Two Injured In Two Afternoon Accidents

November 26, 2013

Two people were injured in two separate traffic crashes Tuesday afternoon near Bratt and Byrneville.

The first accident was reported just after noon on West Highway 4 near Byrneville Road. A driver lost control and ran off the roadway with the vehicle overturning in to a ditch. One person was transported with non-life threatening injuries by Escambia County EMS to Jay Hospital.

The second accident occurred about 3:50 p.m. on North Pine Barren Road just north of Hanks Road in Bratt. The 19-year old female driver a northbound car lost control, ran off the roadway and struck a utility pole and some small brush. She was transported by Escambia County EMS to an area hospital with injuries that were not considered severe.

Both accidents are under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Pictured: One person was injured in this crash on North Pine  Barren Road Tuesday afternoon. photos, click to enlarge..

Man Shot By Mother Of His Child Sentenced For Battery

November 26, 2013

A Cantonment man shot last June by the mother of his child has been convicted of battery.

Casey Lee Leopard was found guilty by Judge Michael Allen and sentenced to 12 months community control followed by 24 months probation.

The female victim told deputies that Leopard, the father of her child, came to her residence on Benjulyn Road holding their 2-year old child. She said he forced his way inside when she opened the door. He searched for and found the woman’s phone in an attempt to determine where she had been the previous night, according to an arrest report.

The woman retrieved a firearm, located ammunition for it and attempted to leave the residence. Leopard then allegedly thew her to the floor and choked her. She escaped his hold and loaded the gun. As Leopard approached her again in her hallway, she shot him in the knee, the report states, because he was coming toward her and she feared being attacked again.

Leopard fled the residence and was later located at Victory Assembly of God Church on Highway 29, the report states, and was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital for his injuries.

Woman Charged With Bomb Threats Against Gulf Power

November 26, 2013

A Santa Rosa County woman was arrested Monday on federal charges for allegedly making bomb threats against Gulf Power.

Eboni Parker, age 33, of Milton, was charged with two counts of maliciously conveying false information of a bomb threat, according to United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.

A two-count federal indictment alleges that on January 30 and February 20, Parker used a cell phone to make the false bomb threats to the Milton office of Gulf Power.

Parker was in federal court Monday for her initial  appearance and arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Timothy at the U.S. District Court in Pensacola. Parker pleaded not guilty to  the charges and her trial is scheduled for January 6, 2014, before Senior United States District Judge Lacey Collier.

Parker is facing a maximum sentence of ten years and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Citrus Canker Discovered In Santa Rosa County

November 26, 2013

Citrus canker is a serious disease of citrus trees that was recently confirmed for the first time in Santa Rosa County.

Citrus canker has been a major pest of citrus in south and central Florida. It is economically damaging to the commercial industry and is also problematic to homeowners because it causes premature fruit drop, discolored fruit, and eventually causes the tree to become unproductive.

Canker, caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri,  was first introduced in 1912 into Florida and was declared eradicated in 1933.

The disease was found again in the Tampa area on citrus in 1986.  It was declared eradicated in 1994, but once again was found in 1995 in Miami.

This time, the disease was not successfully eradicated in part because hurricanes made the disease too widespread to control.

Despite its prevalence in south and central Florida, this disease has not been known in the Panhandle. The University of Florida and the Florida Department of of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Plant Industry will be assessing the extent of the disease in Santa Rosa County in the coming months.

One of the best indicators of canker is presence of lesions, diseased spots, on the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves.  The lesions will be raised and have a rough surface and will be surrounded by yellow halos. Similar lesions may be present on the fruit and stems as well.

The disease is highly contagious to citrus only and spreads rapidly through wind, rain and via people on their hands, clothes, and tools.

Do not transport any plant material that shows symptoms of canker.  Decontamination practices should be used when going from one citrus tree to the next.  Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or more to eliminate bacterium on the skin should be practiced as well as using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.  Pruning tools or other tools that come into contact with citrus should be disinfected by a fresh solution of 1 ounce of household bleach to 1 gallon of water.  An old or dirty bleach solution is not able to disinfect because the chemical is no longer active.

Grapefruit, Navel orange, early orange varieties, lemon and lime are most susceptible citrus to canker infection. Hamlins and tangelos are less susceptible. Valencia, some hybrids and Satsuma and other tangerines are the most resistant to the disease. However, all citrus is vulnerable to some extent.

In order reduce the likelihood of citrus canker choose the most resistant varieties of citrus, practice proper sanitation procedures, and purchase only certified citrus from registered nurseries within the state of Florida. It is unlawful to purchase citrus trees from another state and bring them into Florida unless the proper permitting is in place.

If you suspect that your citrus trees may have citrus canker please contact the Division of Plant Industry’s Helpline Center at 1-888-397-1517 before taking any action to reduce accidental spread of this disease.

Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.

Ernest Ward Names November Students Of The Month

November 26, 2013

Ernest Ward Middle School has named their November Students of the Month. They are  (pictured L-R) Isaac Armstrong, seventh grade; Jarrod Davison, eighth grade; and Brandon Berry, sixth grade. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Molino Community Thanksgiving Service Tonight

November 26, 2013

Multiple churches in the Molino area will come together tonight for the annual Molino Community Thanksgiving Service.

The service will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Highland Baptist Church, 6240 Highway 95A North, Molino. A time of fellowship will follow with finger foods, desserts and covered dishes.

Turning Even Colder

November 26, 2013

Here is your official North Escambia area forecast:

  • Tonight: Showers likely, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 35. Northwest wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
  • Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 45. Breezy, with a northwest wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
  • Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 23. North wind around 5 mph.
  • Thanksgiving Day: Sunny, with a high near 51. Wind chill values between 15 and 25 early. North wind around 5 mph.
  • Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 27. Northeast wind around 5 mph.
  • Friday: Sunny, with a high near 60. Northeast wind around 5 mph.
  • Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 33. Northeast wind around 5 mph.
  • Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 63. East wind around 5 mph.
  • Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 42. East wind around 5 mph.
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 67.
  • Sunday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48.
  • Monday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 70.
  • Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47.
  • Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69.

Northview Chiefs Open Basketball Season With Win Over Escambia Gators

November 26, 2013

The Northview Chiefs beat the Escambia Gators 82-58 in high school basketball action Monday night. Delayed by football playoffs, the game was the season opener for the Chiefs.

Leading scorers for the Chiefs were Tony McAroy with 35 and Neino Robinson with 26. Other scorers were: Trent Howard, 12; Eric Williams, 4; Cameron Newsome, 3; Keondrae Lett, 2; and Nick Lambert, 2.

The Chiefs were to be on the road Tuesday afternoon against T.R. Miller, but that matchup has been canceled and rescheduled for December 16 in Bratt.

The junior  varsity girls will play a game December 3 at 5:30 against Flomaton at home; otherwise, the Chiefs won’t play another home game in Bratt until December 13.

Road Construction, Land Closures Suspended For Long Holiday Period

November 26, 2013

State transportation departments in Florida and Alabama announced Monday that most road construction and lane closures will be suspended for the long Thanksgiving weekend.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Three office is suspending highway construction projects on major roadways across Northwest Florida.  There will be no work on state roads requiring lane restrictions from Thursday, November 28 through Sunday, December 1.  All major roads will be open to normal traffic.

Although no construction closures are scheduled over the holiday weekend, existing state highway work zones will remain in effect. Motorists are reminded to use caution while traveling through work zones around barricades and equipment.

FDOT is encouraging drivers to allow extra travel time and to use extra caution in existing work zones along state highways. Drivers are urged to make sure they buckle up, along with their passengers. FDOT and other safety agencies also ask drivers to obey speed limits, get adequate rest before traveling, avoid distractions and never drink and drive.

Drivers also are urged to be prepared for unscheduled highway closures due to accidents, disabled vehicles or other events. Motorists should be alert to changing weather conditions while traveling.

The Alabama Department of Transportation said there will be no temporary lane closures on Alabama interstates after noon, Wednesday, November 27, through midnight on Sunday, December 1.

Bills: Double Texting In School Zone Fines

November 26, 2013

Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston, wants to increase the penalty for motorists who text while behind the wheel in school zones. Stark has proposed a measure (HB 333) that would double fines for texting while driving in legally posted school zones or designated school crossings.

The state’s new texting-while-driving ban went into effect October 1 and carries a penalty of $30 and court costs for first-time offenders. The law only allows enforcement as what is known as a “secondary offense.” That means motorists can only be cited for texting while driving if they are pulled over for other reasons.

Last month, Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, filed a measure (SB 322) that would allow police to stop motorists for texting while driving as a primary offense.

by The News Service of Florida

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