Jay Pro Rodeo Again Tonight

April 30, 2011

The 9th Annual Jay Pro Rodeo continues tonight.

Rodeo events including pro bull riding, calf and team roping, steer wrestling,  barrel racing and more will take place tonight at 8:00.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. Parking is free, and concessions will be available. All proceeds benefit area youth programs and the Jay Relay for Life. The event is sponsored by the Jay High School Quarterback Club and Ted May Arena, and sanctioned by the Tri-State Rodeo Association.

Ted May arena is a half mile east of the red light on Highway 4 in Jay. For more information, contact Fredrick Barrow at (850) 675-1646.

Escambia County Road Prison Chief Jeff Bohannon Roasted

April 30, 2011

Escambia County Road Prison Division Manager Jeff Bohannon was “roasted” by employees and prisoners alike Friday afternoon as he retires from the facility after 14 years of service.

During his tenure, Bohannon was instrumental in the development and administration of an educational and rehabilitation program for the inmates.

The Escambia County Road Prison is the only county-operated work camp in Florida, providing a large part of the manual labor for the Roads and Bridges Division from an 80-acre compound in Cantonment. Supervised by correctional officers, road prison work crews perform various tasks for the county such as clearing rights-of-way, grounds maintenance, drainage projects, and other aspects of road and stormwater maintenance.

Pictured top: Escambia County Road Prison Division Manager Jeff Bohannon (pictured center in tan pants) was instrumental in providing the labor to clean up and restore the Old Molino Jail. Pictured inset: Jeff Bohannon. NorthEscambia.com and submitted photos, click to enlarge.

Pictured top: Jeff Bohannon

Obama Tours Alabama Destruction

April 29, 2011

President Obama joined Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and other officials in a sobering tour of the massive tornado damage in Tuscaloosa this afternoon.

“Michelle and I want to express, first of all, our deepest condolences to not just the city of Tuscaloosa but the state of Alabama and all the other states that have been affected by this unbelievable storm,” said Obama, adding that he had never seen devastation like that around him in Alabama.

“We were just talking to some residents here who were lucky enough to escape alive, but have lost everything.  They mentioned that their neighbors had lost two of their grandchildren in the process,” he said.

There were stories like that not only all over town, but across the state and even the region, and the President praised the “resilience” of the people he had met even as they were surrounded by tragedy. He commended all the Alabama officials who have been working with the federal government and pledged that the work would continue well after the swarms of television cameras leave.

“We can’t bring those who have been lost back.  They’re alongside God at this point.  We can help maybe a little bit with the families dealing with the grief of having a loved one lost.  But the property damage, which is obviously extensive, that’s something that we can do something about,” the president said.

“We asked for — we’ve mobilized the state.  We declared a state of emergency early on, even before the first tornadoes hit, and then we mobilized our National Guard the first day.  We then asked the President for aid and we asked him to expedite that, and they have done that,” Bentley said.

Bentley said the confirmed death toll in Alabama stood at 210 as of Friday afternoon, with 1,700 more people injured.

Pictured: President Barack Obama, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and other officials tour tornado damage in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Friday. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

EREC Annual Meeting Is Saturday

April 29, 2011

Escambia River Electric Cooperative will hold their 72nd Annual Meeting Saturday at Jay High School.

The event begins will registration and voting at 11 a.m and the business meeting 1 p.m. Members will vote to fill three trustee seats.

There will be entertainment by Caleb Dennis, luncheon plates by the Jay High School Band, gifts for every member and many great door prizes, including a grand prize of a $500 electric bill credit. There will also a be a health fair sponsored by the the Northwest Florida Rural Health Network.

For the kids, there will be Bubbles the Clown plus lots of games and prizes.

Pictured: Scenes from last year’s annual meeting of Escambia River Electric Cooperative. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.

Local Man Dies In Single Vehicle Cantonment Crash

April 29, 2011

A 41-year old North Escambia man was killed in a single vehicle accident Thursday night in Cantonment.

Todd Creighton Wilson of Cantonment was pronounced dead at the scene of the 10:11 p.m. wreck near Porky’s Pizza, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Creighton veered northbound on Highway 95A from Highway 29 and lost control of his Ford F250 pickup truck and hit a guide wire for a utility pole before striking numerous trees and overturning into a wooded area.

The Cantonment and Ensley stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, Escambia County EMS and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the accident.

Pictured: One person died in this single vehicle accident Thursday night in Cantonment.  The vehicle came to rest in a wooded area (inset photo). NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Smith, click to enlarge.

Escambia Sheriff’s Office Employees Recognized

April 29, 2011

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office held it s Quarterly Awards Ceremony Thursday.

Sheriff David Morgan awarded the ECSO Medal of Valor to Deputies Jeremy Cassady, Sam Parker, Chad Brown, Jimmy James and Melody Peterson for selfless acts in the face of great danger. Deputy Cassady was critically wounded in a Baywind Circle shooting October 29, 2010. Deputy Parker was hit in the chest, and Deputy Brown was hit in the arm. All three received the Purple Heart.

A deputy from the Century Precinct was among those awarded a Life Saving Medal. Click here for more.

Awards were presented as follows:

  • Purple Hearts — Deputy Jeremy Cassady, Deputy Sam Parker, Deputy Chad Brown
  • Medals of Valor Deputy  — Jeremy Cassady, Deputy Sam Parker, Deputy Chad Brown, Deputy Melony Peterson, Master Deputy Jimmy James
  • Medals of Courage — Lt. Jeremy Small, Sgt. Patrick Frazier, Deputy Zach McArthur, Deputy Jamison Janes. Deputy Darrell Webb, Deputy Kelly Hall
  • Medal of Commendation — Sgt. Phebe Jo Henderson
  • Detention Deputy of the Quarter — Detention Deputy Mitchell Stevens of the Quarter Detention Sgt Andrew Ordonia
  • Detention Employee of the Quarter– Holly Bullion
  • LEO Employee of the Quarter — Cynthia Joyner
  • LEO of the Quarter — Deputy 1st Class Christian Coad
  • Commendation Medal  — Deputy 1st Class Kenneth Tolbirt
  • Meritorious Service Medal — Det Deputy 1st Class Uzziah Allison, Det Sgt Richard Hardy, Sgt Rick Vinson
  • Life Saving Medals — Senior Deputy Rudy Brown, Todd Dixon, Det. Deputy Audra Carter
  • Unit Citation — Gang Unit
  • Civilian Service Medal — Steven Gibbs, Shon Robinson, Amy Reed, The family of John Morris Jr.

Along with the awards presented by the ECSO, recipients also received certificates of special congressional recognition from Congressman Jeff Miller.

Hundreds Learn More About Plans For Jay Hospital

April 29, 2011

Baptist Healthcare and Naples-based Health Management Associates want to form a new partnership involving Jay Hospital and the Santa Rosa County Medical Center in Milton — and that has the hundreds of people upset in Jay.

About 250 Jay area residents packed a community meeting Thursday night to learn more about the proposal from town and county leaders and members of the Jay Hospital advisory board.

Jay doctor David Smith Said Baptist and HMA want to strike the term “non-profit” from their 99-year lease with Santa Rosa County, perhaps leading to a reduction in services at the 55-bed Jay Hospital — a reduction that could include the elimination of in-patient care and the emergency room.

Smith said that, in the lease, Baptist agreed to keep a “not for profit run general hospital in Jay”, and the spirit of the lease would be broken by reducing services or partnering with the for-profit HMA.

According to Santa Rosa County Commissioner Don Salter (pictured left), Baptist and HMA are attempting to form a new company that will share management of Jay Hospital and Santa Rosa County Medical Center. HMA would own a controlling 68 percent interest, he said.

“They’ve (Baptist and HMA) have got the word that people up here are not happy with what is going on,” Salter said. He said he wants to see Baptist try again to reach an agreement with the Jay Hospital advisory board. If not, Salter said he wants to rebid the entire lease because, even as a non-profit, Baptist has not shown a very good example of caring about the Jay area.

Smith said that if Baptist does seek to offer another party a lease on Jay Hospital, the advisory board wants 90 days to evaluate it and “help select our new managing partner”.

“Jay Hospital has options,” Smith (pictured left) said, adding that since news of possible changes at the hospital became public, he has talked to groups that might be billing to turn the hospital that might turn it into a teaching facility, a medical school hospital and more. “”Whoever we partner with, we want it to be a win-win. We want it to be good for our partner, and we don’t want anybody that don’t want us.”

In the meantime, community leaders are speaking out in favor of Jay Hospital.

“This hospital is vital. It’s an important part of this community,” Qualls said. “We as a town council are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that hospital stays in this town. We will fight as long as there is a fight to be have.”

“Flomaton stands behind what Dr. Smith is trying to do,” Flomaton Mayor Dewey Bondurant said. “You would be surprised if you knew how many people from Flomaton and Century come over here…We are one. We are united. With are with y’all.”

Don Ripley, administrator of Century Care Center, said his nursing facility relies on Jay Hospital to provide quality medical care close by. “We will do anything we can do to help you keep it in Jay where it should be,” he said.

Jay Hospital is the town’s largest employer with 160 employees, a $5 million annual payroll and about $2 million per year in charity care.

Pictured: About 250 people attended a community meeting Thursday night in favor of Jay Hospital. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

North Escambia Deputy Rudy Brown Receives Life Saving Medal

April 29, 2011

An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputy that works the streets of North Escambia was honored Thursday for with a Life Saving Medal.

On September 26 of last year, Senior Deputy Rudy Brown responded to a restaurant on North Century Boulevard to assist EMS in reference to a man down in the parking lot. Upon arrival, Brown observed a man lying on the ground.

The Molino man was not breathing and unresponsive. Brown reacted immediately, grabbing an AED — automated external defibrillator — from his vehicle. Once the AED’s leads were applied, it advised that no shock was needed and that CPR should be performed. Brown continued CPR until EMS arrived on the scene and took over.

The man was was transported to Jay Hospital where his condition improved and he was able to breath on his own.

Brown, who is assigned to the Century Precinct that serves the county north of Molino, also received a certificate of special Congressional recognition from Congressman Jeff Miller.

For details on other awards presented Thursday by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, click here.

Pictured: Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan (right) presents a Life Saving Medal to Senior Deputy Rudy Brown of the Century Precinct Thursday afternoon. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Today Is Escambia Deadline For Real Estate, Tangible Taxes

April 29, 2011

Today is an important tax deadline for Escambia County.

All 2010 real estate and tangible personal property taxes must be paid and receipted by 5 p.m. Friday, April 29 to prevent being advertised as delinquent, adding advertising costs to the final tax bill. Online or automated phone payments (800‑601‑1055) also must be made by midnight April 30 to prevent advertising.

The delinquent ads will be published and posted on the tax collector’s web site on May 12.

Payments must be processed:

  • in person at one of  four branch offices by 5:00 p.m. April 29;
  • through the service center 850-438-6500 x252 by 5:00 p.m. April 29;
  • on the website www.escambiataxcollector.com by midnight April 30; or
  • on the automated telephone 800-601-1055 by midnight April 30.

For more information, contact the tax collector’s office at (850) 438-6500, Ext. 252.

Fire, Explosions Destroy Shop And Three Vehicles

April 29, 2011

Several explosions and a fire destroyed a shop and three vehicles Thursday morning in Cantonment.

Authorities believe that several explosions were caused by nitrous oxide tanks inside a shop behind a residence on Archer Road. The fire destroyed the shop, two older  vehicles inside the shop and a van.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Cantonment, Beulah, Molino, Ensley and Ferry Pass stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, Escambia County EMS and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to the blaze.

Pictured above and below: A fire and several explosions destroyed a shop and three vehicles Thursday morning in Cantonment. NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Smith, click to enlarge.

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