution escorted the torch down Highway 29 toward the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Pensacola. From the sheriff’s office, runners will continue to the Pensacola Police Department where they will be joined by more local law enforcement officials.

The Escambia County leg of the torch will end at Bartrumn Park where the torch will be 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 14 in Orlando, Fla.

For more photos from the torch run, click here.

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: The 2010 Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Florida Special Olympics begins in Century Monday morning. photos, click to enlarge.

Jury Finds Bratt Man Not Guilty Of Child Molestation

March 29, 2010

A Bratt man has been found not guilty of molesting a four-year girl in 2000.

perryleonardgibbs.jpgIt took an Escambia County jury just 95 minutes to return the not guilty verdict against  Perry Leonard Gibbs, 53, of 5451 Still Road Lot 5 in Bratt, on charges of molesting a child under the age of 12.

If convicted, Gibbs would have faced a maximum penalty of life in prison.

A teen female told the investigators under oath that Gibbs molested her in 2000 when she was four and five years old, according to Sgt. Ted Roy with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department. The victim told investigators that the molestation occurred in the Walnut Hill area. The teen female made the allegations in May of 2009, accord to Roy.

Gibbs had been jailed since his June 16, 2009, arrest date. He was freed by Judge Nickolas Geeker after the not guilty verdict was returned.

Unemployment Holds Steady Or Improves In Area Counties

March 29, 2010

For the first time in many months, the unemployment rate in the counties in the North Escambia area either held steady or decreased last month. New figures released Friday shows 26,123 unemployed in the three county area.

In Escambia County, Florida, the unemployment rate for January held steady at 11.8 percent. That compares to 9.2 percent out of work a year ago. February’s 11.8 percent unemployment rates represents 16,581 people without a job.

In Santa Rosa County, January’s unemployment rate was 10.0 percent, a slight decrease from 11.0 percent the previous month. It was 8.5 percent one year ago. There were 7,704 people out of a job in February in Santa Rosa County.

In Escambia County, Alabama, the unemployment rate decreased half a percentage point to 13.2 percent in February. It was 13.9 percent the month prior and 12.3 percent a year ago. There were 1,838 unemployed in Escambia County, Alabama.

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2010 is 12.2 percent. This represents 1,126,000 jobless out of a labor force of 9,251,000. The unemployment rate is up 0.2 percentage point from the January revised rate of 12.0 percent, and up 3.0 percentage points from the February 2009 rate of 9.2 percent. February’s unemployment rate is the highest in the recorded series and higher than rates recorded in the 1973-1975 recession. Florida’s unemployment rate remained higher than the national average, which was 9.7 percent in February.

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, at 11.1 percent in February, remained unchanged from January’s rate of 11.1 percent but was above the year-ago rate of 8.7 percent.

Deadline This Week For Property, Intangible Tax Payments

March 29, 2010

If you have not paid your real estate or tangible personal property taxes yet, you have until Wednesday to avoid late fees.

All unpaid taxes will be delinquent April 1, according to Escambia County Tax Collector Janet Holley.  A penalty of three percent for real estate and 1.5 percent for tangible taxes will be assessed on April 1. Over $38 million (approximately 15 percent) of the tax roll remained unpaid as of last week.

Payments will be accepted without penalty if:

  • mailed with a postmark by March 31
  • left in a 24-hour drop box available at all offices by midnight March 31
  • made on the tax collector web site by midnight March 31
  • made by phone with credit card on an after-hours automated service at (800) 601‑1055 by midnight March 31 (convenience fee applies)

You may check the status of your taxes and pay online at If you have any questions, please call the tax collector’s office at (850) 438-6500, ext. 252. (TTY users for the hearing impaired call 472‑0031.)

All Tax Collector offices will be closed Friday, April 2, in observance of Good Friday.

Former Century Citizen Of The Year Passes Away

March 29, 2010

Funeral services were held Sunday a for a former Century Citizen of the Year.

Margherita Swift Jones, 93, of Century, passed away late last week. An Atmore native, she was a resident of Century for nearly 65 years. Jones was names Century’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2003.

Jones gave generously of her time as a volunteer to the community working with groups including the Flomaton Research Club, Alger-Sullivan Historical Society, local schools, Turtle Point Environmental Center, Century Memory Loss Support Group, and Daughters of the American Revolution.

She was a 1938 graduate of the University of Alabama with academic honors, and she recently received her 75 year membership pin from Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.

For the complete obituary, click here.

School Web Sites Down This Week

March 29, 2010

schoolsite.jpgIf you need any information from your child’s school web site or the Escambia County School District web site, you will not be able to access that information this week.

The school district’s web site and individual school district web sites for all Escambia County (Fla.) schools will be taken down for maintenance during Spring Break. The sites are expected to return by Monday, April 5.

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