Freezing Temps Tonight

November 30, 2011

Freezing temperatures are forecast for the inland areas tonight, according to the National Weather Service. Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

  • Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 28. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 61. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 32. Calm wind.
  • Friday: Sunny, with a high near 67. East wind around 5 mph.
  • Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 37. East wind around 5 mph.
  • Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 67. East wind between 5 and 15 mph.
  • Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.
  • Sunday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 70. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.
  • Sunday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56.
  • Monday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71.
  • Monday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45.
  • Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 59.

Woman Sentenced For 8.5 Mile Wrong Way Drunken Police Chase

November 30, 2011

A 61-year Cantonment woman has been convicted on charges that she  led deputies on a drunken chase through North Escambia with a breath alcohol level two and a half times the legal limit.

Elizabeth Ann Dawson of Lakeview Avenue was convicted of driving under the influence and felony fleeing and eluding police. She was sentenced to a total of 30 days in jail and 24 months probation for the July incident. She was also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and attend substance abuse counseling. Her driver’s license was revoked for 12 months, and ignition interlock was ordered for her car, and she was ordered to pay a $3,079 fine and $1,500 in court costs.

The Escambia County  Sheriff’s Office first received emergency calls about Dawson headed north in the southbound lane of Highway 29 near Quintette Road about 11 p.m. on July 15. Multiple calls were received as she continued north through Molino.

An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office sergeant gave chase as he observed Dawson continuing to drive in the wrong lane near Highway 29 and Highway 97. The deputy drove parallel to Dawson in the northbound lane as additional deputies caught up to the pursuit. Deputies from the Century area responded south on Highway 29 during the chase, attempting to stop southbound traffic to avoid a collision.

Dawson continued northbound in the southbound lane until the eight mile pursuit ended when she stopped just south of Bogia Road — over 13 miles away from Quintette Road where 911 callers first reported her in the wrong lane.

Once stopped and out of her vehicle, Dawson was unable to stand without bracing herself, and keep telling deputies with slurred speech that she was sorry, according to the arrest report.

Dawson failed a field sobriety test and had a breath alcohol level of .199 and .192, the report states. The legal limit in Florida is .08.

Dawson was also ticketed for driving on the wrong side of the road.

500 Words: Judge Orders Drug Offender To Write Essay

November 30, 2011

A Cantonment man was ordered Tuesday by an Escambia County Judge  to write a 500 word essay as part of his punishment for failing to comply with his drug court sentence.

Brandon Matthew Ritchey, 25, was first arrested on charges of marijuana possession and smuggling contraband into a detention facility. He was referred into the county’s drug court program with a long list of conditions, including time in a 12-step program, and ordered to find a job at least 20 hours per week.

Ritchey was back in court Tuesday for non-compliance. Judge Terrell remanded him into custody and ordered him to write a 500 word essay on “personal responsibility and accountability”.

CVS Pharmacies Will No Longer Fill Pain Prescriptions From Some Doctors

November 30, 2011

The pharmacy chain CVS said Tuesday it has notified some Florida doctors that it will stop filling prescriptions they write for certain controlled substances such as the painkiller oxycodone.

The company did not detail its reasons or how many doctors are affected. But it pointed to trying to stop prescription-drug abuse, an issue that has made Florida a magnet in recent years for users and traffickers.

“While we regret any inconvenience this may cause for our customers, we treat the dispensing of controlled substances with the utmost care and seriousness,” company spokesman Mike DeAngelis said in an email. “CVS/pharmacy is unwavering in its compliance and measures to prevent drug abuse and keep controlled substances out of the wrong hands.”

Paul Sloan, president of the Florida Society of Pain Management Providers, described the move as “blacklisting physicians.”

“This is just another hysteria driven response to a problem that is based on false data provided by Florida medical examiners and law enforcement,” Sloan said.

In the North Escambia area, CVS operates stores in Century, Cantonment and Pensacola.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

Winning Fantasy 5 Ticket Sold In Molino

November 30, 2011

fant5.jpgA winning ticket in Tuesday night’s Florida Lottery Fantasy 5 drawing was sold in Molino.

The Quick Pick ticket, with numbers 5-8-9-23-28, was sold at the Molino First Stop, 6530 Highway 95A. The ticket was one of four winning tickets in the drawing.

Each of the four winning tickets are worth $51,429.93 each. There were also 375 tickets with four correct numbers worth $88 each, and 11,126 with three of five numbers worth $8 each.

The other winning tickets were sold in Port Orange, Plantation and Pembroke Pines.

Flomaton Cheerleader Performs In Disney Parade

November 30, 2011

Ronna Tullis from Flomaton High School was one of more than 500 student cheerleaders and dancers from across the country to perform in the Thanksgiving Day Parade last week at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The individuals invited to perform in the parade were part of a select group of cheerleaders chosen as cheerleading and dance All Americans during Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association summer camps across the country.

Pictured top: Ronna Tullis from Flomaton High School performed in the Thanksgiving Day Parade last week at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

What’s That Mystery Molino Crop With The Yellow Flowers?

November 30, 2011

We received a lot of emails over the past few weeks asking about the unique yellow-flowering crop planted at Highway 29 and Highway 97 behind the Tom Thumb in Molino. turned to Libbie Johnson of  Escambia County Extension and to the farmer, Eric Koehn of Walnut Hill, to find out that the plant is called Sunn Hemp (that’s Crotalaria juncea L for the scientific types).

For a photo gallery, click here.

It is a semi-tropical plant that is grown as a cover crop in the southeast. It’s a legume, growing in a variety of locations and returning nitrogen to the soil. It can also be used as a biomass to produce biofuels.

“Because it grows so fast, it is really good for people looking to get something on their soil to prevent erosion or to build organic matter into their soils,” Johnson said. “It is touted as being resistant to root knot nematodes- a real problem for our local row crop producers, so it would be good to use in a rotation.  It takes about 8-12 weeks of growth for you to get the full benefit of the crop, so it’s best if it’s planted after corn or maybe a vegetable crop.  It wouldn’t have time to get going if planted after cotton or peanuts.”

Koehn said he planted the Sunn Hemp as cover crop to prevent erosion after he harvested corn from the field.  There were no plans to harvest the crop.

Pictured: Recent photos showing Sunn Hemp growing at Highway 29 and Highway 97 in Molino. photos, click to enlarge.

Richard Nichols

November 30, 2011

Mr. Richard Nichols, 69, passed away on Monday, November 28, 2011 at a local hospital.

Mr. Nichols was a native of McDavid and a resident of Flomaton for the past 20 years. He was a loving husband, father and stepfather and attended the Holiness church. He was preceded in death by his father, Floyd Nichols; his mother, Bernell and Melvin Eddins; and a brother, Ronald Nichols.

He is survived by his wife, Jessie Godwin of Flomaton; his son, James Nichols of Pensacola; two daughters, Abby Gail Smith of Rockford, IL, and Mary Wiggins of Peidmont, AL; three stepdaughters, Pamela Noble of Milton, Laura Gibson of Pace, Darlene Rojas of Biloxi, MS; nine grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a brother, Alvis Nichols of Dakota, IL.

Funeral services will be Friday, December 2, 2011, at 2 p.m. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home in Atmore with the Rev. Mike Grindle officiating. .Burial will follow at Byrneville Cemetery.

Visitation will be Thursday, December 1, 2011, from 6-9 p.m. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home

Pallbearers will be Gaiel Noble, Shane Gibson, Thomas Trainer, Manuel Rojas, Nathaniel Nichols and Kevin Wiggins.


In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made toward Mr. Nichols’ funeral arrangements.

16 Arrested As Escambia Panhandling Ordinance Enforcement Begins

November 30, 2011

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office began enforcing the county’s new panhandling ordinance Tuesday afternoon, arresting about 15 people at intersections throughout the county.

The new ordinance prohibits anyone from standing in the median of roadways in the county, unless they are legally crossing the road. The ordinance does not prohibit anyone from standing on the sides of the road, as long as they do not enter the roadway except to legally cross.

“In one incident, a man and his wife were arrested after driving from their home in Gulf Breeze to the intersection of Olive Road and Davis Highway and entering the median and holding signs asking for money,” according to Sgt. Mike Ward, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

The ordinance was passed November 17 by the Escambia County Commission on a 3-2 vote and forwarded to the Florida Secretary of State’s Office for certification. Before enforcement began Tuesday, deputies visited intersections frequently used by panhandlers and informed them that the new ordinance would soon be on the books.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office did not release a specific list of those arrested, but according to Escambia County Jail log, the following were charged:

  • John Lyn Brown, 45, homeless.
  • Randy Joseph Caldwell, 50, Murphy Lane.
  • Derek Anthony Cullen, 35, homeless.
  • Sandra Dee Dean, 50, homeless.
  • Randy Steven Edwards, 47, transient.
  • Robert Earl Fowler, 55, homeless.
  • Lawrence Kent Frazier, 46, homeless.
  • Brian Odell Griggs, 41, Gulf Breeze.
  • James Joseph Johnson, 56, Selana Street.
  • Terry Lynn Jones, 51, transient.
  • Tobie Harlice Jones, 65,  Market Street.
  • Paula Eileen Keen, 48, Vance Avenue.
  • Walter Howard Lowrey, 56, transient.
  • Gary Earl Perry, 57, Corry Field Road.
  • Lauren Marie Romaine, 38, West Detroit Boulevard.
  • Richard Carl Struckus, 55, Lime Street

Pictured top: People arrested Tuesday for violating Escambia County new panhandling ordinance.

Local Students Recognized As Rotary Four-Way Test Essay Winners

November 30, 2011

Four Escambia County students — including one each from Northview and West Florida high schools — were recognized as winners in the 19th annual Rotary Four-Way Test Essay Contest by the Suburban West Rotary Club.

Winners included Justin Halteman (pictured) from Northview High School, Rachel George from West Florida High School and Jennifer Lewis from Escambia High School. Grand prize winner was Destiny Williams from Booker T. Washington High School.

The Four-Way Test Essay Contest is open to all Escambia County sophomores and juniors, with each participant writing a short essay on the topic “Why is the Rotary Four-Way Test relevant today?”. The Four-Way Test is used by Rotarians to encourage value-driven, ethical behavior at work, at home and in the community.

During a recent luncheon, the winners read their essays to the club and were presented with certificates of achievement and cash prizes. The contest finalist from each participating high school received a $100 award, and the grand prize winner received a $500 award.

Pictured: Justin Halteman of Northview High School reads his award winning essay to the Suburban West Rotary Club. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

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