Cantonment Shooting Under Investigation

December 31, 2013

A shooting Monday afternoon in Cantonment is under investigation.

The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. on Sheppard Street, just off Booker Street. The male victim reported that he had been shot in the upper thigh. His injury was believed to be non-life threatening.

Further details have not yet been released as the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office continues their investigation.

Wanda McGhee Byrd

December 31, 2013

Mrs. Wanda McGhee Byrd, 53, passed away on Saturday, December 28, 2013, in Mobile.

Mrs. Byrd was a native of Atmore, former resident of Bay Minette and had resided in Mobile for the past 18 years. Mrs. Byrd was a member of Poarch Creek Indians; she was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She is preceded in death by her stepfather, Samuel Author Rayborn; brother, Samuel Dewayne Rayborn; and sister, Patricia Rayborn.

She is survived by her mother, Barbara Pauline Rayborn of Atmore; two sons, Anthony David McGhee of Houston, TX and Randy Dewayne McGhee of Loxley; one daughter, Amanda Jean McGhee of Conroe, TX; one brother, Wesley Junior Rayborn of Atmore; four sisters, Debra Watson, Rhonda Rayborn, Pam Jackson and Felicia Marshall all of Atmore; two grandchildren, Megan Marie McGhee and Savanah Nicole McGhee.

Funeral services will be Thursday, January 2, 2014, at 10 a.m. at the Petty-Eastside Chapel Funeral Home with Rev. Larry Wayne Davis officiating.

Burial will follow at Freemanville Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 1, 2014, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Petty- Eastside Chapel Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Edward Godwin, Roy Rolin, Donald Phillips, Hubert Rolin, Anthony Jordon and Trent Rayborn.

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

Jay Man Killed In Wreck Near Alabama/Florida Line

December 30, 2013

A Jay man was killed in an accident near the Alabama/Florida line in Santa Rosa County Sunday night.

The Florida Highway Patrol said 39-year old Shannon M. Williams was northbound on Highway 87 northeast of Jay near Pogue Thompson Road…near where Highway 87 crosses into Alabama and becomes Highway 41 south of Brewton. For unknown reasons, he drifted off the paved portion of the roadway onto the shoulder. His 1999 Toyota truck  then struck a culvert, overturned several times and struck a utility pole.

Williams, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. There were no passengers in the vehicle.

Almost $1.4 Million: Escambia County To Pave Shoulders Along Crabtree Church Road

December 30, 2013

Escambia County has received almost $1.4 million in state funds to construct and inspect paved shoulders along Crabtree Church Road in Molino from Highway 97 to Sunshine Hill Road.

The county will enter into an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for Transportation Enhancement Program funding of up to $1,388,244. The county was previously awarded $138,824 to design the paved shoulders back in 2011.

The paved shoulders will extend the highway by an additional five feet from the center line on both sides of the 2.5 mile segment of roadway.

Pictured top: The Molino Christmas parade travels down Crabtree Church Road. photo, click to enlarge.

Mostly Cloudy Skies, Highs In The 50’s Today

December 30, 2013

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

  • Monday: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 50s. North winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
  • Monday Night: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of rain in the evening. Lows around 40. North winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
  • Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s. North winds around 5 mph becoming 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
  • Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of rain. Lows in the upper 30s. North winds around 5 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
  • New Years Day: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of rain. Highs in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 20 percent.
  • Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain. Lows in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
  • Thursday: Mostly cloudy in the morning becoming mostly sunny. Chance of rain. Highs in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
  • Thursday Night: Colder. Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 30s.
  • Friday: Cooler…sunny. Highs in the lower 50s.
  • Friday Night: Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 20s.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s.
  • Saturday Night: Not as cool. Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s.
  • Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of rain. Highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 20 percent.

New Year’s Holiday Closures, Trash Pickup Changes

December 30, 2013

Here are New Year’s holiday closures in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties:


Closed December 31 and January 1:

  • Escambia County Board of County Commissioners
  • Escambia County Property Appraiser
  • Escambia County Supervisor of Elections
  • West Florida Public Library System

Closed January 1:

  • Escambia County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
  • Escambia County Tax Collector

Closed  January 1:

  • The Perdido Landfill


  • Residential: Tuesday pickups on Tuesday. Wednesday pickups will be on Thursday; Thursday pickups will be on Friday and Friday pickups will be on Saturday. Commercial (dumpsters): No change.
  • ECUA offices will be closed on Tuesday, December 24, Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1.

Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) Schedule Changes:

  • ECAT busses will not run January 1
  • UWF Trolleys will resume service January 5


All city offices in Century, Jay and Pensacola will be closed January 1.


Closed January 1

  • Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners, including the library system, animal shelter and landfill
  • Santa Rosa County Clerk of the Court
  • Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser
  • Santa Rosa County Supervisor of Elections
  • Santa Rosa County Tax Collector

2013 In Photos: January And February

December 30, 2013

All this week, we are looking back at the photos that were in the news in 2013. Today, we are featuring photos from January and February.

Thousands of dollars worth of items were stolen or damaged during a burglary at a Century-owned industrial building.

A new playground was installed at the Molino Community Complex.

Ariel Holland (center) was crowned Miss Northview High School for 2013. First Runner-Up was Ashley Cunningham (right), and Second Runner-Up was Kendal Cobb.

New “Welcome to Century” signs constructed with inmate labor from Century Correctional Institution were dedicated.

A country music video for Dusty Sanderson’s single “Chuggin’ Along” was filmed in Bluff Springs.

A small army of volunteers organized by Americorps worked on the National Day of Service to paint the Carver Community Center.

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was honored during a MLK Day program in Century.

Atmore honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a parade.

High, thin cirrus clouds led to a halo around the moon one late January night.

The Cove Landfill in Ensley burned for days, causing problems for Ensley residents and area schools.

Students at Byrneville Elementary School celebrated National Literacy Week.

A January sunset as seen in a rear view mirror traveling along Highway 4 near Canoe Creek.

Hundreds of free trees were given away at the Walnut Hill Community Center for Arbor Day.

Major upgrades to the electrical system were made in the Walnut Hill area, including new lines and a new substation.

A wind-driven fire rages through a Bratt field.

The Ernest Ward Middle School FFA  presented their Golden Cow Dung Award to faculty member Betty Coon.

An early morning fire destroyed a mobile home on Brickton Road in Molino.

A cool February 2013 sunset.

Hundreds of people attended the annual Walnut Hill Ruritan Club Farm Equipment Auction.

A missing student was located by a K-9 team in Walnut Hill, about three hours after she ran away from a school campus.

Four people were left homeless after a Century house fire.

The Northview Lady Chiefs opened their season with a win over Pensacola Catholic.

LifeFlight lifts off during the early morning hours in Bratt following a wreck.

A February rainbow over Atmore.

Northview High School’s NJROTC Annual Inspection was held with cadets undergoing  face to face scrutiny.

Miss Ernest Ward Middle School winners: First Runner-up Nikoal Creamer, Miss EWMS 2013 Alyssa Borelli, and Second Runner-up  Morgan Myrick.

Escambia County Peanuts: Enough For 252 Million PB&J Sandwiches

December 30, 2013

The final 2013 numbers are not in yet, but in 2012 farmers in Escambia County grew peanuts on 8,414.50 acres. That’s enough for 252 million peanut butter and jelly sandwiches growing in mostly North Escambia fields, like the one pictured above on Bratt Road.

So unless you have Archibutyrophobia (the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth), read on for some more fun peanut facts from the National Peanut Board:

By the Numbers

  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
  • By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
  • The world’s largest peanut butter factory churns out 250,000 jars of the tasty treat every day.
  • Four of the top 10 candy bars manufactured in the USA contain peanuts or peanut butter.
  • Peanuts account for two-thirds of all snack nuts consumed in the USA.
  • Peanuts contribute more than $4 billion to the USA economy each year.
  • Americans spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter.
  • The average peanut farm is 100 acres.
  • Peanut butter/peanut paste is the leading use of peanuts produced in the U.S. (1/2); followed by snack nuts and in-shells (1/4); and, candy and confections (1/4).
  • Peanuts are the #1 snack nut consumed in the U.S., accounting for two-thirds of the snack nut market.

Consumption Facts

  • The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year.
  • The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he/she graduates high school.
  • Americans consume on average over 1.5 billion pounds of peanut butter and peanut products each year.
  • Peanut butter is consumed in 90 percent of USA households.
  • Americans eat enough peanut butter in a year to make more than 10 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • The amount of peanut butter eaten in a year could wrap the earth in a ribbon of 18-ounce peanut butter jars one and one-third times.

Peanuts Made Famous

  • Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the USA – Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
  • Astronaut Allen B. Sheppard brought a peanut with him to the moon. Read about peanuts bringing good luck to NASA.
  • Peanut butter was the secret behind “Mr. Ed,” TV’s talking horse. Spreading peanut butter inside the horse’s mouth created a natural talking movement every time the animal moved his sticky jaws.
  • Baseball Hall of Fame’s, Jim “Catfish” Hunter and Gaylord Perry are peanut farmers from North Carolina (Hunter from Hertford and Perry from Williamston).
  • Former President Bill Clinton confessed that one of his favorite sandwiches is peanut butter and banana; also reported to have been the favorite of Elvis “the King” Presley.
  • In Barbara Mandrell’s hit song “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” she sings about putting peanuts in her bottle of Coke. (This method of enjoying peanuts was developed by southern farm workers as a practical snack solution in the interest of time and cleanliness, plus it’s flavorful.)
  • There are six cities in the U.S. named Peanut: Peanut, California; Lower Peanut, Pennsylvania; Upper Peanut, Pennsylvania; Peanut, Pennsylvania, Peanut, Tennessee; and Peanut West Virginia.

World Records

  • Grand Saline, TX holds the title for the world’s largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich weighing in at 1,342 pounds. Grand Saline outweighed Oklahoma City’s 900 pounds peanut butter and jelly sandwich in November 2010. Oklahoma City, OK had been the reigning champ since September 7, 2002.
  • Adrian Finch of Australia holds the Guinness World Record for peanut throwing, launching the lovable legume 111 feet and 10 inches in 1999 to claim the record.
  • In August 1976, Tom Miller, a University of Colorado student, pushed a peanut to the top of Pike’s Peak with his nose(14,100 feet!). It took him 4 days, 23 hours,47 minutes and 3 seconds.
  • The Guiness Book of World Records reports that on April 3, 1973, Chris Ambrose, Clerkenwell, London, ate 100 peanuts singly in 59.2 seconds!
  • According to the Guiness Book of World Records, Earl Adkins, Enfield, North Carolina holds the record for growing the largest peanut – 4 inches long! (The average length of a peanut is about one inch.)

How do you like your peanuts?

  • Women and children prefer creamy, while most men opt for chunky. Click here for a creamy peanut butter smoothie recipe.
  • People living on the East Coast prefer creamy peanut butter, while those on the West Coast prefer the crunchy style.
  • Sixty percent of consumers prefer creamy peanut butter over crunchy.
  • Peanut butter is the leading use of peanuts in the USA.
  • “Boiled peanuts” are considered a delicacy in the peanut growing areas of the South. Freshly harvested peanuts are boiled in supersaturated salt water until they are of a soft bean like texture. They are most frequently enjoyed at the end of the day with a favorite beverage.

Nutrition Facts

  • Peanuts have more protein, niacin, folate and phytosterols than any nut.
  • Peanuts and peanut butter contain over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients.
  • Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free.
  • Rumor says that there’s enough mental stimulation in one peanut to produce 30 minutes of serious thinking. That may or may not be true, but peanuts are a good source of protein and the B vitamins, nutrients that help prevent “brain fatigue”
  • Peanut oil is valued as premium cooking oil by cooks and chefs worldwide. Tasteless and odorless, peanut oil doesn’t transfer food flavors, has a very high smoke point (440 to 470† F.) and is high in the desirable mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
  • Specially processed defatted peanuts may be ground into a flour for use in making high protein foods and beverages-, may be granulated and added to breakfast or diet bars to raise the protein levels; or may be flavored to taste like other foods.
  • One of the many great advantages of peanuts and peanut butter is long shelf life. If held at average ambient temperature without great change in heat or humidity, peanuts and peanut butter can be safely stored for several months.
  • Peanuts contain no cholesterol. Recent studies show that the combination of monounsaturates and polyunsaturates such as are found in peanuts may be helpful in reducing cholesterol levels in the body.

In our Language

  • Goober—a nickname for peanuts—comes from “nguba”, the Congo language name for peanut.
  • “Peanut Gallery” became popular in the late 19th century and referred to the rear or uppermost seats in a theater, which were also the cheapest seats. People seated in such a gallery were able to throw peanuts, a common food at theaters, at those seated below them. It also applied to the first row of seats in a movie theater, for the occupants of those seats could throw peanuts at the stage, stating their displeasure with the performance.

Pictured top: Peanuts are harvest just before Christmas on Bratt Road. photo, click to enlarge.

Two Children Killed In I-65 Crash

December 30, 2013

A fiery accident that claimed the lives of two children just south of Atmore on I-65 closed the interstate highway overnight.

The first in a series of accidents was reported about 9:45 p.m. about three miles south of Exit 54 – the Poarch, Jack Springs Road exit.   A 2000 Freightliner semi-truck driven by 57-year old Terry Allen Wyatt of Andalusia, AL, rear-ended a 2010 Dodge Challenger. The car then burst into flames, according to reports.

Nadir Gillis, 9, and Naziya Gillis, 7, both of Camp Lejeune, N.C., were pronounced deceased at the scene.

The driver of the Dodge, 28-year-old Isom Hodges, and another passenger, 30-year old Labrica Hodges, both of Camp LeJeune were transported to area hospitals. The driver a third vehicle in the crash, 42-year old William C. Rousey of Lexington, KY, was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. Their conditions were not available.

A second accident, reportedly involving three vehicles, occurred north of the original accident scene.

Traffic was rerouted off the interstate at Exit 54 for several hours.

Further details have not been released by Alabama State Troopers. No charges have been filed in the crash.

Charles Wayne McPherson

December 30, 2013

Charles Wayne McPherson, 81, passed away Saturday, December 28, 2013, at his home in Walnut Hill. He was born on April 2, 1932, in Lone Star, Alabama to John and Lillie Mae McPherson. He graduated from Beatrice High School and served his country by spending two years in the Air Force. After retiring from Monsanto in 1984, Charles filled his days with many joyous fishing trips and time with his beloved wife of 58 years. He was also a devoted grandfather to his two precious grandchildren where he enjoyed attending countless school activities and sporting events throughout the years. Charles was a committed member of Atmore Community of Christ Church where he served in many roles. He was active in the community and was a dedicated member of the Walnut Hill Ruritan. Charles was full of love, always smiling, and enjoyed sharing with people the love of God and the joyful sounds of music.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Gordon and Lillie Mae (Salter) McPherson; a sister, Ouida Crawford; and a brother, Gordon Derhylon McPherson.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Betty Sue (Lee) McPherson and his son, Larry (Mary) McPherson, and two grandchildren, Patrick Wayne McPherson and Charleigh Victoria McPherson.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at 11 a.m. from the Huxford Community of Christ Church with Elders Gary Gilbert and Glenn Waldrop officiating.

Interment will follow in Huxford Community of Christ Church Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, December 31, 2013, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Huxford Community of Christ Church.

Family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to Huxford Community of Christ Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Beth Linam, 2661 Pieburn Cr, Atmore, AL 36502 or to Gentiva Hospice Foundation, 7801 Mesquite Bend Drive Suite 105, Irving, TX 75063.

Johnson Quimby Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

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