Margaret Huey Carden

February 28, 2013

Margaret Huey Carden, age 83, of Jay, passed away on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. She was born in Alabama on January 3, 1930. Margaret lived the early part of her life in Marion, Alabama where she married Eugene Joseph Adams and had two daughters, Beverly Jean and Patricia Carol. He passed away in March of 1959. In her later years, she married Herbert Wayne Huey and moved to Milton, where she worked as a director of Daycare for First Baptist Church in Milton for many years. After the death of her late husband Wayne Huey, in 1992, she moved to Jay to live near her family.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Percy and Mae Johnson.

Margaret is survived by her husband, Grady Carden; two daughters, Beverly Field of Pace and Patsy (Michael) Scott of Jay; sister, Jessie Mae Adams of Jay; five granddaughters, Kelly (Steven) Dee of Omaha, Nebraska, Kara (Alan) Ritchie of Pace, Sunny (Kevin) Ricks of Pace, Micah Scott of Jay, and Ashley (Shane) Buckley of Jay; nine great-grandchildren, Andrew and Nikolas Dee, Truitt and Allison Ritchie, McKinley and Tucker Ricks, Mical Owens, Aiden and Easton Buckley; step-daughter, Toni Carden Grissett; three step-grandchildren, Candace (Jeff) Lee, Tyler and Skyler Grissett and two step great-grandchildren, Breanna and Chloe Lee.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at 5 p.m. at Jay Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Berrydale Baptist Church with Brother Robert Gandy officiating. Burial will follow at Berrydale Baptist Church Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Lewie Joe Smith, Tommy Scott, Alan Ritchie, Shane Buckley, Kevin Ricks, and Billy Owens. Honorary pallbearers will be Steven Dee, Tyler Grissett, Skyler Grissett, and Jeff Lee.

Jay Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Pine Forest Softball Rocks Catholic

February 28, 2013

One night after getting run-ruled, the Pine Forest softball team turned the tables.

The Lady Eagles pounded nine hits and took advantage of nine walks and three hit batters to beat Catholic, 17-2, on Thursday night at Pine Forest.

Pine Forest, which lost 16-0 at Pace on Tuesday night, improved to 4-4. The Lady Eagles won three games last season.

Against Catholic, Junior Alexis Gardner went 2-for-4 with two doubles off the fence. She also scored twice and drove in a game-high four runs.

Senior Aleecia Ybarra was 1-for-1 with two walks, two RBI, scored four runs and stole four bases. Fellow senior Kellie Payne hit a double off the fence, drove in two runs and scored twice. Tiana Acevedo and Miranda Kelley each scored twice and stole two bases.

Sophomore Brooke Lauter started for Pine Forest and pitched 3.2 innings, allowing just four hits and one walk. Junior Janessa Landas relieved with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning. She struck out the batter on four pitches to end the threat and earn the victory to improve to 3-1 this season.

Escambia Man Sentenced To 25 Years For Battery, Attempted Robbery

February 28, 2013

An Escambia County man is headed to prison for battery and attempted robbery.

N’Kosi Lerone Jones , Jr., 20, was sentenced by Judge Ross Goodman  to  a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for  aggravated battery with a firearm causing great bodily harm and attempted robbery with a firearm.

On June 22, 2011, Duane Jackson was shot by Jones while visiting a friend at Gonzalez Court Apartments.  Jones attempted to conceal his identity by wearing a handkerchief over his face. However, Jackson was still able to give a description to Pensacola Police Department who then showed him a photo lineup containing the defendant, and Jackson identified Jones as the shooter.  Jones was questioned, but  no arrests were made at that time.

On September 11, 2011, Jones was stopped for a traffic violation.  Law enforcement searched the vehicle and recovered a revolver under the passenger’s seat. Pensacola Police then compared the bullet retrieved from the victim to the revolver recovered and ballistics determined they were a match. After subsequent testing, the Jones’ DNA was found on the revolver.

Study: Huge Drop In Juvenile Lock-up Rates

February 28, 2013

Declining juvenile crime rates and more emphasis on keeping teens out of the criminal justice system have resulted in a major drop in lock-up rates both in Florida and nationwide.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation on Wednesday released a new KIDS COUNT data report, “Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States,” which shows a 32 percent drop in the number of Florida youths sent to residential juvenile-justice programs between 1997 and 2010. Locally, the rate was 31 percent in Escambia County.

Nationally, the drop was 37 percent for the same period – to the lowest rate in 35 years.

The peak nationally came in 1995, with 107,637 juveniles incarcerated on a single day, and dropped to 70,792 on a single day in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. During that time, the overall incarceration rate dropped by 41 percent.

The report shows Florida is on the right track, said Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters.

“In addition to the significant decrease in youth incarceration rates documented in this snapshot, Florida has seen a drastic reduction in overall juvenile arrests, school-based delinquency and the number of youth being transferred to the adult prison system,” Walters said in a statement.

According to DJJ, the state has seen a 34 percent drop in juvenile arrests over the last five years. School-based delinquency dropped by 50 percent over the last eight years. The number of Florida youths transferred to adult court has dropped by 44 percent since 2007-08.

As examples of the drops in incarceration rates, Broward County saw a 12 percent decrease, while Lee County saw its rate go down 34 percent and Alachua County had a 53 percent drop.

Walters credits DJJ’s “Roadmap to System Excellence,” a reform proposal the agency has been developing. The plan would shift funding from residential facilities to community-based intervention, then take those savings and spend more on job training, education, family support, transitional housing and transportation. Walters has led a series of town hall meetings on the plan, seeking feedback statewide.

David Utter, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s legislative director for Florida, praised the approach.

“It’s a plan that for the first time is based on what we know works for juvenile delinquency and kids who are troubled,” he said. “It’s a very exciting development.”

The state roadmap also dovetails with the Casey Foundation’s warning that despite the rapid decline, the U.S. still leads the industrialized world in locking up young people, most for nonviolent offenses such as truancy and technical probation violations.

“Locking up young people has lifelong consequences, as incarcerated youth experience lower educational achievement, more unemployment, higher alcohol and substance abuse rates and greater chances of run-ins with the law as adults,” said Bart Lubow, director of the foundation’s Juvenile Justice Strategy Group, in a statement. “Our decreasing reliance on incarceration presents an exceptional opportunity to respond to juvenile delinquency in a more cost-effective and humane way – and to give these youth a real chance to turn themselves around.”

Utter agrees that community- and family-based interventions are much more effective than incarceration. The Southern Poverty Law Center is pursuing that strategy in Florida via lawsuits and legislation.

The KIDS COUNT data also found racial bias in the juvenile justice system. African Americans are nearly five times as likely to be locked up as their white counterparts, and Latinos and American Indians are two to three times as likely.

DJJ is trying to address racial bias as well, calling it “a critical component of the Roadmap.” The plan calls for increased use of civil citations, a training curriculum for officials who work with minority youths and more partnerships to help them find jobs, and collaborating with schools to develop teacher/youth summits on diversity issues.

By The News Service of Florida

Gas Prices Up 37¢ In February

February 28, 2013

Gas prices in the Pensacola metro are up 37 cents in February, according to the AAA fuel gauge report. Late Wednesday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Escambia County was $3.72. A spot check showed several stations in Davisville and Century were at or near the $3.75 mark., and Cantonment and Molino stations were at about $3.67. Pictured: A gallon of regular unleaded was $3.75 at this Century station. photo, click to enlarge.

Carol J. Hall

February 28, 2013

Mrs. Carol J. Hall, 69, passed away on Monday, February 25, 2013, in Mobile.

Mrs. Hall was a native of Uriah, former resident of Bay Minette, and has resided in Mobile for the past seven years. Mrs. Hall was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is preceded in death by her husband, Charles Hall.

Survivors include two sons, Steve (Sandra) Harville of Rabun and Johnny (Tina Mooney) Combs of Perdido; two daughters, Rita Faye (William) Standifer of Century and Ginger Marston of Mobile; one brother, Ronnie Freeman of Carrolton, GA; one sister, Shelia Lassitter of Uriah; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be Saturday, March 2, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home with Rev. Mary Gibbs officiating.

Burial will follow at the Semiarh Springs Cemetery.

Visitation will be Friday, March1, 2013, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be William Standifer, Von Banks, Steve Harville, Johnny Combs, Tony Lassitter and Colby Harville.

Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Homes, LLC, is in charge of all arrangements.

Deadline Arrives Social Security’s ‘Paperless’ System

February 28, 2013

The March 1 deadline is here for anyone who receives Social Security, SSI payments, or veterans’ benefits by mail. To save money, the federal government wants to make all its payments electronically. That means a direct deposit into a bank account, or onto a debit card. If there’s a senior in your life, it’s a good time to ask whether that person has let Social Security know how they want to receive their benefits, or to offer to help them with the transition.

Cristina Martin Firvida, director of financial security for AARP’s Government Affairs division, advises that, while it’s important to get it done, don’t worry too much about the deadline.

“If they have not made the switch by March 1, they should not worry. They will continue to receive their benefit,” she said. “This is so important to reassure everyone: their benefit will still come in the mail after March 1.”

If your choice is a debit card, Martin Firvida explained, there are a few important questions to ask. Find out about the fees for using the card; whether there’s a good network of ATMs so you can get cash when you need it; and whether a debit card is practical for paying bills. All banks and credit unions offer debit cards – and now, the U.S. Treasury has a card, too, just for this purpose.

“You will get one debit card, and it will be reloaded each month,” she said. “If you go with the Treasury debit card, they have set up a call center so that you have a way of calling and checking on the balance of your card, so that recipients can have that assurance that the deposit has been made to the card before they go out and use it.”

AARP is warning people that, as with any change involving transfers of money, there are always scams that crop up. If you are called or emailed with reminders about the deadline or asked for personal information to help make the switch, said Martin Firvida, hang up or press “delete.”

“Don’t give that out,” she cautioned. “No one from SSA is going to ask you for that kind of information by phone or by email. You should never respond to those kinds of inquiries.”

She added that a bank or credit union can help arrange for direct deposits or a debit card account into which benefits can be paid. It can be done online, at or by calling the Treasury Department at 800-333-1795

By Chris Thomas, Public News Service

State Announces Bust Of Artifact Theft Ring

February 28, 2013

A two-year undercover operation has busted what officials said was an extensive, statewide ring of individuals trading in illegal historical artifacts, largely from Native American sites.

Thirteen people from two states were charged with a total of more than 400 felony counts, including 216 alone against Jacky Fuller of Fortson, Ga., accused of violating historical resources, dealing in stolen property and dealing stolen property over the Internet. Fullerton was one of two Georgians arrested.

The 11 Floridians snared by state officials lived everywhere from the north Florida community of Havana to Big Pine Key. The arrests were made Wednesday.

“The message I think we’re trying to get out of here today is that this isn’t just stealing of artifacts,” said Robert Bendus, director of the Division of Historical Resources. “This is stealing the history of this state. … And when you loot, you’re irrevocably destroying the history of this state.”

Bendus said stealing artifacts rips them out of the context of archaeological sites and can damage efforts to document what happened there.

Officials say more than $2 million of artifacts might have been recovered in “Operation Timucua,” including arrowheads and pottery.

Maj. Curtis Brown of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the idea of investigating the trafficking of artifacts plundered from state lands had been around for about five years, but was seriously put in motion about two years ago.

He said the discussions were prompted by complaints to the state about illicitly-obtained artifacts ending up in trade shows and for sale on the Internet.

Brown said computers and other records were seized as part of the investigation, meaning there will likely be “spin-offs” of the operation that could end in more arrests.

He described those who were caught as experts at finding artifacts.

“These people knew where to go,” he said.

Bendus said the laws against illegally grabbing artifacts were strong enough, but that the state needs to get better about working with collectors and archaeologists to make a dent in the practice.

“I think we need to come up with some creative solutions beyond the laws,” he said.

Video: Dusty Sanderson – Chuggin’ Along

February 27, 2013

(If you can’t see the video above, it’s because your work, school or home firewall is blocking external videos.)

Early Morning Fire Destroys Molino Mobile Home

February 27, 2013

Fire destroyed a single wide mobile home early Wednesday morning in Molino.

The fire was reported in the 7900 block of Brickyard Road, just south of Brickton Road, about 4:20 a.m.  The mobile home was involved in fire when the first firefighters arrived on scene moments later. Firefighters worked successfully to save several nearby structures.

There was no one at the home at the time of the fire; officials said it appeared the trailer was being used for storage. There no injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

The Molino, McDavid, Walnut Hill and Cantonment stations of Escambia Fire Rescue were dispatched to the fire, along with Escambia County EMS.

Pictured: Fire destroyed this single wide mobile hom on Brickyard Road in Molino early Wednesday morning. photos, click to enlarge.

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