Eloise O’Farrell Brown

September 29, 2013

Mrs. Eloise O’Farrell Brown , 83 of Atmore, passed away Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

She was born January 20, 1930, in Bratt, to the late Talton and Maggie Blanton O’Farrell.

She was a graduate of Ernest Ward High School Class of 1947 and enjoyed organizing class reunions through the years. She graduated from Florida State University and taught school for many years. She was owner and operator of B&B Western Corral and Atmore Pecan Company.

She is preceded in death by her parents, step-mother Gadis O’Farrell, husband, Keel H. Brown and brother, Buford O’Farrell.

Survivors are two sons, Ronald K. (Sharon) Brown and James F. (Kim) Brown all of Atmore; two daughters, Brenda Brown (Steve) Gerald of Perdido and Janet Brown (Tommy) Strawbridge of Atmore; one sister, Emma Parker of Montgomery; nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Saturday, September 28, 2013, from the First Assembly of God Church of Atmore with Rev. Don Davis and Rev. Leon Stewart officiating.

Interment was in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be Kent Brown, Brandon Strawbridge, Brian Strawbridge, Tanner Gerald, Tyler Brown and Donnie Bell.

Honorary Pallbearers are, Dr. F.D. Salter, Dale Ash, Eugene O’Farrell, Edgar Norris, Mike Garrard and Michael Roley.

Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home is entrusted with all arrangements.

Margarette Wooley Earle

September 29, 2013

Mrs. Margarette Wooley Earle, 90, of Atmore, passed away Thursday, September 26, 2013, in Brewton.

She was born in Repton, Ala., on April 30, 1923, to the late Emmett Joseph and Anna Williamson Wooley. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Atmore and was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church Guild. Mr. and Mrs. Earle owned Earle’s Jewelers for over 43 years. She volunteered at Atmore Nursing Home Beauty Shop for over 25 years and was a member of the Order of Eastern Star and was Grand Ruth of Alabama and lifetime appointment of Colorado. She was a staff member to Governor Lurleen Wallace.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Herman B. Earle and a daughter, Virginia Ann Earle; two brothers, a sister; and one great-granddaughter, Taylor Stewart.

Survivors include two daughters, Margarita E. (Ron) Headley of Brewton and Frances E. (Wayne) Dunn of Atmore; grandchildren, Kristie Dunn Dieguez, Heather Headley Stewart, Tracy Dunn Murphy and Kimberley Headley Flores; and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral Services were Saturday, September 28, 2013, at the Johnson-Quimby Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Ron Headley, Rev. Debora Bishop and Rev. Mike Bedford officiating.

Interment was in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Active pallbearers were Wayne Dunn, Larry Wooley, Roberto Flores, Wallace Byrd, Jerald Jaye, Todd Murphy and Tommy John Earle.

Johnson-Quimbty Funeral Home is entrusted with all arrangements.

Cantonment Power Substation Getting $4.5 Million Upgrade

September 28, 2013

As part of the largest construction project in its history, Gulf Power Gulf Power Company is spending $4.5 million to upgrade its Cantonment substation to help maintain grid reliability in North Escambia.

New aluminum structures and equipment are replacing timeworn steel equipment inside the substation, which serves to control the voltage and the distribution of electricity in the Cantonment area.

“Substations are part of the backbone of our power grid,” said Jeff Rogers, Gulf Power corporate communications manager. “They take the power from our generation plants and step down the voltage to be distributed to homes and businesses. It’s critical we monitor and maintain these carefully.”

The original equipment at the substation, which has been in service for 50 years, has reached the end of its service life. The work  is part of Gulf Power’s construction plan that will overhaul, maintain and build new equipment over the next several years across the utility’s system in Northwest Florida.

“This is part of our pre-planned maintenance schedule,” said Rogers. “We continuously monitor our equipment and look way into the future to make sure we keep our power grid reliable. Our customers count on it.”

While the work is set to be completed in December, 47 inches of rain and an abundance of snakes have made the construction challenging.

“Our crews and contractors have had to navigate around some very muddy terrain because of the rain,” Rogers said, “not to mention poisonous snakes. But despite the challenges, everyone’s working safely and the project remains on schedule.”

Pictured: New structures and equipment can be seen on the left side of the photo at the Cantonment substation compared to the old equipment that is still in the process of being replaced on the right. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

One Shot At Escambia Nightclub

September 28, 2013

One person was reported shot early Saturday morning at an Escambia County nightclub.

The shooting was reported about 12:40 a.m. at Ray’s Soul City at 501 E Baars Street, not far from the U.S. Post Office on North Davis Highway. The victim was transported by Escambia County EMS as a “trauma alert” to Baptist Hospital. The victim’s name, age and condition were not available early Saturday morning.

Further details have not yet been released by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Lows In The 50’s Forecast

September 28, 2013

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

  • Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 58. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph in the morning.
  • Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 62. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm.
  • Monday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the morning.
  • Monday Night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon.
  • Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 65. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight.
  • Wednesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87.
  • Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 64.
  • Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.
  • Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 65.
  • Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.

Today: Pinewood Derby, Car Show, Book Sale, Spaghetti Supper, Auction, Railroad Junction Day

September 28, 2013

Here is a look at some events going on in and around the North Escambia area today:

Molino – Pinewood Derby And Car Show
There will be a Pinewood Derby and Car Show on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Highland Baptist Church in Molino. Races begin at 9:30 a.m. with classes from pre-k to fifth grade. Cars will be judged and awards given.  The Open Car Show begins with registration ($25) at 8 a.m. with judging beginning at 9 a.m. Trophies awarded at 2 p.m. to the top 40 vehicles. The church is located at 6240 North Highway 95A in Molino.

Friends of the Library Book Sale
Fall Used Book Sale for Friends of the West Florida Public Library at the Downtown Pensacola Public Library, 239 N. Spring St. Hours: Saturday, 9 a.m.-5p.m., and Sunday, noon- 3p.m., $5 bag sale. Free admisssion. Used books of all kinds, hard cover, soft cover, and paperbacks; DVD’s, CD’s, magazines, puzzles. All profits benefit the West Florida Public Library system.

Flomaton – Railroad Junction Day
Railroad Junction Day will be held Saturday, September 28 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Flomaton Community Center and Lions Club Park in Flomaton, Ala. There will be entertainment, various food and craft vendors in the park, and a model train display in the community center. Turtle Point Environmental Center will be open with a “Birds of Prey” demonstration and antique car show in the parking lot. The Flomaton Public Library will host severa speakers and the Flomaton Area Railroad Museum, log cabin and caboose will be open.

Walnut Hill – Spaghetti Supper And Auction
The Walnut Hill Ruritan Club will hold a spaghetti supper and auction Saturday, September 28. The supper is from 4-6 p.m. and the auction begins at 6 p.m. at the Walnut Hill Community Center, 7850 Highway 97.

The Aggies Do It Again: Four In A Row With Pine Forest Shutout

September 28, 2013

The Tate Aggies cruised to a 35-0 win over the Pine Forest Eagles Friday night at Pete Gindl Stadium in Cantonment.

The Tate Aggies came into Friday night’s game riding high on a three game winning streak.  Tate had not beat Pine Forest in a decade. Tate make it four wins in a row for this season, their best start since the early 90’s.  Crosstown rivals Pine Forest, however, were looking to put a stop to that winning streak.

The first quarter ended with the score still 0-0.  It wasn’t until late in the second quarter  before Tate scored on three-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sawyer Smith to De-Vekyo Lewis to make the score 7-0 Tate with 3:34 remaining in the half.

Pine Forest was threatening with time running out, but the Eagles drew a penalty as they snapped the ball with 0.9 seconds remaining.  The clock started on the snap, but the play was whistled dead for the penalty but not before time expired for the half with Pine Forest standing behind on Tate’s three-yard line.

In the second half, Tate punted the football, but Pine Forest  fumbled the catch and Tate recovered the ball on Pine Forest 11. On what would have been fourth down, a roughing the quarterback penalty against the Eagles gave the Aggies a first down and they capitalized on a three-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Stephen Pederson, making the score 14-0 Tate.

Quarterback Sawyer Smith found Pederson again on a 30-yard touchdown pass.  Tate lead 21-0 with 3:18 remaining in the third.  Then, with just 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Tate’s Rashan Johnson intercepted an Eagles’ pass and returned the ball 77 yards for another Tate touchdown, 28-0.

Tate wasn’t done yet. Smith found Reginald Payne in the end zone for another touchdown pass for Tate’s last score.  Tate made it  two shutouts in a row holding the Eagles scoreless.

Tate’s Coach Ronny Douglas stated the he was “very pleased with the way the team played.  The players played well, the coaches did their jobs and the defense played excellent to get two shutouts in a row.  No one expected to stop the split back for 48 minutes.  We preached to the players all week to do your job and do your assignment.  It is a big, big win for us and any time you can get a shutout that is great.”

Tate moves to 4-1 for the season.  Tate starts district play next week at 7:30  when they host Niceville for their final home game of the regular season.

by Darryl Singleton

Pictured: The Tate Aggies beat the Pine Forest Eagles 35-0 Friday night in Cantonment. Photos by Kaleigh Blackmon for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Candlelight Vigil Tonight For Missing Teen Danielle Bell

September 28, 2013

Family of friends of missing teen Danielle Bell will hold a candlelight vigil for her this evening.

Bell was last seen 12 years ago, on September 28, 2001, in the 500 block of Cedar Tree Lane between Highway 29 and Highway 95A in Cantonment. Then 14-years old, she was last seen with Alfredo Sanchez and Robert Basset.

Sanchez is currently  incarcerated for sexual assault against a minor. One of these crimes was against Bell.

The vigil will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Hankshaw Lagoon Memorial Park on Bayfront Parkway in Pensacola.

Danielle Bell’s family believes that someone in the local community has information that will help solve her case. If you have information related to the disappearance of Danielle Bell, please call FDLE’s Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse at 1-888-FL MISSING or the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9630.

Lawmaker: Exempt Warning Shots From 10-20-Life Sentences

September 28, 2013

A bill filed this week by a Florida lawmaker is intended to address what he called “the negative, unintended consequences” of Florida’s 10-20-Life sentencing law by granting immunity to people who fire warning shots to protect themselves and others.

It’s the second time Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, has filed the measure (HB 89), which he calls the “Defense of Life, Home, and Property Act,” and which died in committee during the 2013 legislative session.

The new bill was filed on the same day that the 1st District Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Marissa Alexander, a Jacksonville woman sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in prison for a shot fired during a domestic dispute in her home.

Under the 10-20-Life law, possession of a firearm while committing certain felonies is punishable by at least 10 years in prison, while discharging a firearm while committing those felonies is punishable by at least a 20-year sentence. Hurting or killing someone in those circumstances requires 25 years to life in prison.

Combee said his measure was inspired by Alexander’s case.

“Nobody was hurt, yet she’s facing 20 years behind bars,” he said. “There’s other people that do all kinds of damage to others and don’t get sentences like that.”

The bill is backed by House Judiciary Chairman Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, who was a co-sponsor last year and said Friday he’d probably do so again.

“I’m very hesitant to change anything in 10-20-Life,” Baxley said. “Except that I’ve run into this more than once, where constituents have gotten into this narrow space where they were trying truly to avoid a conflict by a warning shot, and instead, wound up charged and having to plead to a felony of lesser degree to avoid a prison sentence because they just were afraid to face a jury.”

The bill also is backed by the National Rifle Association, according to NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer, who said that if Alexander had shot her husband, she probably would have been immune from prosecution under Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

“In firing a warning shot — that didn’t harm anyone — you should not end up in jail for 20 years,” Hammer said. “That is not what self-defense is all about, and that is not what our criminal justice system should be about. That’s not justice.”

Alexander turned down a three-year plea deal offered by State Attorney Angela Corey’s office. When a jury found her guilty, Circuit Judge James Daniel said he had no choice under state law but to give her 20 years.

The appeals court ruled Thursday that Daniel’s jury instructions were wrong, and it ordered a new trial for Alexander.

Combee said that since filing the original bill, he’d learned of other cases where Floridians received 20-year sentences for firing warning shots.

For instance, Ronald Thompson, a disabled veteran, was sentenced in 2010 to serve 20 years for firing a gun in a dispute with four young men the year before. The case involved an elderly neighbor who tried to bar her grandson and three friends from her home — whereupon, Thompson claimed, he fired two shots in the ground to scare them off.

No one was injured, but Thompson was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, and Corey’s office offered a three-year plea bargain, which Thompson refused. He was found guilty, but Judge John Skinner refused to impose the 20-year sentence, opting instead for three years. Corey’s office appealed, and an appellate court imposed the 20-year mandatory minimum. Thompson served nearly three years, then sought a new trial because he alleged his original defense attorney made mistakes.

According to Greg Newburn, Florida project director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Thompson is out of prison and awaiting a new trial.

“I was thrilled to see Rep. Combee take the lead on filing that bill,” Newburn said. “Citing Marissa Alexander and Ron Thompson as cautionary tales is exactly right…No one ever thought that 10-20-Life would be used to put law-abiding citizens who act in self-defense behind bars for 20 years.”

Despite the bill’s support, however, it could face a major obstacle. Last session it was opposed by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a friend of Combee’s, on the grounds that 10-20-Life was too effective to be altered.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Sheriffs Association, Nanette Schimpf, said the group had not yet taken a position on the new bill. Judd is the president of the sheriffs association.

“10-20-Life has done so many wonderful things to help us lower the crime rate,” Baxley said. “So we have to be cautious, cautious, cautious with 10-20-Life. But there is this tiny niche, that in a self-defense situation it shouldn’t be better that you shot the person in self-defense than that you shot a warning shot and tried to avoid the conflict.”

Indians Beat Chiefs (With Photo Gallery)

September 28, 2013

The 1A Northview Chiefs were shut out by the 6A Choctawhatchee Indians Friday night in Bratt, 35-0.

The scoreboard, according to Northview Coach Sid Wheatley did not tell the whole story of the game against Choctawhatchee, a 1,500 student school from Fort Walton Beach that has defeated Pace, Crestview and Gulf Breeze so far this year.

“I thought our kids played hard, and we tried to compete,” he said.  The Chiefs’ defense held the Indians to just seven throughout most of the first half, with the Indians scoring on a 32-yard touchdown run shortly before the half.

“The touchdown they got right before halftime was big…it was a back breaker, Wheatley said. “If we could have held there,  it could have still been a 7-0 game or 7-7 at halftime. It gave them momentum. It kind of sucked a little life, a little wind out of ourselves.”

For a game action photo gallery, click here.

Northview quarterback Daulton Tullis had about 140 yards passing on the night. Senior Neino Robinson completed six for 90 yards.  Keondrae Lett had 10 carries with about 50 yards, and Ladarius Thomas contributed a dozen carries for 40 yards.

“Our defense did a good job tonight of getting them in third-and-long, we just didn’t finish the job and allowed some conversions, Wheatley said.

Things are about to get serious defending 1A station champion Chiefs. Their 1-3 season record is irrelevant as they look toward Orlando in December…a district championship takes wins against just three teams — Baker, Freeport and Jay. And all of them are 0-0 in district play this season….a clean slate.

And next Friday night, the Chiefs will travel across the river to take on the Jay Royals (3-1).

“I’ve really got to get on this film and I got to see what guys, like I told them, are hungry and really want to get playing time and want to really go hard into this district schedule,” Wheatley said.

And, by the way, Wheatley says he’s got a few trick up his sleeve that he’s been saving for district play. “We have a little different look, a couple of things we have yet to get into,” he said.

For a game action photo gallery, click here. (Cheerleader and band photos will be posted Sunday morning.)

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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