New Fast Food Restaurant Planned For Molino

July 31, 2011

Preliminary plans are underway for a new fast food restaurant in Molino.

The new restaurant will be located on an 8.4 acre lot at the corner of the Highway 97 and Highway 29, just across Highway 97 from Crabtree Church Road and the Tom Thumb.  The lot has an 850-foot frontage on Highway 29 and 1,000-foot frontage on Highway 97.

Current plans indicate that the building will be 2,474 square feet.

A pre-application meeting with the Escambia County Development Review Committee was held last week — the first step in the permitting process.

Developers have not formally announced plans for the fast food restaurant, and no estimated time for completion was available.

Pictured above: Preliminary plans are underway for a fast food restaurant at the intersection of Highway 29 and Highway 97 in Molino. Pictured below: The restaurant is planned across Highway 97 from the Tom Thumb. photo/graphic, click to enlarge.

Hot, Humid Weather

July 31, 2011

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

  • Tonight: Scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
  • Monday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 9am. Partly sunny, with a high near 95. Heat index values as high as 107. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
  • Monday Night: Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Tuesday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Calm wind becoming south between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Wednesday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 10am. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Calm wind becoming south between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Thursday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 75.
  • Friday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 76.
  • Saturday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Molino Homemakers Create Bibs For Rehab Patients

July 31, 2011

The Molino Homemakers recently made adult-size bibs for rehabilitation patients at West Florida Rehabilitation Institute.

Club President Nancy Holland set up a station where members cut out terrycloth and plastic material from a paper bag pattern. At another station, the plastic and terrycloth pieces were pinned then sewn together. Other members trimmed and turned the bibs then the bottoms were hand stitched closed.

Holland delivered the completed bibs to patients who undergo rehabilitation from strokes and other illnesses or surgeries. The patients are able to take their bib home with them once they leave rehab.

The Molino Homemakers meet on the first Wednesday of each month (except July) at 10 a.m. at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Molino. The next meeting will be August 3. Visitors are welcome; dues are $5 per year.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured top: Members of the Molino Homemakers create bibs for rehab patients. Pictured inset: Club member Shirley Clayton models a bib. Submitted photos and story by Terri Brown for, click to enlarge.

Five Injured In Wreck With Escambia Deputy

July 31, 2011

Five people received minor injuries in a wreck involving an Escambia County Sheriff’s deputy cruiser on Saturday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Deputy Douglas Shoemaker, 45, was southbound on Highway 90 in the northbound lane in an attempt to pass traffic that was backed up at a traffic light at Saufley Field Road. He was responding to an emergency call with his lights and siren activated. As he entered the intersection, he collided with a 2008 Nissan Altima driven by Lelia Harvey of Pensacola. Harvey had a green signal and turned into the path of Shoemaker’s vehicle, according to the FHP.

Harvey and a passenger, 26-year old Ashli French of Orange Park, along with three young children, received minor injuries. Deputy Shoemaker was not injured.

There were no charges filed in the crash, according to the FHP.

Featured Recipe: Mexican Lasagna

July 31, 2011

Today’s featured recipe for Mexican Lasagna will add new flavors to family mealtime as an old favorite gets a south of the border twist.

Mexican Lasagna


  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 package (about 1 ounce) fajita seasoning mix
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 12 corn tortillas (5-to 6- inch)
  • Chopped tomatoes (optional)
  • Sliced green onions (optional)


  1. Stir cheese soup, milk and half the fajita seasoning in medium bowl until mixture is smooth.
  2. Cook beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat.
  3. Stir mushroom soup, water, chili powder, oregano and remaining fajita seasoning in skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
  4. Place 3 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart shallow baking dish, overlapping slightly. Spread 1 cup beef mixture over the tortillas. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining tortillas. Spread the cheese soup mixture over the tortillas.
  5. Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the tomatoes and onions, if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Preparation Time:
20 minutes

Bake Time:
30 minutes

Standing Time:
10 minutes

Santa Rosa Motorcycle Crash Injures Escambia Man

July 31, 2011

An Escambia County man was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in north Santa Rosa County on Saturday.

Jason C. A. Baughman, 26, was airlifted by LifeFlight to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola following the 11:10 a.m. crash on Old Martin Road south of Highway 4 in the Blackwater River State Forest. He was listed in serious condition following the crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Baughman drifted onto the shoulder of the roadway into a ditch and overturned his 2007 Honda motorcycle. He was ejected on the roadway, the FHP said.

Charges against Baughman are pending.

Florida Weekly Gov’t Roundup: Sinkholes And Private Prisons

July 31, 2011

Florida officials this week made sinkhole rates go higher and hoped prison costs would go lower in an effort to save state taxpayers money on both.

Sinkhole coverage got a lot more expensive for tens of thousands of coastal residents who will see their rates leap toward the heavens as state insurers this week tried to make up for decisions made a few years ago that critics say were politically expedient, but actuarially irresponsible.

With losses far outstripping premiums as claims exploded in recent years, the state-backed insurer of last resort says it has to charge more for less.

Meanwhile, Florida prisons officials are hoping to pay less for more as they privatize prisons in the southern third of the state.

Correction officials had a busy week, also spending time in court defending the state’s recipe for a lethal cocktail of drugs used to execute death row inmates., state officials had to defend themselves against allegations of unfairness and ineptitude over the firing of allegedly incompetent insurance fraud investigators, and an initial slate of inductees to the state’s newly established veterans Hall of Fame that included confederates and not a single veteran of color.


Calling it a prudent experiment – although one that should not expand further until the facts are in – the state’s top prison official this week moved the state forward on its plan to privatize prisons in the southern third of the state.

Corrections Secretary Ed Buss said in an interview this week that after this round, the state should stop until it knows what the effect is.

“I think in terms of private prisons, this is as far as Florida should go,” Buss told the News Service. “This wasn’t my decision, this wasn’t Gov. Scott’s decision. This was the Legislature’s decision.”

The state on Monday released a request for proposals calling for a five-year contract with a single bidder to run 29 facilities associated with 11 South Florida correctional institutes. One of the state’s main law enforcement unions has sued to try to block the move.

That contract should allow the state to assess how a widespread system of private prisons would work in comparison to public facilities, Buss said. That would include a look at how well private prisons work to reduce recidivism, one of Buss’ top goals as corrections secretary.

“This will provide some competition so that the public and private sector can go head-to-head,” he said. “But until — and it takes three to five years to get any meaningful data on recidivism — I wouldn’t recommend any future private prisons until we get the data and we see if it does actually work.”

Buss said giving the contract to a single company will make it easier to measure a company’s performance, since inmates often move from prison to prison, and help corrections employees who decide to stay in South Florida an easier time finding jobs and earning promotions.


Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s Board of Governors on Wednesday unanimously approved sinkhole premium increases for 2012 that will cause rates for coastal homeowners to skyrocket, some by thousands of dollars a year.

“We recognize that the need for sinkhole coverage is enormous,” said Citizens CFO Sharon Binnon. “This fact is not lost on us but this is about Citizens’ past experience…. These rates are the direct result in the explosion of claims.”

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, whose region will see some of the highest premium increases for sinkhole coverage, has led the charge against the rate hikes. He continued his quest this week.

“There are people who live in sinkhole prone areas that could potentially be forced out of their homes due to these rate increases,” Fasano said in a statement.

Pasco County coastal residents, according to Citizens estimates, will see average sinkhole premiums jump from $441 to $4,017, an increase of 810 percent for the optional coverage.

Last year, Citizens collected about $32 million in sinkhole premiums but paid out more than $245 million in claims. Insurers blame the increase not on a geological change, but savvy attorneys, public claims adjusters and inadequate protections in Florida law.

Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, has joined Fasano in calling for public hearings on the proposed rate increases.


Gov. Rick Scott has begun discreetly promoting the same changes to the higher education system that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has championed including controversial measures on merit pay for professors, tenure reform, and generally a much greater emphasis on measurement of whether professors are turning out students that meet certain goals.

Scott has discussed the Texas reforms with his appointees to university and college governing boards to line up support to dramatically change how universities and colleges are funded, overhaul professor tenure, emphasize teaching over research, and give students more influence.

An admirer of Texas, Scott has developed a friendly relationship with Perry, who is flirting with the idea of seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2012.


Gearing up for redistricting talks later this year, lawmakers took their show on the road to Central Florida this week as they heard from local residents on how to redraw Florida’s political map that is expected to include another congressional seat along the I-4 corridor.

From Latinos, who made up much of Central Florida’s population growth since the 2000 Census, the request was for a district that would be heavily influenced by Hispanic voters as an acknowledgment of the influx of non-Cuban Latinos.

Blacks asked for a district that would continue in the mold of the seat held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., who won her seat in a heavily black district after changes forced by the Voting Rights Act.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, an organization that has been working with Latino community leaders in the area on redistricting, presented a map of a Central Florida district that would be 46.2 percent Hispanic and 12.3 percent black. It would run from Haines City to Union Park.

Black residents urged lawmakers not to unwind Brown’s district, particularly in light of the new Fair Districts standards, which are aimed at curbing partisan gerrymandering and forcing lawmakers to draw compact districts. Brown’s district snakes from Jacksonville to Orlando.

Meanwhile in Tallahassee, a federal judge heard from a conservative voting rights group that a new Florida election law unconstitutionally burdens grassroots groups trying to get their voices heard.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle has been asked to throw out the law opponents say places undue restrictions on small, nominally funded groups by requiring stringent disclosure requirements. Attorneys for the Florida Department of State say simply that voters should know who is behind political advertising efforts.


Drafters in the Veterans Affairs agency of a list of proposed inductees into a Veterans’ Hall of Fame were in retreat this week after a prominent African-American senator said it was offensive. A spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott said there would be a replacement list that will be more broad in its appeal.

The Department of Veterans Affairs had put out the draft list, which could have up at this coming Tuesday’s meeting of Scott and the Cabinet. That starting list was made up of 22 former governors, including Scott, who served in the military.

But among those were six veterans of the Confederate States of America military, including one former governor, Abraham Allison, who was later convicted of and jailed for intimidating black people. On Friday, the list was no longer on the Cabinet’s agenda for Tuesday.

“That is not the list that is going through,” Scott spokesman Lane Wright said Friday. “There will be a list I think all Floridians will be proud of.”


The dismissals of a pair of insurance fraud investigators within office of Attorney General Pam Bondi has led to questions by Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee over why Bondi fired Theresa Edwards and June Clarkson who had been lead foreclosure fraud attorneys in the office under former Attorney General Bill McCollum.

Soto’s call came as liberal interest group Progress Florida this week began circulating a petition trying to get the attorney general’s inspector general’s office to investigate the firings.

Edwards and Clarkson and said publicly in newspaper stories that their boss, Richard Lawson, who heads up the economic crimes division in Bondi’s office, questioned them extensively about two mortgage processors that are under investigation by the office, Jacksonville-based Lender Processing Services and Tampa-based ProVest.

Lawson told the News Service that he indeed asked about those two companies, after their lawyers expressed concerns about the way Edwards and Clarkson were handling the cases – and, in particular about a public presentation the two gave in a public forum that gave their “impressions and theories” about the Lender Processing Services, and characterized certain companies as foreclosure mills.


Marking the next step in Scott’s quest for a business friendly state, the governor appointed his deputy chief of staff to take over the newly created Department of Economic Opportunity.

Doug Darling, whose lengthy resume includes stints at the Department of Environmental Protection under Mike Sole and the Department of Financial Services under Alex Sink, takes the reins of an agency Scott plans to provide the back-office support to state efforts to retain and attract businesses.

Darling will oversee the state’s economic development initiative programs including the quick action closing fund and quality targeted industry incentive in coordination with Department of Commerce Secretary Gray Swoope.

STORY OF THE WEEK: Citizens Property Insurance Corp. approves sinkhole premiums that could raise rates for some coastal residents by thousands of dollars are year. At least two state lawmakers want the legislature to hold public hearings over the matter.


“It’s about all of those veterans out there, the rank and file veterans, all those accomplished veterans who didn’t happen to get elected governor,” Florida Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, on a preliminary list of inductees to the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, which included 21 past and and 1 present Florida governor, but few decorated veterans – and no African Americans.”

By Michael Peltier
The News Service of Florida

Area Educator Attends Exxon Teachers Academy

July 31, 2011

Linda S. Godwin, gifted education specialist for the Escambia County (Ala.) School System, was recently selected to attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Godwin was among the 200 applicants selected from the 1,500 third through fifth grade teachers who applied to attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. The teachers academy was sponsored by Phil Mickelson, pro golfer, and ExxonMobil, who paid all expenses for the 200 teachers attending.

According to organizers, the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy is designed to:

  • Deepen understanding of mathematics and science content at grades 3 – 5 in the areas of data and statistics, measurement, and force and motion;
  • Build expertise in facilitating student learning through problem solving and inquiry;
  • Demonstrate the interconnections between mathematics and science that support and enhance student learning;
  • Provide an understanding of how children learn and how to translate that knowledge to the classroom instruction;
  • Increase knowledge and use of instructional resources to support student learning; and
  • Encourage school teams to network with other professionals in mathematics and science education.

For Godwin, highlights of the academy included the opportunity to meet teachers from across the country, work with engineers and gaining new knowledge and resources to use with students.

Birth: Gavin Adam Peterson

July 31, 2011

Cody and Peggy Peterson of Pensacola, along with big brother Gabe, are proud to announce the birth of their son, Gavin Adam Peterson.

Gavin came into the world on July 7, 2011, in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his family is currently stationed with the Navy. He was born at 9:26 p.m., weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 21 inches long.

Paternal grandparents are Gene and Judy Hardy of Cantonment and Bruce and Angie Davis of Ozark, Alabama. Maternal grandparents are Mike and Denise Driggers of Pensacola, and Timothy Bustos of Pensacola.

Woman Sentenced To House Arrest In 85-Count Drug Case

July 30, 2011

A former Cantonment resident has been sentenced in an 85-count count drug case in which she purchased large amounts of pseudoephedrine destined for a clandestine meth lab.

Prosecutors dropped 60 of the felony drug distribution counts against Tammy Marie Sheffield before she was sentenced by Judge Nicholas Geeker. She was found guilty on the remaining 25 counts and sentenced to 12 months community control followed by 36 months probation.

As part of her sentence, Sheffield agreed to testify truthfully against other suspects in any state or federal cases in which she has any information.

According to an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, Sheffield purchased an excessive and illegal quantity of pseudoephedrine over about a one year period.

The investigation also revealed that several persons conspired be traveling to together to area pharmacies to purchase large quantities of pseudoephedrine. And, according to the Sheriff’s office, Sheffield should have known that the pseudoephedrine products she purchased were being used to manufacture methamphetamines in a clandestine laboratory.

According to court and Escambia County Jail records, Sheffield is a former resident of Eden Lane in Cantonment.

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