Small Plane Crash Lands In Chumuckla, No Injuries

April 30, 2012

No injuries were reported when a small plane crash landed near Chumuckla in northern Santa Rosa County Monday afternoon.

The plane crash landed in a pasture just north of a  private landing strip near Chumuckla about 3:25 p.m. and then caught fire. There were no  injuries.

The single engine plane had just made a takeoff from the landing strip near 10 Mile and Skyhawk roads, according to witnesses

Multiple fire departments including Allentown, Pace and NAS Whiting Field responded to the fire, which did not threaten any structures.

Pictured: A small plane burns after crash landing in Chumuckla Monday afternoon. Photo courtesy WEAR 3 for, click to enlarge.

No Injuries In Molino Crash

April 30, 2012

There were no injuries in a two vehicle crash Monday morning in Molino.

The accident happened at the  intersection of Highway 95A and Phillips Road, across from Highland Baptist Church. The accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Further details have not been released.

The Molino Station of Escambia Fire Rescue also responded to the crash. photos, click to enlarge.

Drought Continues, Federal Disaster Loans Available

April 30, 2012

Spring is off to a dry start as farmers plant their crops, and time is running out to apply for federal economic injury disaster loans available in Florida as a result last year’s drought.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows the area in a moderate to severe drought — a drought that has persisted about a year. Most of Escambia County in Florida is in a moderate drought, while the northern area of Santa Rosa County is in a severe drought.

Last year, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties were declared federal disaster areas due to the combined effect of excessive drought and the summer’s high temperatures. Many farmers lost a large percentage of their crops to the dry soils.

Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes have a May 21 deadline to apply for federal disaster loans related to the 2011 drought.  While the federal disaster area was southern Alabama, the loans are also available in Florida counties including Escambia and Santa Rosa.

“These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in Alabama. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

“When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities affected by the same disaster,” Skaggs added.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers, but nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

About the Disaster Loans

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with a 4 percent interest rate for eligible small businesses and 3 percent for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at . Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Pictured top: Many area farmers have turned to late afternoon and overnight irrigation on growing crops, like this corn field being irrigated at sunset in Walnut Hill. photo, click to enlarge.

Alabama Attorney General Takes Aim At Indian Gaming

April 30, 2012

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is asking the National Indian Gaming Commission to prohibit electronic bingo machines that are slot machine-like at Indian casinos in the state.

Indian casinos in the state, including Wind Creek in Atmore, are prohibited from offering Las-Vegas style Class III games because there is no agreement allowing them with the state.  Bingo games, known as Class II gambling games, are allowed.

“In Alabama, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians operate Class II gambling that approximates the same kind of slot machine gambling that one might find in Las Vegas or Atlantic City,” Strange wrote in his letter to the Indian Gaming Commission.

“The Tribe’s ability to obscure the line between Class II and III makes it harder for my office to enforce Alabama law outside of Indian land. Alabama citizens are understandably confused when Indian tribes are allowed to call their Class III slot machines ‘bingo,’ but gambling promoters within the State’s jurisdiction cannot use the same gimmick,” Strange wrote.

According to Strange, proposed Class II gambling game rules “do nothing to give teeth to the important distinction” between what is a bingo game and what is a slot machine.

Historically, Strange has argued that the slot machine-like games offered by the Poarch Creek Indians are illegal under federal regulations.

The Alabama Attorney General is asking the National Indian Gaming Commission to “make clear that Native American Indian tribes located in Alabama cannot engage in gambling activities that are patently illegal under Alabama law”.

Kindergarten Registration Underway

April 30, 2012

Kindergarten registration for Escambia County students is underway.

Students who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2012, are eligible to register for the 2012-2013 school year.  Registration will occur at the school which serves the student’s residence.

At the time of registration, parents/guardians should bring the following:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s social security card
  • Proof of residence (electric bill or rent receipt –  telephone and cable bills are not accepted)
  • Immunization record (Florida blue card provided by the health department or family physician)
  • Physical form completed by family physician

To locate a child’s school, visit and click on “Find Your School”.

Man, Grandkids Injured In Scooter Crash

April 30, 2012

A man and his two grandchildren were listed in critical condition following a motorized scooter accident about five miles north of Flomaton Sunday afternoon.

Authorities said a 54-year old man was traveling on Old Foshee Road with two children ages four and six. He reportedly lost control, ran off the road and flipped the vehicle. The two children were reportedly ejected and hit a concrete bridge. None of the three were wearing helmets.

The six year old was airlifted by LifeFlight to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola . The man and a four-year old were transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart. All three were classified as “trauma alerts” due to possible head injuries.

The accident is under investigation by Alabama State Troopers. Further details, including the names of the victims, have not yet been released.

Editor’s note: Authorities originally described the vehicle driven by the man as a “motorcycle”; however, on Monday, authorities said it was type of motorized scooter.

No TXT When U DRV — Alabama Approves Texting Ban

April 30, 2012

The Alabama Legislature has given final approval to a law that bans texting while driving in Alabama, with just a few minor exceptions.

The Senate approved the bill 28-0, and the House approved a compromise verson 95-0. The law will take effect July 1 or August 1, depending on when it is signed by Gov. Robert Bentley.

The bill makes it illegal to use a cellphone or any other wireless device to communicate by text message, instant message or email while operating a vehicle on a public road or highway.

Exceptions include:

  • A driver that is obtaining emergency services.
  • A driver whose vehicle was in park on the shoulder of the road.
  • A driver getting directions from a navigation or GPS system.

The ban will carry a $25 fine for the first conviction, $50 for the second and $75 for each subsequent conviction. A conviction will also mean a 2-point penalty on a person’s license. A driver’s license is suspended for 60 days for 12 or more points in a two-year period.

The bill does not ban talking on a cellphone while driving.

Fence Artwork Shows Ernest Ward Eagles Spirit

April 30, 2012

The National Junior Honor Society at Ernest Ward Middle School surprised Principal Nancy Gindl-Perry Friday with a piece of fence art.

The group purchased and installed artwork depicting the school’s eagle mascot on the chain link fence in front of the school using specially manufactured plastic cups that snap into the fence.

The eagle artwork was installed by honor society officers Savanna Roux, Bethany Reynolds, Ben Preston, Bradley Van Pelt, Trevor Levins, Thomas Moore and Hunter Connell.

Pictured top: Fence art shows Ernest Ward Middle School Eagle spirit. photo, click to enlarge.

NFL Draft: Atmore’s Linam Signs With San Diego Chargers

April 30, 2012

Former Atmore resident Josh Linam signed with the San Diego Chargers Saturday night on the last day of the 2012 NFL Draft as an undrafted free agent. Linam (6-3, 240) is coming off a successful college career as a middle linebacker for the University of Central Florida Knights.

“It feels great. I’m just really excited and fortunate to get a chance to play football. I’m just going to go up there and try to make the most of my opportunity,” Linam told the Orlando Sentinel.

Linam had announced on his Twitter page that he was headed to the Cleveland Browns, but with a last minute offer he was headed to San Diego. Since San Diego did not draft any other linebackers, he said he feels his chances of making the final roster are good. He flies to San Diego on May 10 to being working on making the cut to the 52-man roster.

Linam started 25 of UCF’s last 26 games at middle linebacker, ranking third on the team in 2011 with 66 tackles including a season-high nine vs. East Carolina and UTEP. He also collected 10 tackles for loss, two sacks and a pair of interceptions. Linam received College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week honors for his effort against UTEP, which featured 1.5 tackles for loss and an interception.

For his career, Linam registered 165 tackles with 20 tackles for loss and three interceptions in 50 games played.

Linam’s dad, Kevin Linam of Atmore, grew up in San Diego and was an All CIF lineman at Castle Park High School and an All Conference JUDO lineman at Southwestern College.

“This was my dream as a boy and now Josh’s goal since age 8, to play in the NFL,” Kevin Linam said Sunday.

Byrneville Elementary Releases Third Nine Weeks Honor Roll

April 30, 2012

The following students were named to the third nine weeks honor roll at Byrneville Elementary School:

Kindergarten:  Mrs. Barberree

All Satisfactory:

Adrianna Atallah
Wyatt Everly
Nolin Godwin
Hank Grant
Sylvia Jarrell
Josh Johnson
Jalona Mundo
Jakyia Newton
Tyler Riggs
Reygan Steadham
Dalton Wolfe

Kindergarten:  Mrs. Rogers

All Satisfactory:

Alexa Castro
Riley Dawson
Madalyn Grimes
Camron Howell
Bobbie-Sue Jarrell
Meredith Johnston
Takayla Lewis
Tyson McBride
Aydan Smith

First Grade:  Mrs. Dawson

All A’s:

Leah Anderson
Kayla Johnson
Emily Levins
Kaden Odom
Aubrey Stuckey


Aloysia Dortch
Audrey Goetter
Chase Hampton
Johnnie Howell
Aleigh Thornton

First Grade:  Mrs. Thornton

All A’s:

Drake Allen Driskell

A’s and B’s:

Briana Dunsford
Jessica Loftis

Second Grade:  Mrs. Weaver

All A’s:

Hunter Borelli
Shelby Cotita
Torka Mills
Dillon Spears

A’s and B’s:

Grace Blackmon
Bama Coburn
Josh Dunsford
Tessa Flowers
Kaitlin Gafford
Taylor Levins
James Loftis
Harley Walker

Third Grade:  Mrs. Dunsford

All A’s:

Sophia Cotita
Maille Kilcrease

A’s and B’s:

Travon Brown
Logan Bryan
Brianna Colter
Alyssa Goldenpenny
Abigail Levins
Tyler Merchant
Ty Rolin

Fourth Grade:  Mrs. Gilmore/Mrs. Sellers

All A’s:

Ian Gifford
Nicky Trump

A’s and B’s:

Skyler Busbee
Alex Glidewell
Alexis Lee
Cloe Smith
Savannah Steadham
Dadrien Washington
Olivia Watson

Fifth Grade:  Mrs. Johnston

All A’s:

Jacob Borelli
Rebecca Diamond
Paige Killam
Seth Killam
Tanner Levins
Alex McMinn
Courtney Payne
Destiny Payne

A’s and B’s:

Austin Adams
Kris Baxter
Matthew Caine
Patton Goetter
Colby Graham
Keyana Macks
Hunter Moseley
Sarah Nelson
Faith Watters

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