Hospitals Going Smoke-Free

August 31, 2010

Sacred Heart Health System will go completely tobacco-free, indoors and out, at all of its facilities throughout Northwest Florida and Southern Alabama on Wednesday.

The new policy prohibits the use of any tobacco product on all properties owned or leased by Sacred Heart, including parking areas. The policy applies to patients, visitors, physicians, volunteers, vendors, tenants and employees.

“We know that tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the United States,” said SHHS President and CEO Laura Kaiser. “Even exposure to secondhand smoke has devastating health consequences. Our goal in going tobacco-free is to help provide a safer environment for all who visit and work at our facilities.”

All three of Sacred Heart’s hospitals are host sites for “Quit Smoking Now,” a free, six-week series of smoking-cessation classes for those who want to stop smoking. The next session at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola will begin in October. For more information on these free smoking cessation classes, which are available at locations throughout our region, call the Northwest Florida Area Health Education Center at 850-398-6965, or call the Florida Quitline toll-free at 1-877-822-6669.

Three Dead After Flomaton Traffic Crash, One Critical (Updated With All Names)

August 31, 2010

A wreck Monday afternoon in Flomaton has claimed the lives of three people, including a nine year old boy.

Family members say Stephen Carl Thompson, 33, and his son, Nathan, 9, died in the accident. Both Bay Minette residents were killed instantly in the horrific crash about 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 113 and Highway 31.

Alice Bradley Bradford, 79, of Pensacola, died Monday at Baptist Hospital. Her husband, Edward M. Bradford, 80, remained in critical condition Tuesday at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Thompson and his son were  traveling north on Highway 31 in a maroon Mercury Grand Marquis when their vehicle was struck by a silver Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Alice Bradford. Both of the elderly victims were airlifted from the scene in critical condition by two separate LifeFlight helicopters.

For a photo gallery from the scene, click here.

The impact of the  crash pushed both vehicles off the highway into  a service bay at Rowland’s Tires. Witnesses said they never heard the screech of tires as either car braked. All they heard was what sounded like an explosion.

Flomaton Fire Chief Steve Stanton was at the nearby firehouse when he was alerted to the crash. “I knew it was real bad when I got here,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of bad wrecks. This was a real, real bad accident.”

Monday afternoon, many witnesses and emergency responders were quick to point out the number of severe accidents that happen at the intersection. In February, 2009, two Pensacola men died and three others were critically injured in a fiery crash when they failed to stop at the end of Highway 113 and plowed into a billboard support at the corner of the tire store. (Click here for photos from that wreck.)

The Flomaton Fire Department, Friendship Volunteer Fire Department, the Century, McDavid and Molino stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, D.W. McMillan Ambulance, Atmore Ambulance, Flomaton Police Department, Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Office and Alabama State Troopers responded to the crash.

Pictured: Three people died as a result of this wreck Monday afternoon in Flomaton.  The bottom inset photo by Alisa Hart shows one vehicle after it was righted. photos, click to enlarge.

North Escambia Student Numbers Hold Steady

August 31, 2010

The student population in North Escambia’s schools is fairly constant when compared to last year.

As of Monday, there were 5,896 total students enrolled in the North Escambia schools of Bratt Elementary, Bryneville Elementary, Jim Allen Elementary, Molino Park Elementary, Ernest Ward Middle, Ransom Middle, Northview High and Tate High. That compares to 5,941 students on the sixth day of school last year — a decrease of just 45 students.

Three schools recorded a slight increase in students — Jim Allen (+16), Ransom (+14) and Tate (+3). All of the other North Escambia Schools recorded a decrease in students this year compared to last — Bratt (-13), Byrneville (-8), Molino Park (-13), Ernest Ward (-37), and Northview (-7)

Overall, Escambia County lost 294 students when the 2009-2010 school year enrollment is compared to 2010-2011, with 38,988 students as of Monday.

Editor’s note: For the purpose of this story, we did not include the students enrolled in Pre-K programs at the elementary schools. The student count includes students in a traditional classroom setting, not that those in an alternative program like a virtual school or homebound.

Tate’s Lynsey Meharg Elected To FFA Post

August 31, 2010

Lynsey Meharg of Tate High School was recently elected Area I vice president for the Florida FFA.

The State Office Team was elected during the 82nd Annual Florida FFA State Convention in Orlando. A total of only eight officers were elected by their peers who served as official delegates in the convention.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national organization comprised of over 500,000 students throughout the United States. Over 15,000 students in 320 chapters throughout Florida are engaged in a wide range of agricultural education activities, leading to more than 300 professional career opportunities in the agricultural industry.

New $320 Million Wastewater Plant Now Operating

August 31, 2010

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s new Central Water Reclamation Facility in Cantonment began operations on Monday.

The first wastewater began to flow through the $320 million facility almost six years after Hurricane Ivan’s devastating impact on Northwest Florida and the ECUA’s Main Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. The new CWRF off Chemstrand Road  is constructed to withstand Category 5 hurricane force winds of up to 190 mph, and the site is well above sea level, eliminating the potential of hurricane-related flooding.

It will  take a few months before the entire system is fully functional, but it’s expected that all flow will be diverted from the Main Street Plant by January 2011. The rate at which the diversion flow is increased will be determined by how quickly the biological treatment is operating in its new environment at the CWRF. All reclaimed water from the CWRF will go directly to area industries — Gulf Power and International Paper — for use in their industrial processes. When not reused by industry, effluent will be disposed of on spray fields at the plant’s site.

Pictured above and below: The Central Water Reclamation Facility in Cantonment began operations on Monday. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Lady Chiefs Split Volleyball Matches With Catholic

August 31, 2010

The Northview Lady Chiefs Ninth grade team beat Catholic Monday afternoon on the volleyball court, while the JV and Varsity teams lost.

In the first game of the ninth grade match, Northview won by two points, 25-23. The Lady Chiefs took a big 11-point win the second game, 25-14. Mallory Wiggins had one kill, four aces and a block for the Chiefs (1-0). Paeton Hadley had one assist and a half dozen aces, and Ali Martin had four aces.

The Varsity Lady Chiefs lost three games to the Crusaders, 25-10, 25-14, 25,11. Shawna Montgomery had two kills, three assists and two blocks for the Varsity Chiefs (0-1). Kara Hardin had one ace, two assists and a dig, while Sarah Killam had 13 assists, one kill and a block.

The JV Lady Chiefs lost two games to Catholic, 25-5, 25-9. Sophomore Rebecca Masaitis had one dig for the JV Lady Chiefs (0-1).

The JV and Varsity teams will be in action again Tuesday at Jay beginning at 4:00.

Escambia County High Football Game Moved To Atmore

August 31, 2010

Escambia County High School’s football this week against B.C. Rain has been moved to Atmore Friday night, according to Head Coach Mark Heaton.

The game was first scheduled for Friday night at B.C. Rain. It was the moved to Thursday, but both teams agreed to move the game to the Blue Devil’s home turf this Friday night.

With the move, Escambia County’s schedule now includes five home games and five on the road.

Driver Charged After Molino Road Wreck Cuts Power

August 30, 2010

An unknown number of Molino residents were without power for about eight hours Monday night after a wreck on Molino Road.

The Florida Highway Patrol says Kenneather S. Davison, 23, of Century, was westbound on Molino Road when she lost control about 6:10 p.m., struck a ditch embankment and then hit a power pole. The force of the collision near Veazy Lane snapped one power pole, damaged several others and left power lines scattered on the ground about a half mile back to near Highway 95A.

Davison was transported to West Florida Hospital by ambulance with minor injuries. According to the FHP, Davison was charged with careless driving. The Molino Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS also responded to the crash. photos, click to enlarge.

Evelyn Bohannon Little Ellis

August 30, 2010

Mrs. Evelyn Bohannon Little Ellis, 77, after 2 months of being bed ridden is now walking the Streets of Gold. She left this world of pain and suffering to be with the Lord on August 28, 2010.

Mrs. Ellis was a native of Uriah, AL, and resident of Atmore, AL for several years. She worked as an LPN for Dr. Harold Q. Wilson and at Greenlawn (Atmore Community) Hospital. Her gift of caring for others never ceased, the lives she touched were many and she will be greatly missed. Preceded in death by two Husbands, Charles Kirven Little and William Kenneth Ellis, a Sister, Margie Weaver, and two Brothers, Howard Bohannon and Jack Bohannon.

She will be sadly missed by her Son, Donald W. Little, Sr. (Erica) of Atmore, AL; four Grandsons, Donald W. Little, Jr. (serving our country overseas), Kervin Leigh Little (Jennifer) of Pensacola, FL, Joshua Andrew Husband of Atmore, AL, and Joseph Michael Husband of Atmore, AL; her Great-Granddaughter, Hannah Marie Gibbs of Pensacola, FL; and several Nieces, Nephews and many Friends.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home with the Rev. Mike Grindle officiating and Petty Funeral Homes, LLC. directing.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, August 31, 2010 between 6:00 and 9:00 P.M. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home.

Train Hits Truck In Brewton

August 30, 2010

Downtown Brewton, Ala.,was essentially shutdown this afternoon after a truck was hit by a train.

The flatbed truck was struck by the CSX  train at Mildred Street about 1:30 and pushed down the tracks. Debris and rocks from the railbed were scattered along St. Joseph Avenue in the downtown area.

The driver of the truck was reportedly not seriously injured.

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